It is widely claimed that God is omnipotent; that He can do anything. However, a couple of years ago I put forth a proposal (to a very select few who I knew would not brand me a heretic for it) that actually God may not be omnipotent. I wish to hear some thoughts to see if my view has any weight to it.
Let’s take the view that God is omnipotent. Let’s also assume that God is always true to His character.
Proposition: Can God lie?
- If we answer “yes,” then we are saying that God has the potential to go against His character. Therefore can we really be sure of any of the promises of God? (Personally, I find the argument that “God could lie, but chooses not to (for our sake)” to be rather weak.)
- If we answer “no,” then there is something which God cannot do. Therefore is God really omnipotent?
There are other propositions we could use as well, such as: Can God create a rock so heavy He can’t lift it?
Proposal: What if our view of God is distorted?
We say that “God-like nature” is omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence (and maybe other words beginning with “omni-”). But what if omnipotence is not a requirement for God to be God? Omnipotence suggests something like a dictator: God can do what He wants, when He wants and it’s not our place to question.
[Side Note: And yet in the Bible we read of God saying, “Come, let us [i]reason together” (Isaiah 1:18, emphasis mine); and we read of Abraham arguing/discussing with God about the fate of Soddom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18).]
What if “God-like nature” is the ability to reside within a set of limits (which God set), but to know and maximise the resultant freedoms to their fullest extent?
Thus, it is true that God cannot lie. But, it is also true that God far surpasses us on every level because He knows the boundaries so perfectly. He knows what is good for us. We push the limits and He says, “No,” but He is not hypocritical because He does not go beyond the limits either.