?Say, teacher, can God make a rock so big that he can?t lift it?? Seminary Professor: ?Can God tell a lie?? Seminary student: With God all things are possible.?
(b) Omnipotence does not imply the exercise of all his power on the part of God. He has power over his power; in other words, his power is under the control of wise and holy will. God can do all he will, but he will not do all he can. Else his power is mere force acting necessarily, and God is the slave of his own omnipotence.
Schleiermacher held that nature not only is grounded in the divine causality, but fully expresses that causality; there is no causative power in God for anything that is not real and actual. This doctrine does not essentially differ from Spinoza?s natura naturans and natura naturata. See Philippi, Glaubenslehre, 2:62-66. But omnipotence is not instinctive; it is a power used according to God?s pleasure. God is by no means encompassed by the laws of nature, or shut up to a necessary evolution of his own being, as pantheism supposes. As Rothe has shown, God has a willpower over his nature power, and is not compelled to do all that he can do. He is able from the stones of the street to ?raise up children unto Abraham,? but he has not done it. In God are unopened treasures, an inexhaustible fountain of new beginnings, new creations, and new revelations. To suppose that in creation he has expended all the inner skirts of his ways: And how small a whisper do we hear of him I But the thunder of his power who can understand?? See Rogers, Superhuman Origin of the Bible, 10; Hodgson, Time and Space, 579, 580. <600506>1 Peter 5:6 ? ?Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God? ? his mighty hand of providence, salvation, blessing ? ?that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you? ?The mighty powers held under mighty control? ? this is the greatest exhibition of power. Unrestraint is not the highest freedom. Young men must learn that self-restraint is the true power. <201632>Proverbs 16:32 ? ?Ye that is slow to anger is better than the mighty: And he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.? Shakespeare, Coriolanus, 2:3 ? ?We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do.? When dynamite goes off, it all goes off; there is no reserve. God uses as much of his power as he pleases: the remainder of wrath in himself, as well as in others, he restrains.
(c) Omnipotence in God does not exclude, but implies, the power of self- limitation. Since all such self-limitation is free, proceeding from neither external nor internal compulsion, it is the act and manifestation of God?s
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