Thursday, March 6, 2014
According to Qur'an 4:82, if the Qur'an were from anyone other than Allah, it would be filled with "much discrepancy" (much error or contradiction). There are three problems with this test of divine inspiration. First, why "much" discrepancy? Is the Qur'an saying that some error is perfectly compatible with divine inspiration? Second, if this verse is correct, any book that doesn't contain "much discrepancy" is the divinely inspired Word of God! So any math books or other books that do not contain "much error" are, according to this verse, Allah's divinely inspired Word! Third, the Qur'an does contain "much discrepancy," so it fails its own test!
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Muslims often accuse other religions of idolatry. Yet Muslims bow down to a pagan temple called the "Kaaba" (which is what the pagans of Arabia did before the rise of Islam); they take a pilgrimage to the Kaaba (which is what the pagans of Arabia did before the rise of Islam); they walk circles around the Kaaba (which is what the pagans of Arabia did before the rise of Islam); and they kiss the black stone embedded in the corner of the Kaaba (which is what the pagans of Arabia did before the rise of Islam). Should our Muslim friends be accusing anyone of idolatry? Glass houses!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Muslims often claim that Muhammad promoted women's rights. Islam's most trusted sources, however, tell a different story. According to the Qur'an, the testimony of a woman is only half as reliable as a man's testimony. Muhammad explains why in the hadith, where he declares that women are less intelligent and more immoral than men. When we combine these teachings with other Qur'anic teachings (e.g., Allah allowing men to beat their wives into submission, to rape their female captives, and to have sex with prepubescent girls), Muhammad's view of women becomes perfectly clear.
Here are some sources to consider:
Click here for more information about women in Islam.
Here are some sources to consider:
Qur'an 4:34—Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
Sahih al-Bukhari 2658—The Prophet said: "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said: "Yes." He said: "This is because of the deficiency of her mind."
Sahih al-Bukhari 1052—The Prophet said: ". . . I saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women." The people asked: "O Allah's Apostle! Why is it so?" The Prophet said: "Because of their ungratefulness." It was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah. The Prophet said: "They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds."
Sahih Muslim 142—[Muhammad said]: O womenfolk, you should give charity and ask much forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell. A wise lady among them said: Why is it, Messenger of Allah, that our folk are in bulk in Hell? Upon this the Holy Prophet observed: You curse too much and are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you. Upon this the woman remarked: What is wrong with our common sense and with our religion? He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to one man; that is a proof of the lack of common sense.
Click here for more information about women in Islam.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Someone sent me an article on John 8:58 written by a Muslim and asked me to reply to it. He didn’t say who wrote it so I will just refer to this person as “the author.”
After reading the article my best guess would be that this Muslim is probably an apologetic dabbler or upstart, though I have seen many seasoned Muslim apologists, some of whom boast of having come from a Christian background, make errors that are equally as egregious as those made by this author, so it is difficult to say with any certainty. To be charitable I will assume this person is a neophyte arguing from blind zeal rather than someone who has been around for a while and has no problem engaging in duplicity.
The author begins with what is supposed to be the argument of Christians for the deity of Christ from John 8:58:
Many Christians claim that Jesus in John 8:58 claims to be “I AM”, and God in Exodus 3:14 refers to Himself by this title/ name, therefore Jesus is knowingly referring to himself as a God. How can Muslims respond to this argument?
Contrary to this authors’ claim, Christians do not argue that Jesus is referring to himself as “a” God, as if Jesus is just one God among others. There is only one God according to John’s Gospel (as well as the entire NT), and Christians only affirm one. Muslims may think the Trinity is inconsistent with monotheism, but this is a conclusion that has to be argued for, not an assertion that is legitimately front-loaded into one or another of the premises in order to then infer it in the conclusion. Although the author does not run with this, he clearly miscasts what Christians believe and thereby insinuates that Christians are polytheists, which is probably due to the failure of Muhammad or his redactors to accurately describe to Muslims what Christians believe. As it is, to misrepresent Christian doctrine in this way, innocently or intentionally, is to set up a straw man and commit the fallacy of petitio principii.
The author continues:
John 8:58 is perhaps one of the best verses to disprove the deity of Christ, most Christians simply fail to see the problems with utilizing such a verse and in this article I’d like to demonstrate just how useful the “I AM” statement attributed to Christ is. Let’s first take a look at the verses in question:
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:14.
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” – John 8:58.
There is something very important to note, we must ask, who is God in Exodus 3:14? The Hebrew from the Westminster Leningrad Codex references God as Elohiym, see here. According to Christian belief, Elohiym can either refer to the Father (God) or the Godhead (all three persons of the Trinity). If Christ is claiming to be the Elohiym of Exodus 3:14 then there exists a major problem.
Grammatically, syntactically and in its Johannine context John 8:58 clearly teaches the deity of Christ. The possible connection with Exodus 3:14, which I will address momentarily, isn’t necessary to establish this. The Greek word eimi means “[I] am,” and the addition of ego, “I,” which brings out the subject already implied in eimi, makes it emphatic. To bring this out into English we might translate it as “I, I am.” Ordinarily such a phrase would be joined with a predicate or an implied predicate can be found in the surrounding context. When the phrase lacks a predicate, either explicit or implied, as is the case here, it is considered absolute. There are seven absolute “I am” statements attributed to Jesus in John’s Gospel, and while some writers attempt to argue that an implied predicate is close to hand in the case of some of these utterances, virtually no one believes this can be done in the case of John 8:58.
The force of the emphatic and absolute “I am” statement is brought out clearly by the intended juxtaposition Jesus makes between Himself and Abraham. On one hand, Abraham was born; on the other hand, Jesus already was. In fact, the Greek is even stronger here. What this translation renders as “was born” is the Greek word egeneto, an aorist infinitive, which literally means, “became.” And since Jesus says, “I am,” ego eimi, present indicative, and that “before Abraham became,” the contrast is between one who came into being and one who exists eternally. The idea is the same as what Paul wrote in Colossians 1: “He IS before all things and in Him all things consist.” The language in both cases is that of eternal, unoriginated existence.
Those who enter John’s Gospel through the front door would already be alerted to this idea and would not be surprised when they come across it in the narrative. In the prologue to the book, John introduces Jesus as the eternal Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….All things came into being through Him” (John 1:1, 3). In the beginning of everything, the Word already was. In fact, He was the agent through whom everything came into being. Here again we see that the Word is eternal and unoriginated, with the only additional thought being that He is also the source of everything. So the same contrast made between Jesus and Abraham in John 8:58 was made already in the prologue between Jesus as the Word and all created reality, of which Abraham is a part.
What is said in John 8:58 about existing before Abraham also receives expression in relation to John the Baptist.
John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed BEFORE me.’” (John 1:15)
“This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed BEFORE me.’” (John 1:30)
This idea is carried forward from first to last in the ensuing narrative. And since it speaks of Jesus being sent or coming from the Father or from heaven or from above upwards of fifty times, it is hard to believe that this author has even read the prologue or the narrative that precedes or follows this verse. In fact, even if we restrict ourselves to the local context of John 8:58 we see Jesus assert this several times in the same dialogue. Moreover, two of these notices even occur in conjunction with other “I Am” statements:
Then He said again to them, “I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” So the Jews were saying, “Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:21-24)
So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. (John 8:28-30)
The latter passage reminds us that John fully incorporated into his gospel an understanding that Jesus, though God, i.e. the great “I Am,” did not use the equality that He had with the Father (John 5:17-18; cf. 1:1c) in any way that would circumvent the task laid upon Him as the Word made flesh (John 1:14), which meant always acting on the Father’s initiative and always doing what pleased the Father, even to the point of being lifted up on the cross (and subsequently back into glory, John 17:5).
And so, if John 8:58 is one of the best verses non-Christians have to work with as this Muslim author claims, then the doctrine of Christ’s deity is incredibly secure. There is nothing worse for any position than for one of its best arguments to fail this miserably. To be fair, while I don’t think for a minute that any verse in the Bible disproves the deity of Christ, I have to imagine that this greenhorn has let his zeal lead him into excessive bombast at this point, a common temptation for people who really believe they are right but who also realize that their argument is not as strong as they would like it to be. Some people believe that by giving themselves over to excessive hyperbole they can make up for defective arguments, and since this claim is surely defective, this author decided to hype up the claim.
As for Exodus 3:14, along with many scholars I don’t think that it is the most directly relevant verse to John 8:58. The two passages are of some relevance to one another, but the argument as stated by this author is not nuanced enough to see how that is the case. Since many Christians do not have a nuanced enough understanding of this themselves, I won’t fault the author too much, though I would encourage him, on the off chance that he reads this, to take some time out to read up on this issue, especially if he plans to try to write more apologetic pieces in the future.
A direct link between the seven absolute “I am” statements in John’s Gospel is more accurately located in the seven ani hu declarations of God in the Old Testament, rather than in the ehyeh asher ehyeh of Exodus 3:14. Whereas ancient Jews rendered the latter into Greek as ego eimi ho on, where a predicate is supplied, the ani hu declarations are given an absolute rendering in the Greek translation (LXX), just like we find in John’s gospel. In this regard, the verse most relevant to John 8:58 is found in Deuteronomy 32:39. To see how this is the case, see my article: The Old Testament and Jewish Background for the “I AM” Sayings of the Logos – the Lord Jesus Christ: A Word that Bridges the Gap.
It is unnecessary at this point to go any further since the rest of the article is predicated on the above mistake. But even if we assume for the sake of argument that Exodus 3:14 is the best place to go to establish the OT background for Christ’s saying, nothing this author goes on to say does anything to call that into question.
According to the author the word for “God” in Exodus 3:14 is Elohim. Furthermore, the author tells us that for Christians this word can refer either to the Father alone or to all three persons together. But this isn’t correct, or at least it is not the whole truth, which means that our author has committed the fallacy of false choices or exhaustive hypotheses. Since all three persons are consubstantial, the word God is equally applicable to any single member of the Godhead, whether Father, Son, or Spirit, or to all three persons together. This means the word can either refer to the Father, to all three persons, or to either one of the other persons, whether the Son or the Spirit. On the basis of this mistake the author generates several “problems,” the first two of which are:
Elohiym consists of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit of one substance, united by the Godhead. If Christ is claiming to be this Elohiym (the united Three Persons), then he is claiming to be the Father as well as the Holy Spirit. According to Trinitarian dogma, the Son is not the Father or the Spirit. In other words, if Christ is claiming to be the Elohiym (of Three Persons) then he is effectively breaking the rules of the Trinitarian dogma as the Son is claiming to be other persons in the Godhead.
If the Elohiym of Exodus 3:14 is the Father alone, then Christ who is the Son is claiming to be the Father and according to Christian Trinitarian belief, the Son is not the Father. Therefore if the Christian is claiming Christ to be Elohiym – the Father, then the Christian is admitting that the Trinity in this case is a false teaching or that Christ did not believe in the Trinity that they appeal to.
Since the author believes that Elohim for Christians refers to either the Father alone or to the three persons together, he charges Christians with making an argument that supports one or another version of Modalism (though he doesn’t call it by that name), which was an anti-Trinitarian heresy roundly condemned by the ancient church. On the view that it refers to the Father alone, Christians would be guilty of saying that Jesus is the Father. On the view that it refers to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, then Jesus would be guilty of saying that He is the Father and the Spirit as well as the Son.
It is true that neither option is consistent with Trinitarianism, but since the argument is not premised on the full range of options available to Trinitarians these “problems” are irrelevant. As already mentioned, the word God according to orthodox Christianity can be and is used for any one of the Trinitarian persons considered individually, and not just for the Father individually or all three persons together. In other words, the word Elohim can be used for the Son even as it can be used for the Father by Himself or for the Holy Spirit by Himself. The only problem this leaves us with is the problem of teaching this author and other Muslims how to accurately express what we really believe.
A third problem according to this author is the following:
The Fallacy of False Equivocation.
Jack is a boy.
James is a boy.
Jack is James.
Obviously Jack is not James.
Orange is a fruit.
Apple is a fruit.
Oranges are Apples.
Obviously Oranges are not Apples.
God says I am.
Jesus says I am.
God is Jesus.
Clearly we can see that this is the fallacy of false equivocation.
Here the author switches gears before he returns in problem four to the false options he set forth above.
According to this argument Christians are guilty of equivocation. But the equivocation belongs entirely to this author. He appears to think that the phrase “I am” when used in the way Jesus used it can mean just about anything and can be spoken by anyone and isn’t a title or description that applies exclusively to the eternal God. But when Jesus said, “Before Abraham became, I Am,” He was using the phrase in a way that can only be said in truth by God. The only way out of this is to equivocate on how Jesus used the phrase, which we have already seen is an unequivocal assertion of eternal, unoriginated existence. If first century Jews reasoned like this author they wouldn’t have been upset with Jesus. Although the Jews in question did not believe Jesus was who He claimed to be, they showed quite clearly that they knew what He was claiming when they picked up stones to stone Him (John 8:59; cf. Leviticus 24:16). If this Muslim were present on the scene to hear these words spoken by Jesus, he would have been dumbfounded by the reaction of the Jews. While they gnashed their teeth and started picking up stones to kill Jesus, this Muslim would have been mumbling to himself: “Jack is a boy, James is a boy, therefore Jack is James.”
Here is the fourth and final problem this author presents:
The Christian claims that while the Son cannot claim to be the Father or the Spirit, the Son can claim to be God. For explanation purposes, let’s use a common learning aid which Christians use to explain this reasoning:
However, this makes it worse for the Christian. Consider the following examples:
You cannot say that John is an employee in the company, but you can say that John works for the company.
You cannot say that Shem and Ham are brothers, but you can say that they have the same mother and father.
You cannot say that a banana is a fruit, but you can say that the banana belongs in the fruit basket.
You cannot say that the Son is the Father or the Spirit, but you can say that the Son is the Father, Son and Spirit.
It’s a contradictory claim. The Son is not the Father or the Spirit, yet they believe the Son is the Father and the Spirit unified. Allow the Christian to ponder on this logic and see where it leads them, aid their thinking process by using the other examples provided above.
While Christians do believe that “the Son is not the Father or the Spirit,” we do not believe that “the Son is the Father and the Spirit unified.” In order to argue that Christians are guilty of making contradictory claims, it has to be the case that both of the claims are actually held by Christians. Since we affirm the former and deny the latter, there is no contradiction on our part. The contradiction exists only in the mind of this author who by this point appears to have quite a knack for misunderstanding or an almost unbridled penchant for misrepresentation.
The author offers the following conclusion:
The Christian cannot appeal to John 8:58 without disproving the doctrine of the Trinity by means of demonstrating that Christ himself did not know he could not claim to be the other persons of the Godhead. We can also demonstrate that they are applying faulty reasoning in their argumentation and thus can quickly disarm their frivolous claims.
Over the course of this article we have seen this author commit several informal logical fallacies – e.g. refuting a straw man, reasoning in a circle, equivocation, the fallacy of false alternatives, etc. The author has also demonstrated that he doesn’t know or doesn’t care to accurately express what Christians believe, is not aware of how the grammar, syntax and Johannine context of John 8:58 support the deity of Christ, and has no knowledge of the most relevant Old Testament and Jewish background to this verse.
Rather than demonstrate that Christian claims vis-a-vis John 8:58 are frivolous, the author has only disproved his own heretical perversion of what Christians believe, and since he said this verse is one of the best verses Muslims have at their disposal when the exact opposite is the case, we can see not only that he has not disarmed anyone with his arguments, but that he has only managed to give himself a black eye.
John’s gospel is replete with evidence for the deity of Christ. This is why Muslim apologists like Paul Bilal Williams have junked any attempt to argue otherwise. Instead they try to argue against the reliability of John’s gospel on the alleged grounds that it represents a later development. This of course flies in the teeth not only of the fact that Paul, the earliest NT author, already presupposes the deity of Christ throughout his writings, but also the fact that the other NT writings, whether the synoptic gospels or the writings of James, Jude, and Peter, all presuppose it as well.
This greenhorn has a lot of work to do before returning to the apologetic fray.
Muslims regularly pray for Allah to bless Muhammad with peace. But why would Muhammad be affected by the prayers of Muslims? The reason is that, according to Islam, even Muhammad didn't know what Allah would do to him after he died (Quran 46:9). But if Muhammad himself had no assurance of salvation, what hope is there for his followers?
For more on Muhammad's lack of assurance, see the following articles by Sam Shamoun:
For more on Muhammad's lack of assurance, see the following articles by Sam Shamoun:
The following is a guest post written by Royalson in response to Paul Williams and a unitarian who frequents Williams' blog. Enjoy!
The scriptures testify to the truth of the Word of God. God has spoken, and His revelation is our sure foundation for knowledge of God, the purpose of God, and the creation which He framed by His Word (Genesis 1;John 1:3, 2 Timothy 3:16;Hebrews 1:1-2). When God speaks, His believers hear His voice (John 10:27) and confirm His truth (Psalms 33:4). We are not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).
It is thus a curious thing, to have witnessed on Paul Williams blog the hand-holding between a professing Christian Unitarian and Muslim Nullitarians, the former believing that God is a single person and the latter believing that God is no person at all. It is ironic that both parties would congratulate and affirm each others' "defense" of their allegedly common position of Monotheism. In reality, their own worldviews collide at the very heart of the matter for which they attempt to collectively unite, which is against the biblical concept of the Divine Trinity. How is it that a "Christian unitarian" finds common ground with those who believe in an impersonal conglomeration of disjointed attributes? Obviously, not to mention quite tellingly, it is their common antipathy for the Trinity that unites them. This isn’t the first time unlikely partners have hopped in bed together. Perhaps it would not be too far a stretch to draw a parallel between those who collectively built a tower in the land of Babel to rebel against God, and our apologetic opponents who are collectively attacking the Trinity as we have witnessed on Blogging Theology. Or, as John Owen once said of the otherwise odd collaborative effort on the part of disparate anti-Trinitarian groups in his day:
For however they may seem in sundry things as yet to look diverse ways, yet, like Samson’s foxes, they are knit together by the tail of consent in these fire-brand opinions, and jointly endeavor to consume the standing corn of the church of God. (John Owen, A Brief Declaration and Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity, p. 7.)
For those entering into the discussion for the first time, it would be appropriate to preface my biblical defense by summarizing some of the key issues that have arisen in the dialogue thus far. Without wishing to appeal to arguments that focus upon the persons themselves who are making the arguments, it is nevertheless important to understand the inconsistent and irrational approach that my opponents utilize. Alerting the reader to such information will enable the identification of irrational argumentation on their part throughout the discussion. Too often, theological debate can appear to be "locked in the balance" as each side appears to be able to rebut the previous argument. However, if we understand the presuppositions that are committed to, and the criterion applied to in the arguments made, we shall easily spot the flaws and inconsistencies when the said opponents depart from these presuppositions and criterion.
A Muslim Attempts to Teach Math
Enter Paul Williams, Blog Author of bloggingtheology.org, a Muslim apologist and professing ex-Christian. Among his attacks upon the Trinity, Paul Williams makes a numerical argument. Plainly stated, that if the Father is 100% God, the Son is 100% God and the Holy Spirit is 100% God, that it adds up to 300% God which equates to 3 Gods, i.e. Tritheism.
Without conceding to his erroneous reasoning, which I will refute shortly, let us consider the flawed mathematical approach and see how His own theology stands up to it. Firstly, Paul Williams believes that Allah has multiple attributes. Those attributes are Divine (God) by nature. In fact, Paul would consider each attribute to be fully divine in nature. That is to say, they are not partially Divine and partially human attributes. As an example, Allah's mercy, Paul would argue is Divine mercy, unlike any mercy that creatures possess. It is 100% Divine, 100% God in nature. Likewise for Allah's righteousness, and goodness, and truth, etc. For arguments sake, let us suppose that Paul believes that Allah has 99 attributes. By his own reasoning, that would suppose 9900% God = 99 gods.
Not wanting Paul Williams to feel left out, I'm going to apply the same reasoning to Paul Williams Himself. Since Paul believes he has a body which is 100% human, a soul which is 100% human and a spirit which is 100% human, by Paul's own reasoning, he believes that he himself is 300% human or 3 humans. Unless of course, he takes a bipartite view of man, it would nevertheless lead to the idea that he is 200% human or 2 humans.
Before one wishes to accuse me of employing the "Tu-Quoque" or "You too" fallacy, I remind the reader that I already rejected the erroneous reasoning on Paul Williams' part. But since he seems to think it is valid to apply percentages to the constituents of God, then he is inescapably caught in this numerical dilemma, posing a problem that is 33 times more problematic for his own position than that which He falsely asserts upon the Trinity.
As for a refutation of the notion that such percentages ought to be applied cumulatively to the Christian God, a simple statement will suffice: "The Father is the same God as the Son and the Holy Spirit" In other words, if one did wish to apply a 100% to the Father, then that same 100% applies to the Son and the Holy Spirit, not because they are the same person but because they are the same God. Remember, Paul said the Father is 100% God. In saying that the Son is 100% God, He erroneously assumes that this must be a different 100% from the Father. His equation is thus a straw-man and does nothing to interact with the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.
When the Math lesson fails, why not try Philosophy?
Our examination of Paul Williams' presuppositions, although not intended to be exhaustive by any means, still has further important ground to cover. Added to his presuppositional blunders is his commitment to the notion that God cannot enter into His own creation. He writes: "Jesus was simultaneously divinely omniscient humanly ignorant... yet the creeds say Jesus is ‘one person’. How can one person know all things and be ignorant?" Mr. Williams ignorantly asks, "How can one person know all things and be ignorant?" Such questions have been thoroughly answered repeatedly throughout the centuries and to this very day by my fellow Christian brethren.
Simply put, Jesus Christ is eternally God by nature and does not change in His Divine essence. However, in time, He entered into His creation, taking created human nature upon Himself. His human nature did not become His divine nature, nor did His divine nature become His human nature. The two natures existed and indeed exist to this very day, united but distinguishable, each preserved without forming a third composite nature. That being said, there ought to be absolutely no argument that God demonstrates different behaviors and characteristics between the two natures. The question de jour I would ask the Muslims is - Supposing that God entered into human nature economically, how would you expect the two natures to operate? To expect the human nature to have no function would be irrational. To expect it to behave identically to the Divine nature would be blasphemous. The only rational position is that the natures present would behave exactly as they ought, and that is precisely what we see in the gospel accounts.
If you're going to try and attack Satan, at least take your stones outside
Muslims such as Paul Williams who attempt to attack the Trinity are throwing stones in their own glass houses. Oblivious to the mess and sharp edges that pile underfoot, they inflict the sorest of wounds upon Allah Himself. In Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Number 1656 we read: " Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Our Lord, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the latter part of the night is left, and says: Who supplicates Me so that I may answer him? Who asks Me so that I may give to him? Who asks Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him?" (Emphasis mine).
The reader will notice immediately that Allah himself is said to enter His creation. This is not simply a one-off event like the incarnation, but something Allah is all too acquainted with, doing it every single night. Aside from the fact that Allah descending every last third part of the night presupposes either a flat earth or Allah in a constant state of descension, or that he does so in order to find out who will supplicate Him, implying actual ignorance on His part, we must ask the following crucial question: "Does Allah's nature change when He enters into the universe to descend to the nearest heaven?" The answer is obvious, one may say. I would agree, but for the muslim, if consistency is to win the day, they must answer in the affirmative. Since they presuppose that the God of the bible must have changed His actual Divine essence due to His entering into created human flesh, fairness demands that Allah's actual nature is compromised when entering the created universe. For the record, I completely reject the fallacious and baseless presupposition of Williams, et al. Muslims, do yourselves a favor and get a broom, clean up the mess, and put on a plaster.
To summarize my points thus far, Mr. Williams employs presuppositions that are not only irrational and unwarranted, but actually cut off the aorta of the Islamic apologetic itself. Forcing unwarranted percentage additions to the internal persons of the one true God infers polytheism on the part of Islam due to the internal attributes of Allah. Firing the magic bullet of insisting that God entering into creation compromises His Divine nature, ends up returning a storm of bullets upon Allah, the ever-descending one who appears to have left His heavenly throne vacant until further notice.
Wooden arguments and elastic aeroplanes
While more could be mentioned of Mr. Williams other presuppositional blunders, we now turn our attention to David the Unitarian. Like clumsy room service, who leaves the occupant's 5 star Singapore hotel suite in a worse state than a dog's breakfast, and the bumbling customer who continues to slip a few bills in the hand for further "services", Paul Williams and David the Unitarian make strange bed-fellows indeed. The former, a nullitarian Muslim who submits to an impersonal force, is all too eager to shake left hands with David who actually believes that God is a person. Somehow, in the ecstasy of anti-trinitarian sweet-talking, a mushrik and a Muslim are a match made in Jannah, or so they thought. We shall see that David the Unitarian's blasphemy and unbridled rebellion against God, clearly demonstrates that seeing, he does not see and hearing he does not hear.
David the Unitarian complains "I have noted above how slippery trinitarian definition is.
1) God is one Being Ö The three Persons share the one Being Ö etc.
2) “is God” slides between numerical and generic identity.
3) “Person” is such an elastic concept you could use it to power a model aeroplane!
I hope you will excuse this little outburst, when I read such words as
ìAs we believe God is singular, and pluralî
While I accept David's complement of our position having the ability to power model aeroplanes, I'm afraid I cannot reciprocate. His theological position has as much power as a wooden car that wooden go. He insists that the concept of God being plural in one sense and singular in another is too slippery. However, he didn't really think this through very carefully, since such insistence leads to an absurd conclusion, that his theology supposes God to be singular in every sense. In other words: God is one being, one person, with only one attribute. So now it'll be up to David to tell us which attribute that would be: If his God is eternal, then he is most certainly not omniscient (for that already would be two attributes). If his God is omnipresent, then he is not omnipotent. Any objection of David at this point will force him to either recant on his erroneous claim that God cannot be singular and plural, or he would have to shrug his shoulders and concede that his position is no more rational than ours. I reject his claim as fallacious and look forward to him conceding the same.
We note also that He doesn't like how the term God is [grammatically] used in different senses, or as David claims, "slides" between numeric identity and generic identity. This however, is likewise an unjustified objection. For example, suppose we were to write the following sentences:
To err is human (generic).
David is a human (numeric).
The first sentence uses "human" in a generic way, pointing to human nature. The second sentence uses "human" in a numeric way. It would be absurd to state that erring is the same is a human. Likewise, it would be equally absurd to say that David is a human nature.
Let's look at some sentences using God:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.
Here we see that God is used in a numeric sense in the second clause, and in a generic sense in the third clause.
Galatians 4:8 encapsulates the idea of numeric and generic senses by which one may refer to God:
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
In the first clause it speaks of God numerically. In the second clause, although one could argue that a numerical sense is used explicitly by way of using plural nouns, the implication is more generic by attaching the phrase "by nature".
As a matter of fact, the term God (not gods) is used in conjunction with nature explicitly in Acts 17:29 which reads: 29 "Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. (NASB). In this English translation we can see the term God being used in a numeric sense whereas we have Divine Nature as a more generic term. The Greek word theos is used in the former and theios is used in the latter. The same word theios appears in 2 Peter 2:4 which reads: "For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine (theios) nature (phusis), having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. "In both cases, the word theios functions as an adjective (divine). In 2 Peter 2:4 it modifies the word phusis (nature).
Taking this into consideration, we may speak of God in both senses in this way: Jesus is the son of God (Matthew 16:16-17) and is God by nature (John 1:1).
David also does not like to our use of the term person, saying that it's so elastic it could power a model airplane. What he's basically saying is that he doesn't like how person can have a range of meanings. He prefers to have a wooden definition of words, without allowing for nuances and semantic differences. Such a claim is absurd, and I demonstrate this with some example sentences below:
Some people like to make baseless arguments.
Some people's arguments are like wooden cars that wooden go.
David holds to unitarianism, so he needs to repent.
David's arguments are so ridiculous, it's a wonder that he has 5 degrees.
I wonder if I'll ever debate David in person.
Allah is an “it”, not a person.
The fact of the matter is that David cannot live without the elasticity of language. Any claims to the contrary result in absurdity. (It should also be pointed out that David confuses grammar with ontology.)
To probe David's Unitarian heresies a little further, I asked "Can a mere creature be the exact representation of God?" To which he replied, "Yes I believe a human being can be (but not anything else in creation), because we are made in God’s image. I believe that Jesus was anointed and filled by the Holy Spirit, so that he spoke God’s words and showed God’s love." and "Mind you, the exact copy of God (Heb 1:3) cannot be God, can it? The copy of anything is NEVER the same as the original. That is the point of copies, they serve to represent the original, where the original cannot or will not go." (Emphasis mine)
According to David, an exact copy is never the same as the original. Something tells me David is locked out of his house because the locksmith who promised to copy his key exactly, gave him a dud instead.
Now if Jesus is an "exact copy" of God, we would expect Him to be exactly the same in nature as what God is. In other words:
Biblical Jesus: omniscient
David's Jesus: not omniscient
Biblical Jesus: omnipotent
David's Jesus: not omnipotent
Biblical Jesus: omnipresent
David's Jesus: not omnipresent
Biblical Jesus: transcendent
David's Jesus: not transcendent
Biblical Jesus: eternal
David's Jesus: not eternal
God: perfectly righteous
Biblical Jesus: perfectly righteous
David's Jesus: not perfectly righteous
Somehow, David expects us to believe that his Jesus is an exact copy of God. The mind boggles.
I'd like to focus on the last section of comparisons above, namely the righteousness of God and Christ respectively. Jesus says "Why do you call Me good? There is none who is good but God." Muslims often try to use this statement of Jesus to prove that Jesus was not perfect. While this argument has been answered and refuted countless times, David himself has no way out. You see, David would have to agree along with the Muslims that Jesus "is not good" If Jesus is not good (even though somehow he's an exact copy of God who is good), then it would make David's Jesus imperfect in his righteousness. It would be ridiculous for David to claim that Jesus is not good and yet perfectly righteous. And so, we come to the heart of the gospel itself, demonstrating why Christian Unitarianism is a complete farce. It makes Jesus into an imperfect sacrifice.
Let us compare:
David's Jesus is a finite creature who is an imperfect sacrifice.
The Biblical Jesus is God and man, a perfectly righteous sacrifice.
Who will you trust your soul to? A finite, imperfect creature? Or to God, manifested in the flesh?
Unitarianism is dead.
Nullitarianism is dead.
I would venture to say that David's unitarianism is actually not unitarianism at all. Although initially it appeared that he was arguing for the rational idea of God being unipersonal as opposed to tri-personal, he in fact doesn't like the term person at all. Since the term person is too elastic for him and he prefers a more wooden description for his god, I can only warn him to stop worshiping his wooden idol which cannot see, speak, hear or save. David's unitarianism is in fact nullitarianism, just like Paul Williams’ personless Islamic nullitarianism. Perhaps the two were not such strange bedfellows after all.
I'll give time for Paul and David to repent. In the meantime, I shall prepare my next response which will use the presuppositional platform I have demonstrated and further expose the irrational and blasphemous nature of these two heretics.