Month: February 2015

Revisiting Creational Monotheism

In fairness to John Mark Comer, whose sermon Yahweh Elohim caused much controversy two years ago, and which was the basis of my blog post Creational Monotheism = Polytheism = Henotheism, I wanted to say I was recently made aware that he posted the statement below (click it to enlarge) in light of the controversy:

comer_response

It is somewhat hard to listen to his sermon, which seems to be teaching polytheism and which has many disconcerting particulars, and reconcile it with his post-sermon comments, which state he is a monotheist. If someone says contradictory things, which of the things that they say do you believe? I know for myself, I would want to listen to more of Comer’s sermons to determine whether he has a habit of truth obfuscation or whether he is, on average, a good teacher.

At the very least, his teaching on creational monotheism, if not a heretical discourse on polytheism, is extremely confusing and full of error. It warranted the controversy. The entire premise of the sermon is based on an equivocation of the term monotheism. Most people would assume monotheism means belief in one god. But Comer redefines contemporary monotheism as belief in one God with no belief in any other spiritual beings. And then he teaches creational monotheism in response to his audience’s lack of belief in spiritual beings other than God.

It should be obvious that if there is a deficient understanding in the existence of other spiritual beings, the answer is not to teach “creational monotheism”, but to simply teach from Scripture and demonstrate that there are other spiritual beings. The belief in spiritual beings is a basic tenet of Christianity – it is not advanced technical doctrine. Randy Alcorn, writing on the unnecessary controversies resulting from creational monotheism, says it well:

Monotheism isn’t the problem, failure to recognize the reality of supernatural evil powers is the problem…1

To all the monotheists who teach creational monotheism, please throw away the doctrine and quit causing strife.

1 http://www.epm.org/resources/2014/Jun/25/ive-heard-some-pastors-say-they-believe-one-true-g/

God Reveals His Oracles: 3 – How God Has Spoken To All Men


Suggested Pre-Reading: God Reveals His Oracles 2


As we think about the two ways God reveals His truths – either to all men or to some men – it is perhaps difficult to conceive how God might speak, or might have spoken, a truth to all men. Certainly in our lifetime there has been no booming voice from heaven, loud enough for everyone on earth to hear. And we are all aware that there are atheists, who claim to disbelieve in God altogether. If God has spoken a message to all men, how could there be atheists? If God has spoken truth to all men, how has He done so?

The Christian answers these questions by turning to God’s revealed truths in the Bible. The Bible, which records the truths God has revealed to certain men, tells us through Paul’s letter to the Romans that God has spoken certain truths to everyone.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1: 18 – 21)

From this passage we learn that God made two of His attributes evident to all men:

  1. Eternal Power
  2. Divine Nature

These two attributes of God were revealed through His creation. Creation is so magnificent that it undeniably originates, not from nothing, but from an eternally powerful and divine Being. The evidence of a God-created universe is so overwhelming, that to deny it is to commit intellectual suicide. Paul wrote his words nearly two thousand years ago to a people with far less technology and scientific knowledge than us today. How much more so should we as modern people see the creation pointing to the Creator.

Now in addition to God’s eternal power and divine nature, we are instructed that God has revealed a moral law to all men through the conscience:

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them…(Romans 2: 14 – 15)

Here Paul is discussing how Gentiles (unbelievers) will be judged by God, since they were not the recipients of God’s divinely revealed Law that was given to Moses. The answer Paul gives is that God has given every man a conscience, and this conscience intuitively knows when certain things are good and certain things are bad. There are certain things that people know are right and wrong, and it doesn’t matter whether the government allows it or not. People know that there is a moral law that transcends legislation.

So there are three things revealed by God to all men – God’s eternal power, God’s divinity, and God’s moral character. It is worth noting that the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America affirms each of these three revelations.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…

The men who wrote and signed that document acknowledged that there is a God who is Creator, and that there are certain rights God has given to men. If God has given man the right to life, then murder is wrong. If God has given man the right to the property he acquires, then stealing is wrong. So there are laws given by God which are unchangeable. Even if a government were to say that murder is okay, it would not be. Even if a government were to say stealing is okay, it would not be. All of our consciences know that the government is not the ultimate authority in determining what is right or wrong. Otherwise, there could be no condemnation of Nazi Germany and other such government-led atrocities.

To conclude, we have learned that God has divinely ensured every human being receives three general truths about God’s nature. Everyone knows intuitively of God’s power and moral character. But this basic knowledge of God is not sufficient for knowing God in any real and personal way. To truly know God, He must give us far more specific and detailed revelations about Himself. In the next post we will begin to look at the Christian claim of God’s specific revelations being contained within the pages of the Bible, and why the Bible should be viewed as authentic and other religious writings as false.