This is the weekly Q & A blog post by our Research Professor in Philosophy, Dr. William Lane Craig.


Dr. Craig,

I read your excellent book "Creation out of Nothing" and I agree with it!

However, doesn't God need tremendous (if not infinite) energy to create something out of nothing? Is God's energy something rather than nothing? What is God's Mind made of if it is immaterial?

Obviously something must be eternal for there to be anything. And to avoid the problem of an infinite physical regression, it cannot be something physical.

Therefore is there a type of energy that is not physical that God uses to create? Or is He made up of immaterial energy?

Please let us know your thoughts about this, because many of us are not sure how this can be.

Many thanks,

In Christ,


United States

Dr. William Lane CraigDr. William Lane Craig’s Response

We shouldn’t think of God as literally made out of energy, Mark. For energy is a physical reality. Remember Einstein’s famous equation e = mc2? It tells us that energy and matter are basically interchangeable. Matter can be converted into energy and vice versa. As such, energy and matter are part of the created world. God created all the matter and energy in the universe.

So to say that God needed a tremendous amount of energy in order to create something out of nothing gets things backwards. He created the matter and energy out of nothing, that is to say, He created the matter and energy, period. What you really want to say, I think, is that God must be extraordinarily powerful, if not infinitely powerful, in order to create something from nothing. That claim is literally true. Indeed, the medieval theologian John Duns Scotus argued for divine omnipotence precisely because in order to bridge the chasm between being and non-being God would need to be infinitely powerful. Be that as it may, classical theism does affirm that God is omnipotent or maximally powerful.

Since God just is an infinite Mind, the question, “What is God’s Mind made of?” is no different than the question, “What is God made of?” The answer is that God is not made out of anything, anymore than your mind is made out of something. Philosophers routinely talk about realities that are not made out of anything, like minds, time, and mathematical objects. Unfortunately, we are so schooled in materialism that we find it difficult to free ourselves from its assumption.

So the only way to speak truthfully of God’s having great energy is metaphorical, not literal. But given the New Age talk of energy in a quasi-religious, impersonal, pantheistic sense, I think we would be well-advised to stay away from such misleading language. Better to talk literally and truthfully of God’s omnipotence and incorporeality.

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