It’s the New Year yet again and the concept of time is a very present issue with depictions of Father Time and talk of starting over by not wasting minutes fulfilling a resolution or two. This brings to mind other questions of chronology like the idea of time travel. Movies and books have pondered these questions and told great stories concerning this very inquiry. In reality, the theoretical science involved in such a concept is enough to make a person’s head explode and mine has almost on a few occasions. When I was younger and trying to write science fiction, I remember attempting to come up with scenarios involving characters who travelled back in time but I would run into the basic problem that I want to present today. Would God ever allow humans to travel into the past?
As Christians, we believe in a God who created and set universal constants like gravity and the speed of light for governing all sorts of physical forces with the whole universe fitting in the palm of His hand. To God one day is as one thousand days while the human lives within the ticks of a second. I have a hard time believing that a God this powerful would ever let the imperfection of humanity touch the space-time continuum.
Another issue brought up through time travel is the problem of paradox such as the infamous grandfather paradox. The grandfather paradox concerns the notion of a person travelling into the past and killing his or her grandfather preventing the birth of the time traveler. Preventing one’s own birth is an impossibility and has initiated many theories concerning its solution. However, the Word addresses the role impossibility plays in human reality.
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. –Matthew 19:26
According to this verse, men and women do not reside inside the realm of the impossible and therefore lack the ability to create time paradoxes. Another problem with paradoxes and time travel is a lack of free will. If humans are able to travel to the past, how is any decision we make freely chosen when we could possibly change the outcome. The lack of free will is an anti-Biblical view and thus cannot coexist within Christian belief.
A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. – Proverbs 16:9
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. –Romans 12:2
God makes it plain in His Word that humans choose their own paths through free will whether it be the will of God or not. This notion also puts to rest any ideas of parallel universes because if each choice is made by a different version of oneself in another universe than what does each decision matter in the long run? Additionally, parallel universes would contain timelines where men of God did not act according to what the Word described intricately paving the way for the birth of His Son and the ultimate redemption through Christ Jesus. So, the next time you see or read a science fiction story using time travel or parallel universes as plot devices know that it is only fiction and something the God would never allow.