Sunday, June 26, 2022

Who Made God?

By Gerald Cowan


    Where did God come from?

    This is a common question, usually from atheists and skeptics, but sometimes from children too. All of us, even children, seem to know intuitively that everything which happens or exists had to have a cause, something or someone, that produced it or made it happen. If that is true, then God must also need a cause. God is something, so God must have been produced by some cause outside himself. If we say God is an exception to the rule can there be other exceptions too? The conclusion the atheist or unbelieving skeptic seeks to arrive at is that there is no God, that the claim for the existence of God is illogical. Therefore the existence of God is impossible – He does not and cannot really exist. Here’s the logic: if what we call God had to have a beginning and a cause that produced Him, then there would have to be an endless regression of causes for the caused. Who caused the cause that caused God to exist, and who caused the cause that caused the cause that caused God to exist, etc ad infinitum. It would be illogical, an exercise in futile nonsense. Anything that needs a cause cannot be called God. So, if God needed a cause then God is not God, and if God is not God there is nothing that can be called God – therefore, there is no God. However, there is a simple but profound answer to this. We tell our children, “Nobody made God. God has always been. God has no beginning and no end – God is eternal; God is forever.”  That usually satisfies a child. But maturing thought and reason ask more. To be acceptable and satisfying our answer must be logical and complete. At least it must be immune to logical contradiction.

    It is important to insist on two major dicta. First: something cannot come from nothing, and there can be no exception. If nothing at all exists then nothing at all can come from it and nothing at all will ever exist. Nothing makes or produces itself. Second: for every existing thing there must have been a prior sufficient cause that produced it. In this case it is a logical philosophical necessity that there be one, but only one, exception to the rule. There must be one and only one uncaused cause, one who is eternal and absolutely perfect in every conceivable attribute who could then cause everything else to become and be. Only such a perfect being could be called God. How can we prove this? Remember, as we know and must admit, nothing has come or can come from nothing. If there were ever a time when there was absolutely nothing in existence, then nothing would have ever come into existence. But things do exist. Therefore, since there could never have been absolutely nothing, something had always to have been in existence. That ever-existing thing is what we call God. God is the uncaused Being who caused everything else to come into existence. God is the uncreated Creator who created all existing things, the universe and everything in it. An existing God is a logical, philosophical, and ontological necessity.

    We have shown His existence to be a logical or philosophical necessity. But what do we mean by ontological necessity? This too is a matter of philosophy, but it is stated either directly or by necessary inference in the Bible. It applies more to the attributes of the existing God than to His necessary existence. Do not forget the essential point: nothing makes or creates itself; nothing brings itself into existence. The existence of any created thing ultimately requires an original uncreated creator. But what about the attributes of the Uncaused Cause?  What kind of being is it? Here is where ontology is the determining factor. Ontology is sometimes defined as “that than which nothing greater can be conceived.” But that is an awkward easily misconstrued statement that ends up being meaningless. Simply stated, it is an argument from perfection. For every manifestation or attribute it is necessary to assume that the perfect form of the attribute exists. Notice how this applies to what can be called the essential attributes of God.  With regard to essential being, God is eternal, as we have already noted. Scripture makes the claim often. His very name JEHOVAH means the everlasting One who was and is and will be, the Eternal. A necessary corollary to eternality is immutability. Material things are subject to change and decay, but the eternal One is unchanging, not subject to change. “Behold, I am the Lord (God); I change not” (Mal. 3:6). He is non-material Spirit – unchanging and non-material, the perfect form of being. (John 4:24). He is perfect in knowledge – omniscient, all-knowing. There is nothing past, present, or future that is hidden from Him, nothing that He does not know – including what you think and intend at any time (Heb. 4:12-13). He is perfect in power, omnipotent, almighty, all powerful (Rev. 19:6). He is not limited in presence. He is everywhere all the time, omnipresent and therefore able to know all things at all times (Psalm 139:7-12). The sum of all this is that God is perfect in all aspects of His being. So there you have it: God is perfect, the eternal, unchanging, all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere-present Spirit. We can also apply the principle of ontology to the relative attributes of God, such as love, truth, law and the many sub-sets in each of them. Nobody can find a flaw or imperfection in anything about God. His love is perfect, and it is impossible for Him to lie, impossible for Him to do or want to do anything that is wrong. The God who necessarily exists is necessarily perfect, in His essential being and in all His attributes.

    One last thing: perfection requires oneness, a unit and not a union or a multiplicity. So there is ONE GOD, one and only one, now, forever, and eternally (Ex. 20:1-2, Deut. 6:4, 1 Cor. 8:4-6). Fractions are by nature incomplete, imperfect. A composite whole is imperfect too, unless the parts are integral, having no separate identity or existence apart from the whole. So there are not many Gods, and the One True God is not a composite of several separate Gods. Of course, that brings up the doctrine of “Trinity” – the concept of “one God in three persons” but still only one God?  Is that a Union of three – a multiple God – or somehow a true singularity?  The question requires much more space and will be treated separately at another time.
- Gerald Cowan, a longtime preacher and missionary, is retired from full-time pulpit preaching. Gerald publishes an e-mail newsletter entitled GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICAL WRITINGS. He is available for Gospel Meetings and he may be contacted at

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