In 1929, Edwin Hubble noticed what he called a ‘red shift’ in the color of very distant galaxies. What this turned out to mean was that the galaxies were actually moving away; in other words, the universe is expanding. Just a few years later, Albert Einstein came to peer through the telescope at the Wilson Observatory to confirm, at least in his own mind, the findings of Hubble. For Einstein, this discovery came as a difficult nut to swallow. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was based on a static universe, not one that was expanding or contracting. For centuries science embraced the idea that the universe was always in existence, so when the Big Bang Theory, as it came to be known, was adopted by the scientific community at large it actually played into the hand of the cosmological argument that the universe had a beginning and was therefore created. If we were to dial back time a thousand years, the universe would be smaller than it is today. If we were to go back a million years, it would be smaller still. We could go back to the beginning and find the universe compressed into a single point that science calls a singularity. What caused this singularity? We call that God.
One form of the cosmological argument is called the Kalam Cosmological Argument, and essentially it states that the following premises and conclusion:
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore the universe has a cause.
Now what the atheists will question is the first premise, everything that has a beginning has a cause. Logically, one would ask, “Who caused God, if everything has a beginning?” The problem with that is if another god caused God, then who caused the god that caused God? Then who caused the god that caused the god that caused God? You can see that this leads to endless repetitive questions, which result in an infinite number of gods who endlessly cause each other. This answer leads to logical absurdities because infinity is only a concept; it does not exist in reality. You can’t have an infinite number of anything. William Lane Craig gave a three step example that demonstrates this concept.
Step one: Say for example you have an infinite number of marbles and I take those from you. You are left with nothing and I have an infinite number of marbles.
Step two: Say you have an infinite number of marbles and I take just the odd number of marbles. You are left with an infinite number of marbles, (all the even marbles), and I also have an infinite number of marbles, (all the odds).
Step three: Say you have an infinite number of marbles and I take all the marbles from number four on. You are left with marbles, 1, 2, and 3, and I have the rest which is an infinite number of marbles.
In each case an infinite number of marbles were subtracted, but in each case we have a different outcome. In step one, you were left with zero marbles. In step two you were left with an infinite number of marbles. Finally, in step three, you were left with just 3 marbles.
Also to suggest that the universe has always existed and that we have an infinite number of events going back in time is absurd. If that were true we would never reach this moment in time. A good example is if you saw someone sitting on a bench at a park and you heard him counting, “negative 6, negative 5, negative 4, negative 3, negative 2, negative 1, zero!” And you asked him, “What are you doing?” and he replies, “I just finished counting to zero from negative infinity.” You would know and understand that is impossible.
So to conclude that god after god caused themselves, and one of these gods eventually caused this universe is an impossibility. The conclusion that many atheists can’t accept is that our God is uncaused. He by ‘necessity’ has existed forever, because there is no other possible answer that solves the problem with an infinite answer. He is unbounded by the laws of this universe that he has created, including time, which science now knows is a property of our universe. When the Bible says God lives forever, it does not mean a long time, but it means God exists outside of time. Thankfully, we are part of this universe, part of his design, and we are tied to him as part of his creation.