BIBLE READING: Isaiah 40:21-31
TEXT: Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom (Isaiah 40:28).
This is one of the most frequent and one of the most misunderstood questions I am ever asked. It is also very difficult to answer because it doesn’t make sense – even when it is asked by very intelligent people like the famous atheist, Richard Dawkins! Let me explain. It’s like asking, ‘Why can God not make a square circle?’ A square circle does not and cannot exist. Likewise an Almighty God, who created everything but is himself created, cannot exist. He could not be Almighty because the one who created him would be the Almighty one! Christians (and Jews and Muslims) do not believe in a ‘created God’.
The answer to the question who made God, is simply – ‘nobody’. God is not made. God is the Creator, not the creation. God is outside of time and space. (This is not to say that he is not also in time and space and that there is not plenty evidence for him there.) God creates ex nihilo (out of nothing). That’s what makes him God. He does not craft from what is already there. He creates time, space and matter from nothing.
Who says that everything, including God himself, has to come from something? Christians and other theists do not argue that God was created. That is precisely the point. He did not come from anywhere. He has always been. He did not evolve, nor was he made. If there is a personal Creator of the Universe then it makes perfect sense to regard him as complex, beyond our understanding and eternal. We do not believe in a created God. We believe in an uncreated supernatural power.
These are the only possibilities for when we come to consider why anything exists at all.
SOMETHING CAME FROM NOTHING. At one point there was no universe, there was no material, there was no matter, no time, no space. And out of that big nothing there came the Big Bang and our vast universe, tiny planet, evolution and the human species. Such a notion is beyond the realms of reason and is a total nonsensical fantasy.
SOMETHING WAS ETERNAL. In other words, matter has always existed. There is a lump of rock, or a mass of gas or some kind of matter that had no beginning and will probably have no end. And at some point that matter exploded and we ended up with the finely tuned and wonderful universe we now inhabit.
SOMETHING WAS CREATED – EX NIHILO – OUT OF NOTHING. And that Creator has to be incredibly powerful, intelligent and awesome beyond our imagination. This is what our passage in Isaiah teaches. God is the Everlasting God. The Creator of the ends of the earth. He is not created. He creates. Little wonder that we bow down in worship. We are the created. He is the Creator. It is so, so important that you do not think of God as some kind of super human. He is beyond our understanding.
But what about Jesus? Was he not created? In one of the most sublime, deep and profound things ever written (John 1), the apostle John tells us: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made (John 1:1-3).’ This is so marvellous. If God were ‘just’ the Creator, he could be distant and far from us – unknowable. But he sent his Son, Jesus (God is Father, Son and Spirit – something we will look at later) to reveal himself to us. Jesus is the Word. Jesus is God. Jesus is the Creator as well – without him nothing was made that has been made.
So not only do we not believe in a created God, we don’t believe in a created Jesus. He is the eternal Word. He is from everlasting to everlasting. ‘Yesterday, today forever, Jesus is the same. All may change but Jesus, never. Glory to his name!’
CONSIDER: Why do people find it so difficult to accept that God is uncreated? What should be the reaction of the created to the Creator?
RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING: The Dawkins Letters – David Robertson
PRAYER: Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth. You are the everlasting one. You alone are uncreated. We bow before you as your creatures. We worship you that you have made us in your image – that we can love, think and do good. O Lord, we grow tired and weary, we are so limited in our understanding and we are so sinful. Grant us your strength, your mind and your holiness. For your glory. Amen.
Dear Dr John – A Response to a Canadian Atheist
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