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Question: Can God make a rock so big He can’t lift it?
Answer: I first encountered this question as a young Christian when a person threw this seeming dilemma at me, and I did not have an answer. I sensed the question wasn’t fair, but I didn’t understand why at the time.
The question sets up a contradictory premise, misapplying the teaching that God can do the impossible. When the Bible says that “all things are possible with God,” it is referring to the things that are logically possible, not to those things that are logically impossible. A logical impossibility would be asking someone to draw a square circle, since a circle by definition is not square. Scripture teaches that there are certain things God cannot do. Hebrews 6:18 says, “…it is impossible for God to lie.” Titus 1:2 refers to Him as “…God, who cannot lie.” II Timothy 2:13 tells us that “…He cannot deny Himself.” God can do whatever is logically possible to do, though it may be impossible for creatures to do it. However, God cannot be contrary to who He is. He cannot be less than God, therefore He cannot be less than holy, less than loving, less than truth, etc. God is perfect and unchangeable in His nature.
The question that was posed above asks God to do something that would change His omnipotence (His all-powerful nature), making Himself less than who He is, God Almighty. To ask Him to create a rock so big that He cannot lift it, asks One who is infinite in power to make His power finite. He may choose not to use His power, but He cannot make it finite. God cannot be less than God. He is as He is. His eternal and unchangeable self-existence is hinted at in His name, which He revealed to Moses: “I Am Who I Am.” (Exodus 3:14)
Understanding this truth helps us understand why we can trust God fully. He is not fickle and changing, but always the perfect, holy, loving, unchanging, all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal God. He cannot do anything contrary to His nature as God. Only the Creator fits this description, because only the Creator exists independently. He is dependent upon nothing else for His existence. God cannot stop being God, and to apply His name from our perspective, He is as He is.
The above question commits a category mistake, asking God to do something that by definition would cause Him to cease being God. He can create a rock of any size, but being unlimited in power, He would always be able to lift it. To demand otherwise is to ask Him to cease being God. That He cannot do; for He is eternal God. In light of that, isn’t it amazing that He invites us to have a relationship with Him?
Thanks for the question and thanks for reading; have a nice day.
Pastor Linzy Slayden, Friendship Baptist Church, Owasso, Oklahoma