Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Muslim Biblical Argument For Why Jesus is Not God



Muslims are a bit like Mormons: They both believe in the divine inspiration of the Old and New Testaments, but add a third Holy Book which is the lens through which they read the prior two. And those third Holy Books were both supposedly revealed by Angels as well: Gabriel in the case of the Muslims and Moroni for the Mormons.

Likewise, Christianity did to Judaism what Mormonism and Islam did to Christianity. Christianity adds an additional Holy Book to Judaism but makes their final Holy Book the lens through which the first is to be read. Reading the Old in light of the New renders a RADICALLY different meaning to SOME OT texts as compared to the traditional Jewish interpretation.

I'll give one (of potentially NUMEROUS) example(s). Many orthodox Christians believe Jesus, as Word of God, is the ONLY mouthpiece between God and man. "Jehovah" as it were, is not just "The Father," but rather Triune in His Nature. That is, Jesus is "Jehovah" as much as the Father and Holy Spirit are. So all of those instances where Jehovah speaks to and interacts with man in the Old Testament really involve JESUS or the 2nd Person in the Trinity speaking to man, NOT the Father. That means when the Jews rejected Jesus as God, they rejected the very Jehovah who revealed the Old Testament. The irresistible logic is that Jews and orthodox Christians worship different gods. (Non-ecumenical orthodox Christians who believe this would note the Jews worship the false god of the Pharisees, not the TRUE God of the Bible.)

Now, I know there are different ways to interpret the Bible. But one canard I won't stand for is "Jews and Christians worship the same God, Muslims a different one." Every single argument that supposedly shows Muslims worship a different god can be tweaked to show Jews and Christians worship different gods. No they either all worship the same God -- some ecumenical God of Abraham with the pieces of the furniture rearranged (as Tom Van Dyke once put it) (and we'll find out whose cosmic interior design plan was the RIGHT one when we die) -- or they all worship different gods.

Update: Perhaps I should have been clearer about how this post relates to American Creation's mission.

As we know, many FFs and the philosophers and divines they followed turned out to be unitarians. And the issue there is whether unitarians and trinitarians worship the same God. Likewise we have FFs claiming Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same God and that even uncoverted Natives who worship the Great Spirit worship the same God they do.

5 comments:

Jason_Pappas said...

Jon, I think this is far from the topic of the blog. But if you wish, I have no problem with any Christian who says that Muslims worship a different God (or Satan) because they (i.e. Muslims) hear a different message. If I remember correctly, Luther decided at some point that the Roman Catholic Church was or follows the anti-Christ. He's free to define his theology. "By their fruits ye has know them!"

I'm not religious but I don't put doctrinal fetters on the definition of another's faith.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Jason,

I could have been more explicit, but this is a topic insofar as we debate how the political theology of the Founding era views this question.

As we know, many FFs and the philosophers and divines they followed turned out to be unitarians. And the issue there is whether unitarians and trinitarians worship the same God. Likewise we have FFs claiming Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same God and that even uncoverted Natives who worship the Great Spirit worship the same God they do.

That's how I see it relevant to AC's mission.

Tom Van Dyke said...

At the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin said this on June 28, 1787:

"I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel..."

Now, Ben Franklin is reliably trotted out as one of the Founders who was known to not accept classic Christian doctrine and dogma. Yet there can be little doubt that the rest of the [Christian] Framers took Franklin to be referring to the same God they believed in.

[Esp because "if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice" is a direct reference to Matthew 10:29, and of course the "Builders of Babel" refers to Genesis 11.]

Source:

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/benfranklin.htm

Caleb said...

Jesus himself claimed to be God. He said to the Pharisees, "Before Abraham was, I AM". He also said, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father".

It is difficult for many people to accept Jesus, because he calls for a change, and frankly many people do not want to change.

America was founded on a change from a previous norm, and was based on Biblical ethic from the start; ie-the Mayflower Compact.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Caleb,

I can accept your theological defense of Jesus' divinity, but as regards,

"America was founded on a change from a previous norm, and was based on Biblical ethic from the start; ie-the Mayflower Compact."

You MAY want to consider the differences between America's very Christian "Planing" (the Mayflower Compact, etc.) and its LESS Christian "Founding" (1776-1791).

This is not to claim, as some do, that the Founding was UNCHRISTIAN -- that's a more contentious point -- rather, more conservatively put, it was less explicitly "Christian."