I was asked on FaceBook, “Who Created God?”
What a fantastic question! The short answer is that no one created God, He has always existed. In Scripture we are introduced to a God who exists. He doesn’t explain anything before “In the beginning…” However, those who don’t believe the Bible will have a hard time grasping that. So, let’s try and dive a little deeper into this topic.
We will go ahead and assume that the person asking the question believes that God exists. This will help us narrow down that we are focusing on “where God came from” and not “does God exist.” If the person doesn’t believe that God exists then we have to take one more step backward and validate the existence of God.
We are now ready to move on to answering the question.
Thomas Aquinas created a philosophical argument for the existence of God which partially answers this question. He begins with observable evidence in the world. He notices that everything has a cause. Thus, his argument is as follows:
The Argument from Efficient Cause:
- There is an efficient cause for everything; nothing can be the efficient cause of itself.
- It is not possible to regress to infinity in efficient causes.
- To take away the cause is to take away the effect.
- If there be no first cause then there will be no others.
- Therefore, a First Cause exists (and this is God).
His argument comes down to the idea that while everything has a cause one cannot go back to infinity with causes. Thus, there had to be something that is the FIRST CAUSE, and that thing is God. Some will then call God the “un-caused Cause,” since nothing “caused” Him to exist.
Others liken this argument to a series of dominos falling over—someone has to push the first domino. For the universe that someone is an eternal, self-existent God. If something caused God to come into existence we would then have the same question, “What created that?” There has to be a stopping point somewhere where we have to say that there was a definitive mark—a starting point.
How far back can we go—infinity? We then would never be able to know anything. Everything cannot have happened on its own—this actually raises more questions and takes more faith than believing in an eternal, self-existent God. If everything just popped into existence, how can we be sure that we all just didn’t come into existence 5 minutes ago with all our current memories? We couldn’t. So, something has to have started the domino falling, and we believe that it was God.
Another philosopher, who I cannot remember the name of at the moment, said that whatever begins to exist has a cause. Since God never began to exist then we don’t have to worry about the “cause of God” question—as He has always existed. The universe began to exist, thus the universe has a cause (the same could be said about a book, music, home, or machine). But, God has always existed, thus He needs no cause for existence.
Here is where science and philosophy get tangled up. Science used to promote a “solid-state” theory in which everything always existed without a “cause” or “beginning.” Now science promotes a “big bang” theory in which everything that exists now came from one starting in the universe. The only problem with this is that we then must ask, “Where did that [the big bang, and the material that ‘banged’] come from?” It had to have come from somewhere, because it began to exist—and we believe that “somewhere” was from God.
We must remember that God is different than what we understand. He is different than nature and humanity and so the principals that guide us are different for Him (i.e. He is eternal, in all places, and knows all things—all of which humans are not). God is also independent from creation, self-sufficient, and self-existent. All of this means that he does not need anything that from anyone or anything else in order to be content. However, humans are totally dependent on all we can see, and all that we cannot (i.e. air, gravity, and of course God).
Finally, some think that God was just the first thing created, and then He created everything else. I don’t really want to spend a lot of time with that, because, as you can see, it really makes no sense. We are back to the question, “What created the universe in a way that it was able to create God.” I know that this sounds crazy, but believe me, it can get worse! Aristotle argued, there must be a reality that causes but is itself uncaused (or, a being that moves but is itself unmoved).
I hope this helps!