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Related to What reasons does Christianity give for "Why There Must Be A God?".

In my reading on apologetics, I have come across many arguments for Theism, but next to nothing for Monotheism. I've read the phrase, "the chaos of polytheism," without a more rational argument, though I firmly believe that one exists.

What arguments exist for Monotheism vs. other Theisms?

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closed as too broad by David Stratton, Daи, James T, Narnian, Flimzy Mar 25 at 6:15

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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There's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem here. The short answer is "because Christians believe in the God of the Bible, so by definition,they are monotheistic. If they chose to be pantheistic, they'd be members of some other religion". Also, this seems a bit broad because going beyond what I've just said, the individual reasons are so varied as to be beyond the scope of what's answerable on this site. See Tips for editing a question to make it suitable for re-opening –  David Stratton Mar 11 at 0:12
    
By the way, welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your question, it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first.) As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": help page and How we are different than other sites? –  David Stratton Mar 11 at 0:13
    
@DavidStratton I'm a little confused. Firstly, was this question closed as your comment implies or was it simply that you voted to close (but it was never closed)? Secondly, I thought that this question would not be too broad since it is asking about monotheism vs. other theisms in the context of apologetics--is that still too broad? Perhaps the title of the question alone is what makes it too broad? Help appreciated--I've learned that every stack exchange is new and different. –  ken.ganong Mar 11 at 17:44

2 Answers 2

A common argument for theism is the Cosmological argument - that there must have been a first cause for the universe. Christians believe that everything that exists is the result of God, who is uncreated and self-existent.

If the universe has a single cause then it follows its existence is the result of a single self-existent being. Could there somehow be multiple self-existent beings? Well yes, but to be a single cause for the universe those beings must be in such a great unity. This could be argued to be the case for the Christian view of God, the Trinity, who is three persons in one being.

In many (perhaps most) polytheistic religions most of the gods were actually created from the original creator god. In my mind those gods don't deserve to be called gods - call them spirits instead.

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This doesn't appear to address the question of monotheism –  Affable Geek Mar 11 at 13:39
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It does. Polytheistic deities differ greatly from the concept of a "Creator God". It's more of a linguistic problem that we call them "gods", as in all major classical mythologies they are part of the world, not the creators of it. They are just like some superpowered human beings, and while they are stronger and more resilient than mortals, and can perform some basic magic, the rules of the world still apply to them. That is a totally different concept. Monotheism and polytheism doesn't only differ in the number of deities, but in their very nature. –  vsz Mar 11 at 17:12
    
@AffableGeek It very much does. The Cosmological Argument in itself creates the case where one being existed first. –  Jire Mar 16 at 7:05

Amongst Jews, the most important verse of the Torah is the Shema - Deuteronomy 6:4:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

That is the distinctive call of the Hebrew religion, the first major monotheistic impulse. It is specific revelation, as opposed to general revelation, so one would not expect a non-biblical answer. One does not get specific revelation from observation or logic - it requires faith by definition.

It dates to the time of Moses, and is a radical departure from all that surrounded it.

Fast forward more than a milennium, and it is to these Jews that Jesus first came. Indeed, initially, Jews and Christians were hard to distinguish!. Thus, the same Jesus who said "I have not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it" would necessarily have been telling his followers to be monotheistic.

Muslims like to claim that Christians reject monotheism via the Trinity, but that is an incorrect understanding of Christainity. (As an aside, one my way to church on Sunday, I saw a license plate that said "1 not 3". I knew the driver had to be Muslim, and sure enough, as she passed me, she was wearing an hijab. Her understanding was simply wrong.)

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