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John 1
#1

Bismillah: Assalamo Alikum.


Here is an issue that really bothered me in the past few days.


Christians believes that there is one God manifests Himself in three persons, God the father, the son and the Holy Ghost, three separate persons and yet each is considered to be a complete and fully God. On the other hand, they also believes that Jesus Christ is both, God and man at the same time (fully man and fully God), and so Muslims have concluded or misunderstood (as the Christians would say) that Jesus who is fully God has died on the Cross. The Christians would explain that it was not Jesus ‘the God’ who died on the Cross but Jesus who is made of flesh and bone (i.e. the human Jesus).


Now please ponder over these very famous and often quoted verses:





In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1


After that, the verses continues on explaining how John the Baptist came to preach Jesus the Christ and ‘testify to the light’ etc down to verse number 14 where it says:


And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14


Now here is my point:


- Jesus is the Word


- The Word/Jesus is God


- The Word/Jesus/God became flesh


So who died on the cross? I say naturally God Himself and not simply ‘the human Jesus’, because the Word which is God has become Jesus/flesh who died on the Cross.


Does this make any sense? Any comments (especially from Christian side) ?


Salam


Wael.

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#2

Bismillah


Wael, reepi has been visiting but silent. May be I would send email to all Christian members to reply to this very important point. Insh a Allah i hope someone does. Where is FHC?

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#3

Bismillah: Assalamo ALikum.


I don't know where the Christians are, maybe they have no answer?


Salam


Wael.

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#4

The trinity is a perpetual stumbling block for Muslims, just as Christ is for the Jews, God was for the Pharaoh, etc.


Yet, all religions believe that God (or the truth generically) cannot contradict itself. Therefore, the question should not be "what do Christians have wrong" but "what do I have wrong?"


From a strictly logic point of view, you have set-up a straw-man argument:


"Christians believe X and Y"


"X and Y contradict one another"


"Therefore, Christianity is contradictory."


Yet, it was you who have defined X and Y and have made both the interpretation and the connection.


One can just as easily ask why Muhammad is so important, since he was only a man. Or Moses, Abraham, Isaiah, etc.


How can we be living and dying at the same time?


There are many questions which require some acceptance of faith and mystery. To deny one half-truth while creating another half-truth leaves you still divided within yourself. God is trying to remove that division.


The trinity, in many ways, is just a reflection of ourselves, but they exist in perfect balance with one another and within themselves. Just as you are flesh, emotion, consciousness, and a result of the presence of another.

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#5

Peace be with you!


I hope you're all well.


Wael, I'm very impressed with your reasoning. You've pretty much worked out the theology.


The Son of God is co-eternal with the Father & the Holy Spirit. God has no beginning - God has always existed.


God the Father is the Creator, the author, the giver of order. He made all things by Himself, that is, by his Word (the Son)and by his Wisdom (the Holy Spirit). Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity.


Jesus Christ is the Son of God incarnate. He is one Person, not two. Therefore, it is fitting to say that the Son of God died, only possible because He assumed a mortal human nature. However it is important to remember that death could not contain Him, He rose on the third day. By dying He destroyed our death & by rising He restored our life.


When Adam & Eve sinned they transmitted their fallen human nature to all generations. Humanity needed redemption & salvation. Since man sinned, man was required to make up for it but no man was able to due to his imperfection, which is why God (who is perfect) sent into the world His Son (who became Man) and did what man ought to do but only God could do... reconcile heaven & earth.


God bless you.

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#6

Quote:However it is important to remember that death could not contain Him, He rose on the third day. By dying He destroyed our death & by rising He restored our life.

Death does not 'contain' anyone, if you believe in God. The only thing that Jesus did different was raise others, and himself, from what we call death within our mortal existence.


The big debate amongst the Jews was if there was an afterlife or not. Jesus demonstrated pretty convincingly that there is an afterlife. He gave them the answers they sought, but they did not want them. Jesus sped up the demonstration, but the rules were always the same.


He was hated because of his virtue, which is a different matter. Those who fear always object to those who have faith.


Loving your enemy is the most radical idea in the world, yet it is the only one that makes sense.


Peace,


Steve

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#7

Hello Steve,


Would it be more appropriate to say it like this:


Death no longer contains anyone because the death of our Savior conquered the power of death???


Keeping in mind that prior to Christ's work of redemption the souls of the faithful departed were patiently waiting in Abraham's bosom.


Peace & blessings,


Kathie :)

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#8

Quote:Hello Steve,
Would it be more appropriate to say it like this:


Death no longer contains anyone because the death of our Savior conquered the power of death???


Keeping in mind that prior to Christ's work of redemption the souls of the faithful departed were patiently waiting in Abraham's bosom.


Peace & blessings,


Kathie :)

Um..isn't that the same thing as before?


Redemption did not begin with Jesus. The prophets have always called on others to repent. Death is a secondary issue, in some ways. People fear death, and God tries to teach people to not be afraid, even of death. Although, ironically, it is only Satan that gives death. God always gives life, even through death.


Jesus, in a historical context, represents the sacrifice of faith that God asked Abraham to make. Abraham did not sacrifice Isaac, but all the first born sons in Egypt were sacrificed. Moses and Jesus similarly escaped persecution at birth. There is a lot of overlap regarding sons and sacrifice.


I'd also like to add one more thing to the issue of trinity. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all monotheistic religions, but the trinity overlays the singular with a plural. It is essentially one God of three parts. As an equation 1=3 does not make sense, at first glance. But it is not so different than a man and wife becoming one flesh: 2=1.


To return to your point: Jesus did not conquer sins; he suffered our sins, and forgave us anyway. It is our sins that gets everyone and everything in trouble, yet we do not recognize our sins. Ultimately, redemption is a fancy name for self-awareness of our own sin (not the ability to judge others.)


I like to put it in this context: Moses freed the slaves; Jesus freed the slave-masters. Love your enemy is only possible through redemption, but we all define our own enemy. Redemption cannot be found through membership in a group, though it may be inspired there. The same group can just as easily mislead.


Afterall, if you were the Devil, then wouldn't getting people to fight over religion be the perfect strategy?

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#9
Steve, I do not normally engage in a theological discussion with non-Muslims on the boards. I will respond to your comments via a private message. I hope that is okay. Thanks!
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#10

Quote:Steve, I do not normally engage in a theological discussion with non-Muslims on the boards. I will respond to your comments via a private message. I hope that is okay. Thanks!

I received your PM. I disagree (no surprise there, eh?).


The original post started with a straw-man argument. Christians believe X and Y, etc. Well, here we have two Christians who disagree on rather subtle items, which helps to illustrate my point that the opening stereotype was problematical.


IMO, the purpose of forums is for everyone to get to know one another, and explore new ways of thinking, etc. The richest exchanges are always between two people who disagree.


For example, in your PM you cited the Catholic Catechism. Though I am Catholic, I do not automatically agree with everything it says and/or somebody else's interpretation of what it says. All scripture has to be understood in God's context, not mans. In the context of the trinity, the church ranks fourth, at best, and has made many errors in history. To wholesale accept or deny anything is to engage in stereotypes, which, of course, is the primary problem. Just as we have to separate the good and bad from our own mirror, we have to do that in everything else, too. It is within that nuance that we grow.


For example, look at the tension between the concepts of tradition and redemption. Tradition encourages the status quo and complacency, redemption encourages change and enlightenment. All religions share this contradiction. There are certainly plenty of scriptural examples of where God is angry at the rituals being performed by people who lack virtue. But religions, as a matter of course, are primarily concerned with group conformity.


Everybody worships God, but then refuse to connect with one another, when to fulfill God's instruction we should all be worshiping together and connecting with one another. We have made rights, rites and money more important than the truth. That is tradition, too.

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