Richard Coords, “Omnipotence”

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Being omnipotent means being all-powerful. But what does it mean for God to be all-powerful, and more specifically, what does it mean for God to govern all-powerfully? Many imagine how they might govern the universe.

God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise and in all ways completely perfect, justly governing impartially in complete self-control. How better to see this lived-out, except in the life of Jesus Christ on earth? But, how can God be perfect in all His ways if there resulted from His created beings both the fall of man in the Garden of Eden and war in Heaven among His angels? Does God not possess omniscience? Surely He does. God is all-knowing, even including all potential possibilities for each scenario. God cannot help but know this as God. He instantly foresees beginning to end. Foreseeing what would be found in each individual, God assigned a time and place for each person.

To answer the question about the Fall, it must first be known that God intended to sort men and angels all along, and that which is found is not necessarily placed. God is the author of all things, but not the author of all effects. In other words, God is responsible for the fact of freedom, but each is responsible for their own acts of freedom. God created beings to form their own choices, which again are their choices—not God’s—and hence each is responsible for their own choices. God’s eternal intentions of sorting His created beings thereby necessitated granting a latitude of reason, meaning granting autonomous reasoning together with a creative intelligence. Apart from this, how could the sorting be done?

Redemption is also a function of the sorting. God tests but He does not tempt. Just as God forms light and creates darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity (Isaiah 45:7), redemption is its purpose so that restoration may occur. God only lets things go so far until He must restore order. God’s choice is that each will choose Him, but ultimately each must make their own choice in the foreordained sorting process.

To govern the universe in such a manner, without strings attached, would indeed require a God who is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise and in all ways completely perfect, judiciously governing with impartial wisdom, self-restrained under perfect self-control.

Life begets life and stones beget stones. Calvinism’s purported decree of closed determinism is completely static and unchanging like something that of a stone, while open self-determinism is dynamic and changing like something that of life. Closed determinism is inconsistent with a God who is Life, and if the divine sorting were of things that were placed and not merely found, then what would that say of the sorting?

“For God to be truly all-powerful and all-knowing is to be able to govern by steering all possibilities, every conceivable scenario, towards a desired end, no matter what meddling tries to thwart a plan. To be this perfectly powerful allows the created to act as they will, and still maintain governance towards a perfecting goal.”245


245 B. W. Melvin, A Land Unknown: Hell’s Dominion (Xulon Press, 2005), 118.

[This post has been excerpted with permission from Richard Coords, Calvinism Answered Verse by Verse and Subject by Subject, © 2020.]