Four-Dimensionalism, Evil, and Christian Belief

Philosophia Christi 16 (1):117-137 (2014)
Authors
R. T. Mullins
University of St. Andrews
Abstract
Four-dimensionalism and eternalism are theories on time, change, and persistence. Christian philosophers and theologians have adopted four-dimensional eternalism for various reasons. In this paper I shall attempt to argue that four-dimensional eternalism conflicts with Christian thought. Section I will lay out two varieties of four-dimensionalism—perdurantism and stage theory—along with the typically associated ontologies of time of eternalism and growing block. I shall contrast this with presentism and endurantism. Section II will look at some of the purported theological benefits of adopting four-dimensionalism and eternalism. Section III will examine arguments against four-dimensional eternalism from the problem of evil. Section IV will argue that four-dimensional eternalism causes problems for Christian eschatology.
Keywords Identity Through Time  Evil  Afterlife
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