Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time

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Overview

Time and Eternity deals with difficult issues in modern physics and brings them into relation with traditional theological doctrines. 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. Lucas
Fellow of Merton College, Oxford University

Time and Eternity offers a comprehensive discussion of the ...

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Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time

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Overview

Time and Eternity deals with difficult issues in modern physics and brings them into relation with traditional theological doctrines. 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. Lucas
Fellow 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. The argument is subtle and precise. Particularly important are the sections on the impact of the different versions of relativity theory on the concept of time.... 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 Pannenberg
Professor of Systematic Theology
Ludwig 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. He has carefully given arguments defending several different viewpoints for each of the many issues about time that he discusses, followed by critiques in which he emphasizes his own opinion. Reading Time and Eternity has forced me to develop better arguments for my own opinions (which differ considerably from Craig's).... I am certain that Time and Eternity will also stimulate your thinking about this fascinating subject and your appreciation for the God who created time as part of the marvelous universe He has given us.
--Don N. Page
Professor of Physics and Fellow of the Cosmology and Gravitation Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

William Lane Craig is one the leading philosophers of religion and one of the leading philosophers of time. 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. 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 Smith
Professor of Philosophy, Western Michigan University

In Time and Eternity, William Lane Craig defends the remarkable conclusion that "God is timeless without creation and temporal since creation." 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 the latest in his series of ground-breaking books, Time and Eternity summarizes and extends Craig's previous technical arguments and conveys them to a more general audience. It is a must-read for anyone seriously interested in the problem of time and eternity in Christian philosophy.
--Robert Russell
Professor of Theology and Science
Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Calif.

The nature of time is a continuing source of puzzlement both to science and in everyday life. It is also an important issue in theological understandings of the nature of God. In this interesting book, Professor Craig tackles this complex set of topics in a clear way. 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 Ellis
Professor of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
University of Capetown

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581342413
  • Publisher: Crossway Books
  • Publication date: 3/1/2001
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 605,141
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Preface 11
1. Two Views of Divine Eternity 13
I. The Nature of Time
II. The Biblical Data on Divine Eternity
III. The Importance of Articulating a Theory of Divine Eternity
2. Divine Timelessness 29
I. Divine Simplicity and Immutability
II. Relativity Theory
III. The Incompleteness of Temporal Life
3. Divine Temporality 77
I. The Impossibility of Atemporal Personhood
II. Divine Relations with the World
III. Divine Knowledge of Tensed Facts
4. The Dynamic Conception of Time 115
I. Arguments for a Dynamic Conception
1. The Ineliminability of Tense
2. Our Experience of Tense
II. Arguments against a Dynamic Conception
1. McTaggart's Paradox
2. The Myth of Passage
5. The Static Conception of Time 167
I. Arguments for a Static Conception
1. Relativity Theory
2. The Mind-Dependence of Becoming
II. Arguments against a Static Conception
1. "Spatializing" Time
2. The Illusion of Becoming
3. The Problem of Intrinsic Change
4. Creatio ex Nihilo
6. God, Time, and Creation 217
I. Did Time Begin?
1. Arguments for the Infinitude of the Past
2. Arguments for the Finitude of the Past
II. God and the Beginning of Time
1. Amorphous Time
2. Timelessness without Creation
7. Conclusion 239
Appendix Divine Eternity and God's Knowledge of the Future 243
General Index 266
Scripture and Extra-biblical Literature Index 271
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 4, 2013

    Recommended

    Yikes! This book is an intellectual challenge, probably one of the most challenging books you will ever read. Lots of science stuff like Einstein, relativity, physics, eternity, clocks, God, Isaac Newton...this is a great workout for your mind and will help you think about the Eternal Infinite Creator in a new light. The author presents a more mature, deep, and mind-expanding portrait of God than most any other book trying to help you understand Him. This book will make you think. For a long time. And that's good for your intellectual growth.

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