Monday, December 26, 2011

Monotheism and the deity of Christ

I’d like to make a brief point about the relationship between prooftexts for monotheism and prooftexts for the deity of Christ. In Scripture, there are, by my count, far fewer prooftexts for monotheism than there are for the deity of Christ. In the OT it basically comes down to Deut 4 and some passages in Isa 40-48. (The Decalogical statements are more about monolatry.) You also have a few monotheistic prooftexts in the NT. By contrast, prooftexts for the deity of Christ greatly outnumber monotheistic prooftexts.

My point is not to question the sufficiency of the monotheistic prooftexts to establish monotheism. I think they’re perfectly adequate to the task.

But it’s not as if the deity of Christ has a tremendous uphill climb to surmount. It’s not as if monotheism is the presumptive benchmark or default position which the deity of Christ must laboriously overcome.

To the contrary, there are few doctrines in Scripture more widely attested than the deity of Christ. We treat many biblical teachings as articles of faith on far less textual evidence­–and that includes monotheism. By sheer the sheer weight of attestation, both broad and deep, it’s the deity of Christ which furnishes a benchmark for understanding Biblical monotheism. 

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