I just had an interesting conversation at Ask The Atheist: http://asktheatheist.com/?p=1860

Essentially, I asked: Do atheists believe that everything came from nothingness or do they believe that something has always been?

The conclusion of the conversation was that there is an eternal imperative and that the eternal imperative is likely extra-dimensional.

This line of reason I am told is an old argument, is this in fact so and in light of new Scientific evidence that supports a divine creator; is this line of thought being advanced within Christianity today?

  • For reference only: insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2011/05/…
    – user5286
    Oct 31, 2013 at 18:01
  • @CharlesAlsobrook, Thank you for sharing, it is interesting that some when confronted with evidence of an Eternal Imperative that is Extra-Dimensional, still claim there is absolutely no evidence of God.
    – Rick
    Nov 1, 2013 at 11:58
  • Dr Peter kreeft seems to be it front as far as heading the charge against the new atheism. I suggest perusing his site especially his audio clips.if they're is an argument being used then I'd says it's in his arsenal. peterkreeft.com/audio_more.htm
    – user5286
    Nov 1, 2013 at 16:28
  • There'salso a good book entitled "answering the new atheism" by Dr Scott hahn with reading. Please forgive my grammar I'm being auto corrected by my phone at work ;)
    – user5286
    Nov 1, 2013 at 16:32
  • Actually, to be precise the bible doesn't teach that everything came from nothing. "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." Heb 11:3 - things that do not appear does not equal nothing. There is a spiritual world that we cannot see. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
    – hookenz
    Nov 6, 2013 at 23:48

3 Answers 3


The idea you are referencing - that God started everything from nothing - is called creation ex nihilo. It is by far the most common Christian understanding of how the world came to be.

In Genesis, the first words we have say that:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

This presupposes that there was nothing, then God acted, and then there was something. This is not altogether unlike the Big Bang, in which there was {nothing | nothing that bears any resemblance to our world}, and then something happened, and there was the universe.

The term eternal imperative is not one with which I am familiar, but Aquinas' cosmological argument and more specifically the argument from contingency may be what you are referring to.

While rarely the first argument we turn to, it hasn't necessarily been rejected. The very simplistic idea is that because things exist, there had to be a thing that caused them to exist, necessarily proving God. The "First Cause" argument is still relatively popular.

You will note, however, that the argument itself is not contingent on science - it is derived theologically, using methods of logic which originally came from theology and philosophy - a set of techniques that "science" later incorporated into the scientific method.

  • 1
    I wonder why Christians often view the "big bang" as not conforming to the Biblical account?
    – Rick
    Nov 1, 2013 at 12:25
  • Two things: 1. The Big Bang Theory was actually first articulated by a Catholic Monsignor. 2. I have only a little problem with the physics, but a lot of problem with the biologists and physicists who want to use it to remove God from the equation. Whether or not the physical model works is irrelevant. Whether or not it removes God from the equation is 100% relevant. Nov 1, 2013 at 12:33
  • Heb 11:3 tells us that the world was created by things that do not appear. So therefore the assumption is to say that first there was nothing, and then there was creation. If you use the same logic it means that you are saying because you do not see God it means he doesn't exist. This is of course untrue.
    – hookenz
    Nov 6, 2013 at 23:50

Although scientists may believe that the universe had a beginning from nothing, they can’t tell us who was there to start it all. The strongest argument for God to be the creator of everything is the Cosmological argument: God is the cause of the beginning of the universe, which is attested by physics and cosmology and that was argument made by William Lane Craig here.

Bible at many places makes it clear that God is eternal:


I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Psalm 90:2

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

For a moment imagine a time when there was nothing in existence neither God existed nor the universe or even the voids (empty space). Not even energy, matter, volume, space, time, thoughts, concepts or any physical laws. There was absolute nothing or absolute non existence. In this state of nothingness, the question that arises: how something had its origin from this state of “absolute nothing”?

“Absolute nothing”, is complete “non-existence”. No energy, matter, volume, space, time, thoughts, concepts, mathematical truths, etc., and no minds to consider this complete "lack-of-all". The mind of the reader trying to visualize this would be gone as well. But, in this "absolute nothing”, there would be also no mechanism present, to change this “nothingness” into the “something” that is here now. Nonetheless, because we can see and perceive that “something” is here now, the only possibility then is that “absolute nothing” was somehow instrumental in creating this “something”.

The fact is: This “absolute non existence” is not same as our mind’s conception of non-existence. In this absolute non existence neither the mind nor anything else is present. Because our minds exist, our mind's conception of non-existence is dependent on existence; that is, we must define non-existence as the lack of existence. But, non-existence itself, and not our mind's conception of non-existence, does not have this requirement; it is independent of our mind, and of existence, and of being defined as the lack of existence. Non-existence itself is on its own, and on its own, completely describes the ENTIRETY of what is there and is thus an “existent state” (which is inconceivable with our existent mind). Thus this “existent state” was instrumental in creating this “something” from itself. To our finite mind it is “absolute nothing” but that “State” is God eternal.

Therefore God is existing from eternity. He is a unique Force, capable of producing something from what we define as “absolute nothing”. It is an Eternal Entity that has been the initial cause of everything that we perceive-universe and everything that universe comprises of.


The 'creation from nothing' theory is not Biblical. It clearly says in Genesis 1: 2 'And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters'. That means there was 'waters' at the beginning. The earth/matter was unformed. The deep/space was without energy. The only thing that was there was water. That's what the Bible says. So the right question to ask is: What is meant by water?

  • "In the beginning God created"! Why and how would one argue that physical water has always been?
    – Rick
    Nov 1, 2013 at 15:48
  • 1
    I do not say there was water. The Bible does. All we can do is try and understand what is meant by 'water'. I see no reason to believe verse 2 was sequential to 1. Instead 2 explains the conditions at the beginning and then from 3 the creation unfolds. Nov 2, 2013 at 7:16
  • You say: "That means there was 'waters' at the beginning". It appears you are claiming that water has always been. If that is what you are claiming based on the Genesis account you are reading more into the text than the text provides.
    – Rick
    Nov 2, 2013 at 13:02
  • The waters are mentioned in Genesis after "God created". I would understand that as meaning that these waters were part of what He created, not something that existed before or independently of God's creative action. Nov 2, 2013 at 14:55
  • There is no 'always' or 'before' because there was no time until verse 3. Verse 2 is an explanation of something we cannot as yet understand but when time began and the creation started with 'Let there be light' there was something there that is called 'waters' (not 'water') and the Spirit of God was with it. When we find it the answer will be perfect and it will answer all our questions and those of the scientists about the creation. Nov 2, 2013 at 18:08

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