Tony Campolo, do you really deny the omnipotence of God?
I’ll be the first to say I’m not a fan of Tony Campolo. I’ve walked out of one of his addresses. I’m hesitant to call myself an evangelical because I don’t want to be associated with “evangelicalism” such as his. I could say more, but you get the picture.
But I was floored when I first read he had denied the omnipotence of God. I didn’t believe it at first. So I carefully read his post-Katrina article in question. The money paragraph:
Perhaps we would do well to listen to the likes of Rabbi Harold Kushner, who contends that God is not really as powerful as we have claimed. Nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures does it say that God is omnipotent. Kushner points out that omnipotence is a Greek philosophical concept, but it is not in his Bible. Instead, the Hebrew Bible contends that God is mighty. That means that God is a greater force in the universe than all the other forces combined.
Of course, that destroys his own premise – God could have stopped Katrina if he chose. Not to mention that he doesn’t follow his own advice: “Personally, I contend that the best thing for us to do in the aftermath of Katrina is to remain silent, and not try to explain this tragedy.” I bet he is now wishing he had been a bit more silent.
I’ll be extremely charitable and say maybe, just maybe, his sin is sloppy writing. Maybe he doesn’t necessarily agree with Kushner that God is not omnipotent, but he is only presenting that view as something to consider.
Nevertheless, his comments are creating not a little concern among evangelicals. And I suspect a firestorm is just beginning. He certainly needs to clarify his comments and soon. And I have personally asked him to do so via e-mail.
His site (tonycampolo.com) is silent. He needs to speak up and clear the air. I’ll let you know when I hear anything. And please let me know if you hear of any clarification from him. (By the way, my e-mail is mark at godknows99 dot com.)
You will hear from me again on this.