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12 Things God Can't Do

...and How They Can Help You Sleep at Night

from 11 reviews

A book on God’s greatness that helps you to trust him, grow in faith and live confidently.

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What’s the secret to truly trusting God so that we can rest easy at night? How can we have the same faith and confidence as David who said: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Ps 4:8)?

The answer lies in focusing on God’s greatness. When we consider God’s greatness, we usually tend to think about what God can do. However, this book explores 12 things that God can’t do. They all express aspects of his nature and character which we can embrace with relief, celebrate with joy and worship with awe. You will marvel both at God’s otherness and at how he became one of us in the person of Jesus.

Read this book to grow in faith, live with confidence and rest easy at night, trusting in the God who never sleeps.

Nick Tucker taught Church History and Christian Doctrine at Oak Hill College in London for several years before becoming Vicar of St Bartholomew's Church, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.

Product details


  • Introduction: Why we sleep–and the God who doesn’t
    1. God Can’t Learn
    2. God Can’t Be Surprised
    3. God Can’t Change His Mind
    Interlude: But… God Went to School
    4. God Can’t Be Seen
    5. God Can’t Bear to Look
    Interlude: But… God Came Close
    6. God Can’t Change
    7. God Can’t Be Lonely
    8. God Can’t Suffer
    9. God Can’t Die
    Interlude: But… God Suffered and Died, Alone
    10. God Can’t Be Tempted
    11. God Can’t Lie
    Interlude: But… God Was Tempted
    12. God Can’t Deny Himself


Contributors Nick Tucker
ISBN 9781784986766
Format Paperback
First published June 2022
Dimensions 129mm x 198mm x 12mm
Weight 0.22 kg
Language English
Pages 192
Publisher The Good Book Company

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Daniel Strange

Director, Oak Hill College, London; Author, Plugged In

12 Things God Can't Do is a wonderful example of why theology matters, why orthodox theology matters, and why having gifted theological teachers matters. The weightiness of content that we so desperately need to nourish us, sustain us, and, yes, help us sleep(!) is balanced by Nick’s lightness of touch and pastoral sensitivity. The result is theological exposition that is both relevant and richly affective. Highly recommended.

Seulgi I. Byun

Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Biblical and Religious Studies and Philosophy, Grove City College

This book is an astonishing achievement. One of the most daunting subjects for the Christian is understanding something of the nature of the triune God. Christians throughout the ages have wrestled with questions like: Does God know everything, and, if so, what does that do to free will? Can God change his mind? Does God suffer? Nick Tucker tackles twelve of the most complex questions people have asked about God and addresses them in a way that is biblically faithful and informed by the best minds in Christian tradition. Rich in theological truths and brimming with helpful illustrations, this is a book that I will recommend to anyone wanting to know God more deeply. I only wish this book had been in print when I was younger!

Phil Knox

Evangelical Alliance

Finally, a book that prides itself on putting you to sleep! 12 Things God Can't Do is deeply peace-bringing and faith-building. Nick Tucker has an extraordinary gift for making profound truths about the nature of God accessible for ordinary people. This book will give you a greater understanding of the God of the universe and leave you captivated afresh by his perfect character. I wholeheartedly commend it to you.

Customer reviews

4 May 2023

“An enjoyable read full of profound ideas”

There is much to enjoy in this book. The author brings fresh insight into the nature of God by examining aspects of his perfect character that cannot be true. For instance God can't learn or be surprised (he already knows everything) and he can't be lonely (he exists in perfect trinitarian relationship).

Tucker quickly debunks classic misconceptions like the omnipotence paradox ("Can God make a rock that's too heavy for him to lift?") rightly highlighting the misapplication of human characteristics to God as the root of this fallacy. He goes onto use this "God cannot" approach to provide deep insights into what the Judeo-Christian God is like that will really get you thinking and, I believe, help you gain a perspective into a personal relationship with him.

The real masterstroke in this book is the application of Jesus' experience as a human within 'Interlude' chapters. These shine a light on the ways Jesus would've experienced the full gamut of human emotions, weakness and suffering as one of us. It's really fascinating stuff!

'12 Things God Can't Do' is not a long book and it will definitely get you thinking. The chapters are short and punchy too and given the weightiness of some of the topics, it wouldn't have suffered from being longer. If you're after something thoughtful and a little different, I'd heartily recommend it.

21 Aug 2022

“An excellent read which needs better editing.”

This book is a fantastic overview of what God is not capable off, and how to find comfort in those ‘can’ts’ of God. It’s a refreshing and interesting read.
But come on publishers - please proof read! The index includes Chapter 12 as ‘God can’t change’ (a repeat of chapter 6). Whereas chapter 12 is actually entitled ‘God can’t can’t disown himself’. When you pay good money for a book, you don’t expect to find errors like this….

19 Aug 2022

“Huge appreciation”

I have just been blown away by this book - it's freshness and the depth of who God is, has filled me with huge comfort, joy and encouragement. I think of the old hymn ' Through all the changing scenes of life ..' and am brought back to these wonderful truths of our great God, that have been highlighted with such clarity by Nick Tucker. I feel I want to let the book ' percolate ' for a little while and then I plan to read it all over again ! Already, I have given it a very high recommendation to lots of friends.

5 Aug 2022

“A fascinating and theologically rich book!”

“12 Things God Can’t Do” by Nick Tucker

In the words of the old children’s song “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing that my God cannot do.” Except that a deeper look into the deeper things of God will reveal that there are in fact some things that God cannot do and they are tied into the nature and character of God.

In this fascinating and theologically rich book and using biblical examples, Nick Tucker looks at twelve things that God cannot do and the reassurance that they bring as we rest in the providence and faithfulness of God.

The book is divided up into sections with interludes in between each of the five different sections dealing with a different part of God’s character and nature.

Firstly, the foreknowledge of God means that God cannot learn, be surprised or change His mind, God knows everything about us and He sees the end from the beginning and God cannot change His mind but allows man to intercede at various points.

Secondly, we then look at the transcendence of God - who is invisible and above all things which means that He cannot be seen and the perfect holiness of God, who cannot bear to look upon sin.

Thirdly, the fact that God cannot change and the great reassurance that that brings to us as we experience all kinds of change in our lives and in the world around us. We also explore the “impassivity” of God - a doctrine that has been greatly debated in theological circles and Nick Tucker deals with this question is a really relatable and pastorally sensitive manner.

Finally, in the last two sections, we look at the fact that God cannot be tempted, He cannot lie and God can’t disown Himself.

In conclusion, this was a deeply enriching book that engages with some really deep theological questions about the character and nature of God is such an accessible and relatable way.

I was provided by a complimentary copy by The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.

30 Jun 2022

“Insightful, Clear, and Engaging”

This book initially appealed to me because of the title, and Nick Turner's short, punchy chapters live up to the unique premise. In the introduction, he explains that even though God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, that doesn't mean that He can literally do anything. He cannot do something that goes against His nature or character, such as change, be lonely, break His promises, experience temptation, or die. Each chapter focuses on a different thing that God can't do and why it's good that He can't, and five interludes explore how, through the incarnation, Jesus did or experienced some of these things. The book's unique set-up appealed to me, and Turner anticipates and responds well to common questions and objections that will rise in readers' minds.

"12 Things God Can't Do" emphasizes that Christians can take comfort not only in God's positive character and being, but also in the assurance of all the things He cannot do. Tucker draws on both Scripture and writings from the church fathers to support his points, and he clearly cites his sources in footnotes. He also provides brief clarifications in some of the footnotes, and it's clear how much thought and study he put into this.

I would recommend this to adults and teenagers, whether they are longtime Christians, new Christians, or just curious about faith. Turner writes to a broad audience without presuming anyone's life circumstances or background, and he explains concepts clearly without assuming that his readers have significant theological knowledge already. People who are well-versed in theology will benefit from the unique angle that he takes, and people who are new to the subject will appreciate this book's brevity, accessibility, and engaging tone.

Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

19 Jun 2022

“Absolutely wonderful”

I LOVED this book. I'd like to give it 10 stars please?
I think I started it thinking it was going to be interesting and that it might teach me some things. What actually happened was that I spent many moments staring at the page with my eyes nearly popping out of my head, thinking (or saying aloud): "WOW. God is so awesome."
As the book goes through ways that God is not like us, it really ends up being a book about God's holiness. The chapters about God's other-ness are interspliced with short chapters about Jesus, who is himself this awesome God but is also fully human. WOW!
I loved Nick Tucker's style of writing. It's obvious that he really knows his stuff and (/but) is helpfully putting things in a readable way, with down-to-earth illustrations, for people like me.
Although I had heard most of these truths before, I need reminding of them again and again because I'm so prone to making God in my own image in my mind. I also don't want a book that tells me "new" things about God, since he's revealed himself to us through his Word, and he doesn't change. Therefore I'm so grateful to Nick Tucker for blowing my mind about our good and awesome God in these pages. It's already helped me to encourage Christian friends as well as to talk to non-Christians about this God. (I've also bought a copy for a loved one!) I think I'll come back to this book again and again. Thank you!

16 Jun 2022

“Eye opening and heart warming!”

How easy it is to live with, and maybe settle for, too small a view of God and thereby forget the wonderful and very real implications of who He is. In ‘12 things God can’t do’ Nick Tucker looks at God’s character by examining 12 things He can’t do – which expands your mind and shines a light on just how much God is not like us and how that is so wonderful and comforting. He also brilliantly looks at Jesus to again shine a light on just how astonishing and comforting it is that God the Son took on human form. This will warm your heart and draw you to worship and praise our great God – and sleep well at night. Highly recommended!

14 Jun 2022

“Helpful look at God's attributes”

God’s omnipotence is typically a given—God is all-powerful. But did you know that there are, in fact, things that God can’t do? So what does that mean about the status of God’s power? In this new book from @thegoodbookcompanyusa, 12 Things God Can’t Do …and how they can help you sleep at night, Nick Tucker shows how God is greater than we even realize *because* of what God can’t do: God can’t learn; God can’t change; God can’t suffer; God can’t be tempted; God can’t lie; God can’t disown himself. And Tucker discusses six more things too. He also includes five interludes throughout the book that “wrestle with how, in the incarnation, God did the very things he cannot do”: sleep, learn, be seen, suffer and die, and be tempted. All these aspects (or non-aspects) of God and Jesus should be a comfort to us. •••

Tucker writes, “God is not like you. He is unimaginably great. All this means that we will never understand God entirely from God's point of view. We are dealing with a God who is beyond our comprehension. As creatures made in God's image, our minds are uniquely fitted to know and understand him—yet when even the greatest minds try to grasp his greatness, they reach a point where they have to give up and worship instead.”

11 Jun 2022

“A Goldilocks read”

So often I find myself wading through a book that would have been so much better off written as a magazine article. Too long, too repetitive, too dense and sometimes just too clever for its own good. NOT so this excellent, short and accessible book from Nick Tucker. It’s a series of Goldilocks moments. Just when we want to interrupt and ask the ‘but what about’ questions about the sovereignty and omniscience of God, Tucker is there nearly answering the question for us. He draws both from scripture and the church fathers to support his thesis and provides lots of the ‘in other words’ one liner explanations I find really helpful. If you’re anything like me, prone to think of God only as a slightly bigger version of myself and doubting his power or interest in little old me, then this book is for you. Re-reading any one of the twelve short chapters is sufficient to calm the mind and restore assurance. Ideal for new Christians, sceptics, enquirers or those like me, who need frequently reminding of the great God who loves us and came to save us.

9 Jun 2022

“An Unexpected Gem”

I hadn’t expected to like a book that’s titled “12 Things God Can’t Do… and how they can help you sleep at night” because I thought there’s surely not much that God can’t do! Nick Tucker talks through some big points of Christian doctrine (e.g. God being unable to lie and unable to learn) and makes them really encouraging and readable, being helpful for someone like me (a Church minister) and for giving out as a gift to older teenagers in my youth group. It’s also really practical, reminding us that theology isn’t just something we argue about with no application! It’s reassuring to know that God can’t change and that he can’t change his mind, and helps us to be able to trust in who God is, knowing not just what he can do but what he can’t. Would definitely recommend

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12 Things God Can't Do | Nick Tucker |
£8.99 £7.64