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The Only True God

 

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The Only True God: A Study of Biblical Monotheism (c) 2009, Eric H.H. Chang, ISBN 978-1-4363-8947-1, 668 pages, Xlibris Corp., USA. Available in paperback and hardcover from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or duplicate without written permission.

For your reading convenience, two  books descriptions, along with their web links, are included here:

Book Description #1, from www.theonlytruegod.org:

“The Only True God” by Eric H.H. Chang is an important new work on Biblical monotheism.

Monotheism—the belief in one and only God—is a cornerstone doctrine of the Christian faith. Yet seldom is this doctrine examined in the light of its Jewish roots and of God’s revelation in the Scriptures. The lack of a precise, Biblically-rooted monotheism in Christianity has far-reaching consequences for our spiritual lives, even hindering our ability to obey—with single-minded totality—a command that Jesus stresses repeatedly: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

When Jesus calls his Father “the only true God” in John 17:3, is he addressing his Father as one of three Persons in the Godhead, or as one Person who alone is the only true God? What do the apostles teach us about the oneness of God? What do we make of John’s astounding statement that the Word became flesh?

“The Only True God” addresses these and other questions with insight and clarity. In the spirit of sola Scriptura—Scripture as sole authority for doctrine—the author surveys the voluminous Biblical data on monotheism in the hope that they may be studied constructively. While the book contains much material for intellectual reflection, its ultimate concern is for what is truly at stake: spiritual life, eternal life, and the faith delivered once for all to the saints.

Book Description #2, from Xlibris Corporation, the American publisher:

This important work, written for scholars and lay people alike, makes an earnest plea for a decisive return to Biblical monotheism. It begins by showing that the faith of the Bible is unyieldingly monotheistic. God’s message to humankind is, above all, a call to faith in Yahweh, the one and only God of Israel. In the Shema, God reveals that He is a singular God: “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One”. He proclaims through the prophet Isaiah, “I am the LORD, and there is no other. Besides me there is no God.”

Monotheism took root in the Law and the Prophets, and flourished in the life of God’s people. Jesus upholds his uncompromising monotheism when he says, “The most important commandment is: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.’” Jesus knows only one God—his Father in heaven—and he expresses this truth in all his deeds and utterances, and even in his high priestly prayer: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

Paul, too, is comprehensively monotheistic. He speaks of “the only God” and “one God and Father of all”. To Paul “there is but one God, the Father...and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ.”

But by the second century, the commitment to monotheism was disappearing in the church all except in name. The church was becoming predominantly Gentile and increasingly open to Gentile polytheistic thinking. This development eventually culminated in the trinitarian formulations of Nicaea and Chalcedon.

This book is a detailed study of Biblical monotheism and of trinitarianism’s claims to monotheism. It pays particular attention to those texts, principally the Johannine Prologue of John 1:1-18, which are often used to underpin trinitarian doctrine. Other passages considered in detail are Exodus 3, Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 2, Mark 12, John 17, and Philippians 2.

As it turns out, the key to understanding John’s Prologue is not to be found in the Greek philosophical systems or in Philo’s fusion of Greek and Jewish ideas, but in something right before our eyes, in the Hebrew and Aramaic Scriptures that were widely available to John’s original Jewish readers.

The book ends on a joyful note when it brings out the glorious blessings for God’s people in the truth that the Word became flesh in Jesus Christ and dwelled among us. Unlike some unitarian depictions of Jesus as ordinary man, or the trinitarian fabrication of a second person in the Godhead, the Scriptures tell us that none other than very God came down to dwell in very man Jesus Christ, the perfect and living temple of God.

[Verses quoted: Deut.6:4; Isa.45:5; Mk.12:29; Jn.17:3; 1Tim.1:17; Eph.4:6; 1Cor.8:6; 1Tim.2:5; Jn.1:14.]

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