Translations

Showing posts with label Christian Evidences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian Evidences. Show all posts

Friday, December 09, 2022

CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES (APOLOGETICS): the Nature of God (published 12-9-2022; article #377; series article #5)

4/7/2017 Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.

Introduction

Greetings, once again, to all national and international readers and students, to this series on Christian Evidences (Apologetics). Greetings, especially to you, dear student. I pray that you are doing well. This is my fifth article in the series.

Two days ago marked the 81st remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day. The infamous date was December 7th, 1941. I remembered. I trust that many other Americans did also.

This article will first summarize the four previous articles in this series. The main purpose of this article is to address what we can know about the character of God through natural revelation.

Secondarily, this article will state and refute the so-called “problem of evil.” It will also address the everlastingness of hell. I have included those sections, as replies to two standard criticisms by atheists.

This article begins to answer the second topic question in this Christian Evidences series: What is the nature of God? Natural revelation provides certain understandings of God's character.

The full answer to this question, however, will be incorporated in future articles on the third and final topic questions in this series: Is the Bible the solely-inspired written word of God? Is Jesus the Son of God?

Summary of First Four Articles

The first article, on 10/28/2022, introduced and explained the purpose of this series. The series will encapsulate my lifelong study of apologetics – in hope that it is read and shared widely. I welcome all relevant comments (in agreement or disagreement) and questions.

The topic question on the existence of God is answered in three articles: on 11/4/2022 by the moral argument, on 11/16/2022 by the teleological argument, and on 11/26/2022 by the cosmological argument. We have three “strong poles” that support the “bright street light.” God exists. The proof cannot be denied logically. It is fact. It is truth. It is faith based on knowledge.

The Nature of God - Natural Revelation

Without referencing the Bible, what can we know about God, through natural revelation? Later articles will prove the inspiration of the Bible. The Bible provides supernatural revelation about God's character.

We can understand aspects of God's nature, by logical reasoning, as we observe His creation. (Supernatural revelation, in the Bible, provides a more full and sufficient understanding of God's character.) This section will list what we know about God, based on the three arguments that prove His existence.

First, from the moral argument, we learn that God is intrinsically moral and that His absolute moral law – which flows from His nature – transcends (is before and above) all moral laws of human origin. We know that God is good, righteous, and wise. God wants us to be good. He despises and must punish human immorality. This is His wisdom. We should follow His wisdom, by doing good.

Next, from the teleological argument, we learn that God is vastly powerful and intelligent. The design in the universe, the earth, and the human body evidence that God's supernatural power and intellect created all that exists. He fashioned each and every intricate design – of the immense and countless designs in the universe. Such great power and intellect stagger and overwhelm the mind.

Finally, from the cosmological argument, we learn that God is eternal, spirit, powerful, intelligent, intrinsic, self-sufficient, essential, and transcendent. God is the essential and eternal First Cause. God, the Creator, has always existed, above and before the material universe.

These characteristics of God are known through natural revelation. There is a God, and we can know much about him, simply by considering the evidence in His natural creation.

The So-Called “Problem of Evil”

Initially, I had thought to include this section in my 11/4/2022 article on the moral argument. I decided to place it here, since it transitions better into the third (upcoming) topic question on the inspiration of the Bible.

Those who deny the reality that God exists (atheists) rely on the so-called “problem of evil” argument – in attempt to convince theists that the God of the Bible does not exist. This section will present that argument and refute it. I place “problem of evil” in quotations, since the argument is not really a problem for the theist. In fact, the “problem of evil” can be used to prove that God exists.

The classic form of the “problem of evil” argument, as often stated, is:

If God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and perfectly good, then evil would not exist. Evil exists. Therefore, God (as described) does not exist.

That classic form, however, is incomplete. It assumes but does not state that God would eliminate all evil immediately. The atheist must admit this.

The complete form of the argument should be:

If God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and perfectly good, then He would eliminate all evil immediately. Evil continues to exist. Therefore, God (as described) does not exist.

The atheist must define his terms. Specifically, how does he define evil? Upon what basis does the atheist determine what is evil? Theoretically, if God did not exist, then evil is defined by the subjective thoughts of mankind. (My complete statement on this is in my 11/4/2022 article on the moral argument.)

The atheist must affirm that there is no absolute evil. He cannot define evil absolutely. He must affirm that he thinks that there is no absolute moral law.

How can the “problem of evil” be used to prove that God exists? I will explain. Afterward, I will reply to the complete form of the “problem of evil.” The argument from the “problem of evil” that proves that God exists is:

If evil is absolute, then an absolute Moral Lawgiver must exist. Evil is absolute. Therefore, an absolute Moral Lawgiver exits.

The atheist, when pressed, will have to admit that certain types of evil are always wrong. Examples include murder, rape, abuse of children and the elderly, adultery, intent to harm, and so forth. The atheist will vacillate subjectively on certain other types of evil – thinking that what once was wrong now is right (or vice versa).

How does the atheist know that, for example, murder is always evil? He cannot appeal to societal standards. The Nazis thought that it was right to murder Jews. Does the atheist critique the Nazis? He should. If so, how? My 11/4/2022 article on the moral argument relates that the Nuremberg Trials convicted the Nazis of absolute evil, by appealing to a “higher law” – God's absolute moral law.

If the atheist admits that certain types of evil are absolutely wrong, then he will prove (perhaps not to himself yet) that an Absolute Moral Lawgiver, God, exists. The fact that absolute evil exists, however, proves that God exits, as the Absolute Moral Lawgiver.

Turning the “problem of evil” argument against the atheist, as I have done, is the first answer to the “problem.” The complete answer, which follows, is based on the concept of “faith seeking understanding” (the motto of Anselm of Canterbury, 1033 – 1109, in Proslogion). This is rational faith, based on knowledge, seeking understanding. The Christian theist is at liberty to reference biblical concepts in his complete answer, since he is defending the existence of the God of the Bible. (Proof that the Bible is the solely-inspired word of God will be established, in future articles on that topic.) The complete answer is in nine parts.

First, God is all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient), and perfectly good. Any reply to the so-called “problem of evil” that limits God's power, knowledge, or goodness is incorrect. God's omnipotence, however, applies to powernot to the illogical. Logical impossibilities are absurdities that are imagined. For example, God cannot create a round square, a ball that is 100% red and 100% blue, or a rock so heavy that He can't lift it. Those examples are called logical contradictions. A logical contradiction is an impossible fallacy that is not subject to power. This is an important point to remember. (See fifth, below.)

Second, God acts according to His nature, and He will not violate His nature. See Numbers 23:19; James 1:17. God's nature is good, holy, and just. God will not, for example, lie, deny himself, make a mistake, be unjust, commit evil, and so forth.

Third, God created a perfectly good world, with no moral or natural evil. Evil was not a part of God's originally perfect world. See Genesis 1:31.

Fourth, God created mankind in His image. We are everlasting souls, and we have free will – to act and decide on our own. See Genesis 1:27; 2:4-25. God is sufficiently distant and close to us, to allow us complete free will. He is not so close as to overwhelm us by His presence, forcing us to do good. He is not so distant that we cannot grasp His presence, encouraging us to do good. Consider Acts 17:27-28.

Fifth, God cannot force mankind to freely choose to do good always. That is a logical contradiction, not subject to power. For example, God could not have forced the 18-year-old female to freely choose not to turn directly into my right of way, which almost killed me (on 3/29/2016).

Sixth, moral evil exists, in abundance, due to the immoral freewill decisions that mankind makes. This is intrinsic evil. Moral evil started when mankind freely chose to sin (violate God's moral law). See Genesis chapter 3. All (of age to know right and wrong) have sinned. See Romans 3:23; 5:12. The consequence of sin is death. See Romans 6:23.

Seventh, natural evil – distinct from moral evil – includes physical suffering and death, due to aging and disease. It also includes natural disasters, such as fires, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, blizzards, extreme heat or cold, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and so forth.

Physical suffering and death exist, as the consequence of the first sin and since all (who understand good and evil) choose to sin. See Genesis chapter 3; Romans 5:12. We age, are afflicted with various illnesses, and die. Infants (unborn and born) and children – who do not yet understand good and evil – have never sinned. Their deaths are due to illness, injury, natural disaster, or the immorality of someone. When infants and children die (the separation of soul from body), they (as everlasting souls) live everlastingly with God, since they never sinned.

Natural disasters exists, due to the worldwide flood, as God's punishment for mankind's sin. See Genesis chapters 6 - 9. The worldwide flood was God's judgment on the world's evil population (except Noah and his family). God's original creation did not include natural disasters – until mankind chose to sin. Before the worldwide flood, mankind had become rife with sinful choices. The earth was damaged, and still suffers damage, due to the worldwide flood. See Romans 8:19-22.

I will pause, to consider two questions. Why did God create mankind, with free will – knowing that sin would enter the world, that His creation would suffer terrible moral and natural evils due to sin, that mankind, in minority, would be rewarded in heaven everlastingly, but that mankind, in majority, would be punished in hell everlastingly? Would it have been better if God had not created?

I have pondered those questions many times. I have concluded that it is better that I exist than not exist. Since I exist, I can speculate my non-existence. If I did not exist, then I would not be here to consider my non-existence. Since I exist and have saving faith in God, then I will exist everlastingly. It is better, therefore, for me to exist than to not exist.

Revelation 4:11 states that God “created all things” by His “will” (θέλημά, in Greek). The King James Version translates “θέλημά” as “pleasure.” θέλημά, in English, is “will, decision, desire.” God willed, decided, and desired to create – knowing that His eternal Scheme of Redemption would result in everlasting salvation or punishment. Consider 2 Peter chapter 3.

I do not question why God made me. I am the clay. He is the Potter. Consider Romans 9:20-21 in context. The Potter formed me as perfect clay. My sin made me imperfect; however, I have accepted the Perfect Gift and live by faith in God's promise. This is my purpose and duty (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Eighth, God, ultimately, will reward good and punish evil, according to His eternal Scheme of Redemption. See Romans 3:23-24; 5:6-9; 6:23. John Keats, the poet, described the earth, filled with both evil and good, as a “vale of soul-making” (in his April 1819 letter to his brother and sister). God's circumstantial will allows moral and natural evil to exist – for while. God has given us the choice – to freely accept or reject His eternal Scheme of Redemption. Ultimately, God will not allow evil to continue to exist. He, however, is granting mankind time, in this temporal “vale of soul-making,” to choose good over evil.

Ninth, God has three wills, as I will explain.

1. The intentional will of God was for mankind in the Garden of Eden. Perfect humans had a perfect world, in which to live everlastingly. See Genesis 1:26-31.

2. The circumstantial will of God is His eternal Scheme of Redemption, from Genesis to Revelation. God always knew that He would create, that mankind would sin, and that He would sacrifice Himself to save mankind. The biblical record, from Genesis to Revelation, unfolds God's eternal Scheme of Redemption. This article is written during the period of God's circumstantial will. God allows moral and natural evil to continue, during this period.

3. The ultimate will of God will be the culmination of His eternal Scheme of Redemption. Christ will return. All mankind, who have lived or are living, will be judged righteously. The unsaved will be punished everlastingly. The saved will be blessed everlastingly. God will eliminate all moral and natural evil completely and finally.

In summary, the complete answer is that God – all powerful, all knowing, and perfectly good – does not eliminate all evil immediately. His grace is allowing us time and freedom to accept or reject Him. God, however, will eliminate all evil completely.

Imagine if God eliminated all moral evil completely as it happens. No person would have the time, freedom, or grace to repent of his or her evil and to turn to God in saving faith. Grace would not exist. I am glad that God does not eliminate all moral evil completely as it happens! Thank you, for your grace, Lord!

By living in the temporal realm, during God circumstantial will, we face and endure moral and natural evil. If we freely choose God's grace, by our faith, then our everlasting reward awaits us. If we freely deny God's grace, then our everlasting punishment awaits us.

The so-called “problem of evil,” therefore, is not a problem to the theist. It can be used to prove that God exists. The complete answer is accomplished by the concept of “faith seeking understanding,” as I have explained. God, in His grace, does not eliminate all evil immediately. He, however, will eliminate all evil everlastingly.

The Everlastingness of Hell

The atheist, however, struggles with the concept of everlasting punishment in hell. Some theists do also. How could a perfectly good and loving God punish people in the fires of hell everlastingly? Imagine a person enduring the intense heat and fire of a blow torch, blasting against his body everlastingly. An atheist and some theists do not accept that a perfectly good and loving God would allow an everlasting hell to exist. Some theists argue, incorrectly, that hell is not everlasting but that is the permanent annihilation of the soul.

Heaven and hell are both everlasting. Heaven rewards the saved everlastingly. Hell, originally prepared for the devil and his angels, punishes the sinful everlastingly. Consider Jesus' words in Matthew 25:31-46.

Yes, God is perfectly good, merciful, and loving. He is, however, also perfectly holy, just, righteous, and angered. God created a perfect world for mankind, and created mankind in His image. Mankind, however, has sinned and continues to sin. God, in His eternal Scheme of Redemption, sacrificed Himself to save mankind. God will reward everlastingly all who accept His grace. He, however, will punish everlastingly all who reject His grace. Consider, among many passages, John 3:16-21.

Physical death is the separation of body and soul. Spiritual death is the separation of the human soul from God. Everlasting life is in heaven. Everlasting death is in hell. Our existence, in either location, will not be the same as in our physical existence now. We will have spiritual bodies. Consider 1 Corinthians chapter 15 and 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, especially verse 9. The “fires of hell” express the spiritual torment of everlasting separation from God, which is far worse than physical fire.

All people – the saved and the unsaved – are connected to God, while alive physically on earth. God grants life and provision to all. See Matthew 5:43-48. Those who reject God's grace, by continuing to live in sin, must face everlasting separation from Him.

Yes, God is infinitely good. He is also infinitely just. In His infinite goodness, God rewards the saved everlastingly. In His infinite justice, God punishes the unsaved everlastingly. Could God's infinite justice punish the unsaved one minute in hell? If so, then what about a year, a decade, a century, a thousand years, or a million years? What about everlastingly? As a sinner, saved by grace, I have no right to judge the Righteous Judge, by critiquing His infinite justice.

God's infinite goodness and justice are perfectly fair. The atheist's critique of hell will not protect him from what I call “the ultimate acknowledgment of truth.” We will each stand before God at the final judgment. I am ready – not by my righteousness, but because of Christ's righteousness. See Romans 3:21-26 and 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. The atheist will believe and know God at the final judgment, but it will be too late.

Conclusion

The main purpose of this article has addressed what we can know about the nature of God through natural revelation. Secondarily, this article has stated and refuted the so-called “problem of evil” and has addressed the everlastingness of hell.

The psalmist David wrote:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalms 19:1, NIV)

As I have stated, supernatural revelation, in the Bible, provides a more full and sufficient understanding of God's character. The full depth of God's nature may be beyond our temporal understanding. The apostle Paul wrote:

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:33-36, NIV)

The saved, however, will know the fullness of God's nature, once we are in heaven. The apostle John wrote:

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2, NIV)

Natural revelation is sufficient to understand that God will not excuse sin. The apostle Paul wrote:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20, NIV)

The third and final topic questions will be:

Is the Bible the solely-inspired written word of God?

Is Jesus the Son of God?

In those sections, I will expound further on God's nature and continue to encourage non-believers to believe, so that God's grace will excuse (forgive) their sins, as they turn to Him in salvation.


Saturday, November 26, 2022

CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES (APOLOGETICS): Does God Exist - Cosmological Argument (published 11-26-2022; article #373; series article #4)

4/7/2017 Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.

Introduction

Greetings, once again, dear reader! We are settling comfortably into this series. This is my fourth article on Christian Evidences (in Topic Sections). My first article, on 10/28/2022, introduced the topic and listed the four questions that this series will answer.

The first question is Does God exist?” My second article, on 11/4/2022, proved that God exists, by the moral argument. My third article, on 11/16/2022, proved the existence of God, by the teleological argument.

This article is the third and final answer to the question: Does God exist? I will affirm the cosmological argument for the existence of God. Each of the three answers proves – independently – that God exists. One proof is sufficient. We have three proofs.

Are you ready to build “the third and final pole” that supports the “bright street light?” Let's get the construction project started!

The Cosmological Argument

I have joked for decades that ladies use cosmetics to turn chaos into cosmos! My apologies to the ladies, who are reading. I will explain!

The Greek word κόσμος (kosmos) is the root to “cosmetics” and “cosmology.” “Cosmos” is the transliteration. The word refers to that which is ordered, such as an ordered system (e.g., the universe, the world, etc.). A lady “orders” her face by applying cosmetics. That's how “cosmetics turn chaos into cosmos.” Don't worry ladies. Men's faces usually stay in a state of chaos!

The cosmological argument may appear to be like the teleological argument, which my third article has already proved. Cosmology, however, refers to the study of the origin and structure of the universe. I use “cosmological” in the sense of that study. The cosmological argument is also called “the argument from origin” or “the argument from cause and effect.”

As my first article states:

The cosmological argument: If the universe is not eternal, then an Eternal First Cause has always existed. The universe is not eternal. Therefore, an Eternal First Cause, God, has always exited. A simpler form is: If something exists, then something or Someone has always existed. Something (i.e., the cosmos and all that is in it, including the earth, you, and me) exists. Therefore, something or Someone, God, has always existed.

Definitions for the argument are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary which I call, with respect, “Mr. Webster.” I will clarify my use of “eternal” and “eternity.”

Eternal (adjective): “of or relating to eternity.” Eternity (noun): “the quality or state of being eternal.”

** Notice that Mr. Webster has “defined himself in a circle!” He states that eternal is eternity and that eternity is being eternal. My use of “eternal” and “eternity,” in this argument, means “that which has always existed, had no beginning, and will have no end.” The importance of the clarification will present itself, as the argument unfolds. **

First (adjective): “preceding all others in time, order, or importance.”

** Note that my use of “first,” specifically, means “preceding (being before) all else in time, which also includes order or importance.” **

Cause (noun): “something that brings about an effect or a result.”

Matter (noun): “material substance that occupies space, has mass, and is composed predominantly of atoms consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons, that constitutes the observable universe, and that is interconvertible with energy.”

Major premise: if the universe is not eternal, then an Eternal First Cause has always existed.

The Latin phrase “ex nihilo, nihil fit” means “from nothing, nothing comes.” “Nothing” means, obviously, that which does not exist – a vacuum, a void, a null, zero, emptiness, complete nonexistence. If ever there were nothing at all, then nothing would exist now. We understand this innately. It is a self-evident truth. Nothing (that which does not exist) cannot create something. To say that nothing can create something is a logical contradiction. A thought or an idea forms in the mind and soul. It doesn't “just pop into my head,” from nothing.

I have often asked atheists to believe me when I state, “I was walking down the street and, all of a sudden, I saw a brand new car appear – from thin air, out of nothing!” They don't believe me, of course, but they usually understand where I am going, in my effort to enlighten them!

Obviously, something exists now (e.g., the universe, the earth, the keyboard on which I am typing, you, me, and so forth). Logically, therefore, something or Someone (the Eternal First Cause) has always existed. What or Who is the eternality (that has always existed) that caused (as first cause) that which exists?

The major premise is valid. I must prove, next, that the universe is not eternal.

Minor premise: the universe is not eternal.

The atheist must know and prove that matter (i.e., the tangible, the universe and everything that is in it), not mind (i.e., the intangible), is eternal. Matter must have always existed – if God, the Eternal Mind, has not always existed.

Has matter, the tangible universe (in some shape or form), always existed? No, it has not, as I will prove, by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Matter is finite, not infinite.

After I have established that the universe it not eternal, I will take time to refute two standard replies by atheists. I will also comment, briefly, on macro-evolution.

Second Law of ThermodynamicsProof that Matter is not Eternal

This section includes certain scientific details. The reference sources contain further details that I do not include in this article. Please do not allow the details to overwhelm or distract your focus! The basic point is simple, as I will explain.

First, we must understand and distinguish an “open system,” a “closed system,” and an “isolated system.” In an open system, energy and matter can enter and leave (e.g., an open frying pan, containing meat, vegetables, and water, on a heated stove eye). In a closed system, matter cannot enter or leave, but energy can enter or leave (e.g., a pot, with a lid on it, containing vegetables and water, on a heated stove eye). In an isolated system, neither matter nor energy can enter or leave. A thermos or cooler is an approximate example; however, isolated systems exist only in theory. (Of several sources, see LibreTexts, “Basic Definitions,” by Emily V. Eames, updated 8/13/2020.)

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is one of the four Laws of Thermodynamics. Thermodynamics is the branch of physics that studies energy transfer, as heat and work, in matter. (Source: Britannica, “thermodynamics” and “laws of thermodynamics.”)

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the universe contains a finite amount of usable energy that degrades (decays, deteriorates, becomes disordered) over time. This degradation is called entropy. Entropy, thus, is the degradation, running down, unwinding, and trend to disorder of a system, such as the universe. (Sources: the two Britannica references, cited above. Also, among several other sources, see Khan Academy, “The laws of thermodynamics” – which is based on “The laws of thermodynamics,” by OpenStax, part of Rice University.)

We understand entropy. Physically, we are born. We grow. If we live long enough, we begin to age and to “run down.” Eventually, we die physically. As another example, I have a 2006 Nissan Frontier truck. If I don't maintain and care for my truck, then he will “run down” faster. Now, I love my ol' truck! My truck, however, is slowly winding down. I am too. So are you. As a final example, every morning, I must bathe myself to order the disorder from a night's sleep. Eventually, I will “run down” to the point that I won't be able to do so. Someone else may have to bathe me. In time, I will die physically and won't need to be bathed. We can restore order, temporarily, in the relentless trend to disorder (entropy). Entropy, however, wins in the end. The fact is established by science and understood in life practically.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics – an established law of science that we understand practically – confirms that matter, the tangible universe, is “winding down.” It is finite. Matter will “wind down” completely at, what is called scientifically, maximum entropy, thermal equilibrium, or “heat death.” Since matter is finite, then it had to have been started (as in winding a watch) – by an infinite something or Someone.

The basic point is simple. Matter, the tangible universe is not eternal. It is finite. It is winding down. It had a beginning. The minor premise is valid.

Refutation of Two Standard Atheist Replies

The atheist -- in his blind, atheistic faith – may fight against the scientifically established fact that the universe is not eternal. The following are not two “straw men” that I have built (which is a fallacy in logic). They are known counter statements by atheists, which I have heard personally. I will refute two standard atheist replies to the scientific fact that the universe is not eternal. I do so, to assist my readers, who may encounter these two quibbles.

But, wait!” – the atheist may state first“what about the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states that matter cannot be created or destroyed? Matter must be eternal, if it can't be created or destroyed.”

Yes, as the citations above confirm, the First Law of Thermodynamics states thatin a closed systemmatter (i.e., tangible mass and energy) cannot be created or destroyed.

Matter, however, is not eternal. It is finite, as the Second Law of Thermodynamics establishes. Further, “matter” (nothingness) could not create (spontaneously generate) matter (tangible mass and energy). That would violate the First Law of Thermodynamics, in a closed system, and the self-evident truth that “from nothing, nothing comes.”

The universe (i.e., all the tangible mass and energy that exists physically), therefore, has to be an open systemwhereby a non-physical and eternal force (not mass, matter, or energy) – that exists before and above the universe – created the physical universe. (For further study, see Apologetics Press, “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,” by Jeff Miller, PhD, published 4/1/2007.) The atheist's first “but wait!” does him no good.

But wait!” – the atheist may continue – “the Big Bang proves that the universe and all life in it evolved. Thus, there is no God.”

The fact that the universe is not eternal, could not have created itself, and had to have been created by an eternal, non-physical, first cause has already been established. The atheist must admit this truth. The Big Bang theory does not help him. I, however, will summarize the Big Bang theory (or theories), with references, if any reader would like to study the topic further independently.

Do not allow conversations with atheists or independent study of the Big Bang theory (or theories) to intimidate you! The theory is a big bust (or failure). See the Institute for Creation Research article of 1994, “The Big Bust,” by Henry M. Morris, PhD, 5/1/1994. The article is timeless truth, despite having been written almost three decades ago.

What is the Big Bang theory (or theories)? The Big Bang is an astronomical theory that was postulated about a hundred years ago, has undergone several revisions, continues to be revised, and has several versions. (Various versions of the Big Bang theory continue to evolve.) A predominate version of the theory speculates that the universe started violently, about 13.8 billion years ago, by the explosion of a very small, very hot, and very dense singularity. The theory states that, over billions of years, the initial “bang” expanded, changed, and evolved, to form the universe, the Milky Way galaxy, our solar system, the earth, you, and me. The theory is used to support the theory of macro-evolution (or the molecules to man theory).

My grade school and high school science teachers had to teach me this version of the Big Bang theory – even if they didn't believe it. Of the many sources that explain the theory and revisions, the ThoughtCo article – “Understanding the Big-Bang Theory: The theory behind the origin of the universe,” by Andrew Zimmerman Jones (MS Mathematics Education, BA Physics), updated 6/11/2019 – is good enough. The article points out the history of the Big Bang theory, revisions to the theory, alleged evidence for it, problems with it, and questions that the theory cannot answer.

By the way, the predominate version of the Big Bang theory alleges that the universe is 13.8 billions years old. The alleged age of the universe had been calculated more widely. For example, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) article – “Then vs. Now: The Age of the Universe,” published in May 2006 – states: “Before 1999, astronomers had estimated that the age of the universe was between 7 and 20 billion years.” The article – which assumes that the Big Bang is true, with no solid evidence – explains how the various alleged ages of the universe have been redetermined during this century.

It is significant to note that the predominate Big Bang theory begins with the assumption that an undefined “singularity” already existed. The theory is that an unknown “singularity” exploded, which started time and space. (The “clock wound up and started ticking.”)

Big Bang theorists speculate that they can calculate the evolution of the universe, starting at 10-43 seconds after the Big Bang. Of various sources, I will cite two. See EarthHow, “The History of the Universe: The Big Bang and Beyond," author not listed, updated 5/12/2022. See also National Geographic, “The most popular theory of our universe's origin centers on a cosmic cataclysm unmatched in all of history – the big bang.” By Michael Greshko and National Geographic Staff, 1/18/2017.

In summary on this point, the predominate version of the Big Bang theorizes that, billions of years ago, a random quantum fluctuation occurred in a spaceless, timeless “singularity.” That fluctuation (or bang), over billions of years, formed the known universe.

The unknown “singularity” was, according to the predominate Big Bang theory, smaller than the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The theory does not and cannot explain the origin of the “singularity” (i.e., the very small, very hot, and very dense substance that existed before the Big Bang). The entirety of the immense universe started by the explosion of a dot? That's their theory, in a nutshell, and they don't know how the dot got there. (A nutshell is much larger than a dot.)

The atheist, therefore, must know, and cannot know, the origin of the theoretical “singularity,” which could not have been eternal, even if it had existed. The atheist's second “but wait!” falls by the wayside in defeat.

By the way, other versions of the Big Bang theory exist. These include (with my comments italicized):

The multiverse: one “singularity” exploded or “banged” and has formed and is forming an ongoing multitude of other universes besides ours. What or Who started the first “bang?”

The oscillating universe: there is an endless series of “big bangs” and “big crunches.” Again, what or Who started the first “bang?” An “endless series” is a logical contradiction. The line had to start somewhere.

The “flat hologram” universe: the universe is only a projection on the surface of a vast sphere. Really? Is this a joke? What or Who created the vast sphere?

The digital simulation universe: the universe is only code inside an immense computer. I did not and cannot make up this one! It's imagination gone wild. What or Who created the hypothetical immense computer?

One source is, for the four versions that I have listed, is on Space.com, “Alternatives to the Big Bang Theory,” by Karl Tate, contributions from Daisy Dobrijevic, published 3/8/2022.

I suggest – for further study on the Big Bang theory or theories – Answers in Genesis, under Topics, and select Big Bang topic page. The page explains five problems with the Big Bang theory. Several other articles that debunk the Big Bang theory are listed in that topic page. Again, the atheist's second “but wait!” falls by the wayside in defeat.

A Brief Comment on Macro-Evolution

Macro-evolution is the Darwinian “molecules to man” theory that speculates -- with no proof – that life evolved from non-life (“the rocks to molecules” theory). Darwinian theory speculates that life, which evolved from non-life, continued to evolve, eventually evolving into human life. The theory was introduced just over 160 years and continues to be revised. (Darwinian evolutionary theory continues to evolve.)

Darwinian scientists express their theory in intricate, scientific jargon, which intimidates some to believe the theory. Do not allow their jargon to intimidate you! They have no proof to support their theory. Their jargon reasons in a circle – by using assumptions, based on their conclusion, that, in their minds only, “prove” their conclusion. Such circular reasoning is a logical fallacy.

The theory violates the law of biogenesis, which has established that new life always comes from existing life, not from non-living matter. Of course, anyone with common sense knows this.

I suggest – for comprehensive and further study on Big Bang theories, macro-evolution (Darwinism), and proof that God exists – Proof Evolution is False,” by Shawn Nelson (Doctor of Ministry in Apologetics), February 2014. (The article can be downloaded.) It is a 31-page scholarly paper, which encapsulates the flaws in Darwinian evolution. Note that Dr. Shawn Nelson's ongoing website is Geeky Christian. His academic work is on Nelson.Ink, from which his February 2014 article is cited. I may not agree with all of his articles. I accept and agree with his paper that I have cited.

Darwinian evolution relies on the refuted Big Bang theory and does not help the atheist. I hope that my sidetracks that refuted two standard atheist replies and that commented briefly on macro-evolution did not distract your attention to the main purpose of this article.

Conclusion: therefore, an Eternal First Cause, God, has always exited.

Let's return now to the main purpose of this article. Since the universe is not eternal (is finite), then an Eternal First Cause has always existed. I have proved it.

The Eternal First Cause is called God – the Eternal Mind, Power, and Intellect, Who has always existed, above and before matter, space, and time. The argument is sound and must be true. It cannot be wrong.

The Atheist's Further Quibbles

The atheist, in labored effort to support his position, may offer a few more quibbles. I will note and rebut two, in a brief manner.

First, the atheist may ask, “What if an infinite line of 'First Causes' caused the universe?” The reply, obviously, is that an infinite line is a logical contradiction. Every line must start somewhere! What eternality, or Eternal Being, started the line? God is the Necessary (or First) Cause.

Second, the atheist may ask and state, “What if the “First Cause” died? Your argument does not prove that God is still alive.” The reply, again, is obvious. If ever nothing or no one existed, then nothing would exist now. An eternality, or Eternal Being, has always existed and, therefore, cannot die. This is why my specific definition of “eternal” and “eternity,” in this argument, means “that which has always existed, had no beginning, and will have no end.”

Conclusion

This article has explained that the universe could exist by only three possible means. The first is spontaneous generation (creating itself from nothing). That has been verified as false. The second is an eternal universe. That has been disproved. The third and final is that God created the universe. That is proved.

Atheists rely on one thin “match stick” (the Big Bang theory) to prop up their “short, little stool.” This article has broken that “match stick.” Their “stool” has fallen.

This article is the third and final “strong pole” that supports the “bright street light.” I pray that these three articles are used, to God's glory, as the first step to bring many non-believers to saving faith in Christ.

The first sentence in the Bible is a fitting conclusion:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1, NIV)