My take on Yahya Snow’s “South African Christian-Muslim Apologetics Review of Yusuf Bux and Rudolph Boshoff (Ad Lucem)”.

Original Commentary can be viewed here:

“Rudolph Boshoff’s opening salvo included the old love argument”

Response:

Mr Snow is right, I did include the argument of love. Before we even get to the “love argument” I think it is fair to reply that the structure that I followed was the following:

  • The Trinitarian Worldview.
  • Reasons given for rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity.
  • Reasons given for accepting the doctrine of the Trinity.
  • Evaluating divine transcendence and immanence.
  • Functional subordination in the Trinity.
  • The Old Testament promise of God with His people.
  • The Incarnation of Christ.

 

“Boshoff argues God needs the creation to be Loving as opposed to idea of God in the doctrine of the Trinity which posits a community in the ‘Godhead’.images (3)

Response:

In fact I have not stated that God needs His creation at all!? In fact my presentation showed the God of Islam depends on something outside of Himself to make Himself known. What I said in my last point in giving a reason for the doctrine of the Trinity is that:

  1. a) Divinity implies perfect goodness.
  2. b) Perfect Goodness implies being loving.
  3. c) Being loving requires an object and perfect love is love between equals.
  4. e) This means that a perfectly good God cannot be alone and must exist with another divine person (in order for their love to be a love of equals).
  5. d) Most moral qualities (perhaps even all of them) require a community within which to come about.
  • This argument is laid out by Richard Swinburne in his book “Was Jesus God?” (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Pg.28).

I am sure Mr Snow does not have sufficient time to work systematically to work through every single point, yet, I am disappointed that he selectively moves beyond the other points. What is disconcerting is that Mr Snow is not even attempting to interact with the 12 fore mentioned points I made nl:

Biblically we recognize:

  1. The God of our salvation is Triune.
  2. God’s rulership is Triune.
  3. The Christian commission and mission are established in the Trinity.
  4. The God of Creation is Triune.
  5. God’s self-revelation in Worship is Triune
  6. We are made in the image of the Triune community.
  7. Scripture is in effect Trinitarian.
  8. God’s Work is Triune:
  9. The Doctrine of the Trinity explains the person of Christ in His Divinity without denying monotheism.
  10. The Trinity establishes Christianity as the only truly Personalistic Worldview.
  11. Scripture only makes real sense if the Trinity is a fact.

Then we get to point 12 only where I assert:

  1. Only the Trinity is a complete expression of a loving unity.

Bux Boshoff revised

“The Old love argument”

Response:

I think Mr Snow’s interpretation of the “old love argument” lacks an adequate understanding in his explanatory scope and even the clip to Ravi plastered with Shabir Ally seems to prove nothing in particular? Dr. Ally’s mentions that “the love argument” can be merely brushed aside by asserting that it is a simple “self-love”. This undermines the very definition of the Trinity I laid out in the beginning of the talk and assumes modalism by selective excerpting of words from their original context in a way that distorts the source’s intended meaning. This is simply the Fallacy of quoting out of context (contextomy). In fact this argument is very old and stems from Augustine as well as Richard of St. Victor and not C.S. Lewis.

 

Mr Snow adds “this is effectively a polytheistic argument”.

Response:

Once more Mr. Snow’s reach exceeds his own grasp. It would be wise if he looks at Richard of St Victor and Bonaventure’s arguments for the “triune” affirmation in Scripture. Mr Snow in his clip asserts that this argument affirms polytheism and Biblical Trinitarianism are the same. This is a gross misrepresentation that shows a lack of sincere scholarship and simply shows Mr Snow has NO clue as to the Orthodox definition of the Trinity. In fact to equate the rank polytheism of Hinduism with the Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity is out right desperate and ignorant!

Professor Peter C. Phan writes about these supposed modern attempts to syncretize Christian and other eastern ideas, He adds, “even though there are triadic concepts in Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism, they are generally not taken to be equivalent, much less identical, to the Christian understanding of the Father, Son and Sprit”. [“Systematic issues in Trinitarian Theology.” pg.24].

Another Scholar Dr. Francis X. Clooney affirms that “Hindus themselves were sober in their assessment of Trimurti, which was never a universally accepted doctrine… Trinitarian theology was anchored in the Bible, and Christian teaching developed from scripture. As for other religions, the threefold doctrine is best understood in its historical context, however attractive seeming cultural parallels might be”. [Trinity and Hinduism, Pg.314].

“After the fact Trinitarianism and the four by Dr Stephen Holmes”51oxpXMim0L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_

Response:

For an intellectual as Dr. Ally to affirm that the Trinity could be presupposed and justified if there was to be assumed to be four “persons” is just absolutely oblivious to the overall assimilation of God in both Old and New Testament affirmations. Allow me to quote exactly what Dr Holmes says on Pg.42.

“What is the doctrine of the Trinity? The divine essence is unrepeatable and so, in crude terms, “one” But the divine essence is beyond our numeric classes as well as all other classes, and so to speak of the oneness of God is again to deploy an epinoia. There are, however, three divine subsistences (Pg.42).

Dr Holmes then refers to the a common Western line of thought that originated with Anselm that holds “there is one divine person who originates but is not originated, the Father; one who both originates and is originated, the Son; and one who is originated but does not originate, the Holy Spirit There is no other possible existence alongside these three, and so God must be triune I see no great harm in such speculations, but neither do I find them particularly convincing I cannot help feeling that if Scripture had spoken to us of four divine persons, we would have found it just as easy to discover why it must have been four”.  Dr Holmes had a footnote that he added to the comment he made, he writes; “Again, I suspect that this was championed less as a proof of the triunity of God and more as a polemical argument for the filoque”. What was Dr Holmes trying to say? That we can justify any number of “persons” within the trinity if we really wanted to as Dr Ally asserts? No! That is simply a shallow reading of the context. Dr Holmes is busy describing Eunomius’ of Cyzicus (c.393) strong Arian/Eunomian view of “origination” and “procession” clarifying that this influence in describing the terms is simply deficient as terms of relation (Pg.23,44).  [“Eunomius of Cyzicus and the Nicene Revolution” by Richard Paul Vaggione. Oxford University Press, 2000].

 

“The Old love argument is in some old Christian missionary tome which many Trinitarian Christians are drawing from.”

Response:

In fact what I was trying to say in my point was that all other gods apart from the Trinity are created in man’s image: Allah, Greek Pantheon, and Mormon pantheon. Even though the Quran clearly claims that God is a unique being (Sura al-Ikhlas (112) 4) I would surmise that only the triune God of the Bible fits that unique description and Allah is simply not unique. Here is my premise in 3 steps:

1) Allah is a unitary being.

2) Man is a unitary being.

3) Allah is therefore not unique, and therefore not God.

So when we use the love argument, we in fact ask the Unitarian: If you believe God is love then who did He love before the creation of the world? Fact: In Unitarian systems of epistemology, their god does not have an eternal counterpart to express love or personal attributes. Richard of St. Victor, a 12th century Scottish theologian, put it like this: “One never says that someone properly possesses love if he only loves himself; for it to be true love, it must go out towards another. Consequently, where a plurality of persons is lacking, it is impossible for there to be love.”

If God/Allah is not fundamentally love, there is a theological problem with the essential being of God/Allah being the greatest good/morally perfect/all-loving/having unconditional love. Scripturally by definition, God must be the greatest good.  The greatest good would be all-loving (impartial, unconditional, and universal).

 

pic“Rudolph Boshoff accuses Yusuf Bux of negative theology”. This is the act of describing God by mentioning what He is not. This is unfair as Bux gave positive descriptions and outlined attributes of God. In fact, all theologians from the Abrahamic faiths engage in some negative theology by mentioning what He is not.

Response:

For the record I did not accuse Yusuf of negative theology, in fact I show quite clearly that if you get a transcendent being (Allah) who is an uncaused cause, who does not communicate any of his essential properties personally, this leads to numerous problems. First, the closest way you can describe this impersonal being is by what is not like anything down here and quintessentially this god is either unknowable or subject to a greater reality that is unknowable. Second, in Islamic theology Allah becomes more of a logical construct that functions throughout the universe as opposed to a God with whom we can have an intimate knowable relationship. This is where Muslim scholars speak of “tanzih” [separateness] and “mukhalafah” [otherness] of Allah. Islam is foundationally concerned with ‘submission’ not relationship. Explanations of God is therefore not intended to show who he is but rather what he is not. This is what is called negative theology where philosophers would go about discussing God in the medieval period. The point I wanted to reiterate is that when we affirm that God is unlike anything in creation, the Trinity is consistently unlike anything in creation, therefore the triune doctrine of God is unique, consistent and self-sustaining. When I critique Determinism and Impersonalism I will go into more detail.

 

“Rudolph Boshoff appeals to the idea of functional subordination within his Trinity theory. He believes each member of the Trinity concept has different tasks; the Father is the ultimate source and cause of the universe.

Response:

Allow me to say that Mr Snow unfortunately have never really familiarised himself with the meaning of “functional” and “ontological” subordination. He seems to equate both these terms as “subordinationism” which is the believe that the Son and the Holy Spirit are subordinate to God the Father in nature and being. This is not what the full pericope of the NT. Shows. As I have mentioned to Mr Snow in his Facebook post: as long as we don’t confuse the functional with the ontological? I surmise that Jesus is making a functional subordinate statement and not an ontological subordinate statement (Subordinationism). Mr Snow’s friend Ijaz Ahmad wrote, “Additionally, functional subordination, is the exact same thing as the heresy of subordinationism. I mean, this was the problem borne out of Nicaea until Constantinople. So in order to validate the Trinity, he has to use a heresy that invalidates the Trinity itself. I’m not sure he’s fully thought it all the way through”. As I explained, there seems to be a lack of understanding with the three terms used, I mentioned that unfortunately functional subordination & subordinationism is not the same at all. Christ is only functionally subordinate to the Father, not ontologically subordinate. The actual submission given by the Son indicates a “temporal” subordination in the attitude of the Son (Phil.2:6-7, Heb.2:9, Gal.4:4, Joh.1:14;3:16-21) to complete the work of Salvation. In fact the Scriptures affirm the eternal exalted state of the Son as omniscient (Mat.9:4, 11:21-23, 12:25) and exalted (Matt.22:44, 25:31,Heb.1:3, 1 Pet.3:22) eternally ruling over all things (Mat.11:25-27, Eph.1:22, Phil.2:10,3:21 Rev.5:13) judging everyone (Matt.16:27, 25:31-46, 2 Tim.4:1, Rev.2:23). The Son does not “lack” therefore the power and knowledge or authority as God but temporarily suspends these attributes at will to accomplish the perfect obedience necessary as the Son (man) for the purpose of Salvation. There is therefore not a cessation of ontological deity but a direct functional humility to accomplish the purpose of the Cross as the perfect appeasement. You mentioned John 5 so let me also illustrate the perfect Unity between Son and Father functionally and ontologically. We recognize in (v/17) they are one in working, will (v/19), one in giving life (v/21), one in honour (v/23), one in the very origin of life (v/26), and one in judicial power (v/27-30). Now here Christ shows the ontological unity with the Father (v/16-18) being Himself equal [ison-equal in quality/quantity] with the Father & yet subordinate to Him (v/30).

Jesus Fully God Fully Man

“Difference in function does not mean a difference in nature”.

Response:

I think there is a slight difference in my and Mr Snow’s mentioning of this I said; “Difference in function does not mean an inferiority in nature”. As Brant Bosserman writes; “there is an order and economy between them [the Persons of the Trinity] (Matt.28:19; John 15:26; Eph.1:3-14). As I have stated above, the roles they take does not diminish the One essential being. In fact let me reiterate by quoting the  African Church Father Augustine: “If, however, the reason why the Son is said to have been sent by the Father is simply that the one is Father and the other the Son, then there is nothing at all to stop us believing that the Son is equal to the Father and consubstantial and co-eternal, and yet that the Son is sent by the Father. Not because one is greater and another less, but because one is Father and the other the Son; one is the begetter, the other begotten; the first is the one from whom the sent one is; the other is the one who is from the sender. For the Son is from the Father, not the Father from the Son. In the light of this we can now perceive that the Son is not just said to have been sent because the Word became flesh, but that he was sent in order for the Word to become flesh, and by his bodily presence to do what is written. That is, we should understand that it was not just the man who the Word became that was sent, but that the Word was sent to become man. For he was not sent in virtue of some disparity of power or substance or anything in him that was not equal to the Father, but in virtue of the Son being from the Father, not the Father being from the Son”. [The Trinity. Ibid. 4:5:27].

 

1 Cor 8:6 clearly states the Father is the only God. Related to this is John 17:3

Response:

“Paul in 1 Cor.8:6 rewrites the Shema to include both God the Father and Jesus in the Unique divine identity” writes Richard Bauckham [Biblical theology and the problems of monotheism]. Paul the Jew is echoing the Shema which was recited three times a day to include the Lord with Yahweh, the God of Israel. Other New Testament authors also affirm this identification (e.g., 1 Pet.3:15 see Isa.8:13). Here only 20 years after Christ’s resurrection we find a very high view of Jesus in the earliest Church. Now we see John 17:3 is mentioned as conclusive proof for the One God (this in a Gospel where Jesus is explicitly called God [John 1:1, 20:28] but what is quite baffling is how unitarians miss verse 3 that states eternal life consists in both the Father and the Son and in verse 4-5 states that the Son shares the glory of the Father that is solely due to God alone (Isa.48:11) before the world existed which denotes pre-existence [“para soi”] (John 6:62, 13:3, Heb.2:8, Rev.1:8, Jude4-5, Matt.23:37-39).

why-context-is-king-in-the-future-of-digital-marketing-4c906b41daA quick way to refute the idea of functional subordination is to mention the fact the New Testament teaches Jesus and the Holy Spirit did not know the Hour, only the Father knows the Hour according to Mark 13:32.

Response:

There are a few considerations when looking at this text. Some have explained this portion as locution which has merit and others have mentioned that the Son emptied Himself of all divine prerogatives [kenosis] (Phil.2:5-11, Heb.2:9). First the overall context of Mark denotes Christ’s divinity when Christ is described as the co-occupant of God’s throne (12:36 see. Ps.103:19) and the fact that He describes Himself as the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory” (13:26). That being left there, I contend that only the Father knows the timing of Jesus’ second coming (Mark 10:40) but Jesus also adds that it is not for the Son to know the day or the hour of His return as He is not violating the economy within the Trinity where every single individual person has different tasks (Acts 1:7) and the Father as the “timekeeper” is the one that decrees the direction of the Sons acts in History (Gal.4:4, Ps.31:15, Job 14:5, Dan.2:21). This is therefore not a case of ignorance but clearly a denouncement of tampering with God’s function as the one setting times apart (Rom.5:6-8). I think I can consistently proof that this is also a statement of functional subordination as the Son explicitly says He does not concern Himself with the day or the hour. The Son is therefore not required to know as the Son is totally dependent to the guidance of God submitted to His will by truly trusting the Father by placing His very times and life in the Father’s hands. As for the lack of knowledge impugning on the character of the eternal omniscient being, we need to see that Jesus in the Scripture was both God and man at the same time. As a man, Jesus cooperated with the limitations of being a man. That is why we have verses like Luke 2:52 that say “Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men.” Therefore, at this point in his ministry he could say He did not know the day nor hour of His return. It is not a denial of His being God, but a confirmation of Him being man. Also, the logic that Jesus could not be God because He did not know all things works both ways. If we could find a scripture where Jesus does know all things, then that would prove that He was God, wouldn’t it? Well John 21:17 says He knows all things.  Jesus was cooperating with the limitations of being a man and completed His ministry on this earth. He was then glorified in His resurrection. Yet, He was still a man (cf. Col. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:5). After Jesus’ resurrection, He was able to appear and disappear at will. This is not the normal ability of a man. But, it is, apparently, the normal ability of a resurrected and glorified man. Jesus was different after the resurrection. There had been a change. He was still a man and yet He knew all things.

 

“God dwelling amongst His people”.

Response:

I am not even going to try and espouse upon N.T. Wright’s claim that the earthly ministry of Jesus was seen from the first as YHWH’s “return to Zion,” and that this conviction was the “key” to all of the rest of how Jesus came to feature so centrally in earliest devotional practice and beliefs in the young Jesus-movement!  Let me just affirm that I think it is quite clear from the Old Testament passages that Yahweh promises to dwell physically amongst His people. Allow me to give you only a few scriptures I mentioned:

  • Zechariah 2:10-11 “0″Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the LORD. “Many nations will join themselves to the LORD in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you”.

The Pulpit Commentary says:

Not merely the rebuilding of the temple is siginified, and the re-establisihment of the ordained worship (though without the Shechinah), but rather the incarnation of Christ and his perpetual presence in the Church. Κατασκηνώσω ἐν μέσῳ σου (Septuagint), which recalls John 1:14, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (ἐσκήνωσεν) among us” (comp. Isaiah 12:6; Ezekiel 43:9; Ezekiel 48:35; Malachi 3:1).

 

  • Zechariah 14:3-4 “Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south”.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

“The Lord Jesus often stood upon the Mount of Olives when on earth. He ascended from thence to heaven, and then desolations and distresses came upon the Jewish nation. Such is the view taken of this figuratively; but many consider it as a notice of events yet unfulfilled, and that it relates to troubles of which we cannot now form a full idea. Every believer, being related to God as his God, may triumph in the expectation of Christ’s coming in power, and speak of it with pleasure”.

shining-glory-of-jesus

  • Ezekiel 37:26-28 “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. I will establish and multiply them and will set My sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people. When My sanctuary is among them forever, the nations will know that I, Yahweh, sanctify Israel.”

 

Treasury of Scripture:

My tabernacle also shall be with them: yes, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Tabernacle:

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory…

Colossians 2:9,10 For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily…

Revelation 21:3,22 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle …

 

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:

My tabernacle … with them—as foretold (Ge 9:27); Joh 1:14, “The Word … dwelt among us” (literally, “tabernacled”); first, in humiliation; hereafter, in manifested glory (Re 21:3).

 

  • Isaiah 66:18-19 “I will set a sign among them… They will proclaim my glory among the nations.”

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible:

For I know their works, and their thoughts,…. That is, of the persons before described; their evil works and thoughts, which are known to Christ the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, whose eyes are as a flame of fire to pierce and penetrate into them, Revelation 2:18 or, “as for me (l), their works and their thoughts”; as I know them, and abhor them, I will take vengeance on them for them, for what they have devised and done against me and mine: “and it shall come”; that is, it shall come to pass, or the time shall come: that I will gather all nations and tongues; not against Jerusalem in the war of Gog and Magog, as the Jewish commentators, Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret it, illustrating it by Zechariah 14:2 but to Christ and his church, by the preaching of the Gospel; which in the latter day will be published to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and that immediately upon the destruction of both the western and eastern antichrists; and particularly, by the means of the latter, way will be made for it into the kingdoms of the east, which thereby will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, Revelation 14:6, and they shall come and see my glory; the glory of Christ’s person, offices, and grace; the glory of his Gospel, worship, and ordinances; the glory that will be upon Zion the church, and on all which there will be a defence, and a glorious sight it will be; see Isaiah 4:5.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary:

Isai. 66:19,20, set forth the abundance of means for conversion of sinners. These expressions are figurative, and express the plentiful and gracious helps for bringing God’s elect home to Christ. All shall be welcome; and nothing shall be wanting for their assistance and encouragement. A gospel ministry shall be set up in the church; they would have solemn worship before the Lord. In the last verse the nature of the punishment of sinners in the world to come is represented. Then shall the righteous and wicked be separated. Our Saviour applies this to the everlasting misery and torment of impenitent sinners in the future state. To the honour of that free grace which thus distinguishes them, let the redeemed of the Lord, with humility, and not without holy trembling, sing triumphant songs. With this affecting representation of the opposite states of the righteous and wicked, characters which include the whole human race, Isaiah concludes his prophecies. May God grant, for Christ’s sake, that our portion may be with those who fear and love his name, who cleave to his truths, and persevere in every good work, looking to receive from the Lord Jesus Christ the gracious invitation, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

When Yahya asserts; “Pastor Boshoff would do well to look at Henry’s commentary on this and see it’s not something taken literally” I would suggest he follow his own advice as well!

 

larry hurtadoProf. Larry Hurtado: Yes but this only came about AFTER Jesus’ ministry.

Response:

Like Dr Ehrman Hurtado affirms that the post-Easter Jesus was venerated as a result of His resurrection. The authors also clearly show that their full revelation of Christ came gradually and was not first apparent when they walked with them. How long did it take for the first Christians to assert full cultic Worship of Christ? Dr Hurtado writes, “we seem to be afforded glimpses of Christian devotion from what must include Jewish Christian groups very close in time, culture, and geographical setting to the origins of Christianity” [One God, One Lord. Pg.4]. In fact Hurtado affirms that “the origins of the worship of Jesus are so early that particularly any evolutionary approach is rendered invalid” [How on earth did Jesus become God. Pg.25]. Hurtado agrees that the Gospels were written to give ample affirmation to the post –Easter Christ in His exaltation and Worship (Pg.200). To say therefore that the full understanding and Worship of Christ was only realized at His resurrection and ascension is not problematic as Jesus mentioned that the Holy Spirit will come and give them insight of what He said and Who he was (Joh.14:26, 1 Joh.2:20, 1 Joh.5:20, Joh.20:28, Joh.21:17).

 

Prof. Larry Hurtado: does not believe Jesus taught he was God and nor did he ask others to worship him.

Response:

Jonathan McLatchie has something valuable to say, he adds; “while contradiction of a statement may pass as a “refutation” in Muslim circles, it does not pass for a “refutation” anywhere else”. Jesus did not walk around “explicitly” saying I am God or demanded Worship. If Jesus explicitly mentioned he was God He would have been confused to be the Father which He was not. He would have also been stoned as the law demanded. There is also a reason why Jesus did not demand worship. He clearly uses the juridical motif and wants individuals to come to an understanding of who He was by weighing the evidence (Mark 8:27, Luk. 9:18, Matt.16:13, 18:16). I have written on my blog about this reality under: “The juridical witness motif in the textual understanding of Christ’s identity”. What is interesting is that not once did Jesus deny worship but He seemingly embraced it (Matt.2:11, Matt.21:9; Matt.14:33, Matt.28:9, 17, Joh.12:13, Joh.20:28). In fact Prof. Hurtado confirmed in an email correspondence to me that “If you examine the Gospels, as I have in the essay I’ve mentioned, you’ll note that the term “proskynein” is used with particular frequency in Matthew, who replaces other words used by Mark for the same actions.  So, yes, Matthew seems to want to portray the reverential requests of various people in the narratives as fore-shadowing the worship of Jesus that his readers knew and practiced.  I.e., the Gospel accounts were written for their readers, and weren’t simply cctv footage of events. I repeat:  The basis stated in the NT for worship of Jesus is God’s exaltation of him to glory in his resurrection.  It is not claims of Jesus.  The worship of Jesus is based in God’s actions and demands, and so refusal to reverence Jesus is disobedience to God”.

 

Yusuf Bux made a lot of salient points; I have listed some of them:celtic_trinity_knot_sweatshirt_dark

 

The problem the Trinitarian Christian faces, when they think about the Trinity belief they are always seeing 3 regardless of how hard they try not to. [Further showcasing the superiority of pure Abrahamic monotheism over Trinity beliefs – there’s no cognitive dissonance]

Response:

An assertion is not a conclusive point? When we look at the very assertion made I think it conclusively proofs nothing. What do Christians say when they reflect on the Trinity? Brant Bosserman writes; “Ontologically, the “one” God cannot recede into oblivion as an abstract and indistinct universal, for He is concretely and infinitely defined in relationship to the “three” persons. Nor can the “three” degrade into irrational “particulars” that evade definition at some point, for they are exhaustively defined by the one Trinitarian dynamic. Nothing, then, would fall outside of God’s personal comprehension, including the relationship between His trifold being and his comprehensive self-knowledge. God would be a self-contained, self-defined, and self-sufficient person.” [The Trinity and the Vindication of Christian Paradox. Pg.88]. Someone I dearly respect as a mentor Dr James White notes; “We are not saying that the Father is the Son, or the Son the Spirit, or the Spirit the Father. It is very common for people to misunderstand the doctrine as to mean that we are saying Jesus is the Father. The doctrine of the Trinity does not in any way say this!” A reminder from the Athanasian Creed in line 4 stipulates; “that we worship one God in Trinity, and the Trinity in unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance”. It is inconsequential if Christians think of the Three or the One, as long as there is a salient understanding of Orthodoxy. Gregory of Nazianzus writes; “This I give you to share, and to defend all your life, the One Godhead and Power, found in the Three in Unity, and comprising the Three separately, not unequal, in substances or natures, neither increased nor diminished by superiorities or inferiorities; in every respect equal, in every respect the same; just as the beauty and the greatness of the heavens is one; the infinite conjunction of Three Infinite Ones, Each God when considered in Himself; as the Father so the Son, as the Son so the Holy Ghost; the Three One God when contemplated together; Each God because Consubstantial; One God because of the Monarchia. No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the Splendour of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Them than I am carried back to the One. When I think of any One of the Three I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking of escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of That One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the Rest. When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the Undivided Light”. [Orations 40.41. Preached at Constantinople Jan. 6, 381 A.D].

 

images (16)Jesus never mentioned nor taught it and John 18:20 (“in secret I have said nothing”) [Excellent insight. For the thinker this is of vital importance and is related to the Trinity dilemma where we see the majority of Christians disbelieving in the Trinity or believing in the a ‘heresy’ of the Trinity.

Response:

The reference from John 18:19-24 depicts Jesus in front of the High Priest simply stating that; 1) His teaching was well attested and 2) He never babbled in esoteric vagaries but clearly articulated His purpose and function even though His disciples and the crowds did not always understood Him. The Pulpit Commentary says; “Christ here repudiates esoteric teaching distinct from his abundant public ministry. It is true he explained his parables to his disciples, and he had within the last few hours poured forth the depth of his feelings upon them; still, he had said the same things virtually in the synagogues, on the hillside, in the temple, in the hearing of Greek as well as Jew. Much of that which he had just said in the upper chamber, hundreds and thousands had already heard. This great utterance accounts for the fact that St. Paul had received, long before the Fourth Gospel was written, truth allied to the teaching of the upper chamber”.

The marginalization of the whole Johannine context is seriously disturbing and another important reality that is ignored by Mr Snow and Yusuf is the full revelation of the person of Christ, the Father and the Holy Spirit (John 1:1-4, 18, 3:33-36, 5:16-27, 12:41, 14:15-26, 15:9,26; 16:5-15) as well as the predicted sanctifying death of Christ on the Cross (John 1:29, 2:19-21, 3:14, 4:42, 6:27,29; 8:23; 12:20-36,19:1-42) and the resurrection (John 20-21). I would agree, Jesus did not speak in secret and mentioned exactly to what His purpose was and who He was. To miss that in the fourth Gospel is just sheer lunacy!

 

The word, “Trinity” is not mentioned [This is not such an important point as theological terms such as omniscience and omnipotence are not present in the text either – the focus should be on the teaching – is that present?]

Response:

Glad to see Mr Snow acknowledges that this is not a valid argument.

 

‘The’ Trinity belief is beyond reason, irrational and incompatible with the Oneness of God.

Response:

Roger Nicole wrote; “It is important to recognize that the doctrine of the Trinity is a mystery. It is not, however, an absurdity, as some people have viewed it.” [The Meaning of the Trinity Pg. 4.] Christians agree that the Trinity is beyond human reason, and we hold that only God knows the full spectrum of what is known as the Divine. We need to ask though; does the Trinity abdicate any idea of monotheism? I do not think so for the following reason:

If we say:TRINITY2

  1. a) God is one and
  2. b) God is not one;

It would clearly be a logical contradiction.

Also; if we said

1). God is three persons but also say

2). God is not three persons that would also be a contradiction!

But; Trinitarian Christians do NOT affirm a & b nor 1 & 2 rather we affirm both a & 1 therefore we do not hold to any logical contradiction because a logical contradiction is to affirm both 1&2 and a & b not 1&a. Now when we overemphasize the “threeness” within the Trinity it tends to become “Tritheistic” and if we emphasize the Oneness of God it tends to become “Modalistic”.

 

The terminology, Father and Son, indicates one pre-existed the other. [Food for thought]

Response:

In fact, this is the very central “anathema” discussed at Nicea. This is what pure Arianism asserted and also what the questioner here affirms! Arianism simply denies the full divinity of Jesus by applying a “Neoplatonic cosmology that sharply distinguished between an unchanging, heavenly sphere of existence and the changeable created order. This dualistic philosophical starting point, together with an assumption that monotheism could allow no distinctions between the Father and Son within God, ultimately led him (Arius) to press certain biblical passages over against others…orthodoxy was sacrificed on the altar of philosophy.” [Michael B. Thompson, “Arianism”. Pg.17). In fact this view cannot answer allusions in the text of Christ’s actual (and not notional) pre-existence (Just in John’s Gospel: Joh.1:1-2, 15; 3:13, 31; 5:36-38; 6:46, 62; 8:23, 58; 17:24).

 

P1240301Textual Criticism and Yusuf Bux

Bux lets the audience know 1 John 5:7 was an addition. Trinitarians could cite to support the Trinity belief?

Response:

Dr White dealt with this in his debate with Yusuf and as I recall he stumbled over the question? Dr White showed conclusively that this Scripture was not used exclusively even pre-nicea to affirm the Doctrine of the Trinity? It is again so amazing to me that the very portion of Scripture (1John5) states in verse 11 that there is no life but through the Son (eternal life through Him) and in verse 14, we petition the Son who hears all prayers as God which ascribes to Him omniscience. Lastly, this verse also explicitly affirms Christ’s divinity and eternal life in verse 20. As for the nature of variants within the Biblical text refer to my blog.

 

Bux asserts Matt 28:19 is a textual variant.

Response:

Another great Christian Apologist friend Anthony Rogers conclusively refuted the very sentiment that this was a forgery and a later idea!

Anthony on Matthew 28:19 and its reliability.

 

Rudolph Boshoff’s arguments against Abrahamic monotheism:

Rudolph Al-Quran-6Boshoff used the standard Trinitarian Protestant argument from James White stating the doctrine of the Trinity was not understood. For the Mary in the Trinity argument, I’d advise Rudolph to watch this video response to Jonathan McLatchie

Response:

I have replied to this earlier in a clip here:

A Christian Response to Surah Al Nisa – 4-171. by Rudolph P Boshoff

 

Rudolph Boshoff’s Philosophical arguments against Unitarian monotheism

Response:

There is a lot that should be dealt with and I mentioned in my presentation that Islamic Monotheism has three essential problems: Historical & Ontological & Philosophical. These three should be evaluated categorically  [H.O.P.E].

 

Impersonalism? This is a weird argument but a common argument within the evangelical apologetics movement. It goes back to the Love argument which has already been dealt with above.

Response:

I don’t think Mr Snow fully comprehends what the central issue is and I do not expect him to know. But I am still bemused as to the equivocation of certain terms. Nevertheless, let me explain what I meant by “Impersonalism”. First, an impersonal God becomes unknown. Gregory Boyd writes; “Pure Unity” is equivalent to “nothingness”, and is therefore neither picturable nor conceivable. It is in short, meaningless… A God who existed throughout eternity in his own unrelated ‘onliness’, a God who eternally existed in “relationship” only to the utter blackness of nothingness, would be a God who was eternally loving. This, rather, is a God whose essence is solitude… for what belongs to God’s essence belongs to God eternally. God does not, for example, choose to be omnipresent or omnipotent, for these are things that God eternally is. He could not be otherwise.” [Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity.  Pg.191]. In Islam, you cannot know what Allah is going to do or who he is because he is wholly other. Allah being the wholly “other” is the same as those who believe in pure chance because god is ultimately unknowable. My mentor John GilChrist adds further clarification: “Many scholars of Islam in past centuries, when seeking to define the character of Allah, invariably concentrated on what he is not. Abu`l Hasan `Ali Al-Ash`ari, the famous theologian born in Basra in the third century after Muhammad’s death, gave a very negative description of Allah in his Makalat al-Islamiyin. He said he had no body, nor object, nor volume. No place could encompass him, no time could pass by him. Nothing that could be said of any of his creatures could be used to describe him. Nothing, either, that could be imagined in the mind or be conceived by fantasy resembles him. Eyes cannot see him, harm cannot touch him, nor can joy or pleasure reach him. Nothing moves him. Another early Muslim scholar perhaps summed up the Muslim position in saying that, whatever you might conceive Allah to be, he is not that!” [Islam and Christian witness Pg.54]. I still maintain that Islamic unitarianism defaults essentially into an impersonal worldview. A worldview that is not governed by relationship but by the unknown or as Kenneth Cragg says; “In a real sense the Muslim awareness of Allah is an awareness of the unknown” (The Call of the Minaret). As I have mentioned earlier Islam talks of the tanzih (separateness) or the Mukhdlafah (otherness) of Allah. John Gilchrist writes; “The God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is not a soulless Deity. He is not devoid of emotion, feeling, longings or yearnings… Even though the Quran gives him titles such as compassionate, the merciful and the forgiving, Muslim scholars have always held that these are only attributes he chooses to manifest and not part of his essential being. He can forgive whom he wills and withhold forgiveness from others as he chooses. It matters not to him how he does so, he has no feelings or emotions. Not so the God of the Bible. He has a heart”. [Designed for a purpose Pg.181].

images (4)

Dependence on creation? Boshoff contends other beings must be created in order for God (according to the Unitarians) to manifest His Attributes. He’s referencing love here again and speech.

Response:

Yes Mr Snow, I maintain that ultimately in Islamic Monotheism Allah is solely dependent on his creation to make himself known. Seyyed Hossein Nasr mentions an early Hadith tradition has Allah say to Muhammad “I was a hidden treasure; I wanted to be known. Hence, I created the world so that I might be known”. [God” in Islamic Spirituality. Pg.321]. In fact let us look at Unitarianism: This is the view that there is “One” solitary monad/god (Islam, J.W, Unitarianism, and Oneness Pentecostalism) which maintains a strict line between God and his creation. Here is the Problem:

In a strict Monotheistic base of revelation Allah needs his creation to be what he is for the quran to explain who he is. If I say; “Allah is righteous alone”. How can someone be righteous alone? “Allah is faithful.” Faithfull to what? The problem becomes even more obscure when I realize that Allah cannot be the pinnacle source of our morality and the source of all our ideals if he cannot be what he is until he has created another being to manifest those ideals. This is essentially what Averroes (1126-1198) & Avicenna (980-1037) concluded when they affirmed that Allah is a correlative to the Universe. Allah and creation always co-existed together because God needs the Universe to display his attributes & the universe needs Allah to uphold it. The Basis of Avicenna’s (Ibn Sina) metaphysical Doctrine that was greatly influenced by Al Farabi’s metaphysical ideas, asked the questions surrounding the meaning of “being” which leads him to distinguish between “essence” (mahiat) and “existence” (wajud). He concludes that the fact of existence could not be inferred from or accounted for by the essence of existing things and that form & matter by themselves cannot interact & originate the movement of the universe or the progressive actualization of existing things. Brant Bosserman writes; “Unitarians of many different stripes-Deists, Muslims, Arians, etc.-profess belief in an ultimate personal deity who governs the cosmos as its sovereign Creator. However, Unitarian theology is beset with the basic problem that it must locate the relationship between God and creation in the context of an impersonal sphere.” [The Trinity and the vindication of Christian paradox, Pg.178]. Samuel Zwemer writes “We will find in this study that orthodox Islam is at once deistic and pantheistic. Theologians and philosophers have pantheistic views of Allah, making Him the sole force in the universe; but the popular thought of Him (owing to the iron-weight of the doctrine of fatalism) is deistic. God stands aloof from creation; only His power is felt; men are like the pieces on a chess-board and He is the only player. Creation itself was not intended so much for the manifestation of God’s glory or the outburst of His love, as for a sample of His power. [The Muslim Doctrine of God Pg.69-70].

The problem is more so when we realize Islamic monotheism cannot seriously account for personality in both Allah and mankind and the diverse distinctiveness between universals and particulars. In fact, I will go as far as to say that once any god is made dependent on a temporal open universe he himself becomes subject to ultimate nothingness. Brant Bosserman writes; “[A] Unitarian deity. Allah may be said to possess ninety-nine, or any other number of attributes. But the Muslim is forced to conclude that these attributes either cannot be expressed apart from his extra-divine activity (and so, implicitly, his dependence on the creation), or they must be thought of as existing potentially within Allah, as they await his interaction with creation. In either case, Allah is not the fullness of himself in himself and cannot, therefore, function as a self-contained authority. Islam’s God-concept is, therefore, a contradiction.” [Ibid. Pg.195].

 

Think about it, does he believe the three persons of the trinity idea all sustained, created and forgave each other prior to creation? I doubt he would say that, thus he believes God’s attributes of forgiveness, sustenance and creation only manifest when creation is in existence.

Response:

As Gerald Bray says “Love was the essence of [the Christian] God, the bond which united the divine being with its self-awareness. For it was inconceivable that God should not love the self which he knew, since that self was in every way perfect”. (The Doctrine of God. Pg.170). The total story of the Bible reveals that God is “essentially” love (1 John 4:7-8, 16) and He expresses Himself in love (Joh.3:16-18). This means that He expresses His love as an essential characteristic but also as an essential expression of his being. Because he is the ultimate perfect and good being He expresses characteristics which is not essential to His Being but as a result of His expressed character. A loving God can therefore, express forgiveness and justice as an expression of His being without violating the central character of love which is the quality of His [John Frame, Doctrine of God, Pg. 388].

Allah is One

Determinism? Decisions are ultimately determined by a singular will (God). What God wills only comes to path. This is actually the same with Trinitarian theology.

Response:

Again allow me to explain what I mean with the extreme determinism in Islamic monotheism. Allah’s dominion over his servants gives him the right to benefit whomever he wills (Surah 7:128) and bestow special guidance likewise on anyone of his own choice as he pleases (Surah 6:88). No one can question his acts – whether it is pain or pleasure, it is as he wills (Surah 10:107). He enlarges or restricts according to his own discretion (Surah 28:82). This total supremacy over all his own people has led at times to a somewhat fatalistic attitude among Muslims. Whatever happens, whether for good or evil, is according to his will. If no one can resist it, why strive for one’s own advancement at all? Simply take what comes for it will surely come just as he purposes. Extreme Determinism asserts that all events/state of affairs and human actions/decisions are ultimately determined by the singular will of Allah. Saleeb & Geisler notes; “Indeed, one of the most respected Muslim theologians of all time, Al- Ghazali, frankly acknowledges that “He [God] willeth also the unbelief of the unbeliever and the irreligion of the wicked and, without that will, there would neither be unbelief nor irreligion. All we do we do by His will: what He willeth not does not come to pass.” And if one should ask why God does not will that men should believe, Al-Ghazali responds, “‘We have no right to enquire about what God wills or does. He is perfectly free to will and to do what He pleases.’ In creating unbelievers, in willing that they should remain in that state; … in willing, in short, all that is evil, God has wise ends in view which it is not necessary that we should know.” [Answering Islam Pg. 148-149.] Risaleh-i-Barkhavi says: “Not only can He do anything; He actually is the only One Who does anything. When a man writes, it is Allah who has created in his mind the will to write. Allah at the same time gives the power to write, then brings about the motion of the hand and the pen and the appearance upon paper. All other things are passive, Allah alone is active.” My mentor John GilChrist writes, “Allah is accordingly constantly said to be gentle with his servants (Surah 2:207), that he always looks upon them and sees their actions and trials at all times (Surah 3:15), that he is never unjust towards them (Surah 3:182), but that he remains at all times omnipotent over them (Surah 6:18). It is this last facet of the relationship, however, that brings back into focus the fact that Allah ultimately has no responsibility towards anyone and cannot be held accountable by anyone, even if he be a believer or one of his prophets. They remain, simply, his servants and no more.” “The Qur’an itself supports the concept that those who are guided on the right path are only on it because of Allah’s predetermined decree that they should be, and that those who go astray do so because Allah has expressly left them to do so. Yet for such there will be no Protector besides Allah and they will be thrown into the fierceness of hellfire because they rejected his signs and disbelieved in the resurrection as they were destined to do (Surah 17:97-98). It is hardly surprising, therefore, to find Muslims expressing a fatalistic view of life and their destiny. “The Qur’an declares that it is indeed a message to all the worlds and to whoever wishes to go straight, but no one shall unless Allah, the Lord of the worlds, so wills (Surah 81:27-29). Therefore, although there may be a felicitous relationship between Allah and his servants, they are only so because he has chosen to draw them into his path and he therefore is entitled to remain in total control over them, dealing with them as he wishes”. [Quran: The Scripture of Islam Pg. 60-62.].

If no one can resist Allah’s sovereign will, why is it necessary to pursue any form of enlightenment or advancement if we simply get what is coming to us anyway?

 

Bux counters the Mary-Trinity Argument.

Response:

Interestingly I would suggest that brother Snow asks Catholics if they Worship or Venerate Mary, and what they esteem to be the difference? Here are two central comments:

http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/customs/rosary/mary_worship.asp30033-r-1280-800-people-at-horizon

Do Catholics worship Mary?

 

An old fallacious argument by Christians concerning Quran 18:27

Response:

I would propose Mr Snow as one who believe God works in the temporal affairs of this world afford the Bible the same expressed right to affirm its own tenacity. In fact if he grants the Bible the same privilege he will find that:

  • Biblically Christ assures us that what He said is sure: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”. (Mark 13:31)
  • And Salvifically He requires me to trust in that when He claims “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life”. (Joh.6:63).
  • Theistically He affirms “Do you not believe that I am in my Father and my Father in me? The words which I am speaking, I am not speaking from myself, but my Father who dwells within me, he does these works.” (Joh.14:10) This is affirmed in the quran as well as the idea that God’s Words CANNOT be corrupted!
  • Lastly, Pneumatically he assures us that all He has spoken would be brought back to their memory by the Holy Spirit to the immediate disciples; “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Fathers who sent Me. “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:24; 26).

So Mr Snow when we allow the Bible as a Supernatural book to say that “the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times”. (Psalm 12:6) I think we can be assured that it is so. Further, there seem to be numerous discrepancies with your position that the Bible is corrupted. Let me explain:

1). Like Muslims Christians are assured of the same promise that the Scriptures will and cannot be corrupted. (Mat.24:35; Ps.119:89). We therefore ask for the same courtesy and allowance for the same application of this standard concretely used in their own logic!

2). If the Christian scriptures are corrupted, what promise do we have that what is written in the Quranic Scriptures are sure? The Quran also like the Bible seemingly assured it cannot be corrupted yet, if the Bible is corrupted there is no valid reason to assume the quran is untainted simply because it’s Author (God) from both text are the originator and sole protector of both!

3). When we assert that the Bible is corrupted [even when it assures us internally & externally it is not] we clearly presume that God was impotent to preserve His own Word. So indirectly when we assume corruption we assume an impotent God.

4). Unfortunately, the Quran assures us that the Bible is not corrupted predominantly because God’s Words cannot be corrupted or destroyed (Surah

Another interesting point is that there are no evidence within the Qur’an that the Jewish and Christian literature were corrupted. My mentor  John Gilchrist wrote [the] “Support for this view was sought in the Qur’an itself but, although the book often charges the Jews and Christians with deviating from their TEACHINGS, they are never accused of actually perverting them.” (The Qur’an: The Scripture of Islam. Pg 39)

5). Therefore we can deduce that “if” the Gospel is corrupted, according to the Quran’s own standards, Mohammad is a liar and a false prophet, yet, if the Bible is not corrupted (Surah 3:3-4) its inherent claims clearly shows Islam to be false. Therefore; both ways Islam is false.

6).The Quran makes it clear that those who declare that the God’s Words [Bible included] are corrupted will be severely punished. (Surah 40:70-72).

7). Mohammad affirms that Christians must judge by their own book yet, if we do and it was corrupted Mohammad was a false prophet and the Quran is false, yet, if it is true the Quran is still false because it contradicts the Bible. (Surah 5:47).

Interesting: The Qur’an says that the original New Testament is a revelation from God.

Surah 5:46, “And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. “Surah 5:68, “Say, “O People of the Scripture, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord.” And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and disbelief. So do not grieve over the disbelieving people.”

Surah 5:69, “Indeed, those who have believed [in Prophet Muhammad] and those [before Him] who were Jews or Sabeans or Christians – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.”

Quran21Interesting: The Qur’an also confirms that Jesus was a Prophet and His words should be believed by Muslims.

Surah 4:171 “O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers.”

Surah 5:78 “Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed.”

Surah 5:68, “Say, “O People of the Scripture, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord.” And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and disbelief. So do not grieve over the disbelieving people.”

Surah 5:69, “Indeed, those who have believed [in Prophet Muhammad] and those [before Him] who were Jews or Sabeans or Christians – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.”

  • It is important to note that Christians were obligated to accept the New Testament of Muhammad’s day. Al-Quran-6!

Surah 10:94 “So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters.”

Here is a question worth considering Mr Snow:

Muhammad would not have asked Christians to accept a corrupt version of the New Testament. It’s a fact that the New Testament of Muhammad’s day is identical to the New Testament today! We can base that on the manuscript evidence we have that precedes the birth of Muhammad himself. If Christians in Muhammad’s day were obligated to accept the New Testament (by the instruction of the Qur’an  and there is an overwhelming manuscript evidence that confirms that the New Testament to be exactly the same used in Muhammad’s day, then Christians are obligated to accept the New Testament and all it teaches!

What is the bottom line teaching of the New Testament?

The New Testament affirms that Jesus is the Son of God, who died on the Cross for our sins and rose again 3 days later and He is now seated on the throne of God on high! Therefore to my Christian friends, follow the Bible and believe everything it teaches because even the Quran says you must do so. If Christians in Muhammad’s day were obligated to accept the New Testament (by the instruction of the Qur’an  and there is an overwhelming manuscript evidence that confirms the New Testament to be exactly the same used in Muhammad’s day, then Christians are obligated to accept the New Testament and all it teaches!

 

Mr Snows conclusion:

Some of you may have realised the odd wording I use around the concept of the Trinity such as ‘a Trinity idea’ or ‘the’ Trinity idea. This is because there are more than one Trinity theories out there as Dale Tuggy teaches. This is an area where Muslim apologetics should really look into as it’s a key to help the more staunch Trinitarian to leave that theology and move towards Abrahamic monotheism.

Response:

Dale Tuggy as you primary source…scary.

 I’d like to see people go deeper into the councils and mention the absence of theologians in the first three centuries who had Trinitarian beliefs.

Response:

This is a great idea let us discuss the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the issues that were discussed.

Pastor Rudolph Boshoff, I’d like you to become a Muslim. All the Prophets taught worshipping God alone. You aren’t doing this if you believe Jesus is God. Why believe a man is God?

Response:

Dear Mr Snow, I am not in the market of looking for another religion, unfortunately, I have already been taken and therefore my heart is not to be given to any other Prophet, teacher or God but the God of our Fathers as revealed in Jesus Christ. I am tempted to give you a scripture for every single clause I have just written, but I am afraid I have this distinct intuition that it will fall on void ears unless the Father grants you grace and repentance by revealing His Son to you.

I know why you folks do it, it’s because you’re emotionally attached to the vicarious atonement idea.

Response:

And Muslims are not emotionally invested in their idea of God? Equal scales necessary here…

To believe God needs to have a ‘son’ to die for our sins is beyond a primitive understanding of God. It’s a transgression. In fact, a rabbi I listen to likens it to the pagan practices of sacrificing virgins (who represented purity, innocence). Move beyond these ideas.

Response:

I have elaborated on this in my response to Molana Pandor’s booklet he wrote on the Concept of God’s mercy in Islam and Christianity. Here is the link:

A response to Mr Pandor

Tessera Photos 101My personal conclusion to Mr. Snow’s review:

I thank you for your attempt to evaluate the debate that took place at the seminary where I teach. I am not sure you were aware that the majority of the audience was first-year theology students? In fact, I received conclusive reports that they were assured in their faith and inspired by the mutual communication between both me and Mr Bux. As a result of the debate we were also honoured to have a Muslim lady attend the seminary who has now converted,as well as a young man that has also contacted me to share his joy of converting to Christianity from Islam. I am not sure where you find it a bit slow paced as the debate culture that was started by Ahmed Deedat is exactly what both sides look to move from. Anyway, I have tried not to engage with several red-herrings or “ad hominem” arguments. I also tried to keep it very short as I understand that it is a lot of material to cover. Further, as this was not a very scholarly breakdown of the debate I think the title of your article should rather be classed as a commentary and not an academic review.

Have a great day.

Rudolph P. Boshoff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Website