Idol Tales

“Now it was Mary Magdalen and Jo-anna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles; but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering what had happened.” – Luke 24:10-12

While moving from our assessment of the theism/atheism divide in itself is signal enough for having decided for theism, we quickly realize the journey is just beginning in many ways. While a major chasm has been crossed, we see an apparent “list of applicants” when it comes to the relation that obtains (or should obtain) with regard to the divine. If the skeptic cannot see God because of a kind of metaphysical blindness, the sincere person of faith may risk not seeing for the proliferation of “applicants”… a kind of “hiding” in plain sight. In fact one of the risks is taking the proliferation as is and thinking that it is foundational. This brings us to the focus of this post: the divide between monotheism and polytheism. To treat this, a few areas will need to be covered. We’ll first survey the narratives associated with many polytheistic worldviews, and see what kind of insights there might be from comparing them to the monotheistic accounts. Next, we will revisit the philosophical argument from our last post to see if there is anything about this question that can be deduced from it… and finish with an examination of specific consequences that flow from these admittedly still broad classifications of “monotheism” and “polytheism.”

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