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Abstracts - The Metaphysics of Time

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Keynote lecture 1: Time, Tense, and Eternity

William Lane Craig

How does God relate to time? Theologians have differed over whether God should be thought to exist timelessly or omnitemporally throughout infinite time. A watershed question for the doctrine of divine eternity is whether one adopts a tensed or a tenseless theory of time. If a tenseless theory of time is true, then God's timeless existence is thus far forth unproblematic. But if a tensed theory of time is true, then God is most plausibly understood to exist temporally, in light of (i) His causal relation to the temporal world and (ii) His knowledge of tensed facts.


Keynote lecture 2: Legal Pardon, Tensed Time, and the Expiation of Guilt

William Lane Craig

Divine forgiveness is much more akin to a legal pardon by an executive authority than to the personal forgiveness characteristic of private relationships. For divine forgiveness, like a legal pardon, involves not merely the relinquishing of certain subjective feelings, but effecting an objective change in a person's legal status, making the pardonee no longer liable to punishment. But does a pardon expunge the guilt of the wrongdoer? In the Anglo-American justice system courts have differed on this question. An examination of legal opinions reveals that the answer hinges upon one's underlying theory of time. Courts which have ruled that a pardon blots out the guilt of the wrongdoer tacitly presuppose a tensed theory of time.
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The Metaphysics of Time

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