Recently, Phil Johnson sat down with John MacArthur for a Q&A session at Grace Community Church.  The wisdom and experience of Dr. MacArthur is always worthy of your attention.

Ten Helpful Pieces of Advice for Seminary Students – This is an article that I was asked to write for the Servants of Grace blog.

Seven Principles for Angry Parents Disciplining Angry Children – Kevin DeYoung provides some helpful advice for parenting.

Can I Be Sure I’m Saved If Persevering Is the Proof? – This interview by John Piper is helpful in considering the need to persevere and work to find assurance of salvation.

Creflo Dollar Takes Brief, Quiet Moment To Stop And Smell Last Sunday’s Haul – It’s worthy of a laugh, but as always, there is a hint of truth here.

Week 3—What Christians Should Do For Government: Be the Church Together – This is week one of a 13-week class by Jonathan Leeman titled – “Christians and Government,” which he is currently teaching through at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

Apple’s iPhone 7 will be super limited in stores and all jet black and Plus models are sold out – If you’re waiting for an iPhone 7…here’s why.

Theology Word of the Week:  Monotheism

Monotheism is the belief that there is only one God. The term commonly refers to Israel’s belief in one God, taken over by the Christian church. Contrasted with animism (worshipping nature spirits), polytheism (recognizing many gods), and henotheism/monolatry (recognizing that many gods exist, but accepting a personal commitment to only one), it then characterizes Israel’s religion over against those of other Western Asian peoples, or Israel’s religion at its most developed over against its earlier stages.

It needs to be noted, however, that at all periods the OT affirms that Yahweh has unrivalled power and wisdom, and that his being is uniquely unoriginate and eternal. Gn. 1, for instance, describes God’s creative activity in absolute terms. Distinguishing him from nature and cosmos, and leaving no room for the existence of other beings of his stature, it subverts the polytheisms of Babylon and Canaan and—by anticipation—the emanations of Gnosticism. Ex. 1–15 relates God’s redemptive work in similar absolute terms, asserting his power in history and over natural forces in such a way as to imply a claim to an exclusive deity. The Psalms and Job declare that Yahweh is Lord over all forces of chaos and evil and implicitly exclude any metaphysical dualism (cf. Is. 45:7).

At the same time, the OT also accepts the existence of other ‘gods’ at all periods, though demoting these to the status of Yahweh’s aides, beings whose divinity is not absolute as his is (cf. 1 Cor. 8:4–6). The OT does not develop from animism or polytheism to monotheism. Further, some of the OT’s monotheistic-sounding affirmations (e.g. Dt. 6:4) are primarily concerned to summon Israel to an exclusive commitment to Yahweh; and in general, the distinctive feature of biblical faith is the conviction that the God of Israel who is also the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is (the one) God, rather than merely that God (whoever he be) is one. This latter belief would in any case not be peculiar to Israel, its clearest expression elsewhere being in Akhenaten’s Egypt.

Monotheism became an explicit theological theme in the early Christian centuries in the form of an emphasis on God’s monarchia (see Monarchianism). Here the biblical testimony to the unique deity of Israel’s redeemer and the Father of Jesus came to be associated with Platonic and Aristotelian convictions regarding the one divine monad. The commingling of biblical and philosophical perspectives made it possible to work out the implications of the scriptural testimony regarding the uniqueness of God, but it also hindered the development of Trinitarian theology. Indeed, the word ‘monotheism’ in its earliest usage denotes non-Christian or sub-Christian beliefs which contrast with Trinitarianism. [1]

  1. Sinclair B. Ferguson and J.I. Packer, New Dictionary of Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 444.
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Author DBG Weekend Spotlight (9-16-16)

Josh Buice

Pastor Pray's Mill Baptist Church

Josh Buice is the founder and president of G3 Ministries and serves as the pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church on the westside of Atlanta. He is married to Kari and they have four children, Karis, John Mark, Kalli, and Judson. Additionally, he serves as Assistant Professor of Preaching at Grace Bible Theological Seminary. He enjoys theology, preaching, church history, and has a firm commitment to the local church. He also enjoys many sports and the outdoors, including long distance running and high country hunting. He has been writing on Delivered by Grace since he was in seminary and it has expanded with a large readership through the years.