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Publication Date: 2001
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.
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.
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.
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.
Professor of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
University of Capetown
DavidBecancour, QCAge: 25-34Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5A great introduction to the subjectFebruary 25, 2013DavidBecancour, QCAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5One of the most difficult questions that Christian theologians and philosophers need to deal with is the relationship of God to time. What might sound like a relatively unimportant question that is easily resolved, upon further consideration, is seen to be immensely complex. Any consideration of the relationship of God to time must necessarily answer questions concerning God's knowledge (of the present, the past and the future, as well as how he knows), of the creation of the world (in time or before time), and of God's action within time (one eternal action, or many diverse actions as time proceeds). Of course, in order to respond to these questions we must first of all know what we mean when we talk about time and eternity. None of these questions are easy to answer, and though the Bible does not seem to give a decisive answer on these issues, the answers that we give to these issues drastically change how we interpret the Bible. William Lane Craig has already published a number of books, and articles, on problems related to the time and eternity, and this book is his effort at explaining the issues to those who have not spent their lives studying these problems, yet who wish to understand, and delve deeper into, the related issues. As such, Craig has attempted, in this book, the very difficult task of translating the very technical philosophical and scientific language, which is related to questions concerning time, into terms that the man on the street can understand.
The book is well organized, and, due to a robust general index and an index of scripture references, it will be a helpful reference tool to anyone who is beginning to study the subject. Craig has divided the book into 7 chapters, and 1 appendix. In the first chapter Craig introduces us to the problems that we run into when we begin exploring the relationship between God and time. He goes over what the Bible teaches on the subject, and points out that the Bible doesn't seem to point conclusively to any one position. He takes time to point out that the two main views on God's relationship to time - divine timelessness and divine temporality - both find support in scriptures. In chapters 2 and 3 Craig introduces the two main views - timelessness and temporality - and takes the time to explain each of the arguments for and against these views, along with the counter arguments that the proponents of each view use to show that the other position is wrong. By the end of the second chapter Craig has already begun hinting at his own position on the problem - which is somewhat of a hybrid of both views. At the beginning of chapter 2, Craig notes that if we adhere to divine simplicity and/or divine immutability, then we have a knockdown argument for divine timelessness, however, in his usual fashion, he rejects both doctrines as being much too controversial to be used as premises in an argument for divine timelessness (for similar arguments against these doctrines see his Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, co-authored with J. P. Moreland). One cannot help wondering why he thinks that it is necessary to defend the traditional doctrine of divine omniscience, but does not seem to think that it is necessary to give more than a cursory glance at the traditional doctrines of divine simplicity and divine immutability. He concludes that though it is entirely possible that God was timeless prior to creation, it is necessary to conclude that in creating a temporal world God necessarily entered into time.
In chapters 4 and 5 Craig considers to two principle conceptions of time - the tense-less and the tensed theories - and spends a great deal of time considering the many scientific (such as relativity theory, Newton's position, etc.) and philosophical arguments in favor of, and against these two positions. Craig finds that the tense-less theory lacks sufficient evidence, and compelling arguments, and, with a barrage of counter-arguments, rejects it as untenable. He therefore concludes that the only tenable theory of time is the tensed theory.
In chapter 6 and the conclusion Craig addresses some important questions concerning God and time, arguing that Time did indeed have a beginning, and that God was indeed timeless prior to creation. We are finally treated to a summary exposition of Craig's personal theory, in which God is timeless prior to creation, and that he has been temporal from the beginning of time to now. In the conclusion Craig summarizes what we have gone through in the 6 preceding chapters and gives a summary explanation of his theory concerning God's relationship to time.
The book finishes with a short appendix concerning the question of divine foreknowledge and human freedom. Though it is only a summary of some of the issues, and does not go into great detail, it is still quite interesting.
This book is an excellent resource for amateur philosophers and apologists, and anybody who is interested in exploring the relationship between God and time. Regardless of the great effort that Craig put into vulgarization, this book is still going to be a difficult read for someone who is new to this type of philosophical study. It is, however, worth the time that it will take to fully grasp the concepts that Craig is presenting in the book. This book is also valuable for the wealth of references that the reader will find in the footnotes. What is more, at the end of each chapter Craig lists a number of important articles and books that discuss the subjects that were touched upon in each chapter. This book will be a great addition to any library.