Omnipotence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The doctrine that God is omnipotent takes its rise from Scriptural texts which concern two linked topics. One is how much power God has to put behind actions: enough that nothing is too hard, enough to do whatever he pleases. The other is how much God can do: 'all things'. The link is obvious: we measure strength by what tasks it is adequate to perform, and God is so strong he can do all things. The Christian philosophical theologian who seeks to explicate omnipotence seeks a convincing account of the reality beneath the 'phenomena' of Scripture. This article looks briefly at some historic accounts of omnipotence. It emerges that the early history of the concept emphasized strength more than range of action, with range coming to prominence in Aquinas's day. Three recent attempts to define omnipotence are then considered. All are found wanting, but the author draws morals that help him hazard his own definition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577321
ISBN (Print)9780199596539
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2009

Fingerprint

Deity
Omnipotence
Thomas Aquinas
Historic
Early History
Doctrine
Hazard
Scripture
Theologians
Rise

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Keywords

  • Divine power
  • God
  • Omnipotent
  • Philosophical theology
  • Range of action
  • Scripture
  • Strength

Cite this

Leftow, B. (2009). Omnipotence. In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199596539.013.0009
Leftow, Brian. / Omnipotence. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press, 2009.
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Leftow, B 2009, Omnipotence. in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199596539.013.0009

Omnipotence. / Leftow, Brian.

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Leftow B. Omnipotence. In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. 2009 https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199596539.013.0009