The latest ‘Alpha and Omega’ conference at the Campus Church, Welwyn Garden City, was held on Saturday 27 February, with some 65 in attendance. It was devoted to Christian apologetics under the title of ‘Who made God? (scientific and biblical perspectives on origins)’.
Both sessions were addressed by Professor Edgar Andrews, whose book with this title has just appeared in a third edition. But the two lectures went beyond the contents of the book, dealing first with the favourite cosmological arguments of atheism, which Prof. Andrews described as the ‘we-made-God assertion’, ‘who-made-God question’ and ‘self-made-universe claim’.
Prof. Andrews pointed out that the assertion that God is an invention of the human mind is based on the false premise that science can explain everything — when, in fact, science cannot explain anything of a non-material nature, and cannot even explain the origin of the laws of nature, without which science could not exist.
Theists often dismiss the ‘who-made-God question’ as trivial, but Prof. Andrews showed that the second atheist argument is stronger than it seems. The atheist’s contention is that, to invoke an invisible and inaccessible spiritual Being as the cause of the visible and tangible universe, actually explains nothing. However, this argument rests on the ‘brute-fact’ concept, which treats the cosmos itself as the ultimate inexplicable reality.
But this concept fails at two levels. First, the human race has never ceased to seek an explanation of cosmic origins (a quest that underlies much modern science).
Second, the scientific consensus during the past 70 years has been that the universe did have a beginning, and therefore needs to be explained.
The most recent atheistic argument is that God is not necessary, because, in the words of Stephen Hawking, the universe ‘can and will create itself from nothing’ due to the laws of nature. Prof. Andrews pointed out that, if this were true, the laws of nature would have had to pre-exist nature.
So where were they located? The only rational answer is ‘in the mind of God’. Atheism’s own arguments, therefore, lead it into a logical cul-de-sac, which necessitates the existence of a Creator.
In the second session, Prof. Andrews turned to the biblical concept of creation, by showing how Paul, in his address to the Athenian philosophers in Acts 17, set out to identify the true God in six ways. There are three ‘cosmic identifiers’ (creator of all things, owner/Lord of all things, and sustainer of all things), and three ‘relational identifiers’ (giver of all things, controller of human history, and judge and saviour of men).
Judgment and salvation are two sides of the same coin, as Romans 3:23-24 demonstrates: ‘All have sinned … being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus’.
These two talks (‘The necessity of God’ and ‘The identity of God’) can be heard on www.edgarandrews.podomatic.com