Keeping Time with the Divine Clockmaker
Time is an inescapable reality of human life and one of the fundamental building blocks of human society. To be bound to time and aware of our finitude is a unique characteristic of human anthropology. Christianity’s robust theology of time teaches believers to relinquish our limited time into the hands of a God, who freely created time, entered time in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and promises eternal, bodily human life to those who believe. This lecture will explore how early-modern Christians presented the Bible’s teaching on God’s activity in time during a period undergoing calendar reform and rapid scientific advancements in astronomy and horology. Recognition of a “Divine Clockmaker” takes on new meaning when contextualized by early-modern attention to charting the dating of the universe and God’s activity in sacred chronology. Attention to the history of time measuring and how it comes to bear on the Christian life during the rise of modern science provides an opportunity to engage the framework and attitudes of the past in fruitful ways as Christians today.