I'm working on an academic article on time and eternity. I'm particularly gripped by the question of whether God's eternity implies that God is timeless. My answer to date is, No, in some way, God has to have movement and progression in order for there to be speech and music in heaven. Moreover, God's Incarnation in Christ requires that God has touched the temporal sphere and inhabits it. At least, that's a thesis (or maybe two) I'm pursuing.
Since this piece will surely will not see the light of day for several months, it seemed good simply to lay out two key quotations.
First from Wolfhart Pannenberg in first volume of his Systematic Theology:
“The thought of eternity that is not simply opposed to time but positively related to it, embracing it in its totality, offers a paradigmatic illustration and actualization of the true Infinite which is not just opposed to the finite but embraces the antithesis”And, particularly on the question of how the Incarnation helps us interpret God's temporality (or not), Thomas Oden, who summarized the relation between time and eternity through the pattern of the Incarnation, was particularly helpful:
“The decisive Christian analogy concerning time is that between the eternal indwelling in time and the incarnation. Brilliantly, the classical exegetes taught that the creation of time is analogous to the incarnation in this way: The Father inhabits time, just as the Son inhabits human flesh” (from the Living God, citing Hilary, Nemesius).I draw then this provisional conclusion: The eternal God embraces temporality. God is not timeless or atemporal, but is also not defined by earthly time. Indeed God, in many senses, transcends time... which, I suppose means, that God doesn't stay some timeless Deity, up in the sky, but truly interacts with you and me. And that I take to be central to the Gospel.