The nature of gods
June 5 2005
Any of you who have been in a public Christian chat room know that there is one very big problem with them- they are public. It doesn't matter what the rules of conduct say, they are going to be overrun with people who just want to beat Christians up. One day, as I was in a Christian chat room on Yahoo, the place was being overrun by pagans. Now any of you who have ever engaged me in an argument know that when I get going, I never give up. Ever. I'm not sure whether that counts as fortitude or stupidity, but it's the way I work. So when they pagans began pressing me to admit the possibility that there is more than one god, of course, I wouldn't budge. Not just in the sense that I wouldn't admit to such a felsehood, but I stayed in that chatroom long after every other Christian had been driven out. In fact, I stayed late into the next morning until my ISP finally gave out. Unfortunately, my arguments weren't that convincing, because while I knew that there was only one god, I could not say WHY there was only one. Since that day, I have spent many hours reasoning out why.
It is my hope that by sharing this, I might bring you a little closer to the Lord by helping you to understand Him better.
First, let's start with the definition of "god".
There is an adjective which describes the characteristics of a god. I may not be getting it quite right here, but I believe the term is "hoppux legomena". It is an adjective which is only applicable to a god, because it means the following:
1. Omniscient. All seeing, all knowing.
2. All powerful
3. Absolute in authority
4. Perfectly good
So what exactly does this mean? Well, let's look at each of these. I'd like to begin with number two: all powerful. First, what does it mean? Could God create a boulder so heavy that he couldn't lift it? Of course not. Does that mean He's not all-powerful? No. He can create any size of boulder, and he can move any size of boulder. What he can't do is fulfill contradictory conditions. This is not due to any deficiency in his power. It simply means that He is subject to the laws of logic like anyone else. No being, no matter how powerful, could ever defy the laws of logic. No one is so powerful that they can fulfil contradictory terms.
Now then. Let's suppose we have two gods in a pantheon. Just for fun, we'll say they're Loki and Dagon. These two are sharing a temple decorated with many elaborate paper-mache weasel statues. Dagon wants the temple in Philistia, so he puts it there. Loki is upset by this. He wants the temple in Norway, so he puts it there. The two of them get into a fight, decimating galaxies until finally Odin gives them both a sound spanking and makes them sit in a black hole for a time out.
What we see here is the laws of logic in action. If two gods have ultimate power, what happens when they oppose one another? Or worse yet, when a third opposes them both. Logic dictates that they cannot ALL have infinite power, with one big UNLESS. That is UNLESS they are perpetually in perfect accord. Multiple deities can share infinite power as long as they never oppose one another.
The same can be said for absolute authority. If one god can be overruled by another, then they can't both have perfect authority. This also means that they must be in perfect accord. Now in the case of the trinity, what we see is three deities, each with absolute authority, all in perfect accord with no intention of overruling one another or contradicting one another, yet two of them submitting voluntarily to a third, who becomes the first among equals. This doesn't mean that Yaweh is better than Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It is a model of the perfect equal partnership.
Now- omniscient. A god who has perfect knowledge of everything also has a perfect knowledge of himself. This has extrordinary reprocussions. We, for example, are temporal beings. We think with the part of our mind that is here and now. We think in a flawed manner, but we manage. We call on memories and plan for the future.
Now take God. He not only knows his own mind completely, he also knows every thought that he will think and every thought that he has already thought. Thus, God's consciousness is expanded infinitely throughout his own timeline. He can decide to ponder something later, then look ahead to see what he decided. He can decide to do something in a different time and because His past and future iterations know what He's thinking, the Him that is in that time can carry it out. This makes it sound like there's more than one, I know, but what we really see is that there is a continuity of being. Thus, even if God is a temporal being like we are, with a past, present and future, his omniscience still gives him the characteristics of an atemporal being. This has the added effect of making the god changeless, as a single personality type is homogenized throughout the timeline.
Now let's carry this a step further. Let's add another deity. Both have a perfect and infinite knowledge of themselves, but they also have a perfect and infinite knowledge of each other. This means that no matter what thought goes on in the head of one, it's going to also occur in the head of the other, simply because the other one has a complete knowledge of the first one's mind. Thus, while the two may have seperate identities, seperate tastes, seperate desires, seperate emotions, they are still very much united by what essentially functions as a common mind.
So two being who are both truly gods would have to be in perfect concord and would share a common consciousness while maintaining their individual identities. Because they are perfectly good, they are going to have the same will, as well. They will both ultimately have the same goals and desires, even if their personal preferences are different.
Now there CAN be lesser beings who are NOT gods, but since we have established that the true god has ultimate authority and is perfectly good, those who oppose Him are, by necessity of logic, evil, and those who align with Him must submit to His authority, deirecting all worship to the true god rather than themselves.
Conclusions: There can be any number of deities, but those deities would, by necessity, constitute a single god. Therefore God, existing in three seperate persons, is the only god, and all others are evil pretenders.