The atheist will often say, “The Bible says that God can do the impossible. A square circle is impossible. Shouldn’t God be able to make a square circle? If not, then God is not all-powerful.” Of course squares exist and circles exist, but there are no square circles. The ideas are contradictory and no amount of power, creative or otherwise can make two antithetical propositions be true at the same time and in the same sense.
First, let’s take a look at some of the Bible verses in question and examine them carefully for their meaning in the context that is given.
Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?...”This verse is in reference to God’s ability to do a miracle in the elderly Sarah’s womb to produce a child for the barren couple.
Job 42:1-2 Then Job answered the LORD and said, "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.This verse speaks of God's purpose being unstoppable.
Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for YouThis verse talks about God’s ability to create the world around us.
Jeremiah 32:27 "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?"This prophecy from God is a warning that because of their idolatry and wickedness, He is going to allow Israel to be punished by it’s enemies.
Matthew 19:26, similar accounts in Mark 10:27 and Luke 18:27 …Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."These verses refer specifically to salvation by God when we put our trust in Him.
Luke 1:37 "For nothing will be impossible with God."Similarly to the Genesis quote, this passage also refers to the miraculous conceptions of Mary and Elizabeth.
In the context of these passages, the omnipotence of God refers to God’s ability to do miracles, to create, to save those who trust in Him, to remove His protection from Israel while in disobedience to Him and to ensure that His purpose is fulfilled. These are the Christian claims, that God is supernatural. God has power over the supernatural world He has created. Nowhere here is there any indication that God can do what is nonsense or logically inconsistent. These verses are the foundation for the definition of God’s omnipotence that I gave earlier and do not support the notion that God can do whatever He wants contrary to His nature, conflicting with His character.
In my previous post, I mentioned that God can’t make a square circle because it is nonsense. It is like a married bachelor. It is logically incoherent. A similar question would be, can God #*&%!@? It is meaningless. C.S. Lewis when talking about this idea says, "Nonsense does not suddenly acquire sense and meaning with the addition of the two words, 'God can’ before it."
Again it seems to come down to the way in which the question is asked. The loaded question, “Have you stopped beating your wife?" assumes the presumption of guilt so that answering “yes” or “no” will not remove the accusation of beating your wife. The type of loaded question asked by the atheist presupposes that omnipotence requires the inclusion of concepts that are illogical or nonsensical as well.
Ultimately the atheist who holds to the position that God is not all powerful if He can’t make a square circle makes the claim that God can't do that which is illogical.
Ultimately isn’t that a good thing?
Isn’t that what we would expect of a perfect Being?