August 28, 2015

Did God Create the Universe?

Genesis 1:1 ~ “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

John 1:3 – “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

Colossians 1:16 ~ “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.”

I intend to address a handful of issues concerning the Creation which I believe actually took place and can be reasoned for through logical understanding and outside of the Cosmological Argument. This will be a intellectual blending of logic/reasoning and theological understanding. I will pose three questions for this post with commentary. Did God create everything? Has Creation and creatures of the Creation always existed and Did God Create Time [Did time start at the Creation]?

Why bother? Because today there are many “learned” men respected and venerated in the culture that are claiming the Universe (Creation) has always existed or permutations thereof that support an eternal universe. They cling to these convoluted and tenuous arguments even though the underlying concepts in things like the Cosmological Argument, Kalam Cosmological Argument [1] and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics can refutes these assertions. Among these men are Stephen Hawking, Saurya Das and Ahmed Farag Ali. We also had Baum–Frampton who supported the cyclic or rebounding or oscillating universe theory and even the least probable of the Big Bang avoidance theories: String Theory.

String Theory that theoretically could have an infinite “string” of possible universes. A premise that would most certainly demand that science consider infinitude in reality. Infinitude that could only be attributed to an infinite series of regressive universes or more specifically, parallel universes. This of course would be a violation of logic. According to most physicists, it appears it would be a violation of physics also. Most physicists would disclaim infinity in Physics because it has no empirical measurable quantity. For example, presumed impossible for any type of body to have infinite mass or infinite energy. Concepts of infinite things such as an infinite plane wave exist, but there are no experimental means to generate them. Their naturalism comes full circle to shoot them in the foot.

Also as I have stated in older posts, Newtonian physics indirectly hints at the need for existence of a God-like being to have a Creation/Universe with an inception point. If we consult Newton's First and Third Laws of Motion we read that: (Law 1) An object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force. We know that the universe is in motion and is expanding. It is not at rest. It therefore has been acted upon and is in action. It is no longer at rest but put in motion by something. (Law 3) When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. If the universe is in motion (which it is), that means something in equal magnitude to the matter of Creation had to have exerted and immense amount of initial force to get the Creation/Universe in motion. That is a rather extraordinary force. Perhaps the proper term should be super-ordinary or supernatural force?

That being said, I pose the further question under the assumption that God does indeed exist…

Did God Create Everything? Yes

I believe that everything that has being (ontologically) and is in existence…is from God. Anything that is in motion and is involved in the Universe must be caused directly by that which it is associated with. In essence: A spark ignites the flame that draws the moth. A series of causal events. God being a self-sufficient/existent is the simplest explanation of a self-subsistent Being. Just as God is infinite, God therefore is the source of the irreducible regress of causation. 

Slaves to Cause

In all things that exist and have their being…their origin of being is found in the ontological source of God. They are not of their own being, they are dependent on their existence. Said another way, all things that “are” or all beings apart from God are not their own being, but are beings by partaking or involvement with another: God. They are essentially ontologically owned. They are servants or slaves of God. We are all dependent beings…and all things are dependent things. Slaves to causation.

If all beings and all things are dependent we again resort back to Aristotle’s Uncaused Cause because if we say something existed eternally other than a self-sufficient/existent being forces us into an infinite regress of causation. Logic forbids this. Philosophically, the greatest thinkers said it this way. They pointed towards God either in their statements about unity or about the greatest Being/Truth (infinitude). Plato said that unity must come before multitude, or from the One, the many (Plato's Parmenides xxvi) and Aristotle said (Metaphysics ii, book 4) that whatever is greatest in being and greatest in truth, is the cause of every being and of every truth; just as whatever is the greatest in heat is the cause of all heat.

Furthermore not only is God the source of all existence, He is also the One who sustains all of it according to Scripture.

Hebrews 1:1-3 ~ “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word

Along the same lines a similar question is often asked.

Have Creation and Creatures always Existed? No

Nothing except God a non-dependent self-sufficient/existent Being can be eternal. This is far from a statement that cannot be substantiated. The will of God or the self-sufficient/existent Being that is the source of all causation is the cause of all things. By the power of His word/will sustains all things. If He sustains them (Hebrews 1:3), He most certainly created them by speaking them into existence.

Psalm 33:9 ~ “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”

Hebrews 11:3 ~ “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."

All things are necessary. They are necessary in accordance with God’s decrees and God’s will. Just as the effect is dependent on a cause, so too being is dependent on not just Being…but a being that has a will to create what exists now. We exist because of a volitional action of a self-sufficient/existent Being/Cause with a will. Since God needed nothing other than Himself in Trinity in eternity past, it would require volitional act of will for God for any thing to exist other than Himself…being the ultimate cause of being and reality (ref: Aristotle; Metaphiscs V, Book 6)

Because of my love of the science fiction premise of time travel I pose one last question of great interest to me personally.

Did God Create Time? [Did Time Start at The Creation]? Yes

I am going to sidestep the entire idea of space-time continuum here made so popular by the likes of Carl Sagan, H.G. Well’s Time Machine and Dr. Who. I will do so by delving directly into the theological and philosophical, logical explanations.

Genesis explicitly says, "In the beginning God created heaven and earth.”

The Bible explicitly says beginning or start. There was a start or beginning of a sequence of events. This stands in the face of those that will make the claim that the Creation (or creatures within it) always was. The word here in Hebrew is reshith which literally means first in place and time. In the Greek Septuagint it is ἀρχῇ. The word arche/ ἀρχῇ is a word used to designate beginnings in a temporal or time-bound sense of the word. It is referring to a particular time. In this case, when God called Heavens and Earth into existence as He willed them ex nihilo [out of nothing]. Therefore anything “previous” to this temporally was God and only God. That includes the absence of time as we understand it. 

Since science claims space and time are on a continuum, we should not find this surprising. If there was a beginning of material existence, there logically had to be a beginning of time attached to it. The Apostle John placed the same words at the commencement of his Gospel to force our minds to an absolute but inconceivable “beginning,” when the work of creation had not yet even commenced. When in the whole of existence…there was only God in the form of the Trinity. Which is exactly what John is alluding to when he said The Word/Jesus was face to face or towards God (the Father) in an intimate relationship.

[1] The Kalām Cosmological Argument is derived from the “normal” Liebnizian Cosmological Argument from Gottfried Leibniz that says that: (1) Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence (2) If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God (3) The Universe exists (4) Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (1 & 3) (5) Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God (2 & 4). If we add to this the stipulation that the universe is not eternal but actually had a beginning. If it had a beginning it therefore is contingent or dependent and therefore…has a cause (or creator God). This argument reinforces Liebniz’s original argument by adding an additional step of logic making it harder to refute.]

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