On this Q&A episode of the Reasonable Theology podcast we’re tackling a listener question submitted by a young man named Kyler:
“My question is how to explain to somebody that God didn’t have a creator without them questioning you, ‘Well who created God?'”
On this episode you’ll hear an answer to the question “Who created God?” Hopefully, this will help you to think more biblically about how the Creator is distinct from His Creation, and how you be more confident in answering similar questions.
Answering the Question “Who Created God?”
Thank you, Kyler for listening to the podcast and for submitting your question!
As we think about how to answer a question like this, its important to note that our claim is that everything that began to exist – everything that was created – has to have a cause or a creator. And so some will respond to this claim by asking “then who created God?” This is a good question and one that can leave Christians feeling stumped on how best to answer.
However, notice something important about this claim. We do not say that everything that exists has to have a cause, but everything that began to exist has a cause. Every effect must have a cause, every creation must have a creator.
But God does not have a cause or a creator because He has always existed. He is eternal; He has no beginning and no end. Part of what it means for God to be God is that He is the uncreated Creator. He is the uncaused cause of all things. He has to be, or He would not be God.
If God had someone or something that brought Him into being, there would necessarily be something older and more powerful than God. And then we are no longer talking about God at all, because the God of the Bible is, by definition, both eternal and all-powerful (among other essential attributes).
Here’s one way we can try to wrap our minds around this concept. Imagine you drew two circles on a piece of paper, and labeled one of them “God,” and one of them “Not God.” Everything in that second circle – time, matter, energy – must have had a creator. God, however, is not in the same category as everything else in the universe.
We make a mistake when we imagine one circle with God and all He made in it. There are many worldviews that reject God and that think that there is only one circle and everything in the universe must fit within it and play by the same rules.
This is a mistake because when we are talking about God we are necessarily talking about a being who is in entirely different category than what He created. God didn’t have a creator, because when we are talking about God we are by definition talking about the Creator of all other things.
For some who ask who created God, this answer will be enough for them. However, some people you talk to will have difficulty with the idea that God could have always existed. So, let’s dig a little deeper to explore how this can be the case.
God has always existed and He exists outside of time, because He is the one who created it. It’s one of the many things that would be in the second circle we drew.
Even those who do not believe in a Creator recognize that our universe – and even time – had a beginning. The late physicist Steven Hawking said that “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang.”
While Hawking and many others see the Big Bang as the ultimate cause of all things, the Bible tells us that God is the uncaused cause, the uncreated Creator of everything else.
In the Gospel of John 1:1-3, we read:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Everything that began to exist must have a cause. That cause must necessarily exist prior to the thing that came into being – whether it is matter, energy, or anything else.
And so we aren’t bending the rules to fit the Bible when we say that God did not need to have a cause. The belief that something was the primary cause of everything else is not exclusive to those who believe in God as the Creator.
There was a time when scientists argued that the universe itself was eternal, but they have since come to recognize that the universe must have had a beginning. Therefore, they must attempt to explain what it was that existed prior to the universe that caused it to begin – what was it that caused the Big Bang?
For the universe to explode into being at the Big Bang, as they claim, there had to be something in existence beforehand. Because as RC Sproul has said, “Nothing doesn’t explode!”
There is an old saying, “Out of nothing, nothing comes.” Those who reject the idea of a personal Creator are forced to either accept the unsatisfying answer that nothing caused everything or acknowledge that something had to exist prior to the Big Bang for it to occur. And the questions must continue in search of an ultimate, impersonal cause that pre-existed all other things and brought them into being.
While some worldviews are willing to accept the idea of an impersonal, uncreated something that caused everything else they have difficulty with the idea that a personal, uncreated Creator caused all things.
As Christians, we know that everything that came into being must have a cause, and everything that was created must have a creator. The Bible reveals that this uncaused cause, this uncreated Creator of all things, is God.
We see it from the very first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The rest of Scripture lays out all that we are to believe concerning God and what God requires of His creation.
So, what can you say to a friend who asks you “Who created God”? You can say that no one and no thing created God because God has no beginning. Since He created everything in the universe – including time – He exists outside of those things. That’s what makes Him God.
Kyler, I hope that answer was helpful to you and I’m encouraged that you are thinking through these important questions.
If you have a question you’d like answered, visit ReasonableTheology.org/Ask and leave us a short message.