How does God know that there is no god above him?

by Matt Slick

Sometimes atheists ask Christians to prove that God exists so they can feel justified in their denial of him when proof isn't satisfactorily given. On one occasion, an atheist wanted me to speak for God. She asked me, "How does God know that he is omniscient and that there is no God beyond him?" She went on to ask how I would know that God is not being deceived into thinking he was the only God and that maybe there was a God above him that he did not know about. So how could I know for sure that God actually did know there wasn't another god besides Him. I thought that was interesting considering that she denied the existence of "all" gods. Nevertheless, what made her think I could speak for God and tell her how His infinite knowledge works so as to convince her that He knew there was no god above Him? It seemed a little strange to me. Even so, let me take a stab at the question and offer some comments.

First, to ask me how I know that God knows that there is no god above Him is to ask me to prove a negative. In other words, the atheist asked for the impossible because she "wanted" me to convince her that there was no god above God--the God that she doesn't believe in. After all, she wasn't asking God this question. She asked me to convince her that there is not another god in all existence besides the biblical God. This is, of course, impossible. Therefore, we are left with trusting God at His word when He says there are no other gods besides Him (Isaiah 44:6).

Second, by definition, the God of Christianity is the greatest being above whom no greater being can exist (Isaiah 44:6, 8; 45:5). Therefore, to ask me to demonstrate that there is no god above God is to have me doubt what God says about Himself and also subject the truth of His statements about His uniqueness to my human reasoning and that of an atheist. That, of course, is problematic. 

Third, God reveals Himself to us in the Bible, and in so doing He declares that He knows all things (1 John 3:20). Based on this, God would know if there is a God besides Him. But for me to cast doubt on God's omniscience by trying to prove His omniscience to an atheist is to deny the very definition of the Christian God I believe in in order to prove the God I believe in. In other words, she would be asking me to deny God's self-revealing statements in order for me to verify those same self-revealed statements as being true. The question leads to self-contradiction and is not a good question.

Fourth, the atheist might respond by saying how do we know that God knows all things? Just because He says He does, doesn't mean He does. Really? And how would she know that? Actually, if God says He knows all things, then He does know all things because that's what it means for Him to be God. God alone would know exactly what He means by His statements of claiming omniscience and uniqueness. Suffice it to say that we can trust Him at His word. Therefore, when He says there is no God besides Him (Isaiah 44:6), our only option is to believe that He knows what He's talking about since it would be impossible for us to demonstrate anything to the contrary.

If the atheist/questioner does not accept any of the above comments, then I would like to ask him about the practical implications of such a question. After all, if God exists, the God of this universe, then it is to Him whom we are accountable. Since there is no revelatory information about a God or gods beyond the God of the Bible, then it makes sense to say that we will answer to the God who created us. For the atheist to ask her question in an attempt to stump the Christian, and thereby in some way demonstrate that the biblical God does not exist or that there is a god above him, does not negate our accountability to the God of the Bible.

 

 

 

 
 
CARM ison