“Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist….Stephen Hawking, El Mundo, 2014
Just because someone says they are an atheist, and does so emphatically, does that mean there is any validity to their argument? I read a lot. I have read a lot by the current day champions of a scientific atheism. I have to say, I’m not impressed.
Essentially, Hawking’s life’s work, was done theorizing about something we will never touch, or even be able to see. For Hawking, black holes explain everything. A hole in space so dense, not even light can escape from it. Nothing can be seen on the other side of it. We will never get close enough to it, to examine it, but if we did, we would never emerge from it. Theoretically speaking.
Yes, in Hawking’s own words, by His theories, He felt he had eliminated the need for God. And he said so, regularly.
“When people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the big bang, so there is no time for god to make the universe in. It’s like asking directions to the edge of the earth; The Earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge; so looking for it is a futile exercise. We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is; there is no god. No one created our universe, and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that I am extremely grateful.”
Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going. Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design
However, if we discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable by everyone, not just by a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we should know the mind of God. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time.
“There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” Stephen Hawking, The Guardian, 2011
The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can’t understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second. If you like, You can call the laws of science ‘God’ but it wouldn’t be a personal God that we could meet, and ask questions.
So the above statements reveal something pretty extraordinary. Hawking was obsessed with “proving” there is no personal God. Why? Because Gravity exists it could possibly, someday, explain how the universe self-replicated? Just because someone has the highest I’Q around and is willing to loudly and proudly say they have no need for God, does that mean it’s valid?
Sir Isaac Newton “discovered” gravity and it didn’t disprove God, but rather the opposite for Newton.
“Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.”
“I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.”
Gravity, for Hawking eliminated the need for God. Gravity for Newton, illustrated the need for God. Does either one prove or disprove God’s existence? No, not really. Most importantly, do you need God? Does this world explain itself to you in such a way that you have no need for God? Does a synopsis of Hawking’s work answer your questions about existence and purpose?
For me, the atheistic evangelism prevalent today is incredibly random. It contains no answers but only unanswerable questions, which can only lead to an even more meaningless, randomness. Are you an accident of an uncaring, unfeeling universe governed by laws that, for now, keep it from morphing too quickly to sustain life? If I believed what Hawking said, I would devolve into a puddle of self-involvement unrivaled in the history of humanity. Wait, that is exactly what been happening.
We have a crisis of mass murders occurring randomly and indiscriminately on a fairly regular basis. Why would totally random young men start randomly shooting others? Why can’t new gun laws stem the tide of random murders in schools, churches, and bars? Could it be that a generation taught that they have no purpose, will mentally crack, and begin shooting for no real apparent reason? Can’t society be saved by more gun laws? If it could, Chicago would be the safest place in the U.S. right now.
If more gun laws can save us, then I’m in favor of them. But did you know that in London last month the Mayor made a statement about knives? Machetes and knives have been used in so many attacks that they are beginning to treat them like guns.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a crackdown on knives Sunday in response to the rising levels of violence in London, which recently surpassed New York City’s homicide rate for the first time.
“No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife,” Khan tweeted. “Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law.”
There have been more than 50 homicides in London so far in 2018, and much of the violence is tied to gangs.
Knife control? Stop and frisk for knives? Where does it all stop? Do we begin regulating propane tanks, pipes, cell phones, diesel fuel, fertilizer, ball bearings, nails, and pressure cookers? Surely no one would drive trucks through crowds to kill as many people as possible before getting shot themselves. Surely, no one would take over airplanes using concealed box cutters and use those airplanes, as weapons of mass destruction. For that matter, no one would create bombs, strap them to easily influenced men, women, and children, to walk into a mall, or hotel to randomly blow up themselves, and anyone nearby.
If I believed anything of the above quotes by Hawking, I’d probably be a shooter or a bomber. If I embraced the level of pride that Hawking and other atheists have, I could easily justify killing someone else. Anyone willing to go to any lengths to kill God, would happily find a way to make themselves a god capable of killing.
If I believed Hawking and had no sense of purpose outside of my self, the natural inclination would be to do what so many shooters have. The next time someone crossed me, I’d end it all by becoming famous, and making as big an impact on this meaningless world as possible. Why not go down in history, if there is no judgment and no afterlife? Why not make history, if there is nothing, but history?
Paul writing in the News Testament explained the meaningless randomness of life, when he said…
1 Corinthians 15:17–19 “17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 19 If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.”
Paul says there has to be an eternity, outside of time, for this life to make sense.
Hawking says that because there could have been a time, before time, where there was not time, then God can’t possibly exist. But in the Bible, God calls what exists outside of time, eternity. And He owns both time and eternity. God says that He invented time and has used it for our benefit. God constantly points to a place where time doesn’t exist and says it is a good thing, if we have put our hope in Christ. None of the extremely random arguments of Hawking hold any danger to a child of God, who reads God’s statements about time. God is plain, there is time right now, but He existed before time and will exist after time. One day He will do away with time, and create eternity.
Time exists because of Him, He doesn’t exist because of time. Time is only a poor, temporary substitute for a timeless eternity. My inability to comprehend it, has no bearing on the conversation. And it says nothing about His existence.
God mentions the time before time in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 1:1–5 “1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” Evening came and then morning: the first day.”
Out of eternity past, God spoke the universe into existence. From a single point of creation, He spoke and all that is, exploded into being. He created time when He separated the light from the darkness. He existed before time, and has given men a unique opportunity today, here and now, to understand why He has given us time.
John 1:1–9 “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. 5 That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man named John who was sent from God. 7 He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. 9 The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”
The passage I shared a moment ago from Genesis, is the earliest Holy Scripture we have been given. The passage directly above from the book of John is in the New Testament. Both of them explain what God was doing before time. God was establishing how He would create, and how He would relate to men. In Gen 1:1-2 God plainly answers Hawking’s questions about the origin of God. In the beginning God. If that was not enough in Hawking’s life, it is more than enough now. Formally an atheist, and perpetually a fool (Ps. 14:1, 53:1) from God’s perspective, Hawking has now seen eternity. He has seen the face of God. Now He has seen all of what God has declared of Himself in His Holy Word. He has now seen the Bible is indeed, true.
I once had a man in my office, declare to me, “If you can explain to me where God came from, then I will believe.” He was wrong, just as Hawking was wrong. I don’t have to explain where God came from. He will explain it Himself, one day. All I have to know is what the Bible says of God. And the Bible says, In the beginning God.
But the beginning passages from John add more information to our story of creation. In addition to the first four words from Genesis, in the beginning God, God gives more detail to the story.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. What is the Word and why is it capitalized? Jesus is the Word. Jesus came to bring to life, what God said in the Old Testament. Jesus was with God In the beginning and was co-creator. Now this is less a statement about how God exists, than it is about how God has chosen to represent Himself to man. Nowhere in the creation narrative is it assumed that man could ever “know the mind of God”, as Hawking randomly postulates. All we can know is what God has said about Himself. And this narrative in John fits hand in glove with the Genesis account.
In the beginning God…
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
But there is a third aspect of God present in these creation accounts vital for us to understand God. and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. In the space before time as God was creating, He was also establishing exactly how He would express Himself to man. He would express Himself as a Trinity. Three in one. Three who are the same, yet separate, yet they are the same.
In the beginning God
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
…and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
In the space before time, as God was speaking the universe into a singular, ever-expanding creation, He did it as…
Father – God Gen:1:1-3, John 1:1-5
Son – the Word, Jesus John 1:1-5
Spirit – The Spirit of God, Counselor, The Spirit of Truth Gen. 1:2
While I find the writings of Dawkins extremely random and wandering, I don’t see that at all in the Bible. God doesn’t waste a Word. He will not explain Himself, above what He feels necessary, and yet what He necessarily explains, is always best, for us to know Him. He is remarkably consistent.
He had a plan outside of time and He has a plan inside of time. And in the future, when He destroys time to create eternity, He will have completed His plan. It existed from the foundations of the world and it will continue into the halls of eternity.
Perhaps one of the most compelling arguments about the subject of time comes from the book of Acts. This is in the New Testament and Paul is explaining how God views time. Paul says God chose the time we would each be born. Again, Hawking says there can’t be a personal God. Paul says there can only, be a personal God who is Sovereign beyond our ability to describe. Paul says that He (God) uses time as a tool to explain Himself to humanity.
Paul was in Athens preaching about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“23 For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it—He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands. 25 Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things. 26 From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. 27 He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
Now, you can choose whatever worldview makes more sense to you. For me, Hawking’s worldview produces a random-ness; that results in meaninglessness. But Paul’s worldview makes life worthwhile and gives me an insight into a personal God who knows me, and wants me to know Him. The Bible says you and I were born at this time, in this place, and you are reading this book, because God thought you would have the best opportunity to accept Him, right now.
God chose for you to be born now. And read this…now. You may not believe this. But this whole creation is one huge proving ground. God has given us His Word and has given us free will. You can become a believer like Paul was or you can become an atheist like Hawking. It is your choice. But please don’t miss what God said through Paul. As you read on, read slowly and ask God to open up His Word to you, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 17:28-32 28 For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Being God’s offspring then, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination.
30 “Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”
32 When they heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to ridicule him. But others said, “We’d like to hear from you again about this.”
You and I…and Stephen Hawking will all be judged some day. But we won’t be judged by whether we ever understood where God came from. Or if we figured out how gravity, and the laws of science could have proved or, done away with the concept of God. We will each be judged because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. We will be judged by what we have done with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And just as some of the Athenians wanted to hear more, and some of the Athenians began to ridicule the resurrection of the dead, you make your own choice and you live with the consequences of that choice.
I can assure you, we are all alive and dying. We will most assuredly exit this world someday. When we do, we will not be asked our personal system of belief. We certainly won’t quote the writings of Hawkings, Dawkins, or Hitchens. We only be examined on one thing. Again I say it, we will be judged on one thing only. What we did, during the time God allotted us, with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to believe it in this life. He will not force you. But there is a day of reckoning, when you stand before God. In that day, as you gaze at the edge of eternity, the only name that will matter is Jesus.
John 3:3–7 “3 Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 “But how can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again.”