God the Creator

Rev. David Bast Uncategorized

READ : Genesis 1:1

“Prove to me that God is real and I’ll believe in him,” says the skeptic. Well, if you’re waiting for absolute proof, you will never believe.

The oldest summary of the Christian faith outside the Bible is the Apostle’s Creed. It begins with this statement: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.” The God in whom Christians believe is the eternal, all-powerful creator of heaven and earth. He made the universe out of nothing. God alone exists independently. Everything else comes from him. As Genesis says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

CAN YOU PROVE IT?

Can I prove to you that God is real, that he is the all-wise, all-powerful Creator of everything and everyone? I cannot. The Bible says that God can’t be known through the unaided efforts of the human intellect. “Can you by searching find out God?” asks scripture. The answer is No. Listen to more from the ancient book of Job: “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens – what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave – what can you know?” (Job 11:7-8). Human wisdom is not capable of finding God on its own; it just isn’t adequate for the job. No scientific research can discover God’s characteristics. No philosophical study can logically prove that he’s real.

More than that, God himself has made sure that this is how things stand. He has chosen to refuse to allow himself to be discovered through human wisdom – and I, for one, am glad that he did. What if some people could discover God through their research or logic? Imagine if the smartest people were able to figure out who God is on their own. What if the way to come to God and to know God was via intellectual ability – salvation by brainpower, so to speak! Then only a small elite would know the truth, and they would grow arrogant in their superior knowledge and ability, while the majority of us were excluded from knowing God.

But God has chosen a different way. “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. . . . For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength” (1 Corinthians 1:21,25). The only way to know God is through revelation. God has to tell us who he is. We don’t find that out on our own. The way to believe in him is by believing in his word. We don’t discover God; he reveals himself to us through his word written in the Bible and spoken by his appointed servants. This seems foolish to unbelievers. If God is real, why doesn’t he make his existence plain and unmistakable? But God’s “foolishness” is wiser than human wisdom. He has made himself known, really and unmistakably, but only to those who accept the truth of his word. It’s the same whether you’re a university professor or a preschooler: the only way to God is the way of faith. If you have made up your mind that you won’t accept the idea of God until his existence is proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, you will never come to know him.

REASONS TO BELIEVE

So we cannot prove rationally – through reason – that there is a God or that he created the heavens and the earth, at least not in the same way we can prove certain scientific facts or mathematical principles. For example, we can prove that the earth is round, or that 2+2=4, or that the circumference of a circle is the length of its radius multiplied by two times pi. To prove something in this way is to demonstrate convincingly through a process of reasoning or investigation that a thing is true so that it becomes impossible for any rational person to doubt it.

But no one can prove the existence of God in this way. You can’t construct an iron-clad argument establishing God’s existence. Because whatever arguments we may muster for that existence, it will always be possible for reasonable people to counter or reject them. There will always be room for doubt. Of course, the same thing is true for many of the most important things in the world. I can’t prove, for example, that my wife loves me; after all, she might just be pretending. I can’t prove that it is better to give than to receive, or that a garden is more beautiful than a landfill, or that every accused person is entitled to a fair trial. But I still know that all those things are true. Most of the basic principles and values by which we live are not capable of absolute proof in the scientific sense, but that doesn’t bother us. We all know that they are true anyway because they make sense to us, and because life itself makes sense only if these things are true.

Belief in God is not blind or irrational. Many atheists try to make it seem as if only stupid or ignorant people could possibly have faith in the God of the Bible. But that isn’t so. It is reasonable to believe in God, much more reasonable, in my opinion, than the alternative. Just because we cannot prove the existence of God with absolute certainty doesn’t mean we can’t identify valid reasons for believing in him. In fact, let me offer two major reasons to you.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE UNIVERSE

First, it is reasonable to believe in God the Creator because such belief offers a better explanation for the universe than any other alternative. The legendary Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking has said that the most difficult question is not how the universe came into being, but why the universe exists at all. Why is there something, instead of nothing? An atheist or materialist has absolutely no answer for that most basic question. But a Christian knows the answer. There is something, there is a universe, because God chose to make one. He planned it and called it into being. It owes its existence to God’s decision to create. “The Lord Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand’” (Isaiah 14:24). The universe and all it contains is the product of God’s will and creative activity. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. . . . For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:6,9). “My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together” (Isaiah 48:13).

Increasingly today leading scientists are coming to agree with what the Bible says about the Creator God. Comments one prize-winning astronomer, “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. . . . God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing” (quoted in Hugh Ross’s book,The Creator and the Cosmos, chapter 14.)

Consider another question: where did the universe come from? Either the universe – including space and time, matter and energy – had a beginning, or it didn’t. For many centuries philosophers and scientists debated whether there was a God who created everything at the beginning, or the alternative possibility that the universe itself was infinite and eternal. That debate is now over. Scientific and technological advances in our century have established a consensus. The universe is expanding from an initial point in time and space; it had a definite beginning. And if it had a beginning, isn’t it likely that there was Someone there to begin with?

Or think about this question: Where did we come from? How did a physical world made up of energy and elements end up being inhabited by thinking beings, human beings like ourselves? Materialists say it was all done by chance. Mindless, random, unplanned, undirected natural processes are what shaped the universe, formed the earth, and eventually produced us.

But it certainly doesn’t look that way. Science is producing mounting evidence of design in the very structure of the universe. One of the truths that has emerged in the past ten or twenty years of research is just how delicate a balance life requires. A large number of factors must be balanced with incredible precision in order to make life possible. Physicist Dr. Hugh Ross has identified more than sixty different physical features (27 in the universe at large and 35 in our solar system and earth) that must be exactly right in order for life to exist. The chance of all these different factors turning out just right by accident is so infinitely small it does not seem as though any reasonable person could accept it. Scientists have come to call this evidence the Anthropic Principle, by which they mean that the universe looks as though it was specially designed for the purpose of producing and supporting human life – in the same way that a house is especially designed and built for the purpose of enabling someone to live there. And if there is design behind the universe, there must be a Designer.

Yet many intellectuals continue to reject this evidence of design and the idea of a Creator. There are always alternative explanations. One suggestion proposed today by some materialists is that there are an infinite number of universes, and ours just happens to be the one where everything fell into place. Does that sound more reasonable than believing in God the Creator of heaven and earth?

What seems more reasonable to me is the testimony of a growing number of scientists – not necessarily Christians – who have become convinced by evidence in the cosmos that God is real. Here is a sampling of what some of today’s leading astronomers and physicists are saying:

A superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology.

[There] is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all . . . It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe . . . . The impression of design is overwhelming.

The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.

(Quoted in Hugh Ross’s book, The Creator and the Cosmos, chapter 14)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT US

You do not have to be a trained scientist to see evidence of the Creator’s design in things. You can find such evidence in your own mind and heart. One convincing argument that belief in God is reasonable is the fact that this is the best explanation for where the physical universe came from and why it is the way it is. But a Creator God is the best answer not only to questions about physical nature but to those about human nature as well. In other words, God is the best explanation for how we came to be the way we are. Where did our minds come from? How could the ability to think and reason arise, if not from another Mind, the mind of the Creator? Even more startling is the fact that our thoughts correspond to the nature of external reality in the universe. Our minds are able to understand the laws of nature. If the universe is simply a mindless progression of accidents, there is no reason to expect that our thinking could make any connection with it at all. The very fact that we can know the “laws of nature” implies that there is a Law-Giver who also gave us minds capable of understanding them – and him.

Or consider this. How could random impersonal forces ever produce creatures who are persons? Where did our consciousness and personal identity come from? Where did the idea of morality come from, our instinctive sense of right and wrong? Different cultures might disagree sometimes about what is right and what is wrong, but every culture agrees that there is such a thing as “right” and “wrong.” Why is it that we all have this sense of “ought-ness” that certain things should be done, no matter what they cost – even though they cost our lives – while other things should not be done, even though they would make us rich?

The best answer to all these questions is the statement we started with: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.” We are what we are because we were made in the image of a personal, wise and holy God.

Of course, it’s one thing to say you believe in the Creator because of the evidence of his design and work in the world or within ourselves. Most people can get that far just by looking at nature. They can accept Genesis 1 because it is the best explanation of where everything – including us – came from. But to be able to say that this almighty Creator is also our loving heavenly Father – well, for that you need to know the whole story. You need to listen to the rest of the Bible, and hear the good news that the Creator is also our Redeemer, the God and Father of Jesus Christ.