This post follows the last (and in temporal order at that!).
“God and Time: Four Views” is very helpful in working out this subject by reading back-and-forth essays by professional Christian philosophers. What made this book exceptional – and why I gave it four stars – was the discussion that followed each essay. Not only were each other allowed to respond and critique each essay, but the essayist was allowed an opportunity to respond to their critique and clarify themselves. This back-and-forth made the book indispensable.
My own view falls somewhere between Alan and Nick. Both of these philosophers believe that God is temporal in relation to creation. Where they disagree is on the nature of God in relation to pre-creation (notice the temporal designation there). Alan believes that God is temporal before creation, but he believes that God’s temporality was something he called “pure duration”. Nick claims to be agnostic on the question of God’s pre-creation existence, but it seems that he sees scripture as promoting God’s temporality pre-creation, and thus he sees a distinction between God experiencing duration and the creation of cyclical time itself.
But what’s the problem? It seems that one of the dilemmas each writer faces is the question of measured duration in an infinite universe. This is why Alan advocates “immeasurable pure-duration“, why Craig advocates God’s “timelessness without creation”, and why Nick remains agnostic on the idea. The dilemma is thus: how can you measure, say, c to d to e, or c to e and so on in an infinite universe? Such measurements presupposes an “alpha“. That is, if we are talking about the sequential moments from b to c to d to e and so on, then that presupposes an “a“, a beginning, which is incompatible with infinity.
But I reject this philosophical dilemma on the grounds that the same argument can be used against the existence of God himself. It boils down to our inability to comprehend the existence of an infinite God. But this philosophical dilemma does not prevent any of the authors of this book from affirming an infinite God. On those same grounds I argue that our inability to comprehend infinite measurable time (or we could call it “infinite sequential duration”) should not prevent us from affirming it. I would then argue that we have good reason for affirming ISD (infinite sequential duration) rooted in our affirmation of the existence of God himself.
P1: If we believe in the existence of God as an infinite Trinitarian Being
P2: If we accept that although we cannot comprehend it, it must be true
P3: If we believe that to “live” and to “exist” requires sequential moments (temporality)
C: Temporality must be infinite as well
To put it another way. Since God is infinite and Trinitarian (that is, in communion within the Godhead) he must experience sequential moments for as long as he exists – infinity. Thus I have no problem affirming infinite sequential moments on the same grounds for affirming the existence of an infinite Trinitarian Being.