I got into a debate with an atheist on the existence of God. I used the Cosmological Argument, and then demonstrated how God is timeless, space-less, and immaterial. He countered my conclusion with this question. "If God does not exist inside of time, space, and is not made of material, then in what way does God exist, and what is He made of, nothing?" I don't know how to answer His objection, so I would appreciate it if you could help me out here. I hope that you will e-mail me your advice and direct me to some resources.
Probably the closest relevant biblical description we get of God comes from Jesus in John 4:24, "God is spirit." But God is a personal (or better, tri-personal spirit) characterized by intelligence, will, etc. In this respect, many Christian philosophers prefer to think of God as an unembodied Mind.
In either case, however, the important thing to realize is that God, as you already know, is not a material or physical being. God is spirit; that is, God is an immaterial, or spiritual being. We could also describe God as a spiritual substance. Obviously, this is a long way from saying that God is "nothing"! A spiritual being is not a physical being, but it is every bit as real as a physical being. Indeed, in the case of God, He is actually more "real" than the physical universe (which only exists because He created it and continually sustains it in being).
For some excellent resources on the cosmological argument, please see William Lane Craig's site here: www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=scholarly_articles_existence_of_God.
Craig is a top-notch Christian philosopher and is a world-recognized expert on the cosmological argument (as well as other issues).
Shalom in Christ,
© 2011 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Michael Gleghorn is a research associate with Probe Ministries. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Baylor University and a Th.M. in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Before coming on staff with Probe, Michael taught history and theology at Christway Academy in Duncanville, Texas. Michael and his wife Hannah have two children. His personal website is michaelgleghorn.com.
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