Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Responding to: Allah is uniquely one (refutation of the Trinity) Part 1

Today thegrandverbalizer  posted two blog posts on the Trinity today. The amazing thing is that he doesn't seem to recognize how he is mis-stating what Christians believe. If I did the same with Islam he'd be livid but he can't seem to be bothered to see how inconsistent he's being in his arguments.. He seems to think that he has listened to Dr. James White's presentation yet he persists in getting the Bible's teachings wrong. I have little change in explaining it to him so that he will understand but I'll try anyway.

Recently while talking to a believer in Tri-theism (the belief in three all powerful gods that join together and work as a unified team) other wise known as 'Trinity' something also occurred to me.

One more time. Say it with me slowly: "Trinity" does not equal "Tri-thesism".  Tri-theism is just polytheism and no Christian is into polytheism.

One of the glaring and obvious things one notices about the Trinity is that God is not a singular being that has something that no one or nothing else shares.

God is a singular Being.  Given that "Being" and "person" are not the same thing. It's possible to have more than one person in the same being.  One person does not have to mean one person.

The doctrine of the Trinity is that God is One Team ( a group of three that co exist together). Of course this is a philosophical presupposition about the creator that does not have CLEAR revelation to back it up. It is the product of theological debates and musings about the divine.

Again with the "Team". There is no CLEAR revelation to back up the notion that God is "ONE TEAM" because that is not what Christians are arguing in favor of. We don't believe that either. Do you know what it's called when you are argue against a position that is not being claimed and then pretend to win the argument? It's call a "straw man" and thegrandverbalizer just showed a perfect example.

In the Trinity doctrine God is not singularly unique. In fact it makes little sense to speak about 'God' when talking to Trinitarians. They believe in gods. God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and God the Father.

No we don't. The Bible tells us there is only one God. It also tells us the Father is God. The son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. This is 1 X 1 X 1 =1 not 1 + 1 + 1 = 1.   1 + 1 + 1 = 1  is stupid and not what Trinitarians are saying!

The problem with their theological presupposition is saying that God is One Team (a group comprising of three gods that co exist together) is that you could say based upon that same presupposition that God is One Team (comprising a hundred gods that co exist together).

Not three gods. You can't split up the God into components then cry out "It doesn't make sense!" thegrandverbalizers and those who don't understand what we are saying think that. No one is saying anything about a team, but thegrandverbalizer.

In the Trinity God is not Singularly Unique. In fact there is nothing singularly unique about the creator. The Creator is not allowed to have a unique oneness that is not shared.

One can argue with another human being all one likes. The bottom line is that God is that God is bigger and more complex than just our simple understanding of what being and personhood are.  In Christian Trinity, God is not a team of God but  a single being such that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all God at the same time  and neither one is more or less God than the other at any time.  It's a unique oneness that can't be duplicated nor experienced completely. Marriage - the union of a man and a woman - is the only thing anywhere close to that sort of union we can experience in the here and now and that more closely mirrors Jesus and the Church .  See Ephesians 5:22-24

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
What ever the Father has the Son also has. What ever the Son has is also shared by the Holy Spirit.

and 1 Corinthians 11:3

But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

For example you could have two black shoe boxes. They could be exactly identical in shape and volume. However, the only thing that makes one unique from the other is the space that the other occupies. That would be 'unique' to it as a shoe box.

Bad analogy. Jesus said

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Just how much space do you think God takes up?

However, with in the Trinity there is no way to define God as one without immediately bringing another number into the picture; the number three.

Not an issue as long as remember the distinction between "being" and "person".

Philosophical jargon is quick to enter into the picture in a discussion with even the most astute Trinitarian. They will tell you that they believe that God is one sure; but they will quantify what they mean by saying 'We believe God is one in essence but is comprised of Three persons'.

So if thegrandverbalizer hears what Christians are saying why does he go after straw men?

When asked to define what they mean by persons more philosophical jargon enters and one is hard pressed to get a proper definition of person.

Rather nice assertion. Like the way he just throws that out there and doesn't substantiate it. In a previous thread he remarked that an understand of what "being" and "person"  mean in Hebrew, Aramaic, Kione Greek, English, and Arabic is in order to really get at the heart of the discussion. I agree. I'm preparing such a discussion even now.

So what you end up with is Tri-theism that tries to mask itself as monotheism and tries to distance itself from modalism.

So does Islam embrace modalism. I'm not a Muslim and I freely admit that I am not qualified to make a judgment on that.  However, equating Tri-thesim with the Trinity when one knows that is not what we are saying is just dishonest.

The Qur'an lays down the truth

Say: Allah is One (Absolute)
Allah is Unique.
Allah begots not
nor is Allah begotten.
And there is NOTHING LIKE unto Allah.
(Holy Qur'an chapter 112:1-4)\

More assertion. "begotten" and "begot:" is thought of as the way people procreate and that is not what Christians believe about Jesus. 

As to Allah's nature Allah's being (dhat) or essence is One. The Trinitarians can make such a claim They may say, "We believe God's essence (being) is One" However it is a fallacious claim.

No it's not. We can't help it if one cannot see a difference between "being" and "person". God is indeed unique. There is nothing or anything like God anywhere.

They do not believe that God's essence is One, because God's essence is SHARED. They believe that God's essence (being) is shared by THREE. 


Thegrandverbalizer would have a point if God's being was shared by more than one being.  No Christian would argue that each person in the Trinity is a separate being. 

Note for example what Protestant Christian apologist James White says here:

It is necessary here to distinguish between the terms "being" and "person." It would be a contradiction, obviously, to say that there are three beings within one being, or three persons within one person. So what is the difference? We clearly recognize the difference between being and person every day. We recognizewhat something is, yet we also recognize individuals within a classification. For example, we speak of the "being" of man---human being. A rock has "being"---the being of a rock, as does a cat, a dog, etc. Yet, we also know that there are personal attributes as well. That is, we recognize both "what" and "who" when we talk about a person.

Amen. He's quoting Dr. James White.

The Bible tells us there are three classifications of personal beings---God, man, and angels. What is personality? The ability to have emotion, will, to express oneself. Rocks cannot speak. Cats cannot think of themselves over against others, and, say, work for the common good of "cat kind." Hence, we are saying that there is one eternal, infinite being of God, shared fully and completely by three persons, Father, Son and Spirit. One what, three who's.


Note the philosophical jargon. When White says above "It would be a contradiction, obviously, to say that there are three beings within one being, or three persons within one person." what White does not tell you is that it is not a contradiction to say "there are three beings that share one being, or three persons that share one person."

Dr White didn't say that because those are indeed contradictions and not what we believe.  Back of the rails thegrandverbalizer goes! 

Also the last sentence something he left out. "Hence, we are saying that there is one eternal, infinite being of God, shared fully and completely by three persons, Father, Son and Spirit. One what, three who's.

What White didn't tell you is "One what, three who's that share FULLY and COMPLETELY One What"

No, he is saying three who's that share FULLY and COMPLETELY One What.

They therefore in reality do not believe that God's essence is One. If they truly believe that than God's essence is one what?

It can't be ONE if it is SHARED by THREE. The being cannot be Unique to One if it is also SHARED by THREE.

Three what? Again he's right if we are saying the one being is  shared by three beings but  we are not saying that!

Now I can claim that a rock has being fair enough. However, if I claim that rock and it's being (time and place everything about it) is shared FULLY and EQUALLY by atleast two other rocks I cannot in all honestly look you straight in the face and than claim I believe in a rock that is Unique in it's being.

No one is saying that we are talking about time and place when talking about the nature of God. God is timeless and omnipresent. There is no place or Time God is not. I thought that Muslims agreed with that. You can't get any more unique than that. 

If we start to take this approach we have already left the pure and safe road. We have left the creed of safety. Allah no longer has that which no one or nothing else has because Allah's being is not unique. Allah's being is shared. Than to turn around and couch this in philosophical language and claim to the people of La Ilaha illa lah (there is no God except God) that you worship the God of Abraham and that you are monotheistic is frankly insulting. You insult yourselves, and when you look into your own hearts you will come face to face with the monstrosity of that doctrine which was forged and formulated in Church councils and couched in Greek Philosophical verbiage.

Insulting? I'm still waiting for an apology for butchering what I believe and saying that I believe things that I don't as a Trinitarian.

May Allah protect us and keep us on the way that is straight! I call all the Christians who believe in Trinity (Tri-theism) back to the worship of the One True God.
Heaping insult on top of insult. One last time Tri-theism does not equal Trinity. 

Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Allah is uniquely one (refutation of the Trinity)
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Fistbump of the Day: Is praying to God any different than praying to a milk jug? - National Messianic Jewish |

Mariano has written a great article about an often used argument by atheists.

A question about prayer was sent to this writer which pertains to what was called, “the milk jug argument.” It goes something to the likes of: if by praying to God we receive the answers of “Yes,” “No” or “Wait,” we could just as effectively pray to a milk jug since we can assume the same results.

I personally hate this argument but since people actually use it, it does need to be answered. Follow the links to read Mariano's demolition of this "argument" that just seems to refuse to die the death it deserves due to the unrepentant and hard hearts of those who use it.

Is praying to God any different than praying to a milk jug? - National Messianic Jewish |
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Quote on Theodicy from RC Sproul

R.C. SproulImage by james.thompson via Flickr

"Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once, and He volunteered." - R.C. Sproul
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My Common Sense is Tingling: Debunking Christianity: Why the Q Hypothesis Works

Tommy G. Baker has posted another article attempting to discredit the Bible. He fails. But let's see how he fails. I find that his methods better than John Loftus;, however so I guess that's worth a little something. My comments are in red. 

Mark 1: 21-39 presents Jesus going to Simon Peter's house and curing Peter's mother-in-law. She has a fever which Jesus "cures'. She then gets up and serves them. That evening people brought the demon possessed and sick to the house. The whole city gathers about the door.

Notice how Baker just summarizes the text instead of quoting it. It's not that he doesn't get it right but it is interesting.

Jesus heals many of the cases and told them to keep quite. And the following morning before daylight he went out to a private place and prayed. he is interrupted by Peter and the rest telling him that the crowds were looking for him. He gets the new followers to go the the next towns in Galilee preaching and exorcizing demons.

Until we get to here

32 That evening after sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who were sick. They also brought all who were controlled by demons. 33 All the people in town gathered at the door. 34 Jesus healed many of them. They had all kinds of sicknesses. He also drove out many demons. But he would not let the demons speak, because they knew who he was. - Mark 1:32-34

Notice how Baker seems to say that that Jesus only heals some of the people who are there as if there were some people who were sick that Jesus did not heal. This isn't what the text says. It says that Jesus healed some of the people who were there because obviously not every single person there was sick. Second the text does not tell us that he told all the people he healed to be quite but Jesus told the demons He cast out to be quiet.  I wonder why was Baker saying the Bible says things it does not say.

When we look at Matthew and Luke the story changes. Matthew 8:14 -27 has been rewritten by its author:

Let's see if he can prove that.

1) Matthew as throughout the Gospel intensifies the situation to make it ore outstanding. Here instead of Jesus curing many of those brought. Matthew now says he cures all of who was brought to him.

Guess not

16 When evening came, many people controlled by demons were brought to Jesus. He drove out the spirits with a word. He healed all who were sick. Matthew 8:16

This isn't a conflict with Mark at all. They are both saying that Jesus healed all those who are sick.

2) Matthew adds an Old Testament quote to claim that the event was a fulfilment of prophecy, " He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases (Isaiah 53:4)." The Jewish interpretation is that this applies to the whole of Israel. Here we see it taken to create the Suffering Servant as a prophecy of the messiah (Origen, Contra Celsus).

And how is adding the detail that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament a problem? I agree with Baker that Matthew was written to Jews. It's written in such a way that Jewish sensibilities are brought out.  Explaining that Jesus fulfilled the New Testament would be very important to Jewish leaders. It would not have been as important to Romans (Mark) or Greeks (Luke).

3) Here the events will change dramatically. Instead of Jesus going to bed and getting up early in the morning to pray he commands his new followers to get a boat to cross the lake. This is a fabrication by Matthew. It acts as a "seam" to stitch a passage from Q into his reworking of the text of Mark.

Why does it have to be a fabrication? Baker admits that he doesn't know who wrote Matthew. For all we know it could be the man whom tradition says it was who wrote it. And in that case there is no reason to think that Matthew just gives more information than Mark does in this instance.  There is no need to complicate matters introducing a third source that no one can prove ever existed.

Matthew 8:
9 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.
This is followed by the next seam in which Jesus gets into the boat and Jesus calms the storm. With this addition we see that Jesus no longer sleeps or prays early the next day. This addition of the "Would-be Follower" changes the original story of Mark. This is at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus according to Matthew.

Again Baker assumes that Matthew changes a story and can't prove any such thing happened. He merely asserts it.

When we compare the section in Luke 4:38-41 we see Luke also intensifies the event:

1) all of the people are cured by laying on of hands. The demons coming out testify that Jesus "is the Son of God." He rebukes the demons to be silent rather than the people as in Mark.

No, in Mark the demons are rebuked not the people,.  What translation is Baker reading?

2) As in Mark Jesus come the next morning goes out to a private place to pray.

Still doesn't contradict Matthew. One Gospel has a detail the other two do not have. That's not a conflict. That is what one would expect if they were based on eyewitness testimony. 

3) But Luke 9:57-62 still has the Would-be Followers passage. He uses it from Q at the end of the ministry of Jesus. The event is made to occur while going through Samaria on the way to Jerusalem where he will die.

Wow! This time Baker asserts much without any proof whatsoever. If Luke copied from Mark and didn't have access to "Q" then how could he have taken material from Q if it's not part of Mark? I find it humorous. The "Q" hypothesis is not really one hypothesis but comes in multiple flavors. And there are versions where Matthew and Luke did not have access to "Q" and Mark and  where Matthew and Luke only had Mark. They all can't be true. And again a  hypothesis is only a guess not fact. And here I don't even think "hypothesis" is a good description. "Pipe Dream" seems more fitting.

As an atheistic Bible study we can show to Christians that their scripture is not inerrant since the events are changed by the editing of Mark by Matthew and Luke. We can show that a sayings source that had no contextual setting was given context by inserting its collection of Jesus sayings into Mark. Mark thus becomes a convenient context.

If Baker means atheistic Bible study is a good example of eisogesis and how one should not read anything, then  I agree that the approach is useful. 

This also demonstrates that there is nothing historical in these presentations. This approach throughout the Synoptic Gospels shows an early Mark that has an all too human Jesus who does not know who touches his robe, who gets angry with people and insults several who seek his help. He has a human temper.

Baker is pontificating. He proved no such thing. I find nothing but fantasy in his presentation and no fact. Who said Jesus was not fully human? The orthodox Christian viewpoint is that Jesus is fully human and fully God. Why wouldn't he get angry? God got angry in the Old Testament a lot. When the woman with the issue of Blood touched Him, Jesus did not know who it was for the same reason He didn't know the day or the hour of his second coming: He voluntarily limited Himself in His humanity, but that doesn't mean He ceased being God at any time. And no I would not classify Jesus' temper as human as like us. If He were He would have wiped out everyone who had a hand in his crucifixion and kangaroo trial 

Matthew removes all of this. Jesus becomes a heavenly emissary with perfect knowledge and super human powers. Luke shows him to be a divine agent similar to Matthew's restructuring. We can see the progress in a temporal manner from Q an early sayings source of a human Jewish teacher to Mark as a man adopted by God in a Gentile view. Jesus is seen as an Enochican heavenly messenger in Matthew. And finally he becomes a Gentile demi-god in Luke. John will make him a pre-existent property of God, Logos, His Wisdom and Reason.

No, Matthew gives other details that shows how  Jesus was/is the king Israel has  been waiting for. How can you see any progression from "Q" given that we don't know what was all in "Q"? Mark's goal in writing His Gospel was very different from Matthew, Luke, and John. The audience is different. Of course the details included would be different. This does not mean that there is conflict. If I tell you Sue went to the store and then I told someone else that Sue and Jane went to the store, is this a conflict? Did I lie? No, I did not. This is the nature of the differences between the Gospels.

Q becomes the only source of primary attention for a historical Jesus. It shows a human being who is not a sacrifice for salvation as in the later Gospels. It is his teachings that are the source of salvation for the original hearers who were Jewish Palestinans.

Correction "Q" could be a source of primary attention for a historical Jesus if we knew what was in "Q"  and we don't even know if such a document really existed outside of the minds of the men who dreamed it up. 

Written by Tommy G. Baker

So was Baker able to show why the Q hypothesis works and why we should accept it in understanding who Jesus is from a historical standpoint? Nope, not even close. At least Baker is trying to support his atheism by attacking the Bible instead of hiding behind a stupid charge of circular reasoning.- claiming that you can't use the Bible to prove the Bible. He seems convinced that the Bible discredits itself. Hopefully as he keeps studying the scriptures, God will open his mind and he will truly see them.

Debunking Christianity: Why the Q Hypothesis Works
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FacePalm of the Day #105 - Debunking Christianity: Who Answers Prayers?

I think that when atheists make the following arguments they miss a couple of major points. Here are statements articulated by John Loftus.

Christians claim that any prayer request granted for other believers in different religions is done by their God out of compassion, because only one God exists, theirs. The reason Christians think this, despite the fact that only prayers offered in Jesus' name are to be prayed, is because their own answered prayers have no more evidence for them as the others. So their God becomes the explanation for the answered prayers of a Muslim, or an Orthodox Jew, or a Fred Phelps, or a Roman Catholic, or a liberal Christian, or a Jehovah's Witness, or a Mormon, or a Satanist, or a Hindu. But believers in these other religions will take answered prayers as evidence that their faith is true. This means God, the Christian God, is providing confirming evidence against the truth of Christianity to other believers in false religions who will be condemned to hell. So Christian, either give up the belief that your God answers the prayers of other believers, or admit he is helping to send them to hell. And if you give up the belief that God is answering the prayers of other believers, then show us why your own answered prayers have more evidence for them than theirs.

What is missed is that it's assumed that if someone prays a prayer that unless they get what they asked for that God didn't answer their prayer. "NO" is no less an answer than "YES". The other thing that is missing is the realization if someone prays and they get what they wanted that doesn't mean that our God answered it. According to Christianity, people could be praying to and communicating with demons. If you accept what the Bible says about God and angels then you must also accept the existence of demons. We also know that God will allow demons to do things.

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. - Timothy 4:1


5 Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city. He had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. It is written,
" 'The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you.
They will lift you up in their hands.
Then you won't trip over a stone.' " —(Psalm 91:11,12)
7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "—(Deuteronomy 6:16)
8 Finally, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 "If you bow down and worship me," he said, "I will give you all of this."
10 Jesus said to him, "Get away from me, Satan! It is written, 'Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve.' "—(Deuteronomy 6:13)
11 Then the devil left Jesus. Angels came and took care of him. - Matthew 4:5-11

Debunking Christianity: Who Answers Prayers?
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