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From those who do not understand Scriptures or the power of God

I was once debating the existence of God with an atheist. So he asked me this question: can God create a stone so big that He cannot lift it?

If I said, "Yes," then he would say that God cannot exist because if God can’t lift the stone He cannot be God.

If I said, "No," then he would say that God cannot exist because if God can’t create a stone He cannot be God.

I was stumped. Either way, God couldn’t exist, and the atheist was right.

So I asked God for wisdom to give this man an appropriate answer.

God gave me such wisdom, and so I told the atheist, "Since your question is a paradox, it is only natural that the answer also be a paradox. So my answer is, "Yes and no." I explained further, "If you are asking, ‘Can God ...’ then the answer is ‘Yes’, but if you are asking, ‘… God cannot …’ then the answer is ‘No’."

I didn’t have too much trouble with that atheist after that.

In Jesus’ time, the Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection and so they came up with scenarios to show that the resurrection was simply not viable – just like this atheist I just mentioned. Jesus answered their questions and then explained why they were mistaken.

Mk 12:24 Jesus said to them, "Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?"

The Sadducees were mistaken because they didn’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God. The atheist was mistaken for the same reason.

In order that we not be mistaken in doctrine we must understand the Scriptures. But that is not sufficient – we must also understand the power of God.

For example, when the Scriptures say that Joshua stopped the sun (Josh 10:12-14) and the whale swallowed Jonah (Jonah 1:17), if we really understand the power of God we would have no trouble believing it to be true.

What if Scripture said that Jonah swallowed the whale? Would you believe that too? Not underestimating the power of God, I would.

If you repeatedly point to a dog in the presence of an infant and say, "Spoon," the infant will soon believe that the dog is a spoon. When it comes to Scripture we need to be like an infant. Otherwise, we will be mistaken too.

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