Table of Contents
Journey Out of Time
In C. S. Lewis'
well known Narnia series he describes how several quite
ordinary English children, playing
hide and seek, enter a quite ordinary English wardrobe and, pressing
deeper into the familiar garments,
suddenly find themselves in a strange and mysterious land. To
read Journey out of Time is apt to give the
reader a somewhat similar experience. It begins with familiar
concepts of space and time which may even
seem a bit dull and prosaic. But as one reads on, the walls silently
move back, the commonplace begins to
glow and soon one is aware of a new dimension of thought that
startles and captivates the fancy.
I first became familiar with the
writings of Arthur Custance through his self-published Doorway
help I gained through his meticulous research in themes from
Genesis 110 led me from one exciting
Doorway Paper to another. In the course of this, I came
across his Paper on Time and Eternity which gave me
the first satisfying answer I had found to the conundrums gathering
around the biblical themes of the
resurrection body and the return into time of Jesus Christ.
This in turn led to a memorable
week in 1973, I believe, when Dr. Custance consented to visit
us in California and share his devout scholarship with us in
evening and daytime lectures.
This present volume, I believe,
will prove an open door into fresh and startling new views of
Peninsula Bible Church
Palo Alto, California
not use reason,
or knowledge gained
by scientific means, as a
basis for our Faith, since that
kind of knowledge may prove to
be in error. But we may indeed use
reason and scientific knowledge to explore
what we already abelieve. The point is important.
We are great
travellers these days. Every one is "going somewhere else"
to England, to Europe, to
South America, to the Caribbean. So exciting to most people is
the prospect of travel that the destination
itself is scarcely important! The great thing is to be on the
move and to be going "first class" if possible.
Probably Americans are the most mobile people in the world
with the exception of nomads!
But there is one journey we are
reluctant to think about at least, we want to postpone
it as long as
possible. It is the journey out of time into eternity. Yet we
know we shall all, or nearly all, have to make it
in the end, and at a time not altogether of our choosing. . .
What can it mean to pass out of this
world of space and time and find ourselves in a timeless, spaceless
world in which to move from one "place" to another
will neither occupy time nor require passing through
the intervening space between? How "long" will it take?
How does one "go" there?
A propos of the matter of the
"time" taken for this journey, I once presented a paper
to a very small
Toronto audience on Einstein's theory of the relativity of time.
This was in 1939. Present in the audience
was a Christian man of
mature years who also happened to be a lawyer of some consequence,
advisor to one of Toronto's largest newspapers.
After the lecture, he came up to
me and said: "This is all nonsense! How can you say that
where there is no
space there is no time either? Existence without time is inconceivable!"
But then he added, "I'd still like to
have a copy of your paper."
So I gave him one. But I hardly
felt encouraged by his response to a truth I had only a little
perceived as having a profound relevance to what happens when
we pass out of this world and go to be
forever with the Lord.
Some weeks later, I had a phone call
from him. "What did you mean," he asked, "by the
statement. . . ." and
he read to me a couple of sentences that were really the crux
of the matter. And I could see that he had
been mulling over the subject and was in fact on the verge of
seeing the whole point. Indeed, about three
months later he was explaining it all to his wife and invited
me to come over and help him along! He had
gotten the point. And you may imagine how rewarded I felt.
Anyway, you may very well find
yourself wondering, as he did. I only hope you will stay with
it. I believe it
provides an answer to a very profound problem that has been unresolved
for centuries but is now within
sight of resolution and the prospect is indeed an exciting one.
that it takes two to tell a truth, one to speak it and one to
hear it spoken. There are truths
that we only grasp after we have given them verbal expression
for the benefit of someone else. We may think we understand a
truth, but when we try to share it with another person we often
discover that we only half understand it ourselves. Then the
attempt to communicate it clarifies our thoughts and the would-be
teacher becomes his own pupil and learns from himself by the
effort of telling.
that the reader will profit most from this study if he will try
to share it with a friend with whom
rapport has already been established, and will then discuss it
so as to clarify its implications. These implications are profound
and far reaching.
There is much to comfort those
who have fears about the journey that is to be taken from time
into eternity when we come to crossing over Jordan. Moreover,
some centuries-old questions regarding the
nature of the intermediate
state between death and resurrection are answered in a new way.
Although it seemed necessary to
begin with certain aspects of time upon which recent research
shed an entirely new light, the perceptive reader will soon begin
to recognize the relevance of this
research to a number of more puzzling passages of Scripture,
the meaning of which has hitherto
remained somewhat obscure.
New light may also be shed on
the phenomenon of expectancy of the Lord's soon return,
that seems so clearly indicated in the New Testament and has
always been dear to the Lord's people in
spite of centuries of "delay." Indeed, so long has
this delay continued that many believe such expectancy
is both unreasonable and improper. This study, however, will
help to show that such a negative conclusion
is entirely unwarranted. The Second Coming of the Lord in glory
can indeed be looked for, expectantly, by
If you find
the going difficult here and there, don't give up. You will be
amply rewarded in the end. Press on, and gradually the picture
will become clearer until suddenly the light will shine and you
will say, "Oh, I
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
see!" and you will rejoice in the Lord.
This is a foray into territory
that is not usually explored by the Christian reader, and it
stretches the mind
in new directions. It is an adventure in ideas that may at first
seem to be foreign to the things that matter
most to us the Lord's people. But eventually you will find that
the Word of God has been marvelously
illuminated in an entirely new way as the old Faith becomes doubly
reassuring about one of the greatest
mysteries of life, the journey out of time into eternity.