Who Made God? (Questions Kids Ask)

QuestionOne thing I have learned, both as a Dad and as a volunteer in Children’s Ministry, is that kids ask some of the deepest and most profound theological questions.  In the answers, they are not looking for a demonstration of your profound knowledge but a clear, concise and satisfying response to their inquiry.  The purpose of this series of blog posts titled “Questions Kids Ask” is to answer some of the questions I have received both from my own kids and from the kids I work with at church.  Although I always try to answer every question in as scripturally grounded a manner as possible, I do not always have the appropriate verse ready at my fingertips.  One of the things I hope to accomplish with these posts is to ensure that the answer I did give is scripturally sound by inserting verse references where appropriate.

I decided to start this series with a question kids, and most adults, usually ask at some point either in investigating Christianity or in their walk with God.  I know it was one of the questions I had when I was investigating Christianity.  That question is:

Who Made God?

This question was posed to me recently by a fifteen year old boy struggling with his faith.  He lives in a Christian home and has been exposed to Christian thinking for years.  This is the one thing that he is really still struggling with.  The way he posed the question was, “if everything is created, who created God?”

The answer to this question is both simple and complex.  The simple answer is, no one created God.  He has always existed!  That is easy to say, but not so easy to comprehend.  The concept of anything being eternal is beyond our ability to truly understand as finite human beings.  God is so much bigger than we are as human beings that we can never fully comprehend him.  As human beings, we live in both time and space.  Time passes and we get older.  Things happened in the past, are happening now, or will happen in the future.  Furthermore, we operate in space.  As the old adage goes, we can only be in one place at a time.  As an eternal being, God existed before space and time.  Indeed, God created the space and time in which we live (Genesis 1:1).  God always had existed and always will exist.  Revelation 1:8 says:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” [Revelation 1:8]

Alpha and Omega are the beginning and end of the Greek alphabet.  Greek is the original language that Revelation was written in.  The point is clear.  God always has been and always will be – from the beginning to end and beyond.  Other verses also tell us that God existed before time.  1 Corinthians 2:7 tells us:

“But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.” [1 Corinthians 2:7]

Other verses also testify to God’s existence before time including 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2 and Jude 1:25.

God has always existed and always will.  He has also always been the same and always will be.  This concept is referred to as the immutability of God.  God does not change like man does.  He is the same today as he was 4,000 years ago as he will be 4,000 years from now.  [Hebrews 13:8]

The Bible is clear that God existed before time and space were created.  Genesis 1:1 tells us that “In the beginning, God created…”  The implication is clear!  God existed before both space and time!  He spoke both into existence.

The problem with the question as posed is that it assumes that everything that exists must have a creator.  Indeed, anything that comes into existence does need a creator.  However, since God has always existed, he does not need a creator.

The Bible is clear that God is not a created being.  However, there are also other lines of reasoning to show that no one made God.

There is a definitional issue which must be addressed.  That is, the way in which God is defined impacts the question.  God is defined as the ultimate creator of everything, and indeed the God of the Bible is that creator God.  If there were some sort of force or being that created the God we know of (let’s call him a “super-God”), that “super-God” would be the superior being and the one deserving of our worship.  In other words, if something created or made God, that thing would then be the real God on and on until you get to the creator who has always existed.

Secondly, there is a logical issue which must be addressed.  Logically, if there was ever a time that nothing existed, than nothing would still exist.  Common sense tells us that it is impossible to get something out of nothing.  In order for something to exist now, something must have always existed.  That something is God!

One common object to the infinite nature of God is the question, if it is possible that no one created God and he has always existed, why isn’t it equally possible that time and space have always existed and therefore need no creator?  First of all, let’s establish that it is impossible for both the time/space/the universe and God to be infinite.  By definition, there is only room for one infinite thing.  If something else is infinite it automatically limits the second thing making it finite.  Accordingly, given these two options either God must be infinite or the universe (and therefore time) must be infinite.  It cannot be the case that both are infinite.

So, why then can’t the universe be infinite?  Many scientists will argue that it is.  However, most scientists agree that both time and the universe had to have some beginning.  That beginning is frequently referred to as the “Big Bang.”  Scientists have discovered that the universe is unwinding and moving from a state of order to a state of disorder.  All of this points back to a beginning both for the universe and for time and demonstrates that they are not infinite – something the Bible reveals in its very first verse!

To recap, no one made God.  He has always existed and always will exist both before and after the time and space in which we live.  God did enter our time and space once about 2,000 years ago.  He took on human form as the man Jesus Christ and died on the cross for our sins.  When we accept God’s offer of forgiveness, he gives us the privilege to live with him in eternity.

Return to the Questions Kids Ask index page.

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15 Responses

  1. How come only one thing can be infinite?

  2. In reply to the first comment, infinite means endless and without bounds. If thing A is infinite there can be no limitation or boundary on it. It must go forever. If something else, say thing B, is infinite that automatically puts a boundary on thing A by definition and therefore makes thing A finite. Take space for example, if it is infinite, there can not be another infinite space because there is no room for it as the first space fills everything.

    In the words of Charles Spurgeon,

    “But there cannot be two infinities. If one thing is infinite, there is no room for anything else, for infinite means all. It means not bounded, not finite, having no end. Well, there cannot be two infinities.”

    I hope this makes sense. Please let me know if it does not.

  3. So what made him up and decide to create the planets and life?

  4. Wayne the flaw in your arguement is you suppose that the infinite needs to have a form or shape. Time is infinite, but takes up no space. Also if Charles Spurgeon were correct in that quote then the “infinite thing” would BE everything and there would be nothing else but it.

  5. What if there was one thing infinitely big and another infinitely small? 🙂

  6. Anonymous,

    Thank you for your question. It is a very insightful question and logically follows from the discussion. The short answer is that we were made for God’s glory. That said, I like your question so much, that I intend to answer it in the next installment of Questions Kids Ask as I think many people who do not read these comments but read the articles would benefit from the answer. I hope to get that posted some time next week, and I will let you know here in these comments once it is posted. Thanks again for your question! God bless you!

  7. Jeff,

    Thank you very much for your comment. It caused me to really think through my argument which I always appreciate. Let me take a shot at an answer. By way of disclaimer, I do not believe that we are capable of fully understanding the infinite of God. The limited understanding that we do have of infinite is given to us by the grace of God. That said, let me take a shot at answering your question.

    I think that the real problem is one of definitions. There are two different types of infinities. There are mathematical infinities. This would be an abstract concept which postulates infinite sets of numbers (such as all odd numbers, all even numbers, all prime numbers, etc.) This mathematical type of infinite is not actually possible because it is always possible to add one more number at the end of any list. Another type of infinite would be an infinite of time or space – a physical infinite. It is actually impossible for any physical thing to be infinite because a physical thing is the sum of its parts, and you can always add one more part.
    When we speak of God’s infinity, we are speaking not of a mathematical or spatial infinity, but of God’s infinite perfection. God’s infinite is a metaphysical infinity in that God’s essence is infinite. It means that all of God’s attributes are infinite. His love can’t be improved upon, his knowledge cannot be increased, etc. The infinite or God is not a quantitative infinite as much as it is a qualitative infinite.

    The Bible refers specifically to three attributes of God as being infinite. Those are his knowledge (omniscience), his power (omnipotence) and his presence (omnipresence). Rather than supposing that “infinite needs to have a form or shape,” I am actually asserting that God is not limited by time and space. He is transcendent. He is greater than his creation and independent of it. He lives outside of time and space and is therefore not subject to it. God is spirit and can therefore be infinite without precluding our existence in time and space. In terms of your argument, it is possible for us to exist within God’s infinite essence without limiting that essence because our physical existence does not conflict with his essence. God’s essence is the ultimate infinite from which everything else proceeds. Given this definition, it is impossible for some other being or thing to have a similar infinite.

    I hope that this clarifies the comment!

    Thanks,

    Wayne
    aka: Dad in the Middle
    http://blog.stocksohio.com

  8. Jim,

    Any abstract infinities (such as an infinite big and an infinite small) would exist within God’s creation and therefore be a subset of his infinite. He is the ultimate infinite of which there can only be one. See my reply to Jeff above.

    Thanks so much for your comment.

    Regards,

    Wayne
    aka: Dad in the Middle
    http://blog.stocksohio.com

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  10. Anonymous,

    As promised, the next entry in this series is entitled “Why Did God Make Us?” You can find it here:

    http://blog.stocksohio.com/2009/06/17/why-did-god-make-us-questions-kids-ask/

    I hope it helps to answer your question!

    Best Wishes,

    Wayne
    aka: Dad in the Middle
    http://blog.stocksohio.com

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  12. Wayne, I’m so thankful I found your blog. I’ll try to be brief. My 11 year old who has always been a faithful believer, is having doubts about her faith. She is inquisitive and bright, and has never been a worrier. This doubting has caused her great anxiety. Last night she asked me 2 questions that I don’t feel I can properly answer…how do we know God exists since we can’t see him? And, what if we find out he really doesn’t exist? She feels very guilty for having these questions and doubts and I am doing all I can to assure her that questions/doubts are a normal part of her developing mind.

    I think she is now learning the truth about all of these things she once thought were true…santa, easter bunny, greek mythology, etc. So, these doubts in her mind have really been very scary for her.

    Thank you so much for any help, answers, etc. you can provide.

  13. Mom of 11 year old,

    Let me start by saying God Bless you! Mothers do not get enough credit for everything they do and everything that they deal with.

    My first reaction to your post was that this is actually a good thing. While it is unfortunate that your daughter is dealing with anxiety, the Bible tells us to work out salvation with fear and trembling, and it sounds like that is exactly what she is doing! I think that God wants us to be comfortable in our faith, but at the same time he wants our faith to continue to grow and mature (see versus re: meat vs. milk in Scripture). In order for something to grow and deepen, it must change, and sometimes that is not a comfortable process. I posted an article several weeks ago on teaching children how to think instead of just what to think:

    http://blog.stocksohio.com/2009/06/19/22-ways-to-teach-kids-how-to-think-and-not-just-what-to-think/

    The whole basis of that article is that we need to teach our children how to take the faith the grow up learning about and make it their own. Part of this process is working through doubts.

    Secondly, let me reassure both you and her that these doubts are perfectly normal and nothing to be anxious about. All Christians have them, but many are so uncomfortable with them that they won’t admit it. I know that, as comfortable as I am in my faith, I still find the what if questions racing through my head from time to time. I’ve learned not to avoid them, but to embrace them. Instead of focusing energy on “putting the thought out of my head,” I focus my energy on figuring out the answer and the basis for my faith. I find that this exercise of intentionally questioning my faith, along with teaching, are the two things I do that lead to a deeper and stronger faith. As I’ve written elsewhere, we serve a big God and he can take the questions. He actually encourages them! The verse 1 Thessalonians 5:21 which says, “Test everything. Hold on to the good” was instrumental in my coming to Christ in the 1st place (http://blog.stocksohio.com/my-testimony/) so I am a little bit passionate about this. 🙂

    As for what you can do, I have a couple of comments. Number 1, I think you’ve done a wonderful thing in trying to research the questions that you can’t answer about faith. Many parents, and teachers, try to fake there way through it afraid that admitting they don’t know the answer will somehow damage the child’s faith. Quite the contrary, I believe that working through such questions and finding the answer together teaches a child how to question, and consequently strengthen, their own faith. Secondly, many kids at the age need someone other than their parents to reaffirm things for them. If there is an adult that your daughter trusts, and that you trust will be saying the same things you would say, I would encourage you to have your daughter talk to that person as well. Sometimes they just need to hear the same thing from someone other than Mom or Dad. That person can be a Children’s Ministry worker from your church, a friend of the family, or anyone else that shares your values and beliefs.

    In terms of encouraging your daughter, continue to take her back to the cross of Christ. Remind her that doubts are a ploy of Satan, and the Bible tells us to resist him. In other words, she should not flee from her doubts, but face them head on.

    Now, on to her specific questions. I’ll start with the second because it is easier to answer. If God does not exist and Christ did not die on the cross and rise again, we are to be pitied more than other men (1 Corinthians 5:19). If there is no God, everything happens by chance, and we should live for today and live for ourselves. There are no moral absolutes and there is nothing greater than ourselves. There is no such thing as real love. We are all some sort of cosmic accident. I think this paints a picture of a sad world to live in. Thank God that is not the world we live in!

    The first question she asks “how do we know God exists since we can’t see him?” is a very common question. To borrow from ReThink (a curriculum provider we use in my church), “faith is believing in what we can’t see because of the evidence of what we can see.” There are plenty of things we can’t see that we believe in and rely on every day. We can’t see the air, but we breathe it in and out to live. We can’t see gravity, but it keeps us from floating into space. Likewise, we can’t see God, but he sustains us in every moment. God gives us plenty of evidence of his existence. If you look at the world around us (stand by the oceans, pet a dog, hold a baby, fly in a plane, examine the clouds, look at the stars in the night sky) it is impossible not to see the fingerprint of God in all of it. Without going into the scientific details, the world we live in is so fine tuned for human life (i.e., if one little thing changed like the speed of the earth’s rotation, or the distance from the sun), it is mathematically impossible that it could have happened by chance. Furthermore, God has given us a book that tells us all about him. Not even Santa Claus has done that! 🙂 The Bible has withstood critical analysis for thousands of year and comes up accurate every time. Archaeology has tested the Bible over and over again, and nothing has ever been found which contradicts an account contained in the Bible. Furthermore, God used prophecy in the old testament to prove the divine origin of his book. All of this taken together allows us to rely on the book that tells us the truth about our God.

    Finally, I would encourage your daughter to pray. Have her take her questions to God. He can handle it, and our faith is a gift of grace from him in the first place.

    I’ve rambled on, but I hope something in this reply helps you. I think that your daughter’s question is a great idea for a future “Questions Kids Ask” installment. Perhaps I will crystallize my thoughts a little more and post that in a couple of week after my Dark Week (http://blog.stocksohio.com/2009/07/13/im-going-dark-join-the-challenge/). I’ll keep you and your daughter in my prayers.

    God Bless You,

    Dad in the Middle

  14. God created everything sin and more and then just magically came back as jesus and dismissed the sin he created thats pretty sick.

  15. Zeus,

    God created man in his own image. Sin entered the world through man’s disobedience to God and man has continued to sin against God ever since. Sin is defined as anything that we do against the will of God. Despite the fact that God knew this would happen before he ever created the world, he still (out of his love) opted to create man. In his holiness God cannot just accept or dismiss sin. As a just God, he hates sin and must demand justice from those who sin (that’s all of us). The point is not that God “magically dismissed sin” but that he had a plan before he ever created to the world to pay the price for our sin by coming to earth as a man and taking that sin upon himself by dying on the cross. All ew have to do to take advantage of this gift is to admit our sin to God, give him his rightful position as the Lord of our lives, and ask that he apply the payment he made on the cross to our lives. In his death, burial and resurrection, God satisfied the requirement for justice and provided the ultimate demonstration of his love. Far from “sick,” the cross is the moment in history that demonstrates both the fullness of God’s love and his mercy.

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