Saturday, September 17, 2016
The Three Concepts of Deity -- and the Political Consequences
[also posted on YouTube]
In my prior post, I looked at a one-sentence Hebrew answer to Muslim questions about the Trinity. This definition also leads to two other realities worth discussion. I will address the first one here.
Across human history, in reverse chronological order, there are three basic concepts of deity. In Islam, Allah is singular, and proclaimed to be the greatest. In Hinduism, beginning with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and in other polytheisms, there are many finite gods and goddesses. And in the Bible we have Trinitarian monotheism in Yahweh Elohim, and as fulfilled in Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In essence, Allah equals unity without diversity, as he has "no companions," and is thus defined by the human number 1. In political terms, this understanding leads to imposed conformity.
In essence, polytheism equals diversity without unity, and is thus defined by multiples of the human number 1. In political terms, this understanding leads to competing local claims on power, and thus, social chaos.
In essence, in Yahweh Elohim, we have diversity in service to unity, defining the One who is greater than the concept of human number. In political terms, this reality serves checks and balances on power, and thus religious, political and economic liberty for all people equally.