What has existed from eternity? You will find that this is a central question for the philosophers who are studying metaphysics. Aristotle said that since something cannot come from nothing, there must be something that has existed from eternity (without beginning). Any attempt around this by appealing to the unknown, or uncaused events, or denying reason, ends in the absurd. So much so that we can say it is clear to reason that something must be eternal.
Although it is clear to reason that something must be eternal it may not be clear to a given person who, instead of using reason, is relying on experience or intuition. The ironic part of relying on experience or intuition is that neither of them can admit of uncaused events either.
In his sermon on John 1, Martin Luther says the following:
“If the Word preceded all creatures, and all creatures came by the Word and were created through it, the Word must be a different being than a creature, and was not made or created like a creature. It must therefore be eternal and without beginning. For when all things began it was already there, and cannot be confined in time nor in creation, but is above time and creation; yea, time and creation are made and have their beginning through it. Thus it follows that whatever is not temporal must be eternal; and that which has no beginning cannot be temporal; and that which is not a creature must be God.”
We learn from this that there are only these two options: either something is eternal or it is temporal. Something either had a beginning or it had no beginning. And we can begin to apply reason to understand what is eternal and what is not (what is temporal). We will begin to do that in our next post.
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