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Caboose
Jul 30th 2008, 05:44 PM
I've always been asked by my athiestic freinds the question, "Can God create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift?" I've been asked questions that ultimately suggest that God is contradictory like a circle-square. Can someone help me with an intelligent reply? Preferably one that they (atheists) will find suitable. Thank you!

tt1106
Jul 30th 2008, 05:55 PM
God cannot create something contrary to his nature.
To create a rock he cannot lift would be to create a limit for God. God cannot be limited by his creation. That is not contradictory it is explanatory.
God created humans, therefore we cannot create a limit for God. God is inifite.
Tell your atheist friends that God would not create a rock he could not lift, because that would violate the law of materialism.

AndrewBaptistFL
Jul 30th 2008, 05:58 PM
You have to keep in mind that God is not limited by physics.

Caboose
Jul 30th 2008, 05:58 PM
thanks very much!

HisLeast
Jul 30th 2008, 06:12 PM
The fullness of God is impossible for us to know or understand. Whether we like it or not, He can not be put in a test tube, observed, and cataloged. Having created what we call "existence / reality / creation" He must obviously exist outside of it parameters, so asking him to prove himself by contradicting those parameters is a little silly. It would be like asking a programmer to write a program that even he/she could not write.... and then asking them "well what makes you a coder then" when they can't.

Theophilus
Jul 30th 2008, 07:08 PM
Just because God can't do something doesn't disqualify Him from being God. God is eternal...therefore God cannot die. God is truth...therefore He cannot lie. God is just...therefore He cannot be unjust. God is holy...therefore He cannot be unholy. God is righteous...therefore He cannot be unrighteous. Does this list take away His divinity, His omnipotence, omnipresence, or omniscience? Absolutely not.

God is infinite...therefore, I assume to make a rock so big He couldn't lift it would require Him to make a rock greater than infinity. Does that even mean anything? As mentioned, it's akin to a square circle, or a triangle with four angles...those things are illogical, and without meaning, and so is an infinite rock.

God is still God, even if there are things He cannot do, either because of His nature, or because it would be illogical to do so.

Literalist-Luke
Jul 30th 2008, 08:27 PM
God also cannot sin.

Theophilus
Jul 30th 2008, 08:47 PM
God also cannot sin.
:blushsad:

Is my face red?

Boy, Theophilus, talk about leaving out a biggie! :eek:

crawfish
Jul 30th 2008, 09:55 PM
Just say, "God could make himself so weak that he couldn't lift the rock in my front yard".

'tis a silly question anyway. :)

apothanein kerdos
Jul 30th 2008, 10:06 PM
I've always been asked by my athiestic freinds the question, "Can God create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift?" I've been asked questions that ultimately suggest that God is contradictory like a circle-square. Can someone help me with an intelligent reply? Preferably one that they (atheists) will find suitable. Thank you!

No, He can't.

There was a topic that brought this issue up previously, so I'll just repost some of my responses on here:


God is not unlimited in respects to being able to act in an illogical manner (e.g. He cannot make a square circle) because illogical things are outside of His nature. God acts within His nature, which encompasses all things that exist and supersedes it - therefore God is all-powerful within that which is reasonable. This doesn't mean He is no longer all-powerful, but instead that He has deemed what is logical and chooses to act within what is logical.



The point of this exercise is to show that there are certain logical contradictions that God cannot perform, because "absolute power" does not mean universal possibilism. In fact, the view you are presenting contradicts the Christian faith - it teaches that there are no necessary truths and that truth does not stem from God (for something to be true, it must be non-contradictory; if God can contradict Himself, then He doesn't contain truth).

Instead, "absolute power" (or, better termed, omnipotent) is better defined as the following:

S is omnipotent at time t iff (iff = if and only if) S can at t actualize any state of affairs that is not described by counterfactuals about the free acts of others and that is broadly logically possible for someone to actualize, given the same hard past at t and the same true counterfactuals about free acts of others.

This is not to say that man has limited God, but merely that God has "limited" (though I wouldn't say it's limited - He has absolute power within the parameters He has listed) Himself.

The above simply means that God is limited by logic and time (in the aspect that He cannot change the past). Though God does not exist within time, because Jesus has placed Himself within time, He therefore cannot go back in time and change something.

He is likewise limited by logic - the reason for this isn't because logic is above Him, but instead because logic is a part of His nature and God will not act against His nature.

Thus, "absolute power" does not mean "universal possibilism" but instead "power within that which is logical and fits within time." Your friend's definition of "absolute" or "omniscient" is the wrong definition, which makes the argument wrong.

Does this help?

Caboose
Jul 30th 2008, 10:42 PM
No, He can't.

There was a topic that brought this issue up previously, so I'll just repost some of my responses on here:






The above simply means that God is limited by logic and time (in the aspect that He cannot change the past). Though God does not exist within time, because Jesus has placed Himself within time, He therefore cannot go back in time and change something.

He is likewise limited by logic - the reason for this isn't because logic is above Him, but instead because logic is a part of His nature and God will not act against His nature.

Thus, "absolute power" does not mean "universal possibilism" but instead "power within that which is logical and fits within time." Your friend's definition of "absolute" or "omniscient" is the wrong definition, which makes the argument wrong.

Does this help?

wow, thank you very much for this. So basically, God IS all-powerful but is NOT capable of "universal possibilism"?

Athanasius
Jul 31st 2008, 01:10 AM
Well basically, God cannot do that which is logically impossible.

Firefighter
Jul 31st 2008, 01:41 AM
God is limited in many ways by His very nature. The answer is "Yes." -IF- He says so. God cannot lie, so if he creates something and says He can't move it then the answer is an astounding "Yes!"

Firefighter
Jul 31st 2008, 01:42 AM
For the record, God is not limited by man's feeble attempts at logic...:idea:

apothanein kerdos
Jul 31st 2008, 02:34 AM
wow, thank you very much for this. So basically, God IS all-powerful but is NOT capable of "universal possibilism"?

Correct, because nothing that could ever be conceived would be able to meet the requirements for universal possibilism. We simply cannot think of an entity that could perform this action simply because any entity would be too contradictory to work - ergo, it would be false.

Thus, God's 'limits' (if we can even cal them that) actually lend further evidence to His existence as He is a Being that operates within logical bounds.

calidog
Jul 31st 2008, 03:12 AM
I've always been asked by my athiestic freinds the question, "Can God create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift?" I've been asked questions that ultimately suggest that God is contradictory like a circle-square. Can someone help me with an intelligent reply? Preferably one that they (atheists) will find suitable. Thank you!God is holy. This means He is apart from all else, so the question is unreasonable coming from that which is not holy.
Of all that we know of Him, He has never acted capriciously, and the question posed would suggest God would act capriciously. In short, I would suggest the question is without any merit whatsoever.

Athanasius
Jul 31st 2008, 03:45 AM
God is limited in many ways by His very nature. The answer is "Yes." -IF- He says so. God cannot lie, so if he creates something and says He can't move it then the answer is an astounding "Yes!"


For the record, God is not limited by man's feeble attempts at logic...:idea:

That's incoherent.
We're talking about Yahweh, not Allah ;)

BrckBrln
Jul 31st 2008, 03:46 AM
Yeah, but we're talking about Yahweh, not Allah ;)

Oh snap! He pulled out the Allah again. ;)

JoeChristian
Jul 31st 2008, 05:30 AM
I find Christians tend to kind of throw this question away in a rather left handed manner saying that "Oh, God is not constrained by our logic, we cannot possibly grasp his incomparable power." I think an answer like this gives the atheists the prize when they then bring up the problem of evil because the Christian holding this kind of absolute omnipotence is so limited in how to respond then.

The other answer here seems to be something along the lines of, logically noncontradictory and in the future. This is good but what about God's promises? It is logical that God can break a pencil. But if God promises to never break a pencil, then there is something God cannot do which falls into the aforementioned definition.

A man named Peter Geach recommends something called "Almightiness," where all power comes from God and no creature can rival God in power even unsuccessfully (this being because that creatures power is from Him).

The question becomes not whether or not we can answer this but if our answer can actually be called omnipotence. I heard someone earlier say that they thought the atheists did not understand the definition of omnipotence, they, however, would contend that it is we who do not understand evidenced by our diluted definitions. Their point here is that a concept of God is incoherent because one of his attributes is (in fact they would say multiple of his attributes) are themselves incoherent. They would probably compare it to saying something like, God is as logical as a square circle.

Firefighter
Jul 31st 2008, 01:27 PM
Tell me which part did you not understand, and I will type slower...:D

apothanein kerdos
Jul 31st 2008, 01:49 PM
I find Christians tend to kind of throw this question away in a rather left handed manner saying that "Oh, God is not constrained by our logic, we cannot possibly grasp his incomparable power." I think an answer like this gives the atheists the prize when they then bring up the problem of evil because the Christian holding this kind of absolute omnipotence is so limited in how to respond then.

The other answer here seems to be something along the lines of, logically noncontradictory and in the future. This is good but what about God's promises? It is logical that God can break a pencil. But if God promises to never break a pencil, then there is something God cannot do which falls into the aforementioned definition.

A man named Peter Geach recommends something called "Almightiness," where all power comes from God and no creature can rival God in power even unsuccessfully (this being because that creatures power is from Him).

The question becomes not whether or not we can answer this but if our answer can actually be called omnipotence. I heard someone earlier say that they thought the atheists did not understand the definition of omnipotence, they, however, would contend that it is we who do not understand evidenced by our diluted definitions. Their point here is that a concept of God is incoherent because one of his attributes is (in fact they would say multiple of his attributes) are themselves incoherent. They would probably compare it to saying something like, God is as logical as a square circle.

I'm not sure what you're trying to get at with your post, but...

Though they could counter saying, "No, you are wrong with your definition," they would be extremely unsuccessful in doing so. To be omnipotent merely means to have ultimate power and influence. There is nothing in the traditional definition of omnipotence that allows for universal possibilism. Such a definition would, in fact, be illogical.

As for what you're saying about God not promising to break a pencil, though it is logical for Him to break a pencil, the example doesn't stand.

If God promises not to do x, it then becomes illogical to assume that God will do x because He will then go against His promise y. Thus, God is allowed to do x and, in fact, can perform any number of x (so long as it doesn't contradict His nature) without any inhibition until x runs into y - once this condition has been met, x is no longer logical because God would have to break y in order to fulfill x, meaning God would violate His own nature (and would subsequently be contradictory).

BroRog
Jul 31st 2008, 02:47 PM
I've always been asked by my athiestic freinds the question, "Can God create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift?" I've been asked questions that ultimately suggest that God is contradictory like a circle-square. Can someone help me with an intelligent reply? Preferably one that they (atheists) will find suitable. Thank you!

I've heard the arguments which use the "square-circle" example, and I'm fairly certain that you have misunderstood them. In those arguments, the point being made has to do with the question itself being illogical, not God being irrational.

The question, "Can God create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift?", is a faulty question for the following reason. The question assumes two contradictory characteristics of God: 1. God works outside and above the laws of physics in the first half of the question, and 2. God is constrained by the laws of physics in the second half of the question.

If we posit that God can create a rock in the first place, we understand that he is not constrained by the laws of physics. Mankind, under the constraint of the laws of physics, can only build from rocks found on the ground. But God, not under constraint by the laws of physics, can make rocks by speaking them into existence.

If God were under the constraint of physics, he might find a rock too big to lift, but then he wouldn't be God. He would be a creature like us.

Therefore, the question itself is flawed and poorly constructed. Any answer we give will force us to adopt one or the other presupposition, which the question implies. Either God is unconstrained by the laws of physics, in which case he is able to create rocks, or he is constrained by the laws of physics (not being God) and might find a rock too big to lift.

And since the question is poorly constructed, the question itself is the square circle.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 31st 2008, 02:52 PM
I've heard the arguments which use the "square-circle" example, and I'm fairly certain that you have misunderstood them. In those arguments, the point being made has to do with the question itself being illogical, not God being irrational.

The question, "Can God create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift?", is a faulty question for the following reason. The question assumes two contradictory characteristics of God: 1. God works outside and above the laws of physics in the first half of the question, and 2. God is constrained by the laws of physics in the second half of the question.

If we posit that God can create a rock in the first place, we understand that he is not constrained by the laws of physics. Mankind, under the constraint of the laws of physics, can only build from rocks found on the ground. But God, not under constraint by the laws of physics, can make rocks by speaking them into existence.

If God were under the constraint of physics, he might find a rock too big to lift, but then he wouldn't be God. He would be a creature like us.

Therefore, the question itself is flawed and poorly constructed. Any answer we give will force us to adopt one or the other presupposition, which the question implies. Either God is unconstrained by the laws of physics, in which case he is able to create rocks, or he is constrained by the laws of physics (not being God) and might find a rock too big to lift.

And since the question is poorly constructed, the question itself is the square circle.

This is a good explanation of the question itself, but what do we do with more complex questions, such as, "Can God create a world in which He does not exist?" Or, "Can God make a snake eat itself?"

Though you can use a similar method to question the validity of the question, at some point we do need to come up with an answer and point out that their understanding of omnipotence is severely off. I think doing both - renovating their question and providing an accurate definition for omnipotence - is a good strategy.

Athanasius
Jul 31st 2008, 03:57 PM
Tell me which part did you not understand, and I will type slower...:D

I understand everything you've said. It's simply incoherent.

Firefighter
Jul 31st 2008, 07:10 PM
If you think it is incoherent then you did not understand what I said...

God is limited by His nature in many ways, however He is not limited by our feeble attempts at logic.

I typed that s-l-o-w-l-y. Is that better? What is not coherent about that?

Vhayes
Jul 31st 2008, 07:13 PM
God's very nature prevents Him from sinning.

God's very nature prevents Him from being unjust.

You get the point...

one_lost_coin
Jul 31st 2008, 08:58 PM
The answer is NO He cannot "do" that. Note that there is no limit however to the size of a rock that He can create, and there is no limit to the size of a rock that He can lift. Thus the question - answered in the negative - involves no limitation on God's prerogatives; if answered in the positive however does. The whole thing is a play on words. It's negation does not mean God is not omnipotent - it means that omnipotence is not properly tested as implied by this question.

If you are interested here is where I got the above from http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservapedia:Could_God_create_a_rock_so_heavy_tha t_he_himself_could_not_lift_it%3F

Boston college professor Peter Kreeft has a really good answer "we must first be sure we have a true concept of omnipotence. Omnipotence is limited by nothing outside itself, but God's power does not extend to contradicting His own essential nature. God is consistent. The logical laws of consistency (identity and noncontradiction) are reflections on the very nature of God. God cannot do meaningless and self contradictory things. One such intrinsically impossible, self-contradictory and meaningless thing would be to have a world of free creatures with no possibility of hell."

Caboose
Jul 31st 2008, 09:59 PM
I think doing both - renovating their question and providing an accurate definition for omnipotence - is a good strategy.

I agree. Thanks guys!

BroRog
Jul 31st 2008, 11:49 PM
This is a good explanation of the question itself, but what do we do with more complex questions, such as, "Can God create a world in which He does not exist?" Or, "Can God make a snake eat itself?"

Though you can use a similar method to question the validity of the question, at some point we do need to come up with an answer and point out that their understanding of omnipotence is severely off. I think doing both - renovating their question and providing an accurate definition for omnipotence - is a good strategy.

It is my understanding that misformed questions can't be answered. An example of a misformed question is, "How far to Portland?" The question can't be answered because in order to judge distance, one must know both the starting and ending location. No shame in refusing to dabble in nonsense.

Athanasius
Aug 1st 2008, 02:32 AM
If you think it is incoherent then you did not understand what I said...

God is limited by His nature in many ways, however He is not limited by our feeble attempts at logic.

I typed that s-l-o-w-l-y. Is that better? What is not coherent about that?

If God creates something He cannot move, He has violated His omnipotence. Even if God yes "YES, I CAN", He then becomes something other than God. In one sentence He was omnipotent enough to create the rock, and in that same sentence lacks the omnipotence to move it.

This is in no way our logic. I would also suggest you stop acting like a child. I'm not going to tolerate it.

Firefighter
Aug 1st 2008, 02:53 AM
God gave us free will, but then turn right around and limited Himself so that he will not violate it... How is that different?

God created a flood and then turned around and limited Himself to never destroying all flesh again in that manner... How is that different?

God created the cycle of day and night and then limited it by saying that it will not change until the end of the age... How is that different?

I am not being childish. You said my statement were incoherent as if they were mutually exclusive, they're not.

God by his very nature is limited in what He can do and cannot do.

He is omnipotent, so He cannot be over powered.

He is omniscient, so He cannot learn anything.

He is everlasting, so He cannot die or self terminate.

He is Holy, so He cannot sin.

He is love, so he cannot hate someone.

He is truth, so He cannot lie.

He is Just, so He cannot be unfair.

He is owner of all that is, so he cannot gain.

Should I continue, or is it starting to make sense?

Athanasius
Aug 1st 2008, 03:23 AM
God gave us free will, but then turn right around and limited Himself so that he will not violate it... How is that different?

God created a flood and then turned around and limited Himself to never destroying all flesh again in that manner... How is that different?

God created the cycle of day and night and then limited it by saying that it will not change until the end of the age... How is that different?

I am not being childish. You said my statement were incoherent as if they were mutually exclusive, they're not.

God by his very nature is limited in what He can do and cannot do.

He is omnipotent, so He cannot be over powered.

He is omniscient, so He cannot learn anything.

He is everlasting, so He cannot die or self terminate.

He is Holy, so He cannot sin.

He is love, so he cannot hate someone.

He is truth, so He cannot lie.

He is Just, so He cannot be unfair.

He is owner of all that is, so he cannot gain.

Should I continue, or is it starting to make sense?

You said, in reply to the question:

God is limited in many ways by His very nature. The answer is "Yes." -IF- He says so. God cannot lie, so if he creates something and says He can't move it then the answer is an astounding "Yes!"

You have now just said:

He is omnipotent, so He cannot be over powered.

But if God can create a rock He cannot lift, He is thus overpowered by the rock. Am I making myself clear yet? I mean, that's a nice list... But I fail to see how the majority of them relate to this thread.

apothanein kerdos
Aug 1st 2008, 03:32 AM
It is my understanding that misformed questions can't be answered. An example of a misformed question is, "How far to Portland?" The question can't be answered because in order to judge distance, one must know both the starting and ending location. No shame in refusing to dabble in nonsense.


Well you're not technically answering the question with either of our responses. You're simply pointing out that it's fallacious and working from a faulty definition of omnipotence.

Firefighter
Aug 1st 2008, 03:35 AM
If God creates a rock and then proclaims that He will never move it then He is then limited, not by the rock or a lack of power, but instead by His Word which already limits Him by virtue of His very nature. He is limited in the VERY SAME WAY that he cannot violate free will, the Noahic covenant, or the seasons. SO... Can God create a rock so big that he cannot pick it up? Sure, if He says so.

This is not rocket science.

Athanasius
Aug 1st 2008, 03:39 AM
If God creates a rock and then proclaims that He will never move it then He is then limited, not by the rock or a lack of power, but instead by His Word which already limits Him by virtue of His very nature. He is limited in the VERY SAME WAY that he cannot violate free will, the Noahic covenant, or the seasons. SO... Can God create a rock so big that he cannot pick it up? Sure, if He says so.

This is not rocket science.

I thought you were saying something similar to that.

I think, however, that you've confused God's unwillingness to move a rock and God's inability to move a rock. This 'age old' question is positing the latter, that God can't - sans his declaring that He can't or won't - lift the rock. The answer is still - NO - God can't create a rock He can't lift. It's entirely possible, however, for God to create a rock that He won't (refuses) to lift (your assertion). Now if that's what you're saying all alone then I apologize. What you've been saying, however, is still incorrect in that it fails to make this distinction.

Firefighter
Aug 1st 2008, 03:47 AM
That is kinda what I have been saying except for the fact that if he says so, he absolutely cannot lift it period, even if it was the size if a pea.

theothersock
Aug 1st 2008, 08:01 AM
I've always been asked by my athiestic freinds the question, "Can God create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift?" I've been asked questions that ultimately suggest that God is contradictory like a circle-square. Can someone help me with an intelligent reply? Preferably one that they (atheists) will find suitable. Thank you!

Logical paradoxes only reveal the limitations of logic, not the almighty.

tt1106
Aug 1st 2008, 10:31 AM
Logical paradoxes only reveal the limitations of logic, not the almighty.

Amen!
You speak the truth. We are always trying to either put God in or take God out of a box.

KingFisher
Aug 1st 2008, 12:25 PM
I've always been asked by my athiestic freinds the question, "Can God create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift?" I've been asked questions that ultimately suggest that God is contradictory like a circle-square. Can someone help me with an intelligent reply? Preferably one that they (atheists) will find suitable. Thank you!

This is one of those questions that atheist's ask to trip up a Christian.
It's also been around long enough that some ask it honestly in seeking
God.

I've only been asked this question once. It was a well meaning co-worker
who wanted to honestly understand it.

I told him I would like to ask him a question in return. He said ok so I set
the question up with this...

Let talk about a genius. Now this particular genius can pass any test.
There is no test that he can't pass. He's a genius.

Well my question is could this genius pass a test that would qualify him as
an idiot?

You don't have to answer that and this is why.

The question is constructed in a manner that it contradicts itself. This
means that any answer given would then therefore contradict the other
idea.

The problem isn't with the answer but with the question itself.

What you are seeing is language at it's logical limit. It's like saying the
impossible has been accomplished. Well if it was impossible then it couldn't
be accomplished.

Hope this helps,
KingFisher

apothanein kerdos
Aug 1st 2008, 04:51 PM
Logical paradoxes only reveal the limitations of logic, not the almighty.

Something is either A or it isn't A - it can't be both. Likewise, either God can create a rock He can't lift or He can't - it can't be both.

Firefighter
Aug 1st 2008, 04:59 PM
Yeah, that would be like Jesus being 100% Man and 100% God at the same time...

Like I said, He is not bound by our feeble attempts at logic.

Athanasius
Aug 1st 2008, 09:07 PM
Yeah, that would be like Jesus being 100% Man and 100% God at the same time...

Like I said, He is not bound by our feeble attempts at logic.

That's not a limitation on logic, it's a limitation of our understand of the 'hypostatic' union.

BroRog
Aug 1st 2008, 11:42 PM
Well you're not technically answering the question with either of our responses. You're simply pointing out that it's fallacious and working from a faulty definition of omnipotence.

That's right. If an answer is impossible to give, it's a good idea to explain why, rather than fuddle through with an unintelligible response.

apothanein kerdos
Aug 2nd 2008, 01:44 PM
Yeah, that would be like Jesus being 100% Man and 100% God at the same time...

Like I said, He is not bound by our feeble attempts at logic.

This assumes that the two are mutually exclusive. The fact is, they aren't, therefore the law of noncontradiction simply doesn't apply. Man and God are not opposites (as man is in the image of God and shares certain attributes with God). Now if we said Jesus is both God and not God, this would be different (since "God" and "not God" are polar opposites and necessarily mutually exclusive).

The simple fact is, if God is beyond logic He either doesn't exist or we can't relate to Him - you cannot have an illogical yet relatable God. It's an impossibility.

BroRog
Aug 2nd 2008, 03:09 PM
This assumes that the two are mutually exclusive. The fact is, they aren't, therefore the law of noncontradiction simply doesn't apply. Man and God are not opposites (as man is in the image of God and shares certain attributes with God). Now if we said Jesus is both God and not God, this would be different (since "God" and "not God" are polar opposites and necessarily mutually exclusive).

The simple fact is, if God is beyond logic He either doesn't exist or we can't relate to Him - you cannot have an illogical yet relatable God. It's an impossibility.

"Is God a man that he should lie?"

apothanein kerdos
Aug 2nd 2008, 03:14 PM
"Is God a man that he should lie?"

Right, which is why I said we share some attributes with God. This is why we can reason with God (as He calls Israel to do...which shows He is not beyond logic or that man can't grasp some of God's logic) and relate to God, yet why He is also beyond us.

Obviously He is perfect while we are sinners, yet He is logical and - being in His image - we too are logical (though not perfectly so).

BroRog
Aug 3rd 2008, 06:25 PM
Yeah, that would be like Jesus being 100% Man and 100% God at the same time...

Like I said, He is not bound by our feeble attempts at logic.


That's not a limitation on logic, it's a limitation of our understand of the 'hypostatic' union.


This assumes that the two are mutually exclusive. The fact is, they aren't, therefore the law of noncontradiction simply doesn't apply. Man and God are not opposites (as man is in the image of God and shares certain attributes with God). Now if we said Jesus is both God and not God, this would be different (since "God" and "not God" are polar opposites and necessarily mutually exclusive).

The simple fact is, if God is beyond logic He either doesn't exist or we can't relate to Him - you cannot have an illogical yet relatable God. It's an impossibility.

I agree that God created mankind to be rational creatures, able to understand logic and reason. But I think Urban Missionary gave expression to what many Christians think. Namely, that we are expected to affirm the illogical premis that Jesus is 100% man and 100% God, which is a logical contradiction. Xel'naga does not believe the hypostatic union is illogical, only that our understanding of it is limited. Do you also affirm that the hypostatic union is based in logic, or is it merely a synthesis of two theolocial axioms?

DoctorZOomZoOm
Aug 3rd 2008, 09:42 PM
Yes, the logic to the question is intentionally flawed.

Here's what I found

<snip>
"Some of the arguments against omnipotence are plain silly and stupid. Can God create a spherical triangle? Saying that omnipotence requires the ability to do logically impossible things is stupid. God cannot turn truth into a lie. If humans define a triangle as a two dimensional object formed by the intersection of three lines, it makes no sense to ask if God could make one that was spherical. When one says that God is all-powerful, one means that God is able to accomplish all that He desires to do. Even an all-powerful being cannot do what is impossible by definition. God can do many things that are humanly impossible. However, there are some things that even an all-powerful being cannot do.

Can God create a rock He cannot lift? Since an all-powerful being will always be able to accomplish whatever He sets out to do, it is impossible for an all-powerful being to fail. The above atheistic argument is arguing that since God is all-powerful He can do anything - even fail. This is like saying that since God is all-powerful He can be not all-powerful. Obviously, this is absurd. An all-powerful being cannot fail. Therefore, God can create a rock of tremendous size, but, since He is all-powerful, He will always be able to lift it. The ability to fail is not a part of omnipotence."

Could God think of a time when He was not omnipotent? If He can't think of it, He isn't omnipotent, but if He does think of it then there was a time when He wasn't omnipotent? This question is quite similar to the rock question above. The answer, of course, is that God can never think of a time when He wasn't omnipotent. God has always been omnipotent. His inability to contradict His divine character does not mean that He isn't omnipotent.

The atheist distorts the biblical definition of omnipotence in order to "prove" that God cannot exist. Contrary to their claims, omnipotence does not include the ability to do things that are, by definition, impossible. Neither does omnipotence include the ability to fail. By defining omnipotence as requiring one to have the ability to fail, atheists have defined omnipotence as being impossible. Of course, an omnipotent God would never fail.

These kinds of arguments are clearly illogical and even silly, although they are commonly used by inexperienced atheists. Most intelligent atheists have dropped these kinds of arguments long ago."
</snip>

I found it here: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/rock.html

apothanein kerdos
Aug 3rd 2008, 11:47 PM
I agree that God created mankind to be rational creatures, able to understand logic and reason. But I think Urban Missionary gave expression to what many Christians think. Namely, that we are expected to affirm the illogical premis that Jesus is 100% man and 100% God, which is a logical contradiction. Xel'naga does not believe the hypostatic union is illogical, only that our understanding of it is limited. Do you also affirm that the hypostatic union is based in logic, or is it merely a synthesis of two theolocial axioms?

It is extremely logical. Logic is part of God's nature. If we say that things such as mathematics came about on their own, then this means God is not ultimately in control of the universe. If, however, we say that God created mathematics, then we must admit that logic is part of His intellect.

Since this is the case, any seemingly contradictory or illogical aspect of God would actually be our own inability to understand logic in its fullest sense. Thus, the hypostatic union is extremely logical, but we simply do not understand why it is logical.

We can grasp certain parts of the logic (that is, we can understand that it doesn't contradict itself and doesn't violate the law of noncontradiction), but we can't explain it in its fullness.

BroRog
Aug 4th 2008, 08:07 AM
It is extremely logical. Logic is part of God's nature. If we say that things such as mathematics came about on their own, then this means God is not ultimately in control of the universe. If, however, we say that God created mathematics, then we must admit that logic is part of His intellect.

Since this is the case, any seemingly contradictory or illogical aspect of God would actually be our own inability to understand logic in its fullest sense. Thus, the hypostatic union is extremely logical, but we simply do not understand why it is logical.

We can grasp certain parts of the logic (that is, we can understand that it doesn't contradict itself and doesn't violate the law of noncontradiction), but we can't explain it in its fullness.

The talk is not about a seemingly contradictory aspect of God; the question is whether the nature of Jesus can both be essentially God and, at the same time, essentially human.

I don't buy the argument that a particular doctrine concerning the nature of God only seems contradictory to a weak mind. It is more likely the case, that a seemingly contradictory doctrine concerning the nature of God is actually contradictory and should be rejected as such. I see no merit in affirming an unprovable premise.

The idea that something, anything is 100% one thing, and 100% another thing simply violates the law of noncontradiction. 'A' can not be 'A' and 'non-A' at the same time and in the same way. To say that something can not be 100% one thing and 100% another thing is simply restating the law in different words.

A metal bar can't be 100% gold and 100% lead. A premise can't be 100% wrong and 100% right. A goal can not be 100% completed and 100% not completed. How anyone can say Jesus is 100% God and 100% man with a straight face is beyond me. And we have no Biblical basis for such a contradiction. The Bible says Jesus is God. It says nothing about sharing his essence, sharing his being or sharing his divine qualities. All of that was just a poor attempt at figuring things out, given a Greek mindset.

What we do know is that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God, the exact representation of his nature, the divine nature in bodily form. He is God incarnate. But none of this requires that Jesus be of the same essence as God, or have the same substance. Jesus stated the simple fact that, "if you have seen me, you have seen the father." This doesn't require that he be made of the same stuff or share his omniscience, his omnipotence, or his omnipresence. In fact, the New Testament makes a big deal out of the fact that he doesn't share these essential qualities with God. Jesus eats, gets tired, grows in wisdom, and dies, which are evidence that he is not omnipotent. He declares that the Father knows things that he does not know, indicating that Jesus is not omniscient. And finally, he declares that he is not able to be everywhere, since he is willing to come to the centurions house to heal his servant. If he was omnipresent, he would already be at the centurion's house, even while he was on the way there.

The doctrine of the hypostatic union is not logical or reasonable and can not be supported with Scripture. Rather it is a synthesis of theological ideas and an implication of those ideas, which were the result of the Greek mindset coming to terms with Biblical information. Rather than affirming the convoluted, contorted, mixed up picture of Jesus. We ought to be teaching the unadulterated Biblical view of him. Jesus' life is not another commentary on Plato.

apothanein kerdos
Aug 4th 2008, 03:31 PM
The talk is not about a seemingly contradictory aspect of God; the question is whether the nature of Jesus can both be essentially God and, at the same time, essentially human.

I don't buy the argument that a particular doctrine concerning the nature of God only seems contradictory to a weak mind. It is more likely the case, that a seemingly contradictory doctrine concerning the nature of God is actually contradictory and should be rejected as such. I see no merit in affirming an unprovable premise.

Buy it or not, it's the truth.


The idea that something, anything is 100% one thing, and 100% another thing simply violates the law of noncontradiction. 'A' can not be 'A' and 'non-A' at the same time and in the same way. To say that something can not be 100% one thing and 100% another thing is simply restating the law in different words.

That's a misrepresentation of the law of noncontradiction. A human is still fully human, yet fully animalistic. Though separate from animals (via intelligence), we are still animals (via creation).

You would first have to prove that being God and being human (yet containing the same essence with two separate natures, which is what the hypostatic union is about - I don't know where you're getting this "100%" junk) are mutually exclusive. The law of noncontradiction is about two mutually exclusive things existing together in the same space.


What we do know is that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God, the exact representation of his nature, the divine nature in bodily form. He is God incarnate. But none of this requires that Jesus be of the same essence as God, or have the same substance. Jesus stated the simple fact that, "if you have seen me, you have seen the father." This doesn't require that he be made of the same stuff or share his omniscience, his omnipotence, or his omnipresence. In fact, the New Testament makes a big deal out of the fact that he doesn't share these essential qualities with God. Jesus eats, gets tired, grows in wisdom, and dies, which are evidence that he is not omnipotent. He declares that the Father knows things that he does not know, indicating that Jesus is not omniscient. And finally, he declares that he is not able to be everywhere, since he is willing to come to the centurions house to heal his servant. If he was omnipresent, he would already be at the centurion's house, even while he was on the way there.

If Jesus doesn't have the same essence as God then He's not God. Are you claiming this? You're confusing your metaphysical terms, which is leading to a belief that is borderline heresy. The Hypostatic Union merely teaches that Christ had two natures, but that each nature had different properties. This simply means that though Jesus was fully Divine and fully human in His nature, the properties of each nature were diminished in some aspects.