Ruminations

The chewy thoughts of a queer Christian

The Omnipotence Paradox

When I was younger, I remember hearing a question that was something like a riddle, or perhaps a koan. It went like this: if God is omnipotent, can he create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift? The point being, of course, to illustrate a paradox: an omnipotent being cannot limit its own omnipotence.

Recently, however, I noticed that God has done exactly that. God has blown the omnipotence paradox to bits. If before I was unsure of God’s omnipotence, I am now fairly sure that God is at least more capable than I thought. Of his absolute omnipotence I remain unconvinced (as in the manner of many Unificationists).

So. If God is omnipotent, can he create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift? I say yes, he has done just that; but not only that, he has managed to lift it. The rock is sin. God created human beings with free will, and in order to create love, he let human beings exist outside the power of his absolute goodness. Human beings were free to sin; and they did, and they continue to do so. But humans, being separated from God’s absolute goodness, were unable to lift the rock of sin by themselves; and God, being separated from human beings, was also unable to lift it. So they had to bridge the gap. God left instructions for human beings to begin lifting the rock through the law and the prophets, in preparation for the event of its lifting, but being separated from his goodness, they could never completely understand the instructions.

God breached the divide by endowing his Son with a human body, and commenced to achieve the impossible. God lifted the rock that was too heavy for him to lift. It broke him: but by his own power, he rose above it and in doing so he freed humankind from its weight. And finally we were free to live the lives he intended us to from the beginning.

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