Wednesday, 23 July 2014

God versus the rock

If God is really God, can He make a rock so big that He can’t lift? 

It one of those "throw it out there" sort of questions.  The one they try to stump you with.  A question that Christians are not supposed to be able to answer.

So, can God make a rock so big that He can’t lift?
Even this loaded, nonsensical question with its curricular, no win argument has a rather elegant answer. But first let’s look at the point they are trying to make:  If God can make rock so big that He cannot lift it, then He is not God because He cannot lift the rock.  But if He can lift it, then He is not God because He cannot make a rock big enough.

God can’t win this one, or can He?  Since this is a hypothetical question and God is not into performing circus tricks to entertain a whim, then the answer can only ever be hypothetical.

So, how big is big? 
How about a rock as big as a car or even a house?  Well I don’t reckon that God would have a problem with making or lifting either of them.  How about as big as block of flats, skyscraper?  Not a problem. How about a rock as big as a small town, or even a city, or maybe even a country, how about as big as the earth?  Well God made the earth and put it in to motion around the sun so he's actually done that one.

We've got to go bigger! How about as big as the solar system?  Well God made the galaxies and put them into motion too.  So even a rock the size of a galaxy should not be a problem. However, a rock of that size would collapse in on itself to form a giant black hole so God may have to change a few of the laws of physics.

Well how about making a rock the size of universe: infinity to infinity.   Yes I am quite sure that God could do that if He wanted too.  Imagine that, a single rock of infinite size, stretching to infinity in every direction, the whole universe one giant never ending rock. Only problem is that if this rock was infinite there would be nothing else except for this rock, so there would be no place to lift the rock from.

So the answer to the question:
Yes, God could make a rock infinitely big that would fill all of space. But if He did this, there would be no place to lift the rock from.  So how about that, God is still God.  This is because the question was flawed and did not take into consideration infinity.

About those other questions:
There are a lot of questions like that out there, some of them could be answered much like this one, but there some that can’t because most of these questions are loaded and/or intrinsically impossible.   

By loaded I mean a question like: “Do you still have that problem with Kleptomania?”
The question is loaded because if you answer “no”, then it was a problem you once had, and if you answer “yes” then it is a problem you still have. 

Intrinsically impossible question is one like: “Can you make a square circle?”  The question is intrinsically impossible and self-contradictory.

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C.S. Lewis stated:
His (God’s) Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to Him, but not nonsense. . . It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities .
. . nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God (Problem of Pain, 18).

There are other examples of impossibilities for an Omnipotent God:  “it is impossible for God to lie.” (Hebrews 6:18) Lying like sinning is against God’s nature and because God is good, it is intrinsically impossible for God to lie.

So, the next time someone tries to undo you with one of these silly little questions or statements, have fun dismantle it.  Take your time and think your way through it properly, and if you cannot see through it straight away, tell them that you will get back to them. Have fun.

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