Just How Omnipotent?

by Dr. Jason Lisle on March 20, 2009

A reader wants to know why there are some things an omnipotent God cannot do. Dr. Jason Lisle, AiG–U.S., responds.

If God is absolutely omnipotent then that leads to some contradictions. For example can god turns himself into a rock with no power and then turn himself back. No, if he could then he must have had powers as a rock, so he’s not completely omnipotent.
Can he make a triangle on the euclidean plane with angles that sum to less then 180 degrees? Not unless he’s allowed to break the rules of logic.
So exactly how omnipotent is God if he’s not capable of doing everything?
—J.S., Canada

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Have Something to Add?

Let us know what you think.

To say that “God is omnipotent” means that His power is limitless, and, thus, God is capable of doing anything that is logically possible. This does not mean that God can do things that are absurd or irrational.

In fact, the Bible is very clear that there are certain things God cannot do: He cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). This is not because He lacks the power, but because He is true to His own nature. So, there is no contradiction in saying that God is all powerful (He can do anything that is logically possible), and yet He cannot do things that are logically impossible.

In fact, apart from the biblical God, we would have no reason to believe that contradictions are always wrong because the law of non-contradiction itself stems from the nature of God. All truth is in God (John 14:6; Colossians 2:3), and God cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). Thus, truth will not go against itself; it will not contradict. Apart from the biblical God, there would be no reason for the law of non-contradiction—or any law of logic.


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