As I begin pointing to the revelation of God through creation, I will first point to the fact that there is creation. We take this as being pretty self-evident, but we do not often think about the possibility of there being nothing. We exist, so obviously there is something, but could we, or even the universe possibly not exist? “The German mathematician and Philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was first to frame the question of why something, rather than nothing, exists.” (Faulkner, Danny R. “Fingerprints of the Divine Around Us,” The Big Argument: Does God Exist?, p. 29). Since we do exist and since we do not have to exist, then the question is, can our existence be better explained by the materialistic/naturalistic worldview or the revelation-of-God worldview.
There was a time in which this was challenged by the idea of an eternal universe, but the discovery of the expanding of space-time and the Second Law of Thermodynamics have all but removed that possibility. Our Universe had a beginning and things that had a beginning had to have a cause. Since an infinite regression is not possible (cf. Craig, William Lane, Reasonable Faith, pp. 116-124; Himma, Kenneth E, “Where Did the Universe Come From?”, The Big Argument: Does God Exist? pp. 42-46), our universe must have come into existence and something must have caused it to do so. Some have tried to deny the need for a cause of the universe usually arguing that there was no time before the universe began. This idea misses, I believe, the distinction between the chronological and the logical denying the possibility of a Being existing outside of time and leads to the absurdity of something creating itself (cf. R.C. Sproul, renewingyourmind.org 2017/06/12self-creation). It is far better to believe that something is eternal and so uncaused and that this something must be able to explain why the universe exists. The cosmological argument properly framed works well to demonstrate that there had to be an uncaused first cause of everything else. The debate is over the competing models, either something natural or something supernatural. I have shown that an a priori rejection of the supernatural based on an acceptance of naturalism is unreasonable. No human was present at the beginning of the universe and it cannot be reproduced. There is no direct observation possible and so we need to compare models in light of what can be directly observed. Let us look, then, at the alternatives.
There are actually a number of naturalistic models based on quantum and gravitational fields (cf. Craig, William Lane, Reasonable Faith, pp. 125-150). However, we have no idea if such fields existed before the universe or if they arose with the universe. We cannot see beyond the universe to tell if any fields of any kind are there. Furthermore, no such creation has ever been observed (virtual particles formed in a lab is hardly a universe). Stephen Hawking in his book The Grand Design famously stated, “Because there is a law of gravity, the universe can and will create itself out of nothing.” (Lennox, John C., God and Stephen Hawking, p. 29). However, as Lennox goes on to show, the laws of nature only describe and do not actually create anything. Lennox concludes his evaluation by saying, “The world of strict naturalism, in which clever mathematical laws all by themselves bring the universe and life into existence, is pure (science) fiction” (Ibid, p.43). Hawkins theory, along with other attempted explanations counter the cosmological argument is also well answered by Craig (www.reasonablefaith.com/In Defense of the Kalam Cosmological Argument).
The God’s-revelation model not only provides an uncaused first cause, but provides a cause that better explains reality. Mere laws and forces have never been observed to produce the kind of information and precise structure we observe in our universe. Winfried Corduan (“The Cosmological argument” Reasons for Faith, pp. 214, 215), William Lane Craig (Reasonable Faith, pp. 152-154), Norman L. Geisler (Christian Apologetics, pp. 247-250) and others have pointed out that a cause sufficient to produce the universe and human minds must exist outside of space-time, be powerful enough and intelligent enough to produce what we observe and have the elements of personality exerting a will. Such a cause cannot be found in fields and forces. However, such a cause, though it may not certainly point to the God of the Bible, certainly points to what we could call God and should lead a reasonable person to investigate further.
Whatever the cause of the universe and its many parts may be, it must be able to account for what certainly looks as though it is design. Many, especially Dawkins, have argued that design is only apparent and not real. Lord willing, in my next post, I will begin to compare the two models in the area of design.