Why is there only one God?
People often have questions about the nature of God, as opposed to ideas that come from pagan philosophies. Carter M, USA, wrote in with the following question:
I believe in God, but why is there only one? Why isn’t there many, like Greek gods?
CMI’s Keaton Halley responds:
Thank you for contacting us with your interesting question.
We believe there is one God because this is the clear teaching of Scripture. God has revealed himself to us in his Word, the Bible, and explained that all other gods are the products of human imagination. For example, in Isaiah 45:18–22, we read:
For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
(he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
(he established it;
he did not create it empty,
he formed it to be inhabited!):
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
Declare and present your case;
let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the Lord?
And there is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is none besides me.
Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
But I think you are asking why only one God exists in the first place. The Bible doesn’t directly tell us the reason that God exists, but it does say that God is infinite, eternal, and sovereign. With this as our starting point, I think we can make sense of the fact that there is only one God.
For one thing, since God is the uncreated Creator, then he must exist necessarily. That is, he cannot fail to exist, and he always has. But other gods do not have to exist, and so they don’t!
Also, it seems to me that it is incoherent to have multiple supreme beings. God is supreme and sovereign over all things, but if there was another being equal to him, neither would have total control over the other. Neither would truly be supreme, and so neither would truly be God.
You ask about the Greek pantheon, which consisted of a hierarchy of gods. But the Greek gods were finite and flawed, not supreme and self-existent like the biblical God. Such lesser “gods” could only have existed if God had decided to create them, and he did not.
The evidence really supports the idea of one supreme Creator God who is outside of (transcends) the universe and brought it into being (unlike the Greek gods). See our Creation Answers Book, chapter 1.
So, I hope that helps! You can find many other answers by searching creation.com, but feel free to write us again if you have other questions not addressed there.
Carter M. replied further:
Thanks for replying. Your answer was really helpful. :)
I also had another question — if you don’t mind. I once met a skeptic while rummaging through the internet and they had posted a comment saying, of course, “God doesn’t exist.” I asked them, “If God does not exist, then how did the universe get here and be complex and beautiful, yet perfectly exact?” They said “The universe just naturally occurred.” So, my other question is: how could have our wonderful universe unfold, naturally? How could’ve it “naturally” create living organisms?
With all due respect,
Keaton Halley responds:
Hey Carter, glad to help.
You might try putting your new question to your skeptical friends, since they are the ones making the claim that the universe could arise naturally. From your description of the exchange, it sounds like they have simply made an assertion without offering any evidence in support. The skeptics can keep you busy forever if all they have to do is state their opinions while you scurry about looking for ways to refute them. When they make a claim, they need to shoulder the burden of proof. So I recommend that, before you try to argue against them, you ask them to provide a reason why you should accept their claim.
Now, obviously, we creationists don’t believe that the universe or living things arose by purely natural processes. Many articles on creation.com are devoted to highlighting problems with naturalistic accounts of origins. See, for example, Refuting Evolution Chapter 7, Cosmic Catastrophes, Life from life or not? and The evolution train’s a-comin’.
Also, we frequently point out the distinction between historical and operational science. Operational science deals with repeatable, present-day phenomena like the formation of snowflakes, while historical science deals with unique and unrepeatable past events like the formation of our moon. See It’s not science. Scientists have had tremendous success explaining the day-to-day operation of the universe by appealing only to time, chance, and the laws of nature. But when it comes to explaining how the universe and living things originated, these same causes are demonstrably inadequate.
Unfortunately, evolutionists regularly conflate these two realms and act as though the success of naturalistic explanations in operational science proves that all origins questions must also have naturalistic solutions. In reality, evolutionists presuppose that everything can be explained naturally, rather than demonstrating it. In other words, naturalism is their starting point, not their conclusion. See The rules of the game and Refuting Evolution chapter 1.
Sometimes evolutionists will try to justify their categorical exclusion of the supernatural by claiming that science would not be possible if miracles are allowed, but this is false. All that is needed for operational science to work is for nature to exhibit a general regularity, not an absolute regularity. See Miracles and science.
Finally, to anticipate the skeptical retort: “Who created the Creator?”, you might be interested in If God created the universe, who created God?.
That should give you plenty to chew on for a while. I encourage you to read the links above so you can be even more prepared to answer the challenges critics raise. Also, don’t forget to search our site, which already has lots of material related to your question.
All the best,