Written by Jason Petersen
Factors to Take into Consideration
When we are talking about the Christian God, it is important that we take God’s properties into consideration. If the atheist assigns arbitrary properties to God or arbitrarily places limiting factors on God that are not found in scripture, then they are not proving anything, rather, they are merely committing a logical fallacy known as a straw man. A straw man fallacy is committed when the atheist attacks a false representation of Christianity.
Answering the Question “Who made God?”
Not all claims of truth and existence can be resolved in the same way. The questions “Who made God?” and “What is God like?” are not claims that can be approached empirically. These are philosophical questions, and the answers to these questions will be informed by philosophical systems. The only place we can go to answer these questions about the Christian God is scripture. Any property that a person attributes to God that is not found within scripture is nothing more than hearsay, and is, therefore, a cheap answer. The Bible does not call on us to give cheap answers. Scripture clearly says that we are to stand on the authority of God’s Word. (2 Cor 10:3-5) As such, when we speak of the properties of God, the properties that we attribute to God must come directly from God’s Word.
What Does The Bible Say?
Of course, it would also be unfair to the atheist if the Christian only provided conjectural properties to God that are not found in scripture. The Bible is God’s complete and divine revelation. Scripture is where we should go to if we want to find about more about God. As such, our answer to this objection must be informed by scripture. The Bible clearly describes God as eternal. There are many Bible verses that talk about God being eternal;however, not all of the verses will be mentioned in this article.
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’
Notice how God answers Moses. God tells Moses that He has already existed, and He has always been who He is. This should point out two things to us:
1.) God is eternal.
2.) God has identity. This means that he is who he is. We can also turn to Numbers 23:19 and Malachi 3:6 for more clarification on this. God does not change, and he does not lie. This means that from beginning to end, God’s properties never changes.
I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
This is another verse that identifies God as eternal. Here God is identifying Himself as the One who was always present from the beginning, and will also be present at the end. Clearly, God is timeless(2 Peter 3:8). This means that in this verse, God was speaking to our finite perception of time.
What does this Prove?
Certainly, an atheist may object and say, “The Bible doesn’t prove anything. I want empirical evidence that God is eternal.” Certainly, such a demand makes a category error, for science is limited to studying the cause-effect realities of the natural world. Anyone who asks such a question does not understand the nuances regarding the scope of science. In answering this objection, we must take into account the claim of an eternal God is not a claim that can be empirically resolved. Not all claims of truth and existence can be resolved in the same fashion. Indeed, the objection that the atheist made is an abstract objection. The atheist first stated that God would need a creator. Certainly, such an objection has no empirical evidence to substantiate it. If the atheist wants to attempt us to hold to their conception of the burden of proof, then they must be consistent and hold their arguments to the same level of proof. For instance, if an atheist says that all claims can be resolved empirically, it is our duty to inform them that the claim “all claims can be resolved empirically” will need empirical evidence. In other words, such a notion is self-defeating.
The only way to know the properties of God is through scripture. The objection “Who made God?” is an objection that is answered by scripture. Scripture says that God is timeless. If an atheist tries to limit God to being created, then he is not attacking the God of Christianity, rather, he is attacking a god that he made up. If he is objecting to the Christian God, then the atheist must deal with the Christian God, otherwise, he has not falsified the Christian God. The Sword of the Spirit(The Bible) easily cuts through this objection.