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The Clear Word 

A Ministry Of Mid-State Bible Fellowship 

SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY
Page Five

Views of "God"

 
AGNOSTICS: The agnostics affirm that there can be no true nor definitive knowledge about anything. The  AGNOSTIC would say that we cannot be certain about anything, for there is no certainty about anything.
 


ATHEISM: Atheism is failing/refusing to recognize the existence of the one and only true God.
 


PANTHEISM: Pantheism is the view that God and the universe are one.  The most celebrated view of pantheism is that of the Dutch/Jewish philosopher Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677)
 
POLYTHEISM:  Polytheism is belief in, or worship of, multiple gods or divinities. The word comes from the Greek words poly+theoi, literally "many gods." Most ancient religions were polytheistic, holding to pantheons of traditional deities, often accumulated over centuries of cultural interchange and experience. Present-day polytheistic religions include
Hinduism, Shinto, and some forms of Wicca,  Vodun, and Asatru. Buddhism is regarded by some non-practitioners as polytheistic although this view of the religion is rejected by most adherents. Some Jewish and Islamic scholars regard the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as bordering on polytheism, a view that Christians strongly reject.



However, there are some serious philosophical problems when thinking about the definition of God in relation to polytheistic beliefs. By the broadest definition in most dictionaries, God refers to the supreme being that is above everything else. By very definition, this requires that it be only One being. The reasoning is that if this being was just another one of many gods, He would not necessarily be the highest or supreme. A polytheist might reply that there is one highest God with multiple lesser gods, such as Henotheism.  However, this is still in contrast to the definition because those lesser beings cannot be referred to as "God", simply because they are not the supreme being. The definition of a supreme God demands that He is One.
 


DUALISM:  In religion, dualism means the belief in two supreme opposed powers or gods, or sets of divine or demonic beings, that caused the world to exist. It may conveniently be contrasted with monism  which sees the world as consisting of one principle such as mind, spirit or matter; with monotheism or with various pluralisms and polytheisms which see a multiplicity of principles or powers at work. As is indicated below, however, the situation is not always clear and simple, a matter of one or two or many, for there are monotheistic, monistic, and polytheistic religions with dualistic aspects.
 


DEISM:  Deism is the belief that God has created the universe but remains apart from it and permits his creation to administer itself through natural laws. Deism thus rejects the supernatural aspects of religion, such as belief in revelation in the Bible, and stresses the importance of ethical conduct. In the eighteenth century, numerous important thinkers held deist beliefs. 
Deism became prominent in the 17th and 18th centuries during the AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT, especially in the United Kingdom. Deism spread to France, notably via the work of Voltaire, to Germany, and to America.
 
This part of our study is the introduction to SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY.  Another word for introduction would be prolegomena.  The phrase pro means before.  The phrase lego means to speak.  Then there is the word THEOLOGY. The phrase theos means God.  While ology or logos would mean the study of reason or discourse. 


 
Evangelical Theology can be summed up in the following eight terms:
1.  The infallible inerrancy of the Bible
2.  The Trinity
3.  The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ
4.  The Deity of Jesus Christ
5.  The all sufficiency of Christ's atoning sacrifice for sin on the cross
6.  The literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
7.  The necessity of salvation by faith alone through God's grace alone based on the work of Christ alone.
8.  The bodily return of Jesus Christ to this earth leading to the eternal bliss of the true born again and the bodily punish of the unsaved in eternal punishment in a literal hell.