Are the omni-attributes of God contradictory?


Attributes of God

Omnipotent
Can do everything that is possible
Genesis 17:1, Jeremiah 32:17
Omniscient
Knows all things
Psalm 139:1-18
Loving and righteous
1 John 4:16, Psalm 33:5, Deuteronomy 32:4

Omnipotence is self-contradictory. Can God create a rock too heavy for him to lift?

The answer is that God cannot do the logically impossible. There can't exist a rock that is too heavy for an omnipotent being to lift. Since it's a logical impossibility, God can't create it, just as he can't prove that A is the same as not A. This does not limit God's power, for he can do everything that is logically possible; nothing is too hard for him (Jer 32:17).


Omniscience and omnipotence are contradictory. If God knows for sure that an event will occur at a certain time in the future, can he prevent it from occurring?

When we say that God is omnipotent regarding future events, what we really mean is that God can cause any particular event to occur at any given time. If God wants it to rain next Friday in Montreal, he is capable of causing it to rain. Furthermore, God's omniscience means that he's always known what he will want to happen on any given day, and can plan events accordingly. If God wants it to rain next Friday in Montreal, he would have known that he wanted that event to occur when the universe was created, and he would have set things up accordingly. Thus if God knows it will rain next Friday in Montreal, it's because he wants it to rain then and there and will cause it to happen. If he wanted different weather in Montreal next Friday, he would have caused that weather to occur instead.

God doesn't change his mind (1 Sam 15:29), so he will never be in a situation where one day he wants an event to occur but the next day he doesn't. Yet even if he did change his mind, he would have always known that he would change his mind and what his final wishes would be, and he could act according to his final wishes.


An omnipotent, omnibenevolent God obviously doesn't exist, since there is evil and suffering in the world.

See article on Evil and God's Goodness


Other responses (offsite)


Related articles


Top of page