The thing about debates is, someone has to win. They’re not much fun if there isn’t a clear winner. An audience wants to be convinced.
So whenever I read debates centered on this question, I’m left disappointed.
It’s obvious, right? Answer the question either way, and you’ve created a theological quandary. Say “no, He can’t,” you’ve described a God with limits. Say, “yes, He can,” and you still have a God with limits.
Christian apologists attempt to answer the question by ducking it. They say the question is illegitimate because it presupposes God has deficiencies, when he has none. God cannot lie, He cannot cheat, He cannot steal. He cannot break a promise. Therefore, since God is extra-dimensional and omnipotent, any rock He makes, He can also move.
This is not a satisfactory answer for the philosopher or the atheist who may secretly be hoping for a reason to believe. God’s goodness amazes me, because He manages to reveal Himself even through our philosophical attacks on His existence.
Can God make himself weak? Yes! He already did.
The Gospel of John teaches that Jesus Christ is the Creator of every rock, big or small.
He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:2-3
But, because He loves us, He laid aside that power for our sake and became weak like the rest of us, to fulfill the requirements of His own law.
Christ was truly God. But he did not try to remain equal with God. Instead he gave up everything and became a slave, when he became like one of us. Christ was humble. He obeyed God and even died on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8
The one who created the universe set aside strength and creative power in order to be weak. He made himself unable to move rocks, for our sake. Rather than deny the legitimacy of the question, we should marvel at how accurately it focuses in on Jesus.
In the end, we find that it is God who puts such questions in men’s hearts. He loves us. He pursues us even in our philosophical rhetoric. And He’s already provided the answer.