Clark Quick Quote

The following is from a recently discovered lecture Gordon Clark gave in 1974 on Augustine’s City of God.  A few years ago I picked up City of God and made it about one quarter of the way through.  I found it tedious, although I’m assured the later sections are worth the effort.  I can’t say Clark’s lecture has inspired me to take up the tome again, but his review at least was not at all tedious.

One of the most widely known opinions is that space and time are infinite. There are some exceptions. The Stoics and Friedrich Nietzsche held that time was infinite but space is finite. So did Aristotle. Democritus and Plato, however much they contradicted each other in everything else, agreed that space and time are both infinite. This is also the common view of scientists today. But for Augustine, time has no infinite past. Aristotle held time to be infinite because motion can neither begin nor end, and time is a function of motion. But for Augustine time began because it is a function, not of physical bodies to be sure, but of created minds. Hence there was no time before God created. God is eternal, he is not temporal. Therefore, the original question, namely “what was God doing before he did anything” or “why did He not created sooner are inapplicable questions for the simple reason that this is no before or sooner. Augustine also mildly puts the pagans for not asking, “why did God create the here rather than there.” One question is as appropriate as the other. And Augustine’s answer is the same. There was no here or there before creation. Space, like time, is a function of created being. But while Augustine carefully worked out these philosophic, one might even say scientific, analyses of space and time he puts equals on the moral implications on repeated cycles in infinite time.

You can find the full review here.

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One Comment on “Clark Quick Quote”

  1. Denson Says:

    I am only beginning to appreciate Augustine now. I have a compilation of some of his sermons, and The Confessions in book(paper) form. Then I have one of those internet church fathers dvd’s. His breath of interest is amazing and he does not shrink from asking difficult questions. Needless to say, it is after reading Clark that I am able to begin to be amazed at such a profound mind.


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