Read the article if you’re inclined, but I want to point out the common misconception that was stated in the very last sentence of this science article. Ray Villard said, “And, even if the genetic code is ultimately considered the handprint of an extraterrestrial grand designer, then who designed the designer?” Sound familiar? How about if I put it this way, “So if God made the universe, who made God?” If you’re at all familiar with apologetics, this is a question you may have come across before. Even in my short study of apologetics, I now recognize this question in several different forms, and come across it on a regular basis.
When someone asks, “Who made God?” they are simply putting off the inevitable follow up question. “Then who made that God?” and “Who made ‘that’ God?” So on and on we go, with a never ending series of a God, who made God, who made God…” Call him what you want, Magic Man in the Sky, Grand designer, or an Extraterrestrial Super Being, something must have made him. The problem with this question, and its underlying suggestion, is everything must have been created. People assume since the universe had a beginning, that everything must have a beginning. Is that possible? Can everything have a beginning? Some think for this to be true, time must also have a beginning, not wind backwards, endlessly, infinitely, without end, as so many imagine. Let’s explore this for a moment and let me share with you some examples that may help. Say I asked a student to write negative 10 up on the board. She walks up and writes -10. I then ask another student to write a smaller negative number by simply adding a zero to the -10. So another student walks up and writes -100 on the board by simply adding another zero. I repeat the request to a third student by asking them to write a smaller negative number by adding another zero to -100. This student walks up, adds a zero and now we have a -1000. I continue this for a couple minutes, and it actually holds my students’ interest at first. They are thinking that something interesting will come of this exercise, but after adding multiple zeros, someone finally asks, “Why are we doing this Mr. Glazier?” I raise an eyebrow, feigning surprise, and state to the class, “I want us to write the smallest negative number and figured we would start today.” Well, any student who has any concept of negative numbers, understands there is no such thing as the smallest negative number, or the largest positive number for that matter. The students ‘in the know’ would groan and explain that is not possible, and begin to protest this exercise. They would of course be correct, it would be a waste of time because no one can write the smallest negative number. Once someone stated they have written the smallest negative number, someone else would walk up and add another zero. Does time have that same characteristic? Can we keep adding zeros infinitely? Consider this for a moment, because if time never had a beginning, we never would have reached this moment in time. Look at it this way, if our moment in time, on a time line was zero, for someone to work up to zero from a negative number they must have a starting point, say -100, or -1000, or -1,000,000. No matter how far back we go, for someone to count back up to reach zero, they must have a starting point. The same would be true for time, as it is tied to our existence. For time to reach today, it must have a beginning point. If time did not have a starting point, we would have to keep adding zero’s, endlessly, and would never reach zero, (our current moment in time).
Here is another example that Timothy Keller gave in his book, The Reason for God, which might better illustrate how time must have had a beginning. Say you are walking along in a park and passing by a park bench with an old man counting out loud as you walk by. You can’t help but hear him as you walk by, counting out loud saying, “Negative four, negative three, negative two, negative one, zero!” Suddenly when he says, “Zero!” he jumps up, fists pumping the air, and cries out, “I did it! I finally did it!” You look at him and ask him, “What are you talking about? What did you just do?” He exclaims, “It took me a long time, but I finally finished counting up from negative infinity to zero!” You would immediately recognize this man’s antenna does not pick up all the channels, or his cord does not quite reach the outlet. No one, no matter how long they tried, can count from negative infinity up to zero. They must have a starting point. Understanding the starting point is crucial in the Cosmological argument, or the argument for a first cause. What do Christians call the first cause? God.
Going back to the question, “Who made God?” you will begin to see that we cannot have an endless series of a God who made a God, who made a God. Once again we would never have reached today in time. Some may ask, “Now wait a minute, you say we must have a starting point for time, that time cannot go backwards infinitely, then how could we have a God who has lived forever?” Don’t think of forever in terms of infinite time, but outside of time. Dinesh D’Souza who wrote, What’s so Great about Christianity explained that forever does not mean a long time, but that God stands outside of time.
The Kalam Cosmological Argument does not state that everything must have a beginning, but only everything created must have a beginning.
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore the universe has a cause.
We know our universe was created, because in 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered a red shift in distant galaxies, which meant the universe is expanding. How we measure the distance between earth and our own local planets involves trigonometry, and the parallax. The same is true for distant stars and other galaxies. Giving even a simple explanation for this process, of which I only understand the basics, would move me well past the two pages I try to limit myself to in my blog posts. If the belief that our universe is expanding is true, and it is widely accepted in the scientific community and by Christian apologists, then a hundred years ago it must have been smaller than it is today. And if we go back a thousand years, then a million years ago, it would be smaller still. We can continue back to the point that our expanding universe is just a point, or what science calls a singularity. What would have caused that singularity, that beginning point, when time and existence came into creation? The answer is a God who stand outside his creation, who stands outside of time, which is also his creation.
Time does not go back infinitely, but, logically, must have had a beginning, or a created moment when it started. To have a start, you must have a starter and we call that starter of creation and time, God. God created our existence as we know it, and with the beginning of existence he created time, but that does not mean he was created. Logically, God must have always existed; He never had a beginning, and stands outside of time, because he created time along with this magnificent expanding universe we continually explore, and discover the wonders he has hidden for a time.
1 Corinthians 2:7
No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.