by Hank Hanegraaff
In Proverbs 26 Solomon tells us that we are not to answer a fool according to his folly, or we’ll make fools of ourselves. On the other hand, Solomon continues, answer a fool according to his folly, or the fool will think he is wise in his own eyes (vv.4–5)—he’ll think he has uncovered some wisdom. We often find this sort of thing with questions that are raised in order to denigrate the notion of an eternal Being, an Intelligent Designer, or an uncaused first Cause.
One of those questions is “Can God create a rock so heavy that he can’t move it?” That question is a classic straw man that has most Christians looking like the proverbial deer in the headlights. At best, the question challenges God’s omnipotence; at worst, it undermines His existence.
At the very outset, however, we should recognize a problem with the premise of the question. While it is true that God can do anything that is consistent with His nature, it’s absurd to suggest that He can do just anything. God can’t lie (Hebrews 6:18). God can’t be tempted (James 1:13). God can’t cease to exist (Psalm 102:25–27).
Furthermore, just as it is impossible to make a one-sided triangle, so it is impossible to make rocks too heavy to be moved. What an all powerful God can create, He can obviously move. Put another way, not even an omnipotent God can do the logically impossible.
A wide variety of similar questions are raised to undermine the Christian view of God. Therefore, it’s crucial that we learn to question the question, rather than simply assume that a question is valid.