When I was eight years old my fourteen year-old brother, who had a mechanic’s mind and not a scientist’s, asked me what I thought was at the end of the universe, and what was on the other side. If there was a brick wall, he said, what would you see if you looked over it?
(PINA, “Tangeh Ye Hormuz”)
My brother and I came up with some pretty funny suggestions, not knowing the current scientific understanding that there is no outside to the universe. There’s no brick wall, no space, and no time…not even a McDonald’s restaurant…not even “Milliways”!
Secular scientists tell us that just before the universe came into being (13.7 billion years ago, or 12.4 bya, or 16 bya, or 20 bya-the age assigned to it when I was first at school) all that existed, albeit for a tiny fraction of a second, was a “singularity”, or a sand grain-sized or egg-sized or grapefruit-sized mass. There was nothing else-not even space.
Suddenly…POOF!…the universe created itself! And x billion years later, here we all are wondering where we came from (hence the multitude of religions, including evolutionism) composing symphonies, producing babies with billions of functional brain cells, and killing each other.
The common view from at least as far back as ancient Greece until the 20th century was that the universe was eternal. Einstein and Hubble changed that, and scientists came to understand that the universe is expanding. The natural conclusion seemed to be that its expansion began at some point, some tiny point, without God of course, hence the ‘Big Bang’ theory. Interestingly, to some of us anyway, the first verse of the Bible states that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. In that one verse, written many centuries before Hubble and Einstein, we can see time, space and matter having a beginning. The Bible also declares in many places that God “stretches out the heavens”. The Bible, which claims to be the word of God, was well ahead of its time.
People have asked me, “Who made God?” or “Where did God come from?” in such a way as to expect me to drop my jaw in speechless consternation, and to proclaim in contrite submission that there must not be a God after all: we must have all evolved from a rock.
However, the atheist is no nearer to understanding the origin of matter and energy than I am, short of a number of wild hypotheses. If the universe began with a ’big bang’, where did all that matter and energy come from? Are matter and energy now considered to be eternal, without evidence to that effect? If matter was already in existence before the Big Bang in the form of another universe, where did that one come from? How did an expansion of space-time produce order and life, so that we think and love?
It seems that both atheist and theist alike are stuck with the twin questions of eternity and a first cause. You can go for the answer to the famed Steven Hawking if you like, as he doggedly fights to produce a theory which will make God totally redundant. Ironically, whatever answer the famed Prof may come up with could be the very plan God used to create the universe anyway, since God is the master mathematician, the master scientist…
When I’m asked “Who made God?”, I first acknowledge that eternity is one thing I do not understand, and an eternal being is out of my league entirely. He has not attempted to give an account of Himself to me, and He has no obligation to do so: if He tried I would not understand.
I then picture a person attempting to explain to an ant how Einstein’s relativity works, or how an F-18 can fly at twice the speed of sound, or what inspired and enabled Beethoven to compose his Sonata No.14 in C. The ant, as far as we can tell, would probably not understand the answer, or even notice that we’re trying to tell him something, as he busily tugs on a twig or a grain of dirt. Our thoughts and activities are entirely beyond his little world. Similarly, there are things we humans just can’t comprehend, whether we like it or not. Eternity is one of those things.
When I ‘m asked who made God I don’t feel intimidated. It’s good and healthy to talk about such things, but I’m willing to believe that there are some things which are true even if I can’t understand them.
By its very nature eternity has no beginning and no end. And since in the Biblical scheme of things God created time along with the other physical properties of our universe, it means that He’s outside of time, and not subject to it. This alone is beyond our mortal minds, because we are finite, and fixed in time just as surely as the ant’s mind is fixed on getting that twig to where it should go. Imagine how the first century Jews felt when Jesus Christ said “Before Abraham was born, I AM…” (John’s gospel chapter 8) They could only understand enough to know that they wanted him dead for the ‘blasphemy’ of claiming to be God.
If there is a God who created all things (and I personally believe there is) then His intellect is far above ours and that of any scientist or philosopher you care to name. It’s the height of arrogance to try to shrink Him to fit our minds, when it was He who made us! Why should, and how could I understand life, the universe and everything?
The concept that God is eternal and never had a beginning is no more ridiculous than the concept of nothing expanding to produce babies and F-18s and Beethoven Sonatas, even given the magic ingredient of billions of years. So give me a break, Mr. atheist: your questions don’t scare me. I’m more than happy to answer “I don’t know”, if I have to.
However, to answer the specific question according to my faith, nobody made God. Instead, God made you, and it’s time you thanked Him.
Thanks for reading…please come back
This post is an edited version of the original, published February 4th 2011