It is never wise to begin a sentence with the words,
cannot _____. (fill in the blank)."
Clearly God never lies or contradicts Himself, but using
the above phrase
implies that God is limited and is NOT all powerful. When we
do others, especially Muslims, are inclined to misinterpret us and think
that we are either denying God's omnipotence or describing a God who is
somehow less than the Muslim view of God.
For example, if we choose to use the words that
"God is limited by the laws of logic" the Muslim will be inclined to
misinterpret us and think that we believe in the heretical opinion that
God is somehow restricted by something outside of Himself. And perhaps
even more importantly, the Muslim will mistakenly think his God is
greater than the Christian God.
Instead, we need to point out that language and
human thought have limitations. By analogy consider mathematics. If we
attempt to divide by zero we end up with all kinds of contradictions.
Therefore, we cannot divide by zero. It is undefined nonsense if we
When confronted with questions like, "Can God do
evil?" or "Can God make a stone too heavy for Him to lift?" or "Can God
lie?" we should not answer the question in the affirmative or the
negative. Neither a "Yes" nor is a "No" is really adequate. The
problem is not primarily with the answer, but with the question itself.
The question contains a self-contradiction. Like mathematics when we
try to divide by zero, the questions are meaningless nonsense.
We can see another limitation in language we might
try to ask, "What did God do before He created time?" The word before
is inherently dependant on time to have any meaning. Just because
people can put words together that doesn't mean their question is valid.
God's nature is to love. Yet, He is not forced to
love as if He has no free will in the matter. He freely chooses to
love. He freely choose to create a reality that is governed by the laws
of science and He is the author and creator of those laws. He freely
choose to create this reality that is governed by the laws of logic
which He also created.
If someone asks, "Can God choose to be illogical?"
then we again point out that the question is a meaningless
So, now the Muslim is faced to choose between two
different notions of God. The Muslim view believes God sometimes chooses to contradict Himself and
be irrational. And the second option, is the Christian one, a God who
freely chooses to be Good, and to be rational and logical, and while
never being illogical sometimes chooses to go beyond logic by the fact
that He also chooses to be infinitely Loving.
before, the Muslim now has a reason to convert to the Christian concept
of God because a Good, Consistent, and Ordered God is more beautiful and
greater than one who is not those things. It should be easy to see that
order is better than disorder. Compare the sounds that are made by
someone who is playing the violin for the first time with someone who is
It also might be helpful
to show the Muslim that God in the Old Testament is always loving and
consistent as that is not always obvious to the casual reader.
Scott Hahn's teachings are most helpful in this regard. We would
not want the Muslim thinking that he was obligated to defend the idea
that God is contradictory and unloving.