Second, if the relationalist is correct, then an infinite time does not elapse prior to creation, because time begins at creation.  He notes that if time is defined in a relational manner, then if there was an absolutely stationary universe prior to the first event, we would have to say that time did not exist until the first event occurred. ISBN-10: 1402000111. God is the 'high and lofty One who inhabits eternity',  declared the prophet Isaiah, but exactly how we are to understand the notion of eternity is not clear.  On a Newtonian view of time, God would exist changelessly in an undifferentiated time prior to creation. Yes, said the great statesman, and what then? Those not interested in analytical, theological arguments should look elsewhere. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read God, Time, and Eternity: The Coherence of Theism II: Eternity. This is, in my opinion, a very worthwhile read, though one that will most likely take time.  Soren Kierkegaard called this the Absolute Paradox; this is the contradiction of existence: the presence of the Eternal in time, how God can enter the space-time world without ceasing to be the Eternal. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 19, 2016. God, Time, and Eternity: The Coherence of Theism II: Eternity - Ebook written by W.L. In Time and Eternity, William Lane Craig defends the remarkable conclusion that "God is timeless without creation and temporal since creation." There was a problem loading your book clubs. Eternity is not, as in Platonic and Neoplatonic thought, supratemporal or nontemporal. It is a rewarding experience to read through this brilliant and well-researched book by one of the most learned and creative thinkers of our era.--Quentin SmithProfessor of Philosophy, Western Michigan University.  For every instant of time must be preceded and succeeded by another instant of time. 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. The former would appear to involve God in time, but the latter would not, for if God is tri-personal he has no need of temporal persons with whom to relate in order to enjoy personal relationships--the three persons of the Godhead would experience perfect and eternal communion and love with no necessity to create other persons. It knows linear time only…'  He maintains, 'Primitive Christianity knows nothing of a timeless God. of time suggests that time also began to exist. Presumably to such thinkers the beginning of the temporal series of events would not entail a beginning to time itself. Please try again. Soren Kierkegaard, Philosophical Fragments, trans. He doesn't exist now, but He exists simply timelessly.  But Ellis draws a very instructive analogy between this sort of speech and talk of temperatures below absolute zero. I think that it is within the context of Trinitarian theology that the personhood and timelessness of God may be the most satisfactorily understood. Therefore, if nothing existed and then something existed, there is no absurdity in speaking of this as the first moment of time. BY Dr. John Koessler Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. Now let’s look at our true nature and see what a difference a change in perspective can make. 146-7. John Donnelly (New York: Fordham University Press, 1972), pp. Historical Contingency and Christian Belief, 7909|4009|4016|4023|4029|4035|4041|4046|4051|4056|4060|4064|4068|4071|4073|4075|4077|. Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free. Conclusion : Prior to creation, God is outside of time. Yes, young man, what then? It is magnificently designed for life on earth, right now, with all its pressures and problems, its joys and tears. If God sustains any relations to the world, does not this imply that he exists in time? See also my book mentioned in the above note. Since prior to and after every period of time there is more time and since the same instant of time never recurs, time must have gone on and will go on forever. The primary question of the book is: Can God rightfully be considered timeless or temporal? I would like to study law. Nelson Pike, God and Timelessness [London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970], pp. A variant on the above view is expressed by Lawrence Sklar, whose theories of time are heavily influenced by relativity theory. Brian Ellis notes that because we speak of 'before creation' or 'prior to the first event', we tend to think that a beginning of time is impossible. HUMAN TEMPORALITY AND DIVINE ETERNITY. On the other hand, the Newtonian would say God exists in absolute time changelessly and independently prior to creation and that creation simply marks the first event in time. ISBN-13: 978-1402000119. Great proponents of this view have been people like St. Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas. . He was identifying shapes when he decided to talk to God. One other definition states that God exists outside the human concept of time, but also inside of time. According to this view, God’s relation to time is like that of His relation to physical space. The "eternal" God is he who was in the beginning, is now, and will be in all the future, "who is, who was, and who will be" (Rev.  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.' Modern defenders of the argument include Stuart C. Hackett, The Resurrection of Theism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1957); G. J. Whitrow, The Natural Philosophy of Time ( London and Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1961); Pamela M. Huby, 'Kant or Cantor? So the question whether time is finite or infinite may be reduced to the question whether the series of events is finite or infinite. . Time And Eternity: Cast Away Series Contributed by J John on Dec 20, 2007 (message contributor) based on 14 ratings (rate this sermon) | 8,944 views. 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. When we say things like "God is timeless" or "God has no beginning or end," we are trying to explain God in terms of a dimension by which He is not constrained. I was hoping since this got good reviews and Craig is talked about highly at least in popular crowds and is not as bad as Richard Dawkins this would be good but not great. 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. He could apprehend the whole content of the temporal series in a single eternal intuition, just as I analogously apprehend all the parts of a circle in a single sensory intuition. 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. But if we reject the Aristotelian metaphysical doctrine of substance and accidents, then it seems foolish to say God is not really related to the world as Creator to creature.  Therefore, Newton's claims about Absolute Time were correct. . pressed Gladstone. Aquinas and the medieval scholastic did believe God was simple and immutable but had metaphysics related to eternalism of foreknowledge which Craig misses. Following creation, God is in time. Those who try to think about God and time are pressing the very limits of human understanding. When we speak of God as eternal, then, we may mean either 'timeless' or simply 'everlasting'. The answer is: it all depends. Given the superiority of a relational over a non-relational (Newtonian) view of time, God ought to be considered as timeless sans creation and temporal subsequent to creation. Thus, on a Newtonian view of time, the universe arises in an absolute, undifferentiated time, while on a relational view of time, it comes into existence with time. Please try your request again later. '.  Without a world there would be no metric to impose upon time. But if the universe does come to exist ex nihilo, how could we say this first event has an effect on reality (but of course there was no reality!) As part of God’s creation, we are subject to time. Davidson, Proofs of Eternity, Creation and the Existence of God in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy (1987), chps. BIBLIOGRAPHY: H.A. Craig (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 ratings. Although space would not exist without physical objects, time would. .  As a result, God's eternity, says Cullmann, must be expressed in terms of endless time. In general that which remains the same while other things change is not said to be outside time, but to continue through time. 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. Ian Hinckfuss also argues that if the universe were frozen into immobility, there would still be time because temporal duration and measurement are not dependent upon the continuous operation of a clock throughout that time. Something went wrong. When the first event occurred, the first moment of time began. But the parts I did understand were insightful and I agree with Craig’s conclusion. Traditionally, God's eternity has been understood in terms of timelessness. Though we can, after creation, think of nothingness one hour before the first event, in terms of reality, there was no such moment. Are there, then, good philosophical arguments for preferring one of these competing notions of God's eternity to the other? Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. Harvey, Physics and Metaphysics in Hasdai Crescas (1998), ch. Or is God's relationship to time much more like ours, so that God's eternality just consists in there being no time at which God doesn't exist? His discussion of the interrelated scientific, philosophical, and theological issues clears up many previous misconceptions and proposes a plausible understanding of the relation of God to time and eternity that many will find helpful.--George EllisProfessor of Mathematics and Applied MathematicsUniversity of Capetown. Why is ISBN important? For in the eternal and changeless love relationship between the persons of the Trinity, we see how a truly personal God could exist timelessly, entirely sufficient within himself. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. Brian Ellis, 'Has the universe a beginning in time? William Lane Craig (PhD, University of Birmingham, England; DTheol, University of Munich) is research professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California, and at Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas. Those who try to think about God and time are pressing the very limits of human understanding. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Since the first event did not occur, then an infinite time must have elapsed. At the beginning of time no past tense statements could be made, since there was no past. R. G. Swinburne, Space and Time (London: Macmillan, 1968), pp.207-8. Is God somehow beyond time, living a life that does not involve one thing after another? Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. But what about subsequent to the first event? It is a must-read for anyone seriously interested in the problem of time and eternity in Christian philosophy.--Robert RussellProfessor of Theology and ScienceGraduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Calif. Those who think about God T are thinking even more deeply still. Whether this is a good definition of eternity, "The simultaneously-whole and perfect possession of … God is the 'high and lofty One who inhabits eternity', declared the prophet Isaiah, but exactly how we are to understand the notion of eternity is not clear. Also languages being temporal is not a very good argument without looking into semantics of lanuage and other things pretty extensively which he does not do. Would his existence necessitate the presence of time prior to creation? 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Look at our true nature and see what a difference a change in God ; rather is. Are heavily influenced by relativity theory instructive analogy between this sort of speech and talk of temperatures below Absolute.! The United states on February 22, 2012 beginning in time the philosopher, not the theologian j.: University!
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