Do Christians need to believe in the Kalam Cosmological Argument? Is this found in the Bible?
The Kalam Cosmological Argument, like other Cosmological Arguments that infer the existence of God from tracing a causal chain back to a first cause, is a philosophical argument. It can be a starting point for belief in God for someone who does not yet accept the Bible or form a useful discussion between a believer and a non-believer using the argument as a kind of “bridge”. But it is certainly not a requirement of Christian faith.
The Bible doesn’t present philosophical arguments for the existence of God, but it certainly does affirm that God is the first cause of the universe. This affirmation is found in the very first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The Bible also teaches that God created the earth to be inhabited and thus it has a purpose (Isaiah 45:12,18).
Are you saying that faith is dependent on “scientific evidence”?
Faith is not dependent on scientific evidence. Nor can science be used to “prove” the existence of God or the divine inspiration of the Bible. However, when one finds consilience between what one sees with ones eyes in the world around us and the biblical teaching that there is a Creator, this can help confirm a person’s faith. But evidence provided by science, archaeology or any other field of human endeavour does not allow us to prove God’s existence in a deductive or mathematical sense.
In the Book of Hebrews we read that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). So faith bridges the gap between our belief and the incomplete evidence we encounter. The writer to the Hebrews says that it is this faith that is required to please God: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Doesn’t the Big Bang theory support evolution and not creation?
The Big Bang is a theory of cosmology for the material origin of the universe. It is not meant to address biological issues. It is a scientific theory and as such it is not designed to answer philosophical or theological questions. The theory still needs to be interpreted and many Christians find it compatible with the biblical teaching in Genesis 1:1 and elsewhere that there is a beginning and that everything was created by God.
What is meant by “immaterial” if God is “immaterial”?
When believers speak about God being “immaterial” they mean that there is a difference between the universe, which is made of matter and is prone to decline, and God, who is not and who is eternal. In the Book of Psalms we are given some insight into this:
Of old hast thou [God] laid the foundation of the earth:
and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
They shall perish, but thou shalt endure:
yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment;
as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
Although we aren’t given a philosophical description of God, this passage confirms that there is a fundamental difference between the created, material world and the being of God, who is eternal. Deuteronomy 33:27 refers to God as “the eternal God”.
If God existed before space and time, does this mean God does not have a “physical” or “bodily” structure?
The Bible does not offer philosophical or what are sometimes called “ontological” accounts of God, but instead tends to focus on functional descriptions. We are told that God is a personal being and that we can address Him as Father (e.g., Matthew 6:9). In the response to the previous question we saw that the Bible says that God is eternal. This means that he existed before Creation and will always exist.
While there are moments in the Bible that may at first glance seem to be portrayals of God having a body like a human, these are invariably either metaphorical (such as references to the “hand” of God, as in Deuternonomy 4:34 and Acts 13:17) or examples of angelical theophanies, where an angel representing God appears to humans. This is the case in the well known example of Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). Jesus as recorded by the Apostle John says that “God is spirit” (John 4:24). This is compatible with the other biblical teaching that we have referred to that indicates that God is something other than physical matter. Nevertheless, as we have stressed, this does not mean that God is a mere impersonal “force”. Instead, God is a personal Being — a Heavenly Father — to whom we can pray and from whom we can receive love and care:
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.