The omnipotence paradox is simply a fancy way of saying that there are folks out there that believe there are intrinsic problems with absolute omnipotence of God. The argument lends to the the following problems: that he cannot create something large enough he can’t lift, or that if he created something he can’t lift, then either way, he is not all powerful. This then leaves God’s omnipotence to be questioned.
This is a philosophical debate that has gone on for centuries and so I’m not about to solve this here and now by any “empirical evidence”, but help readers to understand that there are serious logical implications to the question itself. What we need to realize here is that the question “Can God create an object in which he cannot lift?”, at its core, violates the law of non contradiction, and that it is also a self refuting argument.
First of all, a quick dichotomy of infinity and eternity. I am using infinity not in terms of starting and never ending but having no start and no end. By this I mean God’s self existence or eternal nature. In terms of God’s attributes, admittedly impossible to fathom or explain. I actually like use the word “isness” of God. In the bible God presents himself as “I am” which gets to the core of his eternal nature and self existence. This is also why one cannot compare themselves with God nor try to anthropomorphize his eternal ability.
Nothing can be added onto infinity and if God is infinite in his nature, nothing can be larger then the largest thing. Anything super big or super strong is only infinitely smaller or less powerful then God. This is a good apologetic towards polytheists. There is no other God but God, which in himself is self existing and omni-all-inclusive; therefore, nothing else can be defined as God.
God creating something he cannot lift is like saying: “what happens when an infinitely unstoppable force meets an infinitely unmovable object?”. Both of these would have to be mutually exclusive within God and not opposed to God himself and therefore maintain omnipotence. Granted God is the only one that is unstoppable and unmovable and to pit this against each other would be contradictory to his eternal nature and the very logic which comes from God.
People like to then rebutt that God can still not do something, like violating his own nature or will. Think about that people. It is a contradictory argument again. If His will or Logic is one way and that statement is true, then it cannot also be true that God will violate it.
I really like what Dr. Jason Lisle has to say about this, and I paraphrase:
“Laws of logic are rooted in the character and nature of God. Two contradictory statements cannot both be true because God does not deny himself (1 Timothy 2:13), God is self consistent. Truth, which comes from God, will always be self consistent and it will always be like that because God is immutable as part of his nature.”1
Like flying unassisted is not part of your nature, contradicting himself is not part of God’s nature. So in that, God would never create something in which he cannot lift because its contrary to his eternal nature. In that he does not violate logical contradictions.
I really like how Sye Ten Bruggencate’s response to this makes “answering the fool according to his folly” so practical.
There’s many things God can’t do. God can’t lie it says in Hebrews 6:18, can’t deny himself 2 Tim 2:13. There’s lots of things God can’t do. “Well if God is all powerful or omnipotent he has to be able to do anything”. I say, look, God cannot do the logically impossible. But I know what your friend’s going to say, “If God can’t do the logically impossible, then he is not all powerful”. I say, look, the logically impossible is not a power it’s a weakness. I’d say, I tell you what, you know what you do to your friend. say “Look, I’ll answer your question”. Such a God, if you want him to be able to do the logically impossible, can make a rock so big he cannot lift it”. You know what he is going to say “AH HA! See there is something your God cannot do, he can’t lift that rock.”. You know what you say to him then? “If God can do the logically impossible, he can lift the rock he can’t lift.”
1. Dr. Jason Lisle –
2. Objections Answered – June 26, 2013 – Sye Ten Bruggencate. Westminster Presbyterian, Sermon Audio