Summary: If God has really created beings who can choose, then there is a multiplicity of power sources in the world. He can no longer then be the only cause for all that is. There are now other power sources who can cause things to be that He does not will to be.
It is a great paradox, but the fact is, the real test of
omnipotence is what it can do when it limits itself, and gives up
absolute and total control. Absolute and total control means the
power is not shared with other being. All is just as you will, and
there can be no freedom of choice made by any other will. That is
one concept of omnipotence, and it is a powerful picture, for there
is no power other than the one with this kind of omnipotence.
This would seem, on the surface of things, to be the ultimate in
power. To have all power so completely that there is no other
source of power in existence. It would seem that you could go no
higher, or could there be a higher way?
Yes there could be! Just do as God does in the Bible. He
creates other beings who also have power. Some of them have
very great power, like the angels and archangels. Satan had
enough power to challenge his creator, and even take a vast host
of other beings with him in rebellion. Then God created man
with the power of free will, and it is also capable of choices that
are not His will. This is all so risky, for it puts God's omnipotence
to the test. The God who takes no such risk, but keeps all in His
own control, is no where near as powerful as the God of the Bible,
who can take these kinds of risks, and still be able to have
ultimate control, and victory in achieving His purpose.
The God of the Bible has the ability to give up control, and
still win and achieve His goal. God takes on enormous limitations
to His power. He cannot let men be free to choose, and at the
same time force them to choose only good. He could have, had He
made them mere machines, but He made them persons in His own
image, and so they are free. This puts a limit on His power. God
says that they are not to steal, but gives them the power to steal.
They will have to pay for their disobedience, but they are free to
choose. Cannot God stop people from stealing? Yes He can, but
He will not, for His purpose is not to force people into obedience,
but to persuade them to choose obedience.
If God has really created beings who can choose, then there is
a multiplicity of power sources in the world. He can no longer
then be the only cause for all that is. There are now other power
sources who can cause things to be that He does not will to be.
Since He chose this sharing of power, He can also freely change it
if He chooses. His limiting of His own power does not in any
change His sovereignty, He is still the source of all power, and He
can make all other sources of power cease to be. But by going
through with the plan to the end, God will demonstrate a far
greater omnipotence than a God who fears to take a chance, and
holds onto all power for Himself. That would be taking the easy
way out, but the God of the Bible is a risk taker.
If love, justice, holiness, truth, and beauty are the end result
for all eternity after the risk of evil, hate, war, injustice, and all
the ugliness of sin, then God will have demonstrated an omnipotence
that is not a mere victory of power, but of love and
wisdom, and this is the kind of omnipotence that is worthy of our
love, worship, and praise.
So now we have a logical answer to all of the why questions.
Why doesn't God do something to stop or prevent all the evil? All
such questions are based on the omnipotent God concept which
we have shown is a philosophical illusion, and is not the God of
biblical revelation. All such questions imply that God can do
whatever He wants. This leads to all sorts of false conclusions.
God can do whatever He wants, but He does not want to take full
control of all power and end His experiment of giving freedom to
other powers. Those who condemn God for doing so would not
want the alternative of all humans being mere robots
programmed to do everything as God wills. We do not like the
evil that freedom produces, but we also would not want to give up
our freedom, and so we live in a world where much is evil, and
not what God wills.
The biblical concept of omnipotence reveals a God who not
only cares about the suffering that evil produces, He enters into