If God created the universe, who created God?

If God created the universe, who created God?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Above image by Raphael from Pixabay

One of the men attending our early Sunday morning apologetic class, Anthony, shared with me that someone actually asked him this specific question.

We started watching the six week Greg Koukl DVD series on Tactics. At the end of the 2nd session, I made eight statements, or claims, that I wanted those attending to think about. The second one on my list was, “If God created the universe, who created God?” So when Anthony heard that one, it reminded him of someone asking him that question.

This question has been around for a long time. What some of you may find interesting is that the response, at least in part, comes from Muslim philosophers. It is called the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I know it sounds like a mouthful and would not come up when you’re fishing with your buddies, but let me explain.

It is a philosophical argument for the existence of God, which has become popular with Christian apologists in the last 40 years or so. Part of its popularity has to do with the Big Bang theory, which dovetails perfectly with this philosophical argument. The Kalam Cosmological Argument comes in many forms, but a nut shell, goes like this:
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause outside of itself.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause outside of itself.
What do we call that cause? God.

If you were to look at a tree in your yard, you could start tracing its cause back, starting with the tree that dropped the seed which sprouted the one in your yard. Then back to the tree that seeded the one which seeded the first. Then to the one that seeded that one, and the next, and the next…you get the idea. Your tree, and everything else that begins to exist, traces its cause to something outside of itself. Nothing that has a beginning can be the cause of its own existence.

Think about it. Not only trees, but cars, dogs, books, flowers, the sand on the beach, and the very earth we stand on.

Genesis 1:1 Over the centuries, most monotheistic religions believed that God was the cause of the universe.

Over time, many began to believe that God was unnecessary for the universe because the universe was static, it always existed. If that was true, then there was no need for God. He could not have created something that was always there. Even Einstein believed the universe always existed and in the process of working out the Theory of General Relativity, his equation reflected the view of a static, eternal universe. But Einstein was wrong.

Einstein was uncomfortable with the thought of an expanding universe. Obviously, if it is expanding, as we move backward in time the universe is smaller. The further back in time we move, the smaller the universe, until we have a point from which we say the Big Bang emerged. This theory is widely accepted among the scientific community today. Not only is it expanding, but the further out we study distant galaxies, we find they are moving away faster than the ones closer to our own Milky Way.

There are other indications to the universe having a beginning. The example of our own sun points out that as time passes, the fuel declines. Eventually, (several billion years from now), our sun will burn up the supply of hydrogen and swell to a red giant. So large in fact, that the orbit of the earth will intercept the sun. 1

If our universe had always existed, then we would have run out of usable energy long ago. Our own sun could not have have been burning forever. D’Souza put it this way, “…if the universe can be compared to a clock, the fact that the clock is continually running down leads to the conclusion that there was a time when the clock was fully wound up. The universe originated with its full supply of energy, and that is the fund that has been dissipating ever since.”2

So the universe began to exist, and we consider the cause God. So the question remains, who created God? If another super being created God, then who created the super being that created God? And who created that being, and on we go, spiraling backward into an infinite number of causes.

That does not work, because if time always existed we would never have reached today. High Ross in his book, Why The Universe Is The Way It Is wrote, “…the universe was brought into existence by a causal Agent with the capacity to operate before, beyond, unlimited by, and transcendent to all cosmic matter, energy, space, and time.”3

In other words, God created time, space, and matter. He is not limited to his creation. He is a transcendent uncreated being. He has no creator and has no need of one, because He created time as we know it. A hard concept to wrap your mind around, but that is the answer to the question, “Who created God?” No one. He never began to exist, unlike our universe.

Scripture confirms this belief. Deuteronomy 33:27 talks of God being eternal. Job 36:26 says his years can’t be discovered. Psalm 103:17 says He is everlasting to everlasting. John 1:1-3 says that all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made. There are other verses in Scripture that attribute God for having made all that exists and that He is eternal.

Ross also wrote, “Such complete freedom to compress or expand time is only possible for a Being who is completely free to operate beyond, or transcendent to time.”4

Finally, in his book Surprised By Meaning, Alister E. McGrath explained how the Christian World view fits nicely to our current observations of the natural world. Christians have never had to adjust to a created universe, or a uncreated Being. “Yet it must be emphasized that Christian theology has never seen itself as charged with the task of inventing an explanation for these observations; rather, they fit within, and resonate with, an existing way of thinking, which proves capable of satisfactorily incorporating such observations.”5

 

 

Sources:
1. “What Will Happen to Earth When the Sun Dies?” livescience.com. Live Science, 1 December 2010. Web. 18 August 2015
2. D’Souza, Dinesh. What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2007. Print.
3. Ross, Hugh. Why The Universe Is The Way It Is. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008.
4. Ibid.
5. McGrath, Alister E. Surprised by Meaning. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011.

 

 

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If God created the universe, who created God? by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.dev.christianapologetics.blog/.

God’s Not Dead

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The News Boys have a popular song titled God’s Not Dead, in response to the German Philosopher Nietzsche who proclaimed “God is dead.” Time magazine asked the question in 1966, “Is God Dead?” The article was written by John Elson, who passed away in 2009 and now has an answer to that question. This article and cover gave Time magazine its best sales in 20 years, and prompted a response that resulted in 3500 letters to the editor.

Is God Dead

Supposedly, over 300 interviews were conducted for this article, and Time had over 30 correspondents work on it. Mr. Elson wrote in his article, “Secularization, science, urbanization — all have made it comparatively easy for the modern man to ask where God is, and hard for the man of faith to give a convincing answer, even to himself.” 1

Now, nearly 50 years later, books such as The God Delusion, The End of Faith, Freedom Evolves, The God Argument, Why I Am Not a Christian, The Blind Watchmaker, and God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, can be found on book shelves all over America. Not only found, but many are best sellers on Amazon, and their authors enjoy hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

On a recent podcast from Ravi Zacharias, he asked the following questions of atheists:

How does something come from nothing?
How does life come from non-life?
How does a non-moral beginning through an immoral process end up with moral reasoning? 2

Atheists don’t have answers for these questions. Even Richard Dawkins has admitted he does not have an answer as to how you can get life from non-life. Some of you may remember the experiment that took place in 1953 by Stanley Miller. This now discredited experiment, which supposedly created life from non-life in the lab, has inundated our high school text books for 50 years. In 2007, Miller, like Elson, has passed away and now has an answer to how you get life from non-life.

One of my favorite quotes is from Francis Crick, who is the co-finder of the human DNA strand. “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” 3 His obvious predisposition toward evolution speaks for a large contingent in the scientific community. They are unwilling to pursue truth no matter the cost. Even conceding the slightest possibility that life could have emerged from something that can’t be tested empirically is out of the question.

Francis Crick also said, “To produce a really good biological theory one must try to see through the clutter produced by evolution to the basic mechanisms lying beneath them, realizing that they are likely to be overlaid by other, secondary mechanisms. What seems to physicists to be a hopelessly complicated process may have been what nature found simplest, because nature could only build on what was already there.” 4 This quote really gets to the heart of the matter. My question to him and others is, if nature could only build upon what was already there, then where did we get what was built upon?

He suggests that we started with some kind of structure and mechanism. Where did this structure and mechanism come from? He said himself it must have already been there. Who put it there? Have you ever considered where our universe came from? Why do we have a laws of gravity, laws of motion, and laws of thermodynamics? If you have laws, then there must be a law giver. These laws do not exist necessarily any more than our universe exists necessarily.

Some have suggested that earth has been ‘seeded’ from space aliens in the past and that is how life began on earth. In my opinion, these kinds of speculations require more imagination than some of the movies Hollywood has produced in recent years. Even if it were true that earth was seeded from aliens millions or billions of years ago, it just pushes back the question of who created the aliens? It is just another form of the common response some may ask when Christians say God created the universe. A skeptic may ask if God created the universe, then who created God. You may then ask who created the God that created God and on we go endlessly pushing back the question.

Darrel Falk, in his book, Coming To Peace With Science, used an analogy that may speak to some. If we could go back in time and observe Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa, we could empirically prove why the paints are certain colors, why the paint sticks to the canvas and explain the chemistry involved. We could examine the brush strokes of the painter, the composition of the brushes, their dimensions and how they react to the paints and canvas. We could consider the temperature and humidity of the room and analyze how it would effect the paints, canvas, and drying time. 5 We spend untold billions of dollars every year investigation why things work the way they do when the real miracle is that we ‘can’ investigate how things work.

God created time when he created the universe. Along with time, he created these laws that we just take for granted. These laws not only aid us to explore his masterpiece, but allow us to get a glimpse of just how powerful he is. Gravity, for example, is a law we understand. We can even use calculations of expected outcomes to find other planets that we can’t see, but know they are there because of their gravitational effect on nearby planets within a solar system.

Physicists can only speculate on gravitons, (tiny massless particles that emanate gravitational fields), and how they tug on every piece of matter in the universe, but can’t find them. 6 Hard to imagine something that not only surrounds us, but is within us, and we have to answer to it every day of our lives when we stumble, drop a cup of coffee, or jump out of airplanes. Interesting. Surrounds us, within us, and we have to answer to it. Sounds suspiciously like God to me.

I am looking forward to this movie, God Is Not Dead, which is to be released in the Spring of 2014.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90PWFEeRApA
I have read several reviews that were grumbling about the atheists being put in a poor light. If this is true in the movie, it is not the spin I would have put on it, but after years of the ‘Christians’ being the Bible thumpers, intolerant, homophobe, prude, self righteous, bigoted, and abusive characters, I will not lose any sleep over it.

Maybe a few of us can go together, and while we are sitting there enjoying the movie in comfortable seats, we can not only appreciate the movie, but the miracle that our bag of popcorn is not floating away, spreading popcorn all over the theater along with sodas, candy, and patrons who can’t believe in a God that surrounds us, lives within us, and we answer to. Just like gravity.

Sources:

1. Grimes, William. “John T. Elson, Editor Who Asked ‘Is God Dead?”. New York Times. Nytimes.com, 17 September 2009. Web. 30 October 2013.
2. Zacharias, Ravi. East and West Part 1 of 2. Let My People Think, 2013. MP3.
3. Crick, Francis. Science Quotes by Francis Crick. Today in Science. Todayinsci.com, 1999. Web. 2 November 2013.
4. Ibid.
5. Falk, Darrel R. Coming To Peace With Science. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004. Print.
6. Mosher, Dave. Greatest Mysteries: What Causes Gravity? Live Science. Livescience.com, 2007. Web. 2 November 2013.

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