LISTEN: The Problem of Evil — Omnipotence (The Reasons to Believe with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture verse for today is John 6:47. It reads, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “I confess that when I have to argue about the truth of divine things it is a dreary task to me….while they are wanting me to argue about this point or that it seems to me like asking a man to prove that there is a sun in yonder sky. I bask in His beams, I swoon under His heat, I see by His light; and yet they ask me to prove His existence! Are the men mad? What do they want me to prove? That God hears prayer? I pray and receive answers every day. That God pardons sin? I was in my own esteem the blackest of sinners, and sunk in the depths of despair, yet I believed, and by that faith I leaped into a fulness of light and liberty at once. Why do they not try it themselves?”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Problem of Evil” part 12 from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli go on to discuss the topic of “Omnipotence”:

A third term in need of definition is the term omnipotent, for the problem of evil is the apparent incompatibility of evil with a God who is all-powerful as well as all-good. If “all things are possible with God,” why didn’t God create a world without sin?

The answer is that he did, according to Genesis 1 and 2. Evil’s source is not God’s power but man’s freedom. Then why didn’t God create a world without human freedom? Because that would have been a world without humans, a world without hate but also without love. Love too proceeds only from free will. Animals cannot love, they can only like, or be affectionate. But isn’t a world with free human beings but no sin possible? It is indeed. And God created just such a world. But such a world — a world in which no sin is freely possible, is necessarily a world in which sin is also freely possible. And if there are human beings at all, that is, creatures with free will, then it is up to their free choice whether that possibility of sin is freely actualized or not.

To put it another way, even omnipotence could not have created a world in which there was genuine human freedom and yet no possibility of sin, for our freedom includes the possibility of sin within its own meaning. “All things are possible with God” indeed; but a meaningless self-contradiction is a world in which there is real free choice — that is, the possibility of freely choosing good or evil — and at the same time no possibility of choosing evil. To ask why God didn’t create such a world is like asking why God didn’t create colorless color or round squares.

Not all Christian thinkers agree with this concept of omnipotence. Some argue that God’s power is limited by nothing, not even the laws of our logic. This view seems motivated by piety and the desire to credit God with every possible perfection. But a pious motive does not excuse a mental confusion. We believe this is a misunderstanding both of God and logic.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.