Time and Eternity
by William Lane Craig, Crossway Books,
ISBN 1-58134-241-1 @ 2001 272 pages
One of the subjects that we have dealt with repeatedly over the years we have produced this journal has been the question of God's relationship to time. The question has much more application to it than just determining the age of the earth or the age of man. How did time come into existence? What is its nature? Is God limited by time or does He function in some different way with respect to time? Does time repeat itself ? Can and does God look ahead in time? All of these kinds of questions are involved in the broad question of the nature of time.
Our discussions of time have been from the perspective of a physics teacher and have looked at it in a scientific sense. William Lane Craig is a theologian and a philosopher at Talbot School of Theology and he is the president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. He is a brilliant man and an excellent writer, so this book has a great deal to offer.
Craig discusses this subject by always postulating two views of whatever it is that he is discussing. When he discusses the beginning of time for example, he looks at the arguments for the past being infinite and those for the past being finite, He then discusses the pros and cons of the arguments and explains his beliefs and why he holds to the beliefs he has explained. There are six chapters with views of eternity as it relates to God, the timelessness of God, the nature of time--whether it is dynamic or static, and the relationship of time and creation.
For someone not versed in philosophy and theology, this is not an easy book to read. The subject matter is very deep and involves knowing a great deal about philosophy. Even the casual reader can pick up some major insights about God and time that are helpful. The author helpfully gives a summary of his views at the end of the book, but even that is not a dogmatic pronouncement, but a statement of alternatives. There is also an appendix which deals with God's knowledge of the future.
Craig seems to ignore material that this writers feels would be helpful in dealing with the various dimensions of space/time. While he touches on relativity and the fourth dimension he does not use it or incorporate it into his arguments. This makes the book of less use to the physical scientist, but perhaps of more use to those in theology and philosophy. We recommend this book to college students and to people with good backgrounds in philosophy and theology. It will be a marginal use to the general reader because of the complexity of its philosophical approach.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, MayJun03.