What is Reality Part 1...Reality as Matrix
What is Reality Part 2...Reality as Self Created
By Reverend Mark Hunnemann
Countless people have had their faith either derailed or severe doubts were caused by issues regarding our origins. Hence, it is important that we understand the four basic answers to the origin of reality. In previous weeks we looked at 1 and 2 and saw their logical absurdity and unbiblical nature.
Unbiblical views always lead to irrationality.
1. Reality is an Illusion
2. Reality is self-created
3. Reality is eternal and self-existent
4. The self-existent Creator made reality
Today I want to look at the prevalent notion that the universe is eternal. Before we do that, I want to affirm my basic presupposition: the Triune God created the universe and has spoken to us in His Word. That being the case, I already know that this option (#3) is unbiblical and will, of necessity, lead to irrationality.
Having said that, unlike options 1 and 2 which are analytically false—false by definition and logically absurd—there is nothing analytically false about creation being eternal, though it does lead to irrationality because its unbiblical.
Once we’ve established that anything exists, then the notion of a self-existent cause is not only logically possible but logically necessary. Something HAS to be self-existent and eternal since something exists now.
If ever there were a time when there was absolutely nothing (and by nothing I mean absolutely nothing, not a vacuum full of energy, etc.) , then what could possibly exist now but ….nothing? Ex nihilo nihil fit—from nothing, nothing comes.That is why philosophers say that the basic philosophic question is: why does something exist rather than nothing?
Everyone has heard of the theory of the Big Bang. The theory goes like this: 15-18 billion years ago there was a point of singularity that exploded and expanded into our present universe. Prior to the explosion, all space, time, matter,and energy was compacted into a pinpoint. So goes this theory. Many cosmologists, and non-scientists, also assert that this singularity existed for backwards eternity in a stable fashion. Or they assert that it created itself out of nothing. This latter explanation we shall dispense with as being analytically false. Ex nihilo, nihil fit.
So, the 64 million dollar question is: what happened before the alleged Big Bang? And many astronomers and cosmologists answer by saying that they don’t have to answer that question. Really?!
“So, you’re telling me that you have created a model that allegedly explains everything, and existed forever, but you don’t have to explain what happened for backwards eternity before the ball of wax exploded?! No sir, that is a monumental cop out. You have to answer that question. And please don’t say that special laws existed then because that is known as special pleading in logic."
You see, backwards eternity is not simply a very long time. Not even a very, very, very, very long time—it is backwards eternity. And nothing in a singularity, no matter how compacted, could retain its energy forever. The notion of eternality of matter and energy is absurd for two reasons: it needs a cause, and no compaction of energy can simply be forever. Basic thermodynamics asserts this….and again one cannot plead for special physics laws at this point which have never been observed before, without special pleading and circular reasoning. Heisenberg’s and Planx’s work does not explain this phenomenon as some assert. It is not nothing causing something as its been erroneously interpreted.One reason many scientists are fleeing from the Big Bang, other than its intellectually suspect, is because it implies a finite beginning for the universe, which implies a Creator. Something has to be self-existent and eternal. I’ve lived long enough to see the “assured results of science” to be turned on its head again and again, so I’m not easily drawn into theories like the Big Bang.
As Warner Gitts of NASA said: “My considered opinion is that as long as we try to explain the universe apart from the Creator and without regard to biblical affirmations given by him, we will continue to be dazzled by a succession of ingenious cosmological ideas, none of which will remotely resemble the truth.”
For the rest of the time I’m going to explain the biblical view of origins, and at the bottom leave links to consider regarding the notion of the Big Bang, which I have serious doubts about, for biblical and scientific reasons. For example, given the huge explosion theory, there shouldn’t be galaxies—explosions expel matter outward and fairly evenly, and the beauty and symmetry of some galaxies are a thorny problem for the Big Bang theory. To me, the Big Bang is a cosmic cousin of the intellectually bankrupt notion of macro-evolution. Indeed, there is no way to square an old earth/universe with biblical teaching.
Theologians speak of God’s aseity as one of His attributes. Aseity has to do with the independence and self-existence of God. He alone is the Supreme Being, unchanged, self-existent and eternal, He exists by the necessity of His own Being. He cannot, not be. Human beings are contingent, derived creatures. There was a time when I was not, and I am constantly changing. But Ultimate reality is the Tri-personal eternal communion and love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Before there was space and time; before there was a universe, the Triune God has existed for all eternity. He, and He alone, can sufficiently explain the existence of His universe. Any attempts at autonomous reasoning at this point leads to unreal views of reality.
When God revealed Himself to Moses at the Burning Bush, which symbolized the inexhaustible energy and power of the self-existent Creator, He called Himself “I Am who I Am.” ..Yahweh. This covenant name of God conveys the truth that He alone is self-existent. All of His creatures, including the cosmos, are dependent upon Him for their existence. Any attempts to explain ourselves or reality apart from Him is sinful and leads to irrationality, as we’ve seen over and over.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Reality is not an illusion, its not self-created, it is not eternal. Instead, as this key verse states so clearly, God created the universe ex nihilo in the relatively recent past.
Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.