Can God Make A Rock So Big He Himself Can't Move It?

This week’s quick challenge answer deals with the objection “Can God make a rock so big He Himself can’t move it?” Admittedly, this is not one of the more challenging questions we have dealt with here at Tent Making Christianity.  This objection often comes up in Sunday school classes or “Stump the Pastor” type situations.

This question is meant to show that God has limits on his power.  It doesn’t do that however.  God is capable of making any type of rock he wants. He is capable of lifting any rock He creates.  

Logical Problems

The way the question is phrased is problematic.  It’s like the old “Have you stopped beating your wife” question.  No matter what answer you give, it puts you in a bad light. The same holds true for this particular question.  A simple yes or no isn’t adequate to convey the answer.  

There are actually many things God CAN’T do.  God cannot sin.  He cannot act in a way contrary to his own nature. God can’t do the logically impossible. God isn’t capable of making a married bachelor for instance.  Such things are logically impossible.  It’s the same with the question of God making a rock so big He Himself can’t move it.  

Is It A Power Problem?

The fact that God is incapable of making a rock so big He Himself can’t move it is not a limitation of God’s power.  I used to use an example with my youth group.  I would give them a piece of string with both ends tied together to make a circle. Then I would then have them manipulate the string into different shapes.  After having them make circles, squares, triangles and octagons, I would ask them to make a square circle.  

They were stumped.  They would always try to make some glob that was a combination of a circle and a square.  I would protest that they hadn’t made a square circle.  I would chide them and ask them why they couldn’t manipulate the string into a square circle like they had all the other shapes.  They would protest “There’s no such thing as a square circle!”.  

What Is And Is Not Possible

That, of course, was my point.  The fact that they couldn’t make a square circle had nothing to do with their power. It was a logical impossibility.  And no one, not even God, can do the logically impossible. 

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