Question of the week: What are the A and B theories of time? Does the B theory have anything to do with Hawking’s imaginary time?
My answer: The A and B theories of time are philosophical concepts. In the A theory, time is tensed, where there is a distinct difference between past, present, and future. In the B theory, time is tenseless, where there is no distinct difference between past, present, and future. Hawking’s imaginary time is like a second dimension of time: real time in one dimension and imaginary time in another dimension. The universe is constrained by three large space dimensions and one time dimension where time moves forward and cannot be stopped or reversed. The space-time theorems establish that God can create space-time dimensions at will.
It’s conceivable to think of God’s operations in the equivalent of two, three, or more independent dimensions of time. It’s possible that in one or more time dimensions the A theory operates while in one or more other time dimensions the B theory operates. Since God is not constrained in any way by the dimensions he creates, it’s conceivable for God to experience the equivalent of temporality completely independent of time dimensions.
To read more on these questions, see my article, “God and Time Theories.” To read much more on this subject, see my book, Beyond the Cosmos, 3rd edition. Anyone can get a free chapter of the book at reasons.org/ross.