The other day I was having lunch with a friend and her 4th-grade son named Chase. In all regards, he is like any other 4th grader you might come across, but he asked me a question that astounded me. We talked about God, and I don’t remember the specifics of the conversation, but he started questioning the claim that God created everything. My phrasing, not his. Then he asked, “If God created everything, who created God?” Wow, how many 4th graders do you know even think about that question and then articulate it? I have a count of one.
My reply was less than satisfying because some of the concepts are hard to wrap your head around, and I did not explain them well. I should have given him more credit and stopped reminding myself he was only a 4th grader. He certainly is thinking about notions that most adults don’t even reflect on. As it was, I think I just muddied the waters, but I felt better after we played hangman and I won. Of course, I was adding eyeballs, eyelashes, and any other body part I could think of to continue guessing the letters.
I tried to explain to him it is really the wrong question. When someone asks who created God, they are assuming that God was created. Let’s face it, if some other being made God, then the obvious follow-up is who created that God? And then, who created the God that created God? So on and so on. You have an impossible infinite regress. Time cannot go back forever without end, or we would never have reached this moment in time.
Something, I will call it God, must have started the clock. Something that is outside of the universe and is not in any way dependent on it. They have an argument for this, and it is called the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which actually has its roots in Islam.
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore, the universe has a cause outside of its self.
Look at premise 1 for a moment. We have two kinds of things that exist, things that exist necessarily and things that have a cause outside of themselves. Numbers are an example of something that exists necessarily. Many mathematicians think numbers exist fundamentally, and it is impossible for them not to exist. Can you imagine a reality that does not have numbers? I can’t. That leaves things that exist due to other things that exist. In other words, things that exist because of other things. For example, puppies, turtles, trees, rocks, mountains, the moon, sun, and stars all exist because of something else. In premise 1 above, God falls into the category of existing necessarily.
Concerning premise 2 the scientific community overwhelmingly agrees that the universe began to exist. Most call that beginning the Big Bang. Space, time, matter, and energy all started when the universe began because they are one in the same.
In 1929, Edwin Hubble noticed a red shift in distant galaxies that he was observing from the Wilson Observatory. A red shift simply meant that galaxies were moving away from us. In fact, the further out the galaxies, the faster they were moving away. This discovery became known as the Big Bang theory. Simply put, if we move backward in time, the galaxies would move closer and closer together till they converged on a single point. It was so significant that Einstein and Hubble met to discuss this discovery and Einstein took a peek himself.
This argument has two premises that lead to a logical conclusion. If the premises are true, then a logical and sound conclusion follow. Once we conclude that the universe was caused by something we can look more closely at what that cause could be. I call that cause God.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
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Dinesh. What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2007. Print.
Ell, Douglas. Counting to God. Attitude Media, 2014, Print
Craig, William, L. On Guard. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook Publishing, 2010. Print.