Archive for June, 2015

“Oh yeah, well if God created everything, then who created God?”

It’s the question a Christian will almost inevitably have posed to them in any kind of interaction with an atheist or agnostic. In fact, I had this very thing asked of me a couple of days ago, and it seemed that my response was one that my friend had never thought of before.

When it comes to this topic, there is often a failure on the part of the atheist to recognize that he or she has to answer the problem from their worldview as well. In their attempt to push the Christian back into an uncomfortable position, the atheist opens themselves up to a similar problem that they usually are not aware of.

Both Christian theism and atheism have a stopping point. The furthest back one can go in the history of the universe from the Christian standpoint, is the timeless, space-less, immaterial, moral, intelligent, first cause – also known as God. For the atheist it is particles…….or a quantum vacuum……or whatever else they feel like inserting as their stopping point.

In either worldview, there is no going any further back than this point. For the Christian, this is not as big of a problem in my view, as our definition of God entails that he is un-created. He is the un-caused first cause of all that exists. Asking who created God is like asking what the colour blue smells like. It is the wrong kind of question.

Most atheists I have talked to don’t seem to like this answer. It seems to be frustrating to many that we don’t feel the need to answer the question. This was the response that I received from the atheist I was speaking with, and our interaction continued from there.

“Oh yeah, well if God created everything, then who created God?”

No one created God. God has always existed. The definition of God is someone who is uncreated.”

Oh Come on! Someone must have made him?

“Well I don’t think so, but I have a question for you: On your view of things, what is the first thing that ever existed? What caused everything else to come into existence?”

“I don’t know. Just matter and energy I guess.”

“What created that?”

“Nothing did.”

“Ah so you see, we both have a point where we can’t go back any further don’t we? Seems like a bit of a double standard to think I am the only one with a problem.”

“I guess I never thought of it that way.”

“Most people don’t, and it seems at this point that the only way to test which view is correct is to start with the first thing – either an intelligent creator or unconscious matter and energy – and play out the implications of each. The one that most closely matches reality is likely the better explanation. If unconscious random particles and energy are what started everything, then it makes no sense that we live in a universe like ours. Actually, it makes no sense that you and I exist at all. Do you really think that random particles clashing in the universe are capable of creating life, let alone human beings with consciousness and morality? Are you aware that the best scientists in the world cannot create even the simplest life from non-life? How could mindless particles do what scientific geniuses cannot?”

“That’s a good point. It doesn’t really make sense.”

“No, it certainly doesn’t from what I can tell. However, if we start with an uncreated mind, outside of time, who is all powerful, perfectly moral, and intelligent beyond our comprehension, then we should not be surprised at all by what we see around us. The universe’s existence, our existence, our consciousness, our sense of morality, etc. all fit perfectly within the Christian worldview, but not so well into yours.”

“Well, you have certainly given me something to think about….”

This is just another reminder of why a Christian’s ability to defend their faith is so important. By being prepared with more than just an emotional response to my friend’s objections, I was able to put a stone in his shoe and get him thinking about God in a way he never had before.

As a Christian, one long look at the expanse of all that reality contains, is more than enough to show me that my belief in God is not in vain. I don’t have to take the wildly counter-intuitive position of believing that all the complex life around me is an accident caused by inanimate particles. I don’t have to believe that everything popped into existence out of nothing for no reason. I can simply look at the way God described the world He made, and see that reality matches that description. The atheist on the other hand does not have this ability, and must explain everything as one big accident that was caused by nothing.

If there is one skill I have found most useful in explaining these realities to others, it has been learning to point out double standards with objections like “Who made God?” Don’t let atheists get away with thinking they are the only ones with some “splaining” to do. They have a worldview, just like you do. Making them try to explain theirs, might just show them that they have never really thought it through in the first place.

 

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