In the last couple of weeks at our outdoor worship, we’ve asked, “What is your big question?” More than once, the question from the younger children has been, “Who made God?”
Now, this is a great question.
It’s a question that people have asked for a very long time, especially children because they’re honest and questioning.
One famous answer comes from Ludwig Feuerbach, who said, “God did not, as the Bible says, make humans in God’s image; on the contrary humans, as I have shown in The Essence of Christianity, made God in their own image.”
Now that’s an interesting answer… but it doesn’t answer adequately answer the child’s question, “Who made God?”
We wonder, If God made us, who made God? If there is a maker who made us, presumably the making of things continues back and back like nested dolls.
The classic answer is from the creeds. God is unmade, the one who made all things but is not made. God is beyond making. Not “begotten” or born. God just is. This is the answer you get, for example, in Moses’ dialogue with the burning bush. “I am who I am.”
That’s probably the oldest religious answer in the Jewish and Christian tradition. In our tradition, God simply is, or even more simply, there is God. The Name. Hashem. And that’s why there’s a lot of mystery around God’s name in the Old Testament. Many of the authors of the Hebrew Scriptures preferred not to write out the actual name of God. They preferred to leave it, and would instead just say “The Name.” Hashem.
All of this line of questioning goes after the issue of creation. Who made us and who made God? And that is an important and interesting line of questioning.
But all of those questions end up in a kind of abstract deism. It emphasizes God within a monotheistic tradition… that there is one being, who has made all things, and everything else is not God because only God is God, the one God.
And then you end up with very interesting philosophical theological discussions about whether God has “being” in the same way that “beings” have “being…”
Or is God above or beyond “being”?
But Christians have tended to go after a different question. We have experienced God personally. If we’re talking about a personal God, then the question becomes, not “who made God,” but “how is it that I know this God that has made me?”
And the answer to that question happens to lie with our understanding of the Trinity. Not Trinity as a mathematical formula to cause us confusion. But Trinity as the way of saying how Jesus Christ as a human being born of Mary is also God.
Because what we have is we have a witness to the God we know in Jesus Christ. And essentially anybody who participates in this faith tradition has had a personal experience of hearing about Jesus Christ. Christ himself reported to the disciples that he knew God personally as Father.
This becomes a different topic then. Not who made God? But rather, how do we know God and how can we know something about God? How does God know us?
And the answer to that question is actually… Jesus Christ. The answer is not a philosophical point, but instead a person.
You still might wonder how or why God exists in that framework. And for that answer, beyond simple faith and trust in Christ as the one who is witness to God as the Maker of all things and his parent, we have one more way to go about this. Go all the way back to little before Feuerbach, who said that the idea of God is kind of a projection of humanity, because they need a god.
Well, what do they need from God in particular? They needed a God who loves them, a kind of spiritual device to help them with their fears and aspirations.
The reason we pray in our darkest moments. The reason why we care for our neighbor. The reason why we care for ourselves. Because of love. And what we know in Christ, is that Christ loved us so much that He gave His life for us. A kind of sacrifice but different, not a sacrifice appeasing God, but a sacrifice of commitment or solidarity with us in spite of our unbelief, or rejection.
So Christ reflected love to us all the way to the cross. And in doing so, showed us who God is, because he said, “Whoever sees me sees the Father.”
So the answer to the question, “Who made God?” is maybe unusual, a little bit grammatically problematic. It might be less than satisfying if you want the already anticipated answer.
But the answer to the question, “Who made God?” is… God loves you.
Yes, but who made God?
Well, we know that God sent His Son to love us, and his Son told us that God is love.
Yes, but Who made God?
Well, God’s Spirit is still with us, helping us love each other, because God loves all of creation.
Yes, but who made God?