What can we learn about God from the Big Bang?

I received a question about the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which makes the case for God’s existence from the beginning of the universe.  The respondent wanted to know what we can determine about God from the argument.

My response is below:

Quite a lot can be determined from the argument!

First, the few obvious conclusions are that God is transcendent above those things he has created.  He cannot be material or occupy space since those things were created.  He cannot have had a beginning since he brought time into existence and thus must have existed timelessly sans creation.  He must also have been powerful to bring the universe into existence and intelligent to bring such an ordered universe into existence.

Note also that the argument is making the case for an un-caused cause.  This gives us good reason to believe that God is necessary in his existence (not contingent for his existence on anything).  It follows from this that God is simple in his being (not composed of parts but a unified whole).  This is because that which is comprised of parts is contingent on the assemblage of those parts, but God is not contingent on anything.

This also implies that God is immutable (change-less).  When something changes there is a part of it that remains the same and part of it that changes.  Since God is not comprised of parts, he cannot change.

We also know that God must be personal.  Since he existed in a timeless state prior to creation, and because an impersonal cause brings about its effect whenever the sufficient conditions were met, then we would expect either an eternal universe or no universe at all if God is impersonal.  The sufficient conditions could not change over time (since there was no time), and so they had either been met from eternity past or they would never be met.  This means that if God were impersonal and the sufficient conditions were met from eternity past, we would have an eternal universe.  If the sufficient conditions were not met from eternity past, then they would never have been met and we would have no universe at all.  Since we do experience a non-eternal universe, this gives us good reason to believe the first cause must be personal.

Thus, from the Kalam Cosmological Argument we can infer an eternal, personal, immaterial, intelligent, powerful, unchanging, and simple first cause that exists by the necessity of its own nature.

Systematic Theology in One Volume by Norman Geisler is a great book for this sort of work.  He works out a lot of the theological implications for the attributes of God from natural theology.

Matt Bilyeu

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