By D. Gene West
Anytime one begins to teach that there is a true and living God who created our universe and all things therein, he will immediately be inundated with questions from those who do not believe in the existence of a Creator God to whom man is accountable. One of the first questions one will hear is: “If everything that exists needs a cause, what caused God?” This question is heard frequently, and those who ask it suppose they have proposed the question that cannot be answered. Actually, they ask this question, as well as many others, because they have not listened carefully to what has been said about cause and effect. No one has ever claimed that everything must have a cause; rather we have claimed that everything that has a beginning must have a cause. Only things that are both finite and contingent need a cause. God is neither finite nor contingent and as such had no beginning, so there was/is no cause for His existence. God is both infinite and necessary; the uncaused Cause of all things finite, or limited. If God needed a cause, we would have to search through an infinite regress of causes, and we would never arrive at His beginning. God is the first Cause; one cannot go back further than the first.
A second question often heard is: “If God created all things, then how did he create Himself?” Again, we point out that only finite, contingent beings need a cause. Necessary infinite Being does not. It has never been claimed that God is a self-caused Being. That would be impossible. However, this question, which in reality is an objection to belief in God, can be turned into an argument for the existence of God. Let us take a brief look at this argument. There can only be three possible kinds of being: self-caused, that caused by another, and uncaused being. Which type of being are we? We cannot be self-caused for that is impossible with regard to existence; we cannot bring ourselves into existence. If we claim to be uncaused we would assert that we are necessary, eternal and infinite. However, observation of the life-cycle demonstrates that we are not uncaused. So, we must be caused by another. If we are caused by another, what type of being is He? He cannot be self-caused for that is impossible; if He is caused by another, we are led into infinite regress; consequently, He must be the uncaused Cause.
A third question that is frequently heard is: “Can God make a mountain so big He cannot move it?” In reality, this is a meaningless question inasmuch as it is asking, “Is there something that is more than infinite?” It is logically impossible for anything to be more than infinite, because infinite has no beginning or end. Another question very much like this is: “Can God make a square circle?” This question is like asking, “What is the smell of purple?” It is a category mistake, for colors have no smell and circles cannot be square due to the fact that it is a logical impossibility. Such contradict themselves because the very moment a circle became anything other than a circle, it would no longer be a circle. When we say that God is omnipotent (all powerful), we do not mean He can do the impossible. We only mean He can do that which is possible for Him. There are things possible for Him that are impossible for us. Any mountain God makes, He can control, put where He wants and remove from existence were He to desire to do so. Friends, you cannot ask for more power than that!
A fourth question most frequently comes in the form of an assertion, which says: “If God has no limits, then He must be both good and evil, strong and weak, and have existence and nonexistence at the same time.” No one has ever claimed that God is absolutely unlimited, but that He is unlimited in His perfections. Evil is not a perfection, neither are nonexistence and weakness. All weakness, ignorance, finitude, the temporary and other characteristics implying limitation are imperfection. Consequently, God is limited only in the sense that He cannot enter into limitations. God is only limited by His unlimited perfection, and that is more that can be said of us!