The following dialogue has taken place countless times in homes with inquisitive children: “Mommy, who made me?” “God made you, darling.” “Well, Mommy who made the sky and trees and mountains?” “God made the sky, the trees and the mountains. Genesis 1:1 says that God made everything.” “Oh . . . well, Mommy who made God?”
For all you parents or grandparents out there you recognize the teachable moment that lies before you. But what do you say? That’s when we all wish for an “easy button.” Of course, we expect a small child or your average layman to wonder how we explain the existence of God. However, one may not expect the same from world renowned scholars and scientists.
Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist from Oxford, is known for his vitriolic attacks against God. In his best-selling book, The God Delusion, he uses the age-old schoolboy teaser as sledgehammer blow against the foundation of faith, “If we say that God created the universe we shall have to ask who created God and so on, the only way out of an infinite regress is to deny God’s existence.”
Other skeptics have voiced the same criticism, Stephen Hawking, undoubtedly one of the finest minds in astronomy and physics, wrote in his recent work, The Grand Design, “It is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then question has merely been defected to that of who created God.”
It would seem that believers are caught dead to rights by kindergartners and eggheads with an alphabetic parade after their name. While this argument is used by many atheists to wiggle out from under the existence of God, it is actually a pretty flimsy objection—a house of cards held together by wisps of smoke.
First, the question misunderstands the Law of Causality—which does not say that everything needs a cause; it says that everything that has a beginning has a cause. However, this does not apply to God because He does not require a cause. He is eternal (Ps. 90:2), self-sufficient (Is. 40:21-22), and self-existent (Ex. 3:14). He causes all things to be, but He is caused by no one or no thing. There was no time when God started to exist. He has always been and the universe is contingent upon Him (Acts 17:28). God cannot not exist; He simply IS!
Second, the question commits a logical fallacy known as “category error.” This is a common hiccup in reasoning that happens when we incorrectly place something into a class that it doesn’t belong. For instance, consider the following questions, “What does the color blue taste like?” or “How many seconds are in a mile?” or “Which side of the circle is shortest?” All of these are absurd questions because they commit the category error. The same is true of asking, “Who made God?” Since God is uncaused and eternal it is logically silly to put Him to put in the group of created, finite, dependent things.
Perhaps, the Apostle Paul said it best when he wrote to the Colossians about the cosmic Christ, “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16-17). God is not only the Unmoved Mover of creation, but the Uncaused Maintainer of creation.
Ultimately, we are left with only two options: either no one created something out of nothing or Someone created something out of nothing. Which view is more reasonable—an uncaused universe or an uncaused God? Even Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music knew the answer when she sang, “Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.” So, if you can’t believe that nothing caused something, then you don’t have enough faith to be an atheist!