Is McGrath being fair or a monotheist?

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In a subject likely to cause some heartache, the professor has decided to resurrect the controversy known as ‘Was Paul a Monotheist Like we Define Monotheism Today’ bit. He asks:

You already know what I think, and it has been a while since the biblioblogs were alive with a discussion of monotheism and Christology. So let’s hear from others. What do you think Paul meant in this passage? Was Paul a monotheist in exactly the same sense as his other Jewish contemporaries? Please answer in the comments here, or on your own blog!

It is in reference to 1 Corinthians 8.6 which reads:

NAB  1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things are and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are and through whom we exist.

NLT  1 Corinthians 8:6 But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.

Annoyance, and I’ll tell you why. He wants us to decide if Paul was a “monotheist in exactly the same sense as his other Jewish contemporaries.” Um…. to that I’d say… trick question.

Varying views of monotheism and even lingering henotheism survived. Truth be told, as one who currently subscribes to the Christus Victor theory as the only God-given, inerrant, and infallible image of salvation which if changed would so shatter my faith that I would become an a-theist, I see in Paul a lingering amount, or a healthy respect of henotheism which would allow for a figure which was given the divine name in order to vanquish the powers… which doesn’t require pre-existence, allows for the union of divine identity, and still allows for complete humanity.

But, alas, I did name my youngest daughter Sophia too.

This is and should be an interesting discussion. Let’s see where it takes us and what side(s) I end up arguing for.

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