The notion that God created everything from nothing has fallen on hard times. A surprising number of philosophers and theologians dogmatically contend that the doctrine of creation out of nothing (ex nihilo) has little scriptural support. Worse yet, leading Mormons overtly contend that matter has coexisted eternally with God. But the opening statement in Scripture—“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”—points to the truth that God created everything out of nothing. Indeed, only three options exist, and only one corresponds to reality.
First is the view that in the beginning nothing existed. Neither mass, nor energy, nor the Almighty. Nothing, nothing, simply nothing. Logic, however, screams that nothing comes from nothing!
Furthermore, there is the untenable notion that something existed, but that something was an impersonal potentiality out of which every potentiality—from protein molecules to personal mind—emerged. This idea, however, hardly advances the proverbial ball. As common sense tells us, every effect must have a cause equal to or greater than itself.
Finally, there is the scriptural contention, and of the three it alone makes sense: the universe was created by an uncaused First Cause greater than itself. Time, space, and the universe have not always existed, but God has always existed, and God’s existence is the cause for the existence of all else that exists. While science demands that the universe had to have a beginning, nothing philosophically or scripturally demands that the cause of the universe had to have a beginning. As the writer of Hebrews aptly put it, “By faith [not blind faith but faith grounded in evidence] we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (11:3).
Did God create everything out of nothing? Absolutely! The very first sentence of Scripture demands it. And an age of scientific enlightenment can abide nothing less.
For further study, see Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, Creation Out of Nothing: A Biblical, Philosophical, and Scientific Exploration (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004).