Jan11 2010

Who Made God? – Part 1

It was one of those rare nights when I didn’t have any commitments, no meetings, no place where I had to be, and no particular plans. I sat down in front of the t.v. with a plate of buffalo wings that I had just picked up on the way home, and reached for the remote. I’m so busy these days that I don’t have a lot of spare time to watch television, and after only a few minutes of searching through the channels, I realized that I really hadn’t missed anything worthwhile anyway. I decided to watch a dvd that I had purchased a while back and even though I had already watched it once, it was worth viewing again to pick up on any details that I may have missed the first time.

The title was “The God Delusion Debate” which was an actual debate that took place in 2007 in an auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama and was filmed before a sold-out audience. One of the debaters was Dr. John Lennox, a scientist, mathematician, author, and Christian theologian who was representing Christianity. Dr. Lennox holds doctorates from Oxford, Cambridge, and the University of Wales, as well as an MA in Bioethics from the University of Surrey. The other speaker was scientist, author, and well-known atheist, Richard Dawkins. Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. As an author, he has written several best-selling books. In fact, his most recent book, “The God Delusion”, was the topic of that evening’s debate as the two speakers gave arguments and counter-arguments over some of the points that Dawkins had presented in his book.

One of the points from Dawkins’ book that they discussed was the question, “Who made God?” (“Where did God come from?”, “What caused God?”, etc.). Apparently, Dawkins had devoted a considerable amount of time to this in his book, so he must honestly feel that this is a difficult and serious argument against the existence of God. Even though this question is often asked by the average person on the street, I was both disappointed and surprised to hear such a question put forth in a best-selling book by one of the world’s leading atheists who obviously prides himself on his great intellect.

The question itself is really not all that difficult and it involves a couple of issues. First of all, the question is invalidated by the fact that it commits an error in logic by confusing two different categories. Dawkins’ question would be similar to asking, “Who is that bachelor married to?”, or “What does the color red sound like?” In both cases, the question makes the mistake of attempting to mix two distinct and separate categories. Such questions are therefore invalid because they violate this foundational rule of logic. The same rule applies to this question about God. Such questions as, “What caused this?’, “Who made this?”, and “Where did this come from?” are perfectly legitimate questions within the category of that which is finite. However, God, by definition, would be in the category of that which is infinite, therefore such questions would not apply to God. So, the obvious answer to Dawkins’ question is that no one and nothing “made” God. Nothing “caused” God, and He didn’t “come from” anywhere. Nevertheless, even though we understand that the question itself is invalid, we still feel the need to ask it. And so, many people such as Dawkins continue to ask it. Is there another, more “satisfying” answer to this question? I believe that there is, and we will explore it in my next post.

7 Responses to “Who Made God? – Part 1”

  1. Matt Anderson says:

    Marty, great to see you started a blog. I look forward to seeing what the more satisfying answer would be to this question.

    It is always a mindbender to try to comprehend the infinite.

    • martyclapp says:

      Matt, it's great to hear from you! Thanks so much for your encouragement and participation. I only wish that I hadn't waited so long to launch this project, but, as they say, "better late than never"!

  2. Danny Gladstone says:

    Marty, Awsome!!! What a question to start your blog off with. I believe our creation started with GOD and people ask or think about this question often. I am waiting for your answer so my thoughts may be renewed.

  3. Hi Marty,

    It would be very lengthy reply for me to cover my ideas on creation and the existence of God. Instead, I want to refer a book to you that covers ideas on creation. It’s a book self-published by John Saggio of Apache Junction, Arizona, titled “The Destiny of Israel and the Twilight of Christianity: In Quest of the Meaning and Significance of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. I input his website above. Mr. Saggio, in working with his thoughts, relates that the ancient peoples did not write the Scriptures to prove there was a God; that was a given for them.

    I’ll just input a couple of ideas that he covers in his book relating to creation.

    1. People really stumble on the sun not being around until the fourth day. The differences in the meanings between the Hebrew words asah and bara could make a difference as to what was going on with the sun. The sun, moon, and stars appear in relationship to the planet earth, not their creation. God wasn’t out in a black hole somewhere. The universe was already there; it was just the earth that was chaotic.

    2. Mr. Saggio discusses the time periods relating to evening, morning, day, and night as being literal, in keeping with the daily experiences of ancient peoples.

    Mr. Saggio also discusses his translation of Genesis 6:1-8 as not being giants, Adam’s sin resulting in biological death-not spiritual death, and the royal line of Adam.

    The contents of the book are on-line also.

    Margaret Carr

  4. John Allcott says:

    Great start to the new blog, Bro!
    Agreed, the Dawkins' question is a no-brainer. Like his opinion that life on Earth may have been seeded by space aliens!

  5. [...] This post is Part 2 in the series “Who Made God?”. Click here to read Part 1 first. [...]

  6. Casey S. says:

    There are several interesting things to look at while keeping Genesis "creation account" under observation.

    1. The poetic language of the text
    2. The hebrew word for "day" = yowm (יוֹם) is used to denote a literal 24hr period.

    While I will leave my opinion on the topic unanswered, I will like to remind readers that the purpose of Genesis 1 is not to scientifically show "how" the universe/world was created, but rather show the reader through "whom" the world was created.

  • In today's world, there is a great deal of confusion when it comes to matters of truth, meaning, morality, our origin, and our destiny. The purpose of Renewed Thoughts is to bring clarity to such issues by examining them in light of a Biblical worldview, using the tools of science, philosophy, and critical thinking.