Who Made God?
Over the last couple of years, my kids have periodically asked some variation of this question: “Who made God?” Usually, in response to their queries, I have stumbled and bumbled my way to an unnecessarily complex and probably not entirely satisfactory explanation of divine aseity (well, I don’t use the word, necessarily). Come to think of it, my explanations almost certainly aren’t satisfactory because the question seems to keep popping up. I guess six years and tens of thousands of dollars of theological education only gets you so far :).
At any rate, thanks to a wonderful story I came across tonight (h/t: Faith and Theology), I have a pretty good idea how I will respond next time the question comes up in our house. I may simply read them this letter written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, in response to a similar question from Lulu Renton, a six year old Scottish girl, whose father Alex passed it along to Lambeth Palace:
Your dad has sent on your letter and asked if I have any answers. It’s a difficult one! But I think God might reply a bit like this –
‘Dear Lulu—Nobody invented me—but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised. They discovered me when they looked round at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from. They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected.
Then they invented ideas about me—some of them sensible and some of them not very sensible. From time to time I sent them some hints—specially in the life of Jesus—to help them get closer to what I’m really like.
But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me. Rather like somebody who writes a story in a book, I started making up the story of the world and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward questions!’
And then he’d send you lots of love and sign off.
I know he doesn’t usually write letters, so I have to do the best I can on his behalf. Lots of love from me too.