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An omnipotent God?


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#1 Angelos

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 08:54 PM

Is there any evidence from the Gospels that God is omnipotent? or this is just a dogma created much later?

I think that if anything, Jesus keeps saying how much disappointed He has been for being unable to save Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I longed to bring you like a hen....) or how the Pharisees rejected/frustrated God's plans for them (Luke 7:30). I haven't read anything (unless I missed it) that Jesus said that implies omnipotence

#2 Ben Johnson

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:13 PM

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26.

#3 Angelos

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:17 PM

Ben, I always took this quote to mean with the help of God (and our efforts) all things are possible. It's after Peter's saying that implies that they try to do God's will, but it's too difficult. So in this case, the co-operation of humans is a given. I agree with that, I don't read it though as implying that God can save us without our cooperation. Does that make sense?

#4 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:18 PM

Omnipotent literally means all-powerful in Revelation 19:6 it says God is all-ruling, Also Matthew 28:18 'And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, all power hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth."

To me God is all-powerful omnipotent but he does not work against our will even though he can.

In the Risen Christ.
Daniel,

#5 Michael 'Anthony' Cornett

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:54 PM

God is omnipotent, but respects our freewill. A true loving relationship respects the freedom to choose of those taking part in the relationship.

#6 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 03:21 AM

Just because you CAN do something, it does not mean you MUST do something. God can choose NOT to do something. Not doing something by choice is NOT the same as not being able to do something.

The omnipotent God CHOOSES to NOT act in a unilateral manner, even though He certainly can do so.

#7 Michael 'Anthony' Cornett

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 03:36 PM

Perhaps this is a case of not differentiating between the essence and energy of God? God is all powerful, all knowing, loving, etc. Those are descriptors of His energies, but He is not bound by His energies since He acts on them freely. We don't know the essence of God, but we know of Him through His energies.

#8 Paul DeBaufer

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:39 AM

I am under the impression that the omni statements arise out of reading the Bible and early Christian tradition through the filter of neoplatonism. Or the forcing of Christianity into the neoplatonic framework.

#9 Michael 'Anthony' Cornett

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:19 AM

Paul, perhaps so. I am reading "The Ancestral Sin" by Fr John Romanides, and he examines this quite thoroughly.

#10 Owen Jones

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 02:39 PM

Just looking briefly at a blog that included quotes from this work by Romanides and found this:

On the making and fall of man, St. Theophilus of Antioch writes, ‘If God had made him immortal from the beginning, He would have made him God. On the other hand, if He had made him mortal, God would seem to be the cause of his death. Rather, He made him neither immortal nor mortal, as we said above, but capable of being either one in order that, should he incline toward things of immortality and keep the commandments of God, he would be rewarded by Him with immortality and become god. If however he should turn to things of death by disobeying God, he would be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free and sovereign.’

This could have been almost a direct quote from Plato's Symposium.

#11 Aidan Kimel

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:19 PM

This is an easy question to answer: think on what it means for God to have created the universe from "out of nothing" (ex nihilo). Divine omnipotence flows logically and inevitably from the divine act of creation.

#12 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 06:35 PM

So, then, is the conclusion we are to take that Orthodox Christians should reject the idea that God is omnipotent (pantokrator)? Just asking.

#13 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 10:16 PM

Not sure where THAT is coming from. The icon of Christ Panocrator is a main feature of many, if not most, Orthodox Churches. Who is saying otherwise? This bear of admittedly little brain is not seeing it.

Herman the not very potent Pooh

#14 Angelos

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:03 PM

"For God made man free and sovereign.’"

Dear Owen,

Doesn't this quote contradict God's omni-potence? If man is sovereign....

#15 Christina M.

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:44 PM

Doesn't this quote contradict God's omni-potence? If man is sovereign....

Man is only sovereign because God has willed it that way. If He chose to take away our freedom, it would be gone in an instant.

#16 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 09:07 PM

If the Master chooses to take the form of a servant, does that mean that He is no longer the Master? It is not a contradiction, it is a paradox. Learn the difference.

Herman the paradoxical Pooh

#17 Anna Stickles

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 11:37 AM

3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. (Gen 39)

Who is sovereign here, Potiphar or Joseph?




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