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Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time Paperback – March 1, 2001
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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).Read more ›
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.Read more ›
To answer the question, Professor Craig begins with a very brief survey of the biblical contribution. Does the Bible prescribe to one view over the other? His answer: no. The Bible, according to Craig is not a philosophical treatise on the nature of time and offers nothing sophisticated enough for us to make a definite conclusion. Concluding that the Biblical data is insufficient he asserts that the issue requires philosophical exploration to consider the issue clearly.
He begins by analyzing the arguments for a timeless view of God. Rejecting arguments from the `simplicity and immutability of God (mostly on the grounds that these doctrines are controversial), he moves on to arguments from relativity theory. He starts by detailing a brief history of time (even briefer than Hawking's) and the Special and General theories of Relativity. This is a good and, for the purposes of the book, invaluable overview of the theories and their development, but I'm not positive that it would be sufficient for a full understanding of these developments in theoretical physics. This is by no means a flaw of the book, he did an excellent job making the relevant concepts accessible, but I would recommend looking at other sources to supplement if one is interested in this area. Hawking's book, which I linked above, is excellent. Also noteworthy would be Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos. It is worth praising Craig for his critical evaluation of Relativity theory.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a fantastic read-craig is an unbelievable philosopher and explains things so clearly.Published 24 days ago by James Riffe
Way above my curiosity level. I have no problem with God being both IN time On time With time, OUTSIDE of time, and FUNCTIONING WITHIN TIME although He is not in the least BOUND... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christine Y. Hankins
Time and Eternity is a bit of a difficult read for most of us; at least for me. Craig's scientific analysis of time almost totally leaves out what we now know deterministic chaos,... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Timothy C Combs
Bought this for a gift for my husband and he really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.Published 6 months ago by shirl parsons
Great book by William Lane Craig. I developed a headache during part of it, though. This is not his fault; I simply had difficulty with the subject. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Danny Mac
The author was my professor in seminary and it was the most rigorous class I'd had. He is very logical and detailed in this book, covering the two major views of eternity, and the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Bruce K. Byers