Is A Personal God Improbable? Or is it we who are improbable?Atheism has traditionally scoffed at belief in a God who is Personal or SupraPersonal. I’ve always found their position to be a counterintuitive curiosity. One of the reasons why is that I find myself, a personal being, to exist. I am here. You are here. And this existence never ceases to be a shock when I consider the statistical improbability of any of us (or any thing) existing at all.
I, a personal being who has no reason in myself for existing at all, can look into the eyes of other people, other personal beings who also inexplicably exist. I can deeply commune with people I love… How can that not be seriously and forever astonishing, a shock to awakened persons, unless the routines of cultural existence and a devil’s advocate style “education” have talked us out of it, dulled us into forgetfulness of that primal metaphysical shock?
But if I am a personal being and find myself mysteriously here, why should our expectations for a statistically improbable universe not find its Origins in the profoundly Personal?
Of course one may simply prefer that it not be so, a priori. But such a prejudice hardly makes such a preference compelling.
That the universe is Personal because Our Maker is Personal is hardly as counterintuitive as atheism. It is, rather the default presupposition of those in the human race who have not been talked out of it by clever logical somersaults and strangely constructed alternatives.
The Big Bang cosmological model of the universe is logically a problem for scientists.
To make a long story short, theistic thinkers have observed that an expanding universe must have a Singularity, or Cause. The initial singularity being a singularity of infinite density thought to have contained all of the mass and space-time of the Universe which at some point exploded into being from— what? Nothing at all?
It is counterintuitive to believe that everything that is came from nothing at all. Children and very great scholars have long understood this, and for good reason.
Theistic thinkers have long noted:
The universe must have a beginning, else it could not expand. Thus the expanding universe is a contingent effect of that inexplicable Singularity.
The cause of the effect, then, must transcend the effect (else it could not be the Cause).
Since the effect is subject to time and space and physicality, the Cause must be timeless (not subject to change) and immaterial (not contingent physicality) else it would be no cause.
There can be no infinite regress of causes, per Occams Razor. (1)
So here we are… Gen. 1:1: “In the Beginning God(*) created the Heavens and the earth…So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them” (vs.27)
This has hardly been surprising to millions down through the ages and up to this very minute. This explains everything, or at least exponentially more than the alternative faith of atheism ever can. Created intellects cannot of course understand this “everything”. Our heads are only a little larger than coconuts. But we now understand enough.
And if Our Maker is Personal why should it surprise anyone that He would …communicate… with us, his created gifts, the works of His own hands? Gen. 1:1, Exo.3:14; Jn. 8:58… And that all the moral choices He asks us to make add up to something final, for good or ill?
The Precondition of Doubt
I am somewhat amused and perplexed, with every child, by those who pose the existence of the Creator as an intellectual problem when God is the pre-‘condition’ of every thought, even every doubt (Exo.3:14, Jn. 8:58), though some will not believe even if they see a man raised from the dead. In such an event they would, rather, reach for their measuring devices and accuse us of circular reasoning.
However I (a man advancing fast towards old age, yes even towards sister death herself, and weary of debates) am unceasingly amazed at the phenomenon that any of us *are*, and are able to reason at all, a ‘thing’ skeptics seem to take for granted as though being and reasoning were a ho-hum datum of every day life. Which it is. And isn’t …not by a long shot. That we exist and can reason should come as a shock to any normal man.
I remember as a very small child staring at the bluest sky, the resplendent sun and gigantic white fluffy clouds, lost in the wonder of it all. All these years and decades later it still overwhelms me when I’m out walking. It is the unceasing shock of being.
And if I am wondrouly personal, if we all are, then that our Cause should be so first is hardly a shock but a marvel of communion.
Atheism, alas, has literally nothing to offer. Nothing. Nothingness. The nihil. God is the (oft suppressed) presupposition of all being, our every thought. Even of denial. We do not decide his existence. He is not on trial. Without Him we are not. (Exo. 3:14, Jn 8:58,59) — Editor
(*) Everything in the space-time universe must have a beginning. Only the God of the Bible, the God of Genesis, is independent of space and time because He created all things from outside of space and time (Gen. 1:1) and thus is not subject to, but is independent of, the laws of space and time. Thus God has no space-time beginning. He is the First and Last, the Alpha and Omega. Rev. 1:8; 21:6 22:13
(1) Cf. God and the Initial Cosmological Singularity: A Reply to Quentin Smith Dr. William Lane Craig, 1992-94
— See also Gilson, St. Thomas and the Self- Attesting God
— The Whole Universe Together and the Diversity of Creatures
— The Mystery That Dwarfs