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Who created God?


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Who Created God? And how can God be three and one? Aren’t these „mysteries,” and don’t Christians just have to say, „we don’t know”? Explore with John Lennox as he explores hard questions and objections to Christianity. First an 11 minute clip and then the entire lecture video at the bottom of the posting of John Lennox at UCLA.


Daniel Lowenstein: One of the most basic difficulties for those who hold the view of a materialistic universe is the question of a beginning. And, as you pointed out, before Christianity has long claimed that the universe was created, and now we have the big bang theory that at least suggests (that) it started at a certain time. And yet, there’s always the issue, „Yes, but if there can’t be an uncaused cause, then what created God? And I guess, Christianity gives different answers to that. As I understand it, Augustine’s answer was that God was outside time. And in a way, that’s a good answer, but it seems to me that that’s a way of saying, „We don’t know what the explanation is, because none of us has the slightest idea of what it means to be outside time. Or, Christianity says that the Father, or the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three, but they are one. And from those statements, many wonderful things follow. And yet, it seems to be a way of saying, „We don’t know what it is, because we have no idea what it means to be three and be one, and of how a God as powerful and as amazing as, let’s say the God of Job, could appear in the form as a human being and be the Holy Spirit. So my point is this, I think this may be a strength or weakness, but, it does seem that many of the difficult questions are just explained by mysteries- which is a Christian word, that in a way are saying, „We don’t know.”


I love this particular thing and I think about it a great deal because it’s absolutely obvious that replacing one mystery by another is not always a helpful way forward. Let’s unpack this because there are 3 or 4 questions. Let’s come to that first question which has interested me because it has become a great focus recently. Both in North America and in Europe, everybody’s talking about it. I thought I left it behind in Russia. And that’s the question:

Who created God?

Dawkins has made it the heart of his book ‘The God delusion’. I was staggered when I found it there. I used to get this all the time at the academy of sciences, when I was traveling to Russia in the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s. It was almost the first question. If you believe that God created the universe, then logically you’ve got to ask the question: Who created God? And then who created the God who created God… ad infinitum. And that was the end of God, of course. And that’s exactly what Dawkins says in the God delusion. Let’s analyze it for a moment. (Transcript continues below this video…)

VIDEO by VeritasForum website www.veritas.org

Who created God? If you ask that question, that shows you’ve immediately categorized God as created. So you’re talking about a created god. Now, can you imagine if Richard Dawkins had written a book called ‘The created god delusion’? I don’t think many people would have bought it, because I don’t need him to tell me that created gods are a delusion. We usually call them idols, incidentally.

This question is extremely interesting, because it’s an illustration of a question that rules out the explanation that’s most likely to be true because the Christian claim was that God wasn’t created. So if God was uncreated. „In the beginning was the Word..” and I am coming into your 3 in 1 (questions) now, and I’m bringing it in obliquely. „In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the word was God. He already was. So, the central Christian claim is, and in Judaism and Islam, of course, equally is that God is eternal. So, the question, by definition, doesn’t even apply to Him. And that’s immensely important. The only thing you can get out of it then, in the negative sense is to assume that everything is in the category of the created. But, that’s just begging the original question. And the Greeks were interested in it, and that’s why John’s Gospel starts with those words. „In the beginning, the Word already was.” And then it says all things came to be through Him.

The Greeks were interested in the question as two categories. The things that came to be- the created things, and the things that already were. And the question resolves down to this. Is there a thing, or a being that never came to be? And that is the Christian claim. And that is called GOD. Richard Dawkins, and I had a debate with him on this very topic in Oxford, and I said to him, „Richard, You say that who created God is a legitimate question. I don’t think that it is. But, let me assume now that it is. You believe that the universe created you. So, I beg leave now to ask you your own question: Who created your own creator?”” I am waiting still for the answer. That’s the first point.

ON THE TRINITY: Very briefly to the second point. God is three in one. Is it a mystery? Yes, it is. I was talking to about 1,000 scientists. A man came up to me afterwards, a physicist, and said, „That was very interesting, all that talk about God. But, do you know, I detect you’re a Christian.” I said, „You’re pretty sharp.” He said, „Come off it. As a Christian, you’re obliged to believe that God is a triunity. That Jesus was God and man.” And he said, „You’re a mathematician. This is absurd. Can you explain it to me?”

„Well,” I said, „can I ask you a question first?” He said, „Sure.” So I said, „Tell me, what is consciousness?” And he thought for a second and he said, „I don’t know.” I said, „That’s ok, let me try an easier one. What is energy?” „Well,” he said, „I’m a physicist, I can measure energy, I can use it.” „You know,” I said, „that’s not my question. What is it?” He said, „I don’t know.” „Oh,” I said, „that’s very interesting. You don’t know. Tell me, do you believe in consciousness?” „Yes,” he said. „Do you believe in energy?” „Yes,” he said. „So, you believe in these 2 things and you don’t know what they are. Should I write you off as an intellectual?” And he said, „Please don’t.” And I said, „That’s exactly what you were going to do with me five minutes ago.” I said, „If you don’t know what energy is, nobody does- and if you don’t believe that read Richard Fineman. If you don’t know what energy is, don’t be surprised if energy, light, gravity and consciousness are a mystery. Don’t be surprised if you’re going to get an element of this in God. You’re bound to get it.”

But, now I pushed him a bit further. And I said, „Why do you believe in these things if you don’t know what they are?” That was a bit difficult and I tried to help him out. And I said, „You believe in these things because of their explanatory powers concept.” And he said, „That’s exactly right.” I said, „Look, of course I can’t explain to you how God became human. But, the only explanation that makes sense are the evidence as I see it. I’ve got a simple analogy that might help you. It’s a low level analogy, but at least it’s biblical. I’m married. I’ve been married for 42 1/2 yrs, to the same person. And my wife and I are in a sense one. We’re two persons in one flesh, the Bible would say, but in one unit. And it seems to me that in the very least (don’t misunderstand me when I say this) that this mystery is telling us something magnificent about God. God is not a monolith, who to put it crudely was lonely, so He made a few people, so He could have somebody to talk to.  God is Himself a fellowship.” Now that’s undimensioned and we can’t grasp it, but there is a sense, I feel it’s got to be something like that.

And here is the full video. Description:

Children believe in the tooth fairy until their reasoning capabilities mature and they recognize this belief is neither grounded nor relevant. Does belief in Jesus Christ require a suspension of logic? Can Christianity be proven to be true? UCLA law professor Daniel Lowenstein interviews Oxford mathematician John Lennox with honest questions about Christianity and the grounds for faith. This will be followed by audience Q&A.

Johnn Lennox full lecture 2011

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