This question has been asked by atheists and skeptics for decades (probably for centuries). It is used to cast doubt on our omnipotent Creator God, and also as a way to dismiss or discredit Him. Be ready always to give an answer to this — and do so kindly.
The question behind this question is whether there is something God is unable to do. The question suggests that either God can make a rock so big that He cannot move it, or if He can move any rock, then He cannot make a rock big enough. In both cases, it attributes “inability” to God being able to do something. How do we answer a question such as this?
Reconsidering the Question
Such questions as the “too big rock” present impossible conditions because they defy reality. They are illogical and the premise is inconsistent with reality. It’s like asking:
- What does the color blue smell like?
- Can God make a square circle or a one-ended stick?
- Can you draw a picture of two boys, each one shorter than the other?
Let’s restate the “too big rock” question with some truths added: “Is there any way that God— who can make all things — can make a rock so big that He — who can lift all things — cannot lift it?” Of course, the answer is NO! With the truth statements inserted, the question is easily refuted.
The “too big rock” question also reveals false ideas about God’s omnipotence. Omnipotence does not mean God has the power to do everything. God’s omnipotence is the power to do anything that is consistent with His character and His nature. For example:
- God is Truth, so He cannot lie.
- He is omniscient (all-knowing), so He cannot learn anything new.
- He is omnipresent (present everywhere), so He cannot be distant.
- And God is omnipotent (all-powerful), so He cannot be defeated by man or by any spirit being.
Does this mean the Lord is not all-powerful because there are things He cannot do? No! It simply means God is perfect and unchangeable. He can only act consistent with His character, His ability, and His power. He cannot do anything that contradicts His perfect nature or is logically impossible, such as creating an immovable rock, a square circle, or one-ended stick.
Consider this Scenario:
- God creates a rock, weighing X….and He can lift it.
- God creates a rock, weighing XX….and He can lift it.
- Then God creates a rock, weighing XXX….and He can lift it.
- And then God creates a rock, weighing XXXX….and He can lift it,
- …and so on, and so on.
You get the idea. However “big” God creates the rock…He can move it!
The Intent of the Question
The question “Can God make a rock so big He can’t move it?” is another attempt by skeptics and atheists to confuse Christians and create doubt about God’s abilities. But we are called to live by faith and that faith grows by the Word of God. In His Word, God tells us that we will never fully know His thoughts, comprehend His ways, or be able to explain all of His works. For God has said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8)
The things we see, feel, and touch are understood from a finite, human perspective. And yet, God has been gracious to us and He has revealed all that we need to know about Him — for our good and His glory.
Know God — Praise God
It is God’s desire that we continue to grow in our knowledge and understanding of Him (Phil. 1:9, 2 Pet 3:18). And we should always treat Him with the reverence and awe He deserves, remembering that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours and knowing, believing, and trusting that He is omnipotent, omniscient, logical, and coherent. Therefore, don’t allow skeptics to try to confuse you with misleading and deceptive questions.
Be willing always to share the truth that our God is the all-knowing and all-powerful God. There is nothing that limits His omnipotence or surpasses His perfect plan and purposes.
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