Saturday, 22 October 2011

If Jesus is God, then who did He pray to?

Jesus was the perfect man and the perfect God

This is a very common question among critiques of Jesus' deity, Muslims included. The answer is found in understanding the Trinity and the incarnation of Jesus. The Trinity is the doctrine that there is only one God in all existence. This one God exists as three persons: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are not three gods, but one God. Each is a separate person, yet each of them is, in essence, divine in nature. A close analogy of the Trinity can be found by looking at the concept of time. Time is past, present, and future. There are three "aspects" or "parts" of time. This does not mean that there are three "times," but only one. Each is separate, in a sense, yet each shares the same nature, or essence. In a similar way, the Trinity is three separate persons who share the same nature.

The Incarnation
The doctrine of the incarnation in Christian teaching is that Jesus, who is the second person of the Trinity, added to himself human nature and became a man. The Bible says that Jesus is God in flesh, "
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.....and the word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1, 14); and, "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (Col. 2:9). Jesus, therefore, has two natures. He is both God and man. Jesus is completely human, but He also has a divine nature.



He is worshiped (Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; 28:9)
He is prayed to (
Acts 7:59
; 1 Cor. 1:2)
He was called God (
John 20:28
; Heb. 1:8)
He was called Son of God (
Mark 1:1
He is sinless (
1 Pet. 2:22
; Heb. 4:15)
He knew all things (
John 21:17
He gives eternal life (
John 20:28
The fullness of deity dwells in Him (
Col. 2:9

He worshiped the Father (John 17)
He prayed to the Father (
John 17:1
He was called man (
Mark 15:39
; John 19:5).
He was called Son of Man (
John 19:35-37
He was tempted (
Matt. 4:1
He grew in wisdom (
Luke 2:52
He died (
Rom. 5:8
He has a body of flesh and bones (
Luke 24:39

As a man, Jesus needed to pray. When He was praying he was not praying to Himself, but to God the Father.



Jesus Cannot be God's Son

No physical relationship meant

To some Muslims, the term “Son of God” brings up images of a sort of divine being with a goddess wife who together have somehow produced a child. When Christians use the term in reference to Jesus, they immediately assume that the Christians are committing blasphemy by stating that God has participated in some sort of sexual union with another god – a goddess wife.

They say: "
the most gracious has betaken a son!" Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! At it in the skies are about to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin, that they attributed a son to the Most Gracious, for it is not consonant with the majesty of the Most Gracious that he should beget a son. (The Qur'an, 5:88-92).

This is naturally a ridiculous scenario and is a false assumption. No where in the Bible does it say that God had relations with anyone to produce a literal son, nor has Christianity taught that God produced a son through any physical act whatsoever. Such a thing is heretical. Nevertheless, the Bible in numerous places calls Jesus the Son of God. But, it does not mean that Jesus is the literal offspring of God.

The Muslims need to as ask what does that term mean, in its historic and biblical context. Instead of imposing upon the biblical term a meaning that is foreign to it, the Muslim should learn what the Bible means by the term and think of it in the context as revealed in the Scriptures where it is used. To not do that would be the same as me taking a term out of the Qur'an, remove it from its Qur'anic context, and applying another meaning to it and then saying what the Qur'an teaches is false. The term “Son of God” is used in different senses in the Bible. But, never does it mean that God has a wife and produces offspring.

Old Testament usage of the term Son of God
The term “son of God” is used in two main ways in the Old Testament. Neither way denotes any physical relation to God. Rather, the references deal with those who under divine obedience to the call of God. It is used of Israel as a nation through the Exodus.
Hosea 11:1 says, When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.”1 It is also used in reference to angels. Job 1:6 says, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.” Also, in Job 38:7 it says, "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" These are in reference to angels who are created beings and in now way implies literal dependency from God. (Added: The term “Son of God” is utilized as well in Daniel’s Prophecies, as substitute for the “Messiah”)

New Testament usage of the term Son of God
The Term "Son of God" occurs 47 times in the King James New Testament. In reference to Jesus, it is a title as the heavenly, eternal Son who is equal to God the Father (
John 5:18-24). It is Jesus who fully reveals the Father (Matt. 11:27). He is the exact representation of the Father (Heb. 1:1-3), He possesses all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18), and Jesus had glory with the Father before the world was made (John 17:5).The Muslim is taught from the Qur'an and therefore cannot accept the fact that Jesus is divine. To the Muslim, that is shirk, blasphemy of the worst kind. But believing it doesn't make it so. To the Christian, and according to the Bible, Jesus is the one who alone saves us from our sins. We cannot earn our way to heaven, perform enough good works to please God, or ever be "sincere enough" in repentance to somehow obtain forgiveness from God. Instead, Christianity is a faith of God's great love and sacrifice for His creation. Jesus, the Son of God, is the divine one who fulfilled prophecies, walked on water, healed the sick, and rose from the dead. Only the Son of God can do these things.



Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Trinity makes no sense. It isn't logical.

To try to prove that God is not logical is not an easy task

Muslims often state that the Trinity doctrine lacks both common sense and logic. Additionally, they sometimes accuse the Christians of being polytheists by saying that the Trinity teaches three gods. Other times they state that it is illogical for three gods to be one god and for that reason, the Trinity can't be true. Their objections need to be addressed. But, before we do, we need to understand what the Trinity is and what it is not. The doctrine of the Trinity1 is that there is one God who exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person is not the same as the other person; that is, the Father is not the same person as the Son who is not the same person as the Holy Spirit. Each is fully God in nature. Each person is not a god in itself. Instead, the totality of all three persons comprises the one God. There are not three gods, but one. We believe there are no partners with God because we believe there is only one God in all existence. At first, some may look at this teaching and be confused by it. How can God be three persons in one God? This is a good question because it is a bit difficult to grasp. But, that is what we would expect isn't it, when we encounter God? Would we not expect to find some things about God's Infinite nature a bit beyond our comprehension? This is not unreasonable. However, we must not make the mistake of saying something as ridiculous as, "It doesn't make sense. Therefore it is true." Following is a small chart that helps clarify how the doctrine of the Trinity is arrived at through the Bible.





Called God

Phil. 1:2

John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9

Acts 5:3-4


Isaiah 64:8; 44:24

John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17

Job 33:4; 26:13


2 Cor. 6:16

Col. 1:27

John 14:17


1 Kings 8:27

Matt. 28:20

Psalm 139:7-10

All knowing

1 John 3:20

John 16:30; 21:17

1 Cor. 2:10-11

The above chart is representative and not complete but it shows that there is scriptural support for the doctrine. Following is another way of illustrating the Trinity.

The Trinities in Nature

People already believe in trinities. They just don't know they do. Here is how. Basically, the universe consists of three elements: Time, Space, and Matter.
Each of these is comprised of three 'components.'













As the Trinitarian doctrine maintains, each of the persons of the Godhead is distinct, yet they are all each, by nature, God. The same idea can be presented in the above examples. With time, for example, the past is not the same as the present, which is not the same as the future. Each is simultaneous (according to some time theoriests). Yet, they are not three 'times,' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: time. With space, height is distinct from width, which is not the same as depth, which is not the same as height. Yet, they are not three 'spaces,' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: space.

With matter, solid is not the same as liquid, which is not the same as gas, which is not the same as solid. Yet, they are not three 'matters,' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: matter.

Note that there are three sets of threes. In other words, there is a trinity of trinities. If we were to look at the universe and notice these qualities within it, is it really so difficult to imagine that God can be a Trinity of persons? Furthermore, is it fair to say that this "trinity of trinities" are the fingerprints of God upon His creation? I think so.

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse," (Rom. 1:20).

Of course, there are always people who will say that this is ridiculous. Perhaps it is. But if it is it is up to them to demonstrate why it cannot be true. If we see the analogy of the Trinity within the nature, why is it so difficult to believe that God could be the Trinity as well?

Demonstrate that it is illogical

One of the questions I ask the anti-Trinitarians is "
Can you please show me how the Trinity is illogical?". Usually, they respond with something like, "It just doesn't make sense," or "It simply can't be." But making such statements doesn't prove or disprove anything. The question is, "How is it illogical?" I have yet to hear a logical explanation. It isn't against logic for God to be three persons. It may be difficult to understand, and some may not like it, but it isn't illogical. For it to be illogical, there must be some rule of logic that is violated that makes it impossible for God to exist as a Trinity. For example, to say that one god is really three gods is illogical because the quantity of one is not the same quantity as three and since they (one and three) are mutually exclusive as to quantity in this situation, to say one god is three gods is illogical. But that isn't what the Trinity is anyway, so this can't be used to demonstrate that the Trinity is illogical. Furthermore, there is no logical reason why God cannot be three persons. Trinitarianism is monotheistic. That means that it is a doctrine that teaches the existence of a single being who is God and that there is only one God in all existence. This is sometimes ignored or not known when people (Muslims) criticize the Trinity by asserting that the Trinity teaches three gods. But, it does not. As is stated above, the Trinity is a monotheistic theological position. When Muslims state that the Trinity isn't logical, it is up to them to demonstrate how. If they are not able to do it, then they should stop making the claim.



The Qu'ran Says the Bible is Not Corrupt

Not to believe your own scriptures, is a sin

The Muslims repeatedly claim that the Bible has been corrupted and that the Qu'ran is the only trustworthy scripture in existence. This is why Muslims often attack the Bible. But this cannot be according to the Qur’an. The Qur’an says that the books of Moses, the Psalms, and the gospel were all given by God.

gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of messengers," (Sura 2:87).

We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms," (4:163).

It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong)," (3:3).

Also, "
And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah," (5:46).

We see that the Qu'ran states that the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel were all given by God. With this we Christians heartily agree. But, the Muslims claim that the Bible is corrupted and full of contradictions. If that is so, then it would seem they do not believe the Qu'ran since the Qu'ran says that the Word of God cannot be altered:

Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers," (6:34).

"The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all," (6:115).

For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme felicity," (10:64).

When Muhammad (570 - 632) was alive, he claimed to receive the revelation of the Qu'ran from Allah. This means that at that time, the Bible which was in existence, could not have been corrupted because the Qu'ran states that God's word cannot be corrupted. The question I have for the Muslims is "When and where was the Bible corrupted, since the Qu'ran says that the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel are from Allah and Allah's words cannot be changed?"



Questions for Muslims

Some examples

Dear Muslim, I do not post these questions as a "proof" that Islam is false. I do not believe that is possible with a simple list of questions. Nevertheless, they are here to encourage discussion that the truth may be known.

The Qur'an says "To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward" (Surah 5:9).

Question: Are you doing enough good deeds to receive salvation on the Day of Judgment?

Question: Are you doing all you can or are you relaxing in your dedication to Allah?

The Qur'an says, "O ye who believe! Turn unto Allah in sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your evil deeds and bring you into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, on the day when Allah will not abase the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will run before them and on their right hands; they will say: Our Lord! Perfect our light for us, and forgive us! Lo! Thou art Able to do all things," (66:8-9). Notice how it says if you are sincere you may receive forgiveness.

Question: How do you know you are sincere enough to be forgiven of Allah?
Question: Does it give you peace to know that even if you are very sincere that at best, you may receive forgiveness?
Question: If you say that you know you are sincere enough in your repentance before Allah, how do you know you are not deceiving yourself?
Question: Is your heart really good enough to muster enough sincerity before a Holy and Righteous God?
Question: If you say yes, I honestly and humbly ask you, "Are you being prideful?"
Question: If you say you are not being prideful, then are you boasting in your sincerity?

In Christianity, Jesus is God in flesh who paid for our sins on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). Because of that, we Christians are secure in Him and do not have to worry (…) about doing enough good works to please God since we are saved by grace through faith in Him (add: of course good works are a tangible sign of God’s Love), (Eph. 2:8-9).

Question: Why should we Christians give up our guarantee of salvation in Jesus for the requirements of your Qur'anic law when you yourselves don't even know if you have done enough good deeds to be saved on the Day of Judgment?

The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:16) and that He loves all people (Matt. 5:43-48; John 3:16). The Qur'an never says that "God is love." In fact, the Qur'an says that Allah does not love unbelievers (2:98; 3:32).

Question: If Allah does not love unbelievers, can you say that Allah is love, especially if the Qur'an does not say it?
Question: If you say yes, that Allah is love, then why does he only love the Muslims and not all people?
Question: If you say Allah is love, is he more loving than the God of the Bible who loves all people?

In the Bible, Jesus said in John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." In Christianity, the greatest act of love is performed by God Himself -- since Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9). Jesus is the one who fulfilled His own words on this. He laid His life down for us.

Question: What is the greatest act of love performed by Allah?
Question: If what Jesus said is true, then hasn't someone besides Allah has performed the greatest act of love?
Question: Why do you, as a Muslim, want me to give up such a great love performed by God Himself (from a Christian perspective) for your belief in Allah who only loves people if they are Muslims?

Islam teaches that the Holy Spirit is Gabriel. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit lives in the Christians.

Question: If the angel Gabriel is the Holy Spirit, how can he dwell in us?

(Note: According to the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament Textual Apparatus, there are no textual variations any of the following biblical references.
They are recorded and transmitted to us accurately.)

"Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you," (2 Tim. 1:14, NASB).

"Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor. 3:16, NASB).

The Qur'an states that you shall marry only up to four women: "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or threee, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or that which your right hands possess..." (4:3).

If the Qur'an is eternal, having been written on the table in heaven, then the four wife limit was an eternal decree.

Why did Muhammad have 12 wives if the Qur'an says to have only four? Khadija, Sawda, Aesah (6 years old), Omm Salama, Hafsa, Zaynab (originally the wife of Muhammad's adopted son), Jowayriya, Omm Habiba, Safiya, Maymuna, Fatima, Hend, Asma (of Saba), Zaynab, Habla, Asma?

The Qur'an says that Allah created the heavens and earth in six days. "
Your Guardian Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days..." (7:54) See also, 10:3. 41:9 - "Say: Is it that ye deny him who created the earth in two days..."

Question: Which should we believe, the Bible or the Qur'an (…)? The Bible says God created the earth in one day, the xth day (xxx).

41:10 - "He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measured therein its sustenance in four days..."

Does 41:10 included the 2 days of 41:9 above? If so, why does 41:9 say God created the earth in two days, but 41:10 says that God measured its sustenance in four days? They are different occurrences.

41:11 - "Then he turned to the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: he said to it and to the earth: 'Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly..."

41:12 - "
So he completed them as seven firmaments in two days, and he assigned to heaven its duty and command..."

the two days of 41:9 plus the four days of 41:10 and the 2 days of 41:12 equals eight days of creation, not six. Why is that?

It is a commonly held belief among Muslims that Muhammad was sinless.

If Muhammad was sinless, then why does the Qur'an state: "Patiently, then, persevere: for the promise of Allah is true: and ask forgiveness for thy fault, and celebrate the praises of they Lord in the evening and the morning." (40:55).

Pickthall translates 40:55 thus: "Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And ask forgiveness of thy sin, and hymn the praise of thy Lord at fall of night and in the early hours."

The Hadith says,
Narrated Abu Huraira: "I heard Allah's Apostle saying." By Allah! I ask for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day." Volume 8, Book 75, Number 319,

Question: If it is the common belief that Muhammad was sinless, why do the Qur'an and Hadith contradict that notion? Which is correct?

The Qur'an says to have no divisions within Islam. "The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the [sic] which we have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which we enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them..." (42:13).

Question: If Islam is the truth, which of the divisions within it is the "most" true?

Is Islam in a state of sin since there are divisions within its ranks?

The Qur'an says, "
And dispute ye not with the People of the Book [Jews and Christians and the Bible], except in the best way, unless it be with those of them who do wrong but say, "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you," (29:46).

Isn't the Qur'an here saying that the Muslim is to believe what the Bible says?

Differences between the Bible and the Qur'an



Monotheistic, Trinitarian, (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6-8; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)

Monotheistic (5:73; 112:1-4), denies the Trinity (5:73).

Jesus is God in flesh (Col. 2:9)

Jesus is not God, (5:17, 75)

Jesus was crucified (1 Pet. 2:24).

Jesus was not Crucified, (4:157).

Jesus rose from the dead (John 2:19-20).

Jesus did not rise from the dead.

Jesus was the Son of God (Mark 1:1).

Jesus was not the Son of God ( 9:30)

Holy Spirit, 3rd person in the Godhead. He will bear witness of Jesus (John 14:26; 15:26).

The Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel (2:97; 16:102).

Salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:89).

Salvation by sincerity and works (3:135; 7:8-9; 21:47; 49:14; 66:8-9).

The Devil is a fallen angel (Isaiah 14:12-15).

The Devil, Satan, is not a fallen angel, but a fallen Jinn (2:34; 7:12; 15:27; 55:15).

Man is fallen, a sinner (Rom. 3:23).

Man is basically good.

Disciples were Christians (Acts 11:26).

Disciples declare themselves Muslims, (5:111).

Worship on Sabbath (Exodus 20) then later on Sunday (Rom. 14:5-6; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2).

Worship on Friday (62:9).

Miracles, numerous are recorded.

No Miracles recorded.

Makes numerous prophecies

Makes no prophecies.

This is not an exhaustive list