Friday, August 29, 2014

Are There Things God Can't Do?


In our family devotions we are studying God's omnipotence with the aid of William Lane Craig's excellent children's book God is All-Powerful.  "Omnipotence" comes from the Latin words omni (all) and potentia (power).

Since beginning this discussion with my girls (6 and 7 years old) they have learned that although God has all power, there are actually things He can't do!  As you can imagine, this was news to them!  As we've worked through the book they've learned that God cannot:

1. sin.

2. make a circle which is in the shape of square.

3. make a stone that is to heavy for Him to lift.  As Dr. Craig explains, that would be like asking if God can make something which can't be lifted by someone who can lift anything!

4. make someone freely decide to something.  If God makes you do something, then you don't do it freely.  If you do it freely, then God doesn't make you do it.

Does this somehow show that God's power is limited? [1]  Not at all.  Why?  As Dr. Craig explains:

"...these other things aren't really things at all.  There's no such thing as a square circle or a stone too heavy for God to lift.  They're just nonsense.  When we say God is all-powerful, we mean that God can do anything which it makes sense for Him to do."

It is important that Christians understand what exactly it means when the Bible says, "Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you" [Jeremiah 32:17].

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. Fore more on this, see here.

No comments: