If God created the universe, who created God?

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Knowing for Sure Blog, Tough Questions | 0 comments

If God created the universe, who created God?

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.knowingforsure.com/.

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