Time, as a formal structure does not exist. So let us first set out by understand future and past without relation to time. We first become aware of our present – that which we experience currently. As those current experiences vanish we arrive at some understanding of the past. Using this understanding of the past we come to understand that our current present will eventually be past and hence we talk about what will eventually be present (and then past) as future.
Hence Future is: All that has not happened yet that will.
Past is: All that was that is no longer.
It is important to realize that the future then, by definition, doesn’t exist. EVER. ANYWHERE. TO ANYONE. Hence, even God doesn’t know future.
Likewise, past too no longer exists – though it clearly has an effect on the present and in that way its indent exists.
All that exists is the present. This present is under the pressure of past causes and our ability to perceive the future. Just because the future doesn’t exist doesn’t mean that jumping off a cliff won’t necessarily leave dismember at the bottom – it merely means that the dismemberment will exist in the present and the present alone.
So much is evident from experience alone. Then why when confronted by the idea of God do we throw out this easily understood observation. Why do we thrust future into the realm of his “all-knowing” when it causes clear contradictions and confusion around our everyday experience. The answer is prophecy.
The only problem with prophecy is that it only ever happens in the future. If I tell you that I will give you five dollars tomorrow – then I do – have I committed an act of prophecy? No, because it was in my power to do that. Now make me infinitely powerful and infinitely good – any promise I make will be made (because I am all good) and I will be able to keep it (because I am all powerful) and hence any promise is as good as true but does not become true until acted out in the present.
Why is this a big deal? Because Christian Theology is losing – or has lost. It is detached from its Christian root and fails to pass the vigor of modern philosophy. Science has become the new idol in its place and in light of all its trouble it still fails to make sense of common experiences like time. Why? Because they hang on to an aspect of God that is not as it seems. God cannot know that which doesn’t exist – hence he cannot know what will happen (from His, or our perspective). Instead they convulute things by hiding behind his omnipresence as a product of his all-powerfulness. To say God is everywhere throughout time makes no sense to any laymen or philosopher and hence only a scant few theologians can ever agree on its precise being.