The core problem: which is more basic, the one (the overarching structure) or the many (the individual)?

Kelly discusses how the Triune God provides a fruitful approach to the problem, in that God is both one and many in himself. He also highlights the problems that arise when God is removed from the conversation. The result is a reduction to the one - and totalitarianism (whether statist or societal homogeneity, or a reduction to the many - and collectivism.

In displacing the true one and the many - the Triune God - modern society has ‘liberated’ society from Christianity into a depressing bondage of the shifting consensus of the secularist elite, whoc control to some degree the Western media. This is a bondage to the one, which brooks no rivals. In displacing the reality of God and eternity it has focused all attention and all hopes on our brief life in this world. It has led to the widespread belief in the omnicompetence of politics, which has produced massive intolerance by those who preach tolderance, or - in effect - a selective tolerance.


  1. Kelly, Systematic Theology - Volume 1, p. 560
  2. [[ Gunton, The One, the Three, and the Many ]]