HOT TOPIC: God's Nature vs His Character

michael_legna's picture

In another thread we veered off ending up discussing the Nature of God esepcially His omniscience and omnipotence.

I hold that God is ALL powerful and ALL knowing and He just chooses not to do somethings and to not know certain things when it suits His plans.

The other side of the argument is that there are certain things God cannot do, like sin. That it is not just Him choosing to not sin but that He is completely incapable of sin, that it is an actual limit to His omnipotence and omniscience.

This thread is meant to give all an opportunity to present arguments for either side.

I will begin by posting a few responses to the last few posts of one other poster in the previous thread.

michael_legna's picture

I think your summary is fundamentally accurate

I think your summary is accurate for my side, and your summary reflects my understanding of Jeff's (though of course I could be wrong on that).

I would only add (just to make the summary's more even) that Scripture says God is almighty, that all things are possible to Him (just as you point out that Scripture says God cannot lie.

Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

I interpret Titus in light of other verses such as:

Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

...which makes a less firm statement regarding lying and is instructional because it includes, as an equal limitation, the fact that God is resistant to repenting. This resistance is also mentioned in many other verses of Scripture, some which speak to Him not repenting at all, but there are also verses which show He is willing to repent/rethink a plan such as Jer 18:8.

Jer 18:8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

This leads me to resolving the dynamic between being truly all powerful and not lying or sinning in a different way than Jeff does. I interpret cannot lie to mean His character prevents Him from lying, just like it prevents Him from ever destroying the earth by flood ever again. Though in both cases His might does not preclude Him from being able to. Jeff interprets it much more strictly but I will let him word his response.