Lucas, John R. The Temporality of God."
John Lucas defends the
temporality of God against both traditional theism and the difficulties raised
by relativity and quantum cosmology.
For Lucas, the temporality of God is essential if we are to claim that
God is personal and therefore conscious of the passage of time. Against traditional orthodoxy and deism,
Lucas cites both Barth and process theology in support of divine
temporality. Moreover, the Biblical
witness is unalterably to a God who acts in specific ways. Though God may be beyond time in the sense
that time was created by God, Lucas insists that God is not timeless.
But how can God experience
the world in time if physics undercuts the temporality of the world? Lucas argues that while special relativity
on its own provides no absolute temporal reference frame, it is consistent with
the possibility that one exists, such as the cosmic background radiation. This in turn might provide a reference-frame
by which God has temporal knowledge of the world.
What about the creation of
the universe by God? Lucas points out
that the proposals by Hartle and Hawking and by Vilenkin explain the origin of
the universe not as a result of conditions existing before the Big Bang, but as
an instantiation of important rational desiderata. This reflects a parallel move in the
philosophy of science in which the kind of explanation sought shifts from a
deductive-nomological explanation (in which temporally antecedent conditions
evolve through covering laws) to a top-down explanation (i.e., the
instantiation of desiderata). Lucas concludes that time can be thought of
modally as a transition from possibility to actuality.
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