One case for God’s existence is known as the “cosmological” argument. This line of reasoning asserts that God is the First Cause of the cosmos (or universe). Simply put, the argument develops like this:
Everything that had a beginning had a cause.
The universe had a beginning.
Therefore, the universe had a cause.
In science class you learned the principle of causality that says everything that begins needs a cause. Without this principle, science would be impossible. Even the great skeptic David Hume could not deny the law of causality. “I never asserted so absurd a proposition,” he wrote, “as that something could arise without a cause.” Geisler and Turek comment on this law: “So if anyone ever tells you he doesn’t believe in the Law of Causality, simply ask them, “What caused you to come that conclusion?”
The second premise says that the universe had a beginning. Although this may seem obvious now, at the start of the twentieth century, quite a few scientists believed that the universe was eternal with no beginning. In the last century, however, an abundance of scientific discoveries has affirmed that the universe must have had a beginning. In 1927 the influential cosmologist Edwin Hubble observed through his telescope, by means of the movements of distant galaxies and the wavelengths of their light, that the universe was expanding. Hubble’s discovery has caused most astronomers to conclude that the universe had an absolute beginning because they understand that if we were to hypothetically reverse the expansion, we would arrive at nothing—the point at which the expansion began. As physicist Stephen Hawking puts it, “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang.”
Many scientists even identify the “Big Bang” with God’s acts of creation as recorded in Genesis. Scientist Gerald Schroeder, who earned his Ph.D. in physics from MIT, says, “Creation, in biblical language, refers to the Eternal’s introduction into the universe of something from nothing. It is an instantaneous act. Genesis 1:1 is teaching that in the beginning, in an instantaneous flash now known as the big bang, God created from absolute nothing the raw materials of the universe.” Similarly, the agnostic astrophysicist Robert Jastrow wrote in God and the Astronomers, “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements and the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same; the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”
If it is true that the universe had a definite beginning, it takes only a small step of faith into the light to believe that someone caused the universe to exist. But it takes a huge step of faith into the dark to believe that no one caused the universe to exist. If someone did create the universe, then that Being must have been all powerful. Although this argument does not tell us anything about this Being’s character, it does suggest the existence of the Being philosophers and theologians refer to as the Almighty.
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