“God sees the future now”

When we say “God can see the future now” the now cannot mean to indicate a moment opposed to the past and the future. But this has consequences for what we mean by him knowing the future, since this future is defined precisely in opposition to the now.

Again, when we say “God now sees the future” the “now” is modifying when the action takes place, and so has to be taken either on the side of the agent or the object. If taken on the side of the object, it is false, for the future is not now. If taken on the side of the agent, we need to distinguish a sense of now as opposed to past and future, and some other possible sense. If taken in the first sense, it is false, for God does not exist or act now in a way that excludes past or future. If there is some other sense, then it must be one wholly appropriate to God. Either way, to say “God sees the future now” appears false in both of the initial ways of understanding it. We need a more critical and expurgated sense of the now involved.

This all remains true of expressions that drop the “now” but still imply it.

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