This chapter and the next are concerned with the idea of God as the timeless cause of the creation. In what sense is there a beginning of creation? God does not exist (temporally) the creation, but he exists before it in a hierarchical sense. The temporal universe could come about either within time or with time. So in creating, God is untouched by his creation, exempt from temporal changes. Such timelessness is durationless, and the first moment of creation is not to be identified with a physical event, such as the Big Bang. Richard Swinburne's critique of timelessness is considered. The sense in which God literally ‘causes’ his creation is discussed. It is denied that causation is an essentially temporal notion.
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