Suppose that it is now the first moment of time. This is surely possible. While there might not in fact be a first moment of time, surely there could be. So, it's the first moment of time, and according to the A-theory this is an objective fact about the world. Question:
- Why is there no past?
Maybe one could say: "Because God is presently beginning to create." But we can then ask:
- Why is God only presently beginning to create?
Or perhaps we can try to answer (1) with: "Because God wasn't creating any earlier." But this doesn't seem informative. If there is no past, then by golly God wasn't creating any earlier. But when we ask why there is no past, we're basically asking why nothing at all was happening earlier.
While theistic answers seem the only hope—perhaps an unreal hope—for answering (1), A-theoretic theists have a pressing need to answer (1). For if theism is true, then all contingent truths had better have at least a partial explanation in terms of God's will. (Maybe in the case of free creaturely action, the divine will explanation is only partial—God created the being in such and such a state—and a fuller explanation needs the creature's choice.) But how could one explain (1) in terms of the divine will?
Still, maybe there is a theistic answer possible. Maybe at the first time, t0, God wills that there be a future but no past. He could, instead, have willed there to be a past then. That would have involved backwards causation, but there is no absurdity in backwards causation for God.
While this solution seems not unattractive to me, I think most A-theorists are suspicious of backwards causation.
But without backwards causation, I cannot see how (1) could be explained by the divine will—or in any other way.