To these questions Augustine gave an astounding answer that does not seem to have occurred to anyone before him: God created time along with the universe. In other words, “before” the universe there was no time. The universe is like a series, which may or may not extend infinitely backward and forward in time. But God stands outside the series, and this is what we mean when we say God is “eternal.” Eternal does not mean “goes on forever”; it means “stands outside of time:’ Notice that Augustine was not engaging in vague theological speculation. He was making a radically counterintuitive claim about the nature of physical reality. Today we know from modern physics and astronomy thatAugustine was correct; time is a property of our universe, and time came into existence with the universe itself. Augustine’s reflections on the nature of time, which were generated entirely through theological reasoning, are some of the most penetrating insights in the history of thought.