Step Two: What Kind of God Exists?
“Even if we are convinced that the first appearance of life in the universe is best explained as the result of a ‘First Cause” Creator God from outside the natural realm, this still leaves us several options as to the NATURE of this God. Is this God personal? Isn’t it possible that the God who formed matter from non-matter and life from non-life may simply be some kind of impersonal force? After all, many world religions would suggest that this is the case.”
“I believe that this creator God is a personal God based on His ability to DECIDE. Let me explain. Let’s return to our wallet for a second. What happens if I simply let go of the wallet? What forces are felt by the wallet? When I let go of this wallet, it immediately drops to the ground. Why does that happen? Why doesn’t it just float here for a minute and then drop to the ground when gravity DECIDES to act on it? Why don’t we EVER see that happen? You and I already know the answer! Gravity does not DECIDE to act at all! Gravity is an IMPERSONAL force, and it has been our experience that the EFFECT of an impersonal force is felt the minute that the force enters into the environment.”
“If we were floating around in a zero gravity environment (an imaginary room, for example) and we then inserted the force of gravity into this room, we would all immediately be pulled to the floor. The effect of the gravity is felt the minute gravity enters the room. That’s the way impersonal forces work. They can’t DECIDE whether or not they will activate their effect. Their impact is felt immediately; the minute the force enters the room. Gravity doesn’t enter the room and say, “Not yet, not yet, not yet… OK, now!” Gravity cannot DECIDE when its effect will be felt. It cannot DECIDE when it will act.”
“See, the ability to DECIDE whether to act is a characteristic of ‘personhood’. The ability to move and act FREELY as a result of a conscious independent decision is a characteristic of free agency. It is a characteristic common to PERSONS, not impersonal forces. Does that make sense?”
“OK, so what does that tell you about the force that created the universe? Well, if it’s an impersonal force, then it can only be as old as the universe. In other words, the minute the impersonal force existed, its creative power was felt, and ‘bingo’ all space, time and matter also began. Remember our gravity example. The minute gravity appears, you feel its power. In a similar way, the minute an impersonal creative force appears, we would then observe its power in the creation of the universe. This means that the impersonal force would only be as old as the universe that was created as a result of its existence.”
“But wait a minute; if that is true, we have a dilemma! If the creative cause of the universe is only as old as the universe itself, then we must ask the obvious question, ‘Hey what caused THAT force to exist?’ Whatever caused the cause of the universe; THIS would then be the more powerful cause we would want to identify! Do you see the problem here? A true and singular first cause must be eternal by definition. In a very real sense, we innately know that whatever caused this ‘caused universe’ must be some kind of eternal first cause with the ability to DECIDE. Whatever caused this universe, it did so as a DECISION, and this ability to decide gives away the fact that the first cause of the universe is, in fact, a PERSONAL force.”
“I believe that PERSONAL THEISM is true because the first, uncaused cause of the universe was able to DECIDE as a personal agent.”