Pushback Question #1 – If ‘something can’t come from nothing’ who (or what) created God?
At Westminster, I’m leading us through a 3-part series called “Does God Even Exist? – The 1 Question That Changes Everything.” [Click here to link to a 45-second video intro.]
Each Sunday, I’ll present an argument for the existence of God. But since we only have a limited amount of time during my message (sermon), I don’t have time to respond to possible counter-arguments (or “pushbacks,” as I call them).
So, to deal with this, what I’m going to do is respond to some of the most popular pushbacks to the arguments for God’s existence in blog form the following week.
On September 17 for Part 1 I debunked the myth that science and faith are opposites. I did this by explaining what science actually is (and what it isn’t). Then I launched into an argument for the existence of God.
It was the argument from the stars (or cosmology). [To listen to the full 28-minute podcast click here.] Basically, when it comes to logic and the scientific method, a key idea is this: something can’t come from nothing. If you hear a knock on the door, something had to cause that to happen. Similarly, if a baby is sitting there on the floor, it didn’t just appear. Something had to cause it to be conceived and born. (Wink, wink.) It’s simple cause and effect.
When you apply the same logic to the universe, it begs the question, what caused the universe to come into being? For a long time, many people speculated that it has simply always been there—that the universe itself was, and is, eternal.
However, many things changed in 1929 when Edwin Hubble started exploring the stars with his incredible and ground-breaking telescope. He found that the universe was massive—and expanding. He traced this expanding movement back to one moment in history—a big explosion; a “big bang”—when all physical matter and space came into existence.
Not only was that the moment when all physical matter and space came into existence, but it was also the moment when all energy and even TIME itself came into existence.
When it comes to logic and the scientific method, remember our central idea: Something can’t come from nothing. The evidence, therefore—and as I argued on Sunday—points to an intelligent mind, a Creator, outside of the physical matter of the universe who created it.
With that in mind, here’s our first “pushback question.” It takes our premise statement and applies it to God. “If something can’t come from nothing, then who (or what) created God?”
It’s a good question, and one I’ve heard before. Here’s how I respond:
God, by his very nature, is eternal. This teaching is found throughout the Bible. Therefore, he can’t have a start. “That sounds very nice for you,” a challenger might say, “but that’s because you believe what the Bible says. But what about those of us who aren’t sure about the Bible? Why won’t you apply the same logic to God as you do to the universe?”
The Big Bang theory—which, by the way, is widely accepted in the scientific community—postulates that there was a start to all matter, stars, energy etc.
But it also says that the big bang is when TIME itself began to start.
This is important. If something (or someone) needed to cause the universe to begin, and that thing (or being) needed to transcend and be outside of the physical universe, it stands to reason that this same thing (or being) also needed to stand outside of time. The reason for this is because, prior to the Big Bang, time didn’t exist. In other words, the transcendent thing or being must be eternal in nature.
The Big Bang theory itself, suggests that the cause which created it, needs to be non-physical and not bound by time.
I think this is a fair and logical way to respond to Pushback Question #1.
A good, final word on this one is from Frances Collins, an award-winning scientist who mapped the human genome: “The Big Bang cries out for a divine explanation. It forces the conclusion that nature had a defined beginning. I cannot see how nature could have created itself. Only a supernatural force that is outside of space and time could have done that.”