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God & Time: Four Views [Paperback]

By Gregory E. Ganssle (Editor), Paul Helm (Contribution by) & Alan G. Padgett (Contribution by)
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Item description for God & Time: Four Views by Gregory E. Ganssle, Paul Helm & Alan G. Padgett...

How should we best understand God's relationship with our time-bound universe? In this book, four notable philosophers skill fully take on this difficult topic, all from within a Christian framework yet contending for difficult views. Paul Helm presents the divine timeless eternity as relative timelessness. William Lane Craig offers the timeleness and omnitemporality view while Nicholas Wolterstorff argues for God of time position.

Publishers Description
The eternal God has created the universe. And that universe is time-bound. How can we best understand God's relationship with our time-bound universe? For example, does God experience each moment of time in succession or are all times present to God? How we think of God and time has implications for our understanding of the nature of time, the creation of the universe, God's knowledge of the future, God's interaction with his creation and the fullness of God's life. In this book, four notable philosophers skillfully take on this difficult topic--all writing from within a Christian framework yet contending for different views. Paul Helm argues that divine eternity should be construed as a state of absolute timelessness. Alan G. Padgett maintains that God's eternity is more plausibly to be understood as relative timelessness. William Lane Craig presents a hybrid view that combines timelessness with omnitemporality. And Nicholas Wolterstorff advocates a doctrine of unqualified divine temporality. Each essay is followed by responses from the other three contributors and a final counter-response from the original essayist, making for a lively exchange of ideas. Editor Gregory E. Ganssle provides a helpful introduction to the debate and its significance. Together these five scholars conduct readers on a stimulating and mind-stretching journey into one of the most controversial and challenging areas of theology today.

From Publishers Weekly
In a related issue, four theologians address the degree to which God is bound by finite time in God & Time: Four Views, from InterVarsity Press, edited by Gregory E. Ganssle, which has been putting out some highly provocative books on perplexing theological questions. While the essays by Paul Helm, Alan G. Padgett, William Lane Craig and Nicholas Wolterstoff deliberate the question on a plane too high for total newcomers (who may need clarifications of terms such as "omnitemporality"), theology students will not want to miss this. Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
God & Time: Four Views by Gregory E. Ganssle, Paul Helm & Alan G. Padgett has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 07/30/2001 page 82

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Item Specifications...

Studio: InterVarsity Press
Pages   247
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.97" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.75"
Weight:   0.74 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 28, 2001
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830815511  
ISBN13  9780830815517  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Pneumatology
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

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Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Contemporary Theologies

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Reviews - What do customers think about God & Time: 4 Views?

Excellent Scholarship Here!  Jun 18, 2007
The contributors to this book are top-notch and offer compelling points on the subject of God and time. I don't think every possible view is covered (because mine differs slightly from all of them, though aligns most closely with Paul Helm). Nevertheless, these are some of the top philosophical minds among theists addressing the issue.

The book is not an overly difficult read if one has at least been exposed to the basic concepts. I notice that some people have tagged this book with 'heresy' and 'bad theology.' While the reader is bound to disagree with some of the views herein, I wouldn't go so far as to call any of the authors heretics!
Excellent Discussion  Feb 12, 2006
Edited by Gregory Ganssle "God and Time" examines the relationship between God and time from a Christian perspective. This text is part of Intervarsity Press' Four Views series.

The discussion is divided into four sections - each examining a different view of God's relationship with time. The respective sections start with an overview of the proposed argument followed by observations from the other contributors and conclude with a response by the primary author. Paul Helm defends the classic view that God is atemporal or outside time and Nicholas Wolterstorff supports the opposing view that God is temporal or in time. William Craig and Alan Padgett put forth positions that attempt to blend these opposing positions.

Anyone who has seriously considered this issue is aware that there are no easy solutions to the God - time question - each view have both appeal and difficulty. The classic view maintains God's majesty, but his action in the world becomes difficult to understand. The temporal view has the opposite challenge; it allows for action, however, God's omnipotence seems somewhat compromised. The two middle positions while modestly successful in addressing these challenges seem incomplete and ad hoc. That said, all the contributors are capable philosophers who present their arguments in a clear and considered manner. The appeal of a particular argument will undoubtedly be influence by one's view of time. For example an atemporal God would seem a better fit with a tenseless or B-theory view, while the other positions appear more compatible with a tensed or A-theory view.

My two minor criticisms are the overlap between the sections and the similarity of two of the contributions. With regard to the former, in commenting on the competing views the authors often delve into their own argument causing some redundancy. This is not entirely negative, in that it allows the reader to get a modest overview of the various positions inn just one section. The other criticism is that the positions of Craig and Padgett are so close that both may not be required - Padgett's essay (although solid) could be omitted without significant impact on the discussion.

Overall God and Time is an excellent book. I highly recommend it to all readers interested in the nature of time or the philosophy of religion. Readers who enjoyed this book may also appreciate Four Views on Divine Foreknowledge that address a related theological/philosophical issue.
Nice comparative text  Oct 30, 2001
This book would be an excellent book for someone who is interested in God and time but does not have a strong philosophical background in the issues. The text is formatted very similar to the Zondervan 'Views' texts. In other words, a given view from one of the four scholars is put forth, and the other three scholars respond. After the other three scholars have responded, the initial scholar has a chance to respond to the other three scholar's responses!

The four scholars in this text are well known in their area of study. These four scholars are Paul Helm, Alan G. Padgett, William Lane Craig, and Nicholas Wolterstorff.

The only downfall to the book is that it is geared more toward the temporalist viewpoint. Craig and Wolterstorff are without a doubt temporalists, Paul Helm is without a doubt a timeless adherent, but Padgett seems to be somewhere in the middle and it seems that he is more of a temporalist in his assertions.

Padgett has contentions with the notion of 'everlasting eternity' (a view which Wolterstorff holds), but he also has certain contentions with 'timeless eternity' (a view that Paul Helm holds). Thus, he opts for a type of middle position which he calls 'relative timelessness.' This view is rather odd and incoherent in certain ways. It asserts differences between 'created time' and 'God's time.' Padgett asserts that "God's time is a necessary precondition to God's being," and vice versa. I do not fully understand where Padgett is trying to go with these type of assertions which seem to demonstrate God as contingent in some sense. Padgett claims God is relatively timeless, that is timeless, relative to our created measured time, and that our time takes place inside God's time. A type of time contained in time. For further reading into Padgett's view read his book "God, Eternity, and the Nature of Time." (I myself am still working on Padgett's assertions)

A final feature which strengthens this text is Greg Ganssle's introduction. He does a very good job at setting the stage for the discussion. His introduction alone made the book worth the purchase. Overall this is a great book for the beginner and a nice refresher for those who are fairly well versed in these issues. I highly recommend it.


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