The Problem of Dialogue

Paul Helm

in God and Time

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195129656
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849130 | DOI:
The Problem of Dialogue

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This chapter takes up another aspect relevant to God's relation to time — God's relation to the world, specifically, his relation to human beings. The Scriptures affirm that God is in relationship with human beings. Being in relationship seems to imply the possibility of real give-and-take. Several attributes of God seem to make real give-and-take impossible. Can a timeless God enter into dialogue? Furthermore, can a God who knows what you are going to do and say ahead of time engage you in a genuine dialogue? The chapter examines two proposed solutions to the problem of divine-human dialogue. It ultimately rejects the solution proposed by William Alston and argues that Richard Swinburne's solution is sufficient to preserve genuine dialogue but comes at too high a cost. A solution is proposed that can preserve genuine divine-human dialogue even if it turns out that God determines every event.

Keywords: God; time; human beings; divine-human dialogue; William Alston; Richard Swinburne

Chapter.  7344 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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