In my incorrigible optimism I was only too sure that Paul Williams would like my reply to his post. Imagine my surprise when I read Paul's most recent comments only to find out that he thought my response was: 1) long-winded, and thus evidence that I was having a bad hair day; and 2) a textbook case of reasoning in a tu quoque fashion, which strongly suggested to Paul that I need to read up on elementary logic.
As is often the case, at least when it is at all possible, on the occasion that I find myself embroiled in an argument of this sort, I like to concede something to my opponent. Accordingly, I happily grant that the length of my response unnecessarily exceeded Paul’s reading quota for the month, and that it left my hair disheveled in the process. I certainly could have been pithier.
I think it is only fair to grant as much as the above, especially since I feel compelled to point out that from the time Paul left Christ for Muhammad his grasp of logic has been receding quicker than his hairline. I guess that means both of us are having hair problems, though for very different and unequal reasons.
Although Paul spoke about logic with all the conviction of a disciple of Aristotle, one born out of due time no less, the vast majority of scholars would tell us that confusing or conflating the tu quoque fallacy with a reductio is a corruption of the original teaching of Aristotle. While Aristotle certainly recognized the rhetorical value of arguing in a tu quoque fashion, we can be sure that he brought the same message as all philosophers who came before him, and that he therefore made a distinction between reasoning tu quoque, which is strictly speaking logically fallacious, and running a reductio ad absurdum on an opponents position, which is eminently logical.
Since the argument I offered in reply to Paul cannot be reduced to the following form:
“Yes, I conjure up images of a man in my mind and engage in idolatrous worship just like Paul admits he did when he was a professing Christian, but that is okay because the Islamic sources teach Paul to do the same thing.” (Tu Quoque)
But rather was of this sort:
“I absolutely reject Paul’s inexcusable ignorance of basic Christology as obviously having nothing to do with the orthodox faith, and since Paul admits that having a mental picture of the object of one’s worship is idolatrous, then the very fact that this is precisely what the Islamic sources teach him to do, i.e. have a mental picture of Allah so that on judgment day he can pick his lackluster deity out of the crowd, shows that his newfound faith in the new-fangled religion of Islam reduces to absurdity, and that on Paul's own premises.” (Reductio ad Absurdum)
Since I took it that Paul’s ignorance of basic Christology is inexcusable given his former profession of faith, I concluded that there was no onus on me to give him the whirlwind tour of historical theology where these things have been all too clearly hammered out. However, because Paul is still prattling on and clamoring for an answer, it is as follows:
“The Lord Jesus Christ, God the Word, is one person, a divine person. Since the time of His incarnation the Lord Jesus Christ possesses two natures but is still only one person, a divine person. When Christians worship the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e. the incarnate Word, their worship is directed to the one divine person of Christ in whom both natures are hypostatically joined, not to one or another nature considered in the abstract.”
I trust my answer was pithy enough not to overextend Paul’s attention span.
(As you can see, Paul - my hair problem only requires a comb to fix; yours requires a transplant.)