KanoOnline Online Forum

General => General Board => Topic started by: Anonymous on February 24, 2004, 09:28:32 PM

Title: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on February 24, 2004, 09:28:32 PM
I find on this site and generally amongst kano citizens there is a denial or refusal to accept the fact that there are hausas from kano who are christians which has led to there non recognition in their state of origin.  I am from kano and a christian and i find this issue very close to my heart.  Here is a site that encourages dialogue between muslims and christians on any issues partaining to their faith and treatment of others, it also has some very good links.

www.answering-islam.org

I would also hear what you think of the web site.  I strongly believe we need this kind of dialogue rather than the burning of churches and mosques.  We need to believe in the supremacy of God we can never do His job for Him, He is Almighty and can cause any thing to cease existing so we do not need to start killing each other.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on February 26, 2004, 01:56:11 AM
I hope you receive some constructive debate on this subject.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Waziri on February 27, 2004, 04:23:19 PM
Mallam, you are most welcome to k-online. But I think you are a bit on the wrong, nobody ever said here, there are no Hausa Christians or anything like that.

And concerning the link you have provided us with. I believe the kind of arguments you see on the site are not things that are new to the respondents on this Forum. Perharps if you should like scan thru' old posts both at the General Board and the Islamic Forum you would come across many posts that carry the colours of the kind of diologue you want us to be holding.

But yet it is not a bad idea if you can come up with a topic, either culled from the site you have provided us with or a string of arguments you can formulate yourself and I believe the ppl around here will be more than ready to contribute with absolute enthusiasm.

thank you and you are most welcome once and again
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: EMTL on February 27, 2004, 05:12:17 PM
Mallam, you are welcome i wish to invite you to Islam. I can supply you with some materials to know some basics about Islam.

May Allah (SWT) guide to His rightous path-amiyn.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on February 28, 2004, 10:42:41 PM
Waziri, I am glad that you say that "....i am a bit wrong..." in other words there is alot of truth.  Now understan me I never said that christians (hausas) from kano a not welcomed, however, you will agree with me it is there in the tone and suggestions made in postings.

Anyway as you suggested that i start a string of discussion on the matter, i think i have already done so with my statement questioning the thinking that drives us to burn churches and mosques and kill fellow humans all in the name of God.  It is very sad to see kano in its present state, because it is a state and place with so much potential that it will be almost imposible to comprehend.

Kano has been hijacked by religious zealots who sneak into neigbouring states and towns or areas were there is no sharia to have their alchohol and prostitutes.  I stay in zaria and kano when in nigeria and it is beyond believe how guest houses that used to be reasonablely decent have been turned into places of most despicable immorality by our muslim brothers.  In zaria from wednesday/thursday it is difficult to find accommodation 'cos these so called pious muslims are there with their alchohol and prostitutes.  Then you see these same people reciting adu'a with their beads in town insulting and inciting other muslims to attack non muslims.  I get very angry 'cos these people only oppress the masses and the fact that this is done by my own people.  All you have to do is go to Abuja, Lagos, PHC and see what is happening.

Now we have introduced sharia as a state religion what has it done in impproving the living condition of people?  We have managed to create more beggars, create a huge drop in school enrolment, withdrawal and lack of interest by serious investors etc.  It will be interesting to know the financial cost of adopting a state religion.  The action of adopting a state religion on its own is a non acceptance of other people that do not share same religious beliefs.

In 20-50 years from now when we are unable to fill our places in fedral institutions due to lack of competent people we will be demanding that requirements be lowered.  When we will not have serious economic activities 'cos people have left or refused to invest we will loose our few trained people as they would migrate to states they can get jobs!  All we have to do is look at even MAKIA how many int. flight come in or leave from there now?  Kano is economical unviable now for most international airlines, they would rather fly to Abuja, Lagos or PHC! 20 years ago it was not like that!  How many trade delegations have been to the country and how many have visited the north in particular kano?  The writing is on the wall for us there are other ways to legislate without trying to wipe out christians/christianity.  We should leave religion to the individual, you do good you will answer to God you do bad yo will answer to God!  God is the judge we must put away this holier than thou attitude and do something for our people!
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Muhammad on February 28, 2004, 11:15:24 PM
salam
Waziri mallam is not welcomed if he finds it expedient to hide his name under the guise of well we all know what.
Simple questions for mallam. You said you are from Kano, what area ?
who knows you apart from yourself ?
how is your being dan kano any more important than dialoguing with an Igbo christian?
why use a site like answering-islam knowing fully well its biases?
why invoke the supremacy of God when our concepts of God are truly dissimilar?

You see  i am being abrasive for a reason. people, perhaps yourself,  hide under the freedom internet guarantees to deceive people into believing things, which if allowed themselves, they wouldnt choose.
the only dialogue that can exist between Muslims and non muslims is for all to acknowledge the existence of the other and do nothing that is capable of threatning the existence of the other.
Finally, please dont send me any more emails because i think ou are a LIAR.
If you think I am being stupid then do this; register to become a user giving all the oppurtunity to realize you are not an imposter.
Its a challenge!
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on February 29, 2004, 09:07:51 PM
mallam mydudu

to ga ansar farko. ka chai wa ya sanni banda ni Allah Ubangijinmu ya sanni.  Bangani tambayarka ba na cewa mai ya banbantar da ne a hade da bayarabe ko ibo ko za ka iya fahintar da ne ga wannan tanbayar taka? A sha`anin kin nuna kai na ga wanan nauran zamani bari in baka labari.  Wato `yan shekaru baya (kamar shekaru 5 haka) wani amini na dan bauch daga wata baban iyali (ba zan ba da sunan sa ba) ya karbi Isa Almasihu ya zama kirsta wato ingayama sai da ya bar bauchi `yan gidan su suka ke shi.  Wato sanu sanu sai kaduna tai mai zafi sai eko nama daqi inna sai binsa akayi gaskiya sai da ya bar niajiriya gabadaya.  Ina ne ina bada shadar ko wa neke? Na san abunda wasu za su gwada yemin ko iyali na?  Kasan Ungogo? kawyemu na ungogo local govt.

I like your honesty and belief that both christians and muslims should acknowledge the existence of each other, although I am not sure of what you mean about the one not threatening the existence of the other, this you may need to explain a bit more

You are quite rite to say the christian God is different from the one of the muslims, here is an extraction on a study paper of the difference.  I am not puting this here to offend any one so if any one finds it offensive i apologise, however please comment and give clarity on areas you think there has been a misinterpretation or misunderstanding.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

A. Belief in Allah

'Say: He is Allah. the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.' (Surah 112, Al-Ikhlas, verses 1-4)

Most important to Muslims is the belief that Allah is One, Almighty, All-powerful, beyond comparison. The Bible too confirms that truth (Deut. 6:4). However, the concept of the name 'Allah' in Christianity is different from that of Islam in two areas:

i) The origin and meaning of the word

While Arab Christians view the name 'Allah' as a common name for the divine (i.e. 'God' in English, 'Theos' in Greek, 'Eloah' in Hebrew and 'Alaha' in Aramaic), Arab and Orthodox Muslims consider it as the very personal name of God allegedly revealed to Muhammad in the Quran. This view contradicts the Bible. According to Exodus 3:15, the eternal (personal) name of God is 'Yahweh'. It is never translated as 'Allah' in any Arabic Bible. The personal name of God is either kept as 'Yahweh' or translated into to 'Rrab' ('Adonai' in Hebrew, 'Kyrios' in Greek and 'LORD' in English). 'Yahweh' is never mentioned in the Quran nor does it appear in the Hadith. Therefore, Christians and Jews refused to accept him as a prophet based on Deuteronomy 18:20, where 'Yahweh' said, '...a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.' 'Allah' is not known as a common or personal name for the divine in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, the languages the Bible was first revealed in. Linguists and experts in Semetic languages are not sure if 'Allah' is a contraction of 'al-ilah' (the-god), a transliteration of 'alaha' (the-god) in Syriac or a derivation from the Babylonian 'Enlil'. There are about twenty different views as to the derivation of the name 'Allah.' The most probable is that the root is 'ilah', the past participle form, on the measure fi'al, from the verb 'ilaho' (to worship), to which this article was prefixed to indicate the supreme object of worship.' (Muheet-el.Muheet, dictionary) According to the opinion of some Muslim theologians it is infidelity (kufr) to hold that the word has any derivation whatever! But history establishes beyond the shadow of a doubt that even the pagan Arabs, before Muhammad's time, knew their chief god by the name of 'Allah' and in a sense, proclaimed his unity. (Ibn Hisham, earliest biographer of Muhammad, Sirat, Part II., p. 27) Centuries before Muhammad the Arabian Kaaba, or temple at Mecca was called 'Beit-Allah', the house of God, and not 'Beit-el-Alihet', the house of idols or gods.

ii) Allah and Yahweh God have different attributes

The description of Allah in the Quran is deistic. He is completely separate from his creation. The central Christian teaching of God's entrance into the world or of any sort of human fellowship with him is totally absent in Islam.

'The thunder hymneth His praise and (so do) the angels for awe of Him. He launcheth the thunderbolts and smiteth with them whom He will while they dispute concerning Allah, and He is mighty in wrath' (Surah 13, Al-Rad, verse 13)

This verse is a good introduction to the study of Allah's attributes; it expresses the effect Allah's attributes are intended to have and do have on His worshippers. Through fear of death and terror of Allah's mighty power the pious Muslim is all his life subject to bondage. In contrast Biblical Christianity teaches to respect God, to be in awe of him and to obey him joyfully out of thankfulness for what he has done in Jesus. The most common division of Allah's attributes are: Isam-ul-Jalaliyah and Isma-ul-Jemaliyah, terrible attributes and glorious attributes. The former are more numerous and more emphasised than the latter, not only in the Quran but in tradition and in daily life. The net total of the moral attributes is only found in two verses, which mention that Allah is Holy and Truthful in the Muslim sense of those words. God is only called once 'the Holy' in the Quran (Surah 59). Unlike in the Bible the term does not signify moral purity or perfection, 'just the complete absence of anything that would make him less than he is.' (Beidhawi) The Arabic word 'tahir' is only used in the Quran to define outward purity of the body. The Biblical idea of moral purity and utter separation from sin as a prerequisite to approaching God is unknown to the vocabulary in the Quran. Both concepts are of doubtful significance in Muslim theology while they are found throughout the Bible. What a contrast is found in it where God himself is at least 29 times described as holy. (Lev.11:44,45, 19:2, 21:8, Joshua 24:19, etc.) At least 8 times God is mentioned as being the truth. (Genesis 24:27, Exodus 34:6, etc.) While the God of the Bible is called 'just' at least 5 times (Deut. 32:4, Job 4:17, etc.) this attribute is completely missing in the account of the Quran. 'El Adl' - The Just. is only put in the list of his 99 names as found outside the Quran in traditions. The word 'Adl', Justice, occurs twelve times only in the Quran and is never used of the righteous acts of God and only once (Surah 5:115) of His words. In every other case it refers to human equity or faithfulness (Surah 4: 128). It seems Allah does not say about himself that he possesses justice as an attribute. Unlike the Biblical concept of God being inherently good (Psalm 34:8) Allah can therefore do whatever he pleases, be it good or bad. Another attribute of Allah is 'El-Hak,' the Truth. (Surah 22:62) Unlike in the Bible the Islamic concept of truth depends on the situation. According to tradition, a lie is justifiable in three cases: 'To reconcile those who quarrel, to satisfy one's wife and in case of war' (Sur. 16:106. El Hidayah, Vol. IV., p.81).

The Quran gives the reader in a measure a correct picture of God's power as displayed in nature but it has to say very little about his justice and holiness. Consequently the Islamic picture of the nature, origin, consequences and remedy of sin is almost non-existent. Sin, according to the Quran, (Surahs 4:30, 2:80, etc.) is a willful violation of known law or a conscious act committed against known law; wherefore sins of ignorance are not numbered in the catalogue of crimes. Out of this understanding great and small sins were distinguished. Some Muslim commentators say there are seven great sins: idolatry, murder, false charge of adultery, wasting the substance of orphans, usury, desertion from Jihad, and disobedience to parents. Others say there are seventeen, still others catalogue seven hundred! Small sins are regarded with utter carelessness and no qualm of conscience. Lying, deception, anger, lust and such like are all smaller and lighter offences; all these will be 'forgiven easily' if only men keep clear from great sins. The most common word used in the Quran for sin is 'thanib'. Another common term used for sin is 'haram' (forbidden). It indicates that nothing is right or wrong by nature, but only becomes such if Allah says so. What he forbids is sin, even if he forbade what seems to the human conscience right and lawful. What Allah allows is not sin and cannot be sin at the time he allows it, though it may have been before or after. (E.g.: Muttah, 4:28, the marriage of convenience still practised by Shias today, direction of prayer, 2:119, 2:145, number of daily prayers, 30:17, 11:116, drinking of alcohol, 2:216, 5:92 etc.) Muslims are forbidden to worship anyone but Allah and yet the same Allah punished Satan for not being willing to worship Adam (Surah 2:28-31) He reveals truth to his prophets, but also abrogates it, changes the message, or makes them forget it. (2:105) This practice is utterly opposed to the idea of God's immutability and truth. Allah is not subject to an absolute moral standard. He can do what he pleases. He mocks and deceives (Surahs 8:29, 3:53, 27:51, 86:15, 16:4, 14:15, 9:51)

Muhammed-al-Burkawi says: '...if all the infidels became believers and all the wicked pious he would gain nothing. And if all believers became infidels it would not cause Allah loss.' It is therefore no wonder that the Quran has no word for 'conscience'. The lack of all distinction between the ceremonial and moral law comes out most of all in the traditional sayings of the prophet. These sayings, we must remember, have nearly equal authority with the Quran itself. Take two examples:

'Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said, 'A dirham which a man knowingly receives in usury is more serious than thirty-six acts of fornication.' Ibn Abbas's version adds that he said, 'Hell is more fitting for him whose flesh is nourished by what is unlawful.' (Ahmad and Daraqutni transmitted it. Bayhaqi transmitted in Shu'ab al-Iman on the authority of Ibn Abbas.)

'Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said, 'Usury has seventy parts, the least important being that a man should marry his mother.' (Abdullah ibn Hanzalah; Abdullah ibn Abbas narrated it in Mishkat al-Masabih, Hadith number 2825)

Sin, according to Islam, is after all a matter of minor importance. It is the repetition of the creed that counts, and not the reformation of character. The repetition of the 'Kalima' makes one a true believer, so much so that if one says it accidentally or by compulsion, it would make them a Muslim. It seems that Allah does not appear bound by any standard of justice.

Allah is also described as 'El Awwal', the first, 'El-Akhir', the last, 'El-Dhabir', the substance and 'El-Batin', the essence. These four titles are known as the mother of the attributes, being regarded as fundamental and all-comprehensive. All four occur together in Surah 57:3 which makes it a great favourite among the Sufis, the mystics of Islam. With it they justify their pantheistic thoughts that God is the inside and the outside of everything. He is the phenomena (Dhahir) and the power behind the phenomena (Batin). In that the Sufis agree completely with the Hindu followers of the Vedanta school. There is only one verse, Surah 24:35, in which Allah is described as seemingly dependent on or indebted to something outside of himself. No Muslim really understands the meaning of it.

Unlike the Quran in the Bible we are asked to look at God's Oneness in terms of uniqueness rather then simply as a numerical unity. The Biblical understanding of God's Oneness can also be defined as Multiplicity within Unity, (Isaiah 46:16, 1 Timothy 3:16) a very common phenomena in creation too. (Time = past, present, future, universe = space, matter, time, nature = incredible diversity yet harmonious unity). Man has one mind, which is capable of thinking thoughts and expressing them in words. Mind, thoughts and words are one yet not exactly the same. No one can say that God has no Mind that expresses itself in Thoughts and Words. God in Mind and Thoughts and Words is one God and He never claimed that there would be two other gods beside Him or that He, the numerically One God, would reveal Himself in three parts or modes! The Unity of God in Christianity is truly representative of the Mind of God (or God the Father), His Thoughts, (or God the Holy Spirit) and His Word (God the Son). All are of the same divine essence, coequally and coeternally God, yet they have different functions.

As Christians grew in numbers the need for protection against false teachings arose. Therefore, Tertullian, a leader of the early church, summarised the biblical teaching on the nature of God by introducing the word 'Trinity' at the end of the 2nd century after the birth of Christ (AD). It is derived from the Latin 'trinitas,' being a combination of the words 'tri' for 'three' and 'unitas' for 'unity.' The Church adopted the doctrine of the Trinity at the council of Nizea in 325 and in its final form at the council of Constantinople in 381. (See also, 'The Illustrated Bible Dictionary' by F.F. Bruce, IVP Leicester, 1962, 'Trinity') The Christians definition of Trinity is based on the Bible and expressed in the Athenasian Creed as: 'We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding (mixing up) the Persons; nor dividing the Substance (Essence)' The word 'Person' is here used in the sense of 'self with a particular function.' ('The Illustrated Bible Dictionary' by F.F. Bruce, IVP Leicester, 1962, see 'person') It has to be stated emphatically that Christians do not worship three gods but one God because each member of the Godhead, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, in some sense indwells the other, without diminishing the full personhood of each. The essential unity of the Godhead, then, is found both in their inmost equality of divine characteristics and also in the intensely personal unity that comes from mutual indwelling. Thus when Jesus died at the cross, God did not cease to exist but was separated from himself regarding the relationship within the Trinity not regarding his essence. To think that God gave up a perfect relationship for a time shows how great his love towards us is!

The main stream of Christianity throughout the world believes in one God, the Holy Trinity. It is indeed a mystery, as God Himself is. Many attributes of Him are accepted, yet are simply not fully comprehensible to the human mind. We all accept that God has no beginning, yet do we understand this? 'Impossible!' the sceptic cries out, yet true. Then why should it be such a problem if there is some aspect of God's essential nature (his Trinitarian existence) which is difficult for us to grasp? C.S. Lewis, professor of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge University said: 'If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.' ('Mere Christianity', Macmillan Company, New York, 1943, page 145)

The Trinity alone answers difficult questions about the nature of God:

'How could God have been self sufficient and loving before the creation of angels and of the earth?' Since true love needs an object to whom it can give, if the Trinity of God did not exist, there would have been a time when he was incomplete, being unable to have the attribute of self giving love. This can not be true because God has always been and always will be perfect.

'Is God selfish?' Since love is described as having '...no envy;...no high opinion of itself,....no pride;...no thought for itself...(1 Corinthians 13: 4-5) some unbelievers, like John Stuart Mill, Mark Twain or Pablo Picasso have come to the conclusion that God is utterly selfish. They say that by asking us to worship nobody else but God, he himself commits the sin of seeking glory for himself only for which he condemns man. Bible believing Christians find the answer to this apparent contradiction in the Trinitarian nature of God. There he shares his glory among himself.

'Is God limited?' Of course that can not be but he who thinks of God as an absolute unity where there is no room for multiplicity at all, is forced to believe in a god who does not know himself. Self-knowledge demands a distinction, a multiplicity, between knowledge and the one who acquires it. Self-consciousness, the recognition of a creature by itself as a 'self' can only exist in contrast with an 'other', a something which is not the self. Only a Trinitarian concept of God allows for such a vital distinction.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Waziri on March 01, 2004, 02:20:19 PM
Quote
Waziri, I am glad that you say that "....i am a bit wrong..." in other words there is alot of truth.  Now understan me I never said that christians (hausas) from kano a not welcomed, however, you will agree with me it is there in the tone and suggestions made in postings.

Yes, I too never said u said that, but this is what you said:

Quote
I find on this site and generally amongst kano citizens there is a denial or refusal to accept the fact that there are hausas from kano who are christians which has led to there non recognition in their state of origin.
 

and that is what I say is not true, for nobody here ever said there are no Hausa Christians  and nobody anywhere ever said Christians are not recognized in Kano.


Quote
Anyway as you suggested that i start a string of discussion on the matter, i think i have already done so with my statement questioning the thinking that drives us to burn churches and mosques and kill fellow humans all in the name of God.

Who did you hear recently killing whom and burning what place of worship? When last did you here about any religious riot in Kano? I believe the present Shari'a Government is controlling that, no be so???  

Quote
Kano has been hijacked by religious zealots who sneak into neigbouring states and towns or areas were there is no sharia to have their alchohol and prostitutes.  I stay in zaria and kano when in nigeria and it is beyond believe how guest houses that used to be reasonablely decent have been turned into places of most despicable immorality by our muslim brothers.  In zaria from wednesday/thursday it is difficult to find accommodation 'cos these so called pious muslims are there with their alchohol and prostitutes.  Then you see these same people reciting adu'a with their beads in town insulting and inciting other muslims to attack non muslims.  I get very angry 'cos these people only oppress the masses and the fact that this is done by my own people.  All you have to do is go to Abuja, Lagos, PHC and see what is happening.

This is not true. If it is, mention names. Or are you sure that all those people you are seeing in Kaftans are Muslims??? Who told you they recite du'a??? Afterall is every person that recites du'a a Muslim??? Please support your claim.

Quote
Now we have introduced sharia as a state religion what has it done in impproving the living condition of people?

 
You and who managed to introduce Shari'a when you are not "recognized" as you claimed? Afterall  what did democracy do in improving the living condition of the Nigerian population? Is it not because we are just starting?????


Quote
We have managed to create more beggars, create a huge drop in school enrolment, withdrawal and lack of interest by serious investors etc.
 

All because we have Shari'a on ground. That is great!!!

Quote
It will be interesting to know the financial cost of adopting a state religion.


Perharps you should help bring the breakdown of the cost to our scrunitiny, that may help us to revisit our position.

Quote
The action of adopting a state religion on its own is a non acceptance of other people that do not share same religious beliefs.

Yes, that was why we hear the government saying all non-muslims should pack and leave Kano, abi???????


Quote
to ga ansar farko. ka chai wa ya sanni banda ni Allah Ubangijinmu ya sanni.  Bangani tambayarka ba na cewa mai ya banbantar da ne a hade da bayarabe ko ibo ko za ka iya fahintar da ne ga wannan tanbayar taka? A sha`anin kin nuna kai na ga wanan nauran zamani bari in baka labari.  Wato `yan shekaru baya (kamar shekaru 5 haka) wani amini na dan bauch daga wata baban iyali (ba zan ba da sunan sa ba) ya karbi Isa Almasihu ya zama kirsta wato ingayama sai da ya bar bauchi `yan gidan su suka ke shi.  Wato sanu sanu sai kaduna tai mai zafi sai eko nama daqi inna sai binsa akayi gaskiya sai da ya bar niajiriya gabadaya.  Ina ne ina bada shadar ko wa neke? Na san abunda wasu za su gwada yemin ko iyali na?  Kasan Ungogo? kawyemu na ungogo local govt.

This charge is base and ignoble which any slob headed can sit down and coin. But why not just mention names I am sure many among the foruminites here will find it adventurous. It is a brand new News.

Finally, Mallam on a very serious note. I really find  you etra-funny in your argumentations. I will want to remind you that this forum is an intellectual forum where arguments are supported with facts and reasons and if you do not have one please you do not have to bother yourself coming in to spit. You are off the hook.

Yes, I find the article you pasted above interesting and will love to respond to some few points in it. But I think you should like post it in a different thread as you can see this one is already filled with maximum sentiment.

Mallam, you are highly welcome. You are really very funny, I have never responded  to anybody in the way I am responding to you. I believe we will have a smooth ride around.

Yours Waziri
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 01, 2004, 04:20:48 PM
MALLAM IS SIMPLY HERE TO GET ATTENTION,
I HAVE READ SOME OF HIS POST IN GAMJI FARUM
DOING SAME ARGUMENT.
WELL MALLAM AM SURE IF YOU ARE KANOLICIOUS AND CHRISTIAN
YOU MUST BE A KUTURU OR ONE OF YOUR
FAMILY HAS ONE SUFFER FROM THE DISEASES.
THE MISSIONARIES WHO COME TO KANO TO
TREAT LEPROSY ARE THE ONE WHO CONVERT
SOME OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTER INTO
CHRISTIANITY.
AND I THINK THERE IS NO LAW IN KANO WHICH PREVENT
ANYONE FROM PRACTICING HIS BELIEVE.
YOU CAN BE A CHRISTIAN, PAGAN, WHAT EVER WHAT
EVER--- AND STILL AN INDIGEN OF KANO, NO ONE WILL
DENIAD YOU THAT, THE ONLY THING IS MOJORITY
ALWAYS LEAD, IN ANY CASE AND ANY
WHERE.
SO PEACE PLEASE, DO NOT COME AND RISE
ANY BLAZE IN THIS FARUM AND THEN START
SHOUTING IS THE MUSLIMS.
COS U HAVE ALREADY START ACCUSING THE MUSLIMS OF
DOING THAT AND THAT,
WHAT EVER ANY ONE DOES MUSLIMS OR CHRISTIAN
IS HIS OWN PROBLEM. STOP MESSING
RELIGION AND HUMAN INDIVIDUALITY.

HMmm!!!! WAI MALLAM :o :o
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Eskimo on March 01, 2004, 04:55:41 PM
Malam Sannu da aiki yaya almajirai?

It seems you are a graduate of that school in Kaduna for Islamic studies and I can almost swear that you read that book written by Abd al Masih of Austria titled "Islam Under the Magnifying Glass" and to be honest you either have a good - par excellence - memory or the book was right on your lap when you were writing that post!

Anyway...may be we should be taking your points one by one and be discussing them. Like it was suggested please change the topic and behave yoursself there you will get alot of replies...I promise you mine.

Please dont forget to register..We will like to interact more with a member than a mere guest.

Waiting for you.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Guduma on March 02, 2004, 10:49:46 AM
Heheheheheheheheheeee! Mallam, Mallam! Haba Mallam!!
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: madori on March 02, 2004, 05:24:15 PM
Quote
mallam mydudu

...... ka chai wa ya sanni banda ni Allah Ubangijinmu ya sanni. ?Bangani tambayarka ba na cewa mai ya banbantar da ne a hade da bayarabe ko ibo ko za ka iya fahintar da ne ga wannan tanbayar taka? A sha`anin kin nuna kai na ga wanan nauran zamani bari in baka labari. ?Wato `yan shekaru baya (kamar shekaru 5 haka) wani amini na dan bauch daga wata baban iyali (ba zan ba da sunan sa ba).... yan gidan su suka ke shi. ?Wato sanu sanu sai kaduna tai mai zafi sai eko nama daqi inna sai binsa akayi gaskiya sai da ya bar niajiriya gabadaya. ?Ina ne ina bada shadar ko wa neke? Na san abunda wasu za su gwada yemin ko iyali na? ?Kasan Ungogo? kawyemu na ungogo local govt......


Wow! from Ungogo local govt in Kano ??? No wonder your hausa is so fluent ::) Sannu mallam Bakano!
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 03, 2004, 02:25:32 AM
quote]

Mallam Bamaguje or Whatever you called yourself, barka da ziyarar kanoonline. I have glanced through the website and it is a nice one. What do you specifically want?

I think it doesn't really matter whether Mallam is a registered member or not.

It is better if you can be quoting the verses from the holy qur'an ?and the bible for clearity as you quoted surah al ikhlas, rather than mentioning or citing them.

Now to my point.

Whom do you refer to as God the son? if the answer is Jesus, then why did jesus said in mark 13:32 and i quote

However,no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or son himself. Only the father knows. (Mark 13:32)

There is also another verse 1 Timothy 2:5 and i quote

For there is one God and One mediator who can reconcile God and people. he is the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)

considering these verses, how can you say that jesus and God are equal? however let me know if ?jesus is not the one you reffered to as God the son.
 
I am referring you to the islamic section where i wrote on a topic about jesus, you may have comment(s) to make.Thank you.

Barde
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: mallm on March 03, 2004, 02:13:04 PM
mallam barde

I am sure u are joking when you suggest that qoutations be made from verses refered to from either the bible or quran, you will agree with me that that will make postings unnecessarily long and it is not a good writing style.  However if you do find that references made are wrong please feel free to highlight them.

Now to the points you raised

On th issue of God the Son I refer you to my write up regarding in this topic which you made reference to suggesting that I qoute go to the section where the Trinity was explained as best as possible. I suggest you ask me questions based on the explanations given there.

Now to Mark 13:32 you understand that the Son is part of the Trinity and while on earth was in the form of man, in His Incarnation, Jesus voluntarily accepted human limitation in submission to the Father's will.  And you would have noticed if you have been a scholar of the bible that this is the first and only time that Jesus used the title "the Son" instead of the usual "Son of Man" this revealed His own awareness of His deity and sonship.  You should also cross reference this verse with Mattew 24:36.  You must note that one of the essential teachings in christianity is that Jesus in the form of a man was exposed to all the hardship, temptations and other human frailties yet He never succumb and thus never sinned and that is what christians are called to, we can not give excuses of situations so as to commit sin we are called to be holy just as Christ was holy.  In other words we are not being called to do or experience anything Christ has not gone through and our remaining sinless is the measure of our faith in God.

About equality of God and Jesus I refer you once again to the section in my earlier posting dealing with the Trinity.  However, on the issue of 1 Timothy 2:5, you have misquoted the verse or you did not qoute from a bible 1 Timothy 2:5 reads:  For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,.... I would like you to please check again and qoute the right thing.  I would like to refer you to Deutronomy 6:4, Isaiah 44:6, Mark 12:29, John 17:3, 1 Corinthians 8:6.  I could go on and on refering you to verses in the bible proclaiming one God. Christians believe in only one God please, you should kindly read the earlier posting.  So what 1 Timothy 2:5 is telling us is that there is only one God and the only way to approach Him is through the Man who was God in flesh (Christ Jesus).

I hope i have been able to answer your questions/points, I would also like you to tackle some of the issues raised in my earlier write up.  

By the way the stlye or manner in which you refered to a Bamaguje are you implying or suggesting that they are lesser beings than you? Just a question
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 03, 2004, 03:32:31 PM
Quote
Waziri, I am glad that you say that "....i am a bit wrong..." in other words there is alot of truth. ?Now understan me I never said that christians (hausas) from kano a not welcomed, however, you will agree with me it is there in the tone and suggestions made in postings.

Anyway as you suggested that i start a string of discussion on the matter, i think i have already done so with my statement questioning the thinking that drives us to burn churches and mosques and kill fellow humans all in the name of God. ?It is very sad to see kano in its present state, because it is a state and place with so much potential that it will be almost imposible to comprehend.

Kano has been hijacked by religious zealots who sneak into neigbouring states and towns or areas were there is no sharia to have their alchohol and prostitutes. ?I stay in zaria and kano when in nigeria and it is beyond believe how guest houses that used to be reasonablely decent have been turned into places of most despicable immorality by our muslim brothers. ?In zaria from wednesday/thursday it is difficult to find accommodation 'cos these so called pious muslims are there with their alchohol and prostitutes. ?Then you see these same people reciting adu'a with their beads in town insulting and inciting other muslims to attack non muslims. ?I get very angry 'cos these people only oppress the masses and the fact that this is done by my own people. ?All you have to do is go to Abuja, Lagos, PHC and see what is happening.

Now we have introduced sharia as a state religion what has it done in impproving the living condition of people? ?We have managed to create more beggars, create a huge drop in school enrolment, withdrawal and lack of interest by serious investors etc. ?It will be interesting to know the financial cost of adopting a state religion. ?The action of adopting a state religion on its own is a non acceptance of other people that do not share same religious beliefs.

In 20-50 years from now when we are unable to fill our places in fedral institutions due to lack of competent people we will be demanding that requirements be lowered. ?When we will not have serious economic activities 'cos people have left or refused to invest we will loose our few trained people as they would migrate to states they can get jobs! ?All we have to do is look at even MAKIA how many int. flight come in or leave from there now? ?Kano is economical unviable now for most international airlines, they would rather fly to Abuja, Lagos or PHC! 20 years ago it was not like that! ?How many trade delegations have been to the country and how many have visited the north in particular kano? ?The writing is on the wall for us there are other ways to legislate without trying to wipe out christians/christianity. ?We should leave religion to the individual, you do good you will answer to God you do bad yo will answer to God! ?God is the judge we must put away this holier than thou attitude and do something for our people!
Mallam,

 You said people are leaving Kano, another christian freind also told me that they also use to travel from Zamfara and Sokoto states too every wednesday and thursday to Zaria, let us assume it is true, the reason why they are trooping to Zaria is because the Sharia there is not very effective, once it is in full force they will migrate together with their collaborators to some where else. As times goes on they will start contemplating going because of the distance, the nature of our roads, arm robbers ?couple with the fact that a litre of petrol is now something else. These factors will prevent them from travelling on a weekly basis instead they will start going forthnightly or may be monthly, it will reach a stage where they will give up completely.

That is the logic behind the implementation of Sharia, it is not just after stonning to death or chopping people's hand, the aim is to deter people from committing all these vices, like the Hausa's say Gani ga wane ya'ishi wane tsoron Allah.

We all agree that there are some lapses but with time every thing will be in order. You acknowledge the fact that people travel all the way from Kano to Zaria which is more than 100 miles, is a step ahead towards the right direction, with time all the cities will be rid of immoral activities. Sharia is not the kind of Democracy we are having,where everything is going from bad to worse and the people in charge are telling us that the democracy is at its infancy.

 I will be very grateful if you can tell us how christianity and christians are being wiped out by the introduction of the Sharia legal system. Christians are just scared of the fastest growing religion in the world and they have shown us their level of intolerence, muslims have tolerated you for donkey years, almost every system in Nigeria is christianity schools, offices, e.t.c and now to allow us practice something that is part of us has become a problem. Like i said in one of my posts, if sharia would be given a differrent name am sure all those who are making noise will keep their mouth shut.

You also talked about MAKIA, karya kake yi !!! It is because the Federal government has neglected the airport as part of thier effort to see the end of Northern Nigeria, go and confirm the last time they renovated the place, although am out of Nija presently, may be they decided to renovate it while am aware.

And now to the issue of going to Lagos, PHC and Abuja. You want to tell me that Kano is more volatile that those places? Haba Mallam, Kaji tsoron Allah Karya fa babu kyau ko a christianity. I know Abuja is relatively safer because of the sit of power inspite of that hoodlums don dey hijack the city, take a visit to area one or Berger junction from six or seven o'clock in the evening, you will see for your eyes, not even to mention places like Nyanya,Maraba, lugbe e.t.c. I will not even waste my time talking about lagos. I dont know much of PHC but from the news we are hearing, the city is not anything commendable.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Muhammad on March 03, 2004, 05:21:13 PM
salam
mallam (how i hate calling you this) it should now be clear that you, your message, your creed and  your deceitfulness has been discredited.
You have made some very fundamental mistakes in misjudging your ability to deceive. you see, my asking you to register, was a ploy to ascertain the extent to which you will, sheeply to say the least, yield to pressure to do things you don't feel like doing. Initially, you came here anonymously thinking you could just post garbage and capture peoples attention.
It failed.
That you registered meant you have shred main one cornerstone of your belief: ie cut and run. By regsitering and not including your contact info confims your malicious nature. One even asks "whats the point of registering if you are hiding such crucial info as geo location?"
Now I am thinking, if indeed you were once a muslim, that its your willingness to crave attention and yield to harmeless pressure that made join the church By the way, which church will that be?
There are few prominent kanawa who are now christians and proud of it by not hiding their belief. Again, if it's true you will know Sanusi Karaye, my sec school Vice principal.
Challenge: do you know him? if yes, which school was that.
If you cannot answer this questions, then it will confirm my suspicions, that is, you and Obasanjo are running Nigeria aground together.
ciao  
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: mallm on March 03, 2004, 08:11:29 PM
Haji Barde

Barka da yau, ina fata kana lafiya.  Ok it appears once a again you did not read my write up you glanced at it.  What i said was people leave places like Kano and Zamfara to Zaria to indulge in all the undiserable vices.  Another thing you must note in my write up is that sharia in itself is not what the problem or issue is rather the adopting it (or any other religious law for that matter) as a state religion.  I hope you do get the difference. Again I wll be very intetrested to know where yo got the idea that i said christians and christianity are being wiped out.  You also said that sharia is not the kind of democracy were are having were things are getting from bad to worse (I am not an OBJ fan on the state of the nation I agree with you), you acknowledged that there are some lapses in the sharia implementation process however with time hopefully things will be ok, but why do you think that democracy in nigeria does not also need time to be ok or better?

Now on the issue of deterants, I agree with you that there alot of things have to be dealt with, i suppose that one of the mistake that some muslims in nija make is to think that christians are against all the provisions of sharia law, it is completely wrong.  For instance alot of the neccessary laws required to check social ills in the state could be enacted and enforced without resorting to the adoption of a state religion.  Issues of alcohol and prostitution must really be handled seriously, you do not need sharia to deter people you need to be serious about an office and ensure that the law is enforced justly and fairly.  In the US alcohol consumption under certain circumstances and conditions is a crime and is dealt with seriously so is prostitution in some states in the US, people go to jail for these offences and they (the offences) could actually destroy a persons feature.  Now where I live, it is an offence to be seen drinking on the streets, you are arrested charge then fined or jailed, now these are not islamic countries or countries under sharia, we could on such basis develope our on laws and punishment.  One of the things I find appalling is the proliferation of drinking places in kano and especially in sabon gari, now we do not need sharia to know that we need real and proper laws to regulate these drinking places.

It is not true that christainity has been dominant in Nigeria that is a big LIE! The problem with most of our muslim brothers is that you are not able to diffrentiate western culture from christainity, western laws and christian laws the two are as far apart as the east is from the west.  Nigeria has never had christian rule or education (apart maybe in missionary schools, still there it is a mixture of western education system and christain education).  So maybe you would like to give me some examples of the domination you are talking about.

As to the volatility of some of the places you mentioned I am abit confused on what you are talking about since I never refered to any place based on the safety of the place. Only twice were references made to Lagos, PHC, and Abuja.  The first time was with respect to the behaviour of some of our people (hausas) especially hausa muslims in those cities, whom have left arewa to work there, and i may agree with you that my statement may not have been very clear.  The only other place was when I discussed investment and I think international investors or travellers, so please get your facts right they are right in front of you.

I do hope I have answered you by the way I expected you to comment on my response regarding who is Jesus and also you comments, observations etc with regard to my posting on the Difference between the Christain God and the Muslim God, you may be able to through some more light on some of the issues raised.  Please be factual and give references.

-------------------------------------------------------------
myadudu

Ba yanda zakayi da ni ko kaki kokaso zaman nan dai ta zama dole

do you know the meaning of mallam? that is just by the way

You sit in your previlaged position in the US able to make your choices freely, not bother about what to eat or wear and you make all these noise? shame on you! By the way seeing that you are crediting yourself with being the one to persued me to join do you mind just checking my joining date you are free to get the information from the admin and please post that date on the group for all to see (hmm it will be interesting)    
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 03, 2004, 11:40:58 PM
Mallam? Sannu Mallam mai sauka dubu ;D
Why not father or pastor? So that we can know you are
christian for real.
to if you really are, sai ince Allah yashiryaka ya nuna maka hanyar gaskiya.

Kai! kai!! kai!!! Allah wadan naka ya lalace.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 04, 2004, 02:18:03 AM
Quote
mallam barde

I am sure u are joking when you suggest that qoutations be made from verses refered to from either the bible or quran, you will agree with me that that will make postings unnecessarily long and it is not a good writing style. ?However if you do find that references made are wrong please feel free to highlight them.

Now to the points you raised

On th issue of God the Son I refer you to my write up regarding in this topic which you made reference to suggesting that I qoute go to the section where the Trinity was explained as best as possible. I suggest you ask me questions based on the explanations given there.

Now to Mark 13:32 you understand that the Son is part of the Trinity and while on earth was in the form of man, in His Incarnation, Jesus voluntarily accepted human limitation in submission to the Father's will. ?And you would have noticed if you have been a scholar of the bible that this is the first and only time that Jesus used the title "the Son" instead of the usual "Son of Man" this revealed His own awareness of His deity and sonship. ?You should also cross reference this verse with Mattew 24:36. ?You must note that one of the essential teachings in christianity is that Jesus in the form of a man was exposed to all the hardship, temptations and other human frailties yet He never succumb and thus never sinned and that is what christians are called to, we can not give excuses of situations so as to commit sin we are called to be holy just as Christ was holy. ?In other words we are not being called to do or experience anything Christ has not gone through and our remaining sinless is the measure of our faith in God.

About equality of God and Jesus I refer you once again to the section in my earlier posting dealing with the Trinity. ?However, on the issue of 1 Timothy 2:5, you have misquoted the verse or you did not qoute from a bible 1 Timothy 2:5 reads: ?For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,.... I would like you to please check again and qoute the right thing. ?I would like to refer you to Deutronomy 6:4, Isaiah 44:6, Mark 12:29, John 17:3, 1 Corinthians 8:6. ?I could go on and on refering you to verses in the bible proclaiming one God. Christians believe in only one God please, you should kindly read the earlier posting. ?So what 1 Timothy 2:5 is telling us is that there is only one God and the only way to approach Him is through the Man who was God in flesh (Christ Jesus).

I hope i have been able to answer your questions/points, I would also like you to tackle some of the issues raised in my earlier write up. ?

By the way the stlye or manner in which you refered to a Bamaguje are you implying or suggesting that they are lesser beings than you? Just a question


Mallam,

I dont meant that Maguzawa are lesser beings, so dont misquote me.

You have not answered any of my questions, let me for the sake of clarity narrow everything down. What do you mean by the COMBINATION OF THE WORDS 'TRI' for THREE? (emphasis mine). If i get you right, you said God the father, God the son and God the holy spirit make up one God and you also said Jesus (who is God the son) died on the cross, now would you agree with me if i put it to you that your God was incomplete for three days? since God the son was killed and he was part of the single God?.

You said i misquoted 1 Timothy 2:5, i want to tell you that i have not misquoted anything according to the version of the bible am using, if you like, you can confirm, here are the details Holy bible (New living translation), Gift and Award Edition Copyright 1997 Tydale House publishers, Inc. or may be you are using an obsolete version of the bible since mine is the latest, new- fashioned, modernist, ultra- modern, up-to-date,up-to-minute version.

You need to make some more explanations on what you mean by EQUALITY (emphasis mine), if you explain that, then we can proceed from there.

I will tackle each and every bit of what you talked about inshaAllah eventhough am kind of busy but inshaAllah i will respond to them.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 04, 2004, 04:57:31 AM
Quote
Haji Barde

Barka da yau, ina fata kana lafiya. ?Ok it appears once a again you did not read my write up you glanced at it. ?What i said was people leave places like Kano and Zamfara to Zaria to indulge in all the undiserable vices. ?Another thing you must note in my write up is that sharia in itself is not what the problem or issue is rather the adopting it (or any other religious law for that matter) as a state religion. ?I hope you do get the difference. Again I wll be very intetrested to know where yo got the idea that i said christians and christianity are being wiped out. ?You also said that sharia is not the kind of democracy were are having were things are getting from bad to worse (I am not an OBJ fan on the state of the nation I agree with you), you acknowledged that there are some lapses in the sharia implementation process however with time hopefully things will be ok, but why do you think that democracy in nigeria does not also need time to be ok or better?

Now on the issue of deterants, I agree with you that there alot of things have to be dealt with, i suppose that one of the mistake that some muslims in nija make is to think that christians are against all the provisions of sharia law, it is completely wrong. ?For instance alot of the neccessary laws required to check social ills in the state could be enacted and enforced without resorting to the adoption of a state religion. ?Issues of alcohol and prostitution must really be handled seriously, you do not need sharia to deter people you need to be serious about an office and ensure that the law is enforced justly and fairly. ?In the US alcohol consumption under certain circumstances and conditions is a crime and is dealt with seriously so is prostitution in some states in the US, people go to jail for these offences and they (the offences) could actually destroy a persons feature. ?Now where I live, it is an offence to be seen drinking on the streets, you are arrested charge then fined or jailed, now these are not islamic countries or countries under sharia, we could on such basis develope our on laws and punishment. ?One of the things I find appalling is the proliferation of drinking places in kano and especially in sabon gari, now we do not need sharia to know that we need real and proper laws to regulate these drinking places.

It is not true that christainity has been dominant in Nigeria that is a big LIE! The problem with most of our muslim brothers is that you are not able to diffrentiate western culture from christainity, western laws and christian laws the two are as far apart as the east is from the west. ?Nigeria has never had christian rule or education (apart maybe in missionary schools, still there it is a mixture of western education system and christain education). ?So maybe you would like to give me some examples of the domination you are talking about.

As to the volatility of some of the places you mentioned I am abit confused on what you are talking about since I never refered to any place based on the safety of the place. Only twice were references made to Lagos, PHC, and Abuja. ?The first time was with respect to the behaviour of some of our people (hausas) especially hausa muslims in those cities, whom have left arewa to work there, and i may agree with you that my statement may not have been very clear. ?The only other place was when I discussed investment and I think international investors or travellers, so please get your facts right they are right in front of you.

I do hope I have answered you by the way I expected you to comment on my response regarding who is Jesus and also you comments, observations etc with regard to my posting on the Difference between the Christain God and the Muslim God, you may be able to through some more light on some of the issues raised. ?Please be factual and give references.

-------------------------------------------------------------
myadudu

Ba yanda zakayi da ni ko kaki kokaso zaman nan dai ta zama dole

do you know the meaning of mallam? that is just by the way

You sit in your previlaged position in the US able to make your choices freely, not bother about what to eat or wear and you make all these noise? shame on you! By the way seeing that you are crediting yourself with being the one to persued me to join do you mind just checking my joining date you are free to get the information from the admin and please post that date on the group for all to see (hmm it will be interesting) ? ?

Haba mallam why are you so forgetful? you just wrote something and then suddenly, you deny writing it, anyway let me quote what you said,

'The writing is clear on the wall for us there are other ways to legislate without trying to wipe out christians/chriatianity'

is that not your statement? could you please verify if at all you wrote something like that? if you agree it's your statement, then go ahead and answer my question.

 I was trying to make it clearer to you that Allahamdulillah, there are some achievements on the implementation of sharia, it has started justifying its existence. Not like our kind of democracy.

The northern Nigeria has been islamic, in the full sense of the term for centuries, even before the coming of the europeans, the north had a complete system peculiar to its history, tradition and religion until the amalgamation of of the Northen and southern Nigeria which i considered the greatest harm that was done to us, we were rubbed of our religion, culture e.t.c. To muslims, if anything is fundamental to his/her life and death, it is the shari'a. Most people, including Mallam, as i was made to understand from his write- up, erraneously considered islam to be just a religion among other religions, it is not. Islam is not like any other religion where one can be for example, a christian and be perfectly happy in a secular society.

 I will be very gald if Mallam will tell us ?the proportion of Muslims to christians In northern Nigeria with particular reference to Kano state. You want to tell me that those who are the majority does not have any right to clamour for what ever they want? Mind you we are now in a civil rule. Have you heard of any muslim clamouring for sharia in places like Anambra or Akwa ibom states? I still don't see any reason why Sharia shouldn't be allowed in those states that so wished to have it? Mallam please enlighten me as i cant see any reason for that.

Let me flash your mind back to What Obasanjo and the then Minister for Justice Olusegun Agagu (both of them christians), they said that whoever is aggrieved because of sharia implementation is free to migrate to any part of the country he feels like.

You claimed that kano state has been sidelined by investors because of the sharia (which i assumed according to your write-up makes the state unsafe for investors) that is why i said the places you mentioned too are not better off than Kano. I will be very grateful if you can give us the statistics of the number of investors in the states you mentioned, who dumped kano state because of its sharia.

Christianity has been dorminant, YES!!! if i should ask you, how many public schools or public offices are operating on sundays?, new year nko? don't forget that we also have our own calendar which of course has a new year, Mallam should tell me whether our new year has been recognised. Thanks to Sharia, i learnt that Governor Shekarau has declared the 1st of muharram as public holiday which is a sign of better days ahead for muslims, which i believe people like mallam doesn't want.?These are just a few. please enlighten me if am mistaken the aforementioned as western culture.
Title: 1. INTRODUCTION Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: mallm on March 04, 2004, 02:08:44 PM
Barde

You see one of the things you do is exactly what lots of false teachers do.  That is you take a verse and make it the whole story. Their is no book that can interpret the bible better thatn the bible that is why in christianity cross referencing is a vital part of bible study.  What you do is like picking a sub task in a project plan and saying you now know the project, it is impossible. Ask the question and look for the answer in the bible ask for explanations were you do not understand.  For I tell you the bible interprets itself, but as Jesus reponded to the Pharases in the book of John you can see it is not always that people ask questions to be enlighted or to understand an issue but rather to try and ridicule, so my friend motive is very important!  Here is a study that tries to explain the Trinity, but I can assure you you are not the only one who is confounded by it, however I can tell you this that it is not difficult if you know God or open you heart in all honesty and truth to look for Him.  I suggest you print this and study it closer.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Part 1

1. INTRODUCTION

The main stream of Christianity throughout all the world believes in one God, the Holy Trinity. It is indeed a mystery, as God Himself is. Many attributes of Him are accepted by both Muslims and Christians, yet are simply not fully comprehensible to the human mind. We all accept that God has no beginning, yet do we understand this? The common question asked by children, 'If God made everything, who made God?' is just as puzzling to adults. Muslims and Christians believe that God is independent of space and time, yet how on earth can we satisfactorily explain how this might be? How is it that God can be nearer to us than our most secret thought, yet be this for the billions of other people on earth just as much simultaneously? These confusing facts apply also to all people in history and the times to come. 'Impossible!' the sceptic cries out, yet true. Then why should it be such a problem if there is some aspect of God's essential nature (his Trinitarian existence) which is difficult for us to grasp? Someone said, 'if you can understand it then be sure it is not God.' Both, the Bible and the Quran speak about God anthropomorphically (human terms are used to describe him). Orthodox Muslims do not explain the 'how'. Similarly, it is a fact that God's word was revealed in a book, but how the infinite can be expressed in the finite is not clarified. Let us now set the basic framework for our study. The Bible categorically pronounces that there is only one God!

Jesus: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.' (Mar 12:29, or Rom 3:29-30, Jam 2:19)

The Quran too testifies that Jews and Christians, the people of the Book, believe in one God. Surah 29, Ankabut, verse 46:

'And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury); But say, 'We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our God and your God is One; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).'

A. CLARIFYING MISUNDERSTANDINGS

The blasphemous idea of Christians worshipping three gods comes from a wrong understanding of the Trinity. In the fifth century AD there was a Christian cult called Maryanya which spread the false belief that Jesus and his mother Mary would be two separate gods besides God. The Quran was right to speak out against such impiety. Surah 5 Ma'idah, verse 116:

'And behold! Allah will say: 'O Jesus, the son of Mary, didst thou say unto men, 'Worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah?' He will say: 'Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, though I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.'

To say, as the minority cult of the Maryanyas did, that Mary was the mother of God through whom He produced a physical son, and both were to be taken as separate gods besides God, is absurd! This ludicrous and heathen concept of the Trinity is completely condemned by both Islam and Christianity! The Quran rejects it in clear terms in Surah 4, Al Nisa, verse 171. The triads of gods worshipped by pagans are always three separate gods, not one God. In addition to this big difference to the Biblical concept of Trinity, non-Christian Trinitarian beliefs are mostly three gods at the top of a list of many other gods. The Trinity has also been misunderstood to mean that God is three persons and only one person at the same time and in the same sense. Neither are there three substances in one substance.

2. EXPLORING THE TRUE CONCEPT OF TRINITY

A. Biblical facts as basis for Trinity

While the word 'Trinity' does not appear in the Bible the concept of it is quiet clearly taught throughout its pages. Similarly, the Muslim Creed, known as 'Kalimah' does not occur in the Quran. The whole sentence is put together from two different Surahs. Muslims call Allah 'El Adl', meaning 'the Just', 'El Wajid', meaning 'The Inventor or Maker', 'Edh Dhur', meaning 'The Harmful', etc. based on the list of the 99 names of God. However these words are nowhere found in the Quran but Muslims still accept these attributes as belonging to God. (see 'The Muslim doctrine of God', by S.M. Zwemer, American tract Society, 1905, pages 39-45) Let us now examine the verses in the Bible upon which the teaching of the Trinity is built.

'Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.' (Deu 6:4-5)

Firstly we need to look at the definition of the word 'one'. 'The idea is not, Jehovah (later translated as 'LORD') our God is one (the only) God, but 'one Jehovah'...(it) simply states that it is to Him alone that the name Jehovah rightfully belongs, that He is the one absolute God, to whom no other Elohim can be compared. This is also the meaning of the same expression in Zechariah 14: 9, 'Jehovah will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Jehovah, and His name one' where the words added 'and His name one,' can only signify that in the future Jehovah would be acknowledged as the one absolute God, as King over all the earth' (Keil-Delitsch Commentary)

'The word used for 'one' is the ordinary Hebrew numeral. God is all on his own. He has no 'relations'. As far as his Godhead is concerned he is alone, unique.... Some passages use plural forms for God. One form of the name for God, Elohim, is itself plural. This is remarkable in view of the Old Testament emphasis on the unity of God. It cannot be explained as a plural of 'majesty'; this was entirely unknown to the Hebrews. It has been seen as on a level with the words for 'water' and 'heaven', which both also happen to be in the plural in Hebrew. Water can be thought of in individual raindrops or in terms of the mass of water in the ocean. The plural in this case points to 'diversity in unity'. Some believe that the same is true of the plural 'Elohim'. But there are also passages where God speaks of himself in the plural. We find them in particular in the first chapters of Genesis.

'God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...'

and,

'The Lord God said, 'Now the man has become like one of us...'

But we find it also in Isaiah's vision:

'And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' (Lion Bible, article on 'The Trinity in the Bible' by Klaas Runia)

The following verses teach also that Jehovah, God the Holy Trinity is His own community built upon a loving relationship as the essence of reality. It brings forth a perfect and beautiful unity:

'In the beginning God ('elohim', plural, the Father) created ('bara' singular verb) the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, (God the Son who is known as His word in Joh 1:1 through whom he created all things according to Col 1:16)

'Let there be light,' and there was light.' (Gen 1:1-3)

'...hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there. And now the Lord GOD has sent me and his Spirit.' (Isa 48:16)

Ultimately, these verses find their fulfilment in Jesus (Joh 10:36, Luk 4:1,14,18).

'I will tell of the kindness of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us - yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindness. He said, 'Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me'; and so he became their Saviour. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.' (Isa 63:7-10)

There are a number of verses in the New Testament that call Jesus and the Holy Spirit God, besides God the Father. (Joh 8:58, compare with Exo 3:14; Act 5:3-4 etc.) In the light of this truth the following verses are understood to be speaking about the Trinity:

'And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.' (Mat 3:16-17)

'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular!) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,...' (Mat 28:19)

'May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.' (2 Cor 13:13)

'Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.' (1 Pet 1:1-2)

In Acts 2:38, 8:16, 19:4 people are baptized in the name of Jesus only. Since Jesus is now included in a way he was not in John's baptism (19:4), the abbreviated form is used in the beginning to emphasize the distinctive quality of the new baptism. For more verses speaking about the Trinity when one considers the Biblical context see, Ephesians 4:4-6, 5:18-20, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, Romans 8:9-11.

B. Doctrine of Trinity explained

The word 'Trinity' is derived from the Latin 'trinitas,' being a combination of the words 'tri' for 'three' and 'unitas' for 'unity.' The Christians definition of Trinity based on verses like the above is expressed in the Athenasian Creed:

'We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding (mixing up) the Persons; nor dividing the Substance (Essence)'

The word 'Person' is here used in the sense of 'self with a particular function.' ('The Illustrated Bible Dictionary' by F.F. Bruce, IVP Leicester, 1962, see 'person') It has to be stated emphatically that Christians do not worship three gods but one God because '...each member of the Godhead in some sense indwells the other, without diminishing the full person hood of each. The essential unity of the Godhead, then, is found both in their intrinsic equality of divine characteristics and also in the intensely personal unity that comes from mutual indwelling.' ('The self-giving triune God, the imago dei and the nature of the local church: an ontology of mission', paper by J. Scott Horrell, Th.D, professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary)

Thus when God the Son died at the cross, God did not cease to exist but was separated from himself regarding the relationship within the Trinity not regarding his essence. To think that God gave up a perfect relationship for a time shows how great his love towards us is!

'It is held that although the doctrine is beyond the grasp of human reason, it is, like many of the formulations of physical science, not contrary to reason, and may be apprehended though it may not be comprehended by the human mind.' (See, 'Encyclopedia Americana', 'Trinity', by F.C. Grant, Danbury, Con.: Americana Corp., 1980) The Trinity of God, like many other facts about him does not have to be understood fully, but to be believed in. Faith, the simple childlike trust that God is and acts as he revealed himself in the Bible, is sufficient for salvation. Similarly, one does not have to understand how a Television set works in order to enjoy a program about nature. A simple touch of the right button will bring about the blessing.

The danger one faces when confronted with extreme or complicated ideas, is, 'to throw the baby out with the bath-water,' this means to reject everything about a matter, even the true and the good. Here is what C.S. Lewis, professor of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge University has to say about such an attitude: 'If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.' ('Mere Christianity', Macmillan Company, New York, 1943, page 145)

C. Illustrations

When it comes to finding illustrations for the Trinity, to explain that which can be apprehended but not comprehended, one can easily fall into modalism. This is a false teaching holding that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were three successive 'modes' in which the one God manifested himself to bring salvation to the world. It would mean that God the Father was made flesh, died, and rose from the dead. The Biblical teaching, however, is that Jesus, God the Son took on a human nature died and rose again from the dead. Jesus is a person, in the sense of self with a particular function, distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. The oneness is still maintained by stressing the fact that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are of the same substance or essence. As mentioned before each member of the Godhead is indwellt with the other which further confirms God's oneness. Keeping this important difference in mind, the following examples have to be viewed as applicable only in a limited way.

In trying to come to terms with this subtlety it will be helpful to realize that everything in this world consists of a kind of Trinity, namely substance, form and purpose! To put this statement to the test let us think of a pencil. Like everything else it is made out of a substance that is formed into something, in our case into a pencil. Its purpose is to enable people to write, in the same way as all other things have some purpose!

The geometric illustration of the Trinity is found in a triangle. The tree corners are inseparable and simultaneous. The one that represents Jesus is touched by a circle that stands for his human nature, whereas the corner indicates his divine nature. (Phil 2: 5 -11) Questions and apparent contradictions regarding Jesus being God (e.g. 'How can God eat, die, etc. like Jesus?') are easily solved by taking his two natures into consideration. What he did in one he did not in the other.
You, dear reader, have got a body, a soul and a spirit according to Hebrews 4:12. Yet, in spite of this you are unique, you are the only one who is like you in the whole wide world.

Nature is another example where we find diversity within unity. On one hand one can find nowhere a bigger variety. When God created flowers he did not just design red roses. There are countless different forms, shapes and colours. On the other hand is nature's unity evident in the fact that the extinction of one kind of animal effects many others.
St. Augustine, an early church father, compared the Trinity with love that involves a lover, the loved one and a spirit of love between them.

It may also be valuable to see the one universe as made of space, matter and time.

Time by itself consists of past, present and future. If any one of these is removed then universe and time will cease to be!
Fire generates heat and light. Thus fire, with its light and heat is one thing that has different functions.

Multiplicity in unity is a very common phenomena. This kind of spiritual unity which reflects the Biblical understanding of the Trinity is distinguished from mathematical unity where 1+1+1 = 3. In mathematical terms one could compare Trinity with 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.

'Further, some have pointed to the fact that Muhammad was simultaneously a prophet, a husband, and a leader. Why then should a Muslim reject the idea of a plurality of functions (persons) in God.' ('Answering Islam', by N.L. Geisler&Abdul Saleeb, Baker Books U.S.A. 1993, page 269)

This brings us to another analogy for the truth of the Trinity, that of man's mind. He has one mind, which is capable of thinking thoughts and expressing them in words. Mind, thoughts and words are one. No one can say that God has no Mind that expresses itself in Thoughts and Words. God in Mind and Thoughts and Words is one God and He never claimed that there would be two other gods beside Him! The Trinity of Christianity is truly representative of the Mind of God (commonly referred to as God the Father), His Thoughts, (commonly referred to as God the Holy Spirit) and His Word (commonly referred to as God the Son). In the Gospel according to John we read: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word (Greek: Logos) was God. He was with God in the beginning...' The Word became flesh (in Jesus) and made his dwelling among us. (Joh 1:1,14) The context shows clearly that Jesus is God in the flesh: He was in the beginning, that means he is not created, he is eternal as God is eternal. Verse three states that through Jesus, the Word, all things were made, that means that he is God the Creator. Some people have doubted that Jesus is really called God in this verse because in the Greek language the first word for 'God', 'ton theon' is different from the second, 'theos'. However in Greek it does not suggest this sort of shift in meaning. 'This can be seen by reading other passages in the New Testament where 'theos' appears in the same context both with and without the definite article, yet with no change in meaning (Joh 3:2, 13:3, Rom 1:21, 1 The 1:9, Heb 9:14, 1 Pet 4:10-11). Whenever the word 'theos' is used in the same construction, it always clearly refers to the true God (Mar 12:27, Luk 20:38, Joh 8:54, Phi 2:13, Heb 11:16, 'Why you should believe in the Trinity', by R.M. Bowman,Jr., Baker Book House, 1993, pages 93-94) The 'word' proceeds from the 'mind'. Both words derive their meaning from the Greek original 'Logos'. The word 'Logos' has many meanings. One form 'Logo' gives us the English 'logic', which means not just ordinary speech (words), but mind expressed or intelligent expression. God created the world by His intelligent Mind, or by His Thoughts, or by His Word, all of which mean the same. For God and His mind are the same being. An example of this is when we say, 'We solved the problem with our minds.' Is it us who solved it or our minds? Both are essentially the same thing. This distinction between us and our mind is merely intellectual and does not involve separation but difference of function. Likewise, when we speak about God, His Mind of which His Thought and Word proceeds, we are not separating them, but only clarifying the issue.
The last illustration finds support in the Quran where Jesus is called 'a Word from God'. Surah 3, Ali 'Imran, verse 45:

Behold! the angels said: 'O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him; his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah;...'

The English translation uses the relative pronoun 'his' to render a masculine personal pronoun in the Arabic language. Since 'Kalima' (Arabic for 'word') is in the feminine gender it becomes clear that 'a word' does not just mean 'a word of language' but a person! We also find this clarified in the sayings of one of the Muslim scholars. ('Fusus al Hukm', Part II, pages 13,36, by Al Shaikh Muhyi al Din al 'Arabi)

The Bible speaks about the Holy Spirit being God:

'Then Peter said, 'Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit...You have not lied to men but to God.' (Act 5:3,4)

In a similar way the Quran (Surah 4, Al Nisa, verse 171) mentions Jesus as being a Spirit proceeding from God! In other parts people are described as having been strengthened with a spirit from God (Surah 58, Al Mujadilah, verse 22). At the creation Allah has breathed into man of His spirit (Surah 15, Al-Hijr, verse 29), but Jesus only IS the Spirit from Allah! This is why Islamic tradition calls Jesus 'Ruhullah', that means 'Spirit of Allah'. Neither the Spirit of Allah (the Thoughts) nor the Word (the mind expressed) of Him can have been created since whatever proceeds from God Himself is part of Him and must therefore have existed eternally. If God was without Mind at any time He would not be God; or if he was without Thoughts at any time He would cease to be the Almighty One which is impossible! Muslim theology confirms this belief by stating that the Quran is uncreated and has existed in eternity with God. There again we find plurality within unity, something that is other then God but it is at the same time one with God.

D. Trinity answers difficult questions about God

The concept of God being a unique community within Himself stands in opposite to the Muslim concept of Allah being one in the strict numerical sense of the word. This Muslim understanding raises three questions:

i) 'How could Allah have been self sufficient and loving before the creation of angels and of the earth?' Since true love is always giving and Allah according to Islam is a lone God, according to logic there must have been a time where he was incomplete, where he could not have had the attribute of love? However, according to both the Quran and the Bible, God has always been and always will be perfect.

ii) 'Is Allah selfish?' Since love is described as having '...no envy;...no high opinion of itself,....no pride;...no thought for itself...(1 Cor 13: 4-5) some people like sceptic John Stuart Mill, Mark Twain or Pablo Picasso have come to the conclusion that God is utterly selfish. They say that by asking us to worship nobody else but God, he himself commits the sin of seeking glory for himself only for which he condemns man. While many Muslims would say that Allah, the creator can be selfish if he wants, Bible believing Christians find the answer to this apparent contradiction in the Trinitarian nature of God. He shares his glory among himself.

iii) 'Is God limited?' Of course that can not be, but he who thinks of God as an absolute unity where there is no room for multiplicity at all, is forced to believe in a god who does not know himself. Self-knowledge demands a distinction, a multiplicity, between knower and known. Self-consciousness, the recognition of a creature by itself as a 'self' can only exist in contrast with an 'other', a something which is not the self. Only a Trinitarian concept of God allows for such a vital distinction.

E. Doctrine of Trinity held by early Christians

Tertullian, an early church father, used the word 'Trinity' the first time at the end of the 2nd century after the birth of Christ (AD) The Church adopted it as an official doctrine at the council of Nizea in 325 and in its final form at the council of Constantinople in 381 to defend Christianity against false teachings. (See also, 'The Illustrated Bible Dictionary' by F.F. Bruce, IVP Leicester, 1962, 'Trinity')

However, the content of the Trinitarian doctrine has been believed in and taught about by Christian writers living before the council of Nizea already. They do not always reflect the general theological beliefs of common Christians of their day but nevertheless give some indication regarding doctrinal issues. Statements in support of the Trinity were made by:

Justin, martyred 165 AD: 'The Father of the Universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God.' (see, Justin Martyr, First Apology 63, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to AD 325, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, rev.ed. A. Cleveland Coxe (Grand Rapids: William B. Eedmans Publishing Co., 1969 reprint, 1:184; hereafter cited as ANF.)

'Christians worship God the Father, the Son (who came forth from Him...), and the prophetic Spirit.' (Justin Martyr, First Apology 6 in ANF, 1:164)

Irenaeus, 130-200 AD: 'The Church has its faith in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God...Christ Jesus, is our Lord and God and Saviour, and King.' (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.10.1, in ANF, 1:330)

Clement of Alexandria, 200 AD: 'Christ is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son.' (Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen 10, in ANF, 2:202)

3. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES TRINITY MAKE ?

At one stage in the growing up process of my daughter she developed a new phrase that soon became her favourite saying, thankfully only for a short time. When she was told to come in for dinner after play she would often fearlessly proclaim, 'so what?' That was her way of saying, 'what you are saying is irrelevant to me. I want to continue playing outside.' She thought wrongly what we were asking her to do did not have any practical influence on her situation. Once convinced of the truth behind the Trinity many people still ask 'so what, this doctrine has no practical consequences for my life.' As we shall see, the Bible disagrees with such a hasty conclusion.

'So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number;' (Gen 1:27-28)

As an interesting detail the thought that all men originated from one kind was not known in the ancient world. Greeks called themselves 'Autochons,' 'made from the earth of Greece.' All others they called 'Barbariens,' 'foreigners.' The Jews, being eager to stress there uniqueness as people, would never have invented such a teaching that made them having the same ancestors as other people. Only because God said so they were willing to accept it without a full understanding. This proofs once more the accuracy of the Bible.

The passage above declares that only men and women are created in God's image, in his likeness. Contrary to New Age and radical environmentalist belief animals, plants and inanimate things are less valuable. That is why materialistic possessions, sadly so important to many, are really one of the lowest forms of wealth. This is not to deny that God created all things good but they do gain in value as they serve what is above them in the right way. Precious minerals become even more precious when being used as food for plants and raw materials for a multitude of man's products. Plants increase their value as food for animals and humans. They can also provide us with medicines, beauty, clothing and shelter. Animals too raise in the level of usefulness when they give humans companionship, power and transportation. It comes as no surprise that human beings reach their true value only when they serve God by taking care of his creation. (For more details see, 'Discipling Nations' by Darrow L. Miller, YWAM Publishing, 1999, page 89)

The literal meaning of 'image', 'to shade' shows that man is not the same as God but similar in certain aspects, such as in his ability to think, feel and will. Even though badly damaged through sin, these are our God given tools to love and relate with him and each other.

Calvin, the French Theologian an Reformer said: 'Do you want to know God, get to know yourself. Do you want to know yourself, get to know God (because we are made in his image).'

The word translated 'image' was used in ancient times by kings of the Near East to describe statues of themselves which were placed in all the main cities of their vast kingdoms. Because they could not be physically present everywhere, the kings images served as a reminder to everyone of their authority and rule. 'The statue was not the same as the king, but it represented the king and was due the same glory and honour. To dishonour the statue of the king was sacrilege, treason.' ('Intimate Allies' by Allender and Longman, Tyndale House Publishers, USA, 1995, page 18)

The Bible confirms this profound truth when it says what God is in big we are in small::

'When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, :what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings (or, than God) and crowned him with glory and honour. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet.' (Psa 8:3-6)

'Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.' (Gen 9:6)

The command above is so radical because if we touch men, the image of God, in a sense we touch God! War in its various forms would cease if that principle was understood. What I do to my fellow beings I do to God in some ways. We either cultivate beauty or do harm. We must learn to look beyond the depravity and see the beauty of men. We are more glorious than a beautiful sunset. No matter what we do we therefore are still worth loving, even the worst criminal.

'The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Mat 25:40)

Islam teaches to do good to our fellow beings in order to influence the scale of good and bad deeds positively so that perhaps one can go to heaven, if Allah wills. However, the real reason for treating them with dignity and importance is to bring glory and honour to God. If man is created in God's image, similar to him, what practical lessons can we learn from the doctrine of the Trinity? How does it affect our daily lives?

A. Trinity teaches that relationships are most important

A loving relationship between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is at the heart of the Trinity. The Father loves the Son (Mat 3:16-17), the Son submits to the Father (Luk 22:42) , the Holy Spirit brings honour and glory to Jesus. (John 16:14) Because we are made in God's image relationships must be our first priority in life. What is most important to us? Success in business? Riches, material things? Degrees? Knowledge? Health? Reputation? If they are more important than relationships then we sin and have to ask God for forgiveness.

Continued as Pt2
Title: 1. INTRODUCTION Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: mallm on March 04, 2004, 02:10:36 PM
Barde

You see one of the things you do is exactly what lots of false teachers do.  That is you take a verse and make it the whole story. Their is no book that can interpret the bible better thatn the bible that is why in christianity cross referencing is a vital part of bible study.  What you do is like picking a sub task in a project plan and saying you now know the project, it is impossible. Ask the question and look for the answer in the bible ask for explanations were you do not understand.  For I tell you the bible interprets itself, but as Jesus reponded to the Pharases in the book of John you can see it is not always that people ask questions to be enlighted or to understand an issue but rather to try and ridicule, so my friend motive is very important!  Here is a study that tries to explain the Trinity, but I can assure you you are not the only one who is confounded by it, however I can tell you this that it is not difficult if you know God or open you heart in all honesty and truth to look for Him.  I suggest you print this and study it closer.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Part 1

1. INTRODUCTION

The main stream of Christianity throughout all the world believes in one God, the Holy Trinity. It is indeed a mystery, as God Himself is. Many attributes of Him are accepted by both Muslims and Christians, yet are simply not fully comprehensible to the human mind. We all accept that God has no beginning, yet do we understand this? The common question asked by children, 'If God made everything, who made God?' is just as puzzling to adults. Muslims and Christians believe that God is independent of space and time, yet how on earth can we satisfactorily explain how this might be? How is it that God can be nearer to us than our most secret thought, yet be this for the billions of other people on earth just as much simultaneously? These confusing facts apply also to all people in history and the times to come. 'Impossible!' the sceptic cries out, yet true. Then why should it be such a problem if there is some aspect of God's essential nature (his Trinitarian existence) which is difficult for us to grasp? Someone said, 'if you can understand it then be sure it is not God.' Both, the Bible and the Quran speak about God anthropomorphically (human terms are used to describe him). Orthodox Muslims do not explain the 'how'. Similarly, it is a fact that God's word was revealed in a book, but how the infinite can be expressed in the finite is not clarified. Let us now set the basic framework for our study. The Bible categorically pronounces that there is only one God!

Jesus: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.' (Mar 12:29, or Rom 3:29-30, Jam 2:19)

The Quran too testifies that Jews and Christians, the people of the Book, believe in one God. Surah 29, Ankabut, verse 46:

'And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury); But say, 'We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our God and your God is One; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).'

A. CLARIFYING MISUNDERSTANDINGS

The blasphemous idea of Christians worshipping three gods comes from a wrong understanding of the Trinity. In the fifth century AD there was a Christian cult called Maryanya which spread the false belief that Jesus and his mother Mary would be two separate gods besides God. The Quran was right to speak out against such impiety. Surah 5 Ma'idah, verse 116:

'And behold! Allah will say: 'O Jesus, the son of Mary, didst thou say unto men, 'Worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah?' He will say: 'Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, though I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.'

To say, as the minority cult of the Maryanyas did, that Mary was the mother of God through whom He produced a physical son, and both were to be taken as separate gods besides God, is absurd! This ludicrous and heathen concept of the Trinity is completely condemned by both Islam and Christianity! The Quran rejects it in clear terms in Surah 4, Al Nisa, verse 171. The triads of gods worshipped by pagans are always three separate gods, not one God. In addition to this big difference to the Biblical concept of Trinity, non-Christian Trinitarian beliefs are mostly three gods at the top of a list of many other gods. The Trinity has also been misunderstood to mean that God is three persons and only one person at the same time and in the same sense. Neither are there three substances in one substance.

2. EXPLORING THE TRUE CONCEPT OF TRINITY

A. Biblical facts as basis for Trinity

While the word 'Trinity' does not appear in the Bible the concept of it is quiet clearly taught throughout its pages. Similarly, the Muslim Creed, known as 'Kalimah' does not occur in the Quran. The whole sentence is put together from two different Surahs. Muslims call Allah 'El Adl', meaning 'the Just', 'El Wajid', meaning 'The Inventor or Maker', 'Edh Dhur', meaning 'The Harmful', etc. based on the list of the 99 names of God. However these words are nowhere found in the Quran but Muslims still accept these attributes as belonging to God. (see 'The Muslim doctrine of God', by S.M. Zwemer, American tract Society, 1905, pages 39-45) Let us now examine the verses in the Bible upon which the teaching of the Trinity is built.

'Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.' (Deu 6:4-5)

Firstly we need to look at the definition of the word 'one'. 'The idea is not, Jehovah (later translated as 'LORD') our God is one (the only) God, but 'one Jehovah'...(it) simply states that it is to Him alone that the name Jehovah rightfully belongs, that He is the one absolute God, to whom no other Elohim can be compared. This is also the meaning of the same expression in Zechariah 14: 9, 'Jehovah will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Jehovah, and His name one' where the words added 'and His name one,' can only signify that in the future Jehovah would be acknowledged as the one absolute God, as King over all the earth' (Keil-Delitsch Commentary)

'The word used for 'one' is the ordinary Hebrew numeral. God is all on his own. He has no 'relations'. As far as his Godhead is concerned he is alone, unique.... Some passages use plural forms for God. One form of the name for God, Elohim, is itself plural. This is remarkable in view of the Old Testament emphasis on the unity of God. It cannot be explained as a plural of 'majesty'; this was entirely unknown to the Hebrews. It has been seen as on a level with the words for 'water' and 'heaven', which both also happen to be in the plural in Hebrew. Water can be thought of in individual raindrops or in terms of the mass of water in the ocean. The plural in this case points to 'diversity in unity'. Some believe that the same is true of the plural 'Elohim'. But there are also passages where God speaks of himself in the plural. We find them in particular in the first chapters of Genesis.

'God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...'

and,

'The Lord God said, 'Now the man has become like one of us...'

But we find it also in Isaiah's vision:

'And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' (Lion Bible, article on 'The Trinity in the Bible' by Klaas Runia)

The following verses teach also that Jehovah, God the Holy Trinity is His own community built upon a loving relationship as the essence of reality. It brings forth a perfect and beautiful unity:

'In the beginning God ('elohim', plural, the Father) created ('bara' singular verb) the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, (God the Son who is known as His word in Joh 1:1 through whom he created all things according to Col 1:16)

'Let there be light,' and there was light.' (Gen 1:1-3)

'...hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there. And now the Lord GOD has sent me and his Spirit.' (Isa 48:16)

Ultimately, these verses find their fulfilment in Jesus (Joh 10:36, Luk 4:1,14,18).

'I will tell of the kindness of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us - yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindness. He said, 'Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me'; and so he became their Saviour. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.' (Isa 63:7-10)

There are a number of verses in the New Testament that call Jesus and the Holy Spirit God, besides God the Father. (Joh 8:58, compare with Exo 3:14; Act 5:3-4 etc.) In the light of this truth the following verses are understood to be speaking about the Trinity:

'And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.' (Mat 3:16-17)

'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular!) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,...' (Mat 28:19)

'May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.' (2 Cor 13:13)

'Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.' (1 Pet 1:1-2)

In Acts 2:38, 8:16, 19:4 people are baptized in the name of Jesus only. Since Jesus is now included in a way he was not in John's baptism (19:4), the abbreviated form is used in the beginning to emphasize the distinctive quality of the new baptism. For more verses speaking about the Trinity when one considers the Biblical context see, Ephesians 4:4-6, 5:18-20, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, Romans 8:9-11.

B. Doctrine of Trinity explained

The word 'Trinity' is derived from the Latin 'trinitas,' being a combination of the words 'tri' for 'three' and 'unitas' for 'unity.' The Christians definition of Trinity based on verses like the above is expressed in the Athenasian Creed:

'We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding (mixing up) the Persons; nor dividing the Substance (Essence)'

The word 'Person' is here used in the sense of 'self with a particular function.' ('The Illustrated Bible Dictionary' by F.F. Bruce, IVP Leicester, 1962, see 'person') It has to be stated emphatically that Christians do not worship three gods but one God because '...each member of the Godhead in some sense indwells the other, without diminishing the full person hood of each. The essential unity of the Godhead, then, is found both in their intrinsic equality of divine characteristics and also in the intensely personal unity that comes from mutual indwelling.' ('The self-giving triune God, the imago dei and the nature of the local church: an ontology of mission', paper by J. Scott Horrell, Th.D, professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary)

Thus when God the Son died at the cross, God did not cease to exist but was separated from himself regarding the relationship within the Trinity not regarding his essence. To think that God gave up a perfect relationship for a time shows how great his love towards us is!

'It is held that although the doctrine is beyond the grasp of human reason, it is, like many of the formulations of physical science, not contrary to reason, and may be apprehended though it may not be comprehended by the human mind.' (See, 'Encyclopedia Americana', 'Trinity', by F.C. Grant, Danbury, Con.: Americana Corp., 1980) The Trinity of God, like many other facts about him does not have to be understood fully, but to be believed in. Faith, the simple childlike trust that God is and acts as he revealed himself in the Bible, is sufficient for salvation. Similarly, one does not have to understand how a Television set works in order to enjoy a program about nature. A simple touch of the right button will bring about the blessing.

The danger one faces when confronted with extreme or complicated ideas, is, 'to throw the baby out with the bath-water,' this means to reject everything about a matter, even the true and the good. Here is what C.S. Lewis, professor of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge University has to say about such an attitude: 'If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.' ('Mere Christianity', Macmillan Company, New York, 1943, page 145)

C. Illustrations

When it comes to finding illustrations for the Trinity, to explain that which can be apprehended but not comprehended, one can easily fall into modalism. This is a false teaching holding that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were three successive 'modes' in which the one God manifested himself to bring salvation to the world. It would mean that God the Father was made flesh, died, and rose from the dead. The Biblical teaching, however, is that Jesus, God the Son took on a human nature died and rose again from the dead. Jesus is a person, in the sense of self with a particular function, distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. The oneness is still maintained by stressing the fact that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are of the same substance or essence. As mentioned before each member of the Godhead is indwellt with the other which further confirms God's oneness. Keeping this important difference in mind, the following examples have to be viewed as applicable only in a limited way.

In trying to come to terms with this subtlety it will be helpful to realize that everything in this world consists of a kind of Trinity, namely substance, form and purpose! To put this statement to the test let us think of a pencil. Like everything else it is made out of a substance that is formed into something, in our case into a pencil. Its purpose is to enable people to write, in the same way as all other things have some purpose!

The geometric illustration of the Trinity is found in a triangle. The tree corners are inseparable and simultaneous. The one that represents Jesus is touched by a circle that stands for his human nature, whereas the corner indicates his divine nature. (Phil 2: 5 -11) Questions and apparent contradictions regarding Jesus being God (e.g. 'How can God eat, die, etc. like Jesus?') are easily solved by taking his two natures into consideration. What he did in one he did not in the other.
You, dear reader, have got a body, a soul and a spirit according to Hebrews 4:12. Yet, in spite of this you are unique, you are the only one who is like you in the whole wide world.

Nature is another example where we find diversity within unity. On one hand one can find nowhere a bigger variety. When God created flowers he did not just design red roses. There are countless different forms, shapes and colours. On the other hand is nature's unity evident in the fact that the extinction of one kind of animal effects many others.
St. Augustine, an early church father, compared the Trinity with love that involves a lover, the loved one and a spirit of love between them.

It may also be valuable to see the one universe as made of space, matter and time.

Time by itself consists of past, present and future. If any one of these is removed then universe and time will cease to be!
Fire generates heat and light. Thus fire, with its light and heat is one thing that has different functions.

Multiplicity in unity is a very common phenomena. This kind of spiritual unity which reflects the Biblical understanding of the Trinity is distinguished from mathematical unity where 1+1+1 = 3. In mathematical terms one could compare Trinity with 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.

'Further, some have pointed to the fact that Muhammad was simultaneously a prophet, a husband, and a leader. Why then should a Muslim reject the idea of a plurality of functions (persons) in God.' ('Answering Islam', by N.L. Geisler&Abdul Saleeb, Baker Books U.S.A. 1993, page 269)

This brings us to another analogy for the truth of the Trinity, that of man's mind. He has one mind, which is capable of thinking thoughts and expressing them in words. Mind, thoughts and words are one. No one can say that God has no Mind that expresses itself in Thoughts and Words. God in Mind and Thoughts and Words is one God and He never claimed that there would be two other gods beside Him! The Trinity of Christianity is truly representative of the Mind of God (commonly referred to as God the Father), His Thoughts, (commonly referred to as God the Holy Spirit) and His Word (commonly referred to as God the Son). In the Gospel according to John we read: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word (Greek: Logos) was God. He was with God in the beginning...' The Word became flesh (in Jesus) and made his dwelling among us. (Joh 1:1,14) The context shows clearly that Jesus is God in the flesh: He was in the beginning, that means he is not created, he is eternal as God is eternal. Verse three states that through Jesus, the Word, all things were made, that means that he is God the Creator. Some people have doubted that Jesus is really called God in this verse because in the Greek language the first word for 'God', 'ton theon' is different from the second, 'theos'. However in Greek it does not suggest this sort of shift in meaning. 'This can be seen by reading other passages in the New Testament where 'theos' appears in the same context both with and without the definite article, yet with no change in meaning (Joh 3:2, 13:3, Rom 1:21, 1 The 1:9, Heb 9:14, 1 Pet 4:10-11). Whenever the word 'theos' is used in the same construction, it always clearly refers to the true God (Mar 12:27, Luk 20:38, Joh 8:54, Phi 2:13, Heb 11:16, 'Why you should believe in the Trinity', by R.M. Bowman,Jr., Baker Book House, 1993, pages 93-94) The 'word' proceeds from the 'mind'. Both words derive their meaning from the Greek original 'Logos'. The word 'Logos' has many meanings. One form 'Logo' gives us the English 'logic', which means not just ordinary speech (words), but mind expressed or intelligent expression. God created the world by His intelligent Mind, or by His Thoughts, or by His Word, all of which mean the same. For God and His mind are the same being. An example of this is when we say, 'We solved the problem with our minds.' Is it us who solved it or our minds? Both are essentially the same thing. This distinction between us and our mind is merely intellectual and does not involve separation but difference of function. Likewise, when we speak about God, His Mind of which His Thought and Word proceeds, we are not separating them, but only clarifying the issue.
The last illustration finds support in the Quran where Jesus is called 'a Word from God'. Surah 3, Ali 'Imran, verse 45:

Behold! the angels said: 'O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him; his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah;...'

The English translation uses the relative pronoun 'his' to render a masculine personal pronoun in the Arabic language. Since 'Kalima' (Arabic for 'word') is in the feminine gender it becomes clear that 'a word' does not just mean 'a word of language' but a person! We also find this clarified in the sayings of one of the Muslim scholars. ('Fusus al Hukm', Part II, pages 13,36, by Al Shaikh Muhyi al Din al 'Arabi)

The Bible speaks about the Holy Spirit being God:

'Then Peter said, 'Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit...You have not lied to men but to God.' (Act 5:3,4)

In a similar way the Quran (Surah 4, Al Nisa, verse 171) mentions Jesus as being a Spirit proceeding from God! In other parts people are described as having been strengthened with a spirit from God (Surah 58, Al Mujadilah, verse 22). At the creation Allah has breathed into man of His spirit (Surah 15, Al-Hijr, verse 29), but Jesus only IS the Spirit from Allah! This is why Islamic tradition calls Jesus 'Ruhullah', that means 'Spirit of Allah'. Neither the Spirit of Allah (the Thoughts) nor the Word (the mind expressed) of Him can have been created since whatever proceeds from God Himself is part of Him and must therefore have existed eternally. If God was without Mind at any time He would not be God; or if he was without Thoughts at any time He would cease to be the Almighty One which is impossible! Muslim theology confirms this belief by stating that the Quran is uncreated and has existed in eternity with God. There again we find plurality within unity, something that is other then God but it is at the same time one with God.

D. Trinity answers difficult questions about God

The concept of God being a unique community within Himself stands in opposite to the Muslim concept of Allah being one in the strict numerical sense of the word. This Muslim understanding raises three questions:

i) 'How could Allah have been self sufficient and loving before the creation of angels and of the earth?' Since true love is always giving and Allah according to Islam is a lone God, according to logic there must have been a time where he was incomplete, where he could not have had the attribute of love? However, according to both the Quran and the Bible, God has always been and always will be perfect.

ii) 'Is Allah selfish?' Since love is described as having '...no envy;...no high opinion of itself,....no pride;...no thought for itself...(1 Cor 13: 4-5) some people like sceptic John Stuart Mill, Mark Twain or Pablo Picasso have come to the conclusion that God is utterly selfish. They say that by asking us to worship nobody else but God, he himself commits the sin of seeking glory for himself only for which he condemns man. While many Muslims would say that Allah, the creator can be selfish if he wants, Bible believing Christians find the answer to this apparent contradiction in the Trinitarian nature of God. He shares his glory among himself.

iii) 'Is God limited?' Of course that can not be, but he who thinks of God as an absolute unity where there is no room for multiplicity at all, is forced to believe in a god who does not know himself. Self-knowledge demands a distinction, a multiplicity, between knower and known. Self-consciousness, the recognition of a creature by itself as a 'self' can only exist in contrast with an 'other', a something which is not the self. Only a Trinitarian concept of God allows for such a vital distinction.

E. Doctrine of Trinity held by early Christians

Tertullian, an early church father, used the word 'Trinity' the first time at the end of the 2nd century after the birth of Christ (AD) The Church adopted it as an official doctrine at the council of Nizea in 325 and in its final form at the council of Constantinople in 381 to defend Christianity against false teachings. (See also, 'The Illustrated Bible Dictionary' by F.F. Bruce, IVP Leicester, 1962, 'Trinity')

However, the content of the Trinitarian doctrine has been believed in and taught about by Christian writers living before the council of Nizea already. They do not always reflect the general theological beliefs of common Christians of their day but nevertheless give some indication regarding doctrinal issues. Statements in support of the Trinity were made by:

Justin, martyred 165 AD: 'The Father of the Universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God.' (see, Justin Martyr, First Apology 63, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to AD 325, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, rev.ed. A. Cleveland Coxe (Grand Rapids: William B. Eedmans Publishing Co., 1969 reprint, 1:184; hereafter cited as ANF.)

'Christians worship God the Father, the Son (who came forth from Him...), and the prophetic Spirit.' (Justin Martyr, First Apology 6 in ANF, 1:164)

Irenaeus, 130-200 AD: 'The Church has its faith in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God...Christ Jesus, is our Lord and God and Saviour, and King.' (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.10.1, in ANF, 1:330)

Clement of Alexandria, 200 AD: 'Christ is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son.' (Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen 10, in ANF, 2:202)

3. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES TRINITY MAKE ?

At one stage in the growing up process of my daughter she developed a new phrase that soon became her favourite saying, thankfully only for a short time. When she was told to come in for dinner after play she would often fearlessly proclaim, 'so what?' That was her way of saying, 'what you are saying is irrelevant to me. I want to continue playing outside.' She thought wrongly what we were asking her to do did not have any practical influence on her situation. Once convinced of the truth behind the Trinity many people still ask 'so what, this doctrine has no practical consequences for my life.' As we shall see, the Bible disagrees with such a hasty conclusion.

'So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number;' (Gen 1:27-28)

As an interesting detail the thought that all men originated from one kind was not known in the ancient world. Greeks called themselves 'Autochons,' 'made from the earth of Greece.' All others they called 'Barbariens,' 'foreigners.' The Jews, being eager to stress there uniqueness as people, would never have invented such a teaching that made them having the same ancestors as other people. Only because God said so they were willing to accept it without a full understanding. This proofs once more the accuracy of the Bible.

The passage above declares that only men and women are created in God's image, in his likeness. Contrary to New Age and radical environmentalist belief animals, plants and inanimate things are less valuable. That is why materialistic possessions, sadly so important to many, are really one of the lowest forms of wealth. This is not to deny that God created all things good but they do gain in value as they serve what is above them in the right way. Precious minerals become even more precious when being used as food for plants and raw materials for a multitude of man's products. Plants increase their value as food for animals and humans. They can also provide us with medicines, beauty, clothing and shelter. Animals too raise in the level of usefulness when they give humans companionship, power and transportation. It comes as no surprise that human beings reach their true value only when they serve God by taking care of his creation. (For more details see, 'Discipling Nations' by Darrow L. Miller, YWAM Publishing, 1999, page 89)

The literal meaning of 'image', 'to shade' shows that man is not the same as God but similar in certain aspects, such as in his ability to think, feel and will. Even though badly damaged through sin, these are our God given tools to love and relate with him and each other.

Calvin, the French Theologian an Reformer said: 'Do you want to know God, get to know yourself. Do you want to know yourself, get to know God (because we are made in his image).'

The word translated 'image' was used in ancient times by kings of the Near East to describe statues of themselves which were placed in all the main cities of their vast kingdoms. Because they could not be physically present everywhere, the kings images served as a reminder to everyone of their authority and rule. 'The statue was not the same as the king, but it represented the king and was due the same glory and honour. To dishonour the statue of the king was sacrilege, treason.' ('Intimate Allies' by Allender and Longman, Tyndale House Publishers, USA, 1995, page 18)

The Bible confirms this profound truth when it says what God is in big we are in small::

'When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, :what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings (or, than God) and crowned him with glory and honour. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet.' (Psa 8:3-6)

'Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.' (Gen 9:6)

The command above is so radical because if we touch men, the image of God, in a sense we touch God! War in its various forms would cease if that principle was understood. What I do to my fellow beings I do to God in some ways. We either cultivate beauty or do harm. We must learn to look beyond the depravity and see the beauty of men. We are more glorious than a beautiful sunset. No matter what we do we therefore are still worth loving, even the worst criminal.

'The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Mat 25:40)

Islam teaches to do good to our fellow beings in order to influence the scale of good and bad deeds positively so that perhaps one can go to heaven, if Allah wills. However, the real reason for treating them with dignity and importance is to bring glory and honour to God. If man is created in God's image, similar to him, what practical lessons can we learn from the doctrine of the Trinity? How does it affect our daily lives?

A. Trinity teaches that relationships are most important

A loving relationship between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is at the heart of the Trinity. The Father loves the Son (Mat 3:16-17), the Son submits to the Father (Luk 22:42) , the Holy Spirit brings honour and glory to Jesus. (John 16:14) Because we are made in God's image relationships must be our first priority in life. What is most important to us? Success in business? Riches, material things? Degrees? Knowledge? Health? Reputation? If they are more important than relationships then we sin and have to ask God for forgiveness.

Continued as Pt2
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: mallm on March 04, 2004, 03:29:49 PM
Barde

Here is the continuation

---------------------------------------------------------------
Pt 2

B. Trinity makes personal relationship with God possible

Because sin is so severe and separates the Holy One from unholy men, God the Father sent God the Son to die for our sins on the cross. Without belief in the Trinity such a divine rescue operation would have been impossible. If God was One in the Muslim sense of the word who would have ruled the Universe during the time he died for us? Nobody and that can not be since God rules for ever. He who believes that Jesus died for his sin on the cross must believe in the Trinity. It is impossible to believe in the one without the other. Only through the work of Jesus on the cross men is enabled to stand in the presence of the Holy God.

Andrei Roubliev, a Russian artist, has painted a most interesting picture. It depicts God's visitation to Abraham and Sarah in the form of three angels. (Gen 18:1-8) One sees three men who are eating on a table. There is an empty space reserved for YOU! You are invited to enjoy the fellowship of God the Holy Trinity! We have a hard time to grasp such an incredible thought because when we think about God we stand in awe about the fact that he is One, Almighty, Powerful, having all things under his sovereign control. This is all true but it is only one side of the picture. God reveals himself not only as the sovereign One but also as having an intensive, passionate relationship within the Trinity. Through faith in Jesus and his works God invites us into a relationship as his children, who have the potential to become his grown up sons and daughters, his friends!

'And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no-one can boast.' (Eph 2:6-9)

'His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.' (2 Pet 1:3)

'The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (1 Joh 1:2-3)

Jesus: 'I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.' (Joh 15:15)

Good friends treat each other as equals even though they may come from different backgrounds, have different jobs, and may not belong to the same social class. In spite of the differences their friendship unites them. Friends respect and listen to each other. Everyone is invited to share their opinions, feelings and ideas freely without having to fear they will be rejected as persons. Constructive criticism is allowed. Someone said, 'a friend is one who knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts who you have become, and still gently invites you to grow.' As incredible as it may sound but if we have become friends with God! Through faith in Jesus he offers us such a friendship! We are invited to participate in it! God rejoices over us and our uniqueness. In taking part in God's unity our being different from everyone else will honour and glorify him. It is true, we have not deserved to be treated in such a way, it is not our right but God offers his friendship as a privilege.

Of course, as friends of the perfect God we will make mistakes here on earth. However, God is so great that he can even turn around the bad and make it work for our good.

'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.' (Rom 8:28)

God's will can be compared with a river. Within the river bed it will always find a way. Our sins and selfishness are like debris, stones and mud. They can not stop the river for ever. It will find a possibility to get around the awkward hindrances. As long as we stay in the friendship with God he will finish the work he has started in us. (Phi 1:6) Is that not good news indeed?

C. Trinity makes personal relationship with people possible

Relationships are absolutely vital for a healthy upbringing, in fact for our very survival as human beings. Babies, orphaned during the second world war died for a lack of attention. A small child who got lost in a French forest for years started to act like an animal. Similarly, sin, selfishness, is the single most devastating problem that mars relationships and cuts people off from each other. It turns their existence into a kind of hell on earth. Since God the Holy Trinity dealt with our rebellion against him, forgiveness is available through faith in Jesus. Only they who are forgiven by God can truly forgive others. Then God's ultimate goal for us becomes possible. In the Westminster Catechism it is described as, 'The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.' This happens when we who are made in God's image, reflect him by living in loving relationships with him and each other in marriage, family, the church and the wider society. Whatever we do has to be a reflection of God's community, the Holy Trinity. God's goal is to reproduce His community:

'Jesus said: 'My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.' (Joh 17:20-23)

Dr J. Robert Clinton, professor of leadership at Fuller Theological Seninary, USA, believes after having conducted extensive research that less than 30% of all leaders world wide finish well. (Clinton, 1992, page 7) The main thing that is going to help us finish well is community with God and with each other. Because we are fallen we are called to suffering in the process.

'For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.' (1 Pet 2:19-21, see also verses 22-25 and Phil 2:1-14)

We must adopt this theology of suffering. Like the Russian Christian we should be surprised if we do not suffer! God allows suffering in our lives because he trusts us.

'And we, who with unveiled faces (we must take off our masks) all reflect (as a result of being real and honest not of doing) the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.' (2 Cor 3:18-4:1)

We are called to enter the pain caused by living in a fallen community not to run from it. We are to stay in the 'tunnel of chaos until we bump into God.' As we do this we will learn to ask different questions about the same realities and we will be freed up to move more in our giftedness. Community with one another is sitting in the pain knowing that we can not fix it. By being loved in that way people are being freed up to be changed by God. An important issue is not to build up trust in each other only (Joh 2:24) but to get willing to open ourselves up to be hurt by others. Tears are an open door where others invite us to share their pain. When someone challenges us we should take what they say or do, unwrap it like a gift, examine it, rather than react against it superficially. To do this we need solitude in God's presence. 'Lord, why do you allowed this to happen? What do you want me to learn?' We are to be accountable to each other regularly. If more than one person tells us the same we will be more likely to listen. If sinful patterns repeat themselves we have either not pursued each other enough to keep a superficial peace or rebellion against God takes place in peoples lives. In case of the latter, as a last resort because we live in a fallen world, separation will have to occur.

D. Trinity teaches that diversity is necessary

The tree Persons of the Trinity have different roles but the same goal, namely to enable us to enter into fellowship with God and to grow in that profound relationship. God the Father is the One who sends, God the Son is the One who saves and God the Holy Spirit is the One who lives in the Christian and helps him to grow spiritually. What a tremendous example of diversity within unity, one for us to follow. To do so we desperately need the help of God the Holy Spirit. Without him we are more drawn to people that are like us in terms of where they come from, what they do and who they are. Therefore, we are in danger of judging those who are different from us, even though they may still be within biblical boundaries. Quickly we are tempted to say, 'the way we do it is better.' Perhaps we should say, 'we are doing this differently, not necessarily better or worse.' Young Christians should not say 'the way we worship God with modern songs is better than how our fathers did it.' Our style of worship is just different, that is all. Especially when Christians come together for worship and service of God they are told to do so in diversity according to the giftedness of each. (See 1 Cor 12)

The same principle, that diversity contributes to the richness, the quality of our relationships, is also applicable in the areas of marriage, family, friends, relatives and at work. Developments where things are done differently but still to the glory of God should make us rejoice. We ought to support not try to hinder them out of fear. Oneness with the people we relate is important as long as we make room for others to be different if they choose to do so. In the beginning of life a child would like to be one and the same with his parents. At a later stage it also wants to be different to live out its own God given uniqueness. If someone experiences too much one and the sameness they feel uneasy and suffocated. He who does not feel enough unity will get lonely. These paradox desires are a sign of God's life in us.

British economist Brian Griffiths describes poignantly the practical implications of the Trinitarian doctrine for political and economic life in his book, 'The Creation of Wealth' (Downers Grove, III, IVP, 1984, page 55): 'When in religion the One is given preference, as in Islam, the consequence has been a form of totalitarian state which attempts to discern the will of Allah. When the many are given priority the result is anarchy. But the tension is one which extends to economic philosophy. Fascism and Marxism are both an attempt to emphasise the one to the exclusion of the many and to find salvation in economic terms through the state. Libertanianism is an attempt to emphasise the many at the expense of the One and is a prescription not just for laissez faire but also for anarchy. The relevance of the Trinity is to emphasise both the individual and the state, as well as a large variety of mediating institutions which form the basis of a pluralistic society. As far as economic life is concerned these include corporations, partnerships, trade unions, professional associations, committees concerned with setting standards, and so on.'

The current move towards multiculturalism and its over emphasis on diversity in Europe and the USA is threatening the balance exemplified in the Trinity. The unity in these societies which previously resulted from faith in the same Biblical world view is being replaced by a post modernistic belief that there is no absolute truth. The latter is self contradictory since its claim is a statement of absolute truth itself. Part of the confusion can be found in today's perversion of the word 'faith'. Most often it is used to mean 'a position held despite a lack of evidence or despite opposing evidence'. The biblical word 'pistis' is derived from 'pitheo', a legal term meaning 'to be convinced by argument' or 'to yield to the evidence.' As distinguished intellectuals such as C.S. Lewis or Francis Schaeffer have shown over and over again, the case for Biblical Christianity is solid and can be believed to be true in the biblical sense of the word. (See also www.biblicalchristianity.freeserve.co.uk for the article 'Which religion, if any, holds the truth?') A society built upon the Biblical world view will respect, protect and assimilate minorities but they will not be able to dominate it with their own world views.

As we have seen above, God made man in his image therefore those who follow him and his teaching become like him to a certain extent. This principle is also applicable the other way round. Psalm 115:3-4, 8 teaches that those who follow idols and what they command will also become like them:

'But our God is in heaven: he has done whatever was pleasing to him. Their images are silver and gold, the work of men's hands...Those who make them are like them; and so is everyone who puts his faith in them'.

All man-made gods represented in today's religions teach that human beings are basically good with the capacity to do bad. When reality fails to match this ideal a totalitarian political system is created to maintain order. As a result leaders like Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and Idi Amin slaughtered millions of people in the name of progress. To the contrary the Bible teaches that man is basically a sinner with the capacity to do good. Democracy, despite all its abuses and excesses is built on the truth of man's depravity. It is designed to cope with a society of sinners. Free markets keep them honest by providing an open, competitive system. None of the alternatives, mercantilism, monopolism or consumerism measure up to it. Free markets, the product of democracy, also encourage enlightened self-interest a Biblical idea derived from passages where man is commanded to love himself for God's sake but also to love others for their sake, too. (Luke 10:27, 1 John 3:16). Because men are sinners democracy has built up laws to protect the people from its leaders. Power corrupts, therefore it is diffused into the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

E. Trinity teaches that mission originates naturally from it

Have you ever wondered why God created the world in the first place? Within the community of the Trinity he has absolutely no unmet needs. So why would he want to bother with creation and all the hassles we brought him through our rebellion against him? Could it be that he created the world and gave life to us as an overflow of his love existing within the Trinity? He who truly loves wants to give. That profound truth has to be at the heart of every missionary activity. The result of it is also a new creation. Those who believe in Jesus are born again. (Joh 3) They who know God the Holy Trinity personally, they in whom God lives through his Holy Spirit, can not but tell others about Jesus. He said: 'For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.' (Mat 12:34) Mission is at the very heart of God. It is his heart beat, the centre of his life. What kind of place does the subject of mission take in our life? When have we last told others about Jesus?

F. Trinity teaches about unity of life

Life originates from God the Holy Trinity who is life and from whom all forms of life begin. Therefore God is everywhere. He can be found in nature and in all other of his works.

'(God) You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,' even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.' (Psa 139:5-12)

'From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone - an image made by man's design and skill.' (Act 17:26 -29)

The teaching that God is everywhere is Biblical as can be seen from the passages above. New Age ideologies too believe that God is everywhere. Whereas according to those teachings God is equal to nature and is confined to it, Jews and Christians believe that God exists not just in his works but his presence far transcends, exceeds his creation. Therefore Christians do not worship the creation because God is much bigger than it. The consequences of this truth have the potential to revolutionise our daily lives! Since God is present everywhere we can fellowship and enjoy him during our love for mountain climbing, country rambling, swimming, just as much as in a Church service. All these forms of life are having God, the Holy Trinity as a source. His being can not be boxed and put in different categories, such as general life and spiritual life. Therefore we can worship him in and through everything good, be it while reading the Bible, praying, working on the computer, cleaning dishes, working in a factory, looking after children and so on. What a liberating truth! In case you would rather like to go for a walk then to a Church service you do not need to feel guilty. Out in the fresh air you can experience the all present God just as much if only you keep your eyes and ears attentive to him. Of course, everything has got its time. The ideal thing is doing one without neglecting the other. God, who lives in all his works and far beyond wants us to enjoy them and by doing that, him as well. God created such a rich variety of things for us to delight in. That is why we read in 1 Timothy 6:17:

'Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.'

E. Trinity teaches that a passionate life is possible

Within the community of the Holy Trinity God passionately feels, thinks, speaks and wills and works. These signs of life are naturally found in his creation too, especially in man who is created in God's image as male and female. It follows that our passions are a sign of God's life in us. As a result of sin those intense desires have sadly been subject to the likelihood of distortion and perversion. Our longing to be unique, to do something special is God given. But if we live it out wrongly we are in danger of becoming proud and selfish. God has put the desire in us to love and to be loved. Lived out in an ungodly way it can turn into lust, being overbearing, acting in a dictatorial manner, controlling. Nevertheless, the root of our passion is still God given. C.S. Lewis, a professor of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge University put it in this way: '...wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way...badness is only spoiled goodness. And there must be something good first before it can be spoiled...All the things which enable a bad man to be effectively bad are in themselves good things-resolution, cleverness, good looks, existence itself.' ('Mere Christianity', New York, Macmillan, 1943, pages 49-50) These thoughts are confirmed by the teaching of Christianity that Satan was originally created by God as an angel. Since everything else brought into being by God was good in the beginning, he too only became evil, a fallen angel, after his rebellion against God. Inspite of the dangers that lie in a passionate live we must not avoid it all together. After all we do not stop eating just because we are in danger of eating too much food.

The following teaching of our Lord in Matthew 16:24 has often been misunderstood to mean one should not live a passionate life:

'Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.'

To deny ourselves does mean to say 'no' to our wishes and desires if they go against the wishes and desires of Jesus. Yes, God's unity demands that we are one with him in saying 'no' to evil and selfishness. But God's holy Trinity equally asks us to say 'yes' to our good passions, to that what makes us unique, what differentiates us from others. If you love playing chess and you are good at it, then use that passion for God's glory. How? By passing on the praise people give you to God in telling them about him. Have you got a passion for dress making, sowing, knitting? Do not feel guilty if you spend hours on doing that. Use your gift for God's glory by telling others about his goodness, perhaps also by giving the finished product to someone as a gift. Do you love football, cricket, tennis? Then use these passions to praise God. How? By enjoying them and by building relationships with others in order to share your passion for God with them. If we say 'no' to our good passions we actually sin because then we say 'no' to God who is the source of all passion.

When we submit ourselves to the King of kings , the source of all our passions, he will enable us to live with unfulfilled desires too. God who is at the root of our passions is more important than their fulfilment. Therefore we can rejoice about the good things we desire without always having to consume them. Those of us who live in rich countries where everything is set towards instant satisfaction will find this truth particularly helpful.

In view of the fact that God is at the source of all passion we can even learn from our bad desires. Let me give you an example: A Christian went to a retreat centre to spend a few quiet days reading the Bible and praying. In the evenings participants were invited to share what they had learnt during the day. One day the poor soul had to fight a lot against sexual temptation and lustful thoughts. Once he pulled himself together to share about all this he expected his counsellor to say something like: 'If you really want to grow in spiritual maturity you have to rid yourself of such thoughts.' Much to his surprise he got this response: 'The sheer intensity of your temptation are a weak indication of how much God passionately loves you.' That is an unusual way to learn about God's intensive love for us from the source of passion that later turned bad.

The message of the Gospel enables us to have good passions.

At the centre of the gospel message is the proclamation that God loves us. (Joh 3:16) Sin, our rebellion against him, has spoiled the privilege of having a loving relationship with our maker. In his love he prepared a way for us to be restored again into fellowship with him by sending Jesus, God the Son, into this world to die for our sins. The punishment for our rebellion is death, separation, as seen above. Human beings are absolutely powerless to bear a sentence that is so radical because of God's holiness. In his perfection he must not have a relationship with imperfection otherwise he would cease to be God which is impossible. Whoever believes that Jesus died for their sins on their behalf will be saved from hell, the eternal separation from the Lord. They experience cleansing from evil passions in a unique, almost unbelievable way:

'Jesus said: 'If you love me, (based on the context one could also say 'if you believe in me') you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.' Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, 'But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?' Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.' (Joh 14:15-23)

Can you imagine, the Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, the Holy Trinity, promises to dwell in all those who put their faith in what Jesus has done at the cross! God lives in them, similarly as the three persons of the Trinity indwell each other without diminishing the full person hood of each. To have such a friend in one's live will naturally lead to a perfect peace but also to chaotic circumstances at times. It is encouraging to know that these crises too are a sign of new eternal life. Now, with the help of God who lives in the believer, he gets the strength to say 'no' to bad passions. He can also say 'no' to good passions if they hurt others or if it is too early to express them. That gospel is truly good news!

4. CONCLUSION

Far from being unintelligent and unimportant, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity provides the very center of a unique Christianity. Without it there would be no cross, no resurrection and consequently no grace, no meaningful life and no assurance of salvation. The Trinitarian God is absolutely instrumental in the success of all our relationships.

'Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.' (1 Tim 3:16)
Title: Re: 1. INTRODUCTION Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 05, 2004, 02:45:32 AM
Quote
Barde

You see one of the things you do is exactly what lots of false teachers do. ?That is you take a verse and make it the whole story. Their is no book that can interpret the bible better thatn the bible that is why in christianity cross referencing is a vital part of bible study. ?What you do is like picking a sub task in a project plan and saying you now know the project, it is impossible. Ask the question and look for the answer in the bible ask for explanations were you do not understand. ?For I tell you the bible interprets itself, but as Jesus reponded to the Pharases in the book of John you can see it is not always that people ask questions to be enlighted or to understand an issue but rather to try and ridicule, so my friend motive is very important! ?Here is a study that tries to explain the Trinity, but I can assure you you are not the only one who is confounded by it, however I can tell you this that it is not difficult if you know God or open you heart in all honesty and truth to look for Him. ?I suggest you print this and study it closer.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Part 1

1. INTRODUCTION

The main stream of Christianity throughout all the world believes in one God, the Holy Trinity. It is indeed a mystery, as God Himself is. Many attributes of Him are accepted by both Muslims and Christians, yet are simply not fully comprehensible to the human mind. We all accept that God has no beginning, yet do we understand this? The common question asked by children, 'If God made everything, who made God?' is just as puzzling to adults. Muslims and Christians believe that God is independent of space and time, yet how on earth can we satisfactorily explain how this might be? How is it that God can be nearer to us than our most secret thought, yet be this for the billions of other people on earth just as much simultaneously? These confusing facts apply also to all people in history and the times to come. 'Impossible!' the sceptic cries out, yet true. Then why should it be such a problem if there is some aspect of God's essential nature (his Trinitarian existence) which is difficult for us to grasp? Someone said, 'if you can understand it then be sure it is not God.' Both, the Bible and the Quran speak about God anthropomorphically (human terms are used to describe him). Orthodox Muslims do not explain the 'how'. Similarly, it is a fact that God's word was revealed in a book, but how the infinite can be expressed in the finite is not clarified. Let us now set the basic framework for our study. The Bible categorically pronounces that there is only one God!

Jesus: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.' (Mar 12:29, or Rom 3:29-30, Jam 2:19)

The Quran too testifies that Jews and Christians, the people of the Book, believe in one God. Surah 29, Ankabut, verse 46:

'And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury); But say, 'We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our God and your God is One; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).'

A. CLARIFYING MISUNDERSTANDINGS

The blasphemous idea of Christians worshipping three gods comes from a wrong understanding of the Trinity. In the fifth century AD there was a Christian cult called Maryanya which spread the false belief that Jesus and his mother Mary would be two separate gods besides God. The Quran was right to speak out against such impiety. Surah 5 Ma'idah, verse 116:

'And behold! Allah will say: 'O Jesus, the son of Mary, didst thou say unto men, 'Worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah?' He will say: 'Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, though I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.'

To say, as the minority cult of the Maryanyas did, that Mary was the mother of God through whom He produced a physical son, and both were to be taken as separate gods besides God, is absurd! This ludicrous and heathen concept of the Trinity is completely condemned by both Islam and Christianity! The Quran rejects it in clear terms in Surah 4, Al Nisa, verse 171. The triads of gods worshipped by pagans are always three separate gods, not one God. In addition to this big difference to the Biblical concept of Trinity, non-Christian Trinitarian beliefs are mostly three gods at the top of a list of many other gods. The Trinity has also been misunderstood to mean that God is three persons and only one person at the same time and in the same sense. Neither are there three substances in one substance.

2. EXPLORING THE TRUE CONCEPT OF TRINITY

A. Biblical facts as basis for Trinity

While the word 'Trinity' does not appear in the Bible the concept of it is quiet clearly taught throughout its pages. Similarly, the Muslim Creed, known as 'Kalimah' does not occur in the Quran. The whole sentence is put together from two different Surahs. Muslims call Allah 'El Adl', meaning 'the Just', 'El Wajid', meaning 'The Inventor or Maker', 'Edh Dhur', meaning 'The Harmful', etc. based on the list of the 99 names of God. However these words are nowhere found in the Quran but Muslims still accept these attributes as belonging to God. (see 'The Muslim doctrine of God', by S.M. Zwemer, American tract Society, 1905, pages 39-45) Let us now examine the verses in the Bible upon which the teaching of the Trinity is built.

'Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.' (Deu 6:4-5)

Firstly we need to look at the definition of the word 'one'. 'The idea is not, Jehovah (later translated as 'LORD') our God is one (the only) God, but 'one Jehovah'...(it) simply states that it is to Him alone that the name Jehovah rightfully belongs, that He is the one absolute God, to whom no other Elohim can be compared. This is also the meaning of the same expression in Zechariah 14: 9, 'Jehovah will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Jehovah, and His name one' where the words added 'and His name one,' can only signify that in the future Jehovah would be acknowledged as the one absolute God, as King over all the earth' (Keil-Delitsch Commentary)

'The word used for 'one' is the ordinary Hebrew numeral. God is all on his own. He has no 'relations'. As far as his Godhead is concerned he is alone, unique.... Some passages use plural forms for God. One form of the name for God, Elohim, is itself plural. This is remarkable in view of the Old Testament emphasis on the unity of God. It cannot be explained as a plural of 'majesty'; this was entirely unknown to the Hebrews. It has been seen as on a level with the words for 'water' and 'heaven', which both also happen to be in the plural in Hebrew. Water can be thought of in individual raindrops or in terms of the mass of water in the ocean. The plural in this case points to 'diversity in unity'. Some believe that the same is true of the plural 'Elohim'. But there are also passages where God speaks of himself in the plural. We find them in particular in the first chapters of Genesis.

'God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...'

and,

'The Lord God said, 'Now the man has become like one of us...'

But we find it also in Isaiah's vision:

'And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' (Lion Bible, article on 'The Trinity in the Bible' by Klaas Runia)

The following verses teach also that Jehovah, God the Holy Trinity is His own community built upon a loving relationship as the essence of reality. It brings forth a perfect and beautiful unity:

'In the beginning God ('elohim', plural, the Father) created ('bara' singular verb) the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, (God the Son who is known as His word in Joh 1:1 through whom he created all things according to Col 1:16)

'Let there be light,' and there was light.' (Gen 1:1-3)

'...hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there. And now the Lord GOD has sent me and his Spirit.' (Isa 48:16)

Ultimately, these verses find their fulfilment in Jesus (Joh 10:36, Luk 4:1,14,18).

'I will tell of the kindness of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us - yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindness. He said, 'Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me'; and so he became their Saviour. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.' (Isa 63:7-10)

There are a number of verses in the New Testament that call Jesus and the Holy Spirit God, besides God the Father. (Joh 8:58, compare with Exo 3:14; Act 5:3-4 etc.) In the light of this truth the following verses are understood to be speaking about the Trinity:

'And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.' (Mat 3:16-17)

'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular!) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,...' (Mat 28:19)

'May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.' (2 Cor 13:13)

'Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.' (1 Pet 1:1-2)

In Acts 2:38, 8:16, 19:4 people are baptized in the name of Jesus only. Since Jesus is now included in a way he was not in John's baptism (19:4), the abbreviated form is used in the beginning to emphasize the distinctive quality of the new baptism. For more verses speaking about the Trinity when one considers the Biblical context see, Ephesians 4:4-6, 5:18-20, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, Romans 8:9-11.

B. Doctrine of Trinity explained

The word 'Trinity' is derived from the Latin 'trinitas,' being a combination of the words 'tri' for 'three' and 'unitas' for 'unity.' The Christians definition of Trinity based on verses like the above is expressed in the Athenasian Creed:

'We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding (mixing up) the Persons; nor dividing the Substance (Essence)'

The word 'Person' is here used in the sense of 'self with a particular function.' ('The Illustrated Bible Dictionary' by F.F. Bruce, IVP Leicester, 1962, see 'person') It has to be stated emphatically that Christians do not worship three gods but one God because '...each member of the Godhead in some sense indwells the other, without diminishing the full person hood of each. The essential unity of the Godhead, then, is found both in their intrinsic equality of divine characteristics and also in the intensely personal unity that comes from mutual indwelling.' ('The self-giving triune God, the imago dei and the nature of the local church: an ontology of mission', paper by J. Scott Horrell, Th.D, professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary)

Thus when God the Son died at the cross, God did not cease to exist but was separated from himself regarding the relationship within the Trinity not regarding his essence. To think that God gave up a perfect relationship for a time shows how great his love towards us is!

'It is held that although the doctrine is beyond the grasp of human reason, it is, like many of the formulations of physical science, not contrary to reason, and may be apprehended though it may not be comprehended by the human mind.' (See, 'Encyclopedia Americana', 'Trinity', by F.C. Grant, Danbury, Con.: Americana Corp., 1980) The Trinity of God, like many other facts about him does not have to be understood fully, but to be believed in. Faith, the simple childlike trust that God is and acts as he revealed himself in the Bible, is sufficient for salvation. Similarly, one does not have to understand how a Television set works in order to enjoy a program about nature. A simple touch of the right button will bring about the blessing.

The danger one faces when confronted with extreme or complicated ideas, is, 'to throw the baby out with the bath-water,' this means to reject everything about a matter, even the true and the good. Here is what C.S. Lewis, professor of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge University has to say about such an attitude: 'If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.' ('Mere Christianity', Macmillan Company, New York, 1943, page 145)

C. Illustrations

When it comes to finding illustrations for the Trinity, to explain that which can be apprehended but not comprehended, one can easily fall into modalism. This is a false teaching holding that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were three successive 'modes' in which the one God manifested himself to bring salvation to the world. It would mean that God the Father was made flesh, died, and rose from the dead. The Biblical teaching, however, is that Jesus, God the Son took on a human nature died and rose again from the dead. Jesus is a person, in the sense of self with a particular function, distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. The oneness is still maintained by stressing the fact that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are of the same substance or essence. As mentioned before each member of the Godhead is indwellt with the other which further confirms God's oneness. Keeping this important difference in mind, the following examples have to be viewed as applicable only in a limited way.

In trying to come to terms with this subtlety it will be helpful to realize that everything in this world consists of a kind of Trinity, namely substance, form and purpose! To put this statement to the test let us think of a pencil. Like everything else it is made out of a substance that is formed into something, in our case into a pencil. Its purpose is to enable people to write, in the same way as all other things have some purpose!

The geometric illustration of the Trinity is found in a triangle. The tree corners are inseparable and simultaneous. The one that represents Jesus is touched by a circle that stands for his human nature, whereas the corner indicates his divine nature. (Phil 2: 5 -11) Questions and apparent contradictions regarding Jesus being God (e.g. 'How can God eat, die, etc. like Jesus?') are easily solved by taking his two natures into consideration. What he did in one he did not in the other.
You, dear reader, have got a body, a soul and a spirit according to Hebrews 4:12. Yet, in spite of this you are unique, you are the only one who is like you in the whole wide world.

Nature is another example where we find diversity within unity. On one hand one can find nowhere a bigger variety. When God created flowers he did not just design red roses. There are countless different forms, shapes and colours. On the other hand is nature's unity evident in the fact that the extinction of one kind of animal effects many others.
St. Augustine, an early church father, compared the Trinity with love that involves a lover, the loved one and a spirit of love between them.

It may also be valuable to see the one universe as made of space, matter and time.

Time by itself consists of past, present and future. If any one of these is removed then universe and time will cease to be!
Fire generates heat and light. Thus fire, with its light and heat is one thing that has different functions.

Multiplicity in unity is a very common phenomena. This kind of spiritual unity which reflects the Biblical understanding of the Trinity is distinguished from mathematical unity where 1+1+1 = 3. In mathematical terms one could compare Trinity with 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.

'Further, some have pointed to the fact that Muhammad was simultaneously a prophet, a husband, and a leader. Why then should a Muslim reject the idea of a plurality of functions (persons) in God.' ('Answering Islam', by N.L. Geisler&Abdul Saleeb, Baker Books U.S.A. 1993, page 269)

This brings us to another analogy for the truth of the Trinity, that of man's mind. He has one mind, which is capable of thinking thoughts and expressing them in words. Mind, thoughts and words are one. No one can say that God has no Mind that expresses itself in Thoughts and Words. God in Mind and Thoughts and Words is one God and He never claimed that there would be two other gods beside Him! The Trinity of Christianity is truly representative of the Mind of God (commonly referred to as God the Father), His Thoughts, (commonly referred to as God the Holy Spirit) and His Word (commonly referred to as God the Son). In the Gospel according to John we read: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word (Greek: Logos) was God. He was with God in the beginning...' The Word became flesh (in Jesus) and made his dwelling among us. (Joh 1:1,14) The context shows clearly that Jesus is God in the flesh: He was in the beginning, that means he is not created, he is eternal as God is eternal. Verse three states that through Jesus, the Word, all things were made, that means that he is God the Creator. Some people have doubted that Jesus is really called God in this verse because in the Greek language the first word for 'God', 'ton theon' is different from the second, 'theos'. However in Greek it does not suggest this sort of shift in meaning. 'This can be seen by reading other passages in the New Testament where 'theos' appears in the same context both with and without the definite article, yet with no change in meaning (Joh 3:2, 13:3, Rom 1:21, 1 The 1:9, Heb 9:14, 1 Pet 4:10-11). Whenever the word 'theos' is used in the same construction, it always clearly refers to the true God (Mar 12:27, Luk 20:38, Joh 8:54, Phi 2:13, Heb 11:16, 'Why you should believe in the Trinity', by R.M. Bowman,Jr., Baker Book House, 1993, pages 93-94) The 'word' proceeds from the 'mind'. Both words derive their meaning from the Greek original 'Logos'. The word 'Logos' has many meanings. One form 'Logo' gives us the English 'logic', which means not just ordinary speech (words), but mind expressed or intelligent expression. God created the world by His intelligent Mind, or by His Thoughts, or by His Word, all of which mean the same. For God and His mind are the same being. An example of this is when we say, 'We solved the problem with our minds.' Is it us who solved it or our minds? Both are essentially the same thing. This distinction between us and our mind is merely intellectual and does not involve separation but difference of function. Likewise, when we speak about God, His Mind of which His Thought and Word proceeds, we are not separating them, but only clarifying the issue.
The last illustration finds support in the Quran where Jesus is called 'a Word from God'. Surah 3, Ali 'Imran, verse 45:

Behold! the angels said: 'O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him; his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah;...'

The English translation uses the relative pronoun 'his' to render a masculine personal pronoun in the Arabic language. Since 'Kalima' (Arabic for 'word') is in the feminine gender it becomes clear that 'a word' does not just mean 'a word of language' but a person! We also find this clarified in the sayings of one of the Muslim scholars. ('Fusus al Hukm', Part II, pages 13,36, by Al Shaikh Muhyi al Din al 'Arabi)

The Bible speaks about the Holy Spirit being God:

'Then Peter said, 'Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit...You have not lied to men but to God.' (Act 5:3,4)

In a similar way the Quran (Surah 4, Al Nisa, verse 171) mentions Jesus as being a Spirit proceeding from God! In other parts people are described as having been strengthened with a spirit from God (Surah 58, Al Mujadilah, verse 22). At the creation Allah has breathed into man of His spirit (Surah 15, Al-Hijr, verse 29), but Jesus only IS the Spirit from Allah! This is why Islamic tradition calls Jesus 'Ruhullah', that means 'Spirit of Allah'. Neither the Spirit of Allah (the Thoughts) nor the Word (the mind expressed) of Him can have been created since whatever proceeds from God Himself is part of Him and must therefore have existed eternally. If God was without Mind at any time He would not be God; or if he was without Thoughts at any time He would cease to be the Almighty One which is impossible! Muslim theology confirms this belief by stating that the Quran is uncreated and has existed in eternity with God. There again we find plurality within unity, something that is other then God but it is at the same time one with God.

D. Trinity answers difficult questions about God

The concept of God being a unique community within Himself stands in opposite to the Muslim concept of Allah being one in the strict numerical sense of the word. This Muslim understanding raises three questions:

i) 'How could Allah have been self sufficient and loving before the creation of angels and of the earth?' Since true love is always giving and Allah according to Islam is a lone God, according to logic there must have been a time where he was incomplete, where he could not have had the attribute of love? However, according to both the Quran and the Bible, God has always been and always will be perfect.

ii) 'Is Allah selfish?' Since love is described as having '...no envy;...no high opinion of itself,....no pride;...no thought for itself...(1 Cor 13: 4-5) some people like sceptic John Stuart Mill, Mark Twain or Pablo Picasso have come to the conclusion that God is utterly selfish. They say that by asking us to worship nobody else but God, he himself commits the sin of seeking glory for himself only for which he condemns man. While many Muslims would say that Allah, the creator can be selfish if he wants, Bible believing Christians find the answer to this apparent contradiction in the Trinitarian nature of God. He shares his glory among himself.

iii) 'Is God limited?' Of course that can not be, but he who thinks of God as an absolute unity where there is no room for multiplicity at all, is forced to believe in a god who does not know himself. Self-knowledge demands a distinction, a multiplicity, between knower and known. Self-consciousness, the recognition of a creature by itself as a 'self' can only exist in contrast with an 'other', a something which is not the self. Only a Trinitarian concept of God allows for such a vital distinction.

E. Doctrine of Trinity held by early Christians

Tertullian, an early church father, used the word 'Trinity' the first time at the end of the 2nd century after the birth of Christ (AD) The Church adopted it as an official doctrine at the council of Nizea in 325 and in its final form at the council of Constantinople in 381 to defend Christianity against false teachings. (See also, 'The Illustrated Bible Dictionary' by F.F. Bruce, IVP Leicester, 1962, 'Trinity')

However, the content of the Trinitarian doctrine has been believed in and taught about by Christian writers living before the council of Nizea already. They do not always reflect the general theological beliefs of common Christians of their day but nevertheless give some indication regarding doctrinal issues. Statements in support of the Trinity were made by:

Justin, martyred 165 AD: 'The Father of the Universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God.' (see, Justin Martyr, First Apology 63, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to AD 325, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, rev.ed. A. Cleveland Coxe (Grand Rapids: William B. Eedmans Publishing Co., 1969 reprint, 1:184; hereafter cited as ANF.)

'Christians worship God the Father, the Son (who came forth from Him...), and the prophetic Spirit.' (Justin Martyr, First Apology 6 in ANF, 1:164)

Irenaeus, 130-200 AD: 'The Church has its faith in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God...Christ Jesus, is our Lord and God and Saviour, and King.' (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.10.1, in ANF, 1:330)

Clement of Alexandria, 200 AD: 'Christ is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son.' (Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen 10, in ANF, 2:202)

3. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES TRINITY MAKE ?

At one stage in the growing up process of my daughter she developed a new phrase that soon became her favourite saying, thankfully only for a short time. When she was told to come in for dinner after play she would often fearlessly proclaim, 'so what?' That was her way of saying, 'what you are saying is irrelevant to me. I want to continue playing outside.' She thought wrongly what we were asking her to do did not have any practical influence on her situation. Once convinced of the truth behind the Trinity many people still ask 'so what, this doctrine has no practical consequences for my life.' As we shall see, the Bible disagrees with such a hasty conclusion.

'So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number;' (Gen 1:27-28)

As an interesting detail the thought that all men originated from one kind was not known in the ancient world. Greeks called themselves 'Autochons,' 'made from the earth of Greece.' All others they called 'Barbariens,' 'foreigners.' The Jews, being eager to stress there uniqueness as people, would never have invented such a teaching that made them having the same ancestors as other people. Only because God said so they were willing to accept it without a full understanding. This proofs once more the accuracy of the Bible.

The passage above declares that only men and women are created in God's image, in his likeness. Contrary to New Age and radical environmentalist belief animals, plants and inanimate things are less valuable. That is why materialistic possessions, sadly so important to many, are really one of the lowest forms of wealth. This is not to deny that God created all things good but they do gain in value as they serve what is above them in the right way. Precious minerals become even more precious when being used as food for plants and raw materials for a multitude of man's products. Plants increase their value as food for animals and humans. They can also provide us with medicines, beauty, clothing and shelter. Animals too raise in the level of usefulness when they give humans companionship, power and transportation. It comes as no surprise that human beings reach their true value only when they serve God by taking care of his creation. (For more details see, 'Discipling Nations' by Darrow L. Miller, YWAM Publishing, 1999, page 89)

The literal meaning of 'image', 'to shade' shows that man is not the same as God but similar in certain aspects, such as in his ability to think, feel and will. Even though badly damaged through sin, these are our God given tools to love and relate with him and each other.

Calvin, the French Theologian an Reformer said: 'Do you want to know God, get to know yourself. Do you want to know yourself, get to know God (because we are made in his image).'

The word translated 'image' was used in ancient times by kings of the Near East to describe statues of themselves which were placed in all the main cities of their vast kingdoms. Because they could not be physically present everywhere, the kings images served as a reminder to everyone of their authority and rule. 'The statue was not the same as the king, but it represented the king and was due the same glory and honour. To dishonour the statue of the king was sacrilege, treason.' ('Intimate Allies' by Allender and Longman, Tyndale House Publishers, USA, 1995, page 18)

The Bible confirms this profound truth when it says what God is in big we are in small::

'When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, :what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings (or, than God) and crowned him with glory and honour. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet.' (Psa 8:3-6)

'Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.' (Gen 9:6)

The command above is so radical because if we touch men, the image of God, in a sense we touch God! War in its various forms would cease if that principle was understood. What I do to my fellow beings I do to God in some ways. We either cultivate beauty or do harm. We must learn to look beyond the depravity and see the beauty of men. We are more glorious than a beautiful sunset. No matter what we do we therefore are still worth loving, even the worst criminal.

'The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Mat 25:40)

Islam teaches to do good to our fellow beings in order to influence the scale of good and bad deeds positively so that perhaps one can go to heaven, if Allah wills. However, the real reason for treating them with dignity and importance is to bring glory and honour to God. If man is created in God's image, similar to him, what practical lessons can we learn from the doctrine of the Trinity? How does it affect our daily lives?

A. Trinity teaches that relationships are most important

A loving relationship between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is at the heart of the Trinity. The Father loves the Son (Mat 3:16-17), the Son submits to the Father (Luk 22:42) , the Holy Spirit brings honour and glory to Jesus. (John 16:14) Because we are made in God's image relationships must be our first priority in life. What is most important to us? Success in business? Riches, material things? Degrees? Knowledge? Health? Reputation? If they are more important than relationships then we sin and have to ask God for forgiveness.

Continued as Pt2

Mallam

Kai !!! The post is too long for me, i need a day or two to read and assimilate it. You accused me of doing what the false teachers are doing, let me make it clear to you, am not up to the status of a Teacher, am an almajiri on a learning process. You also said am picking a single verse and making it a whole story, i dont know how you want us to go about it, i will inshaAllah summarise one of the books that covers the true personality and the teachings of jesus, after which we will compare it with what the christians are practicing, may be that will be okay for you. But before i do that, let me highlight something to you.

You made referenced (on the 29th) to one Tertullian, a leader of the early church, who summarised the biblical teachings on the nature of God by INTRODUCING THE WORD TRINITY, at the end of the 2nd century after the birth of christ (AD). Does that means the concept of trinity was not originally in existence?

I was expecting you to talk about what i said on the  issue of sharia.....what happened you kept mute.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: mallm on March 05, 2004, 02:57:13 PM
Barde

Oh my friend no no no I have and will never avoid the questions you raised about sharia for me to answer, you see I find it more important to educate you about my faith than to go into a debate that may be unneccesary about sharia, because i have seen and i know that there are lots of people like you that are completely ignorant about christianity yet you want to go bashing it or completely misrepresenting it in forums where God has through His grace provided you to speak on matters that may affect christianity.  So to me your understanding christianity far out weighs a debate on sharia.

If I remember i saw in one of your postings an indication that you are a Masters degree student and I am very glad because then I expect you will understand what research is all about.  Now for your reference to my 29/02/04 posting you are right with your qoute.  If you look carefully what I was talking about was the origin of the word Trinity not the concept.  If you look again at the posting and the last one I did on the Trinity alot of references were given on the multiplicity of God and if you check you can never find the word Trinity in the bible.  

You see it is like a description of you if you are described properly aand to the last t, aperson who knows you and reads the description will immediately say this is Barde, you see he attaches a name to you from a statement of the various components that describe you.  Again your parents gave you a name when you were born, but when did you start existing? the time you were given a name after birth or when you were in your mothers womb?  The fact that you got a name after birth from your parents does not mean you only started existing after birth? you were there all along.  So please read again carefully the word trinity indeed came about after Christ but the concept which it describes is before Christ and if you read the bible carefully you would see the concept actually starts from Genesis 1.

I am glad to see you say that you are in the learning process.  However I am very suprised you accuse me of kept mute on the sharia issue but I noticed you and all those that have read my postings have kept extremely silent on the questions they raise instead you have found it more prudent to either attack my person or other by th way issues.  I recall on one or two remarks that showed an inkly to respond but both thought i should start a new discussion.  Now if you or anybody had anything to say about the postings to either clarify me or dispute the posting why did you not say it or start a discussion on the matter surely you can always refer to the posting.  My first posting ended with a question put in the form of a thought and statement on the burning of religious houses and a comment on the supremacy of God (it was a christian perspective) and yet nothing was said.  This is despite the fact that you know in nigeria and in the north the burning of religious buildings and other religious violent acts is always started under the guise of islam.  You know and recent history of such happening is there for you and everyone to see.  But to my amazement not a word from anyone to even try to explain or give clarity of these happenings from a muslim perspective.  On my post of the 29/2/04 I did not expect people like you to have kept silent I expected a discussion on the issues I raised nothing was forthcoming instead I was personally attacked.  If you profess your faith as strongly as you claim to be doing why are you not answering the issues raised in the posting?  Surely you would want me to understand your faith better to remove any misconceptions? Except of course if you agree with my postings or you were not aware of the facts that I presented to you.

So maybe instead of you accusing me of being mute, it may be an opportuned time for you to now start answering some of the issues raised.  You have ask and raised questions on the Trinity I have sent a posting but you tell me it is too long.  I however plead with you to take sometime to read the posting, print it if possible and read it carefully it will help your learning process
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Eskimo on March 05, 2004, 09:32:33 PM
Hello Barde, Malam and whoever cares to see,
You see the style of Malam is ambigious. Why say something that everybody knows is not so.
Like in your attack to the almighty God you claim that Allah is a name of an arab deity not YHWH or whatever.
Did you know that Arabs worship Allah the supreme God of Abraham and Ismael but like all idolatrous nation they assumed Allah is too far away from them so they set up other gods as intercessors between them and God?
If you are doubting that the Allah in the Quran is the same as YHWH then I will not be suprised cause the true YHWH is not represented correctly in the Bible. After all He was so "devilish" that he asked the children of Israel to destroy...even the animals, babies and pregnant women of the towns the conqured. What a merciful God!!
On the issue of His name name did you know that he answered the name ELOHIM in the same Bible.
Please before you make points if you are here for each others understanding, leave no stone unturned in your researches.

Nobody ever doubted that Allah and YHYW (The True One) and Elohim all represent the name of the same God..even the Pope and Arch Bishop. So pls that is no issue.
Let uis focused on the authenticity of the message each one claim he recieve from God..not start doubting the God himself.
You are giving yourself out by trying to say Allah is not YHWH.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 06, 2004, 12:00:50 AM
Quote
Barde

Oh my friend no no no I have and will never avoid the questions you raised about sharia for me to answer, you see I find it more important to educate you about my faith than to go into a debate that may be unneccesary about sharia, because i have seen and i know that there are lots of people like you that are completely ignorant about christianity yet you want to go bashing it or completely misrepresenting it in forums where God has through His grace provided you to speak on matters that may affect christianity. ?So to me your understanding christianity far out weighs a debate on sharia.

If I remember i saw in one of your postings an indication that you are a Masters degree student and I am very glad because then I expect you will understand what research is all about. ?Now for your reference to my 29/02/04 posting you are right with your qoute. ?If you look carefully what I was talking about was the origin of the word Trinity not the concept. ?If you look again at the posting and the last one I did on the Trinity alot of references were given on the multiplicity of God and if you check you can never find the word Trinity in the bible. ?

You see it is like a description of you if you are described properly aand to the last t, aperson who knows you and reads the description will immediately say this is Barde, you see he attaches a name to you from a statement of the various components that describe you. ?Again your parents gave you a name when you were born, but when did you start existing? the time you were given a name after birth or when you were in your mothers womb? ?The fact that you got a name after birth from your parents does not mean you only started existing after birth? you were there all along. ?So please read again carefully the word trinity indeed came about after Christ but the concept which it describes is before Christ and if you read the bible carefully you would see the concept actually starts from Genesis 1.

I am glad to see you say that you are in the learning process. ?However I am very suprised you accuse me of kept mute on the sharia issue but I noticed you and all those that have read my postings have kept extremely silent on the questions they raise instead you have found it more prudent to either attack my person or other by th way issues. ?I recall on one or two remarks that showed an inkly to respond but both thought i should start a new discussion. ?Now if you or anybody had anything to say about the postings to either clarify me or dispute the posting why did you not say it or start a discussion on the matter surely you can always refer to the posting. ?My first posting ended with a question put in the form of a thought and statement on the burning of religious houses and a comment on the supremacy of God (it was a christian perspective) and yet nothing was said. ?This is despite the fact that you know in nigeria and in the north the burning of religious buildings and other religious violent acts is always started under the guise of islam. ?You know and recent history of such happening is there for you and everyone to see. ?But to my amazement not a word from anyone to even try to explain or give clarity of these happenings from a muslim perspective. ?On my post of the 29/2/04 I did not expect people like you to have kept silent I expected a discussion on the issues I raised nothing was forthcoming instead I was personally attacked. ?If you profess your faith as strongly as you claim to be doing why are you not answering the issues raised in the posting? ?Surely you would want me to understand your faith better to remove any misconceptions? Except of course if you agree with my postings or you were not aware of the facts that I presented to you.

So maybe instead of you accusing me of being mute, it may be an opportuned time for you to now start answering some of the issues raised. ?You have ask and raised questions on the Trinity I have sent a posting but you tell me it is too long. ?I however plead with you to take sometime to read the posting, print it if possible and read it carefully it will help your learning process
Mallam

Haba,mekakechi na baka na zuba? didnt i said you will be given an opportunity to ask anything about islam? how many times will i repeat myself? i can see you are impatient, Dont worry you will ask as many questions as you like and ?inshaAllah i will answer them to the best of my ability. it is just that i dont believe in mixing things up like the way you want us to be doing, let us for the sake of lucidity conduct everything one after the other, okay? hope it is clear?

Mallam, you are such a funny human being, am i the one that ?brought the issue of shariah? i will refer you back to your posting (28th), you introduced an issue and you want to run away from it, is that how you treat your students? certainly you are one of the false teachers, if i may ask, from where did you get your teaching certificate? you complaint of poor enrolment of Northerners in schools, mass enrolment does not matter but is the quality of education that matters, with the so-called mallam's like you how can we move forward educationally? no wonder majority of the northern christians are intolerant, dont know anything about shariah and they dont want to be enlightened because of the kind of teachings they are receiving from the so-called mallams like you. If i may advice you always stick to what you said, saying something and then denying it is not among the qualities of a competent mallam. You are just looking for an escape route. You brought the issue of shariah hence you must tell me how the implementation of the shariah will wipe out christians and christianity.

I consider the issue of shariah very vital because of its misunderstanding by the christians, which results in to the
kind of situation we found our self today. As i said we muslims want to reclaim our right that was robbed from us and the christians are saying no because of (let me repeat myself) their ignorance of the whole thing, they dont know anything about it and they dont want to know despite the fact that Jesus christ was brought in to this world to come and emphasise something similar as he clearly stated in mathew 5:17-18, i think i will have to quote it for clarity, Jesus said and i quote,

Don't misunderstand why i have come. i did not come to abolish the law of Moses or writings of the prophets. No i came to fulfill them. I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear,even the smallest detail of God's law will remain until its purpose is achieved. (Mathew 5:17-18).

for more information, go to my posting on shariah in the bible. and i want Mallam to tell us about the laws of Moses as stated in the bible, don't forget to state the laws and the consequences of those who break it.

That is the reason why i am found it obligatory upon myself to make it clear to the christians that what they are antagonizing is there in their bible but they ignored it in the name of grace. Christians understanding of the shariah is the key to our peaceful coexistence.

You also said am misrepresenting christianity (hope you didn't forget), let me ask you who is misrepresenting christianity? i or you? i am quoting what jesus christ said about himself and you are quoting one Tertullian, who do you want us to believe? Jesus or Tertullian? tell me. Mallam, if you want me to accept the word Trinity, just correlate it with John 14:28, let me quote it for the sake of lucidity, Jesus said and i quote,

''Remember what i told you: I am going away, but i will come back to you again. If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, because now i can go to the father, who is GREATHER THAN I AM '' (John 14:28) (emphasis mine)

Let me repeat myself, correlate Trinity and John 14:28 or any other verse in the bible that you feel describe or explain jesus and let me know your response, okay? Pardon me to borrow your words, surely you would want me to understand your faith better remove any misconceptions. and i believe most of my freinds also have alot of misconceptions, so please clear them for us.

Did i say am not reading your post? all what i said was that it's too long for me to reply immediately, hope it's clear. and i know my freinds too will agree with me. Please reproduce where i attacked your personality for me to apologise.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 06, 2004, 12:50:32 AM
Quote
Hello Barde, Malam and whoever cares to see,
You see the style of Malam is ambigious. Why say something that everybody knows is not so.
Like in your attack to the almighty God you claim that Allah is a name of an arab deity not YHWH or whatever.
Did you know that Arabs worship Allah the supreme God of Abraham and Ismael but like all idolatrous nation they assumed Allah is too far away from them so they set up other gods as intercessors between them and God?
If you are doubting that the Allah in the Quran is the same as YHWH then I will not be suprised cause the true YHWH is not represented correctly in the Bible. After all He was so "devilish" that he asked the children of Israel to destroy...even the animals, babies and pregnant women of the towns the conqured. What a merciful God!!
On the issue of His name name did you know that he answered the name ELOHIM in the same Bible.
Please before you make points if you are here for each others understanding, leave no stone unturned in your researches.

Nobody ever doubted that Allah and YHYW (The True One) and Elohim all represent the name of the same God..even the Pope and Arch Bishop. So pls that is no issue.
Let uis focused on the authenticity of the message each one claim he recieve from God..not start doubting the God himself.
You are giving yourself out by trying to say Allah is not YHWH.
Eskimo

I agree with you, Mallam is too ambiguous. But inshaAllah we are ready for him.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 06, 2004, 05:08:09 PM
Barde haba!

You see i you are a very deciteful person who refuses to confront facts when he is presented with them.  I put up a posting where I made comments about sharia to which you raised questions and wanted me to clarify some of the issues and questions you raised, now tell me were u not questioning me on sharia based on my posting on the same subject matter?  Please read carefully and do not be irresponsible with your statements.  please note that I said you raised questions but I did not indicate which side of the fence your questions/issues were raised!!! to refresh you please go to your postings of 3/3/04 and 4/3/04!!!  those are questions/issues put to me with regard to sharia arising out of my posting right? correct me if i am wrong!!!!! A question does not have to be in the framework of an against but can also be in the framwork of a for statement!

On the matter of the ten commandments, it is obvious that you have not read the bible or understand the bible.  Seeing you have quoted Mathew 5 it will be also important for you to say to whom Christ was addressing the statement.  It will be important if you want to be truthful and not deciteful!!!  You will also have to examine and tell us the relationship between the commandements and the state for a christian, as well as the relationship between islamic instructions and the state. Infact that is an assignment for you. unless you do that you will not understand how christians relate to the ten commandements if you go through the commandements you will notice it is addressed to the individual and the body of Christ (the church). and for additional information for christians the church is not the building.  I think this an issue we will come back to let us handle what is at hand for now.

I find it very interesting that you refer to christians as intolerance.  What a shame that you are able to open your mouth (or keyboard) and emit this type of lie!!!!  Recent history of violent attacks and destruction of places of worship on the basis of religion you will agree with me has always been started by muslims.  Attacks started by non muslims on muslims in nigeria has always been in retaliation you can not have retaliation if there was no offence in the first place. Even then the christian community has on several ocassions and without reservation stressed the fact that repraisals and or retaliation is un christian, so that is actually frowned at by true christians!!!

You say are a masters student and I expect you know what research and study are all about and what they entail.  Lets look at your reference to John 14:28 in your attempt to say that Jesus is lesser than God.  First of all you would have noticed that the verse started with ".....Remember what I told you......" As you can see the first 5 words tell you that something is being said or has been said and the statement is flowing from what has been said.  Lets look at the verse.  Here Jesus was talking with His disciples at a time just before the crucifixion at a time when His state is such that He had been humilated by man on earth and in His present state then, God (the Father) is more excellent and glorious. You are trying to use this verse to support your idea that even the bible says Jesus is lesser than God you can never be more wrong. This will make Jesus a created being or will lead to polytheism both of which are unblibical.  The Father and the Son share the same essence (see also John 1:1-2, John 14:9, John 20:28).  The Father and the Son are One in purpose and essence (see also John 10:30). I suggest you do read the posting that dealt with the Trinity question.  You see I still stand by my word that you read the bible like a false teacher, i am not sure why you do it, as it may be to misled others.  I am glad that in my postings where ever I have qouted the quran you have had no cause to disagree with me because i know if you did disagree you would have taken it up with me.

If you really intend to study the bible stop reading it the way you are, because the way you are doing it is not honest and in search of truth.  One thing is that always find out the CONTEXT of a statement or else you fly in a complete tangent.  You can never get the answer if you do not look for the context of a verse, it is always of critical importance when you read a verse to know what is being said to whom why, where, when how and in what situation (context)

On the issue of the Trinity it is a pity that a masters student who would be expected to carry out research and go on to even teach others and you do not know or understand the importance of going to the root of a subject matter before discussing it.  I have tried to explain it and I did indicate to you that the word Trinity did not exist in the bible but the concept did from Genesis 1.  Seeing that you want to make an issue out of the word Trinity because it was not mentioned explicitly in the bible, let us take an attribute such as El-Adl one of the 99 attribute of Allah, this attribute is found nowhere stated in the quran does that mean as a muslim you do not agree with it? or what are you trying to say? And mind you these attributes are found not in the quran but in tradition, so do you not accept them? Please read my posting on the issue of the Trinity.

On your accusation that I am avoiding the issue of sharia I promise you we will get there.  But who is really avoiding issues?  In my very first posting I raised the matter of violence in the name of God etc, there was no comment from you and now you have the guts to refer to christians as intolerant, it really amazes me.  Issues were put forward on the matter of the Christian God and the Muslim Allah, there was no comment or contest of what was put forward.  The issue of the Trinity was raised it has been responded to and discussions are still ongoing on the subject matter because it is still not understood.  I am yet to be presented with properly researched questions, all i get are questions based on very incomplete information.  Yet i am being accused of being ambigious or avoiding the sharia issue - which came way after some others have been put forward and remain unanswered.  I promise you we will handle the sharia with time but let us finis this first except you agree with all I have said except the sharia matter, let me know then i will know that it is only sharia and the Trinity that worry you.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Eskimo

I am surprised in one moment you say the christain God and muslim Allah are the same God, the very next moment you are describing the christain God as being "devilish" surely that must be blasphemy even in islam?  To my shock Barde agrees with you! Hmm!!

Yes please read my posting on the Christain God and the Muslim Allah I still stand by it and I did not raise the matter please refer to the posting by myadudu dated 28/2/04.  He clearly acknowledges that the christain God and the muslim Allah are different to which I agreed and sent the posting on the same topic (difference between islamic Allah and christian God).  I believe you are a muslim like myadudu so i assumed muslims share the same veiw but obviuosly you do not so if then please read the posting and answer the issues raised from your own perspective and please you are an intelligent person so please include references with your study no wild statements please!!!  On the issue that the pope and whoever share the same veiw well i do not know what the said the context in which they spoke so I can not comment and remember for me and any true christian the bible is what we look for answers not men so even if they did say so if there is no biblical basis for it then it means nothing.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 08, 2004, 01:37:21 AM
This is a non-constructive debate going on on two sides. Mere humans cannot understand God. I always suspect those who think they do and start laying down the law to everybody else
We should be seeking areas where Islam and Christianity agree and build mutual respect on these areas.
Islam and Christianity agree in most important aspects of morality ie no stealing, no killing, no lying, no unkindness, no adultery etc etc and encouragement to charity, to help for the poor and ill and so on.
I am happy for anybody to believe their own religion as long as it damages nobody else and as long as they allow me to have my own religion on the same conditions.
Nobody has the right to order anybody else in these matters.
We answer only to God.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 08, 2004, 02:56:43 AM
Quote
mallam mydudu

to ga ansar farko. ka chai wa ya sanni banda ni Allah Ubangijinmu ya sanni. ?Bangani tambayarka ba na cewa mai ya banbantar da ne a hade da bayarabe ko ibo ko za ka iya fahintar da ne ga wannan tanbayar taka? A sha`anin kin nuna kai na ga wanan nauran zamani bari in baka labari. ?Wato `yan shekaru baya (kamar shekaru 5 haka) wani amini na dan bauch daga wata baban iyali (ba zan ba da sunan sa ba) ya karbi Isa Almasihu ya zama kirsta wato ingayama sai da ya bar bauchi `yan gidan su suka ke shi. ?Wato sanu sanu sai kaduna tai mai zafi sai eko nama daqi inna sai binsa akayi gaskiya sai da ya bar niajiriya gabadaya. ?Ina ne ina bada shadar ko wa neke? Na san abunda wasu za su gwada yemin ko iyali na? ?Kasan Ungogo? kawyemu na ungogo local govt.

I like your honesty and belief that both christians and muslims should acknowledge the existence of each other, although I am not sure of what you mean about the one not threatening the existence of the other, this you may need to explain a bit more

You are quite rite to say the christian God is different from the one of the muslims, here is an extraction on a study paper of the difference. ?I am not puting this here to offend any one so if any one finds it offensive i apologise, however please comment and give clarity on areas you think there has been a misinterpretation or misunderstanding.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

A. Belief in Allah

'Say: He is Allah. the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.' (Surah 112, Al-Ikhlas, verses 1-4)

Most important to Muslims is the belief that Allah is One, Almighty, All-powerful, beyond comparison. The Bible too confirms that truth (Deut. 6:4). However, the concept of the name 'Allah' in Christianity is different from that of Islam in two areas:

i) The origin and meaning of the word

While Arab Christians view the name 'Allah' as a common name for the divine (i.e. 'God' in English, 'Theos' in Greek, 'Eloah' in Hebrew and 'Alaha' in Aramaic), Arab and Orthodox Muslims consider it as the very personal name of God allegedly revealed to Muhammad in the Quran. This view contradicts the Bible. According to Exodus 3:15, the eternal (personal) name of God is 'Yahweh'. It is never translated as 'Allah' in any Arabic Bible. The personal name of God is either kept as 'Yahweh' or translated into to 'Rrab' ('Adonai' in Hebrew, 'Kyrios' in Greek and 'LORD' in English). 'Yahweh' is never mentioned in the Quran nor does it appear in the Hadith. Therefore, Christians and Jews refused to accept him as a prophet based on Deuteronomy 18:20, where 'Yahweh' said, '...a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.' 'Allah' is not known as a common or personal name for the divine in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, the languages the Bible was first revealed in. Linguists and experts in Semetic languages are not sure if 'Allah' is a contraction of 'al-ilah' (the-god), a transliteration of 'alaha' (the-god) in Syriac or a derivation from the Babylonian 'Enlil'. There are about twenty different views as to the derivation of the name 'Allah.' The most probable is that the root is 'ilah', the past participle form, on the measure fi'al, from the verb 'ilaho' (to worship), to which this article was prefixed to indicate the supreme object of worship.' (Muheet-el.Muheet, dictionary) According to the opinion of some Muslim theologians it is infidelity (kufr) to hold that the word has any derivation whatever! But history establishes beyond the shadow of a doubt that even the pagan Arabs, before Muhammad's time, knew their chief god by the name of 'Allah' and in a sense, proclaimed his unity. (Ibn Hisham, earliest biographer of Muhammad, Sirat, Part II., p. 27) Centuries before Muhammad the Arabian Kaaba, or temple at Mecca was called 'Beit-Allah', the house of God, and not 'Beit-el-Alihet', the house of idols or gods.

ii) Allah and Yahweh God have different attributes

The description of Allah in the Quran is deistic. He is completely separate from his creation. The central Christian teaching of God's entrance into the world or of any sort of human fellowship with him is totally absent in Islam.

'The thunder hymneth His praise and (so do) the angels for awe of Him. He launcheth the thunderbolts and smiteth with them whom He will while they dispute concerning Allah, and He is mighty in wrath' (Surah 13, Al-Rad, verse 13)

This verse is a good introduction to the study of Allah's attributes; it expresses the effect Allah's attributes are intended to have and do have on His worshippers. Through fear of death and terror of Allah's mighty power the pious Muslim is all his life subject to bondage. In contrast Biblical Christianity teaches to respect God, to be in awe of him and to obey him joyfully out of thankfulness for what he has done in Jesus. The most common division of Allah's attributes are: Isam-ul-Jalaliyah and Isma-ul-Jemaliyah, terrible attributes and glorious attributes. The former are more numerous and more emphasised than the latter, not only in the Quran but in tradition and in daily life. The net total of the moral attributes is only found in two verses, which mention that Allah is Holy and Truthful in the Muslim sense of those words. God is only called once 'the Holy' in the Quran (Surah 59). Unlike in the Bible the term does not signify moral purity or perfection, 'just the complete absence of anything that would make him less than he is.' (Beidhawi) The Arabic word 'tahir' is only used in the Quran to define outward purity of the body. The Biblical idea of moral purity and utter separation from sin as a prerequisite to approaching God is unknown to the vocabulary in the Quran. Both concepts are of doubtful significance in Muslim theology while they are found throughout the Bible. What a contrast is found in it where God himself is at least 29 times described as holy. (Lev.11:44,45, 19:2, 21:8, Joshua 24:19, etc.) At least 8 times God is mentioned as being the truth. (Genesis 24:27, Exodus 34:6, etc.) While the God of the Bible is called 'just' at least 5 times (Deut. 32:4, Job 4:17, etc.) this attribute is completely missing in the account of the Quran. 'El Adl' - The Just. is only put in the list of his 99 names as found outside the Quran in traditions. The word 'Adl', Justice, occurs twelve times only in the Quran and is never used of the righteous acts of God and only once (Surah 5:115) of His words. In every other case it refers to human equity or faithfulness (Surah 4: 128). It seems Allah does not say about himself that he possesses justice as an attribute. Unlike the Biblical concept of God being inherently good (Psalm 34:8) Allah can therefore do whatever he pleases, be it good or bad. Another attribute of Allah is 'El-Hak,' the Truth. (Surah 22:62) Unlike in the Bible the Islamic concept of truth depends on the situation. According to tradition, a lie is justifiable in three cases: 'To reconcile those who quarrel, to satisfy one's wife and in case of war' (Sur. 16:106. El Hidayah, Vol. IV., p.81).

The Quran gives the reader in a measure a correct picture of God's power as displayed in nature but it has to say very little about his justice and holiness. Consequently the Islamic picture of the nature, origin, consequences and remedy of sin is almost non-existent. Sin, according to the Quran, (Surahs 4:30, 2:80, etc.) is a willful violation of known law or a conscious act committed against known law; wherefore sins of ignorance are not numbered in the catalogue of crimes. Out of this understanding great and small sins were distinguished. Some Muslim commentators say there are seven great sins: idolatry, murder, false charge of adultery, wasting the substance of orphans, usury, desertion from Jihad, and disobedience to parents. Others say there are seventeen, still others catalogue seven hundred! Small sins are regarded with utter carelessness and no qualm of conscience. Lying, deception, anger, lust and such like are all smaller and lighter offences; all these will be 'forgiven easily' if only men keep clear from great sins. The most common word used in the Quran for sin is 'thanib'. Another common term used for sin is 'haram' (forbidden). It indicates that nothing is right or wrong by nature, but only becomes such if Allah says so. What he forbids is sin, even if he forbade what seems to the human conscience right and lawful. What Allah allows is not sin and cannot be sin at the time he allows it, though it may have been before or after. (E.g.: Muttah, 4:28, the marriage of convenience still practised by Shias today, direction of prayer, 2:119, 2:145, number of daily prayers, 30:17, 11:116, drinking of alcohol, 2:216, 5:92 etc.) Muslims are forbidden to worship anyone but Allah and yet the same Allah punished Satan for not being willing to worship Adam (Surah 2:28-31) He reveals truth to his prophets, but also abrogates it, changes the message, or makes them forget it. (2:105) This practice is utterly opposed to the idea of God's immutability and truth. Allah is not subject to an absolute moral standard. He can do what he pleases. He mocks and deceives (Surahs 8:29, 3:53, 27:51, 86:15, 16:4, 14:15, 9:51)

Muhammed-al-Burkawi says: '...if all the infidels became believers and all the wicked pious he would gain nothing. And if all believers became infidels it would not cause Allah loss.' It is therefore no wonder that the Quran has no word for 'conscience'. The lack of all distinction between the ceremonial and moral law comes out most of all in the traditional sayings of the prophet. These sayings, we must remember, have nearly equal authority with the Quran itself. Take two examples:

'Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said, 'A dirham which a man knowingly receives in usury is more serious than thirty-six acts of fornication.' Ibn Abbas's version adds that he said, 'Hell is more fitting for him whose flesh is nourished by what is unlawful.' (Ahmad and Daraqutni transmitted it. Bayhaqi transmitted in Shu'ab al-Iman on the authority of Ibn Abbas.)

'Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said, 'Usury has seventy parts, the least important being that a man should marry his mother.' (Abdullah ibn Hanzalah; Abdullah ibn Abbas narrated it in Mishkat al-Masabih, Hadith number 2825)

Sin, according to Islam, is after all a matter of minor importance. It is the repetition of the creed that counts, and not the reformation of character. The repetition of the 'Kalima' makes one a true believer, so much so that if one says it accidentally or by compulsion, it would make them a Muslim. It seems that Allah does not appear bound by any standard of justice.

Allah is also described as 'El Awwal', the first, 'El-Akhir', the last, 'El-Dhabir', the substance and 'El-Batin', the essence. These four titles are known as the mother of the attributes, being regarded as fundamental and all-comprehensive. All four occur together in Surah 57:3 which makes it a great favourite among the Sufis, the mystics of Islam. With it they justify their pantheistic thoughts that God is the inside and the outside of everything. He is the phenomena (Dhahir) and the power behind the phenomena (Batin). In that the Sufis agree completely with the Hindu followers of the Vedanta school. There is only one verse, Surah 24:35, in which Allah is described as seemingly dependent on or indebted to something outside of himself. No Muslim really understands the meaning of it.

Unlike the Quran in the Bible we are asked to look at God's Oneness in terms of uniqueness rather then simply as a numerical unity. The Biblical understanding of God's Oneness can also be defined as Multiplicity within Unity, (Isaiah 46:16, 1 Timothy 3:16) a very common phenomena in creation too. (Time = past, present, future, universe = space, matter, time, nature = incredible diversity yet harmonious unity). Man has one mind, which is capable of thinking thoughts and expressing them in words. Mind, thoughts and words are one yet not exactly the same. No one can say that God has no Mind that expresses itself in Thoughts and Words. God in Mind and Thoughts and Words is one God and He never claimed that there would be two other gods beside Him or that He, the numerically One God, would reveal Himself in three parts or modes! The Unity of God in Christianity is truly representative of the Mind of God (or God the Father), His Thoughts, (or God the Holy Spirit) and His Word (God the Son). All are of the same divine essence, coequally and coeternally God, yet they have different functions.

As Christians grew in numbers the need for protection against false teachings arose. Therefore, Tertullian, a leader of the early church, summarised the biblical teaching on the nature of God by introducing the word 'Trinity' at the end of the 2nd century after the birth of Christ (AD). It is derived from the Latin 'trinitas,' being a combination of the words 'tri' for 'three' and 'unitas' for 'unity.' The Church adopted the doctrine of the Trinity at the council of Nizea in 325 and in its final form at the council of Constantinople in 381. (See also, 'The Illustrated Bible Dictionary' by F.F. Bruce, IVP Leicester, 1962, 'Trinity') The Christians definition of Trinity is based on the Bible and expressed in the Athenasian Creed as: 'We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding (mixing up) the Persons; nor dividing the Substance (Essence)' The word 'Person' is here used in the sense of 'self with a particular function.' ('The Illustrated Bible Dictionary' by F.F. Bruce, IVP Leicester, 1962, see 'person') It has to be stated emphatically that Christians do not worship three gods but one God because each member of the Godhead, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, in some sense indwells the other, without diminishing the full personhood of each. The essential unity of the Godhead, then, is found both in their inmost equality of divine characteristics and also in the intensely personal unity that comes from mutual indwelling. Thus when Jesus died at the cross, God did not cease to exist but was separated from himself regarding the relationship within the Trinity not regarding his essence. To think that God gave up a perfect relationship for a time shows how great his love towards us is!

The main stream of Christianity throughout the world believes in one God, the Holy Trinity. It is indeed a mystery, as God Himself is. Many attributes of Him are accepted, yet are simply not fully comprehensible to the human mind. We all accept that God has no beginning, yet do we understand this? 'Impossible!' the sceptic cries out, yet true. Then why should it be such a problem if there is some aspect of God's essential nature (his Trinitarian existence) which is difficult for us to grasp? C.S. Lewis, professor of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge University said: 'If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.' ('Mere Christianity', Macmillan Company, New York, 1943, page 145)

The Trinity alone answers difficult questions about the nature of God:

'How could God have been self sufficient and loving before the creation of angels and of the earth?' Since true love needs an object to whom it can give, if the Trinity of God did not exist, there would have been a time when he was incomplete, being unable to have the attribute of self giving love. This can not be true because God has always been and always will be perfect.

'Is God selfish?' Since love is described as having '...no envy;...no high opinion of itself,....no pride;...no thought for itself...(1 Corinthians 13: 4-5) some unbelievers, like John Stuart Mill, Mark Twain or Pablo Picasso have come to the conclusion that God is utterly selfish. They say that by asking us to worship nobody else but God, he himself commits the sin of seeking glory for himself only for which he condemns man. Bible believing Christians find the answer to this apparent contradiction in the Trinitarian nature of God. There he shares his glory among himself.

'Is God limited?' Of course that can not be but he who thinks of God as an absolute unity where there is no room for multiplicity at all, is forced to believe in a god who does not know himself. Self-knowledge demands a distinction, a multiplicity, between knowledge and the one who acquires it. Self-consciousness, the recognition of a creature by itself as a 'self' can only exist in contrast with an 'other', a something which is not the self. Only a Trinitarian concept of God allows for such a vital distinction.




Let me start by apologising for sending a very long post, it's not my fault am just pushed to the wall, hope you guys will bear with me.

Mallam

I don't want you to have the impression that am runnung away from the issues you raised about Allah (Subhanahu wata'ala). For that, lets suspend the issue of shariah for now.

I don't understand what you were trying to say on the meaning and origin of the word. So you need to go straight to the point for  me to know whether i will be able to answer you.

I think it is pertinent for me to quote what Allah has said about himself, hear him

"Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but he, (the ever living,the one who sustains and protects all that exists). Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes him. To him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth
who is he that can intercede with him except with his permission? He knows what happens to them (his creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the hereafter. And they will never compass anything of his knowledge except that he wills. His kursi extends over the heavens and the eath, and he feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. and he is the most high, the most great".(2.255). see also 59:23-24.

You said that the net total of Allah's attribute is only found in two verses, does it really matter how many times it is been mentioned? if it does, why then as you said trinity cannot be found in the bible? (both new and old testaments)

How can you say moral purity and utter separation from sin is unknown to the vocabulary of the qur'an? when it is mentioned in surah 23:1-6, infact the whole chapter is named after al-muminun (The Believers) that is to show you the importance moral purity in islam. so i dont know where you got your facts.

Does it really matter where al-Adl is found? whether qur'an or hadith is okay for us as Allah says in surah 4:170 and i quote,
"O mankind! verily, there has come to you the messenger Muhammad (saw) with the truth from your lord. So believe in him, it is better for you. But if you disbelieve, cetainly to Allah belongs alll that is in the heavens and the earth. Allah is ever All-knowing,All wise". quran (4:170). True muslims accepts anything that comes from Muhammad (saw) so far it has been accurately narrated.

You said Allah does not have justice as his attribute, if i may ask you, what does this verse (4:124) talking about? and i quote,
"Whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a believer, such will enter paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a speck on the back of a date-stone, will be done to them". qur'an (4:124). and another one says and i quote,
"So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it and who so ever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it". (qur'an 99:7-8).

I don't know the kind of justice Mallam is looking other than this, maybe you have a different meaning for justice. We believe is only Allah that can admit his creatures into the paradise according to the creatures's deeds, our God is not the kind of God that you beleive in, though he created everything and yet he does not have the right to admit or reserve a sit for somebody next to him on the throne as mentioned in (Mathew 20:20-23). (remember trinity).

Allah ofcourse can do as he wishes, he punishes a disbeliever and admits a believer into the paradise as stated in the qur'an 89:6-13 and 27-30. You will agree with me that this attribute of God is also mentioned in the bible paslm 80:4-5 and i quote,

"oh lord God almighty, how long will you be angry and reject our prayers? you feed us with sorrow and made us drink tears by the bucketful". (psalm 80:4-5). Also in Exodus 11:1, God sent one more disaster to Pharoah and the land of Egypt. I want Mallam to tell ?me whether sending a disaster is a good or a Bad thing. The number of such verses are endless i can go on and on.

I will be very grateful if Mallam will quote the catalogue of 700 sins as he said.

Allah as the creator of the heaven, earth and whatever is between them has the right to say this is a sin or not. How can you bring in human conscience when you are talking of Allah's will? as stated in the qur'an and i quote,

"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and his Messenger (SAW) have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and his Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error". (qur'an 33:36).

see (Genesis 2:16-17 and 3:5). Just imagine the relationship between a slave and his master.

You also made mention of Muttah, it is not only a marriage of convenience but also a temporary marriage practiced by discples of prophet when they are away from their families for long time and they cannot control their sexual desires. As stated in qur'an 4:28.

Don't really understand what you were trying to point out in verses 2:119 and 2: 145.

Why did you only mentioned qur'an 30:17 and ignored 30:18 ? please go to the verse am sure it will clear your mind on the number of daily prayers. You also mentioned something on alcoholic drinks, you need to go and study islam very well before you start writting about it, the qur'an was revealed in parts, when the prophet (SAW) started preaching, all the commandments were not revealed at once, considering the kind of activities people were doing at that time, he did not tell them to stop everything at once, if for example, they are drinking 12 bottles of alcohol in a day, he will start by telling them to drink like six bottles daily, then with time he will tell them to stop completely. That is what happened in qur'an 2:219 and 5:92. Wallahu a'alam.

You also said how can Allah punish satan for not been willing to worship Adam? Okay read about the following verses, Allah said to the angels.

"verily, I am going to place generations after generations on the earth, they said will you place there in those who will make mischief and shed blood while we glorify you with praises,thanks and sanctify you?. He (Allah) said:I know that which you do not know, and He taught Adam all the names ?(of everything),then he showed them to the angels and said, Tell me the names of these if you are truthfull.They said glory be to you, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us, verily, it is you,the all-knower,the all-wise.He said, O Adam! inform them of the names, and when he had informed them, He said: Did i not tell you that i know ghaib (unseen) in the heavens and the earth, and i know what you have been concealing?" (qur'an 2:30-33), Allah is showing one of his attributes here, the knowledge of the unseen, and he has the right to command his creatures to do what he feels like.

You mistakenly mentioned 2:105 instead of 2:106. Look at what Allah is saying, "know you not that Allah is able to do all things?" That is the message Allah is trying to put accross to his creatures.

Surahs 8:29,3:53, 27:51, 86:15, 16:4, 14:15, 9:15 (eventhough some are irrelevant to what you were trying to say). Allah is narrating to us how he dealt with various nations that were plotting, mocking and assuming to be deceiving the prophets that were sent to them, that he (Allah) is more powerful and more knowledgeable in everything they are assuming to be experts in. As stated in qur'an 86:15-17 and i quote

"Verily, they are but plotting a plot, and i too am planning a plan, so give a respite to the disbelievrs; deal gently with them" (qur'an 86: 15-17), These are just some few examples .

We regard whatever the Prophet (SAW) says and does is from Allah, go to qur'an 53 for more details.

Who told you that sin, is of minor importance? He (Allah) just
gives an opportunity for repentance as stated in surah 9:118. Read it claerfully am sure it will clear your wrong impression.

Kalima alone does not make one a true believer as stated in qur'an 2:2-5 and Sahih al- Bukhari vol 1,Hadith 7. I don't where Mallam got his wrong assertions.

Don't know much about the sufis, talkless of their pantheistic belief, all what i know is that Allah is the first (nothing is before him),the most High (nothing is above him),the most Near (nothing is nearer to him),the Last(nothing is after him) and he is the All-knower of everything,(qur'an 57:3). Not the kind of God you are worshipping who admitted that he was not good, when he was addressed as a good teacher as stated and i quote,

"Why do you call me good, Jesus asked? only God is truely good". (Mark 11:18) (Remember trinity). For more information about who is Allah refer to qur'an 57:3-7.

Now, to your God as been stated in the bible.

According to Mallam, Christians were asked to look at God's oneness interms of uniqueness. Isiah 46:16 is missing in my bible and the last part of 1 Thimothy 3:16 says and i quote,
 
"He was taken up into the heaven" wait a minute and ponder about the statement (remember trinity).

what kind of uniqueness is Mallam talking about? when the God he is worshipping, felt thirsty as stated in John 20:28. Also God cried, seeking for help from another God, as stated in Mathew 27:46 and i quote

"Eli,Eli, lema sabachthani"? meaning My God, My God, why have you foresaken me? (Mathew 27:46). We all know that these two verses (john 20:28 and Mathew 27:46) are among the commonest attribute of mankind. Tell me how is he unique? Remember trinity.

Mallam,find below lists of how God was described in your bible and let me know your responses on each and every verse. I don't want to stress my freinds, cose the post is already long that is why am cutting down the number of such verses but the lists are endless.

1. Jacob wrestles with God (Genesis 22:30).

2. Smoke from God's nostril and devouring fire from his mouth(2 Sam 22:9).

3. Brutality and showing no mercy on the part of God, ordering that there shouldn't be any treaty. (Deutronomy 7:2).
Go and read about the treaty of Hudaybiyya.

4. The lord will bring a terrible curse on a whole nation and cause its people to experience greater terror (Isiah 7:17). Is your God a terrorist?

5. ?God rested and refreshed (Exodus 31:17). Your God became exhausted after creating the heaven and the earth. What a unique attribute. See qur'an 55:29, it will give you an idea of a unique attribute.

6. God repents for making Saul king of Israeel (1Samuel 15:10&30).

7. God behaves like a drunk(Psalms 78:65). Waiyya zhubillah.

8. 1Timothy 6:16 states and i quote "He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No one has ever seen him, nor ever will. To him be honor and power forever" (1Timothy 6:16). Remember trinity?
 
9. Mark 11:12-14. Am still appealling to my freinds to allow me Narrate this short story. According to the book of Mark chapter 11 verses 12- 14, Jesus curses a fig tree.
"The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus felt hungry. He noticed a fig tree a little way off that was in full leaf, so he went over to see if he could find any figs on it. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then jesus said to the tree, May no one ever eat your fruit again! And the disciples heard him say it."Remeber trinity?

The point i want to make here is that Jesus(remember trinity), was completely ignorant of the season, he taught he could get something to eat on the tree. Remember Genesis?God created everything and yet, he felt hungry and wasted his time going to a fruitless tree, and after that he became angry to the extent that he cursed the tree.

Lastly, i want Mallam or any christian to tell me, are these the unique attribute of God revealed through the holy spirit or are they writtings of people who do not have a proper understanding of God?. Am sorry for what i have said but am paying you back. I also need your own defination of God, may be it will help us understand each other.

I will like my brothers to correct me incase i mistakenly quote or say something that is incorrect.

Barde
Title: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: mallm on March 08, 2004, 09:35:29 PM
Barde

Its good to see you are begining to agree to a more sequential approach (even though we have jumped the issue of violence in the name of God). And no your long reply is most welcomed (that is if I am included in the apology), we should expect that in discussions of this nature, it is safer than reckless statements that are baseless and lacking in any type of methodological study.

So let us look at what you are saying.  You say you do not understand the portion dealing with the origin of the word Allah in my posting?  Well it is just that a history based on historical fact on where the word Allah originated from references have been given which you can also check.  So do you agree with that? If not please let me have you own study on the origin of the word.  This is a very important aspect because it will give perspective to the discussion.

Now on the matter of the Trinity you still do not seem to understand what the word description is I have tried and broken it down as best as I can, I will continue though.  Now I have said it (Trinity) as a word is not in the bible it is a word to describe the the concept of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  And this concept is found from the very first book of the bible.  Let me put it this way for you you have a mind, a body and a spirit right?  When people talk to you do they refer to the part of you they are talking to or to Barde?  Now when did your mind, body and spirit come into existence is it when you were born and named or was it upon conception by your mother?  I think you should ask youself these questions and answer them.

I find it interesting that you make an issue out of the fact that the word Trinity does not exist in the bible yet listen to you (posting dated 7/3/04) "You said that the net total of Allah's attribute is only found in two verses, does it really matter how many times it is been mentioned? if it does, why then as you said trinity cannot be found in the bible? (both new and old testaments)"  Let me tell you why the number of times Allah's attributes are mentined is important.  The number of times you call a person is an indication of how important/urgent a matter is.  If a matter is important it will be stressed over and over again it will not just be mentioned once off.  That is why it is important to observe the number of times a thing is repeated.  I find interesting that you find nothing wrong is an attribute which is important in describing Allah appearing in a very limited way in the quran, but find it strange that a word used to describe a biblical concept does not appear in the bible.

You said and I quote "Does it really matter where al-Adl is found? whether qur'an or hadith is okay for us as Allah says in surah 4:170..........True muslims accepts anything that comes from Muhammad (saw) so far it has been accurately narrated." Carefully look at what you said, but before I go on, I should enlighten you to the fact that christians all over the world believe that the bible is the only book in the world that contains the undisputed word of God, and therefore only its contents can be made reference to as authoritative word of God NOTHING ELSE!  Look at the first part of the qoute, you make so much of an issue out of the word Trinity not being in the bible, yet you find nothing wrong if al-Adl is not in the quran and you believe and accept it.  May I ask you then how many books did Mohammed (SAW) get from Allah? Why are you bringing the hadith into the frame?  Is the hadith the word of God? if so why is it not in the quran but a seperate book? Should we then take it that Allah gave two seperate books?  And I agree with you about the importance of true and accurate interpretation of holy books, however any interpretation that can not give us references with the relevant holy book must be veiwed with some suspicion, because we must remember that interpretations are done by men.  Who does the interpretation the hadith? the prophet (SAW) or men? What do you believe in as the word of Allah? the quran or the hadith? If it is the quran then show me where in the quran used the term al-Adl for Allah.

I qoute you again "You said Allah does not have justice as his attribute, if i may ask you, what does this verse (4:124) talking about? and i quote, "Whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a believer, such will enter paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a speck on the back of a date-stone, will be done to them". qur'an (4:124). and another one says and i quote,  "So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it and who so ever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it". (qur'an 99:7-8).  Look at both your qoutes there is non that says categorically clear that Allah is just. Your qoutes do not describe being just as an inherent attribute of Allah but just tells us that Allah will be just on a case by case basis. Look at the first qoute, it starts with "Whoever........" this is a condition and goes on to say "such will......." this is what is termed a reward or consequence statement.  Look at the second qoute the same applies condition statement "So whoever does........" reward or consequence statement "...shall see it......".  There is no point or indication that Allah is inherently Just which is quite the opposite in the bible where God is clearly and categorically refered to as a just God therefore leaving no one in doubt.

This is from my posting "Another common term used for sin is 'haram' (forbidden). It indicates that nothing is right or wrong by nature, but only becomes such if Allah says so. What he forbids is sin, even if he forbade what seems to the human conscience right and lawful. What Allah allows is not sin and cannot be sin at the time he allows it, though it may have been before or after. (E.g.: Muttah, 4:28, the marriage of convenience still practised by Shias today, direction of prayer, 2:119, 2:145, number of daily prayers, 30:17, 11:116, drinking of alcohol, 2:216, 5:92 etc.) "

I qoute you "You also made mention of Muttah, it is not only a marriage of convenience but also a temporary marriage practiced by discples of prophet when they are away from their families for long time and they cannot control their sexual desires. As stated in qur'an 4:28.  And again you said ".....all the commandments were not revealed at once, considering the kind of activities people were doing at that time, he did not tell them to stop everything at once, if for example, they are drinking 12 bottles of alcohol in a day, he will start by telling them to drink like six bottles daily, then with time he will tell them to stop completely.

Now look at what you said closely and think about the implications carefuly, does it not bother you that prophets of a Holy Allah will indulge in that kind of activity (I suggest you also look up the word temporary)?  Look at the second qoute I made from your posting, even in mortal human terms laws are not put in place gradually, does it not make you wonder how a just Allah that hates sin will on the one hand have a sliding scale of justice, while also permiting sin for as long as it is less than the previous? is sin not just sin? is wrong not just wrong?

The catalogu of the 700 sins is of no importance to the discussion it was used as a reference to butress a point.

I qoute you "Don't know much about the sufis, talkless of their pantheistic belief...."  What you are making reference to here is information provided to you which is a historical fact I am not surprised you are not aware of it but I hope you have learnt something that will also raise your curiosity and encourage you to search for truth.

This is from your qoute "Why do you call me good, Jesus asked? only God is truely good". (Mark 11:18) (Remember trinity). Yes I know our discussion on Trinity.  My understanding of why you are making this reference is that you are questioning if we say Jesus is God why then does Jesus say only God is truly good. First of all you are wrong with your reference you must be refering to Mark 10:18. The start of the verse tells you that somebody asked a question and was refering to Jesus as good and the verse is Jesus's response to the question.  So what was the question?  the question was ..."Good Teacher, what shall I do to get eternal life?" (Mark 10:17).  Now remember as I told you and also I also qouted verses for you in the bible, christains believe in only ONE God!  You have tried and pushed a particular veiw point that is not supported in the bible, which is to try and imply that christians are saying there is more than one God.  Read again my posting covering the Holy Trinity please!!!!! Mark 10:18 Jesus was challenging the man's faulty perception of good as something measure by human acheivement (Mat 19:17; Luke 18:19; John 5:41-44).  No one is good absolutely perfect, except God alone, the true Source and Standard of goodness.  The man needed to see himself in the context of God's perfect character.  Jesus's response did not deny His own deity but was a veiled claim to it.  The man, unwittingly calling Him "good" needed to perceive Jesus' true identity.  If you noticed, the man later dropped the word "good" verse 20.

I noticed once again you conveniently qouted only the last line of the verse. Your qoute of 1Timothy 3:16 "He was taken up into the heaven" wait a minute and ponder about the statement (remember trinity).  1Timothy 3:16 reads: Beyond ALL QUESTIONS (my emphasis), the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in BODY (my emphasis) was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world was taken in glory.  I see the last line is your concern when you read the whole verse in context you will see that the last line was refering to the resurection of Jesus.  So I do not get your point except if you are trying to bring in the ressurection which I will suggest we wait for another time and another thread.

You wrote and I qoute "what kind of uniqueness is Mallam talking about? when the God he is worshipping, felt thirsty as stated in John 20:28. Also God cried, seeking for help from another God, as stated in Mathew 27:46 and i quote
 
"Eli,Eli, lema sabachthani"? meaning My God, My God, why have you foresaken me? (Mathew 27:46). We all know that these two verses (john 20:28 and Mathew 27:46) are among the commonest attribute of mankind. Tell me how is he unique? Remember trinity."

In the first place as I said I am begining to feel there is a delibrate attempt on your part to misqoute the bible completely or else where did you get your qoute on John 20:28? John 20:28 reads: Thomas said to him "My Lord my God."  So Barde where did you get your thirst story? On Mathew 27:46, you have touched on one of the central themes of christainity for here we see God love for mankind and His desire to save man.  You see in christainity, Jesus laid His life for us sinners His life was never taken away, because it was the plan all along.  Lets start from verse 45 Note that before Jesus uttered those words, darkness came over all the land. It is in this period of darkness that Jesus became the Sin-offering for the world (John1:29; Rom.5:8; 2Cor.5:21; 1Peter 2:24; 1Peter 3:18) and remember God is Holy as far as we christians are concerned and our bible continously reminds us of that, He can not look at sin no matter the size, it goes against the Holyness of God.  Now it is at this point when Jesus took over the sin of the world that God turned away (seperated from Jesus), near the end when Jesus could not bear the seperation with the Father, He cried out Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? (My God My God why have You forsaken Me?).  Jesus sensed a seperation from the Father He had never known, for in becoming sin, the Father had to turn judicially from His Son (Rom. 3:25-26).  So do not use this passage in you case on the Trinity if anything, this verse only confirms it futher.  Remember my advise to you please read contextually and cross reference.

You wrote and I qoute "Mallam,find below lists of how God was described in your bible and let me know your responses on each and every verse......"

1. Jacob wrestles with God (Genesis 22:30).

ANS:  Firstly there is nothing like Gen 22:30 I suppose you are refering to Gen 32:22-28.  Please note that from verse 24 the wrestle was with a man who appeared out of nowhere.  It is also significant to note that this fight was at night and Jacob was also seized with fear and uncertainty.  You must also note that Jacob never lost the fight until an extraordinary supernatural act was evoked to gain advantage and the fight lasted till day break.  This wrestle was with an Angel of God (see also Hosea 12:4) and because the Angel of God is God's representative he bears God's name (see also Exodus 23:21) and that is why you have in verse 28 ".......you have struggled with God.....".  Also note that this struggle was not just physical but was also spiritual.
 
2. Smoke from God's nostril and devouring fire from his mouth(2 Sam 22:9).

ANS: I wonder if you understand what an attribute is.  Again your qoute says nothing.  This is just a description by David of God's anger over His enemies and it continues with what He (God) will do to them.  This does not describe God at all, so I do not see your point.
 
3. Brutality and showing no mercy on the part of God, ordering that there shouldn't be any treaty. (Deutronomy 7:2).
Go and read about the treaty of Hudaybiyya.

ANS:The command to destroy them totally should be seen in this light.  Firstly we know that the wages of sin is death and these nations that are being spoken about here were known for their sins (see also Deutronomy 9:4-5)  Studies of their religion, literature, archeological remains reveal that they were the most morally depraved culture on the earth at that time.  Secondly they persisted in their hatred of God (see also Deuteronomy 7:10), had they repented God would have spared them as He spared the Ninevites who repented at the preaching of Jonah, repentance was out of the question for these people. Thirdly the Canaanites constituted a moral cancer (see also Deuteronomy 20:17-18; Num 33:55; Josh.23:12-13), one of them even a child left alive had the potential introducing idolatory and immorality which would spread.  You must understand that it is only God who knows the heart of men so He knows the future, the killing was not because He did not give them a chance, but He knew their heart and in His infinite wisdom acted accordingly.

4. The lord will bring a terrible curse on a whole nation and cause its people to experience greater terror (Isiah 7:17). Is your God a terrorist?
 
ANS: Yo see you determination to misqoute the bible has hardened your heart you are not even interested in checking your facts.  The verse contains judgement God is visiting Ahaz a branch of the house of David, for his iniquity. So I wonder how Gods warning of judgement can classify Him as a terrorist in islam.  Please read the whole chapter first.  Does not Allah also promise grave judgement in the quran? And about terrorism well I will leave you with that you know the rest.

5.  God rested and refreshed (Exodus 31:17). Your God became exhausted after creating the heaven and the earth. What a unique attribute. See qur'an 55:29, it will give you an idea of a unique attribute.

ANS: I see your conclusion of the verse is that God rested as you would rest again please read the chapter again note please the rest is symbolic and not God catching a nap or something.  Note that it was on the seventh day, this is the day that is considered the sabbath day by the Jews, on this day they do no work but is a day set aside to rest and worship and praise God.  I see you really do not know the meaning of attribute, how can you lack of study and investigation into a matter be a sign of lack of an attribute of God?
 
6. God repents for making Saul king of Israeel (1Samuel 15:10&30).

ANS: I think you meant 1 Samuel 15:11.  Here God had determined Sauls rejection and aquainted Samuel with it.  Repentance in God is not as it is in us - a change of mind NO! Here we see a change of method or dispensation.  He does not alter His will but wills an alteration.  See Genesis 6:6, 2 Samuel 24:16, Psalm 110:4, Jeremiah 18:7-10, Amos 7:3, Jonah 3:10 and 4:2.  Please read these references to understand your 8 word sentence which you are using as the basis of you ill informed notion.
 
7. God behaves like a drunk(Psalms 78:65). Waiyya zhubillah.
 
ANS: I suggest you read start from Ps 78:1-4 please note that it starts as a story in form of a parable. You should always as a rule find context please.  This is the Paslm o Asaph the speech is all figurative.  Here it is a way or likening the wake to the rise of a mighty man. Of course if you are to read it literally and out of context you get a different message and that is what I am trying to get to you.  You must contextualise each time you read the bible, go to the root of what is being said or else one would end up with a warped sense of interpretation like yours.  You have said in you posting Allah allows some level of promiscuity as shown when some prophets were involved in it, I sincerely will be waiting for your explanation on that.

8. 1Timothy 6:16 states and i quote "He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No one has ever seen him, nor ever will. To him be honor and power forever" (1Timothy 6:16). Remember trinity?

ANS: This does not contradict the Trinity, I have written alot about the Trinity now, I think it is time you tell me based on all I have posted on the subject what you understand by the Trinity and stop this childish run aroun flinging same verses everytime yet not picking on what I have posted in that regard.  to me it appears it is not the whole picture you are interested in but just a statement you can read and interpret your own way without investigating what the statement means from the bible.  Let me give you a little background, early in his ministry Paul was convinced Christ will return soon.  Now near the end of his ministry he showed awareness that Christ might not return before he died and a desire to encourage Timothy to leave the timing of this great event up to the Lord.  Hence Paul stressed that God will bring about Christ's appearing in His own time.  So contrary to what you are trying to say that particular verse as qouted by you is refering to Christ's second coming (please note that King of Kings and Lord of Lords is the title of Christ see Rev 19:16)

9. Mark 11:12-14. Am still appealling to my freinds to allow me Narrate this short story. According to the book of Mark chapter 11 verses 12- 14, Jesus curses a fig tree.
"The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus felt hungry. He noticed a fig tree a little way off that was in full leaf, so he went over to see if he could find any figs on it. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then jesus said to the tree, May no one ever eat your fruit again! And the disciples heard him say it."Remeber trinity?

The point i want to make here is that Jesus(remember trinity), was completely ignorant of the season, he taught he could get something to eat on the tree. Remember Genesis?God created everything and yet, he felt hungry and wasted his time going to a fruitless tree, and after that he became angry to the extent that he cursed the tree.

ANS:  You are really fixated by the word Trinity.  I am glad verse after verse I have shown you the concept of the Trinity and you do not have anything to say about that or to disput instead you keep going back to the same things.  You have an insatiable appetite to want to decieve.  Let us see how ignorant you are, you say Jesus did not know the season.  It is a fact both historically and even presently that in Palestine (the area of the story) fig trees produced crops of small edible buds in March followed by th appearance of large green leaves in early april.  these early green "fruit" (buds) was common food for local peasants.  Eventually these "fruits" (buds) dropped off when the normal crop figs formed and ripen in late may june - the fig season.  So I hope you have learnt something, and have recognised how ignorant you are. I do not get the point you want to make on the Genesis part.  Do not feel bad about your ignorance please if you do not raise such points nobody will see them and give you the right information and you will remain ignorant.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 09, 2004, 06:21:38 AM
Mallam

You did not give me the biblical defination of God as requested. Endeavour to give me, then we continue from there.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Eskimo on March 09, 2004, 05:46:08 PM
You see..that is why I respect pple like Waziri and myadudu.
They suspected since from the beginning that mallam is not ready for an intelligent and useful discourse. That is why he keeps mixing up topics. You camnt misguide whom Allah has guided.

Let us discuss issues one by one...This your attack on almighty Allah I really like it. Shall we stick to it...other issue then follow suit?

Here you are even doubting the authenticity of the source where Quran come from. Thanks to Allah!!! that means you already accepted it is not from a human being!!! (or atleaset we can see that from you writing...even if you dont mean it).

I still cant understand your position...You think some sort of devil is the source of Quran (may be disguising as the God)...or Is it that the Prophet authored it in the name of Arab HeadGod "Allah"?

please make yourself clear so that we can have an issue at stake..not just everything!
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 09, 2004, 09:33:25 PM
Barde

here is the definition of God, please understand that there is a difference between a definition and an attribute so do not go mentioning absence of attributes

God is the name of the Divine Being (please note God as used is the name in english this differs with language used for example arab christians will refer to Him in arabic as Allah). God is and he may be known.  God is not subject to scientific proof, He is a postulate of faith. God transcends all his creation, he can be known only in his self-revelation.  In His Being God is self-existing. While his creation is dependent on him, he is utterly independent of the creation. He not only has life, but he is life to his universe, and has the source of that life within himself. Please try and see the following references in the bible Exodus 34:6,7; Dueteronomy 6:4, 10:17; Numbers 16:22; Exodus 15:11, 33:19; Isaiah 44:6; Habakuk 3:6; Psalm 102:26; Job 34:12; Revelations 7:12

I atleast thought you would comment on the answers I have given to your questions and still insist on the definition, now you have it so lets continue (do you remember ...we are ready for him").  I would suggest that we be intelligent enough to restrict ourselves to the questions and answers we give.  For instance my reponse to your postings is always based on what you say or what you have asked, I do not just keep rambling in a disorganised manner.  You keep on asking questioning me on the Trinity but you have not said what it is with respect to my response on the Trinity you want answered, so I tend to give generally the same answers.  So read my answers and ask your questions based on my answers and your on researched knowledge of the subject matter. It will make the discussion more fruitful.
..................................................................................................

Eskimo!

Haba kai dan rudu ne!! I do not know what you want but lets start from the begining.  The very issue first post dealt with violence in the name of God (posted 21/2/04).  On that subject matter nobody comment however there were comments on some side issues. The second post by me again tried to draw attention to the first post i.e Violence in the name of God in the process mention was made of aspects of sharia (posted 28/2/04).  Myadudu in response to my post concluded that the concept of God in islam and christianity are disimilar (posted 28/2/04).  I responded to this in agreement and with a researched study of the subject matter on the christian God and muslim Allah (29/2/04). Then comments by various readers of the post and Barde posts (dated 2/3/04) his with questions which were aroused by the posting since then we have been discusing the Trinity and it is within the discussion that questions and answers are being raised. So what do you mean about focusing on one subject matter?

Eskimo no! no! no! I am not attacking your Allah pleaseeeee!  I am presenting a discussing that is questioning certain aspects of muslim beliefs, just as I have been questioned on aspects of christain beliefs and I am answering them with no problem.  Why are you offense if you have nothing to hide? or if you know what you belief is? You should welcome questions and also answer them. I am not attacking your Allah so stop being emotional!!

No one has touched on the authenticity of either the bible or the quran please go through all the postings.

We are current on discussing the Trinity as you can see but all that in the frame work of the christain God and muslim Allah.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Maqari on March 10, 2004, 02:18:08 PM
Mallam
  i've followed  this thread from the begining on shear curiosity alone, and contrary to many of the participants in this discourse i do not care if u are a member of this forum or not, neither does your ethnic or religious back ground of any intrest to me , what does matter to Makari is intellectual integrity and the application of effective thought process in any conversation, two seprate entities that i find most of the posts in here to be in violatin of, i will make clear that although i was born a muslim and still remain one by name i do not practice nor agree with most religious theories ultimately because i find them excessively illogical, in fact i even doubt the existance of god/Allah himself , so what do i want right ? bravo !! what i want is not so far from what Eskimo asked you since the begining of this thread , start a thread and present your questions one after the other and lets discuss them, i promise you to counter and deflect any (and i emphasize "any" )belief or biblical theory you bring forth, naturally i try to refrain from discussing religion for i find people to strangely succumb to theories made thousands of years ago when protecting their religious beliefs, further more i often detect what bio-chemists term as MK ultra,a suggestive thinking methodology that causes one's perspective to remain constantly controlled,(something i wouldnt allow my self to experience) but as a person who spent a bulk of his life in the confines of the biggest islamic and arabic studies library( namely the Dar-al-fikr in  Cairo Egypt), and as a regular visitor to the cristian study section of New york's 5th Ave library ,best believe i have more than just ancient quotes to contribute to a an argument, so  im daring you to start a new thread ( this one is too crowded for me )  let u and I one on one  mano ? mano discuss religion,and brace yourself for a lesson in the faulty way the bible was written the human errors and lack of logic in many of the bible's scripts the involvemant of politics from the begining of the book to the end of it , the clumsy contradiction of the new testement to the old one, all the way down to the artistic generation of the jesus image itself, by this im not saying that the qur'an is free of similar caracteristics just a bit more precise and logical so Mr.Mallam lets GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps
 it will be to your advantage to first read and digest my post titled "AMIDST THE CONFUSION" in the general forum its a letter i once wrote to a christian frieand of mine, just so u can get a grasp of who u will be conversing with, good luck !  
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 10, 2004, 08:36:20 PM
Maqari

I agree with you that this is getting too long.  Did you go through my response to Eskimo.  I repeat we are currently on the issue of the Trinity.  I also see you are very intelligent, well schooled and well read that is good for you my friend. I also suggest you have a look at the Christain definition of God and I believe it will not be too different from that of islam.  On the issue of me throughing questions please the subject is Christain Muslim dialogue, I hope you understand it as different from questions and answers on christianity and islam.  The point is topic is not restricted and discussion is welcomed, this is not a challenge session but an attempt at discussing aspects of both faiths and raising questions on aspects we do not agree with or that confounds, so if you do have an area or issue that confounds you please feel free to put it forward I have put mine (may be a couple of them now), and Barde has put his (we are currently discussing his which is the Trinity and you can read his veiws from his postings and my explanations from my own postings).  You say there are errors and lack of logic in both the quran and the bible.  Well I am do not have a problem with your veiw, but the logic or sense anything makes to us depends on our biase and my friend everyone of us humans has a bias conciously or unconciously.

Thank you for the reference I did visit the thread interesting although I never finished it, however I never really got the jist of the matter.  You know they say that the best write ups are the simplest to read and understand, well maybe I was just too dumb (and I know the author is well read and intelligent).  But I will really enjoy your contribution and I like your idea of a new thread so please after you.  you should probably post an issue you think should be discussed.  I usually do not like the straight question and answer approach 'cos you find generally they are based on a lot of lack of knowledge, understanding, research etc and tends to create a you verses me thing rather than focusing on the issue.  You know based on my faith only God has full knowledge and wisdom so I will be erring (and it is a sin) if I present my self as the all knowing, that is why I prefer the study route then the presentation of findings and discussion/debate, that way wild allegations can be minimised and misconceptions or errors corrected.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Eskimo on March 11, 2004, 06:38:06 PM
Malam ba rudu ba ne....just ka gane?
Now you ve made yourself clear.. I think we are ready to go.
Please let us be ready to accept reality and we should look into history and culture very well...because some christian belief as well as some islamic are borrowed directly from paganism and they come to stay as part of the religion.

You will be suprised may be if you find out that the book you are so fondly quoting from is no different from Illiad of Homer (a pre-christianity greek novel). and may be most of the beliefs that you are tryting to sell to us are just modifications of old Roman religion. Esp that trinity you are talking of.

Did you know that Trinity was introduced into Christianity shortly after 323 AD? or was it confirmed to be a doctrine? Trinity is a new invention in Christianity. Jews did not know anything about Trinity...may be they had worshipping false God. a Unitarian God!

THE TRINITY IDEA WAS INFUSED INTO CHRISTIANITY
THROUGH PAGAN GREEK PLATONIC THOUGHT

The Illustrated Bible Dictionary records: "The word Trinity is not found in the Bible. . . It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century."
The New Catholic Encyclopedia admits that the Trinity "is not. . . directly and immediately the word of God."
The Encyclopedia of Religion And Ethics records: At first the Christian Faith was not Trinitarian. . . It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in the New Testament and other early Christian writings."
L. L. Paine, professor of Ecclesiastical History acknowledged: "The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic. God is a single personal being. The idea that a trinity is to be found there . . . is utterly without foundation."
The Encyclopedia of Religion admits: "Theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity."
The New Catholic Encyclopedia also admits: "The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the Old Testament."
Jesuit Edmund Fortman wrote in his book, The Triune God: ". . . There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a Trinity within the Godhead. . . Even to see in the Old Testament suggestions or foreshadowings or 'veiled signs' of the trinity of persons, is to go beyond the words and intent of the sacred writers."
The Encyclopedia of Religion says: "Theologians agree that the New Testament also does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity."
The New Encyclopedia Britannica reports: "Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament."
The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology confirms: "The New Testament does not contain the developed doctrine of the Trinity."

Jesuit Fortman similarly states: "The New Testament writers. . . give us no formal or formulated doctrine of the Trinity, no explicit teaching that in one God there are three co-equal divine persons. . . Nowhere do we find any trinitarian doctrine of three distinct subjects of divine life and activity in the same Godhead."
Yale University professor E. Washburn Hopkins affirms in the Origin and Evolution of Religion: "To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown; . . .they say nothing about it."
Historian Arthur Weigall records in The Paganism in Our Christianity: "Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon, and nowhere in the New Testament does the word 'Trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord."

THE TRINITY IDEA WAS BORROWED FROM HEATHEN RELIGIONS

A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge records that many historians believe that the Trinity "is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and ingrafted on the Christian faith."
Edward Gibbons's History of Christianity notes: "If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it is equally true that Christianity was corrupted by Paganism. The pure Deism of the first Christians . . . was changed, by the Church of Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity. Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief."
Historian Will Durant observed: "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity."
Siegfried Morenz, in the book 'Egyptian Religion' notes: "The trinity was a major preoccupation of Egyptian theologians . . . These gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular. In this way the spiritual force of Egyptian religion shows a direct link with Christian theology."
James Hastings wrote in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics: "In Indian religion, e.g., we meet with the trinitarian group of Brahma, Siva, and Visnu; and in Egyptian religion with the trinitarian group of Osiris, Isis, and Horus. . . Nor is it only in historical religions that we find God viewed as a Trinity. One recalls in particular the Neo-Platonic views of the Supreme or Ultimate Reality. which is triadically represented."

The doctrine of the Logos and the Trinity received their shape from Greek Fathers, who. . . were much influenced, directly or indirectly, by the Platonic philosophy . . . That errors and corruptions crept into the Church from this source can not be denied."
The book entitled, The Church of the Fist Three Centuries acknowledges: "The doctrine of the Trinity was of gradual and comparatively late formation: . . . it had its origin in a source entirely foreign from that of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures; . . . it grew up, and was ingrafted on Christianity, through the hands of the Platonizing Fathers."
The Platonizing Fathers were the Greek Philosophers that became Christian but continued to follow the teachings of Plato. These Philosophers mixed Christians Ideas with Pagan Greek Philosophy to formulate the concept of a three person Godhead. The apostle Paul warned the Greek Colossian city, "Beware lest any man cheat you through philosophy and vain deceit. . .(Colossians 2:8)"
What kind of philosophy was Paul warning about? Since Paul was addressing a Greek city, he must have been warning about the entrance of Greek Philosophical Thought. The Platonic Fathers also known as Greek Apologists were the first to introduce Pagan Trinitarian Thought into Christianity.
Church Historian Adolf Harnack states that the Church Fathers which developed the Nicene Creed were Platonists who appealed to Plato in support of the Trinity. Volume 4. Page 88: "Science concluded on alliance with the Nicene Creed; that was a condition of the triumph of orthodoxy. . . These men took their stand on the general theory of the universe which was accepted by the science of the time; they were Platonists, and they once more naively appealed to Plato in support even of their doctrine of the Trinity."
Church Historian Jaroslav Pelikan states in his book - The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition - that Greek Platonic elements were unmistakably present in the Trinitarian definition of One God in "three persons."
"The doctrine of the Trinity. . .must be interpreted in a manner that would be consistent with this a priori definition of the deity of God (One essence, three persons). Neoplatonic elements were unmistakably present in this definition. . ."
The New Catholic Encyclopedia vol. 10, page 335 admits: "From the middle of the 4th century onward, however, Christian thought was strongly influenced by Neo-platonic philosophy and mysticism."
Adolf Harnack states in Outlines of the History of Dogma, that church doctrine became "firmly rooted in the soil of Hellenism [pagan Greek thought]. Thereby it became a mystery to the great majority of Christians."
Andrew Norton declares in the book "A Statement of Reasons" that the Trinity originated not from the Bible, but from Platonic Philosophy: "We can trace the history of this doctrine, and discover its source, not in the Christian revelation, but in the Platonic philosophy . . . The Trinity is not a doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, but a fiction of the school of the later Platonists."
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 04:35:36 AM
Quote
Barde

So let us look at what you are saying. ?You say you do not understand the portion dealing with the origin of the word Allah in my posting? ?Well it is just that a history based on historical fact on where the word Allah originated from references have been given which you can also check. ?So do you agree with that? If not please let me have you own study on the origin of the word. ?This is a very important aspect because it will give perspective to the discussion.




Mallam

Is that what you were trying to say? Now read the following.

Believe in God is ingrained in the nature of Man, as long as he existed on earth, the knowledge of God almighty also coexisted, As Allah (SWT) tells us and i quote
" And there never was a people without a warner having lived among them" ?Quran 35:24.

See also quran 10:71,10:74. Every religion has his own peculiar name as god, So it is not suprising if a christian or a hindu rejects the name Allah as his God. For example, the aborigine of south Austrilia calls his God "Atnatu", Ancient phoenicians called their god Allon, latin dominated languages of western europe, term their god as Deus.and so on.

The letters YHWH occurs in the hebrew Jewish scriptures and it occurs commonly with ELOHIM, the combination YHWH/ELOHIM has been consistently translated in the english bible as "Lord God". YYHWH, Yehova or Yahuwa all mean the same thing. "Ya"is vocative and an exclamatory particle in both Hebrew and Arabic, meaning ?Oh! and huwa means He, again in both Hebrew and Arabic. Together they mean Oh He!. Instead of Yahuwa Elohim, we now have Oh He!Elohim.

ELOHIM = ELOH + IM

If you subract YA and IM out of YAHUWA ELOHIM, what remains is HUWAELOH. EL in Hebrew means God, and ELOH or ELAH also stands for the same God.

HUWA ELOH or HUWA ELLAH is identical to the quranic expression

HUWALLAH meaning HE IS ALLAH of verse qur'an 112:1.

This proves that El,Elah and Elohim are not distinctly different words. They all represent the single Arabic word Allah. This fact is corroborated by Rev.C.I.Scofied. A well respected doctor of Divinity among the christian World. See his Bible Commentary for more details.
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 05:17:14 AM
Quote
Barde


I find it interesting that you make an issue out of the fact that the word Trinity does not exist in the bible yet listen to you (posting dated 7/3/04) "You said that the net total of Allah's attribute is only found in two verses, does it really matter how many times it is been mentioned? if it does, why then as you said trinity cannot be found in the bible? (both new and old testaments)" ?Let me tell you why the number of times Allah's attributes are mentined is important. ?The number of times you call a person is an indication of how important/urgent a matter is. ?If a matter is important it will be stressed over and over again it will not just be mentioned once off. ?That is why it is important to observe the number of times a thing is repeated. ?I find interesting that you find nothing wrong is an attribute which is important in describing Allah appearing in a very limited way in the quran, but find it strange that a word used to describe a biblical concept does not appear in the bible.

Mallam

We believe that the whole Quran is important whether something is mentioned once or twice, Allah does not say anything that is not important. The reason why i brought Trinity is that, you still believe in it despite the fact that it was not mentioned in the bible but you claimed that the concept is there, even though the verses in the bible clearly indicate otherwise, see John 4:34,5:30,7:16&28,11:42,13:16,14:24. It is important for me to quote john 7:28 where Jesus (sorry, God in flesh) was teaching in the temple, he called out and i quote
" Yes, you know me, and you know where i come from. but i represent one you don't know, and he is true".

If i may ask, who is jesus, oh sorry God in flesh representing? and also if you don't want me to make trinity an issue why did you also make Allah's attribute an issue?
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 06:14:57 AM
Quote
Barde

You said and I quote "Does it really matter where al-Adl is found? whether qur'an or hadith is okay for us as Allah says in surah 4:170..........True muslims accepts anything that comes from Muhammad (saw) so far it has been accurately narrated." Carefully look at what you said, but before I go on, I should enlighten you to the fact that christians all over the world believe that the bible is the only book in the world that contains the undisputed word of God, and therefore only its contents can be made reference to as authoritative word of God NOTHING ELSE! ?Look at the first part of the qoute, you make so much of an issue out of the word Trinity not being in the bible, yet you find nothing wrong if al-Adl is not in the quran and you believe and accept it. ?May I ask you then how many books did Mohammed (SAW) get from Allah? Why are you bringing the hadith into the frame? ?Is the hadith the word of God? if so why is it not in the quran but a seperate book? Should we then take it that Allah gave two seperate books? ?And I agree with you about the importance of true and accurate interpretation of holy books, however any interpretation that can not give us references with the relevant holy book must be veiwed with some suspicion, because we must remember that interpretations are done by men. ?Who does the interpretation the hadith? the prophet (SAW) or men? What do you believe in as the word of Allah? the quran or the hadith? If it is the quran then show me where in the quran used the term al-Adl for Allah.




It seems Mallam does not know what hadith is all about.Allah (SWT) says we should pray, see Quran 62:9. How are we suppose to pray? prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) has given us the answer where he says, pray as you see me praying. For more details see the book of salat by Sahihal Bukhari, Siffatul Salatinnabiy by Nasiruddeen Albaniy. And remember Allah (S.A.W) says in quran 59:7 and i quote

"and whatever the messenger gives you take it, whatever he forbids you, leave it. and fear Allah truly Allah is severe in punishment".

An authentic hadith is known through its isnaad, matan, etc infact the science of hadith is a very wide topic.
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 06:19:09 AM
Quote
Barde

I qoute you again "You said Allah does not have justice as his attribute, if i may ask you, what does this verse (4:124) talking about? and i quote, "Whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a believer, such will enter paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a speck on the back of a date-stone, will be done to them". qur'an (4:124). and another one says and i quote, ?"So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it and who so ever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it". (qur'an 99:7-8). ?Look at both your qoutes there is non that says categorically clear that Allah is just. Your qoutes do not describe being just as an inherent attribute of Allah but just tells us that Allah will be just on a case by case basis. Look at the first qoute, it starts with "Whoever........" this is a condition and goes on to say "such will......." this is what is termed a reward or consequence statement. ?Look at the second qoute the same applies condition statement "So whoever does........" reward or consequence statement "...shall see it......". ?There is no point or indication that Allah is inherently Just which is quite the opposite in the bible where God is clearly and categorically refered to as a just God therefore leaving no one in doubt.


Mallam

Define Justice for me, may be i will understand you better.
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 06:33:00 AM
Quote
Barde

This is from my posting "Another common term used for sin is 'haram' (forbidden). It indicates that nothing is right or wrong by nature, but only becomes such if Allah says so. What he forbids is sin, even if he forbade what seems to the human conscience right and lawful. What Allah allows is not sin and cannot be sin at the time he allows it, though it may have been before or after. (E.g.: Muttah, 4:28, the marriage of convenience still practised by Shias today, direction of prayer, 2:119, 2:145, number of daily prayers, 30:17, 11:116, drinking of alcohol, 2:216, 5:92 etc.) "

I qoute you "You also made mention of Muttah, it is not only a marriage of convenience but also a temporary marriage practiced by discples of prophet when they are away from their families for long time and they cannot control their sexual desires. As stated in qur'an 4:28. ?And again you said ".....all the commandments were not revealed at once, considering the kind of activities people were doing at that time, he did not tell them to stop everything at once, if for example, they are drinking 12 bottles of alcohol in a day, he will start by telling them to drink like six bottles daily, then with time he will tell them to stop completely.

Now look at what you said closely and think about the implications carefuly, does it not bother you that prophets of a Holy Allah will indulge in that kind of activity (I suggest you also look up the word temporary)? ?Look at the second qoute I made from your posting, even in mortal human terms laws are not put in place gradually, does it not make you wonder how a just Allah that hates sin will on the one hand have a sliding scale of justice, while also permiting sin for as long as it is less than the previous? is sin not just sin? is wrong not just wrong?

Mallam

Dont misunderstand me, Muhammad S.A.W was the only prophet during his time, so how could i have said prophets committed sin?
All what i want you to understand is that islam was not revealed at once. If you didn't read the biography of the prophet i suggest that you go and read it, it will give you the idea of who he was. and i am sure you know about a book called the Top 100 men or the Greatest hundrend in history by Micheal H.Hart. Sorry for digressing, some historians namely
Micheal H. Hart, William McNeill,and James Gavin, individually, considers Muhammad (S.A.W) as worthy of honour and put him as number one before Jesus Christ (Pbuh) eventhough is their Lord and saviour. It is important for me to quote Micheal Hart, he says and i quote

" Since there are roughly twice as many christians in the world, it may initially seem strange that Muhammad
has been ranked higher than Jesus. There are two principal reasons for that decision. first Muhammad played a far more important role in the development of islam than Jesus did in the development of christianity. Although Jesus was responsible for the main ethical and moral precepts of christianity(in sofar as these differered from Judaism).
St. Paul was the main developer of christian theology, its principal proselytizer and the author of a large portion of the new testament. Muhammmad, however, was responsible for both the theology of islam and its main ethical and moral principles. In addition he played the key role in proseltizing the new faith, and in establishing the religious practices of islam." - Micheal Hart in his book "The 100" pages 38/39.
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 06:37:37 AM
Quote
Barde

I qoute you "Don't know much about the sufis, talkless of their pantheistic belief...." ?What you are making reference to here is information provided to you which is a historical fact I am not surprised you are not aware of it but I hope you have learnt something that will also raise your curiosity and encourage you to search for truth.



Mallam

Did you see Sufiasm among the five pillars of Islam?
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 06:45:40 AM
Quote
Barde


This is from your qoute "Why do you call me good, Jesus asked? only God is truely good". (Mark 11:18) (Remember trinity). Yes I know our discussion on Trinity. ?My understanding of why you are making this reference is that you are questioning if we say Jesus is God why then does Jesus say only God is truly good. First of all you are wrong with your reference you must be refering to Mark 10:18. The start of the verse tells you that somebody asked a question and was refering to Jesus as good and the verse is Jesus's response to the question. ?So what was the question? ?the question was ..."Good Teacher, what shall I do to get eternal life?" (Mark 10:17). ?Now remember as I told you and also I also qouted verses for you in the bible, christains believe in only ONE God! ?You have tried and pushed a particular veiw point that is not supported in the bible, which is to try and imply that christians are saying there is more than one God. ?Read again my posting covering the Holy Trinity please!!!!! Mark 10:18 Jesus was challenging the man's faulty perception of good as something measure by human acheivement (Mat 19:17; Luke 18:19; John 5:41-44). ?No one is good absolutely perfect, except God alone, the true Source and Standard of goodness. ?The man needed to see himself in the context of God's perfect character. ?Jesus's response did not deny His own deity but was a veiled claim to it. ?The man, unwittingly calling Him "good" needed to perceive Jesus' true identity. ?If you noticed, the man later dropped the word "good" verse 20.


Mallam

Okay, Christians are worshipping one God, but how comes God in flesh does not regard himself as a good God? and if at all Jesus was God in flesh, why didn't he say I am the good God?. Remember you said Allah does not regard himself as a Just, your reason was Allah did not mentioned it.
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 06:48:56 AM
Quote
Barde


I noticed once again you conveniently qouted only the last line of the verse. Your qoute of 1Timothy 3:16 "He was taken up into the heaven" wait a minute and ponder about the statement (remember trinity). ?1Timothy 3:16 reads: Beyond ALL QUESTIONS (my emphasis), the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in BODY (my emphasis) was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world was taken in glory. ?I see the last line is your concern when you read the whole verse in context you will see that the last line was refering to the resurection of Jesus. ?So I do not get your point except if you are trying to bring in the ressurection which I will suggest we wait for another time and another thread.


Mallam,

i quoted the last part cose i didn't want my post to be long. God in flesh taken up by who? explain
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 06:57:59 AM
Quote
Barde

You wrote and I qoute "what kind of uniqueness is Mallam talking about? when the God he is worshipping, felt thirsty as stated in John 20:28. Also God cried, seeking for help from another God, as stated in Mathew 27:46 and i quote
 
"Eli,Eli, lema sabachthani"? meaning My God, My God, why have you foresaken me? (Mathew 27:46). We all know that these two verses (john 20:28 and Mathew 27:46) are among the commonest attribute of mankind. Tell me how is he unique? Remember trinity."

In the first place as I said I am begining to feel there is a delibrate attempt on your part to misqoute the bible completely or else where did you get your qoute on John 20:28? John 20:28 reads: Thomas said to him "My Lord my God." ?So Barde where did you get your thirst story? On Mathew 27:46, you have touched on one of the central themes of christainity for here we see God love for mankind and His desire to save man. ?You see in christainity, Jesus laid His life for us sinners His life was never taken away, because it was the plan all along. ?Lets start from verse 45 Note that before Jesus uttered those words, darkness came over all the land. It is in this period of darkness that Jesus became the Sin-offering for the world (John1:29; Rom.5:8; 2Cor.5:21; 1Peter 2:24; 1Peter 3:18) and remember God is Holy as far as we christians are concerned and our bible continously reminds us of that, He can not look at sin no matter the size, it goes against the Holyness of God. ?Now it is at this point when Jesus took over the sin of the world that God turned away (seperated from Jesus), near the end when Jesus could not bear the seperation with the Father, He cried out Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? (My God My God why have You forsaken Me?). ?Jesus sensed a seperation from the Father He had never known, for in becoming sin, the Father had to turn judicially from His Son (Rom. 3:25-26). ?So do not use this passage in you case on the Trinity if anything, this verse only confirms it futher. ?Remember my advise to you please read contextually and cross reference.



Mallam

From the version of the bible am using, how i wish we are doing this thing face to face, you would have seen it. i have given you the details of the version you can go and verify.

Why didnt you say God in flesh took over the sin of the world that God turned away from God in flesh? does that make any sense to you? we all know that when two things are equal they can perfectly substitute each other.
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 07:20:04 AM
Quote
Barde


You wrote and I qoute "Mallam,find below lists of how God was described in your bible and let me know your responses on each and every verse......"

1. Jacob wrestles with God (Genesis 22:30).

ANS: ?Firstly there is nothing like Gen 22:30 I suppose you are refering to Gen 32:22-28. ?Please note that from verse 24 the wrestle was with a man who appeared out of nowhere. ?It is also significant to note that this fight was at night and Jacob was also seized with fear and uncertainty. ?You must also note that Jacob never lost the fight until an extraordinary supernatural act was evoked to gain advantage and the fight lasted till day break. ?This wrestle was with an Angel of God (see also Hosea 12:4) and because the Angel of God is God's representative he bears God's name (see also Exodus 23:21) and that is why you have in verse 28 ".......you have struggled with God.....". ?Also note that this struggle was not just physical but was also spiritual.
 


Mallam

Am sorry for misquoting the verses, is a mistake from my own self. It will help us in no small measure if i can quote the verses in question.

"This left Jacob alone in the camp, and a man saw that he couldnt win the match, he struck Jacob's hip and knocked it out of joint at the socket. Then the man said, Let me go, for it is dawn, but jacob panted, i will not let you go unless you bless me. what is your name? the man asked. he replied Jacob, Your name will no longer be jacob, the man told him, why do you ask? then he blessed jacob there. Jacob named the place Peniel- face of God, for he said ?i have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared". Gen 32:24-30.

I have gone through the story but i haven't seen where it is mentioned that Jacob wrestles with an Angel. and how could an ?ordinary man blessed Jacob as written in the story?
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 12:05:12 PM
Quote
Barde

 
2. Smoke from God's nostril and devouring fire from his mouth(2 Sam 22:9).

ANS: I wonder if you understand what an attribute is. ?Again your qoute says nothing. ?This is just a description by David of God's anger over His enemies and it continues with what He (God) will do to them. ?This does not describe God at all, so I do not see your point.
 


Mallam

Ordinarily i woudn't have brought in this verse but if you can remember, you described Allah with all sort of things that is why i said let me show you that worst things can also be found in your bible.
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 12:21:50 PM
Quote
Barde

 
3. Brutality and showing no mercy on the part of God, ordering that there shouldn't be any treaty. (Deutronomy 7:2).
Go and read about the treaty of Hudaybiyya.

ANS:The command to destroy them totally should be seen in this light. ?Firstly we know that the wages of sin is death and these nations that are being spoken about here were known for their sins (see also Deutronomy 9:4-5) ?Studies of their religion, literature, archeological remains reveal that they were the most morally depraved culture on the earth at that time. ?Secondly they persisted in their hatred of God (see also Deuteronomy 7:10), had they repented God would have spared them as He spared the Ninevites who repented at the preaching of Jonah, repentance was out of the question for these people. Thirdly the Canaanites constituted a moral cancer (see also Deuteronomy 20:17-18; Num 33:55; Josh.23:12-13), one of them even a child left alive had the potential introducing idolatory and immorality which would spread. ?You must understand that it is only God who knows the heart of men so He knows the future, the killing was not because He did not give them a chance, but He knew their heart and in His infinite wisdom acted accordingly.



Mallam

How can a good God be Merciless? and he was asked about the last day in the book of Mark 13:32 but he denied having knowledge of it? and you are now telling us that he knows the future. Is that not a contradiction?
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 12:26:49 PM
Quote
Barde

.

4. The lord will bring a terrible curse on a whole nation and cause its people to experience greater terror (Isiah 7:17). Is your God a terrorist?
 
ANS: Yo see you determination to misqoute the bible has hardened your heart you are not even interested in checking your facts. ?The verse contains judgement God is visiting Ahaz a branch of the house of David, for his iniquity. So I wonder how Gods warning of judgement can classify Him as a terrorist in islam. ?Please read the whole chapter first. ?Does not Allah also promise grave judgement in the quran? And about terrorism well I will leave you with that you know the rest.




Mallam

How can a good God bring terrible curse on a whole nation?
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 12:48:56 PM
Quote
Barde


5. ?God rested and refreshed (Exodus 31:17). Your God became exhausted after creating the heaven and the earth. What a unique attribute. See qur'an 55:29, it will give you an idea of a unique attribute.

ANS: I see your conclusion of the verse is that God rested as you would rest again please read the chapter again note please the rest is symbolic and not God catching a nap or something. ?Note that it was on the seventh day, this is the day that is considered the sabbath day by the Jews, on this day they do no work but is a day set aside to rest and worship and praise God. ?I see you really do not know the meaning of attribute, how can you lack of study and investigation into a matter be a sign of lack of an attribute of God?
 


Mallam

Let me quote the whole verse so that you can clarify more.
" It is a permanent sign of covenant with them. For in six days the lord made heaven and earth, but he rested on the seventh day and was refreshed". Exodus 31:17
What i want to tell you here is that such verses are not suppose to be in the holy bible cose ?only humans get refreshed after a hectic job. Just read over your answer, jews considered the sabbath day which is a work free day for them,so i want you to tell us that, is your God a jew or is he also praying?
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 01:05:21 PM
Quote
Barde

7. God behaves like a drunk(Psalms 78:65). Waiyya zhubillah.
 
ANS: I suggest you read start from Ps 78:1-4 please note that it starts as a story in form of a parable. You should always as a rule find context please. ?This is the Paslm o Asaph the speech is all figurative. ?Here it is a way or likening the wake to the rise of a mighty man. Of course if you are to read it literally and out of context you get a different message and that is what I am trying to get to you. ?You must contextualise each time you read the bible, go to the root of what is being said or else one would end up with a warped sense of interpretation like yours. ?You have said in you posting Allah allows some level of promiscuity as shown when some prophets were involved in it, I sincerely will be waiting for your explanation on that.


mallam

What am trying to tell you here is that, How can a holy God be likened to a drunk? we all know the meaning of like, and we know who a drunk is, do you agree with me that such a verse is not worth having a space in a holy book? Let me again remain you for misunderstanding me, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the only prophet during his time and you are now saying prophets, haba mallam.
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 01:27:25 PM
Quote
Barde

8. 1Timothy 6:16 states and i quote "He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No one has ever seen him, nor ever will. To him be honor and power forever" (1Timothy 6:16). Remember trinity?

ANS: This does not contradict the Trinity, I have written alot about the Trinity now, I think it is time you tell me based on all I have posted on the subject what you understand by the Trinity and stop this childish run aroun flinging same verses everytime yet not picking on what I have posted in that regard. ?to me it appears it is not the whole picture you are interested in but just a statement you can read and interpret your own way without investigating what the statement means from the bible. ?Let me give you a little background, early in his ministry Paul was convinced Christ will return soon. ?Now near the end of his ministry he showed awareness that Christ might not return before he died and a desire to encourage Timothy to leave the timing of this great event up to the Lord. ?Hence Paul stressed that God will bring about Christ's appearing in His own time. ?So contrary to what you are trying to say that particular verse as qouted by you is refering to Christ's second coming (please note that King of Kings and Lord of Lords is the title of Christ see Rev 19:16)



My question here is that you correlate 1 Timothy 6:16 with Jesus as God in flesh and let me hear your comment. That was what i meant by saying you should remember Trinity.

In your answer you said and i quote " Hence paul stressed that God will bring about Christs appearing in his own time. Will i be correct if i say, God will bring about God in flesh appearing in his own time. if am not correct, tell me why and if am correct, does the sentence make any sense to you?
Title: Re: : Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 12, 2004, 01:52:04 PM
Quote
Barde

9. Mark 11:12-14. Am still appealling to my freinds to allow me Narrate this short story. According to the book of Mark chapter 11 verses 12- 14, Jesus curses a fig tree.
"The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus felt hungry. He noticed a fig tree a little way off that was in full leaf, so he went over to see if he could find any figs on it. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then jesus said to the tree, May no one ever eat your fruit again! And the disciples heard him say it."Remeber trinity?

The point i want to make here is that Jesus(remember trinity), was completely ignorant of the season, he taught he could get something to eat on the tree. Remember Genesis?God created everything and yet, he felt hungry and wasted his time going to a fruitless tree, and after that he became angry to the extent that he cursed the tree.

ANS: ?You are really fixated by the word Trinity. ?I am glad verse after verse I have shown you the concept of the Trinity and you do not have anything to say about that or to disput instead you keep going back to the same things. ?You have an insatiable appetite to want to decieve. ?Let us see how ignorant you are, you say Jesus did not know the season. ?It is a fact both historically and even presently that in Palestine (the area of the story) fig trees produced crops of small edible buds in March followed by th appearance of large green leaves in early april. ?these early green "fruit" (buds) was common food for local peasants. ?Eventually these "fruits" (buds) dropped off when the normal crop figs formed and ripen in late may june - the fig season. ?So I hope you have learnt something, and have recognised how ignorant you are. I do not get the point you want to make on the Genesis part. ?Do not feel bad about your ignorance please if you do not raise such points nobody will see them and give you the right information and you will remain ignorant.




Haba Alaramma

Did i ask you to explain when fig trees grow crops? all what i was trying to tell you is that  how comes Jesus ( God in flesh) as the creator of everything ( that is why Genesis came in) did not know whether there are some edible fruits on the fig tree?.That was just what i asked you, i didn't demand for that long grammer, Just answer my question.

Jesus too, oh am sorry, God in flesh, showed his ignorance about the season, dont be angree with me i can see that you are loosing patience, dont blame me, point accusing fingers to the person that wrote the bible, am only quoting what i saw. If you cannot answer it, please help me ask your pastor or Rev father, okay?... dont be angree with me. Am earnestly waiting for your response.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Maqari on March 12, 2004, 03:06:14 PM
Eskimo
  an excellent write up that was, well reserched i may add ,
Mallam
  thanx for the time you donated to my thread ,its not out of context that u couldnt grasp the concept because that was just a letter to a friend and not ultimately clear and written text can sometimes appere very vaig i did follow up the first post with a second response to waziri's assertions u might want to check it out , and feel free to respond,
Barde
  i found your post to be really exhausting to read , maybe because the writing structure leaves no room for digestion , please try in the future to encompass all your points in a less chaotic manner so that your readers are more comfortable as they browse thru it , well i think thats about it keep the ideas floating comrades , ONE
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Eskimo on March 12, 2004, 06:57:27 PM
Barde you are making this thread unnessarily cumbersome...please try to compress your posts.

I KNOW YOU ARE JUST TRYING TO DRIVE THE POINT HOME!
KEEP IT FLOATING...MAN. ;D

-----------------------------------------------------

Malam....??? ???
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 13, 2004, 06:25:02 PM
Barde

I must emphasise that chriatians believe in only one God and I have been saying that all along so I am not sure if you understand that.  I see you also questioned how Jesus could have human attributes (hunger etc), remember in one of my postings I made it clear that one of the things about christianity is that we can not say a situation is too much for us therefore we sin.  Jesus has been through everything we as humans go through so we can not make such escuses.  You ask me for my definition of justice.  Again you are just runing away from the issue, the point is not that of definitions but an attribute.  Anyway to answer that question this way, what is the difference between a shape and (say) a triangle?  Can you see why it is important that an attribute (such as Justice) is mentioned clearly? A shape can be anything and is not definite a triangle is a definite shape.  So maybe you would like to answer my question on the matter now.  In another part you asked if my God was a jew God or praying God to this maybe you should educate yourself on the origin of the term christian.  I am indeed sorry for misqouing you on the issue of prophets it was not delibrate, but still for followers (disciples) of Mohammed (SAW) does it not worry you and raise questions of their holiness considering this act and the fact that it is accepted by a Holy Allah? please let me know your answer and if it does not worry you please also tell why (you have so far not commented on this act).

Maybe in aswering your questions on the relationship between God and Jesus, we should also look at what the quran says a bit more closely and try and follow your logic because it is obvious your questions are based on the quran(?) position which in all truth is unclear

The Qur'an says Jesus is not the son of Allah. Yet it is also entirely consistent with the Qur'an to consider Allah the Father of Jesus for the following reasons:

1) Allah caused Mary to become pregnant with Jesus
2) Allah determined some of the physical characteristics of Jesus
3) All of the genetic characteristics of Jesus were determined by just two parties: Allah and Mary.


Muslims might argue "Being a father implies having sex", and therfore Allah cannot be the father. Not necessarily so. Modern science has brought us "test tube babies", which are conceived without any sex. There is nothing to support the idea that if Allah wants a baby, he must resort to normal human means to have one.

Again, a Muslim may say that if we are going to call Jesus the son of Allah, then we should say that Adam is the son of Allah too. No, we cannot compare Adam to Jesus this way because Adam came into existence without a mother.

Let us first review some background material. What does the Qur'an say about how Mary became pregnant with Jesus? In Surah 3:45-49 we read:


The angels said to Mary: "Allah bids you rejoice in a word from him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and the hereafter, and shall be favored by Allah. He shall preach to men in his cradle and the prime of manhood, and shall lead a righteous life."
"Lord", she said, "how can I bear a child when no man has touched me?"
He replied: "Such is the will of Allah. He creates whom He will. When He decrees a thing He need only say: 'Be' and it is. He will instruct him in the Scriptures and in wisdom, in the Torah and in the Gospel, and send him forth as an apostle to the Israelites..."
From this passage we can draw the conclusions presented above:
1) Allah caused Mary to become pregnant with Jesus. Muslims infer from this passage and others like it that Jesus was conceived while Mary was a virgin by the word spoken by Allah, and not by a man.

Not that this in itself implies that Allah is the father. When a doctor causes a woman to become pregnant by artificial insemination, he is not considered the father. Hence the following two points:

2) Allah determined some of the physical characteristics of Jesus.
When Allah said "Be", did he have something specific in mind? Certainly! Allah had a very detailed plan in mind for Jesus. In particular, Allah decided that Jesus would be male. Normally, it is the sperm that decides the gender of the baby. Here Allah made the choice instead.

3) All of the genetic characteristics of Jesus were determined by precisely two parties: Allah and Mary.
This is clear because they were the only two parties involved. So we conclude that Allah and Mary are the only two possible candidates for the title "Father".

Hence it appears legitimate to call Allah the father of Jesus, at least in a figurative sense. Therefore we are at a loss to explain why the Qur'an spends so much space arguing against this. Certainly more and better justification is needed than what appears in these passages:


Surely they lie when they declare: "Allah has begotten children".
-- Sura 37:151
Where is the "lie" in our reasoning above?


They say: "Allah has begotten a Son". Glory be to Him! His is what the heavens and the earth contain; all things are obedient to Him. Creator of the heavens and the earth! When he decrees a thing, He need only say "Be", and it is.
-- Sura 2:116
Allah made Mary pregnant. What more would Allah have to do if he wanted a legitimate son?



Allah forbid that He Himself should beget a son! When He decrees a thing He need only say "Be," and it is. -- Sura 19:35
So is Allah unable to beget a son by saying "Be"?


Say: "If the Lord of Mercy had a son, I would be the first to worship him". -- Sura 43:82
 

I can assure you that even by logic it is easier to understand the bible's position of Jesus than it is to understand the quran's.  May be you would like to take a shot at answering the questions I have raised vis-a-viz the christian position
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 13, 2004, 08:09:24 PM
Eskimo

na gaya ma kai dan rudu ne amma nagode da kokarin da ka sa.  I am really appreciative of your effort and time on the subject and from what I have read, you have not contradicted any thing I have posted on the issue.

In my posting dated 29/2/04 the fact that the term Trinity in christianity came about only after Christ in about 2AD was alluded to and my posting dated 4/3/04 further gave a background on the term and its origins in christianity.  It was also made clear in the same posting that the term did not exist in the bible. So I suppose we are in agreement, I suggest you read those two postings.

Your posting has provided us of a bit more indepth study of the origin of the term Trinity and the fact that it may have been used by some pagan believes.  But your posting has failed to relate the history of the term, the use of the term by some pagan beliefs, and the use of the term by christians.  As I have said and now repeating Trinity in christianity is a term used to describe the phenomenon of the relationship between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  Now this relationship exists in the bible and is well documented there, however this relationship was described only in about 2 AD as the Trinity.  In another 1000 years christianity may use another word to describe this relationship if that word describes the phenomenon of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit better, we do not know but the most important thing is that the relationship itself remains as described in the bible.  I must make it very clear that christians do not worship the Trinity but worship God.

So it would be very helpful if your study can show us that the term Trinity does not adequately describe the relationship of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as contained in the bible.  Since we are discussing using the bible as our basis, it will be very important to keep the biblical perspective of the issue in focus or else we will end up being very general in our discussion and loose direction.  Once again thank you for your contribution.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Barde

I see you made a comment on the fact the Mohammed (SAW) is in the top 100 greatest men in history (or ranked before Jesus), that is a very childish remark, as you have not said how that affects the truth (word of God) or the matter at hand.  Are you trying to say that if in another 1000 years Budiasm or Hinduism out strips Islam in the number of followers and such a book is written ranking either one first then it becomes (or its founder becomes) more credible than islam?  Please man let us be abit more intelligent with our discussion.

You also tried to make an issue with ".... but he rested on the seventh day and was refreshed". Exodus 31:17.  I have indicated to you that you are reading it literally and not looking at the context look carefully, this statement marked the end of creation.  In the bible we have a definite day on which creation came to an end this may be what is causing your confusion since in the quran we are not clear on if the earth was created in 6 days (7:54; 25:59) or 8 days (41:9-12). (or I forgot maybe you know the answer)
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Eskimo on March 17, 2004, 01:43:04 PM
Quote
Eskimo

na gaya ma kai dan rudu ne

It does matter ko rudu ko what ever you call it.

Malam I see that you like making quotes from Quran..althought you said we are looking at things from the christians perspectives.

If I may correct you...Quran made it clear that Jesus is not the son of God. It is not possible for God to beget a Son.

Allah can create a human being in the absence of either or all parents. That is why Quran cites example of Jesus as like Adam. The Later was created without a father or mother. It was just the wish of God when he say Be it will be.

In the case of Jesus God wished to create a human being without a Father and he just say Be and it was.

PLEASE THAT IS THE MESSAGE OF THE QURAN!  So, you have all the rights to dispute it. But you lack the right to misinterpret the quranic meanings. Afterrall we are not looking at it from the muslim perspective.

Quote
Again, a Muslim may say that if we are going to call Jesus the son of Allah, then we should say that Adam is the son of Allah too. No, we cannot compare Adam to Jesus this way because Adam came into existence without a mother.  

Have you forgetten Eve the wife of Adam, whom Allah created without a Mother (from the Ribs of Adam) Going by your argument, we can safely conclude that is the Mother of Eve. Since Adam and God are the only party to her existance.

Quote
2) Allah determined some of the physical characteristics of Jesus  
3) All of the genetic characteristics of Jesus were determined by just two parties: Allah and Mary.

The same thing applies to Adam in the Quran..by extension to Eve also. So that made them children of God! Begotten not made!

Quote
2) Muslims might argue "Being a father implies having sex", and therfore Allah cannot be the father. Not necessarily so. Modern science has brought us "test tube babies", which are conceived without any sex. There is nothing to support the idea that if Allah wants a baby, he must resort to normal human means to have one.  
 

If you could remember I advice to you read well so as to avoid making statements that are historically or scientifically wrong.

In the olden times Biology believes that until there are sperm  and ovary from the male and female of the same specie collected either from sex or in anyway...before you can produce a baby.
But now a days we know that even a cell from a strand of hair can produce a baby! read about genetic Engineering and Cloning. Although I know currently the result of the cloning is the same as the source of the cell ie if the cell is from a female the baby will also be a female (..in that case Jesus would have a female) still there is a possiblity in the future scientist can produce any type of human being from any type of cell!

Even folllowing the conventional biology..Mary and Allah must be of the same specie to produce Jesus. so Mary, Jesus and Allah are of the same Kind! SO ALSO THE FATHER AND MOTHER OF MARY..UPWARD!
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Eskimo on March 17, 2004, 02:06:35 PM
Malam,
After my previous response I also found this on the net and I SHAMELESSLY copied it exactly without changing a word of it...JUST LIKE YOU DID!~ ;D

HERE IT IS. it is a muslim response to the article you copied and post here!!

This proposed internal contradiction (that Allah has a son) is so outside the scope of logical deduction, that I am compelled to refute this section-by-section (and line-by-line where necessary).

Additionally, I have made the text which I am responding to smaller than my response. The purspose of this is to distinguish the response from the original argument and highlight the response as opposed to the origianl text (which can be seen in the normal font elsewhere anyway).

Who is the Father of Jesus?

ANSWER: No one. (to be expounded upon by refuting any claims that God is)

Is Jesus the son of Allah? The Qur'an says no. Yet it is also entirely consistent with the Qur'an to consider Allah the Father of Jesus for the following reasons:

1) Allah caused Mary to become pregnant with Jesus
2) Allah determined some of the physical characteristics of Jesus
3) All of the genetic characteristics of Jesus were determined by just two parties: Allah and Mary.

Let me say that (1) is a justified claim, (2) and (3) are questionable because God shapes everyone according to His will as He pleases. I personally do not know "how" God made Mary pregnant - but I guess you know! Did God turn Mary's egg into an embryo directly, or did He create a sperm to fertilize it, or did He just put an embryo there without Mary's egg or a created sperm? Tell me if you really know!

A Muslim might argue "Being a father implies having sex", and therfore Allah cannot be the father. No. Modern science has brought us "test tube babies", which are conceived without any sex.

The key word there is "might". I, as a Muslim, think it would take sperm from a man to fertilize an egg from a women in order for there to be two biological parents. God is not a biological parent because God is NOT a biological being. God is uncreated. Anyway, where do the test tube sperms come from? Or did you think they created a sperm in the lab?! And why don't you worship these test-tube babies since they don't have a father or mother (according to your logic anyway)?

There is nothing to support the idea that if Allah wants a baby, he must resort to normal human means to have one.

Correct. So if you are saying God is not a biological parent, fine. What kind of parent is he? A metaphorical one? Well, we know that's how the Bible describes God often. Remeber God calls Israel His first born (according to the Bible)? Is God then the parent? And yet Israel came from biological parentage! Or do you claim that Israel's parentage is a metaphorical parantage and Jesus(pbuh)'s is literal?

Again, a Muslim may say that if we are going to call Jesus the son of Allah, then we should say that Adam is the son of Allah too. No, because Adam popped into existence without a mother. We cannot compare Adam to Jesus this way.

Then what is the difference between the creation of Adam and Jesus which makes Adam not a Son of God and Jesus a Son of God? Is your answer, "because Jesus's mother was a creation of God therefore Jesus is the Son of God, but since Adam had no earthly mother, Adam is not the Son of God."? Another point, it is not that Muslims say Adam is the Son of God. Read your Bible. Email me if you need the verse.

Let us first review some background material. What does the Qur'an say about how Mary became pregnant with Jesus? In Surah 3:45-49 we read:

The angels said to Mary: "Allah bids you rejoice in a word from him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and the hereafter, and shall be favored by Allah. He shall preach to men in his cradle and the prime of manhood, and shall lead a righteous life." "Lord", she said, "how can I bear a child when no man has touched me?" He replied: "Such is the will of Allah. He creates whom He will. When He decrees a thing He need only say: 'Be' and it is. He will instruct him in the Scriptures and in wisdom, in the Torah and in the Gospel, and send him forth as an apostle to the Israelites..."

>From this passage we can draw the conclusions presented above: 1) Allah caused Mary to become pregnant with Jesus. Muslims infer from this passage and others like it that Jesus was conceived while Mary was a virgin by the word spoken by Allah, and not by a man.

Muslims do not know "how" Mary was made to be pregnant with Jesus (pbuh). How she became pregnant is God's knowledge. We only know that God commanded it.

Not that this in itself implies that Allah is the father. When a doctor causes a woman to become pregnant by artificial insemination, he is not considered the father. Hence the following two points:

Good thinking! You are right. This does not imply Allah is a father.

2) Allah determined some of the physical characteristics of Jesus. When Allah said "Be", did he have something specific in mind? Certainly! Allah had a very detailed plan in mind for Jesus. In particular, Allah decided that Jesus would be male. Normally, it is the sperm that decides the gender of the baby. Here Allah made the choice instead.

3) All of the genetic characteristics of Jesus were determined by precisely two parties: Allah and Mary. This is clear because they were the only two parties involved. So we conclude that Allah and Mary are the only two possible candidates for the title "Father".

Ever hear of surrogate mothers? Perhaps mary was just that; a surrogate mother. I mean really, how do you know "how" Jesus was formed? It seems you are assuming that Mary supplied the egg and God suppled the sperm. May Allah protect us from such blasphemous thoughts!

I'm not hiding that I don't know "how" Mary became pregnant with Jesus(pbuh), and I am not pretending to know. God said "Be" and it happened. I'm just asking, "How do you know Mary's egg was part of the process? How do you know?" The truth is you don't know. Admit you don't know "how" Jesus(pbuh) was placed in the womb of Mary and be humble to your Lord, God.

Hence it appears legitimate to call Allah the father of Jesus,

No...

at least in a figurative sense.

Interesting... He is not the biological father. He does not beget children. So what kind of father is he? A metaphorical/figurative one at best! Just refer to what I said above about Israel being God's first born in the Bible. Or do you also worship Israel? Or if you think God is then a figurative father, did he then supply a figurative "sperm"? Again, may God protect us from such blasphemous thoughts!

Therefore we are at a loss to explain why the Qur'an spends so much space arguing against this.

How can you not understand this? May God make you see it. The Qur'an is an a message to straighted out the errors which the followers of previous prophets have fallen into. You may not believe it is an error, but if it was not, then there would be no reason to correct it, would there? I mean the message of the Qur'an id Guidance and part of that is pointing out the errors we should not fall victim to.

Certainly more and better justification is needed than what appears in these passages:

Surely they lie when they declare: "Allah has begotten children". - - Sura 37:151

Where is the "lie" in our reasoning above?

I have shown it. You assume two postulates ( numbers 2 and 3 above) which are assumed truths. They are nothing but conjecture and the Qur'an has mentioned that Christians follow nothing but conjecture. You can't make up your own religion. That is equivalent to worshipping Satan.

They say: "Allah has begotten a Son". Glory be to Him! His is what the heavens and the earth contain; all things are obedient to Him. Creator of the heavens and the earth! When he decrees a thing, He need only say "Be", and it is. -- Sura 2:116

Allah made Mary pregnant. What more would Allah have to do if he wanted a legitimate son?

Excuse me, but you assume God wants a son in the first place. That may be a whole other discussion, but certainly has nothing to do with a proposed inconsistency in the Qur'an. The Qur'an never says that God ever wanted a son (metaphorical or literal - whatever a "literal" son of God may mean - a'uuthu billah! I seek shelter in God from such blasphemous thoughts!).

Allah forbid that He Himself should beget a son! When He decrees a thing He need only say "Be," and it is. -- Sura 19:35

So is Allah unable to beget a son by saying "Be"?

Your wrong assumption here is that saying "Be" is the same as begetting a son. It has been shown that that is not the case. Do you doubt that? How can you doubt it, if you do? Or should I say that because God commanded all of us to "Be", we then are the children of God? Do we then worship ourselves? (I am mentioning that because that is really the point of trying to proven God has a son, isn't it? You want Muslims to become deluded and worship a creature like you do. The Qur'an is right when it says that the Jews and Christians would never be satisfied unless we follow their form of religion. Well, may God protect us from that.) Why can't Christians just understand that "son of God" and "children of God" are not literal terms, but literary devices and expressions?

Say: "If the Lord of Mercy had a son, I would be the first to worship him". -- Sura 43:82

We would prefer something more convincing from the Qu'ran than this.

That is the key comment in your post. What is it that would convince you that God did not beget a son? I mean, if it is true that God did not have a son, then what is the convincing proof you would require? What's the proof that he had a son? You seem to agree with the Qur'an's description of God's capability to create Jesus(pbuh). I mean even the Qur'an says that if the Qur'an wasn't from God there would be dicrepencies. Does your religion offer you a proof of authenticity? Is it the supposed Resurrection of Jesus? Just compare the four gospels in detail to each other, along with the book of Acts, and see if the Resurrection really happened. Go on... Do it. I dare you. Are you afraid of what you will find? How will you rationalize the inconsistencies? Is it that you have no discrepencies in your Bible? If you think so, you are deluding yourself (or Satan is deluding you). Even the maintainer of these web pages admits to those contradictions, and yet none of the proposed contradiction of the Qur'an are proven to be contradictions. That's right. None have been proven to be contradictions. If so, which ones? Be honest. Are they conclusively contradictions? Have you considered the Arabic? All contexts? All meanings? God's word (the Qur'an) is protected. Don't kid yourself.

I hope you realize you've disappointed a lot of people here. First, you attempted to find a contradiction in the Qur'an where none existed. Second, you claimed knowledge of "how" Jesus(pbuh) was formed (and that is knowledge you just don't have). Third, you used that false knowledge in trying to concoct an argument as to how Jesus could be the son of God - unsuccessfully. Lastly, you take the Qur'an and interpret it to your own desires -something the Qur'an says we can not do. So you have used the Qur'an incorrectly to try to prove something the Qur'an doesn't support based on assumed knowledge you just don't have. Do you think your arguments have any crediblity now?

Look, it is not too late to say, "hey, I made a mistake," and move on. The doors of Mercy from God are still open. If I have been harsh in my response it is because I want the message to get through. You really don't know the joy of believing in God without concocted beliefs added in by Satan until you become a Muslim. Please think about the arguments I have put forth.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 18, 2004, 03:39:31 AM
Eskimo

Again you rush into throwing tantrums without reading!!! you wrote ".....personally do not know "how" God made Mary pregnant - but I guess you know! Did God turn Mary's egg into an embryo directly, or did He create a sperm to fertilize it, or did He just put an embryo there......" and I see you continue to go with this line of argument throughout your posting on the question of "how".  I do not see anywhere in the posting where "how" was a question or an issue, I see you do not know or understand that conception ( I used concieve) is not a discription of how but a description of a state and both the bible and quran do agree that Mary agree that Mary concieved (became pregnant) with Jesus at one time.  Stop the tantrums and read carefully where you do not understand the meaning of a word read it up from the dictionary.

1) Allah caused Mary to become pregnant with Jesus  
2) Allah determined some of the physical characteristics of Jesus  
3) All of the genetic characteristics of Jesus were determined by just two parties: Allah and Mary.  
 
Your response:  Let me say that (1) is a justified claim, (2) and (3) are questionable because God shapes everyone according to His will as He pleases. I personally do not know "how" God made Mary pregnant - but I guess you know! Did God turn Mary's egg into an embryo directly, or did He create a sperm to fertilize it, or did He just put an embryo there without Mary's egg or a created sperm? Tell me if you really know!  
 
A Muslim might argue "Being a father implies having sex", and therfore Allah cannot be the father. (this a very common response from muslims and I know because I have come across it several times, however no assumptions are made that all muslims respond as such thus the catch word "MIGHT").

I will not respond to (1) on (2) surely you would agree that atleast Allah did determine the physical characteristics of Jesus if you do not want to accept some because you said I qoute "...because God shapes everyone according to His will as He pleases." (this is not saying that Jesus's physical characteristics are those of Allah please). So (2) can be said not to be questionable. With (3) again since we did not have genetic science then and we do not have the blood of Mary and Jesus we may not be able to say for sure that Mary contributed in determining Jesus's genetic make up but we can say for sure that Allah did (please note this not saying that Jesus had Allah's genes, it is just to say that Allah determined which genes Jesus got), considering your statement as I have qouted above.

You wrote "I have shown it. You assume two postulates ( numbers 2 and 3 above) which are assumed truths. They are nothing but conjecture and the Qur'an has mentioned that Christians follow nothing but conjecture." You will agree with me that there is no conjecture or assumed truth as your statement above acknowledges that God (Allah) shapes everyone as He pleases according to His will.

Surely they lie when they declare: "Allah has begotten children". - - Sura 37:151

Where is the "lie" in our reasoning above?  

your response: "I have shown it. You assume two postulates...."

Let us go back to the begining of this post remember we have establish 3 things as facts (1) Allah caused Mary to be pregnant (2) Allah determined the physical characteristic of Jesus (3) Allah determined the genetic make up of Jesus.  We know for a fact that all men from Adam that have walked the face of the earth with the exception of Jesus were created.  Based on the 3 facts stated we can then say that Allah was directly instrumental in the bringing into being of Jesus and Mary was the channel used.  We can therefore also say that Jesus was begotten (please look up the meaning of this word first).  Christains believe (1) God caused Mary to be pregnant, (2) God determined the physical characteristic of Jesus, (3) God determined the genetic make up of Jesus, and Jesus is the begotten Son of God.  So the question still remains where is the lie?


Allah made Mary pregnant. What more would Allah have to do if he wanted a legitimate son?  
 
You wrote "Excuse me, but you assume God wants a son in the first place. That may be a whole other discussion, but certainly has nothing to do with a proposed inconsistency in the Qur'an. The Qur'an never says that God ever wanted a son (metaphorical or literal - whatever a "literal" son of God may mean - a'uuthu billah! I seek shelter in God from such blasphemous thoughts!)."

I qoute from you "...because God shapes everyone according to His will as He pleases." It is a historical fact that Jesus was male so I do not know what you are trying to say.  And as you said the quran never said that God wanted a Son niether does the bible.

Allah forbid that He Himself should beget a son! When He decrees a thing He need only say "Be," and it is. -- Sura 19:35  
 
So is Allah unable to beget a son by saying "Be"?  
 
Your response:  Your wrong assumption here is that saying "Be" is the same as begetting a son. It has been shown that that is not the case. Do you doubt that? How can you doubt it, if you do? Or should I say that because God commanded all of us to "Be", we then are the children of God? Do we then worship ourselves? (I am mentioning that because that is really the point of trying to proven God has a son, isn't it? You want Muslims to become deluded and worship a creature like you do. The Qur'an is right when it says that the Jews and Christians would never be satisfied unless we follow their form of religion. Well, may God protect us from that.) Why can't Christians just understand that "son of God" and "children of God" are not literal terms, but literary devices and expressions?  

I like your argument on this point because it only goes to precisely say what christains have always said.  I qoute you "Your wrong assumption here is that saying "Be" is the same as begetting a son."  You are absolutely right the two are not the same "be" will be creating into being (Adam and creation of the world) and that is the point!!  So Allah goes through a process which we have established the 3 facts as stated earlier right?  You went on and I qoute "It has been shown that that is not the case. Do you doubt that? How can you doubt it, if you do? Or should I say that because God commanded all of us to "Be", we then are the children of God? Do we then worship ourselves?"  Firstly let me correct a misconception you have.  Christians DO NOT WORSHIP JESUS we worship God!!! We worship God through Jesus that is to say Jesus is our intercessor!  For us as christrians yes we are children of God if you are a saved believer of God, you get salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who intercedes for us with the Father.  So it is not the command that will make us children of God as you erronously tried to potray. Let us look at this in veiw of all that has been said so far.  So you see I am glad you agree with me that "be" and begotten Son are not the same.  Allah would have still acheived His will if He said "be" instead of the process with Mary, but the process with Mary was used which shows a significant and special relationship between Jesus and Allah.  And it is that process that clearly makes Jesus a begotten one.

You wrote "You seem to agree with the Qur'an's description of God's capability to create Jesus(pbuh)."  I believe can can create anything on earth an in the heavens and universe.  God is not limited as you are making Him to be He has decided to send Jesus and you deny Jesus because you believe can not do it or because you say He can not have a Son.  As you asked what proof do I have that God had a Son, I tell you it is my bible (we will go to it in a minute).  I also ask you what proof do you have the God did not have a Son.  Your wrote "I mean even the Qur'an says that if the Qur'an wasn't from God there would be dicrepencies."  This is a different topic and you would be surprised with the amount of discrepences.

You wrote "I mean, if it is true that God did not have a son, then what is the convincing proof you would require?"  You phrase your question as a fact the Jesus is not the Son of at God in any sense.  Now except you have had a direct communication with God and He personally told you that I do not know how you came to this conclusion. You do not have any evidence that Jesus is not the Son of God, if you did or any other person did believe me there would not be christianity today!!

You wrote "What is it that would convince you that God did not beget a son? What's the proof that he had a son?"

These two questions are very impotant and I will show you from the bible your answers (note I am not using any other book or some logic only the word of God)

PROPHESY
It is a biblical fact that  the coming of the messiah (Jesus) was prophesied. Isaiah 42:3-7, Isaiah 53:13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! You aren’t satisfied to exhaust my patience. You exhaust the patience of God as well! 14 All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel—‘God is with us.’ 15 By the time this child is old enough to eat curds and honey, he will know enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong.

Isaiah 53:4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! 5 But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! 6 All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of us all.

John 1:1 In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make. 4 Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. 5 The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
6 God sent John the Baptist 7 to tell everyone about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was only a witness to the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world.
10 But although the world was made through him, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. 11 Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan—this rebirth comes from God.
14 So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.
15 John pointed him out to the people. He shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before I did.’ ”
16 We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us—one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart; he has told us about him.


Will continue.......
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Eskimo on March 19, 2004, 01:28:54 PM
Mallam..sorry ba
you see we are just wasting our time on a fruitless discussion. we are not getting anywhere so may be we should just forget everything.

Wish you a nice navigation in K_online. ;)
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 20, 2004, 01:28:26 AM
Amen
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 20, 2004, 02:02:41 AM
Quote
Mallam..sorry ba
you see we are just wasting our time on a fruitless discussion. we are not getting anywhere so may be we should just forget everything.

Wish you a nice navigation in K_online. ;)

Don't stop what you are doing, this is really educating alot
of people here. This is the type of thread that should go on
and on and on and on untill all your points are satisfied.

Pls dont stop, this is getting more interesting
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 21, 2004, 11:39:38 AM
Quote

Assalamualaikum

I am really sorry for exhausting you guys, as you know Mallam is always saying that am dogding his questions, that was why i took his points one after the other. I will not repeat that inshaAllah. You guys should accept my apologies.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Barde on March 21, 2004, 08:03:04 PM
Quote
Barde

I must emphasise that chriatians believe in only one God and I have been saying that all along so I am not sure if you understand that. ?I see you also questioned how Jesus could have human attributes (hunger etc), remember in one of my postings I made it clear that one of the things about christianity is that we can not say a situation is too much for us therefore we sin. ?Jesus has been through everything we as humans go through so we can not make such escuses. ?You ask me for my definition of justice. ?Again you are just runing away from the issue, the point is not that of definitions but an attribute. ?Anyway to answer that question this way, what is the difference between a shape and (say) a triangle? ?Can you see why it is important that an attribute (such as Justice) is mentioned clearly? A shape can be anything and is not definite a triangle is a definite shape. ?So maybe you would like to answer my question on the matter now. ?In another part you asked if my God was a jew God or praying God to this maybe you should educate yourself on the origin of the term christian. ?I am indeed sorry for misqouing you on the issue of prophets it was not delibrate, but still for followers (disciples) of Mohammed (SAW) does it not worry you and raise questions of their holiness considering this act and the fact that it is accepted by a Holy Allah? please let me know your answer and if it does not worry you please also tell why (you have so far not commented on this act).

Maybe in aswering your questions on the relationship between God and Jesus, we should also look at what the quran says a bit more closely and try and follow your logic because it is obvious your questions are based on the quran(?) position which in all truth is unclear

The Qur'an says Jesus is not the son of Allah. Yet it is also entirely consistent with the Qur'an to consider Allah the Father of Jesus for the following reasons:

1) Allah caused Mary to become pregnant with Jesus
2) Allah determined some of the physical characteristics of Jesus
3) All of the genetic characteristics of Jesus were determined by just two parties: Allah and Mary.


Muslims might argue "Being a father implies having sex", and therfore Allah cannot be the father. Not necessarily so. Modern science has brought us "test tube babies", which are conceived without any sex. There is nothing to support the idea that if Allah wants a baby, he must resort to normal human means to have one.

Again, a Muslim may say that if we are going to call Jesus the son of Allah, then we should say that Adam is the son of Allah too. No, we cannot compare Adam to Jesus this way because Adam came into existence without a mother.

Let us first review some background material. What does the Qur'an say about how Mary became pregnant with Jesus? In Surah 3:45-49 we read:


The angels said to Mary: "Allah bids you rejoice in a word from him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and the hereafter, and shall be favored by Allah. He shall preach to men in his cradle and the prime of manhood, and shall lead a righteous life."
"Lord", she said, "how can I bear a child when no man has touched me?"
He replied: "Such is the will of Allah. He creates whom He will. When He decrees a thing He need only say: 'Be' and it is. He will instruct him in the Scriptures and in wisdom, in the Torah and in the Gospel, and send him forth as an apostle to the Israelites..."
From this passage we can draw the conclusions presented above:
1) Allah caused Mary to become pregnant with Jesus. Muslims infer from this passage and others like it that Jesus was conceived while Mary was a virgin by the word spoken by Allah, and not by a man.

Not that this in itself implies that Allah is the father. When a doctor causes a woman to become pregnant by artificial insemination, he is not considered the father. Hence the following two points:

2) Allah determined some of the physical characteristics of Jesus.
When Allah said "Be", did he have something specific in mind? Certainly! Allah had a very detailed plan in mind for Jesus. In particular, Allah decided that Jesus would be male. Normally, it is the sperm that decides the gender of the baby. Here Allah made the choice instead.

3) All of the genetic characteristics of Jesus were determined by precisely two parties: Allah and Mary.
This is clear because they were the only two parties involved. So we conclude that Allah and Mary are the only two possible candidates for the title "Father".

Hence it appears legitimate to call Allah the father of Jesus, at least in a figurative sense. Therefore we are at a loss to explain why the Qur'an spends so much space arguing against this. Certainly more and better justification is needed than what appears in these passages:


Surely they lie when they declare: "Allah has begotten children".
-- Sura 37:151
Where is the "lie" in our reasoning above?


They say: "Allah has begotten a Son". Glory be to Him! His is what the heavens and the earth contain; all things are obedient to Him. Creator of the heavens and the earth! When he decrees a thing, He need only say "Be", and it is.
-- Sura 2:116
Allah made Mary pregnant. What more would Allah have to do if he wanted a legitimate son?



Allah forbid that He Himself should beget a son! When He decrees a thing He need only say "Be," and it is. -- Sura 19:35
So is Allah unable to beget a son by saying "Be"?


Say: "If the Lord of Mercy had a son, I would be the first to worship him". -- Sura 43:82
 

I can assure you that even by logic it is easier to understand the bible's position of Jesus than it is to understand the quran's. ?May be you would like to take a shot at answering the questions I have raised vis-a-viz the christian position

Mallam

Allah (SWT) created Jesus through mary as a  prove to mankind that he is capable of doing everything according to his will, see qur'an 19:21. If i may ask you, for how long did Jesus stay in Marys womb? is it for nine months? No! It is said that Jibril had merely breathed in the sleeve of Marys shirt, and thus she conceived. Allah says " Verily, the likeness of Isa ( Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him "Be" and he was". (qur'an 3:59)
Allah (SWT) created Adam without a father and a mother, he created Jesus without father but with a mother, and then he created us through both perents, did you follow the sequence? it is stated in the holy qur'an " There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the most Gracious (Allah) as a slave" (Qur'an 19:93) also in qur'an 19:30 it is stated that " He Isa (jesus) said "verily i am a slave from Allah, He has given me the scripture and made me a prophet".(19:30). Jesus Prayed and worship God Like the muslims do, see the  book of mathew 26:39. In the book of Mark Jesus says "A prophet is honored every where except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family" ( Mark 6:4). I want you to understand that muslims are not like the christians whereby they go contrary to what their Holy book is telling them.

It should be noted that nowhere in the gospels does Jesus actually call himself "son of God", instead, he is recorded to have repeatedly called himself "Son of Man" (example Luke 9:22) innumerable times. And in Luke 4:41, he actually rejected being called "Son of God": And demons also came out of many, crying, You are the Son of God! But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the christ".

Infact there are numerous places in the old testament where the title of Son of God has been given to others.God called Israel(prohet Jacob) His "Son" when He instructed Prophet Moses to go to Pheraoh in Exodus 4:22-23, "And you shall say to Pharaoh,thus says the Lord, "Israel is my first-born son, and i say you, 'Let my son go that he may serve me' ". See also Genesis 6:2, Hosea 1:10, Psalms 89:27.

It is obvious that the expression "Son of God" merely meant Servant of God, one who, because of his faithful service, was close and dear to God. Unfortunately christians are misusing the term, the use of the term "Son of God" should only be understood from the semitic symbolic sence of a servant of God. In the four Gospels, Jesus is recorded as saying: " Blessed are the peace-makers; they will be called sons of God" (Mathew 5:9). I want mallam to please tell me what this verse implies, maybe am misunderstanding the meaning.

You said "Allah caused Mary to become pregnant with jesus" do you think it was the effort of your father that resulted in your giving birth? if you think so, you are only deceiving yourself, Allah not only caused the creation of Jesus but everything.

"Allah determined the physical characteristics of Jesus", I want Mallam to tell us who determined his Physical characteristics. Does that means we are all sons of God? since he is the one that determines everything.

"All of the genetic characteristics of Jesus were detemined by just two parties: Allah and Mary". Again Mallam should tell us whether a Father has every right to determine his sons genes. According to the bible, Mary was known to be the wife of Joseph (Luke 2:4-5), what then is the relationship between Jesus and Joseph? if Joseph did not impregnate Mary, then definately he (Joseph) is the step Father of jesus (wa'iyyazhubillah).

....................................................................................

Mallam, if i have gotten you right, christians believe and worship only one God. God the Father, God the son (jesus), and God the holy spirit, these three constitute the one and only God.  please correct me, if am not correct. Now,come to think of it, when Jesus was being baptised, the holy spirit descended on him and a voice from heaven said you are my beloved son (Luke 3:21-22) if you read and understand these verses, you will definately know that they are not one, Jesus was there physically, Holy spirit descended on him, and a voice was heard from heaven not from jesus mouth. i want you tell us considering these verses how did they become one and coequal?

As stated in the bible (luke 2:5-7), Mary gave birth to Jesus(God in flesh) her first child and the bible also says in the book of Genesis that God created Everything, If Mallam and the rest of the christians are thinking logically, they wouldn't have considered Jesus as thier God or part of God, come to think of it, God created Mary and entered her womb, he also created the angel that announced his name. Mallam is always talking about logic,does that sound logic to you?

In the book of Acts 2:22, Paul was preaching he says and i quote" People of israel, Listen! God publically endorsed Jesus of Nazareth by doing wonderful miracles, wonders and signs through him, as you well know". My question here is, how can God endorsed another God?

It is stated in Mathew 26:39 and i quote " And he went a little farther, and fell on his face and prayed, saying ' o my father, if it be possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet i want your will not mine' " see also 14:23.
We note here that the person speaking is unaware of Allah's will and realises the fact that he is a servant of Allah,He alone can cause the change. If Jesus is God or part of God, why did he pray? infact, prayer is always from a submitting, needy and dependent one for the mercy of almighty Allah as mentioned in surah 35:15 and i quote " o mankind! it is you who stand in need of Allah but Allah is rich (free from all wants and needs), worthy of all praise" (qur'an 35:15). if i can remain you, you said the God you are worshipping is independent of his creation, i can only agree with you if you tell me that your God also depend on another God.

I asked you the meaning of justice and you refused to answer well, this is the defination of justice according to the concise oxford Dictionary, Just behaviour or treatment.> the quality of being just. and Allah says and i quote " That day mankind will proceed in scattered groups that they may shown their deeds. So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. (Qur'an 100:6-8) and He (Allah)
says earlier that he will inspire that day (100:5). So i don't know what you were there trying to imply by saying Allah is not just.

You also asked if am not worried by the holiness of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) disciples. How many times will i repeat myself that Islam was not revealed in a day, let me give you an example, if a non muslim is willing to convert to islam, all the five pillars of islam will not be enforced upon him at once, it has to be gradually depending upon his faith. So that was what happened to the desciples of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

I don't know the origin of christianity, Mallam should please educate me but i want you to realise something, this is what you said "Note that it was on the seventh day, this is the day that is considered the sabbath day by the Jews, on this day they do not work but is a day set aside to rest and worship and praise God" . And the verse says "It is a permanent sign of my covenant with them. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but rested on the seventh day and was refreshed" (Exodus 31:17). Considering the fact that am still learning, i have no alternative than to ask such a question (is your God a jew?), you said the sabbath is set aside by the Jews, and the verse is saying God rested on the seventh day, i have to ask, since what the verse is saying and the answer you gave me did not correspond. I need some more explanations so that i will not misunderstand the verse anymore.

You also said why did i brought the issue of the Top 100 men, well, am just wondering why God in flesh could be rated against somebody who is 100 percent human and still the human being came first. Mind you does who did the comparison worship that same God.

You did not answer my question on the fig tree, let me repeat myself, how could God created the whole world and yet he went to a fruitless tree looking for something to eat? not knowing that there won't be any fruit on the tree and he angrily cursed the tree, was he pretending?

Today, there are modern scholars in christianity who hold that Jesus christ was not God. In 1997, a group of seven biblical scholars, including leading anglican theologians and other New testament scholars, published a book called The Myth of God incarnate, which caused a great uproar in the General Synod of the church of England. In the preface, the editor, John Hick, Wrote the following:" The writers of this book are convinced that another major theological development is called for in this last part of the twentieth centuary. The need arises from growing knowledge of christian origins, and involves a recognition that Jesus was (as he is represented in Acts 2:21) ' a man approved by God' for a special role within the divine purpose, and that the later conception of him as God incarnate, the second of the Holy trinity living a human life, is a mythological or poetic way of expressing his significance for us" There is brought agreement among New Testament scholars that the historical Jesus did not make claim to deity (as proved earlier) that the later christians thought was to make for him; he did not understand himself to be God, or God son, incarnate (in flesh). The late Archbishop Micheal Ramsey, who was himself a New testament scholar, wrote that "Jesus did not claim deity for himself." His contemporary, the New Testament scholar C.F.D.Moule, said "Any case for a 'high' Christology that dependent on the authenticity of the alleged claims of Jesus about himself, especially in the fourth Gospel, would indeed be precarious".

In a major study of the origins of the doctrine of the incarnation, James Dunn, who affirms orthodox christology, concludes that "there was no real evidence in the earlist Jesus tradition of what could fairly be called a consciousness of divinity." Again, Brian Hebblethwaite, a staunch upholder of the traditional Nicene-Calceldonian Christology, acknowledges that "it is no longer possible to defend the divity of Jesus by reference to the claims of Jesus."

Most famous among the church of England bishops, who doubt Jesus divinity, is the outspoken Reverend Professor David Jenkins, the Bishop of Durham in England, who openly states that Jesus was not God.

References:

1. Christology in the making, page 60.
2. Jesusvand the living past, page 39.
3. The Economist, April 1, 1989, vol.311,no.7596, page 19.
4. The Incarnation, page 74.
5. The Metaphor of God Incarnate, pages 27-8
6. The Myth of God incarnate.

 I think it will be good if i can reproduce an article which appeared in The Daily News some years ago, it clearly indicates the extent to which there are doubts among the clergy regarding Jesus divinity.

"London: More than half of England's Anglican bishops say Christians are not obliged to believe that Jesus Christ was God, according to a survey published today.
The poll of 31 of England's 39 bishops shows that many of them think that Christ's miracles, the virgin birth and the resurrection might not have happened exactly as described in the bible. Only 11 of the bishops insisted that Christians must regard Christ as both God and man, while 19 said it was sufficient to regard Jesus as "God's supreme agent". One declined to give a definate opinion."
The poll was conducted by London weekend Television's weekly religion show, Credo. Daily News 25/06/84

I know Mallam will say that Muslim's scholars also differs, you tell me if at all there is any muslim who does not believe in the five pillars of islam.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 22, 2004, 10:25:55 PM
Barde

welcome back.  i still maintain that you are avoiding answering any of my questions for reasons I do not know but can only speculate that you do not have any answers!!  I will repeat the questions if you want better still may be you should go through my postings, there are lots of questions I have asked and you have not answered any!!  Lets go to your issues arising from my last post.  I have noted that you did not look at my response to Eskimo's posting which also had to do with some of the questions you have raised again, so I may refer you to it time to time if you do not mind.

You wrote "Allah (SWT) created Jesus through mary as a  prove to mankind that he is capable of doing everything according to his will, see qur'an 19:21. If i may ask you, for how long did Jesus stay in Marys womb? is it for nine months? No! It is said that Jibril had merely breathed in the sleeve of Marys shirt, and thus she conceived. Allah says " Verily, the likeness of Isa ( Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him "Be" and he was". (qur'an 3:59)"  The bible did not indicate how long Mary was pregnant I do not know why you are trying to give an impression that I or the bible said anything to that effect.  You describe how Mary conceived Jesus, but the question still remains why not "Be" as in the case of Adam, but go through Mary?  You see it is significant, because everything God does is with a purpose.  God has the might and power to bring Jesus into being by saying "be" yet He chose to bring Jesus into being through Mary.  I put it to you that it so happened so that God could show man the existence of a special relationship with Jesus (please also see my reply to Eskimo).  My question to you is if you believe that God can create anything as He wills, why do you say He can not decide to have a Son? (and please not in human terms)

You wrote "Allah (SWT) created Adam without a father and a mother, he created Jesus without father but with a mother, and then he created us through both perents, did you follow the sequence? it is stated in the holy qur'an " There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the most Gracious (Allah) as a slave" (Qur'an 19:93) also in qur'an 19:30 it is stated that " He Isa (jesus) said "verily i am a slave from Allah, He has given me the scripture and made me a prophet".(19:30). Jesus Prayed and worship God Like the muslims do, see the  book of mathew 26:39. In the book of Mark Jesus says "A prophet is honored every where except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family" ( Mark 6:4). I want you to understand that muslims are not like the christians whereby they go contrary to what their Holy book is telling them."  You make me laugh at your childishness Mat. 26:39 states Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  And you conclude Jesus was praying like muslims without even refering to the tens of hundrends of times Jesus prayed without His face to the ground.  You may be able to tell us that He washed first then faced a particular direction and squatted to the ground!!!  He fell to the ground my friend NOT SQUATTED!!!! there is a big difference! Mark 6:4 reads Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”  Jesus was only responding to their rejection with the proverb that a prophet is not appreciated at home. He was like an Old Testament prophet (compare v. 15; 8:28) whose words were often rejected and who was dishonored most by those who knew Him best (compare. 6:17-29). So no my friend Jesus was not refering to Himself as a prophet!!  He was only likening his rejection with the rejection of prophets before Him!

You wrote: It should be noted that nowhere in the gospels does Jesus actually call himself "son of God", instead, he is recorded to have repeatedly called himself "Son of Man" (example Luke 9:22) innumerable times. And in Luke 4:41, he actually rejected being called "Son of God": And demons also came out of many, crying, You are the Son of God! But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the christ". You may be right that Jesus did not use the words as you put them (I suppose the way you put them posses a grammatical).  But the bible is full of statements by Jesus where He refered to God as His Father, so except if you tell me that that does not mean He was saying He is the Son of God then I suppose He has indeed called Himself Son of God.  Here are a few verses of statements by Jesus Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of MY FATHER (emphasis mine) who is in heaven.  Mat 10:32-33 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before MY FATHER (my emphasis) in heaven.  33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before MY FATHER (my emphasis) in heaven. Mat 11:27 “All things have been committed to me by MY FATHER (emphasis mine). No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

It is against a background of pain, hurt, sorrow, fear, confusion, torment etc that God’s provision comes, the encouragement of a name for the incarnate Lord Jesus Christ—Son of Man. Above all it stresses that God knows just what it is like to be human. The title Son of God describes Christ’s deity, glory, and infinity, then Son of Man highlights His humanity, humility, and finiteness. As Son of God Jesus is omnipotent and self-sufficient, as Son of Man He is pushed around and dependent. The Son of Man got wet when it rained. To bring it closer to home, if the Son of Man were here today, there would be times when His car wouldn’t start! And we should be struck by the fact that this is the term that Jesus used for Himself more than any other—more than eighty times. He wanted us to know that this characterization would be especially helpful for us.
It is this title of Son of Man, then, that should be especially dear to us in our humanity. Its content is taught both by specific uses of the phrase and by passages where Jesus’ humanity is highlighted. When we are tired, we are to look to the Son of Man who got tired, too (see Mt. 8:20). When rejected, we are to remember that it was the Son of Man who was rejected (Mk. 8:31). At those times when we feel as if heaven is far away, we are to recall that the Son of Man has opened the way into it (Jn 1:51), since to take humans to the presence of God He has to be human, too. If we long to know God better, we are to look to the Son of Man, who reveals Him, remembering that God is just like the Son of Man. Should death touch our lives, our consolation is the Son of Man who suffered, hurt, cried over Lazarus, and died (Heb. 2:14ff). We are commanded to go to God at the time of temptation through the one who was also tempted, yet never conceded (Heb. 2:18; 4:15). Should we ever feel that life has no point, we must recall that with the Son of Man we have a glorious future (Dan. 7:13; Heb. 2:9–10).
Therefore for your information, Son of Man  was used in the New Testament  forty-three times as a distinctive title of the Saviour. In the Old Testament it is used only in Ps. 80:17 and Dan. 7:13 with this application. It denotes the true humanity of our Lord. He had a true body (Heb. 2:14; Luke 24:39) and a rational soul. He was perfect man.

With respect to Luke 4:41 what was happening was that the news about Jesus’ authority over sickness spread quickly so that same night people began coming to Him for healing. They came when the sun was setting, when the Sabbath Day was ending. It would have been unlawful to carry the sick before then. As the demons came out of many people, they were shouting, You are the Son of God! The reason for Jesus’ rebuke was that He did not come to earth so that demons could acknowledge Him as the Christ, that is, the Messiah. Instead, He came to be acknowledged by people.

You wrote:  You said "Allah caused Mary to become pregnant with jesus" do you think it was the effort of your father that resulted in your giving birth? if you think so, you are only deceiving yourself, Allah not only caused the creation of Jesus but everything.  
 
"Allah determined the physical characteristics of Jesus", I want Mallam to tell us who determined his Physical characteristics. Does that means we are all sons of God? since he is the one that determines everything.
 
"All of the genetic characteristics of Jesus were detemined by just two parties: Allah and Mary". Again Mallam should tell us whether a Father has every right to determine his sons genes. According to the bible, Mary was known to be the wife of Joseph (Luke 2:4-5), what then is the relationship between Jesus and Joseph? if Joseph did not impregnate Mary, then definately he (Joseph) is the step Father of jesus (wa'iyyazhubillah).


You must be living on another planet or you are full of ignorance!!  We know that it is a fact that one way to concieve requires effort from the parents!! What are you saying!!  It is also a fact that a child inherits characteristics from his/her parents! Do you know anything about genetics?!! if not I suggest you do some reading!! Science has reached a point that even when a sperm fertilizies an egg can be controlled by man.  The colour of the eye, colour of hair etc can be determined by man and even manipulated.  Deformity in feotoeses can be detected at about 12 weeks, these are all advances in science. Body parts are begining to be grown in labs.  there is every likelyhood that humans will be created in labs one day. So yes parents determine genetic makeup of their offsprings!!!  However, it is acknowledged in the bible that only God gives life!! The bible has been aware of mans ability from the begining of the world.  That is why the bible warns us of knowlegde that can kill us!! (If you want references please let me know I will give you!!).  The bible has been aware of mans capability that is why present day scientific efforts do not worry true christains, because God is in control and only He can give life!!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

You wrote: Infact there are numerous places in the old testament where the title of Son of God has been given to others.God called Israel(prohet Jacob) His "Son" when He instructed Prophet Moses to go to Pheraoh in Exodus 4:22-23, "And you shall say to Pharaoh,thus says the Lord, "Israel is my first-born son, and i say you, 'Let my son go that he may serve me' ". See also Genesis 6:2, Hosea 1:10, Psalms 89:27.
 
It is obvious that the expression "Son of God" merely meant Servant of God, one who, because of his faithful service, was close and dear to God. Unfortunately christians are misusing the term, the use of the term "Son of God" should only be understood from the semitic symbolic sence of a servant of God. In the four Gospels, Jesus is recorded as saying: " Blessed are the peace-makers; they will be called sons of God" (Mathew 5:9). I want mallam to please tell me what this verse implies, maybe am misunderstanding the meaning.

You are right there has been several usage of the term son(s) of God in the bible, however the usage has been different in order to convey meaning


I. In the Old Testament

a. Individuals of the class ‘god’

‘Son’ (Heb. be?n, Aram. bar) is commonly used in Semitic languages to denote membership of a class, as ‘son of Israel’ for ‘Israelite’, ‘son of might’ for ‘valorous’. ‘Son of God’ in Heb. means ‘god’ or ‘god-like’ rather than ‘son of (the) God (Yahweh)‘. In Jb. 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps. 29:1; 89:6, the ‘sons of God’ form Yahweh’s heavenly train or subordinates, though lxx Job calls them angeloi of God (cf. Dt. 32:8 lxx, whence rsv ‘according to the number of the sons of God’ supported by a Heb. Dead Sea Scroll text, 4Q Dtq, against MT ‘sons of Israel’). Similarly the ‘son of the gods’ in Dn. 3:25 is called the ‘angel of the Jews’ God’ in 3:28.
In Gn. 6:1-2 the ‘sons of God’ are contrasted with human women in a way which seems to preclude their identification with the line of Cain. Many commentators treat these verses as pagan myth, hardly altered from a polytheistic background. Others argue that the phrase denotes demon-possessed men or fallen angels (cf. 1 Pet. 3:19-20; Jude 6). A more attractive interpretation falls into the next category.

b. Men who by divine appointment exercise God’s prerogative of judgment

In Ex. 21:6; 22:8-9, 28, ‘God’ (Heb. ?elo?h??m) may stand for ‘judges’ (so av, rvmg.), his deputies, exercising power of life and death (cf. 2 Ch. 19:6), as may be the case in Ps. 82:6.
Kings were titled ‘son of god X’ in the OT world, and in Israel in sense c. below. M. G. Kline has proposed that this usage be seen in Gn. 6:1-2, referring to rulers of the remote antediluvian era (WTJ 24, 1962, pp. 187-204).

c. Those who are related to Yahweh by covenant

Sonship of God chiefly denotes relationship by *covenant and is used (i) of Israel as a whole (‘Israel is my first-born son’, Ex. 4:22; cf. Ho. 11:1); (ii) of the Israelites generally (‘You are the sons of the Lord your God’, Dt. 14:1; cf. Ho. 1:10—of an individual Israelite in later Judaism, e.g. Wisdom 2:18); (iii) of the Davidic king, Yahweh’s anointed, who will rule his people for ever (‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you’, Ps. 2:7). This relationship is not biological, though metaphors of birth, infancy and growth are sometimes used (Ho. 11:1; Dt. 32:6; Is. 1:2; 63:8) and conformity to the Father’s character expected. But basically sonship is established by God through his covenant. Dt. 14:1-2 well illustrates the covenantal context of Israel’s sonship. The Messiah-King, though called (like Israel with whom he is so closely identified) ‘my first-born’ (Ps. 89:27) and ‘begotten’ of Yahweh (Ps. 2:7), no less owes his status to God’s covenant with him (Ps. 89:28; 2 Sa. 23:5). The terms of this covenant (‘I will be his father, and he shall be my son’, 2 Sa. 7:14) are parallel to the terms of the covenant with Israel (‘I . . . will be their God, and they shall be my people’, Je. 31:33).  d.w.b.r. a.r.m.

II. In the New Testament

Both expressions, ‘sons (Gk. hyioi) of God’ and ‘children (Gk. tekna) of God’, occur in the NT, but without obvious distinction in meaning. The NT usage is based on one or other of the OT uses of ‘sons of God’.
a. Lk. 20:36
This reference, ‘they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection’, reflects the use of ‘sons of God’ as in Pss. 29:1; 89:6; Dt. 32:8 (lxx), where it means non-terrestrial beings in the presence of God, in contrast to ‘the sons of this age’. That the elect should have this destiny before them was already the belief of many Jews, but it was to acquire a more distinctive meaning in the light of Christ’s resurrection.

b. Those who act like God

Lk. 6:35, ‘you will be sons of the Most High’, means little more than ‘you will be like God’. ‘Son of. . .‘ is an idiom for ‘having the characteristics of’ or ‘doing the work of’ (cf. the parabolic description of the apprentice son in Jn. 5:19), and the ‘sons of God’ in Mt. 5:9 and 5:45 belong to this category. Ps. 82:6, discussed by Jesus in Jn. 10:34-36, may be an OT example of this sense, judges being men who exercise God’s power of life and death. Paul’s simple metaphor in Eph. 5:1, ‘be imitators of God, as beloved children’, reflects this idiom, though it also presupposes a deeper relation between the ‘children’ and their Father.

c. The sonship of Israel

The collective sonship of Israel (‘Israel is my firstborn son’, Ex. 4:22) is prominent in the thought of Paul (e.g. Rom. 9:4, ‘they are Israelites, and to them belong the sonship. . .‘) and elsewhere in the NT. Sometimes this sonship is seen as represented and fulfilled in Jesus Christ, as in Mt. 2:15 and in the narratives of his baptism and temptation. However, even without a direct connection with Christ’s sonship, ‘sons (or children) of God’ recalls the OT application of the term to God’s covenant people who are to reflect his holiness. If Eph. 5:1 is little more than metaphorical, Phil. 2:15, ‘children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation’, is based on the Song of Moses (Dt. 32:5-6, 18-20), and 2 Cor. 6:18 combines a number of covenantal passages (e.g. Is. 43:6; 2 Sa. 7:14). ‘The children of God who are scattered abroad’ in Jn. 11:52 are the lost sheep of the house of Israel (cf. 10:16). The idea is derived from Ezk. 34 and 37, though whether the reference in John is to Jewish believers only or all believers is a matter of debate.
The sonship of God’s people is, however, linked with the special sonship of Jesus in Heb. 2:10-17. (A different word, paidia, is used for ‘children’ in the quotation in vv. 13-14.) Here, Jesus’ sonship is that conferred on the Messiah-King, David’s son (Ps. 2:7; 2 Sa. 7:14, quoted in Heb. 1:5, which itself is parallel to, and perhaps epitomizes, Israel’s covenantal sonship. The ‘many sons’ are the ‘descendants of Abraham’ and ‘children’ by election even before Christ’s incarnation. But they are brought ‘to glory’ through the Son sharing in their ‘flesh and blood’ in which he secured their salvation by his death.

d. Paul in Romans and Galatians

Though Paul acknowledges that ‘the sonship’ belongs to Israelites (Rom. 9:4), he insists that not all the offspring of Israel are ‘Israel’ in the true sense, and that therefore it is not ‘the children of the flesh’ but ‘the children of the promise’ who are ‘children of God’ and true partakers of the privilege (Rom. 9:6ff.).
By this test, Gentiles as well as Jews are included, ‘for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith’ (Gal. 3:26). This doctrine of sonship is expounded in Rom. 8, where Paul invokes the idea of hyiothesia, usually rendered *’adoption’. But, though the term was used in contemporary Gk. to denote legal adoption of children (see MM), it is not clear how far this enters Paul’s thought. Despite the contrast with a former status of slavery, both in Rom. 8:15 (where rsv renders hyiothesia as ‘sonship’) and Gal. 4:5, at least in the latter passage hyiothesia seems to correspond to the entering of a child on his inheritance at ‘the date set by the father’. The primary model is the sovereign act of God’s grace when he declared Israel, and then the Davidic king, to be his son. Neither Israel’s sonship (Ex. 4:22) nor that of Messiah (Pss. 2:7; 89:27) was inconsistent with the recipient’s being called God’s ‘first-born’, and the hyiothesia of the believer is practically identical with the notion of spiritual generation. In Rom. 8:23 the hyiothesia is yet to come. Though again associated with the notion of ‘redemption’ (from slavery?), the positive act is really ‘the revealing of the sons of God’, showing them to be what they already are. This sonship is indissolubly linked with the sonship of Christ (Rom. 8:17), is attested and controlled by the Spirit (8:14, 16), and its ultimate nature disclosed when Christ’s sonship is disclosed and when God’s elect are seen as ‘conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren’ (8:19, 29).

e. John

John’s concept of ‘children of God’ differs only in emphasis from that of Paul, although he employs simply tekna, and reserves hyios exclusively for Christ. Westcott held that John deliberately avoided hyios, ‘the name of definite dignity and privilege’, to describe the relation of Christians to God, since ‘he regards their position not as the result of an ‘adoption’ (hyiothesia), but as the result of a new life which advances from the vital germ to full maturity’. However, Westcott overstated the case. While John undoubtedly exploits the imagery of natural birth and consequent relationship (e.g. 1 Jn. 3:9), he is also aware of the OT background where Israel became God’s son by election and calling. We have already referred to Jn. 11:52. In Jn. 1:12 the ‘children of God’ may be interpreted as believing Israelites before the Word became flesh. In any case, they are described not only as being ‘born of God’ but also as becoming ‘children of God’ by having that status conferred on them: ‘to them gave he the right to become children of God’ (rv). Again in 1 Jn. 3 and 4 believers are described as ‘born of God’, with special reference to their reproducing God’s character of love and righteousness; nevertheless the title ‘children of God’ is also a privilege bestowed through God’s ‘calling’ (3:1). Though it ‘may be seen’ now who are children of God by their behaviour (3:10), their final form ‘does not yet appear’, but will be manifested in the day when the Son of God is manifested and they fully reflect the image of their Father (3:2); which image is in the Son.
Bibliography. B. F. Westcott, The Epistles of St. John, 1883, pp. 94, 119ff.; Arndt, s.v. hyios, teknon; A. Richardson, An Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament, 1958, pp. 147ff., 263ff.; J. D. G. Dunn, Jesusand the Spirit, 1975, pp. 21-40.  d.w.b.r.
The New Bible Dictionary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1962.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I will be responding to the second part of your posting in my next posting
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 23, 2004, 02:16:03 AM
As there is no chance that anyone contributing these huge tracts to this topic is going to convince anyone else of anything what is the point of this discussion. I thought we were going to have a debate about the moral instruction to be found in Chritianity and Islam not this stuff.
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Maqari on March 23, 2004, 07:14:24 PM
discussion of religious origins and justification of relgious methods are the life's most nutritious-less food, so guys please let the past rest in its shallow grave, and quit causing traffic on the highways of information, at first i thought the thread was amusing then it became a bit annoying and now its just downright dumb,sort of like waiting for messiah to be risen ...................!!!!!  
Title: Re: Chriatian Muslim Dialogue
Post by: Anonymous on March 28, 2004, 10:30:08 PM
I do agree with some of you who think that this string is getting very cumbersome and maybe we should either start a new one or end it.

But for those of you who think such discussion is of no use I do not agree with you.  There is disrespect of both christainity and islam by followers of both religions.  It is difficult if not impossible to have objective discussions!! There are misconceptions and misinterpretations of one over the other, this has created a belittling of one over the other, and thus the violence we see (that is not to say this thread was out to solve all that problem).  The rise in tempers etc is not a problem it is part of human nature prevalent in any debate.  But it is important that misconceptions are cleared or discussed for  through these discussions mutual respect is borne.  I must appologise if I have offended some people (muslims) here.  I have presented my point/position on in as respecful way as I know what was presented was basically questions and issues which arise and probably are on the mind of some muslims.  In the same way some of the questions raised on christainity may also be on the minds of some christains.  So it is hoped that the thread or discussion did proof informative even if not conclusive, and if that has been acheieved it is something.  This discussion was not aimed at wining converts or demeaning islam, but to put us in a situation where we study and question what we are told.  This is particularly instructed of us christains for we are warned of false prophets infact we are warned that even the devil can recite the bible, it is not how well a person recites verses in a bible that makes them a christain.  TSalvation (ie aceptance of christ) we know as christains is not the responsibility of man but of God through His grace, however every believer is expected to spread the gospel and God convicts the heart.  I shall be sinning to condem/judge any muslim, for only God is the judge and a man can be saved even with his last breath, just as we were shown in the bible during the cruxificion of christ when He was cruxicified with two criminals one of whom believed in christ at the last moment and gained salvation.  So may the Lord grant us His grace that we may seek Him with all our heart in all truth!