Q. My junior highs asked “Can God create a stone so heavy that He cannot lift it?” If He can such that He can’t lift it, then He’s not omnipotent. If He can’t, then He’s not omnipotent as well. Either way God is not omnipotent. How would you answer them?
A. Elementary. This is a common question posed by skeptics who think they can disprove God’s omnipotence or His existence, but it only betrays their ignorance.
The Bible asserts that all things are possible with God:
• Mt 19:26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
• Mk 10:27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
• Lk 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.
• Lk 18:27 But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”
But the same Bible also asserts that there are some things which are impossible for God:
• Lk 6:18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, …
• Tit 1:2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,
• 2 Tim 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
So it is impossible for God to lie, and for Him to deny Himself. The superficial would claim that the Bible is self-contradictory, but the correct understanding is that with God all things that are consistent with His nature are possible. God cannot act against His nature. Because God is the “God of truth” (Ps 31:5; Is 65:16), therefore He cannot lie. Because God is the “faithful God” (Deut 7:9), He is faithful (1 Co 1:9, 10:13; 2 Co 1:18) and cannot deny Himself.
God gave us the ability to reason (Is 1:18), to use logic, therefore He will not do something that is self-contradictory, because that would be against His nature. Just as God will not draw a square circle, or make a two-sided triangle, He will not create a stone too heavy for Him to lift, because these things are non-sensible, contrary to His nature. God does not do things that are absurd to Him, though some things may be enigmatic to us who know so little.
So the short answer is “No”. God does not do self-contradictory things, because to do so would be to deny His nature. The issue is not a matter of power, His omnipotence, which is infinite because God is infinite. The issue is a matter of man’s limited knowledge, who thinks he can stump God with illogical contradictions when God gave him the ability to think in the first place. Such is the arrogance of man.