Can God Make a Rock So Big that Even God Cannot Lift It?
Article by Dan Kent
The moment you confess your belief in God, I have found, some clever fella will emerge from the crowd to stand before you and ask:
“Can God make a rock so big that even God cannot lift it?”
It’s a trap, of course. If you say: “YES, God can make such a rock,” clever-fella will accuse your God of being limited, since God has made a rock God cannot lift. If you say: “NO, God can make no such rock,” clever-fella will say your God is limited, since God cannot make the rock. Either way, according to clever-fella, God is limited. It seems a person who believes in God has no safe way to answer.
But we do have an answer. The answer is: No, God cannot make a rock so big that even God cannot lift it.
Are we exposing God as a limited, powerless fraud with this answer? I don’t think so. God cannot make such a rock, true, but not because of a limitation in God. Rather, the rock carries within itself all of the important limitations.
God cannot make a married bachelor, either. Bachelors, by definition, simply cannot be married while still remaining a bachelor. There can be no such bachelor. Rocks also contain limitations. Namely, a rock simply cannot be so big that God could not lift it. There can be no such rock. God’s inability to make such a rock reveals no limitation in God just as God’s inability to make a married bachelor reveals no limitation in God.
Hope this helps. Rock on!
Dan Kent is the author of Confident Humility: Becoming Your Full Self Without Becoming Full of Yourself and the series The Training of KX12. Dan preaches as Teaching Pastor at Woodland Hills Church in Maplewood Minnesota. He also hosts and produces ReKnew’s Podcast Greg Boyd: Apologies & Explanations. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
*This essay is adapted from G. Boyd & P. Eddy, Lord or Legend? (Baker, 2007). For a fuller discussion, see P. Eddy & G. Boyd, The Jesus Legend (Baker, 2007). There are a number of questions historians ask when they are trying to assess the historical value of an ancient document that claims to report…
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