Symeon of Daibabe had this saying, When you throw a nail into a fire, it gets hot and starts to glow like fire. In the same way you, when you listen to divine teachings and live accordingly, will become like God.
Once some thieves came to an old hermit and said, "We are taking everything in your cell." He answered, "Take whatever you need, my children." They took almost everything in the cell and left. But they missed a little bag of money that was hidden. The elder picked it up and went after them, crying, "Children! You forgot something!" The thieves were amazed. Not only did they not take the money, but they returned everything that they had taken. "Truly," they said, "this is a man of God."
A problem with classifying world views as polytheistic or monotheistic or atheistic is that we're not always using the word theos, that is, god, in the same way. Monotheistic worldviews that emphasise the oneness of God have rarely excluded concurrent belief in angels. Which begs the question: how exactly do we differentiate angels in monotheism from gods in polytheism?
In my experience the difference between polytheistic gods and monotheistic angels is less stark than we've made it. In fact I am inclined to suggest their equivalence and assert what monotheists call God is more akin to what polytheists have at times referred to as the unknowable god or formative chaos or ultimate reality from which all gods emerged.
This ambiguity besets dialogue between monotheists and atheists also. For not only are atheists mistakenly inclined to draw an equivalence between the God of monotheists and the gods of polytheists, but I have met many who identified as atheist whilst still holding to belief in angels without seeing any problem with that self identification.
St Basil the Great once said, As it is impossible to verbally describe the sweetness of honey to one who has never tasted honey, so the goodness of God cannot be clearly communicated by way of teaching if we ourselves are not able to penetrate into the goodness of the Lord by our own experience.
Have you ever been bamboozled by Christian millennial teachings and the jargon that goes along with them?
I know I was when I first came across it. All this talk of pre-millennial, post-millennial and amillennial, of pre-tribulation or post-tribulation? I'm not surprised that some Christians say they're pan-millennial, as in, it will all pan out in the end.
But for those who are interested in understanding I have drawn up a chart of common millennial understandings, from the more simple to the more complex ... with a few language adjustments.
My personal view is that Occams razor should apply.