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ISBN/ASIN : 1581342411
Manufacturer : Crossway Books|
Release data : 01 March, 2001
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Excellent Philosophical Analysis of God's Relation to Time
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 [[ASIN:0198237251 Eternal God: A Study of God without Time]] to gain two perspective on the issue.
Complex and subtle
Dr. Craig does a splendid job of tackling a very complex subject, which is really beyond human capacity. Maybe that is why many of the arguments he presents must be looked at several times to truly understand his meaning. Just glossing over the text will provide many holes in your grasp of these concepts. Some grounding in physics is really essential for understanding. Otherwise it is a good read, but do not expect to read it quickly.
Again, Craig makes a difficult topic followable
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.