60 Questions from a Muslim to Christians … Answered! (Part 1: God)

Mr. Hussein Khalid Al-Hussein has written an interesting list of 60 Questions for Christians, which I will endeavor to answer here. If you have an apologetics blog or have an interest in defending the faith, answer these questions for yourself as well, and share the answers with your brethren. The more defense of the truth that we have, the better off the church will be.

The questions are divided up into different groups based upon topic, and the first group is about God. I’ll only be answering one section at a time in order to keep the content focused and the length of the posts at a manageable (and readable) length.

1. To be son is to be less than divine and to be divine is to be no one’s son. How could Jesus have the attributes of sonship and divinity altogether?

Well, that honestly depends upon how the terms “divine” and “son” are defined. If we let God define things for us, we see that it is perfectly possible for God the Father to beget God the Son, Jesus Christ. In other words, the Bible stands for itself and does not need the sacred books of, for example, Islam to interpret it.

2. Christians assert that Jesus claimed to be God when they quote him in John 14:9: “He that has seen me has seen the Father”. Didn’t Jesus clearly say that people have never seen God, as it says in John 5:37: “And the father himself which Has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE AT ANY TIME NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE”?

Jesus was the image of the Father, but Jesus is not the Father. Therefore, to see Jesus is to essentially see what the Father is like, but it is not to see the Father Himself. Alternatively, to see Jesus Christ is just as good as seeing the Father, for they are of the same God. To see Jesus Christ would be to see the Holy Spirit as well, in that respect.

3. Christians say that Jesus was God because he was called Son of God, Son of Man, Messiah, and “savior”. Ezekiel was addressed in teh Bible as Son of Man. Jesus spoke of “the peace makers” as Sons of God. Any person who followed the Will and Plan of God was called SON OF GOD in the Jewish tradition in their language (Genesis 6:2,4; Exodus 4:22; Psalm 2:7; Romans 8:14). “Messiah” which in Hebrew means “God’s anointed” and not “Christ”, and “Cyrus” the person is called “Messiah” or “the anointed.” As for “savior”, in II KINGS 13:5, other individuals were given that title too without being gods. So where is the proof in these terms that Jesus was God when teh word son is not exclusively used for him alone?

Where is the proof that you are a human if the term “human” is used for everyone else as well? To prove that you are human would require us, then, to observe you. Do you behave as a human? Is your body composed like a human’s?

The same is true of Christ. We must observe Him. Without getting too detailed, Christ forgave sin, controlled nature, healed unfailingly, was worshipped, was called God, and rose from the dead.

What makes Him special as a son is that He is the “only begotten son” of God. While many may have been created (the angels, Adam) or made (Christians) sons of God, only Christ has been begotten of the Father.

4. Christians claim that Jesus acknowledged that he and God were one in the sense of nature when he says in John 10:30 “I and my father are one”. Later on in John 17:21-23, Jesus refers to his followers and himself and God as one in five places. So why did they give the previous “one” a different meaning from the other five “ones?

We don’t. Christ and the Father are one. They are distinct persons, but are of one essence, one nature, one Deity. Very similarly, Christ prayed that His followers would be one — of the same essence (that of being in Christ) but being distinct persons. This jives nicely with the later New Testament pictures of the church being the bride [singular] of Christ and the body [singular] of Christ, yet composed of many people.

5. Is God three-in-one and one in three simultaneously or one at a time?

What? If you’re asking whether or not God is both 3-in-1 and 1-in-3 simultaneously, then the answer is yes. God is both three persons in one God as well as one God in three persons at all times. If God transcends humanity by such an infinite amount, I have no problem accepting that trying to grasp His nature quickly leads to the seemingly irrational.

6. If God is one and three simultaneously, then none of the three could be the complete God. granting that such was the case, then when Jesus was on earth, he wasn’t a complete God, nor was the “father in Heaven” a whole God. Doesn’t that contradict what Jesus always said about His God and our God in heaven, his Lord and our Lord ? Does that also mean that there was no complete god then, between the claimed crucifixion and the claimed resurrection?

Only if you try to limit an infinite being’s existence to your finite mind. That the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all 100% God, and that God is 100% the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is one of the great mysteries of the Godhead. If God could be mentally grasped, would He truly be God? Suffice it to say, we accept what the Bible says about God, believing that as we grow in Him, so will our understanding. Perhaps one day all shall understand.

Call that a cop-out if you want, but there is no “rational” answer to the question(s). God is who He is, and objecting to Him because you fail to understand Him is not going to cut it in His court. He calls us to love Him, to believe Him, and to obey Him. A child can get that, and that is the point.

7. If God is one and three at a time, then who was the God in heaven when Jesus was on earth? Wouldn’t this contradict his many references to a God in Heaven that sent him?

No, not at all. God was in Heaven. God was on Earth. God is in the heart of every believer. And yet God is omnipresent as well. God is everywhere so it is not hard to fathom that He can manifest Himself or “concentrate” Himself in specific places, even multiple places simultaneously. He is God, and what is too hard for Him?

8. If God is three and one at the same time, who was the God in Heaven within three days between the claimed crucifixion and the claimed resurrection?

While Christ descended into Hell, the God in Heaven was the Father, the same God as Christ, yet in a different person. This question is just a variation of the above and attempts to disprove the nature of God based solely upon an inability to comprehend God.

9. christians say that: “The Father(F) is God, the Son(S) is God, and the Holy Ghost(H) is God, but the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost is not the Father”. In simple arithmetic and terms therefore, if F = G, S = G, and H = G, then it follows that F = S = H, while the second part of the statement suggests that F 1 S 1 H (meaning, “not equal”). Isn’t that a contradition to the Christian dogma of Trinity in itself?

Theology is not mathematics. However, to present it another way, let’s look at marriage. In marriage, a husband and wife become one flesh. One flesh in two persons, yet the husband is not the wife and the wife is not the husband. If math can be used to destroy the nature of God (it can’t), then it destroys every marriage as well.

10. If Jesus was God, why did he tell the man who called him “good master” not to call him “good” because accordingly, there is none good but His God in Heaven alone?

The man who came up to Jesus and addressed Him as “Good Master” had no idea that Jesus was God or anything other than a teacher. He addressed Jesus, a stranger to him, with a title which is reserved for God alone–“good”–and Jesus rightfully corrected him.

However, notice that when Thomas called Jesus his God and his Lord (John 20:28), Jesus did not reprove him, for he knew right what he said.

11. Why do Christians say that God is three-in-one and one in three when Jesus says in Mark 12:29: “The Lord our God is one Lord” in as many places as yet in the Bible?

Three-in-one. One-in-three.

12. If belief in the Trinity was such a necessary condition for being a Christian, why didn’t Jesus teach and emphasize it to the Christians during his time? How were those followers of Jesus considered Christiains without ever hearing the term Trinity? Had the Trinity been teh spinal cord of Christianity, Jesus would have emphasized it on many occasions and would have taught and explained it in detail to the people.

Like the existence of God, much of the nature of God is simply assumed in the Scriptures. God (i.e., Jesus Christ) has nothing to prove, nor is He obligated to tell us anything, let alone the soul-changing message He did give us in the Bible. The existence of the Trinity is self-evident in Jesus’ life–He was God and was recognized as such, yet God the Father was in Heaven and was recognized as such. The Holy Spirit–one like unto Christ–was God and was to be sent forth after Christ returns to Heaven with the Father.

Just as the Trinity was evident in various places throughout the Old Testament, so it is in the New Testament, and as revelation increased, so did the teachings regarding God. God said quite explicitely through Paul, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7; if you can’t find this verse in your Bible, might I suggest the KJV?).

As for Christ’s followers not knowing the term “Trinity,” they probably didn’t know the phrase “Homo sapiens” either; does that make them any less human? It is not uncommon to coin a term or phrase to describe something which has been known and understood for years.

13. Christians claim that Jesus was God as they quote in John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. This is John speaking and not Jesus. Also, the Greek word for the first occurence of God is HOTHEOS which means “the God” or “God” with a capital “G”, while the Greek word for its second cocurrence is “TONTHEOS”, which means “a god” or “god” with a small “g”. Isn’t this dishonesty and inconsistency on teh part of those translating the Greek Bible? ? Isn’t such quotation in John 1:1 recognized by every Christian scholar of the Bible to have ben written by a Jew named Philo Alexandria way before Jesus and John?

Actually, both occurences of the word “God” are of the Greek word θεοÌ?Ï‚ (theos). Also, the Gospels are God-inspired Scripture just as much as the Old Testament is; thus, it is God saying that the Word was with God in the beginning, not John.

And even if it was only John making the statement, it would still be quite trustworthy. After all, he was one of the three apostles to have been closest to the Lord during His time on Earth, along with Peter and James. He would know as well as anyone whether or not Christ was God or not.

14. Wasn’t the word “god” or “TONTHEOS” also used to refer to others as well as in II Corinthians 4:4 “(and the Devil is) the god of this world” and in Exodus 7:1 “See, I have made thee (Moses) a god to Pharaoh?”

Exodus 7:1 uses the Hebrew word ×?להי×? (‘ĕloÌ‚hiÌ‚ym) which can be used in the general sense or in the specific sense, referring to Jehovah. Context dictates, and it is clear that God was not making Moses into Himself.

In 2 Corinthians 4:4, the aforementioned theos is used, which can also be used in the specific or general sense. In John 1, context dictates that the Word is specifically God, and not a god, as is Satan. Jesus Christ is said to be the creator (John 1:3), which Genesis 1 confirms is God, not a god.

Thus concludes part 1. Feel free to add your own answers in a comment if I’ve left out a good response. If you wish to debate, please take it here.

1 thought on “60 Questions from a Muslim to Christians … Answered! (Part 1: God)”

  1. Keep up the good work. Essentialy the concept of the trinity is a sacred mystery (at least by catholic standards). Trying to understand it by finite minds is indeed difficult as you pointed out.

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