Good morning Dr. Craig!
I am a Chi Alpha campus missionary intern at Aubrun University and your work has been intrumental in thinking about my faith and the relationship God has to every part of my life and worldview. Right now I'm working through my own understanding of time and God's relationship to it. I have been doing some reading in the Standford Philosophical Encyclopedia about time and I came across an article written by Ned Markosian and he presented some problems for the a-theorist, particularly the presentist which I know you are and have repeatedly affirmed in your work and I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this issue.
This is my Issue: Presentism means that only the present now exists, but then there is a problem with trying to meaningfully talk about non-present objects. For-example, Jesus of Nazereth is a non-present object, and there are facts about what he did and spoke in his ministry, but how can we meaningfully say Jesus really did exist, this is what he really said and really did. If presentism is true and only the present now exists how can we meaningfully speak of what once existed and speak about the particlar way in which it existed. I feel that what I am speaking is quite nebulous, but as a philopsher of time I'm sure you can empathize with the difficulty of expressing these ideas clearly. I did my underquradute work in histroy at Longwood University so historical thinking and philosphy of time have an interesting relationship!
A growing-universe theorist might offer a solution to this in that Jesus of Nazareth did exist and there was a certain way in which his ministry happended and it exists in the past, but the problem on this view as you have expressed in the Defenders podcast, this entails that Jesus still hangs on the cross and the past sins are still there and not done away with. So how does a presentist handle the issue of non-present objects that once existed?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and offer your thoughts!
to read Dr. Craig's answer