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An Intriguing Placard at Toronto Eaton Centre

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An Intriguing Placard at
Toronto Eaton Centre

Bentley C.F. Chan

 

Many cities in the western world have a place where people gather to promote their religions or their brands of Christianity. If you visit downtown Toronto on a Sunday, and walk to the open area outside a shopping plaza called Eaton Centre, you will see people holding placards or standing behind book tables.

I passed by that area on March 17, 2019, and one particular placard caught my attention: “JESUS IS GOD ALONE”. This sentence is slightly ambiguous in terms of syntax, but to the English ear, the meaning is clear enough: Jesus is the only one who is God. I think “JESUS ALONE IS GOD” would have been more precise, but it doesn’t matter because either way, the message comes across.


The placard intrigued me because the Bible never says that Jesus alone is God, for that would exclude the Father as God. In fact, the Bible often affirms the deity of the Father, e.g., “there is one God, the Father” (1 Corinthians 8:6) and “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6).

Moreover, Jesus says, “This is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Here Jesus twice uses the pronoun “you” (which is singular in the Greek text) to address the One he is praying to. It is clear from verse 1 that Jesus is praying specifically to his Father (“Father, the hour has come, glorify your Son”). Hence Jesus is simply saying, “You, Father, are the only true God,” a statement that rules out everyone else as being God alongside the Father.

Scripturally, the placard could have read, “THE FATHER ALONE IS GOD”.

In any case, the man holding the placard was warm and friendly. I asked him if I could take a photo of him, and he gave me a wholehearted “yes”. He even pointed his finger at me in a friendly and humorous way. That put a big smile on my face.


Here are some other photos taken at the same place a few years earlier, in case you are interested in what was being preached. All the photos in this article were taken by me.

(c) 2012 Christian Disciples Church