Friday, 23 January 2015

Jesus, Theophanies, and Time-Travel

Paul Cumin offers some wonderful speculation on Jesus, theophanies, and time-travel!

Who walked in the pre-Fall garden? Who spoke with Abraham and wrestled with Jacob? Who endured Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace? Quite simply, this must have been Jesus. That God has tensed himself in history and yet remains the creative centre of the time before and after this finite event at least means that the pre-incarnate theophanies are somehow ontologically continuous with the Jesus still to come. Yet how can this be? How could Jesus, so to speak, precede himself? One rather speculative suggestion presents itself:

To begin, we to [sic] need to follow Irenaeus and confess that consummated humanity is somehow more creaturely than the backwards version we now witness and experience. From here we could go on to say that the resurrected Christ was not just the Image of God but had become the consummated Image of God; humanity with all of its fully realized, eschatological attributes. This could mean the new body of Jesus was not less material than his mortal version, but more so; that he was somehow more intensely physical after his resurrection so that maybe he was able to pass through closed doors not because he was immaterial but because those doors and walls were somehow less material than he. From here we could further imagine that the consummation of his tensed constitution had similarly radical implications for his temporality. When we understand the resurrection of Jesus as the consummation of his humanity and his ascension as his consequent going ahead to the consummation of space-time—his hiddenness in the future—it is conceivable that to be a [sic] eschatological human entails not a Hellenic escape from time but an affirmative intensification of one’s temporality. This could allow for the possibility of what we somewhat awkwardly refer to as time-travel. It would mean that Jesus was not able to go ahead to the future by virtue of a divinizing return to an atemporal Godhead, but as a feature of the new rules of his consummated humanity. If this is allowable, it opens the conceptually acrobatic possibility of his appearance in the pre-incarnational past as the consummated Jesus he was after his resurrection.

Paul Cumin, Christ at the Crux: The Mediation of God and Creation in Christological Perspective (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2014), pp. 208-9, emphasis original

If I understand Cumin correctly, this means that the single answer to his three questions in the opening paragraph of the quotation is quite simply: the resurrected Jesus. This is quite the exciting possibility, at least for someone like me who loves nothing more than a complicated time-travel story à la The Terminator, Back to the Future, or Continuum! But I wonder what the implications are for our understanding of time. . .


  1. Does any of that enable you to live with Real Intelligence on a moment-to-moment basis?
    Of course not!
    Please find an Illuminated Understanding of the hidden esoteric meaning of the Christian idol:
    An essay on Jesus & quantum Reality
    Multiple references on the paradoxical nature of Quantum Reality
    The Gift of Truth

  2. The thing is, I still find all this 'benighted silliness' about Jesus to make sense even in the first quarter of the twenty-first century.