The ungodly argue that what is self-existent, and necessary, is the universe, not God. One popular theory for the origin of the universe is called the Big Bang. It is postulated that about eighteen billion years ago all that existed was a point of singularity. This point of singularity comprise, in compact form, all matter, and all energy that is found in the universe. This point of singularity existed from all eternity in a steady state of organization.
Suddenly, this point of singularity, for reasons unknown to us, exploded, and out of that explosion came the combining together the gases, and elements, that, expanding outward, began to form the sun, moon, stars, and planets, which in turn formed life on at least one of the planets, earth.
The theory now is that everything is moving from organization to disorganization, or equilibrium. When something explodes, the elements move away from the point of their compaction, or organization, into an equilibrium state of disorganization. It is postulated the universe will eventually collapse into a black hole.
The basic Law of Thermodynamics, or the Law of Entropy, indicates the universe is going from order to disorder. A series of question arises.
Question. “If the state of nature is to move inherently to disorganization, how did it become organized in the first place?”
Question. “If nature is moving from organization to disorganization, should it not be said that organization was the original state of nature?”
Question. “The Law of Inertia states that things stay at rest until they are acted upon by a greater outside force. What greater force caused the compact form of matter, and energy, in a steady state of eternal existence, to change?”
Dr. R. C. Sproul notes that a golf ball is at rest until it is forced to move by a greater force, the swing of a golfer, with club. The golf ball moves, but meets resistance in the form of the natural elements, and comes to rest again. If there were no outside resistance the golf ball once hit, would go on forever.
Question. “What caused the Big Bang?”
Many people will simply say that the question, “What caused the Big Bang?” does not have to be answered. Of course it does. Scientific theory is innately concerned with matters of causality, and the cause for the Big Bang has to be addressed by science, in order for science to remain credible. It is an academic cop out to say the Big Bang does not need explanation.
If the Big Bang is going to be used to postulate the origin of the universe, then it is circular reasoning to say that the Big Bang caused the Big Bang. No, something external had to cause the Big Bang. Something had to move matter to explode. Something had to move matter to move from organization, to disorganization.
Christianity has the answer. We believe in a self-existent Being who has the power of motion, who has the power to cause the universe to come into existence in an organized manner. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light (Gen. 1:3). “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters” (Ge. 1:6). “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years (Ge. 1:14).
God can move that which is not moving. That is what Aristotle (b. 384 – 322 BC) recognized when he wrote of the Unmoved Mover. Aristotle understood there had to be an origin to motion. That which causes motion has to have the power of motion in itself, just as it must have the power of being in itself.
The Christian attributes the power of motion, and the power of self being to God. “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations” (Ex. 3:13-15).
Returning to the Big Bang theory, it is postulated by its advocates that the universe is actually eternal. Only the present expression of the universe is recent and goes back to the point of singularity. The “stuff” of the universe is eternal. A new question arises.
Question. “What is it in the universe that is eternal? Is the sun eternal? Are the stars eternal? Is the planet earth eternal? Are people eternal?”
The honest answer is that none of these things previously existed, but came into being. The chief characteristic of matter is its mutability. It changes from one state to another state. Matter is not stable, eternally. Therefore, it is a process, it is in a state of becoming. Matter is not in a state of pure being. What is known is that what is changing, whatever is in a state of being, cannot be the ultimate core of the universe in terms of a self-existent, self-being something.
The materialist might concede that an individual component of the universe is not to be the eternal reality, but it is made up of elements that are generated, not from something, or someone transcendent, such as God, but the elements are imminent.
Christianity insists that God does stand outside of His creation. He is transcendent. He is the Creator of all that is. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Col. 1:16). “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:28).
The materialist must concede that for the universe to exist there must be something that is self-existent, that has the power of being in itself, and that can cause motion.
What the materialist does not concede is that this eternal self-existent, eternal self-being, is God. The materialist substitutes for God mindless matter, which in, and of itself cannot think, feel, or create, unless, and this is the critical concept, anthropomorphic characteristics are given to it. This, the materialist is willing to do. They do this because their foolish hearts are darkened. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom. 1:21).
The materialist contends that every individual component of the universe is part of some pulsating cause of everything that is. The pulsating core, or center, of the universe, is as yet undiscovered. Nevertheless, it is this point of singularity that accounts for the initial explosion. Everything else is generated from this pulsating source.
All the generating power of the universe is part of the universe itself. It does not come from outside the universe, so says the materialist. This is the imminent view of creation, as opposed to the transcendent view of the universe, which teaches that God created all that is.
In contrast, the Christian notes the word “generate”, means “to be, to become, to happen.” The first book of the Bible is Genesis, because it describes how the universe, and all that is, has come to be. The pulsating source for all that is, is God. “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).
To say that God transcends the universe, is not to say something about God’s location, but it is to say something about his relation to the created universe. Transcendence is not a geographical description. What is meant is that God is a higher order of Being. It is an ontological statement. God is a higher order of Being than we are, than the sun, moon, stars, or energy.
If the materialist wants to say that there is some pulsating core that is self-existent, and self-eternal within the confines of the universe, he is not wholly wrong, provided he recognizes this pulsating core is God. At that moment, the materialist would be on the way to becoming a theist.
The materialist has no rational answer to the simple question, “What caused the Big Bang?”