Theological Arguments in Support of an Infinite Past

Hello Dr. Craig,

I hope you are fine.

I have theological objections to your proposition that an infinite regression of events into the past is impossible.

I adhere to a particular Islamic denomination and my denomination doesn’t accept the view that it’s impossible for there to be an infinite regression of events into the past. This is mainly for three reasons:

First and most importantly, if you claim that an infinite regression of events into the past are impossible, then that means that you claim that it was impossible for God to be creating from eternity. If you claim that, then that means that you are claiming that there was a point in which God wasn’t able to create, hence compromising His attribute of Omnipotence. So basically you are claiming that God “LATER ON” had the “ability” to create. But if you do affirm that it was always possible for God to create, then basically you would be conceding that an infinite regression of creations are possible, hence rendering your argument to be false.

Secondly, “action is a sign of life”. Surely God is always active (i.e. He is always exerting His attributes) and isn’t at any point idle like an idol. God’s actions are a sign of His Perfection and for Him to be idle would make Him less perfect, than if He were to be acting. So it’s expected that God is always “doing something” and since God is eternal, that would mean that there is an infinite series of “events” (whether they are physical creations or mental events or so on) in the past.

Thirdly, there is no reason to believe that there was ever an “idle phase” where God wasn’t creating. You would have to offer a plausible reason as to why God suddenly decided to begin being active and start creating. What has “changed” exactly, most especially if God was in a state of timelessness prior to creation as per your claim?

I would greatly appreciate you taking time to answer my questions.

Dr. Craig: I’m surprised to learn that there is a contemporary sect of Islam which apparently sides with the medieval practitioners of falsafa (philosophy) in opposition to the orthodox practitioners of kalam in holding creation to be past eternal. I’m not persuaded that your three arguments should lead us to abandon the majority view…


Theological Arguments in Support of an Infinite Past | Reasonable Faith