Q. Someone told me you don’t need God to create the universe. All you need is an infinite regress of causes. What do you think?
A. I am a pastor with engineering and finance background, not a philosopher. I draw my conclusions based on evidence and logic. There are many with philosophy training who can articulate the reasoning behind why an “infinite regress” doesn’t work. Just go on YouTube and you can find many clear and concise answers e.g.
But just for fun, I cite an illustration I heard this Sunday in a sermon by Tim Barnett of Stand to Reason, on the Origin of the Universe. Tim cited that originally Einstein did not like the idea of an expanding universe, and introduced a fudge fact, the cosmological constant, in his general theory of relativity, to produce a static and stable universe. This was until he looked at the evidence from Hubble’s telescope, which showed that there is a “red shift” in the light from distant galaxies, which means that the wavelength of the light is stretched, or that the light source is moving further and further away. In other words, the universe is expanding, not static! Einstein retracted his fudge factor and called it the greatest blunder in his life!
Since the universe is expanding, it means that in the past the universe was smaller. Now if you go back further and further in time, you can go all the way back to when the universe was infinitesimally small, beyond which it did not even exist. In other words, the universe had a beginning, and a beginning requires a Beginner. Remember “infinite regress” is only a mathematical abstraction, but does not exist in the real world. This Beginner must be outside of space-time to create space-time i.e. infinite, infinitely intelligent to design this complex universe with all its order and finely tuned conditions for life to exist, and infinitely powerful to call everything into existence from nothing (creation ex-nihilo. This eternal, omniscient and omnipotent Being, the First Cause, is whom we call God. Infinite regress have no reality. It is a figment of the imagination of those who refuse to accept scientific evidence.
Q. I am doing fine just as I am. I don’t feel I need Jesus or any religion.
A. This is a classic case of allowing the subjective to influence one’s decision, to the detriment of objective reality. The unbeliever feels that everything is fine and going his way. He is content with his situation and doesn’t feel the need to change. So why bother? The reality is that Satan had deceived him and lulled him into a false sense of security. He doesn’t see his true spiritual condition and the plight he is in, so he rejects the gospel:
• 2 Co 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
• Rom 3:10-12 as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
• Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
• Rom 6:23a For the wages of sin is death,
• Jn 3:18b he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
It is the same in physical life. Some have terminal illness but do not feel a thing. No pain, no suffering, as if nothing is wrong. But when finally the symptoms manifest itself, it is too late. You see feelings do not change the facts; they only change how you behave. Emotions affect your personal preferences, and when you are self-deceived about how deplorable your actual situation is, you choose against your own best interests, which unbelievers tend to do:
• 2 Co 10:12b but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.
• Eph 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
So the wise thing to do is to investigate for yourself what the gospel is all about, and then decide after you know the facts. That’s like deferring a prognosis until after a proper diagnosis, instead of refusing medication before even knowing how sick you are.