Monthly Archives: April 2018

MBTI Typing Bible Characters

In the last year or so I’ve become familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality types. I sometimes enjoy trying to type myself and other people. In this post I will try to guess Bible characters’ personalities.

For more info on types and cognitive functions – here is a page with some helpful info. Check out all the links. Also check out all the links on this page. is a great site with lots of good info on the various types. uses a bit of a different theory, without incorporating the cognitive functions, but the descriptions of the types are similar, so I feel comfortable using their descriptions.

So here are my guesses for various characters.

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On God, Time, and Eternity

When I was younger I was taught that there will be no time in eternity. I was also taught that God is timeless – that he experiences everything as an “eternal now.” I no longer believe this. I think those ideas came from the Greek philosophical view of deity and time. The Greeks thought that time was somehow flawed or imperfect, and that God must therefore be totally outside time; related to this were also extreme ideas about God’s absolute unchangelessness, such that God cannot experience emotion, for example.

Christian philosophers accepted these ideas and developed the idea of “divine simplicity” (“the concept that God does not exist in parts but is wholly unified, with no distinct attributes, and whose existence is synonymous with His essence”, per GotQuestions). But all these things tend to make God into an impersonal Idea, unrelated and unrelatable to His creation.

But the Jewish and Christian scriptures present a different picture of God. He is a personal being; he entered time and space, at least in the Incarnation; he loves, he hates, he has a range of emotions and responses to our obedience or rejection of him. He even changed his mind. Christian philosophers who accepted the Greek ideas said that the Biblical descriptions of God’s anger, acceptance, rejoicing, singing (Zeph. 3:17) were just anthroporphisms; he didn’t really do those things, but that’s just a human way of describing him. But I don’t think that does justice to Scripture. God is infinite and eternal, no doubt. But I think God is everlasting – that he exists through all of time – not that he is timeless.

This does not mean that God cannot see the future. God knows the end from the beginning; he can see the future and he knows all things. We can remember events that occurred in the past; some people with “photographic” memory can remember things in great detail – although interestingly, true photographic memory is apparently a myth. But God can see both the past and the future perfectly – he has perfect memory and perfect foreknowledge. Exactly how this is true, I don’t know; but we don’t have to understand how God can know the future in order to believe that he can. How can God be all powerful? How can he be omnipresent? How is it possible that God took human form and lived on earth as the man Jesus Christ, fully God and fully human at the same time? I don’t know how all that is possible…but I know it’s true.

But even if you still believe God must be timeless, that doesn’t mean we humans will be timeless in eternity. Only God is infinite; only God can be everywhere and do everything at once; only God knows everything. Humans are finite, and we will always be finite creatures. Therefore there still must be time and space in eternity. The Bible speaks of a new heavens and a new earth, in which Heaven comes down to earth and we live forever on the new earth with God. It speaks of time in heaven (there was silence in heaven for the space of half an hour, Rev. 8:1); it speaks of the passage of time on the new earth in Rev. 22:1-5: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. . . . There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”

I do think time had a beginning – when God created the universe. Before there was a universe, there were no events; nothing could change from moment to moment, so there could be no time. There was only God. But when God created the universe, there was time. And God said that his creation was very good. Time, therefore, is not imperfect or something to be escaped.

Here is what William Lane Craig says on time: … -eternity/

According to the relational theory the passage of time consists in the happening of events. So the question whether time is finite or infinite may be reduced to the question whether the series of events is finite or infinite. [19]

It might be asserted that even on the relational view of time there can be time prior to the first event because one may abstract from individual events to consider the whole universe as a sort of event which occurs at its creation. There would thus be a before and an after with regard to this event: no universe/ universe. And a relation of before and after is the primitive relation of which time consists. On the other hand, this level of abstraction may be illegitimate and may presuppose a time above time. For prior to the universe’s beginning, if there was nothing at all, not even space, then it would certainly seem to be true that there was no time either. For suppose the universe never came to exist – would there still be time? But if the universe does come to exist ex nihilo, how could we say this first event has an effect on reality (but of course there was no reality!) before it ever occurred, especially when its occurrence is a contingent matter? We might want to say that time does not exist until an event occurs, but when the event does occur, there is a sort of retroactive effect causing past time to spring into being. But this seems to confuse our mental ability to think back in time with the progressive, unidirectional nature of time itself. Though we can, after creation, think of nothingness one hour before the first event, in terms of reality, there was no such moment. For there was just nothing, and Creation was only a future contingent. When the first event occurred, the first moment of time began.

If God is really related to the world, then it seems most reasonable to maintain that God is in time subsequent to creation. This also removes Kierkegaard’s Absolute Paradox concerning the incarnation, for God would be in time prior to his assuming a human nature. This understanding does not involve any change in God; rather he is simply related to changing things. As Swinburne explains,

…since God coexists with the world and in the world there is change, surely there is a case for saying that God continues to exist for an endless time, rather than that he is timeless. In general that which remains the same while other things change is not said to be outside time, but to continue through time.

Thus, on a relational view of time God would exist timelessly and independently ‘prior’ to creation; at creation, which he has willed from eternity to appear temporally, time begins, and God subjects himself to time by being related to changing things. On the other hand, the Newtonian would say God exists in absolute time changelessly and independently prior to creation and that creation simply marks the first event in time.

These, then, are the alternatives. A relational view of time seems superior to a Newtonian view because (1) it is difficult to see how time could exist apart from events and (2) the Newtonian objection that every instant of time implies a prior instant is adequately answered by the relational view. Thus, the proper understanding of God, time, and eternity would be that God exists changelessly and timelessly prior to creation and in time after creation.

(bold added by me)

Very deep! I think Craig’s view not only makes sense philosophically, but matches Scripture better with the way God presents himself, as a personal God who relates to His creatures and even took on human form himself.

I hope this can make for some profitable contemplation, and perhaps greater appreciation for God’s personal nature and his desire to have a relationship with man.