God's existence "prior to" or sans creation would not entail the existence of time if God in such a state is changeless. When a physicist says there are no temperatures lower than absolute zero, the use of 'lower than' does not presuppose there actually are such temperatures, but only that we can conceive it in our minds.  But Hackett argues convincingly that a personal God need not experience a temporal succession of mental states. Lucas does not deny that the universe may have had a beginning, but he, like Swinburne, argues that in such a case time would precede the beginning of the universe and that it would be undifferentiated. P. J. Zwart, About Time (Amsterdam and Oxford: North Holland Publishing Co., 1976), p. 237. To a scientist, time is a relatively simple matter, but when one gets into the Bible time has qualitative and subjective aspects---there is much more to consider. Craig (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 ratings. God himself paid the price to bring me back into eternity. Therefore, we need to ask whether there is any absurdity in supposing that time had a beginning.  Barr's basic contention is that, 'A valid biblical theology can be built only upon the statements of the Bible, and not on the words of the Bible.' Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. . It might be asserted that even on the relational view of time there can be time prior to the first event because one may abstract from individual events to consider the whole universe as a sort of event which occurs at its creation. Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2011. 72-3. This understanding does not involve any change in God; rather he is simply related to changing things. In Time and Eternity, William Lane Craig defends the remarkable conclusion that "God is timeless without creation and temporal since creation." On one hand, God may exist in eternity. Craig argues his case philosophically by carefully weighing evidence for and against divine temporality and personhood in light of dynamic versus static theories of time and their warrants, in turn, in a Lorentzian interpretation of special relativity and an objective, mind-independent theory of becoming, including fascinating excursions into Big Bang cosmology and the philosophy of mathematics. As a result, God's eternity, says Cullmann, must be expressed in terms of endless time. I would recommend it to others. On the big-bang model see P. J. E. Peebles, Physical Cosmology (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1971); S. Weinberg, Gravitation and Cosmology (New York, Wiley, 1972).  We reject the latter because we could presumably cross the boundary and find space on the other side. Stephen J. Wellum; John S. Feinberg, general editor, Edited by J. P. Moreland, Stephen C. Meyer, Christopher Shaw, Ann K. Gauger, and Wayne Grudem, Edited by Guy Prentiss Waters, J. Nicholas Reid, and John R. Muether, Crossway; Illustrated edition (March 1, 2001), Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2018. As part of God’s creation, we are subject to time. For suppose the universe never came to exist - would there still be time? IV. Theists say that God is eternally existent. This also removes Kierkegaard's Absolute Paradox concerning the incarnation, for God would be in time prior to his assuming a human nature. Is God somehow beyond time, living a life that does not involve one thing after another? God created time. 146-7. Why did God so determine? That this model requires creatio ex nihilo is explained by Fred Hoyle, Astronomy and Cosmology (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Co., 1975), p. 658. Taking sharp issue with Cullmann's study, James Barr has shown that the biblical data are not determinative. Build a relationship and Time will take the person away from you. God’s eternity does not go by with the time of the created world. J. R. Lucas also contends that time could neither begin nor end. “Theism” will here refer to the view that there is a Godwho is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent, who created theworld, and who is still actively involved in the world.In philosophical discussions about God and time, the term“eternity” has been used in different ways. Scripture: Psalms 103:15-18. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. For there was just nothing, and Creation was only a future contingent. A variant on the above view is expressed by Lawrence Sklar, whose theories of time are heavily influenced by relativity theory. In this book, he combines his expertise in these areas to produce an original, erudite, and accessible theory of time and God that will be of great interest to both the general public and scholars. Yet it is obvious that certain statements, such as, 'The stars were moving', is a meaningful, though in this case false, statement that could be made about the state of the universe prior to the first event. ISBN. Now let’s look at our true nature and see what a difference a change in perspective can make. Theologians and philosophers may speculate, but our finite capacity for understanding will never fully grasp the nature of God’s relationship to time and eternity. Craig has done a great work, and it is marvelous that now the philosophy of religion is engaging with the philosophy of science to the great benefit of both.--John R. LucasFellow of Merton College, Oxford University, Time and Eternity offers a comprehensive discussion of the problems in the concepts of time and eternity on the basis of an extraordinary familiarity with a vast number of recent contributions to this issue from scientists and philosophers. I just finished reading the book Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time by William Lane Craig. Build a building and Time tears it down. I think that there are. Most writers who object to a timeless, personal God consider God only subsequent to creation as he is related to human persons, but fail to consider God prior to creation (e.g. , Thus, on a relational view of time God would exist timelessly and independently 'prior' to creation; at creation, which he has willed from eternity to appear temporally, time begins, and God subjects himself to time by being related to changing things. On a relational view of time, God would exist changelessly and timelessly prior to the first event, creation, which marks the beginning of time. David Swenson (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1936), pp. Historically, this argument has been defended by Al-Kindi, Al-Kindi's Metaphysics: A Translation of ¡a' qub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi's Treatise ' on first Philosophy', with an Introduction and Commentary by Alfred L. Ivry (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1974); Al-Ghazali, Tahafut al-Falasifah (Incoherence of the Philosophers), trans. When we speak of God as eternal, then, we may mean either 'timeless' or simply 'everlasting'. Thus, the proper understanding of God, time, and eternity would be that God exists changelessly and timelessly prior to creation and in time after creation. We might want to say that time does not exist until an event occurs, but when the event does occur, there is a sort of retroactive effect causing past time to spring into being. Would his existence necessitate the presence of time prior to creation? Check out these titles from Crossway that cover a wide range of topics. If a person believes that time exists apart from events such that if there were no events there would still be time, then our argument does not entail prima facie a beginning to time.  Hence, God exists timelessly, unrelated to creatures, while creatures in time change in their relations to him. . Whitrow remarks in this connection that many people have difficulty imagining a beginning to time because they think of it as a boundary similar to a boundary of space. Craig has done a great work, and it is marvelous that now the philosophy of religion is engaging with the philosophy of science to the great benefit of both. The time that passes on earth is of no consequence from God’s timeless perspective. These are difficult conundrums, and it is at least an open question as to whether a beginning of events necessitates a beginning of time. But the parts I did understand were insightful and I agree with Craig’s conclusion. The book offers a plausible argument for a realistic conception of temporal process and for God's involvement in the temporal distinctions and processes because of His presence in His creation.--Wolfhart PannenbergProfessor of Systematic TheologyLudwig Maximilliens Universitaet-Muenchen, Germany, As a scientist doing theoretical research in gravitational physics and quantum cosmology, I found Dr. Craig's thoughtful book highly interesting. The argument is subtle and precise. Brian Ellis, 'Has the universe a beginning in time? So the question whether time is finite or infinite may be reduced to the question whether the series of events is finite or infinite. Stuart Hackett argues, Time is merely a relation among objects that are apprehended in an order of succession or that objectively exist in such an order: time is a form of perceptual experience and of objective processes in the external (to the mind) world. His work with us is not finished in this life. Those who try to think about God and time are pressing the very limits of human understanding. The nature of time is a continuing source of puzzlement both to science and in everyday life. God’s life thus is not spread out over time the way ours is, meaning that he is outside of time. Swinburne argues that time, like space, is of logical necessity unbounded. Perhaps to share the joy and love of divine fellowship with persons outside himself and so glorify himself: on the other hand, perhaps we lack sufficient information to answer this question.