Christianity vs. the Bible: Is God Infinite? Can he Perform the Impossible?
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim
The following is a portion of an ongoing debate…
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: “God said through His prophet Isaiah (40:25), “there is nothing to which you can equate Me.”
Thus, God cannot become man, for then He will be equatable to man. Reason too dismisses such a notion that the all powerful God could render Himself subjugated to natural law by becoming flesh.
Reader: In the last statement above, you combined the Word of God, “there is nothing to which you can equate Me” with your personal opinion, “Thus, God cannot become man, for then He will be equatable to man.” You are entitled to your opinion, but are you infallible? Is it theoretically possible that one of your personal opinions is incomplete or in error?
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: All men err, even the greatest man ever, namely Moses. How much more so myself? But you must demonstrate my error, not simply suggest I have erred, without qualification. And without qualification, the question then rests on you: why do you suggest I err without cause? Is it possible you have erred here, or harbor biases that cause you to reject an idea, without cause?
Furthermore, is it not more reasonable to be consistent when defining “there is nothing to which you can equate Me,” to mean as I suggested, that God is not equal to anything, including man? My explanation does not veer from the understanding of “equatable,” so why do you contest it?
Reader: If God is infinite, how can there be anything “completely outside of God”? Does it not follow that all time and space must maintain their existence in God, in some way?
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: This suggestion, that God fills all space, is another expression of you error of assuming God equates to something, namely time and space, as you openly commit yourself. You violate God’s words that He is not equatable to anything.
This error stems from man’s inability to accept an existence outside of his senses. You force God into your sensual world, when in fact, He created the physical universe, and by definition, He must exist outside of time and space. Thus, all time and space must NOT maintain their existence in God, in any way.
Reader: Is your statement of your opinion, “Thus, God cannot become man, for then He will be equatable to man” based on the personal conclusion/assumption that if God became man he would have to “give up” His infinite Divinity? Yes or no, please.
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: Suggesting God can become man is like suggesting a circle can simultaneously be a square. As God is “Creator”, He cannot partake of “creation”, i.e., human qualities. Either an existence is the Creator, or creation: both is impossible. Reason does not tolerate contradictions. Again, this violates God words to Isaiah above.
Reader: Do you believe that God is infinitely powerful enough to become man and retain His entire infinite divinity? Yes or no, please.
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: This would then violate His very words to Isaiah, since He could be come this conceivable God/man creature, as you described. He would in fact be equatable to something you conceived, but He said He is not equatable to anything. So you contradict yourself.
In his great work, The Guide for the Perplexed, Maimonides explains that God can not do the impossible. You propose the impossible.
One must abandon their childhood view of God as a superman, where “anything is possible.” Just as it is impossible for God to be both physical and non-physical, or to give one person two birthdays, all other impossibilities are not ascribed to God. In fact, by not performing the impossible, we find a perfection in God, as He does not contradict reality, maintaining truths as eternally true, which is the definition of all “truths.”