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"Could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it?"

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics Forum' started by Christina, May 6, 2007.

  1. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    Question: "Could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it?" This question is frequently asked by skeptics of God, the Bible, Christianity, etc. If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent. According to this argument, omnipotence is self-contradictory. Therefore, God cannot be omnipotent. So, the question, could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it? The quick answer is "No." But the explanation is far more important to understand than the answer... This question is based on a popular misunderstanding about the definitions of words like "almighty" or "omnipotent." These terms do not mean that God can do anything. Rather, they describe the amount of God's power. Power is the ability to effect change - to make something happen. God (being unlimited) has unlimited power, and the Bible affirms this (Job 11:7-11, 37:23; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 4:8; etc.). Therefore, God can do whatever is possible to be done. God cannot, however, do that which is actually impossible. This is because true impossibility is not based on the amount of power one has, it is based on what is really possible. The truly impossible is not made possible by adding more power. Therefore, unless context indicates otherwise (e.g. Matthew 19:26 where man's ability is being shown in contrast to God's), impossibility means the same thing whether or not God is involved. So, the first part of the question is based on a false idea - that God being almighty means that He can do anything. In fact, the Bible itself lists things God cannot do - like lie or deny Himself (Hebrews 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:13; Titus 1:2). The reason He cannot do these things is because of His nature and the nature of reality itself. God cannot do what is not actually possible to be done, like creating a two-sided triangle, or a married bachelor. Just because words can be strung together this way does not make the impossible possible - these things are contradictions, they are truly impossible in reality. Now, what about this rock? A rock would have to be infinitely large to defeat an infinite amount of lifting power. But an infinite rock is a contradiction since material objects cannot be infinite. Only God is infinite. There cannot be two infinites. So the question is actually asking if God can make a contradiction - which He cannot.Recommended Resource: Knowing God by J.I. Packer.
     
  2. n2thelight

    n2thelight Well-Known Member

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    Can God make a rock so big that even he can’t lift it? If he can’t lift it then he is not all powerful. Then the rock has become more powerful than God and whatever is more powerful than God is God. God has infinite qualities not finite, God can only do things that are possible he can’t make square circles or a two sided triangle. It is asking God to bring about a logically contradictory state to his own nature. This is what is called a category mistake to say he can make something he can’t lift. Its like asking a bachelor what his wife’s name is? What does the color yellow taste like. Color doesn’t taste. Its not possible for God to make a rock so big that even he can’t lift it. If he can make it he can lift it. If he can create it , he can destroy it. . It does not show that God has a limit to his power which means he does not possess infinite power. This means whatever he created is under his jurisdiction under his control, it can never have equality.
     
  3. *Madeline*

    *Madeline* New Member

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    2 Timothy 2:23 - But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
     
  4. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    This is a metaphor used for teaching a truth
     
  5. betchevy

    betchevy New Member

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    Stick around Maddy... I do like that name... Its like what came first the chiken or the egg.?.. the chicken because eggs cannot lay themselves.. We here study much not just weekends... Hope to see you here learning along with us... this also give us answers for those who do not believe in God , ou know? Beside God like us to think....
     
  6. Dragon

    Dragon New Member

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    I love this question, because it dosen't make any sense, and no one knows that it dosen't make amy sense.People have to understand what the word "powerful" really means. This is why the world is so corrupt I think, is because no one knows what true power is.True power isn't taking a life, it's giving a life. Evil IS NOT a force in of itself, I can go on for pages about that, It's the REJECTION OF the force. For something to be evil, the good has to exist first, so the evil can reject it. You create a painting, that's good. You rip pieces of that painting off, that's evil. You can't rip up a painting that isn't there in the first place. Good is the CREATIVE force, and God is the creator.God's power is as much defined as what he "would" do just as much as what he "can" do. Anything God does is both good and creative. Someone's ULTIMATE, ULTIMATE, power is defined by what they can and cannot do, not just what they could do, but people don't percieve things this way, because we have this warped sense of what "power" is suppossed to be. God cannot reject himself, so he is incapable of evil. If someone is capable of evil, they are not perfect. God is incapable of evil, God is perfect. The only way God can take something away, is to give them something better, or let it go all by itself. We humans are the creators of evil, not God. We are the ones who reject God, and begin the "falling apart" process. He can either let us go, or he can fix us if we asked. The reason why we have to ask, I could go on another couple of pages for.Anything reguarding God with the word "can't" in it, dosen't make any sense. God has the power to do anything technically, but FURTHER power is now defined by what they WOULD do with that ability. We don't look at our freedom of choice as power, because we simply aren't powerful enough to have that as our power, and our definition of power. For example, we'd say that saddam had alot of power and would abuse it, but real power is what he does with his athority. He had the power to both save and kill innocent people, but having the power to save people alone and be incable of killing innocent people, is MORE powerful than someone who has the choice between saving and killing innocent people. Jesus was more powerful than saddam. Evil is only the rejection of God in some way, it's a digression, not a progression. God is the progressor, and the creator, and he cannot reject himself, which is not only a good thing, but the ultimate good thing. Having the word "can't" in reguards to God, in the basic foundation of anything, dosen't make any sense.God making a rock so big and heavy that he can't lift it is suggesting that the size and weight of the rock madders in determining weather he can do it, So the question is already taken out of context. Also, there must be a good reason for it anyway.If there was something to benefit from God being able to lift any rock ever, then he can do it. If there was something that would be benefitial to the notion that God can't lift a pebble, then he wouldn't be able to do it.However, Gods power is in the "would", not the "could", us humans confuse the two. To answer the question, God can lift any size rock he ever creates, he can also rape anyone he wishes, but he would never do that. He is always All Knowing, he knows what he can and more importantly, would, do. God dosen't do anything without a reason. A perfect being has a good, and only good, reason for things, so he can only do good. there is nothing good about limiting God's ability to do something, so he cannot create a rock that he himself cannot pick up, but we should now know that THAT is UNLIMITED power, because he is incabable of limiting himself.I cannot enter a race that I cannot win. I guess that would make me the fastest man in the universe right? Can someone else create a racetrack that I can't win? No, that makes me better than anyone else.Can I, myself, with unlimited creation ability, create a racetrack that I cannot win? No, I am perfect in every way. Not 99% ways, but 100% ways.God cannot create a rock that he can't lift, but God can create any size rock he ever desires, he can just lift them. It dosen't make any sense to use the second ability to define the first. Using the word "can't" in the second ability to define is power in the first dosen't make any sense, the word "can't" was assigned in the first place, so it was taken out of context, and the question desen't even make any sense.
     
  7. Shingy

    Shingy New Member

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    A lot of skeptics will say haha this disproves God, but they are making a very common mistake. God is by definition outside of the normal order, transcendant, and inherently irrational, thus not subject to logic or science. Logically, they can disprove God, and that's what matters to them, but they are wrong.Anyone who thinks they know what God can't do is really saying they know the mind of God. It's all in their mind. SO the proper response is that yes, God is a paradox, but this question in no disproves God's existence.
     
  8. Garry T

    Garry T New Member

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    You can file that quote in the circular file along with "have you quit beating your wife yet". Just plain nonsense!
     
  9. Faithful

    Faithful New Member

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    Just proves Gods thoughts and thinking are way above ours.Surely what we measure impossible is limited to that which we cannot do.God parted the waters to let moses and the israelites through.Jesus walked on the water and calmed the storm.Mary had a baby without a man.The fact God created the rock and keeps the world in place all the time spinning on an axis. Perhaps man limited God to his own way of thinking.When Jesus stepped in the boat during the storm it immediately arrived at the shore. Surely the fact that nothing is impossible for God. Luke 1:37.Then ours is not to reason how or why but on the basis of evidence, believe it is true.The fact God does not lie is down to him being perfect. And that is the cruxs of the matter. We have an idea of perfect and imperfect, false and true, Good and bad. And we know God is all the positive things. With evil and good the balance and the ultimate lies in God and the Devil. The opposite of each other. Wet and Dry can never be the same thing. I believe common sense tells you that knowing God is about knowing good, truth, love, perfection and righteousness. How can he lack any good thing and how can he be anything opposite to his nature. Adam and Eve did not know Right and Wrong.So just as one may be ignorant of the existence of something. It is equally true to say, you cannot be sober when drunk. If God created the rock, would he really need to pick it up? He put a whole world together and men ask about a rock.[​IMG] :angel9:
     
  10. ryangrom

    ryangrom New Member

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    Thanks for posting that Kriss! That really got my gears turning. Fascinating topic
     
  11. Lookin4wardtoHeaven

    Lookin4wardtoHeaven New Member

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    ((((( Kriss)))))), You got us to thinking again..lol This a question that really draws attention ... doesn't it? Also how it really makes everyone focus on our Heavenly Father; if not just for a moment (that is a good thing). When I see questions like this I start thinking about what God has done (from creating the world, to making Us, different miracles, healing; etc.) God would just have to speak and the rock will obey His will.:blessyou:
     
  12. SilentFlight

    SilentFlight New Member

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    Could God making a rock that he could not lift really be a failure, perhaps he made it never intending it to be lifted?
     
  13. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    (6742705;14568)
    The great part about this discussion is that I know that questions like these are riddles that exist without any plausible answer.
    Hi 674 and all1 Corinthians 1:25 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. I can understand why some have difficulty convincing Muslems that God may have "foolishness" or "weakness". Many Christians believe that the "omnipotence" of God prohibits Him from having any weaknesses.I really believe that 1 Corinthians 1:25-27 should be read as follows: Because the "foolishness" of God is wiser than men; and the "weakness" of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many "wise" men after the flesh, not many "mighty", not many "noble", are called: 27 But God hath chosen the "foolish things" of the world to confound the "wise"; and God hath chosen the "weak" things of the world to confound the things which are "mighty"; The reason for the quotes is as follows: All the ideas in quotes are human ideas and philosophies. Another example would be the following...1 Corinthians 1:18 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish "foolishness"; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. I.e. unconverted folks regard preaching and preachers as "foolishness" - but in reality it is "the power of God".Whom the world regards as "wise" and what the world regards as "noble" and what the world despises as "foolishness" is regarded as just the opposite by God. Hence the "first" now, shall be last in God's eyes.Now as to the rock puzzle. I firmly believe that God does not have to make rocks which He cannot pick up. Making weak and pathetic "foolish" humans into wise and strong sons of God is REALLY challenging to God.
     
  14. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    (kriss;10278)
    Question: "Could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it?"
    Hi KrissIf God could create and sustain the universe then He could withdraw his Spirit, and the universe would shrink into a singularity and disappear. Job 34:14-15 14 "...if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; 15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust. "Also, Mark 11:23 gives the answer to this very question. "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. "There is nothing "physical" including the whole universe which God does not hold in his hand and could blow away as dust. He has faith that He could lift any mountain, irrespective of size, since it is just matter, and therefore just as dust in His scales.Isaiah 40:12 "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? "That said, there are things that God cannot and will not do, because He is God. He will not forgive human sin, for instance, unless it is covered with Christ's blood. No other blood, no other sacrifice will do. No other religion is good enough. Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Thus, the Bible clearly states that Muslims are not saved.
     
  15. Mighty Bear

    Mighty Bear New Member

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    "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts." (Zechariah 4:6)
     
  16. Dave...

    Dave... New Member

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    From Ex-Atheist.comhttp://www.ex-atheist.com/Can God create a rock that is so big that He wouldn't be able to lift it?My 7 year old daughter provided me with one of the best answers to this question; "I can't give you a smart answer to a dumb question!"The question is constructed in such a way that no matter how one answers it, God's omnipotence is compromised. If one answers 'no', then God cannot create such a rock, thus God is not powerful enough to do something, therefore He is not 'all powerful'. If one answers 'yes', God creates a rock that He cannot lift, but because He cannot then lift it, God is not powerful enough to do something, therefore He is not 'all powerful'. However, when we examine the question by analogy, its unfairness is made known. Compare the 'rock' question with the following:A genius is so smart that he should be able to successfully pass any test, including a test that would qualify him as an idiot.It is obvious that the 'rock' question itself contains a contradiction. In other words, the question itself does not make logical sense. It's the same type of contradiction that is made when we say that someone has accomplished the impossible. If they have, then it wasn't impossible to begin with. We see language at its logical limits; we understand what is being said (someone has accomplished what was previously thought to have been impossible to accomplish) but the language that is used to convey the idea makes it logically incomprehensible.Rephrased, the 'rock' question is actually asking, "Is God so powerful that he can successfully do anything, including things that he couldn't do?"It would seem, then, that the most correct answer would be 'no'. God cannot do those things that God cannot do. (And, yes, the Bible does say that there are things that God cannot do.) No matter how big a rock is created, God will always be able to move it. God is not powerful enough to compromise His own power. However, if we get beyond the deficiency of language in order to understand the concept behind the question, the answer in the affirmative can suffice just as well. When we say that God is all powerful, the definition need not be carried to hyper-literalism that renders it incomprehensible. 'All powerful' can be taken as hyperbole and be more accurately defined as 'the most powerful thing that can possibly exist'. Can the most powerful thing that can possibly exist create a rock so large that it could not lift it? Yes, it certainly could. Although we may ask why, and if, it would choose to do such a thing, it would still remain the most powerful thing that exists. Despite the above argumentation, I still prefer the answer, "I can't give a smart answer to a dumb question"!http://www.ex-atheist.com/Big-Rock.htmlDave
     
  17. jkeithbrock

    jkeithbrock New Member

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    I agree with Dave. I mean our God is all powerful so he can create anything, so if we say he can't then we are discrediting him
     
  18. servant_of_the_end

    servant_of_the_end New Member

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    (kriss;10278)
    Question: "Could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it?"
    NO. The Creator is greater than anything he creates.
     
  19. jkdjr25

    jkdjr25 New Member

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    I was asked this once and I told the person that I refused to answer. The whole question is a logical fallacy and the people asking often know that it is. Its a nonsense question designed to get people talking about what God can and cannot do instead of the real issue of His Divine plan and Will for mankind.
     
  20. kkboldt

    kkboldt New Member

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    Hi Kriss,Yes, to put it simply, even God has to live and abide by the "laws of nature" and "his own moral laws". There are certain cosmic truths than cannot be changed or broken or chaos ensues.That's why God, when he became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, died according his own law. For if God could thow out the laws of nature or his own governmental laws or even just bend them, then He wouldn't have made himself flesh and became the sacrficial lamb for the sacrifice of atonement. There wouldn't have been any need to do this.Even God is bound by universal law.Kim
     
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