Obviously, I'm not going to be able to give you the definitive answer
on the question you pose, or at least not one that's going to satisfy
everyone who reads it. The question has been discussed and debated for
centuries, and it's still being discussed and debated. The question,
or at least one variation of it, is sometimes known as the problem of
evil, and it has been the subject of countless essays, books,
dissertations and, now, a Google Answer.
What I'll do here is provide a list of arguments and resources on
various sides, then I'll present you with my own personal view. Of
course, since you have free will, you're free to accept or reject it.
The following sources are in no particular order (basically the order
in which I found them). I'll list the page title followed by a very
brief summary of the viewpoint followed by the URL. I'm focusing most
on Christian perspectives, because that's what you seem to be most
interested in. There also are some excellent secular sources at The
Determinism and Freedom Philosophy Website at
A general look at the subject, mentioning various philosophers and theologians.
Finding God in the Garden
A rabbi concludes that God has voluntarily limited God's power so that
people could have free will.
The Free Will Defense
How we define omnipotence is crucial in discussing free will.
Free Will and Omnipotence Don't Mix. Get IT!
This article focuses on the idea that if God knows the future then the
future is predetermined.
The Creator's Omnipotence And Our Free Will Are Compatible
This is a bulletin-board discussion. The first post suggests that God
knows all possible outcomes of the choices we might make because he is
On the Free Will Defense against Argument from Evil
The typical Christian response to the problem of evil doesn't hold water.
A New Free Will Defense
It is not inconsistent to say that an omnipotent, omnibenevolent God
would create a world where evil exists. This article includes quite a
few arguments on both sides and is well footnoted.
A good overview of various perspectives on the omnipotence of God.
The Free Will Defense for the Problem of Evil
Some more viewpoints.
Why I Believe in Free Will
It's irrelevant that the concept of free will challenges the idea of
Free Will ... or Is It
A mostly civil discussion on the issue.
Sermon of Charles Finney
"God is physically omnipotent, and yet His moral influences exerted by
the Spirit may be resisted. You will readily see that if the Spirit
moved men by physical omnipotence, no mortal could possibly resist His
Moral Agency and Accountability
A look at Calvinistic theology as it relates to the concept of free will.
On Free Moral Agency
Arguments that humankind doesn't have moral agency.
Joseph Smith and the Problem of Evil
Even God can't bring about human joy without there being good and
evil; the elimination of evil would take away a greater positive good.
Man's Free Will
God has limited Himself so that humankind could have moral agency.
Finitism and the Problem of Evil
An examination of the two primary responses to the problem of evil.
Essay on Theodicy: The Scandal of Evil?
A look at where evil comes from.
Is the Christian God Logical?
An omnipotent, omnibenevolent God can't logically exist.
Healing, Prayer and Medicine -- a Test Case
God acts through persuasion, not compulsion.
Let Us Pray
Prayer is illogical.
And now for my personal view:
I suppose the answer to the question you raise depends on what you
mean by "omnipotence." Most Christian theologians would accept the
premise that God is omnipotent, but they wouldn't say that includes
the ability to make 2+2=5 or to make a rock so big He couldn't move
it. Some things can't be done, even if you're God.
In my view, yes, God is omnipotent. But for me, that means God can do
only everything that can be done. And God can't take away human free
will because it's related to who and what we are as well as to Who and
What God is. There's something in the very nature of our being that
keeps us free and something in the very nature of God that recognizes
that. Just as I can't ultimately take away the freedom of the children
I love (both because I don't have that power and also because of the
nature of love), neither can God take my free will, my moral agency,
away. Some might say that's because it's the way God is (the
Christian teaching is that God is love); others may say there are some
laws of the universe that transcend even God.
I'm reminded now of the inspiring story of Viktor Frankl, who
recognized that even one of the greatest evils the planet has seen
could take his life but not his free will. Ultimately it was his free
will that made him human.
That, too, is what I believe. To say that doesn't in my view, deny the
omnipotence of God. But it does, quite probably, suggest a different
perspective on what omnipotence is.
I hope this helps. Best wishes in pursuing your questions.
Google search terms used:
omnipotence "free will"
"moral agency" omnipotent OR omnipotence
"free will" omnipotence prayer
"power of prayer" "omnipotent god"