WHO CREATED GOD?
It is easy to make an argument for God’s existence from a cosmological standpoint. As the years have gone by, a growing amount of scientific data has accumulated which negates atheistic assumptions about how matter and the cosmos came into existence and how it has arrived at its present condition. As a science teacher and public lecturer on the compatibility of belief in God and science, I have, been impressed with an increasing awareness on the part of many scientists and theologians that science and religion are symbiotic disciplines.
One question which inevitably comes up in a discussion of this nature is what is the origin of God? If God created matter/energy, and designed the systems that have propelled matter into its present arrangement, who or what accomplished that for God? Why is it any more reasonable to believe that God has always “been” than it is to say that matter has always “been”? As Carl Sagan has said, “If we say that God has always been, why not save a step and conclude that the universe has always been?” (Cosmos, p. 257).
From a purely scientific standpoint, it is easy to demonstrate that matter cannot be eternal in nature. The universe is expanding from what appears to be a beginning point in space/time, which appears to be a one time event.
IPS Note: It wasn't until 1925 that the American astronomer Edwin Hubble (whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named after) proved that the universe is expanding, and that there is a direct relationship between the speeds of distant galaxies and their distances from Earth. Yet, centuries ago the Old Testament prophets clearly told us no less that seven times that the Almighty 'stretches out the heavens'. See Scientific Facts in The Bible
Hydrogen is the basic fuel of the cosmos, powering all stars and other energy sources in space. If the fuel of the universe has been used eternally, that fuel will eventually be depleted, but the evidence is that the cosmological gas gauge, while moving toward “empty,” is yet a long way from being there - a condition incompatible with an eternal universe. The second law of thermodynamics insists that the cosmos is moving toward a condition of disorder, sometimes referred to as “heat death.” Even in an oscillating universe, things ultimately run out of energy and “die.” All of these evidences, and several others we have not made reference to, show that matter cannot be eternal, as Dr. Sagan and his associates would like to believe. However, this does not mean that we automatically accept the hypothesis that God is the Creator. Why is it not equally invalid to suggest that God has always been?
The problem here is that many people have a mistaken concept of God. If we conceive of God as physical, anthropomorphic (like man) being, the question of God’s origin is valid. However, such a concept of God is alien to the Bible and to common sense. Consider the following descriptions of God from the Bible:
John 4: 24 - God is a Spirit:...
Matthew 16:17 - for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father which is in heaven”.
Numbers 23:19 - God is not a man, that He should...;
Obviously, the descriptions and concepts of God given in these passages are that God is a spiritual entity. He exists outside of the three-dimensional, physical world in which we live.
The Bible further supports this concept of God in the following passages:
Jeremiah 23:23-24 - Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? ...Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.
2 Chronicles 2:6 - But who is able to build a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Him?...
Acts 17:28 - For in Him we live, and move, and have our being;...
Not only is God described as being outside space, but He is also described as being outside of time. Consider the following:
2 Peter 3:8 - But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Psalm 90:4 - For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
Psalm 102:27 - But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
Acts 1:7 - It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His power.
If God is a being that is unlimited in time, and if He has access to every piece of time as if it were now, the question of who created God is an invalid question. The problem is like asking a student to draw a four-sided triangle. The terminology is self-contradictory.
When asked “Who or what created God?,” we are making the assumption that God was created. If God exists outside of time and space, and if He is the Creator of time and space, He obviously was not created! God began the beginning! This is why He says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
God created time. The statement of Genesis, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” is making reference to the creation of time. The reason that things like heat death, the expansion of the universe, and the depletion of hydrogen do not apply to God is because He is outside of time. God has always been. He not only began time; He will also end it. When time ends, all matter and all mankind will enter eternity - a timeless condition free of the negative things that time brings upon us now.
Also See Will There Be Time and Space in Heaven?
2 Peter 3:10-11 - But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,...
Revelation 21:4 - And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
The agnostic position that there is nothing that can be said to support God’s existence that cannot be said against that existence cannot, in the opinion of the author, stand in the face of this evidence.
WHO MADE GOD?
Leading atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are convinced that they have discovered a devastating rebuttal to the traditional idea that the chains of causation in the universe imply the existence of a creator of the universe. In his book, The God Delusion, Dawkins concedes that the universe is fantastically complex, and this would ordinarily imply some external cause that produced this effect. Even so, Dawkins notes that we cannot infer a creator because such a creator would have to be at least as complex as the universe that he has supposedly designed. Therefore Dawkins concludes that “the theist’s answer has utterly failed” because it has only pushed the problem back by one level. “If God created the universe,” Sam Harris asks, “what created God?”
Both Dawkins and Harris are very proud of this argument. Harris triumphantly notes that to say the universe must have been created by God “poses an immediate problem of an infinite regress.” Why, in other words, does the chain of causation have to stop with God? Why can’t it go on forever? Harris argues that the Christian answer simply won’t do because “to say that God by definition is uncreated simply begs the question.” Dawkins haughtily concludes that “I see no alternative but to dismiss” the theistic argument. These debunkers of religion think they have, with scientific precision, exposed a thousand years of metaphysical reasoning as irrational. Take that, Aquinas!
To see who is being irrational here, let’s revisit the traditional Christian argument in the form that Aquinas presented it. Aquinas begins with two principles that are today at the heart of all scientific reasoning. He argues that every effect requires a cause, and that nothing in the world is the cause of its own existence. Whenever you encounter A, it has to be caused by some other B. But then B has to be accounted for, and let us say it is caused by C. This tracing of causes, Aquinas says, cannot continue indefinitely, because if it did then nothing would have come into existence. Therefore there must be an original cause that is responsible for the chain of causation in the first place. To this first cause he gives the name God.
Let me clarify Aquinas’ argument with an example. Imagine yourself going to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a driver’s license. Upon arrival at the license counter you are asked to take a number before taking your test. Just as you are about to take the number, you are told that you must go to a different counter and take a number there. And when you reach that counter, you are informed that you must first take another number. Suppose further that every time you attempt to take a number, you discover that there is a prior number that you must take before you can take the next number. At this point you would be extremely exasperated at what seems to be an unending process.
Now suppose that, just as you are ready to draw your weapon and start shooting, you see a man walking out of the DMV with his new license. You are extremely relieved, because you know instantly that the series of numbers must not in fact go on indefinitely. If the series were infinite, then no one would ever be able to reach the counter to take the test and get a license. So the fact that this fellow has done so proves that the series cannot be infinite.
Here’s a second example, which I borrow from historian Colin Brown. Think of the chain of causation in the universe as represented by a series of dominoes falling. Each domino that topples over is itself knocked over by another domino. The dominoes have been arranged so that, when the first one falls, it knocks over the second one, and so on. The trail of dominoes may be extremely long, but it cannot go on forever, because the whole process is only triggered by the fall of the first domino. If the first domino isn’t toppled, then the second and third and fourth ones aren’t going to fall either. Moreover, the first domino isn’t going to topple itself. It relies on some agent outside the series of falling dominos to knock it over.
We are in a better position at this juncture to see Aquinas’ point. Given that nothing in the universe is the cause of its own existence, the universe cannot be explained by an infinite regress of causation. If there were infinite regress then the series would not have gotten started in the first place. The universe is here, just like the fellow who has gotten his driver’s license or like the dominoes that we see toppling over before our eyes. And just as there had to be a first number at the DMV that got the sequence going, and someone or something that got the dominoes to start falling one by one, so too there must be a first cause for the universe that accounts for the chain of causation that we see everywhere in the world. We may not be able to say much about what this first cause is like, but we have logically established the need for it and the existence of it. Without a first cause, none of its effects — including the world, including us—would be here.
Aquinas can rest easy. It seems evident that Dawkins and Harris have not answered the theistic argument. Yet amusingly they think they have. What’s up with these self-styled paragons of reason? Dawkins and Harris are experts in laboratory science. One is a zoologist, the other a student of neuroscience. Here is the classic case of people who are experts in one field trying to issue authoritative pronouncements in another and embarrassing themselves in the process.