Can God Make a Stone He Cannot Lift?

On one small planet, lying in a manger, one incarnate babe could not lift the rocks He had made. All the rocks of all of the starfields in Him consist, with their whirling atoms; by Him were and ever-are all things lifted up (Col 1:17; Phil 2:5-8).

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3 Responses to Can God Make a Stone He Cannot Lift?

  1. J. Paul says:

    Interesting thoughts.

    I think the skeptical question should be reformed as follows: Can God do something that He cannot do? An obvious absurdity.

  2. Red says:

    Without practical application the question is best left to someone else with more time to spare and less to lose. The question worth asking is “Can God compel us to love him”.

  3. David says:

    If God cannot do the logically impossible this is not an inability in God but an incoherence of the task proposed. As John Hick explains, “It is argued that God’s all-power does not mean that He can do anything, if ‘anything’ is held to include self contradictions such as making a round square, or a horse that has none of the characteristics of a horse, or an object whose surface both is and is not red all over at the same time. The self-contradictory, or logically absurd, does not fall within the scope of God’s omnipotence; for a self-contradiction, being a logically meaningless form of words, does not describe anything that might be either done or not done. As Aquinas comments, ‘it is more appropriate to say that such things cannot be done, than that God cannot do them’ (Summa Theologica, I, Q. 25, art. 3. Aquinas’s entire discussion of this point is classic and definitive). Thus, for example, God will never make a four-sided triangle. However this is not because He cannot make figures with four sides or any other number of sides, but merely because the meaning of the word ‘triangle’ is such that it would never be correct to call a four-sided figure a triangle. Clearly this does not involve any limitation upon God’s power such that if He had greater power He would be able to accomplish these logical absurdities. Not even infinite might can adopt a meaningless form of words as a program for action” (John Hick, Evil and the God of Love, pp. 255-256).

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