A Day is Like a Thousand Years: Time Travel in Speculative Fiction

Christian Fantasy

For whatever reason, I’ve wound up reading several time travel novels lately, some of which I enjoyed, others which only moderately entertained. Regardless of my feelings about the individual books, the concept of time travel intrigues me, as it has storytellers (and readers) for centuries.

Myths and legends from the ancient eras explore concepts of time travel and time distortion, and that fascination has continued unbroken to the present day. Many of the stories boggle the mind, some have passed into obscurity, and still others have gained the status of a classic (think A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court). And after all its years as a uniquely speculative concept, relegated to the realm of fiction alone, time travel is beginning to gain possible scientific support, which only adds to the appeal.

So how do these concepts of time travel relate to matters of faith?

Without question, God exists beyond the boundaries of time. He created earth to operate in the realm of time, yet He doesn’t see or measure time as we do. Scripture says that “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day,” and the Bible explores matters of time and eternity in a way that our finite minds can only begin to grasp. We’re beings made in the image of an eternal God, and the exploration of the nature and function of time naturally intrigue us.

Christians are uniquely positioned to explore time travel, infusing it with what we know of God, time, and eternity. Scripture raises some fascinating questions and intriguing concepts related to time, and story provides an excellent means to explore these ideas.

What does it mean when the psalmist says of God, “a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night?” It sounds like an interesting book concept to me. When Scripture inspires and informs the imagination in such a fashion, it will impart new life into age-old story concepts like time travel.

What do you think about the intersection of time travel and faith? Is it something that can be scripturally supported? Does that matter to you as a reader/writer?

Image credit: Spookygonk

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