Looking at my last post, I can see that someone might conclude that I  think belief in one God is not a big deal.

My main point was that I don’t see an evolution from polytheism to monotheism.  There were always animistic and polytheistic nature religions.  These are portrayed in the Hebrew Bible as a temptation for Israel.  They were probably more than that.  The majority of Israelites seem to have followed those religions up until the Babylonian exile.

But Jews and Christians believe that the one true God actually revealed himself to Israel.  The handful who accepted this took a while coming to understand.  They sometimes spoke as though their God was local.  They sometimes spoke as if he were the first of many gods.  They spoke of a divine council.  They eventually spoke of angels,  as in the book of Daniel where the old gods seem to have turned into guardian angels of the nations.   But these believers in one God were not on the same page with most of Israel.  See the disconnect between Jeremiah and the people in Jeremiah 44:15 ff.

The mythological imagery of Psalm 82 never was completely discarded.  Even the New Testament speaks of “principalities and powers.”

A speculation:  in a backhanded way Process Theology could help us think about this.  There are many processes at work in the world.  (Why anyone would think that there is only one grand process at work in the world, I’ll never understand.  Process shouldn’t be singular. It should be Processes Theology.)  Some of these processes can be very destructive, like tornadoes and cancer.  These are the powers that bring about what I call ontological injustice.  These are the gods that ravage and kill us.  We cry out to the God if Israel and Jesus against them.


About theoutwardquest

I have many interests, but will blog mostly about what I read in the fields of Bible and religion.
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