Q17: You say everything needs a creator, so who created God?

God is eternal

The question “Who created God?”, is at the heart of the matter for Question 17:  “You say everything needs a creator, so who created God?” and it shows a severe misunderstanding of both the nature of God and the cosmological argument for the existence of God—specifically the Kalam cosmological argument [1]. Let’s start with the Kalam cosmological argument, which makes it easy to see where the error crept in.

Apologist William Lane Craig has used this argument as one of the premiere arguments for the proof of the existence of God, so it’s in many of his books. As he points out in “On Guard”, it’s simple, easy to memorize, easy to share and logically “airtight.” It goes like this: 

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

2. The universe began to exist.

3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.

Unstated but equally as important is the fact that the only cause sufficient enough to cause the universe is God. That observation leads to Leibniz’s cosmological argument based on sufficient reason which I discuss here. But it’s beyond the scope of what we need to discuss for this argument and question. Let’s keep our focus on the Kalam cosmological argument.

As Craig points out, if you accept the first two premises the conclusion in point 3 naturally and irrevocably follows. So the only “wiggle” room is with premises 1 and 2.

Premise 2—that the universe began to exist—is accepted by even secularists, since they believe in the Big Bang theory. The Big Bang theory claims the universe began about 13.7 billion years ago with a “singularity”—the big bang. This phrase was coined and used derisively by astronomer Fred Hoyle who was a skeptic of the theory. According to the theory, the initial “big bang” created space, time, matter and energy. The time frame is wrong (billions of years), as is the cause. In theory the singularity is causeless, but that’s impossible and defies the laws of causality. Craig likes the Big Bang theory because it supports the second premise of this argument. He likes it so much it has led him astray. But that topic, which is indeed worthy of examination (I wrote about his wandering here and here), takes us down another rabbit hole. For this article we will not concern ourselves with Craig’s error, but rather we will keep our focus on the Kalam cosmological argument.

So premise 2 is widely accepted. That leaves premise 1 where we find multiple problems. Craig claims that some deny the obviousness of premise 1 in order to escape the inescapable conclusion once you accept it.[2] But that’s not the error here. The error here is not understanding what the premise is actually stating. The premise does not state everything needs a creator. It states that whatever begins to exist has a cause or creator. In this case it’s either that they don’t understand that, or they have an ignorance of the nature of God.

On the Nature of God

God is eternal. He is without beginning and without end. He always exists everywhere. (That’s the foundation of the ontological argument by the way.) Existence is so much his nature that he revealed his name as “I AM” (Ex 3.14), which of course means “the one who exists.”

Scripture makes this very clear.

God is Eternal:

“Praise the Lord who is from everlasting to everlasting”
(Neh 9:5)

“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
(Ps 90:2)

If you don’t want to take scripture’s word for the eternality of God, the nature of the creator can be deduced from the creation. Rationally, and as Leibniz points out, there must be a sufficient cause for the universe. A “self-caused” singularity is, of course, nonsensical gibberish. Something or someone caused the universe. What qualities must the creator have?

Since time, space, matter and energy did not exist before the universe (even big bang theorists believe this), the creator must be beyond or outside of  time, space, matter and energy. In other words, the creator is necessarily timeless (eternal), non-material (spirit), existing beyond space (omnipresent), and powerful enough to create this massive universe with all the energy it possesses (omnipotent). Thus, just looking at the universe, you can derive the nature of its creator, which, as it turns out, are the same qualities possessed by the God of the Bible.

I’ve already given scriptures that state God is eternal. Let’s look at scriptures that state some of God’s other qualities.

God is also omnipresent:

Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.
(Jer 23:24)

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
(Ps 139:7-8)

God is non-material (Spirit):

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
(John 4:24)

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
(2 Cor 3:17 NIV)

And God is omnipotent (all powerful):

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
(Rev 1:8)

“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?
(Jer 32:27)

So whether you approach the nature of God from Scripture or from reason, you arrive at the same qualities: God is eternal, omnipresent, non-material and omnipotent.

Thus, to ask “Who created God” reveals either a person who is ignorant of the nature of God, both from scripture and from reason, or one who doesn’t care enough to think through the charges he is making and is content to repeat an objection he’s heard or perhaps both.

Either way, it is clear this objection – “who created God” –  is not the objection of a serious thinker. It is the repeating of an objection from those who do not want to deal with the truth of a holy, omnipotent God to whom they must give account.

Here’s something to consider. Jesus said:

“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
(Matt 12:36-37)

Judgment is coming! For every foolish word you’ve said and have not repented of. Do you really want to be judged on this foolishness because you were content to repeat something you’ve heard and were too lazy to think through the foolishness it proclaimed?

Here’s a final word to the wise. God takes no pleasure in fools and mockers.

“The schemes of folly are sin, and men detest a mocker.”
(Prov 24:9) 

(Those who ask “Who created God?” would be considered foolish mockers.)

“When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.”
(Eccl 5:4)

Don’t be foolish. Stop trying to look clever by asking this stupid question.

Duane Caldwell  |  June 25, 2024 | Printer Friendly Version

1. A little background on the Kalam Cosmological Argument from Craig’s On Guard:

“The kalam cosmological argument originated in the efforts of ancient Christian philosophers like John Philoponus of Alexandria to refute Aristotle’s doctrine of the eternity of the universe. When Islam swept over Egypt, it absorbed this tradition and developed sophisticated versions of the argument. Jews lived alongside Muslims in medieval Spain and eventually mediated this tradition back to the Christian West, where it was championed by St. Bonaventura. Since Christians, Jews, and Muslims share a common belief in creation, the kalam cosmological argument has enjoyed great intersectarian appeal and helps to build bridges for sharing one’s faith with Jews and especially Muslims.”

William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending your faith with reason and precision, Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010, Kindle version loc 1170

2. On Guard, Loc 1210

Composite Image of Nasa photo:  NASA’s Hubble shows Milky Way is Destined for Head-on Collision

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