Westminster Seminary California
Notable Quotables: Ames on the Absolute and Ordained Power of God


Thus a certain distinction is present in divine omnipotence whereby there is a division into absolute power [potentia absoluta] and ordaining or actual power [potentia ordinata sive actualis]. Absolute power is that by which God is able to do all things possible although they may never be done. Matt. 3.9, God can of these stones raise up children unto Abraham; and 26.53, Do you think that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? Mark 10.27; Eph. 3.20. The ordaining power of God is that by which he not only can do what he wills but does actually do what he wills, Pss 115.3; 135.6; Eph 3.11.

Taken from William Ames, Marrow of Theology