Are all things really possible to God?

Question: Are all things really possible to God? More specifically, if God had wanted to create an external world separate from Himself, could He have done so?

Answer: My short answer: I think that all things are possible to God except for things that are logically impossible. Theologians have argued for years that even an omnipotent God can't do things that are logically impossible—for instance, He can't create a square circle. This principle provides an answer to that famous conundrum: "Can God create a stone so heavy that even He can't lift it?" The answer is no, because it's logically impossible for a being with infinite power to be unable to lift something. However, practically speaking, this isn't a real limitation on God's power; on the contrary, He's unable to create a stone He cannot lift precisely because He has all power. It's part of His nature (in this view of His nature) to be able to lift anything. This apparent limitation on His power is thus actually an expression of His power.

The Course basically applies this same principle to the question of whether God could create the world. Its claim is that it is logically impossible for God to create something that is diametrically opposed to His nature. Therefore, if God is limitless, all-loving, pure spirit, eternal, etc., then by definition He cannot create something limited, attacking, bodily, time-bound, etc. The world, then, is essentially a square circle, a logical impossibility: "It is the world you see that is impossible" (M-11.4:5).

So, strictly speaking, one could say that all things are possible to God except one: doing the logically impossible, doing things contrary to His all-encompassing nature. This means there are actually all sorts of things He can't do, and the Course mentions a number of them: for instance, because He is Love, He can't hate. However, I think that, like the idea of Him not being able to create a stone He cannot lift, this isn't a real limitation on His power, but an expression of it. Therefore, for all practical purposes, "All things are possible to God" (W-pI.71.7:3).

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