"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." - C. S. Lewis
A very cool quote. C.S. Lewis has the best quotes. I've only read, "Mere Christianity." I've been meaning to read more.
Hey if you feel up for it, tell me your thoughts on the omnipotence of God here. No rush.
Ok: God IS omnipotent, is an inarguable statement. That said, we can't just declare that omnipotence means that God can do anything, even logically nonsensical things. We have to define the term in light of the teaching of Scripture.
...says in several places that "all things are possible with God," and that nothing is impossible for him. But it also says that there are things he can't do: he can't lie, he can't deny himself, he can't arbitrarily forgive sin.
C. S. Lewis wrote in The Problem of Pain"?:
" His 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. This is no limit to his power. If you...
... choose to say 'God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,' you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we...
... prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'... It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of his creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because his power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense...
... remains nonsense even when we talk it about God."
I agree entirely with this statement.
But what do we do with the passages that say all things are possible, etc?
I think that if you examine those passages carefully you will find that...
... they are always discussing something specific that sounds so difficult it might be impossible:
Mark 10:24-27 ESV
And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, ?Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom...
...of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, ?Then who can be saved?? Jesus looked at them and said, "With man it...
...is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.?
These statements always so showup when talking about God's power, especially when contrasted with man's power. It is imposible for the rich to be saved, but God can do it.
Omnipotence is about power, not ability. God has the power to do all things that are possible, even many things we believe to be impossible. That does not include nonsense.
Sorry for the length, don't think I could have said it more sussinctly.
No, that was very thorough, thanks :)
It's a lovely thought...