Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Not so the biblical God!
In short, Paul’s reply would afﬁrm that neither Jesus nor the Spirit contradicts the oneness of God. Indeed, they express it, or articulate it historically, concretely, humanly. Conversely, God’s oneness articulates the ﬁnal signiﬁcance of Jesus the Messiah (1 Thess 3:2 and 2:8, 9). There is no competition between God and Jesus. The one God is for us and with us as the Lord Jesus. Had Paul lived after Kant, therefore, and learned about “monotheism" as a philosophical principle, he might have said his opponents thought of oneness or monotheism as abstractions, properties or attributes that match the highest form of speculative reason or even religious thought. Not so the biblical God. That God is one in exactly the way the Bible depicts his oneness: a dynamic, living oneness that culminates historically in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, who is made currently present by the power of the Holy Spirit.—One True Life: The Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions, 91