Primary to Judeo-Christian faith is the concept that the world did not emerge by means of a cosmic accident; it came about by the direct, supernatural work of a Creator. The first verse of sacred Scripture sets forth the affirmation upon which everything else is established: (1) there was a beginning; (2) there is a God; and (3) there is a creation.

Out of nothing, nothing comes

For the most part, those who adopt secularism (which is seeking to explain reality without using the Bible) admit that the universe had a beginning in time. “Advocates of the big band theory, for example, say that fifteen to eighteen billion years ago, the universe began as a result of a gigantic explosion. However, if the universe exploded into being, what did it explode out of? Did it explode out of non-being? That is an absurd idea. It is ironic that most secularists grant that the universe had a beginning yet reject the idea of creation and the existence of God.

Some scientists actually hold to the absurd idea that the universe was self-created – otherwise known as the theory of spontaneous generation – the idea that the world popped into existence on its own, that given enough time, nothingness can somehow work up the power to bring something into being. Self-creation is a logical absurdity. In order for anything to create itself, it must be its own creator, which means it would have to exist before it was.

The term usually used in place of self-creation is chance creation. The term chance is useful in scientific investigations because it describes mathematical possibilities. But it is wrong to change the meaning of the term chance to refer to something that has actual creative power. “Chance is not a thing. Chance is simply an intellectual concept that describes mathematical possibilities. Since it has no being, it has no power. Therefore, to say that the universe came into being by chance – that chance exercised some power to bring the universe into being – merely takes us back to the idea of self-creation.”

Ex nihilo

God created the world, ex nihilo, “out of nothing.” God is self-existent and eternal in His being, and He alone has the ability to create things out of nothing. He alone has the ability to create matter, not merely reshape it from some preexisting material. God created by the power and authority of His command. God said, “Let there be…” and there was. Nothing can resist the command of God, who brought the world and everything in it into being.


[Adapted from Everyone’s a Theologian by R.C. Sproul]