The following is a response to Akbarally's assertions on the Holy Trinity. Akbarally begins:
Akbarally's errors appear early since the Trinity has not been the fundamental doctrine of the Church for just over fifteen centuries, but right from its inception. The Trinity is an eternal truth since it is who God is and was revealed to man personally by God through his prophets and messengers. The testimony of the prophets and the apostles to the truth of the Trinity was written down and recorded for future generations until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This written testimony is the Holy Bible, the inspired Word of God.
The real question is not whether the Holy Bible presents the basis from which the doctrine of the Trinity was derived, since it certainly does, but whether Akbarally will accept the scriptural evidence for it.
Seemingly, what Akbarally is asking is to produce biblical references using the precise terminology of the Christian Creeds in defining the Trinity. The simple fact is that the terms used by the Councils such as homoousios are not found in the Holy Bible. The reason is that such language arose out of the need to try and define the biblical portrait of God. Hence, the creeds were attempts at safeguarding the clear biblical witness to the triunity of God from cults and heretics. The Councils did not create the Trinity, but defined and defended the clear biblical witness to it.
Akbarally's argument is rather poor since we do not find the term "monotheism" or "unity" in the Holy Bible either. Does this mean that the Holy Bible denies that there is only one true God since it does not use these precise terms? Of course not! The Holy Bible clearly teaches the concept underlying the meaning of these terms, namely that there is only one God. Hence, instead of seeking to find the word "Trinity" in the Holy Bible, one should try to find the concept underlying it. Since the Trinity teaches that there is one God who subsists as three Persons we should search the Holy Bible to see if this is in fact the picture it presents of God. Furthermore, just because there would be many congregates who would deny the truth of the Trinity is irrelevant since man is stubborn and refuses to embrace the truth of God. The real question, which we will shortly answer, is whether the Holy Bible teaches the Trinity. If it does it is then totally irrelevant what man has to say about it.
The problem is not with God being silent, but man's stubbornness in hearing what God has clearly stated in the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible just as clearly teaches that there are three Persons who are called God and are given the attributes of God as it does the unity of God. The problem is that Akbarally chooses to ignore these passages, implying that he is not really interested in hearing what God has to say in his holy Word.
The fact is that it is Akbarally who has decided to pit scripture against scripture, as opposed to taking all that scripture has to say about the nature of God. The only odds are those that Akbarally has created for himself by choosing to ignore the entire biblical witness to the truth of the Trinity.
The encyclopedia falls short of defining how these "three persons" are similar or dissimilar in Glory, Majesty, Status, Substance or Nature.
Can you prove these statements of the Doctrine from any version of the Bible?
Yes, we can prove that there are three Persons in God or the divine nature, as we will shortly demonstrate.
Do not the above statements create confusions? My personal experience in the field of Daw'ah (inviting people), tells me that the failure to reconcile; "Who/what was Jesus, and, who/what Jesus was not" have been the stepping stones for many confused Christians who have embraced Islam, Bahai Faith or Judaism. A God that raises "confusion" is not the God, taught Paul.
Akbarally misquotes Paul since Paul was not referring to God's nature when speaking on the issue of confusion. Rather, his comments were directed at the disorderly conduct of the Corinthian Christians and was expressing to them the fact that God "is not a God of disorder." (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:26-32)
Paul clearly taught that the nature of God is incomprehensible to man, and is beyond finding out:
The prophet Isaiah records:
It seems that Akbarally is subscribing to finite-Godism, that unless God can be figured out by man then he cannot be God. Hence, Akbarally's view of God would leave him with a God that is not infinite, omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent since man is unable to comprehend such concepts.
Akbarally also makes man the standard of truth since he uses the argument that many individuals have left the Christian faith due to their inability to grasp the truth of the Trinity. Hence, since man is incapable of comprehending the truth of God as triune, then it must be false. This is implicit humanism, since you begin with man as the standard of truth, even God's truth. The fact is that God is the standard of truth, not man, and man is subject to the reality and truth of God not the other way around.
Akbarally employs what seems to be JW teaching on the Holy Spirit being a force. Let us briefly examine the biblical teaching on the person of the Holy Spirit in order to demonstrate that he is clearly not a force:
The Holy Spirit Speaks:
The Spirit is referred to in the masculine pronoun, he, and also speaks.
"... Coming over to us, he took Paul's belt, tired his own hands and feet with it and said, `The Holy Spirit says, "In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles." `" Acts 21:11
The Holy Spirit Has Emotions:
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30
A force does not have emotions, intellect, will and cannot speak like the Holy Spirit does. Hence, the Spirit is far from being a force, but is a divine personality within the being of God.
Akbarally confuses two key aspects when dealing with the Trinity. He confuses the nature of the Trinity (ontological) with the works of the Trinity (economical or functional). Christians believe that the three Persons are co-equal in essence and nature, with all three being fully God. Yet, the three are not equal in position since the Son and the Spirit are subject to the Father. Hence, they are equal in nature but in position the Father is first, the Son is second, and the Holy Spirit is third. (cf. Matthew 28:18-19) In fact, the example Akbarally gives about an employee and an employer illustrates this point clearly. While the employer is greater in position and authority, he is not superior in nature since both he and his employee are fully human in nature. Hence, they are equal in nature but not in position.
One who tries to understand fully the "Mystery of Trinity" may loose his mind, but one who rejects the "Doctrine of Trinity" may loose his soul!
Whereas loosing the mind part is not scriptural, losing one's salvation is since to deny the true nature of God is to deny God himself.
He (Jesus) said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind", this is the greatest and first commandment. Matthew 22: 37-38.
Jesus was not saying one must love God with his mind by completely understanding God's incomprehensible nature since this is impossible. Rather, Jesus' point is that a person must commit himself entirely to God, surrendering his entire being unconditionally to his Creator since anything less will not do.
If we are to love God completely we must both love and accept his truth completely as well. This entails believing in the entire revelation of God as recorded in his inspired Word, the Holy Bible. By so doing, one must then wholeheartedly embrace the doctrine of the Trinity since the foundation for this doctrine stems entirely from the Holy Bible. What we'd like to do now is to take the Athanasian Creed and break it down, providing biblical references supporting the statements outlined in the Creed itslef:
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned. As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" Galatians 1:8-9
"I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once and for all entrusted to the saints." Jude 3
And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
"Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father, who sent him." John 5:22-23
"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 Corinthians 13:14
"Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: `To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be prise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!' The four living creatures said, `Amen,' and the elders fell down and worshiped." Revelation 5:13-14
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
"`In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.' Then they asked him, `Where is your father?' `You do not know me or my Father,' Jesus replied. `If you knew me, you would know my Father also.'" John 8:17-19
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- The Spirit of truth." John 14:16-17a
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one, the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
"... who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance." 1 Peter 1:2
"Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours." 2 Peter 1:1
"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." Acts 5:3-4
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
"Jesus answered, `I tell you the truth. I already was before Abraham was born.'" John 8:58 (The Bible in World English)
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 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 John 1:1-3
"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" Hebrews 9:14
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
"... However, as it is written: `No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him'- but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God... The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned... `For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:9-11, 14, 16
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:10-11
"This is what the LORD says-- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come-- yes, let him foretell what will come. Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." Isaiah 44:6-8
"The Lord God says, `I am the First and the Last. I am the beginning and the ending. I live now. I always have lived, and I will come again. I have all power.'" Revelation 1:8 (The Bible In World English)
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords, but one Lord.
"At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.’" Luke 10:21
"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17
"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be both God and Lord, So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten.
"How great is God--beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out." Job 36:26
The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God AND OF the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him." Revelation 22:1-3
The river of the water of life which flows from both God and Christ is actually the Holy Spirit:
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another; But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
He therefore that will be saved is must think thus of the Trinity.
"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins." John 8:24
"Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, `Jesus be cursed,' and no one can say, `Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:3
"Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also." 1 John 2:22-23
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of his Mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form." Colossians 2:9
"But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law... " Galatians 4:4
Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead;
and inferior to the Father, as touching his manhood;
Who, although he be God and Man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh but by taking of the Manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ;
Notice that it is the one person who was both born to Mary and Joseph and had come down from heaven.
The one person was both the author of Life (divine) and human at the same time since he was put to death in the flesh.
Again, the one person of Christ is the Lord of glory who had been crucified. This implies that although the attributes of one nature cannot be transferred to the other (i.e., his human consciousness was not omniscient, his omnipotence was true of his divine nature only), the fact is that when one nature is effected this is predicated to Christ without distinguishing between them. This is due to the fact that both natures are true of the one person.
It is the one person of the Son who both created all things and was raised from the dead for our redemption. These passages clearly teach that Christ is one person, having two natures.
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures... " 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water... " 1 Peter 3:18-20
He ascended into heaven, he sitteth at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty,
"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." Hebrews 1:3
from whence he will come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:11-15
This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
Amen. So be it. Come Lord Jesus!
Responses to Akbarally Meherally
Answering Islam Home Page