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Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581342411
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581342413
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Lane Craig (PhD, University of Birmingham, England; DTheol, University of Munich, Germany) is research professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He is also the founder of Reasonable Faith (www.reasonablefaith.org), a web-based apologetics ministry that provides a variety of supplementary material to Reasonable Faith.

More About the Author

I am the Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. With my wife Jan, we have two grown children.

At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, I first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded my life to Christ. I pursued undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 I taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time we started our family. In 1987 we moved to Brussels, Belgium, where I pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming my position at Talbot in 1994.

I have authored or edited over thirty books, including The Kalam Cosmological Argument; Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity, as well as over a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology, including Philosophia Christi, The Journal of Philosophy, New Testament Studies, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science.

My CV can be read here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=curriculum_vitae

Publication list: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=publications_main

Customer Reviews

Well, if I had to throw out a warning this would be it; you're going to have to do some serious thinking if you read this book.
BRIAN MICHAEL KEAST
Craig deals with many interesting, difficult, and hard to understand theories in this book, but makes it as easy as it can possibly be made for a popular audience.
John D. Lentz Jr.
After discussing arguments for and against divine timelessness and divine temporality, Craig embarks on a fascinating discussion of the very nature of time.
Kyle Demming

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 123 people found the following review helpful By T. B. Vick on April 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This was a fairly good basic intro book for the issues of God/time and God's knowledge/future contingents. While this issue is usually discussed in philosophical journals and in books which cost an arm and a leg to purchase, Craig has brought the issue to the lay persons and scholars alike.
Before I review this book, it must be noted that I disagree with Craig's position. However, I think that Craig has done a noble job in defending his position, and I respect him for that. If I was able, I would have given Craig's book three and a half (3 1/2) stars for my own disagreements with Craig's overall assertions and some of the misunderstanding Craig had regarding certain philosopher's and their assertions (i.e. Aquinas being one which was mentioned below).
Craig's position in this book is that God is temporal (or omnitemporal) due to relations which occurred with the created universe (relations which were not present w/o creation). Craig argues his point based on several elements. First, Craig believes that God cannot remain untouched by the created order's temporality. In other words, according to Craig, God comes into (so to speak) new relations which were not present without the created universe. Second, Craig believes that once time begins at the moment of creation, God becomes temporal by virtue of His real relation to the temporal world. Third, thus God, at least, according to Craig, undergoes some type of extrinsic change due to this new real relation with the created world. These are Craig's underlying assertions regarding God and time.
Also, in this book, Craig rejects Einstein's interpretation of the Special Theory of Relativity (STR).
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Demming on November 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
In this fascinating treatment of God's relationship to time, William Lane Craig argues that God, though timeless without the universe, is in time since the creation of the universe. This detailed study encompasses a wide variety of issues, including the biblical conception of God, the nature of time, relativity theory, the linguistic account of tensed facts, and a slew of other topics.

Near the beginning of the book, Craig considers arguments in favor of God's timelessness. He first considers arguments that God's immutability or simplicity necessitate a timeless nature. Craig points out that these doctrines, however, are more controversial than the doctrine of divine timelessness itself, and therefore cannot be used to support timelessness. Moreover, both of these doctrines have conceptual difficulties and lack a clear scriptural basis (verses discussing God's immutability only entail that God's character does not change).

The next argument leads into some exciting territory. Defenders of divine timelessness sometimes argue that Einstein's relativity theory supports their view. Since the special theory of relativity implies that there is no absolute "now" but rather a plethora of inertial frames, we must reject the idea that God is in time. For if God is in time, then He is either in a specific inertial frame (according to which He is ignorant of real facts concerning all the other reference frames) or He is in multiple inertial frames (which leads to a radical splitting of God's consciousness). Since both of these alternatives are untenable, we are forced to reject God's temporality.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Maryland Man on June 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Bill Craig does an excellent job comparing the various views proffered by philosophers regarding the question of the nature of time. He explains the A and B theories of time well. As an A theorist, he considers the 'tensed' nature of time as the most 'common sense.'

Briefly, the A-theory is that what is past is gone forever and what is future is yet to have happened. B-theorists believe time is dimensional and exists as an all-encompassing whole. A being outside of time, on B-theory could interact with any point in history as the present.

Bill goes on to expound upon the nature of God's relationship to time. Since God is considered unable to interact with his time-bound creation from a position outside of time, Bill believes that after the moment of creation God himself became time-bound. So on Bill's view, "prior" to creation, God is atemporal and after creation God becomes temporal.

He has been criticized for compromising God's immutability with his position, but he explains why he disagrees with his objectors. I personally believe the premise that God is unable to interact with his creation from a position of atemporality is a flawed premise. Hence I prefer the B-theory.

Nevertheless, even though I disagree, Bill's treatment of the issues is very thorough and well thought out. I'd recommend a potential reader also read Paul Helm's Eternal God: A Study of God without Time to gain two perspective on the issue.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John D. Lentz Jr. on August 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Willaim Lane Craig describes and defends his view on God's relationship to time, giving arguments for and against both temporal and timeless existence for God. Craig concludes that there is better reason to think God is temporal. Then Craig defends his the A theory of time against the B theory. Craig deals with many interesting, difficult, and hard to understand theories in this book, but makes it as easy as it can possibly be made for a popular audience. (And, given his lengthy discussion of relativity theory, this was no doubt not easy). Anyone who reads this book will come away with a much better understanding of God's relationship to time, and time itself, then they had before they opened it.

The only drawback is that God's relationship to time is not a huge theological/philosophical topic, and therefore, this might not be a high priority book for many people. I concede that, but then say that for those who wish to learn more about it, I highly recommend it.
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