The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks “Are there more Gods than one?”, then answers emphatically “There is but one only, the living and true God.”. Since my school just finished a week-long conference on this very theme, today’s post will revolve around the topic and will discuss the reasons for believing in the singularity of the Christian God. I hope to leave you with a clear understanding of the doctrine of monotheism in Christianity.
The first, and possibly most significant point to make is that each and every religion claims exclusivity. Even the supposedly all-inclusive belief systems preclude the idea of an exclusive one. That is, if a system claims that all roads lead equally to God, then they claim that their statement is true. If that is true however, an opposite statement (that there is only one way to God) cannot also be true. This is a simple logical impossibility.
Why believe Christianity’s claim to exclusivity though? Islam and Judaism claim exclusivity and monotheism, what evidence is there to establish Christianity over those or other religions? There are many answers to this, but the most significant one has to do with God’s own demonstration of power.
Think of it like this. If a someone claimed to be the strongest man in the world, you would expect him to do something to prove it, right? If he continually avoided questions about how much he could lift, and refused to demonstrate his strength, wouldn’t you be suspicious? In much the same way, a religious tradition which claims that their deity is worthy of being called supreme and worshipped as such, yet has no evidence to support these claims should raise suspicion.
In the case of the Christian God, there are countless examples of his power at work, both to prove who he is and to benefit those who worship him. The most significant of these, of course, is his singular act of sending his only son (Jesus Christ) to live and die to reconcile a sinful human race to a right relationship with himself (read more on this here). In no other religious tradition does God reach out to humanity for reconciliation. In some he co-operates, but in most, it is up to man to fearfully reach out in hope that God may accept their feeble attempts at living rightly.
God not only sent his son to live and die on earth, he raised him from the dead. Mohammed died, was buried, and remains dead. Buddha died, was buried, and remains dead. Jesus Christ died, was buried, and was raised (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Outside of Christianity, death is the end of human existence. Within Christianity, it is merely the beginning of eternity with God. By demonstrating his power over death by raising his son, God showed that he is powerful enough to do the same for all who trust him for salvation.
Armed with this knowledge, Christians can rejoice in steadfast assurance of their salvation. God has proven himself in every way to be faithful, and Christians should take solace in that faithfulness. If you are not yet convinced of this, I plead with you to consider carefully the implications of your actions within eternity. It is far more than a cosmic accident which brought about your existence, and which allowed you to obtain the knowledge you have. Do not take that lightly.
In grace and peace,