|Preach to the choir
|Crux of the matter
|Speak of the devil
|An act of faith
“”And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
|—Judges 1:19, makes sense in non-KJV.
Omnipotence is the quality of being "all powerful".
The concept of omnipotence plays a strong role in various philosophical and logical arguments both for and against the existence of god, including the ontological argument, the omnipotence paradox, and the problem of evil. The interplay of omnipotence and omniscience is also worth of examination - can an all-powerful being ask a question an all-knowing being does not know the answer to?
Omnipotence and religion
Certainly, if one limits the question of God's omnipotence to the Bible, it can be demonstrated that the big guy is anything but omnipotent. Especially if one's definition of omnipotent is the actual ability to do everything, with absolutely no exceptions whatsoever. Consider Hebrews 6:18 or Genesis 11. If God can truly do everything, then the Tower of Babel wouldn't have caused him to take drastic measures to prevent it. Apparently, God genuinely felt threatened by these puny little humans, and went so far as to confuse their languages.
And let's not forget Genesis 32:22-30, where God actually fought with a man. Many theologians have tried to cover this one up and say it was an angel that Jacob fought, yet the text quotes Jacob as having said he saw God face to face. Only the Targum of Onkelos offers "because I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face", certainly not the Masoretic text or the Dead Sea scrolls.
Judges 1:19 makes the situation worse for solid defenders of God's omnipotence, since even if it was Judah who couldn't drive out the inhabitants of the valley, this would mean that God wasn't truly with them, or that he refused to aid Judah in fulfilling his own motives, for some unknown, mysterious reason. God works in mysterious ways after all, so randomly choosing to back out on his own war campaign mustn't be any different. For more information, see.
There's also the embarrassingly hopeless problem of sin. If God can commit any of the actions labeled as sin in the Bible, then we have an interesting situation. If God can, but supposedly won't because he is good, blind faith and blind trust are now required of the Christian. S/he must always trust in God to not commit sin, even when evidence is presented to show that the god if the bible has indeed committed several sins. Just look at Exodus 32:14 and 1 Kings 22:22. In the first verse we read that Yahweh repented of the evil he planned towards Israel, and in the last one Yahweh is sending off a lying spirit to deceive. If jolly ol' Jehovah sent a lying to King Ahab, who's to say he isn't sending one to you? And if God can't commit sin, then he isn't omnipotent by any definition of the word.
- God (if you believe She exists)
- Chuck Norris
- Deepak Chopra
- Santa Claus
- Rush Limbaugh (if you ask Him)
- The Flying Spaghetti Monster
- Aschlafly (but only on Conservapedia)
- Kim Jong-Un
Lesser higher beings lacking omnipotence
Even Homer sometimes nods - not all pantheons require all-powerful bosses. More human-like divine figures whom the average amateur theologian might better relate to include:
- Zeus (what would Hera say?)
- the Buddha (once upon a time a King's son went out into the wide world on a quest)
Want to read this in another language?
- Biblegateway - Judges 1:19, King James Version
- Lang, Andrew (2013). The Works of Andrew Lang. 2. 3. Delphi Classics. ISBN 9781908909510. Retrieved 2017-07-04. "But there is, as usual in myth, no consistent view, and Zeus cannot be called omnipotent."