“Does God exist?”
This is perhaps one of the most frequently pondered existential questions in history. For the next two weeks we will be exploring this question and helping our church develop a Christian worldview and a rational defense of the existence of God. I encourage you come out on Sundays (or listen to the sermons), read along with this blog series and engage in the material in conversation with those in your life. In a culture that is increasingly hostile to any objective truth claims regarding spiritual or moral beliefs, it is essential that every follower of Jesus be “ready to give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15) for his or her belief in God and the identity of Jesus Christ. With that, let’s begin…
The Uncaused Cause
“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
The Word of God teaches that before God created there was nothing. God brought into existence everything that we see and observe in the natural universe
by the word of His mouth. Interestingly enough, what modern observational science tells us about the origin of our universe confirms this concept. Einstein’s theory of relativity gave us a better understanding of gravity and Edwin Hubble’s observation that galaxies were expanding away from each other laid a groundwork for the modern scientific consensus that our universe had a beginning. As Stephen Hawking, the renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist (also an atheist), once said “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang.”
Our purpose here is not to delve into precisely what the origin of the universe looked like and when that occurred (i.e. young-earth creationism versus old-earth theistic evolution, etc.). I merely want to point out that even leading atheist scientists believe that our universe began in a moment, often called a singularity. The question is then what caused our universe to begin? Why are we here? What (or who) tipped the first domino? Who or what started time?
This line of argumentation is called the Cosmological Argument. Everything we see in nature teaches us that everything has a cause. Somebody or something put everything into motion. If you are in a car or sitting in a chair it exists because someone made it. If you are sitting under a tree it is because a seed was planted. Everything has a beginning, a cause. Why would we not think similarly of the created universe? Why would we not believe that it too has a cause?
Francis Collins, the leader of the human genome project (a theist) has stated “I can’t imagine how nature, in this case the universe, could have created itself. And the very fact that the universe had a beginning implies that someone was able to begin it. And it seems to me that had to be outside of nature.”
I remember hearing Richard Dawkins speak live in Lynchburg, VA at Randolph College as he did various readings from his then new book “The God Delusion.” Dawkins is an advocate of the new atheism and is vehemently opposed to faith and religion of all kinds but especially Christianity. During the Q&A he responded to the cosmological argument by saying “well, what caused God then?” The questioner said simply that God had no cause and had no need for a beginning as He exists outside of space and time. He is the uncaused cause, the eternally pre-existent one. Dawkins upon hearing this said, “well, that is all too easy, isn’t it?”
I was surprised that he did not have a more rational argument in his defense. He was right though; it is altogether “too easy.” It is just as God has said in Genesis, “In the beginning, God…” The first words of the Bible. God was there before time began, before anything began. He had no beginning and He will have no end. He does not have to submit to the laws of our universe because He made them by the word of His power!
Everything we observe tells us that our universe had a beginning. Everything that has a beginning must have a something (or someone) that caused it to begin? What could that be? Well, I would submit that for our universe this someone is God. The beginning must have had a beginner and our cosmos must have a Creator.