Can God do the impossible?




Response: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Is. 55: 8-9).

What is possible for God extends beyond the limits of human reason or human possibility.

Discussion: Quoting St. Thomas Aquinas, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “In God, power, essence, will, intellect, wisdom, and justice are all identical. Nothing therefore can be in God’s power which could not be in his just will or his wise intellect” (no. 271). Therefore, God cannot do anything that is unjust or foolish. God’s power is not arbitrary, but is rather loving and mysterious.

There are two kinds of questions often brought up about God’s omnipotence. The first are logical impossibilities, such as “Can God make something so big that He can’t lift it?” or “Can God make a square circle?” Such questions present absurdities that are then used as an argument against God’s omnipotence. The second question asked about God’s omnipotence is “Can God do the impossible?” God cannot be restricted to the limits of human reason. Through the prophet Isaiah, God says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Is. 55:8-9).

The Catechism states:

The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the “Mighty One of Jacob,” the “Lord of hosts,” the “strong and mighty” one. If God is almighty “in heaven and on earth,” it is because he made them. Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will. He is Lord of the Universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal (no. 269).

One must have faith to embrace the mystery of God’s almighty power because what is possible with God extends beyond the limits of human reason or human possibility.





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