Chapter 1: Christian Monotheism
Chapter one in the book ” The Oneness of God” by David. K. Bernard deals with the initial points to be tackled to the book. The opening chapter first of relays to the reader by answering the questions ” What is Monotheism” and ” What are the differences between this and others?”. These questions are answered very effectively, going onto describe not just the meaning of monotheism, but also the different structures of religious belief, such as polytheism ( belief in many gods , ex: Odinism) and Atheism ( the denial of the existence of a divine, or higher power). The author then goes onto describe the differences in belief within monotheism itself, the separation of Christians and Jews. And even within Christianity itself, moving onto the belief of the trinity within the roman catholic church ( god as three separate entities) or even the denial of Jesus as a heavenly body.
Bernard then goes onto back up his argument on monotheism by quoting from scripture in both old testament and new. (ex) ” I am the first , I am the last, beside me there is no god” Isaiah 44: 6. Using these quotes he clearly puts to rout the belief in the separate entities of the trinity system as well as denouncing the false gods of other religions. Chapter one is an effective entry into the book. Putting across a good mixture of fact, adding in only a little of argument. Therefore helping to intrigue readers that do not share the authors belief.
Chapter 2: The Nature Of God
Chapter 2 , the nature of god deals with the mystery of gods existence. His personality, his material or immaterial form and the manifestations in which he has appeared to his people. The first point covered by Bernard in this chapter is putting across the point that god is not a physical being, rather a spirit. Covering the different descriptions of the word, all relaying the same idea. That a spirit has no flesh or blood, and cannot be seen through mortal eyes. It tells that whenever god uses the words of the body ( eyes, hand finger etc) it was only used metaphorically and should not be taken literally. As with the last chapter it goes onto stress the importance of the one god by describing gods omnipresence, and omnipotence in comparison to other spirits.
Omnipresence of course referring to the fact god is everywhere at once. And Omnipotence meaning that god is all powerful. And no other spirit, be it angel, demon (etc) has power in any way like his , as they can all be attributed to a single point of location, whereas god has no limits. ” The blessed, the only potentate, the lord of lords, the king of kings”. Timothy 6:15. The author moves onto describe gods manifestations. The only way that human beings can comprehend his existence. ( As, said within the book no human could look upon the form of god and live). Examples of this being the angel of the lord ( Metatron, the voice of god) and the burning bush, finally moving onto the final human manifestation as Jesus. Chapter 2 was an effective move by the author. Who first dealt with the oneness of god in the first chapter, and now moved onto deal with some of the real essential mystery of faith. Explaining monotheistic Christianity’s take on god, in an intelligent but simple way.
Chapter 3: The Names And Titles Of God
Chapter 3, of the ‘ oneness of god’ is a chapter dedicated to explaining the relevance of the different names and titles by which god has gone by. Or has been referred to over the years by the culmination of his followers. It first of all explains the relevance that was attached to a persons name back in the times of the old testament. Names, as Bernard goes onto describe are merely extensions of a persons inner being. A description of their attitude, personality, or even their work life. Which is a just and fair point as up till the 11th century AD names were still being used to describe personality rather than just the name throwing that goes about to day . ( ex) The surname Walker was given to those who would literally stand in a wash basin and stamp out dirty from clothes.
The author then moves on to give us a look at some of the names and titles god has given, listing them in an order through Old Testament quotation along with compound names for Jehovah. Both when examined are indeed very similar, further increasing the momentum behind Bernard’s argument for the oneness of god. Another point that is discussed is the progressive revelation of god’s name. In this he uses the compound names in Hebrew to discuss that he was known by different titles in the times when his people needed him the most. (ex) Times of sickness, Jehovah Rapha. The god that heals. The final name of god being of course Jesus, as the author points out is the glory of all the other names combined. Jesus meaning . Jehova is salvation. The author sums up this chapter by going on to discuss the nature of Jesus’ name. And how It was important in defining the attributes that made him the foretold saviour the messiah.
Chapter 4: Jesus is God
Chapter 4 in this book is the chapter which Bernard uses to put forward the point that Jesus is not merely the son of god, or a separate entity. But rather god made flesh. The main poin to this chapter is to disprove the ideas of the trinity or anything else that portrays Jesus as anything but the one true god. As of which this chapter is mainly made up of Biblical references and quotes which further the authors argument that Jesus is god in the flesh. These biblical references are taken from both Old and New Testament scriptures. Meaning that it is not only relying on the post crucifixion word to back up his argument, thus further strengthening his position. In addition to this quotes directly from Jesus referring to himself as god are made within this chapter.
” I and My Father are one”.
However a rather amusing detail was also added to this chapter. One thing that earns praise, the author had thus far been moving his argument into overtime, which may seem slightly pressuring on those who d not know what he is talking about. And will in the end most likely result in the book being placed down firmly on the table. What is being referred to here is the meeting between the author, his associates and the Jewish Rabbi. Whom they had a debate over Jesus being God. As the author explains in the same section one of the main stumbling points for Jews and their acceptance as Jesus as god was the fact they couldn’t get their head around how god. A being purely spiritual could possibly take flesh. However the amusing point is where the author actually stumped the Rabbi, by showing him not only in Exodus that god had taken flesh form before. But also quoting other biblical texts that proved Jesus was god. The end result of course being the Rabbi’s hasty retreat and promise to study the matter further. Chapter four is an effective method of dealing with the problems some people have getting their head around the fact Jesus is god. The author tackled the problem head on, using his strong arguments and evidence to bulldoze his way past any barriers people might have concerning this idea. However ending it on a lighter note, which only serves to hook a reader in further, and lets them turn to the next page without fear.