“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
The very first words that we read in scripture provide us with a basic account of the origin of creation. They point us to a God who is eternally existent and who created the world in which we live. While there are many within the bounds of Christianity that would debate some of the specifics surrounding the creation narrative, regardless of the views held, one thing must remain constant. That is the fact that God created the heavens and the earth. One does not have to look far to see the universe was created by an intelligent designer who intentionally crafted the intricacies we see evidenced in the world that surrounds us. (Rom. 1:19 - 20) While there may be those who oppose the argument for the intelligent design of the universe, there is overwhelming evidence that points to a Creator that intelligently designed the world in which we live.
The basic premise of the argument for intelligent design is that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause and not some undirected process such as natural selection. When we look at the origin of the universe, we should understand a basic principle: Anything that begins to exist has a cause. The Kalam Cosmological Argument proposes this very idea. Everything that begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist; therefore, the universe had a first cause. This gives us a foundation from which to build but does not necessarily require we adopt the view of intelligent design. In 1927, a Belgian astronomer (and priest) named Georges Lemaitre proposed that the universe began with a single explosion from a densely compacted state. We now know that theory as the Big Bang. This theory was supported by Edwin Hubble and many others since that time.
Before we dismiss the Big Bang Theory, it’s important to understand how it works in our favor. Many scientists have spoken to the plausibility of the Big Bang. There are varying studies that speak to the fact that matter in the early universe exploded from a densely compacted state. In the early 1990’s, NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite indicated that the universe was filled with radiation having the exact properties predicted by the Big Bang Theory. What this ultimately means is that there is solid evidence that the universe had a beginning. If the universe had a beginning, then it had a first cause. If it had a first cause, it makes sense to ask what kind of first cause is necessary to explain the origin of the universe. For a cause to be sufficient to explain the origin of the universe, there are several things that are necessary. The cause must be outside of the universe. It must be capable of generating all the matter in the universe, and it must be capable of generating all the order we see is inherent within the universe. That’s quite the ask for something to measure up to those requirements. There is no known material cause or set of material causes that can accomplish this. The need for a powerful and intelligent first cause strongly suggests purposeful design behind the origin of the universe.
When we look a little deeper at the Big Bang Theory, it does not necessarily discredit intelligent design as many of its proponents propose. When we think of such a theory, we are often drawn to a chaotic explosion with little to no order involved. What is more likely is a finely tuned expansion event. This points to a “Big Bang” that was orchestrated by what apologist Greg Koukl would refer to as a “Big Banger.” It is not reasonable to assume that something came from nothing. Something cannot come from nothing. William Lane Craig shares, “To claim that something can come into being from nothing is worse than magic. When a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat, at least you’ve got the magician, not to mention the hat!” If you deny the premise that something cannot come from nothing, then you must think that the universe simply appeared at some point in the past for no reason whatsoever. When you really press into that idea, it's clear that no one really believes that way. No one believes that various things (i.e. people, cities, animals, vehicles, etc.) come into existence without a cause. Cars and trucks don’t just appear from nothing. They have a designer and manufacturer. If that’s the case, then why is it that only universes randomly pop into being without a cause? Why is nothingness discriminatory? We should note that common sense, experience, and science do not support the truth of this premise. It’s hard to understand how anyone who values the opinions of modern science could propose the plausibility of something coming from nothing.
We understand that the universe began to exist. We have solid philosophical and scientific evidence that this is the case. Thus, it follows that the beginning had a cause. For this to be the case, the cause of the universe would have to be "uncaused". It would need to transcend space and time. It would need to be immaterial and non-physical as well as unimaginably powerful. The first cause would need to be personal and possess free will. This first cause could not be logically explained as anyone or anything other than God. William Lane Craig further proposes, “His creating the universe is a free act which is independent of any prior determining conditions. So his act of creating can be something spontaneous and new. Freedom of the will enables one to get an effect with a beginning from a permanent, timeless cause. Thus, we are brought not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe but to its Personal Creator.” While there are many theories that exist to explain the origin of the universe, it is incredibly difficult to separate any of those theories from a beginning that resulted in an intentional act by a personal and intelligent Creator. Christianity provides reasonable answers to life’s most meaningful and pressing questions. That includes the question of the universe’s origin. It is clear that the universe was brought into existence by a loving, personal God who did so in an orderly and intelligent fashion.