Mailvox: deitic definitions

dlcarroll seeks clarity:

can you please give succinct definitions of the difference between ‘god’ and ‘God’ as you have used them lately?

This is pertinent for understanding; you have correctly and completely labored to show the blindness of the atheist with regard to spiritual things, but those same comments also tend to muddy the distinctions between Satan/Yahweh/Zeus/Moloch/Molech/ Asterah/Asherah/Baal/Beelzabub as like unto differences of (potentially) equally powerful football teams.

However much the Bible speaks of other gods, it is clear that historic Christianity is monotheistic (in the sense that there is one supreme God who is infinitely mightier than the sum of all other entities) and it seems disingenuous to suppose otherwise without qualification. To also assert that said Supreme Being is also at war with the lesser being(s) and has ordained that we enlist in His service does not contradict that.

Fair enough. An agreed-upon understanding of terms is always helpful when seeking to harmoniously grok in the fullness. I see it thusly:

1. god = a powerful supernatural being that is capable of interacting with the natural realm and is worshipped by humans or other supernatural beings. Examples: Satan, Moloch, Quetzalcoatl etc.

2. God = the Creator God of the Bible. Also known as Yahweh, Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel and numerous other appellations. At war with some of the aforementioned gods, worshipped by others.

3. false god = an imaginary being that may or may not be worshipped by human beings; while it may have a natural manifestation, it has no supernatural existence. Examples: The Great Spaghetti Monster, wooden idols, Shub-Niggurath, thunder.

4. mythical god = a being of historical legend which may or may not exist on the supernatural level. It is either a god or a false god, but as they are unworshipped and are not known to manifest today it is difficult to have an opinion on their existence. Examples: Zeus, Tyr, Morrigan.

Interestingly enough, it is difficult to condemn the atheist too harshly for his inability to understand the difference between belief and worship, especially given that in this case it appears to be built around the concept of monotheism. My two favorite online dictionaries give two similar, but significantly different definitions:

Oxford Online: Monotheism – the belief that there is a single god. Monotheism – The doctrine or belief that there is only one God.

As should be clear by now, the difference is rather important.

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