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Today: Thursday, February 27, 2020


But who made God?

First published 23 Feb 2020

Just about every child asks this, sooner or later. It’s not an easy question to answer—or for a child to understand. Nor is it easy for adults!

Richard Dawkins, in his book The God Delusion, imagines that this is the killer question. He suggests nothing as complex as the universe could have arisen without even greater complexity in God—which, he says, makes God impossible. He seems to say that any God who created the universe would have had to ‘evolve’ to become more complex than his creation. His idea of God, in other words, is bound by the laws of nature to such an extent that he becomes a logical impossibility.

But let’s go back to the basic question. The child’s question shows that even a child seems to understand that we live in a world where every effect has a cause. Things have to come from somewhere—they don’t just happen. And that is the scientific problem of ‘infinite regress’. Where did existence come from? And if the answer isn’t God, then you have to go on looking for something before, before, before... ad infinitum. And that still leaves you with the question: but where did it all start?

At that point you either give up, or you invent a theory which doesn’t answer the question (as Dawkins seems to be doing). Or you consider the possibility of God. But what kind of God?

The classic understanding of God is that he is the ‘uncaused causer’, the ‘uncreated Creator’: no one created him, he has simply always been. Of course that is difficult to grasp, and it doesn’t explain God, but it does give us a beginning point for everything else. And if God is spirit (as Jesus said), that doesn’t mean he is less than material, rather the opposite—he is more than, greater than, more substantial than the things we know and see and touch. But it also means he is not subject to material laws. He makes the laws that science “discovers”. He is not made by the laws.

No doubt the debates and difficulties will continue. But at some point—both for those who consider believing in God and for those who want to believe in a world without God—a step of faith is required. One thing that Richard Dawkins has not managed to do, despite his claims, is prove that God does not exist. He starts with that belief, and looks for arguments to back him up—which is exactly what believers in God do, just the other way round! But one lot believes God is not there; the other lot believes he is. Neither has absolute proof.

There is no answer to the question, ‘Who made God?’ In fact, there doesn’t need to be an answer. God just is. That’s the only answer we need, and it’s the only answer that fits.

But you don’t have to depend on all that argument in order to believe. The Bible says that this God has shown himself through the ages—through prophets, teachers and Jesus. The One who made us also came to meet us. Now that is utterly wonderful and amazing!

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Pray: God, you are beyond time, beyond creation itself, beyond my grasp and understanding. Give me insight to understand as much as I can and need to know about you, but also faith to trust that you are there, that you know everything, and that you love everything you have made.

Think about: If someone could prove to you the existence of God, would that make a difference to how you think about him?

Challenge:  Imagine God is there, and look out for signs of him through the coming week.

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