What is Apologetics?

Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense or an answer given in reply. In ancient Athens it referred to a defense made in the courtroom as part of the normal judicial procedure. After the accusation, the defendant was allowed to refute the charges with a defense or reply (apologia). The word appears 17 times in noun or verb form in the New Testament, and both the noun (apologia) and verb form (apologeomai) can be translated “defense” or “vindication” in every case.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

If Everything Needs a Creator, then Who or What Created God?


Those of you who have been following some recent Twitter to Facebook quotes have noticed that I have been involved in some conversations with the fellow coworker, who embraces a pagan religion, and who loves to see if he can stump me.  Without getting into the crux of the conversation, it somehow ended up on what kind of God exists. 

My conversant took tried to state that the universe had always existed and if was expanding it at a constant rate. In other words, he was promoting his understanding of a "steady state" universe.[1] This prompted him to question me with the following, "If you believe that God created the universe, then who created God?"  

This is a popular objection thrown down by those who do not understand the nature of God or those to try to challenge God's existence. My conversant fell in the domain of the former and not the latter. This posting is going address this question and hopefully be the launching of some consistent postings with all the questions I have been receiving.

Setting up the problem.  

The question itself is categorically and logically flawed. The understanding is that if everything exists, then it must posit a creator of some kind. And if everything needs a creator, then no matter what exists, it must have been created.

That means, that for something to be created means that something or someone had to create it. The process follows that creator must have had something or someone who created that creator, and so on.

Solving the problem.

As I mentioned earlier, there are logical problems here. Thinking logically (or critically here), this would mean that there would be, what is called, an infinite regress of creators (prior causes) and we would never be able to get back to the first uncaused cause, since by definition (the question says that "everything needs a creator") there wouldn't be any uncaused cause. 

This poses the problem where the sequence of creations would move backwards to eternity (no time).  However, if this the case, a question surfaces: who created this infinite regression of creators?

If your head is hurting yet, think of it this way.  This question presupposes that all things have a beginning and therefore, needs a beginner (a creator) even within the realm of an eternal sequence of creators.  This is logically self-defeating because there is never an answer to the question, which is where my conversant would like this conversation to go. 

In fact, the question cannot be answered since its weakness is that "all things need a creator." Of course, this only begs the question in that how did the process begin? 

The question is better phrased as a statement: "Everything that exists, was brought into existence by another." This is a more logical statement and is not riddled with the difficulties of the initial question. If we were to revise the statement, "Everything that exists" implies that the thing that "has come into existence" did not already exist. If it did not already exist but then came into existence, then something or someone had to bring it into existence because something which does not exist cannot bring itself into existence (a logical absolute). 

The end game points to an "uncaused cause."

This pushes the regression of causes (creators) back to what we would call the theoretical "uncaused cause" since there cannot be an infinite regression of causes (creators). Since an infinite number of creators would mean there was an infinite number of creations and created things, including things that cannot be destroyed since they would constitute things that exist. If that is so, then the universe would have had an infinite number of created things in it, and it would be full. But it is not full. Therefore, there has not been an infinite regression of creations.[2]

Friends, the God of the Christian faith has never come into existence, which means that God is the Uncaused Cause, who is infinite, spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, moral, personal, intelligent, sustainer, Creator and First Cause of the existence and design of the universe.  God is the only entity in existence, the reason for whose existence is in Himself. In other words, God never came into existence. He is the uncaused First Cause who has alway been in existence and the one who has created what we know as time, space and matter. This eliminates the problem of infinite regressions (causes).

Like my conversant, one might ask, "but who created God?" The answer is simple. By definition, God is uncreated. He is eternal. He is the One who brought time, space, and matter into existence. Since the law of causality[3] deals with space, time, and matter, the law of causality does not apply to God. This is because God existed before space, time, and matter, and the law of causality does not apply to Him.


[1] A pretty good dictionary definition of the steady state theory is as follows: A cosmological theory stating that the universe has always expanded at uniform rate with no beginning or end, that it will continue to expand and have constant density, and that the distribution of old and new objects in the universe is basically even. The theory has been largely abandoned in favor of the big bang theory, largely due to the discovery of quasars and other entities that appear only at very great distances, suggesting an absolute relationship between the age of objects and their distance. Steady state theory was also discredited by the discovery of cosmic background radiationwhich was predicted by the big bang theory but not by the steady state theory. (See: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/steady-state-theory)

[2] Remember that my conversant was promoting an infinite universe with no beginning. 

[3] Robert Jastrow, founder and former director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, wrote: "The Universe, and everything that has happened in it since the beginning of time, are a grand effect without a known cause. An effect without a known cause? That is not the world of science; it is a world of witchcraft, of wild events and the whims of demons, a medieval world that science has tried to banish. As scientists, what are we to make of this picture? I do not know. I would only like to present the evidence for the statement that the Universe, and man himself, originated in a moment when time began" (1977, p. 21).  See the article at: http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3716

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