Sunday, October 20, 2019
One of the most common questions an atheist may try to pose to a Christian is, “where did God come from?” In other words, who created God? Or when did God begin?
The question itself is actually misleading because of God’s eternal nature. God didn’t spontaneously appear; he’s always been there. When a Christian tends to establish God’s eternal nature, the atheist may follow-up with a different question, “but doesn’t everything have to be created to exist? So how can God exist if he wasn’t created?”
Again, that question can run into a number of problems. First, if something supposedly created God, then who created that being who created God? The series of beings creating the next being would go on ad infinitem. Which, of course, would be impossible.
No, just as stated in Aristotelian philosophy, we need an unmoved mover to logically stop this ad infinitem series of one creator continually being created. We need God.
This article will endeavor to discuss the origins of the word God, answer the question of who created God or where he came from, cover God’s omnipotence and omniscience, and how we can know God is really there.
What Does the Word “God” Mean?
The origin of the word god is a bit enigmatic. Our English version of the word comes from a Greek word meaning “to pour,” but may also have been influenced by a mix of other cultures and languages, as explained by the Online Etymology Dictionary. However, of course, the concept of God existed long before then.
In Hebrew, there are various names for our God, but in terms of a false deity, we see the word elohyim used in the first of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3) about having no other gods before the one true God. The word tends to mean rulers, judges, or divine ones.
What/Who Is God?
God is the Creator of the Universe (Genesis 1:1). Through him and by him, all things are made (Romans 11:36). He sustains every living thing. Every living thing is finite and contingent upon his existence. Because of his infinite nature, he is not reliant on anything for his existence.
To answer the question posed above, nothing created God. Nothing had to. If something always existed (eternal) then nothing can create it.
This is part of the reason why atheists may try to argue that the universe always existed, because then it wouldn’t need a Creator. Something eternal isn’t contingent. Of course, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, as explained here by Live Science, shows the universe has a limited amount of energy and is therefore finite.
And therefore, it needed a Creator.
God is also our Father as well as Creator. He didn’t simply create everything, sit back, and let the world tick on its own, as a deist perspective might suggest. Instead, he made himself part of the narrative.
We, his creation, are his children. We can see verses about God’s fatherhood throughout the Old and New Testament. God has compassion for his children (Psalm 103:13) and those who honor him. He cares for all creation and values us greatly (Matthew 6:26). We come to know God the Father through our relationship with Jesus (John 14:6), and our Father is everlasting (Isaiah 9:6)
Where Did God Come From?
So if God is everlasting, where did he come from?
The question is contradictory. God does not change, he does not move, and he didn’t come from somewhere (Hebrews 13:8). He always was, is, and is to come.
For more verses about God, click here.
What Was God Doing before Creation?
This may prompt us to wonder what God was doing before Creation. After all, Creation started at a set point in time, and God, being eternal, is outside of time. So what did God do before He made the world?
As this article from Ken Ham points out, this question also misunderstands that when God created the Universe, he also created time. Time needs space and matter to exist, and neither existed until God created them. “Before creation” technically is a misnomer because God exists in eternity and isn’t bound by the constraints of a timeline. Time didn’t exist until God declared it to exist.
Still, we shouldn’t assume God was doing nothing, as stated in this article by Don Stewart. He had an eternal plan (John 17:24) before Creation. Also, we do have to keep in mind that God wasn’t alone. God is the Trinity, three persons in one. God didn’t need Creation to fill a loneliness in his heart.
It gets a little confusing, but as humans, we have finite minds, attempting to comprehend an infinite God.
What Does It Mean That God Is Omnipotent and Omniscient?
We have two other difficult concepts to understand about God.
First: He’s all powerful (Omnipotent, Job 42:2)
Second: He’s all knowing (Omniscient)
These two play into his eternal nature because if he wasn’t either, he would be finite. And if he’s finite, he’s dependent on something. And if God is dependent on something, that means we need to worship something greater than him.
Lucky for us, God is both of those things, and therefore not finite in his power or wisdom. Diving further into either of those would take entire articles and books.
What Makes the Christian God Different Than Other Gods?
So if God created the world, how do we know he’s any different than the gods of other religions? Those groups claim their god also created, and some of those gods appear to be all powerful or all knowing.
Here’s how we know our God is distinctive.
First, he wants a personal relationship with his creation. No other god is willing to come down in the form of man, suffer a horrendous death, for the sake of having a relationship with their creation. You do not see that in other religions.
Second, the religious texts for our God are scientifically, historically, and prophetically more accurate than the texts of any other religion. Although you can’t use a text as definitive proof of someone’s existence, it certainly bolsters the possibility. For an in-depth analysis of this, check out Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.
Third, God is not dependent on his creation. Other religions (both monotheistic and polytheistic) run into a couple of theological issues. If the god is one and only one, then the god creates out of boredom or loneliness. That would make the god dependent on his creation. If there are many gods, then there is no one true powerful being, and therefore, they are finite in power. However, if God is one, but with three persons within the one (the Trinity) then God creates as an act of love, not necessity, and maintains His omnipotence.
How Can We Know God Is Really There?
We can see God in creation. The irreducible complexity of all creation points to intelligent design. The beauty and practicality of all creation shows God cares for those he creates and appreciates our beauty.
On a logical standpoint, we have to consider how the universe came into existence in the first place. Because of the second law of thermodynamics, the universe is finite. That means something infinite had to create it. And based on the mathematical patterns and complexity we see in creation, it had to be something all-powerful, personal, and eternal.
All of creation points to a Creator (Psalm 19:1-4)
So we can ask where did God come from, or who created God? The answer is that God has always been there, and no one created him.
But he did create us. We can see his fingerprints on everything. Creation proves God’s infinite nature, his compassionate spirit, and his power and knowledge. Better than any other god presented by any other religion, our Father wants a personal relationship with his creation.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Greg Rakozy
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a recent graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 450 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column “Hope’s Hacks,” tips and tricks to avoid writer’s block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly in the Serious Writer newsletter. Her modern-day Daniel, “Blaze,” (Illuminate YA) released in June, and they contracted the sequel “Den” for July 2020. Find out more about her here.