Aren't Christians technically polytheistic?

If Christians believe in 3 separate beings, whether they make up one God or not, they are technically still worshipping three separate beings which makes them polytheistic.

Hi anumi, and welcome. No, Christianity is not polytheistic. Polytheism would be worshiping more than one god, and Christianity teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all one God. I don’t claim to understand it – it’s one of the more mysterious teachings, but it is not the same thing as polytheism.

1 Like

I see what you mean, but isn’t that still three separate beings? You might not consider them all God, but don’t you guys like follow them all like they are Gods? Meaning you have 3 separate beings you guys worship.

They are all one God. So while we may say the name of one or another while praying or worshiping, they are all persons of the same God, not individuals that can be completely separated out.

1 Like

Christians believe God exists in a way that is not parallel or analogous to our own existence. God exists as a Trinity, which is not something we have human experience with, so it kind of breaks your brain a bit.

2 Likes

Not all Christians agree on what the Trinity is.

But outside of that we all agree that there is only one god. Within the Trinity view the best way that it makes sense to me to explain it is one of those defense flashlights. One end of the flashlight is a normal flashlight. However the bottom can be pulled away and is a knife. The top can also be pulled off and used as a blunt end weapon. So it’s one tool, but it has three separate parts and each of those parts has its own specific function. The knife is part of the tool but you can’t use it as a flashlight. You can’t use the flashlight to slice a tomato.

The Trinity is similar. It’s all one God. That God is made up of three beings. The father , the son and the Holy Spirit.

Some others view it differently though. There is still one God and that one God is the father who is Yahweh. Yahweh had a son that was created through his power, the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is the same power through which god called everything into existence in the genesis myth. Thst power we call the Holy Spirit is incarnated into human form and that form is Jesus. Jesus is the earthly manifestation of the power of Yahweh. Worshipping any of these is all still worshipping the father because they only do the will of the father. That’s why Jesus was given by god all power and authority and called lord of lords and given a name above all others.

Anum1589,
I have been chided for my previous outburst of laughter over your characterization of “all www.biologos.com Christians” as “you guys”. Upon further reflection I have decided to give your OP a more “charitable” response.

  • The fact that you thought that all of “us guys” believe exactly the same thing tells me that you yourself are not a Christian and that you do not have a clear and solid understanding of the orthodox [i.e. traditional] doctrine of the Trinity. [Note: That is simply my observation and opinion, NOT a criticism.]
  • Just because a bunch of folks call themselves “Christians” doesn’t mean that they all believe exactly the same thing; they don’t.
  • The “exactly the same thing” that you thought all Christians believe: i.e. “Christians believe in 3 separate beings, whether they make up one God or not” is, officially, something that an informed Christian would NOT believe because “a belief in 3 separate beings” is–as you say–technically polytheistic, and officially, a heresy [i.e. a big “No-No”]. [See What is Tritheism?.]
  • The fact that you posted two, brief posts tells me that you are neither a Mormon nor a Jehovah’s Witness [i.e. among the more antagonistic anti-Trinitarian quasi-Christians].
  • If, in fact, you seriously want to begin to understand the orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity, allow me to suggest James White’s book, The Forgotten Trinity: Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief.
  • If, however, you aren’t interested in learning more about the doctrine but are interested in a very, very brief summary of it: I offer this quote from James White’s book:
    • “…when speaking of the Trinity, we need to realize that we are talking about one what and three who’s. The one what is the Being or essence of God; the three who’s are the Father, Son, and Spirit. We dare not mix up the what’s and who’s regarding the Trinity.”
  • If, on the other hand, you are interested in broadening your understanding of the group commonly called “Christians”, allow me to refer you to Dr. Joseph M. Nally’s collection of Christological heresies at: Christological Heresies?

They do not.

It is one being. One God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three different persons, yes. We believe in one God not made in the image of man, or limited to a singularity of personhood as we are, but a transpersonal God without such limitations.

Not.

They do not make up God. They are not components of God.

What you said is the “heresy” of partialism.

you can make this kind of hack argument for most religions. With flimsy excuses like this there is no monotheistic religion.

No, and that is the point… there are not three separate, discreet, individual, independent beings. Individual persons, yes, while remaining “one in being and substance”

It would be an obvious contradiction, for instance, to posit three separate, independent, omnipotent beings… like the proverbial unstoppable ball striking an immovable wall. What if they disagreed on some choice of action? You simply can’t have a reality with two conflicting omnipotent beings.

One God who exists entirely and eternally in the kind of unity wherein three persons are so united in will, being, purpose, and substance that they could not conceivably have conflicting desires or wills.

This simply is not “tri-theism”, or belief in three separate, distinct, separate, discreet gods, who exist entirely independently from one another.

2 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.