Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yahya, Dream On

It's official; Yahya Snow has declined my debate challenge. Apparently he is too busy proving Islam in his dreams (pun intended) than to engage the topic of whether the Old Testament teaches the Trinity or Islamic Tawheed.

When I originally challenged Yahya to debate the Trinity in the Old Testament I considered it a win-win proposition: if he accepted my challenge, I knew he had less chance of vindicating his thesis than a snowball has in Hades; and if he declined my challenge, it would confirm my claim that his antics are tell-tale signs that he does not have confidence that Islam can prevail in the arena of open public debate unless certain underhanded tactics are employed.

In playing apologist the way he does he has chosen to make the history of Islam his own history: just like Islam did not spread as far and wide as it has through spiritual and rational means, so likewise Yahya does not believe in his personal ability (or responsibility) to prove Islam in such a way. Yahya is a living illustration of the fact that Islam is a religion of the flesh and not of God's Spirit:

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Muslims like Yahya are worldlings; when not literally spreading Islam by the sword they resort to hacking and hewing debates and engaging in heavy-handed, freedom-squelching tactics like censorship to keep others from exposing them.

Of course not all Muslims are exactly like Yahya, and there are some who would readily take up the challenge to debate an issue like this, just like Farhan Qureshi did against Sam Shamoun; but then those of us who saw the whole debate between Farhan and Sam, no thanks to Yahya, know how that would turn out.

[Even though we didn't get to debate the issue as I would have preferred, I did write an opening statement in anticipation of the possibility that Yahya would follow through with the debate. Since the Snow(man) has officially given me the cold shoulder, I reworked my opening statement into an article, which can be found here: The Trinity in the Old Testament: A Brief Summary of the Evidence.]

22 comments:

Semper Paratus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GreekAsianPanda said...

That's unfortunate. It would have been an interesting debate.

I read your new article, Anthony, earlier today. I have a question about one of the points you made. You used the argument from the many triad prayers, benedictions, and doxologies found in the Tanakh (citing Genesis 48:15-16, Numbers 6:24-26, Isaiah 6:3, Isaiah 33:22, Jeremiah 33:2, and Daniel 9:19) to support the Trinity. What would you say about those that are binary? (Isaiah 52:12, Jeremiah 5:4, and Jeremiah 20:13, for some examples.)

Nabeel Qureshi said...

Good article. I wonder if you wouldn't mind explaining how "holy" is plural?

In Christ,
-Nabeel

Semper Paratus said...

GreekAsianPanda,

Good question. The short answer is, if the passages you cited are formulaic in character, as I would maintain the ones I listed are, rather than just being repetitious for literary purposes or rhetorical effect, then they incline away from unitarianism and towards Trinitarianism.

In the nature of the case, if a passage of Scripture supports the idea that God is more than one person, at least two in the case of the passages you brought up, then God is not a single person. And if God is three persons, then there would be no problem with passages that mention only two of them, provided of course there are also other passages that support the idea that there is also a third person in the Godhead. I think the passages I supplied show that this is the case.

Consider the New Testament as an illustration of the point. Sometimes the benedictions are unitary in character, i.e. they mention only God (the Father). Most often the apostolic benedictions are binitarian in nature, i.e. they mention the Father and the Son. Finally, there are also many benedictions that are trinitarian in form, i.e. they mention the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Even as we wouldn't say the benedictions that mention only the Father rule out the person of the Son, for there are other passages that mention the Father and the Son, so we shouldn't say that passages that mention only the Father and the Son rule out the person of the Holy Spirit, for there are also passages that mention the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (e.g. 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 1:4-6).

I hope that helps to answer your question.

Semper Paratus said...

Thanks, Nabeel.

Joshua 24:19 uses the plural form of the word "holy" and functions as an adjective that modifies Elohim.

minoria said...

I am really puzzled about WHY it would matter 2 cents to our friend Yahya if the OT or NT had the Trinity or not.There is more than enough evidence it does have a plurality in the unicity of God.It certainly would have no impact on Islam.
Or WHY would it matter to Deedat,Ataie,Shabir Ally if Jesus did say he is God in the NT?After,they all believe the Bible is corrupt.But they have this OBSESSION with insisting it's not.NO rabbi or atheist would act that way,they would say yes,it's there,but it's not the historical Jesus.
In my case now that I am debating Muslims in Spanish and French,it's the same thing.There is one who comments in rather ungrammatical Spanish(he is probably a Moroccan living in Spain)who just keeps saying Jesus never said he was God even though I showed him all the passages.If I were a Muslim I would say yes,its true,but that doesnt mean the historical Jesus said it,only the NT text.Muslims are the only ones,at least since Deedat began that obsessive custom,who deny all the evidence that the TEXT ITSELF says X thing.What a strange world.

The Berean Search said...

I can assure you Yahya has had plenty of time to be running around youtube leaving comments and sending messages like his life depended on it. He knows he cant defend his claims when they're properly challenged.

Semper Paratus said...

Minoria, I address some reasons in my article for why Muslims can't brush off the Biblical witness.

hugh watt said...

Semper, in other words;Isaiah 6v3 And this one called to that one and said: “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of armies.

Revelation 4v8 And as for the four living creatures, each one of them respectively has six wings; round about and underneath they are full of eyes. And they have no rest day and night as they say: “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is coming.”

Both texts quoted from Jehovah's Witness New World Translation, who deny the Trinity! "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY"!

Ed said...

Interesting article. I'm fascinated by the idea that the Old Testament God is one in many. I'll have to follow up the debate in more detail.

Why should a triune reality seem "irrational" to some Muslim apologists? The notion that something cannot be both one and many overlooks, for example, the color spectrum. Directly observed, is the color spectrum one? Or many? The different colors flow without break into each other. That seems an empirical example of Oneness in Many. Both aspects are real.

If the spiritual world were one only, it would be a gray, drab, silent, nothing. If it were many only, it would be a meaningless, impossible, random collocation. The manyness of the spiritual world is what makes that world even more full of color and variety than the world of nature and earthly experience. The colors of the spiritual world, of course, would not be like those here on earth, but rather absolutely real, more varied, they would be full of directly evident spirituality, and more intense. And the oneness of heaven gives every last unique nuance of every spiritual flower in heaven the glory of God.

The notion that oneness must exclude manyness appears to be essentially a materialistic notion, based on focusing exclusively on the physical aspect of the physical world. After all, the physical aspects of two physical objects cannot occupy the same place at the same time. A billiard ball appears to be fixed and self-identical, not a mysterious one in many. Three billiard balls exclude each other, collide with each other.

But even in the case of a billiard ball, the appearance is only partly truthful. The severing of physical from non-physical aspects of the world is semi-fictional. Strictly speaking, physical and non-physical aspects are not absolutely separable, but approximately distinguishable. The distinction, from one valid angle of observation is valid, but from another valid angle of observation is not valid.
I suppose that is another phase of the One and Many "problem." I'm not saying that the physical world is not really physical. I'm only saying it's not physical if by that we mean the physical does not have the spiritual at its core.

Coleridge, who developed an interesting Trinitarian Christian theology, held that the physical is a sort of "coagulated" spirit. It is like a sediment that has fallen out of the spirit, crystallized out of the spirit, died out of the spirit. But ultimately that sediment retains an internal connection with the spirit, and will one day "dissolve" back into the spirit.

The spirit is alive and ever new; matter appears to be dead, or at any rate quiescent, and fixed for eons. In some sense the spirit, being ever new, is transforming and evolving. Not in a Darwinian sense out of matter, survival of the fittest, and chance, but because the creativity of God, the spiritual world, and human beings, is ongoing.

Verumi said...

Hello, everyone.

This is out of topic, but I just found this blog whose author seems to share the contributors' and readers' scholarly approach to discussing Islam. I thought I'd share it here:
Staring at the View

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minoria said...

Hello Verumi:
Just checked out the blog you mentioned,I favorited it.It's good.I specially liked the 2 articles about MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF,who has written SON OF HAMAS,a very well-written book,I've read it.

Irenaeus of New York said...

I thought you all might be interested in this....

Aramaic/Syriac/Greek/Latin transliterated words in Koran give suras new meaning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk40dR8UpaU&feature=player_embedded

Verumi said...

Hi, Minoria:
I'm excited to find out that this book is available (many on order) in all the branches of my county's public library. (None, except one, of Michael Gabriel's book is available.)

I'm #17 in the growing list of interested readers. I'm looking forward to reading Mosab's story.

For those who haven't seen it yet, here's the Fox News Special Report on Mosab Hassan Yousef

Yahya Snow said...

I wish you all a happy Easter break

Thanks
Peace and Love

GreekAsianPanda said...

Happy Easter break to you, too, Yahya =)

Anthony Rogers said...

For some time I have wanted to change my blogger account name. I think I have finally figured it out. This is just a test to see if it was successful.

Anthony Rogers said...

Wow, who knew it was that easy?

minoria said...

Hello Yahya:
Thank you for wishing us a Joyous Easter.Soon it will be the Eastern Orthodox Easter also,due to a different calender.I have been reading your blog,it's touching how you defend Mohammed.But even if one accepts he was a saint(the minimalist position) each religion has their saints.If 2,3,4 or 5 holy people disagree on fundamentals of theology then there has to be more to it than sainthood to determine truth.Just a quick thought.

minoria said...

Hello Verumi:
Read a bit more of the blog you suggested,he knows Arabic and gives translations of FATHER BOUTROS program conversations,fascinating.
Great to know lots of people will read SON OF HAMAS.I've read it, I will tell you it's a bit shocking in the sense he says outright that the Israelis' tortured people,really tortured,including he and his father.Now I know several years ago the Israeli court finaly prohibited it,so that was before that law.All the same we must still support Israel,with Constructive Criticism if necessary,because the are the Chosen People of God.

Anthony Rogers said...

For those who read the Trinity article on AI, I want to point out a small correction that Sam brought to my attention.

I apparently transposed a reference from Isaiah: In the following paragraph the verse should be Isaiah 13:17-19 rather than 17:13-19.

The same thing can be said for many other peculiarities distinctive of Old Testament revelation about God, such as when God speaks to or about another person who is identified as God or Lord (Psalm 2, 110:1, Isaiah 17:13-19; Hosea 1:7; Amos 4:10-11; Jeremiah 50:40; Malachi 3:1; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 2:8-9, 12:10, 13:7) or when the Biblical authors refer to more than one person as Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 19:24; Psalm 45). Once again, this does not sit well with either unitarians or polytheists; the former because it implies personal plurality within the Godhead, contrary to their unitarian assumptions; the latter because it implies the essential unity of these divine persons, contrary to their polytheistic assumptions.

This should be corrected on AI in the relatively near future for those who might refer to it for whatever reason.