Part 1: God
(This is the first in a series on Answers to High Schoolers' Question About Genesis.)
Q: Where did God come from?
A: God is eternally existent. God always existed and will always exist. By the very definition of the term "God" we must infer qualities which are not human. Therefore we speak of God as eternal, immortal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, immutable and totally pure and good.
Q: Who created God?
A: God is Uncreated Creator. Some ancient philosophers regarded God as the “Unmoved Mover.” The pre-Socratic philosopher Anaximander described God as the origin of the Primary Substance. That is to say that the Creator is not bound or constrained by matter and, to use Anaximader's own words, "All things must in equity again decline into that whence they have their origin; for they must give satisfaction and atonement for injustice, each in the order of time.''
Q: If God created the heavens and the earth, then where was He before? People say that God is everywhere, but where was everywhere if there was no heavens and no earth?
A: God is transcendent, existing outside of time and space. God is not constrained by time and space as creatures are. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is a great miracle of love because the Son of God left his glorious existence outside of time, space and the decay of this fallen world to become human, only without sin. This was the divine plan whereby the “Seed of the Woman” (Gen. 3:15) would bring salvation to repentant sinners.
Q: How did God imagine earth when He created it, before the fall?
A: From Genesis we gather that at every stage of the creative process, God declared His work “good” and before the Fall, Eden is described as Paradise. In Genesis 13:10 the land Lot sees is like the paradeisos of Yahweh, a reference to Eden (the garden of the Lord). Revelation uses the same phrase as Genesis 13:10.
Q: Why was God more active and visible in ancient times than He is today?
A: God is unchanging (immutable). He is as active today as at any time in the past. Those who have ears to hear will hear. Those who have eyes to see will see.
Q: Why don't we hear God's voice now like people did in the old times?
A: A wonderful Bible expositor by the name of A.W. Tozer once wrote, "Most Christians don't hear God's voice simply because we've already decided we aren't going to do what He says anyway." I think that is part of the answer. Another part is that we hear and see what we expect to hear and see. Many have been taught that God no longer works miracles; that miracles were only performed in the time of the Apostles. This is false. Ask any missionary who has seen miracles. Ask the average Christian whether God has worked a miracle or two in their life. We hear what we expect and if we don't expect to hear God, we probably won't.
Q: Why was God more strict during the time of Abraham and Isaac than He is now? Back then He would curse them for not trusting Him. Now He doesn't.
A: God takes lack of trust and sin as seriously today as in the time of the Patriarchs. God does not change (immutable).
Q: I've always known God as a loving, fatherly figure, but when I read Genesis He seems harsh. Is God a loving God or is He harsh? Or has God changed from a harsh God to a loving God?
A: Most of the promises of the Bible are contained in kernel form in Genesis. This is because God is a loving and promise-keeping God.
Q: If God knows all things, why did He allow the fall, which created evil?
A: God is all-knowing (omniscient). God’s knowledge is such that humans are granted freedom to decide how we live and what we do. Humans often make bad decisions and do evil things. This is the result of evil, not the origin of evil.
Q: Why would God create a universe to glorify Him?
A: The universe was made for us to enjoy God’s glory and to share in it. The corruption of sin makes this very difficult, but God’s forgiveness and the Holy Spirit make it possible.
Related reading: Questions High Schoolers Ask About Genesis; Answers to High Schoolers' Questions about Adam and Eve; Answers to High Schoolers' Questions About the Serpent; Answers to His Schoolers' Questions about Earth; Answers to High Schoolers' Questions About the Flood; Answers to High Schoolers' Question "Why Abraham?"