Who made God?

by Matt Slick
7/26/2016

Who made God? No one made God. God has always existed. Now, some might not accept that simple answer. But the truth is both biblical and logical.  God has always existed. Let me explain. 

The Bible tells us that God is eternal and unchanging.

  • Psalm 90:2, "Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."
  • Malachi 3:6, "For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed."

 As a Christian, I stand on God's inspired word and must tell you what he has revealed about himself in those pages. The two verses above should be sufficient to answer the question "who made God"? The answer is, as I said before, no one made God.  He is  "from everlasting to everlasting" and he "does not change".  If he does not change, then he must have always been.  But, some might not be satisfied with such a succinct and biblically-based response. So, let's take a look at the issue logically.

Logically, no one made God

There are logical problems when we examine the issue of who made God.  Let's begin with the assumption a lot of people make that "everything that exists was caused to exist." This statement has at least two logical difficulties. First, we do not know if it is true. Second, there cannot be an infinite regression of causes; there must be a single uncaused cause. Let me tackle both these issues.

The statement "everything that exists was caused to exist" is an assumption. There is no way to prove that it is true. People can assume its accuracy, but assumptions don't prove anything. When we apply this to the issue of God, since God is completely different than what we are, there is no way to validate the statement. We do not know all things, in all places, in all times. Therefore, we cannot say with absolute assurance that "everything that exists was caused to exist." It just can't be proven to be true. 

An infinite regression of causes is impossible

Nevertheless, if we were to work with the idea that God was caused exist, then we have to ask what caused the cause of God to exist? We could propose a "Pre-Existent-Something" and say that it is what created God. Okay, then what created the "Pre-Existent-Something"?  We would then say "Pre-Existent-Something 2" created the "Pre-Existent-Something 1".  Okay, then what created "Pre-Existent-Something 2"?  We would respond by saying that "Pre-Existent-Something 3" created "Pre-Existent-Something 2".  We then would be required to ask the question infinitely and we would have an eternal set of causes of causes. But this cannot be.  Let me explain.

Actual infinite and potential infinite

There are two kinds of infinities that are discussed in philosophy: actual and potential. First of all, an actual infinite can be illustrated with a line that is one meter long. How many points are on that line?1 Logically, there is an infinite number of points on that line. Okay, so let's take half of that meter. How many points are on that one-half meter line? Again the answer would be an infinite number of points. But, how can half the number of infinite points be equal to the whole of infinite points since both are infinite? See the problem? This illustrates why actual infinities can't exist.

On the other hand, a potential infinite occurs when something has a beginning, but is added to. So let's take that same meter and add one centimeter to its length every second. As long as time progresses, then the length of our line has a potential to be infinitely long. Furthermore, whenever we stop and examine that line in order to measure its length, it will always be a finite length. This is because whenever we stop the succession of additions in order to count how many centimeters exist in that line, we always have a finite number.

When were talking about an infinite regression of uncaused causes, we are talking about it actual infinite, not a potential infinite. Actual infinites have no beginnning. Potential infinites do. Again, when we are saying that the causes of things "Pre-Existent-Something" goes on backward in time forever, we're saying that it's occurred for an infinitely long period of time, an actual infinite amount of time. But this can't work because actual infinites can't really exist. Furthermore, if things went backward in time for an infinite duration, then logically there would be no first cause and without a first cause, there can be no second cause, or a third, or a fourth, etc.  And to add to the problem, in order to get from "time's infinite then" to 'now,' an infinite amount of events would need to be transverse in order to arrive at the present. But, an infinite number of events cannot be traversed; otherwise, the number of events is not infinite. So, logically, there cannot be an infinite regression of causes.

Since we only have two options to work with, an infinite regression of causes and not an infinite regression of causes, and the infinite regression of causes cannot be true, then the only other option left to us is "not an infinite regression of causes." In other words, causes didn't go back forever.  There must be a single uncaused cause, a beginning.

That beginning is God.

Personal or Impersonal Cause

However, some might say that the cause of the universe was not God. Instead it was an impersonal natural force. But that idea also has problems. An impersonal natural force (pre-existent something) cannot make any decisions and could not decide to create at any particular time. Therefore, if it brought the universe into existence, it had to already have all the necessary attributes as part of what it was. But if it had those attributes naturally, then the first act of  of creating would have been automatic, not decided. Furthermore, if this impersonal cause preexisted everything, then it was existing "forever" in its natural state. But that means that it would've automatically brought the first cause into existence an infinitely long time ago.  This would mean that our universe was infinitely old. But our universe is not infinitely old. Therefore, an impersonal cause of all things is not possible.

Instead, it must be that a personal cause which was always existing, decided at a certain point in time to create our universe. This way, the uncaused cause can exist "forever," but also make a decision to create at any particular time. This would mean that there was a first cause, a beginning. This position can explain everything.

The Bible and Logic agree

The Bible, when declaring that God is eternal (Psalm 90:2), verifies the logic which negates the possibility of an infinite regression of impersonal causes. God is, necessarily, the single uncaused cause  and it was he who created the universe in which we dwell. Therefore, no one created God. God is eternal, uncreated, independent of the universe, and noncontingent.

This later description of him is called his aseity.  Aseity is the characteristic of God that describes his eternal independence of all things. God is noncontingent in that he is not dependent upon anything else for his existence or his decisions. We, on the other hand, are contingent in that we depend on God for our existence.

This means that God is vastly different in superior to ourselves. He exists as the single uncaused cause to whom we ought to bow the knee and honor as the great Creator. But, if you choose not to do that, if you choose to deny the greatness of God and his eternal nature, then you will have to deal with that disagreement when you face him.

Jesus

As a final note, since God is completely other than us, completely different, who exists outside and even inside space and time (since he created them and is not limited to them), then the only way to know anything about him as if he were to exercise his will once again and enter his creation as one of us. This is exactly the case with Jesus who according to Scripture is that divine God in flesh. Therefore, all people ought to consider self revelation of God in the person of Jesus.

  • John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...14 And the Word became flesh, and cdwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
  • Colossians 2:9, "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form."

 

 

 

  • 1. A point is a location and has no dimension, no size. Therefore, there's enough "room" on that imaginary line for an infinite number of locations.
 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.