Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"

Trinity, Atonement & Blood Sacrifice II : The Question of Trinity 2


In this segment, Dr. Badawi completes the section on the Trinity and essentially reviews the arguments that he made in other sections. He begins by giving more attempts to define the Trinity and then makes a number of conclusions which are not based on Biblical teachings.

Host: What do you mean by dependency?

Jamal Badawi: It means that the human body depends on the soul in order to live, no soul no life. When we speak about the Trinity where each are full God, we know that God does not depend on others for His existence, so the illustration of the body and soul is not that good.

Host: Are there any other illustrations of Trinity?

Jamal Badawi: There are many. One is that Trinity is a mystery and should be taken as is, we will discuss this later. One explanation is that if we have a line that is 10 inches long, in two dimensions, it is a square, and a cube in three dimensions. This has nothing to do with the Trinity because a cube has six squares and they are not the same. Another is that we have the sun, its heat and light. This is not good because analogy with the Trinity does not apply here because the light is not independent of the sun, and the heat is also not independent. Also, some day the light and heat will end but the sun will exist. I cannot find any rational explanation of the Trinity.

As I mentioned in earlier sections, it is impossible for humans to completely understand God. The Trinity is an attempt, based on the teachings of Jesus in the Bible, to understand the nature of God. I accept the words of God in the Bible above Dr. Badawi's attempts to limit and define God.

Host: Do you ever hope to hear a rational explanation?

Jamal Badawi: I am open and ready to listen but I am not hopeful because people who study this issue believe that there is no explanation. According to evangelist Jay Christianson, he says "there is nothing in man, nature, or skies above us or the earth below us which causes us to believe in a triune if the question had not come through the Bible, it would not exist". That is an interesting question from an evangelist who supposedly knows what he is talking about - if the Bible does not mention it, it does not exist. In several programs we have shown that the bible does not show the Trinity. The most important verse 1 John 5:7 is not authentic.

I think that Dr. Badawi is quoting Mr. Christianson out of context. The Bible is God's revelation to the human race. How could we know God if we did not have His Word? Another issue is that 1 John 5:7 is not the most important verse! This passage does not exist in any of the early Greek texts and, therefore, could not have been used as evidence during the debates over the Trinity.

Host: How do the proponents of the Trinity respond to these objections?

Jamal Badawi: There are five examples:

1. How come there is no clear indication of the Trinity in the Old Testament? The Christians will say that God wanted to reveal Himself gradually and hid and guard that secret until he entered into history. That is mere conjecture, there is no support for that in the Bible. The theme of the Old Testament is absolute monotheism.

Wrong! I suggest that Dr. Badawi puts down his Jehovah's Witness literature and pick up a Bible and read it. In spite of Dr. Badawi's, and the Watchtower's, claim, the Old Testament does have evidence for the triune nature of God. The Old Testament tells us that

God is the Father

Deuteronomy 32:6:

Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?

Isaiah 64:8:

Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Malachi 2:10:

Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?

God is the Son

Isaiah 9:6:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Proverbs 30:4:

Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!

Isaiah 7:14:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel [which means God with us].

God is the Holy Spirit

1 Kings 22:24:

Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. "Which way did the spirit from the LORD go when he went from me to speak to you?" he asked.

Nehemiah 9:30:

For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples.

Psalm 51:11:

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Isaiah 63:10-11:

Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them. Then his people recalled the days of old, the days of Moses and his people-- where is he who brought them through the sea, with the shepherd of his flock? Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them,

Micah 2:7

Should it be said, O house of Jacob: "Is the Spirit of the LORD angry? Does he do such things?" "Do not my words do good to him whose ways are upright?

Job 33:4:

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Psalm 104:30:

When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

Psalm 139:7:

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

Dr. Badawi's arguments are not based on the text of the Bible!

2. Why didn't Jesus teach the Trinity clearly? The answer is that he did not want the nature of his mission known. But Jesus was very courageous and it is the sacred mission of a Prophet to speak the truth. Why should he leave his followers confused.

He did, see Matthew 28:19:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

3. Why was the word Trinity never formulated in the Bible or in the teaching of the early disciples?

The answer is that it is implied and Paul is often cited and he was not a disciple. II Corinthians 15:14:

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

But even if you take this text, it does not say that they are equal and one.

The fact that the two are mentioned together, performing different functions, suggest that they are equal and of the same essence. That is what Paul was saying!

Some might say that the Trinity was left to experience. Why didn't Paul mention it like in 1 Corinthians 8:6:

yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Some might say (39 Articles) Trinity is a result of an effort made by the Church to express this new truth that they learned through Jesus. Some say that the Church was guided by the Holy Spirit, but the Church has changed its mind throughout history and there was infighting at the Councils nor does it explain why there are so many sect that do not accept the Trinity. Some say that many intelligent people who have accepted the Trinity, but many have not. Some say that you cannot explain the Trinity to someone who does not believe in it. Some also say that the disciples valued the knowledge of God, not the doctrine, but this knowledge is based on the Trinity which is a circular argument.

Once again, Dr. Badawi's arguments prove nothing. The fact of the matter is that Jesus preached the triune nature of God, the Old Testament preached the triune nature of God, the Apostles and disciples believed in the triune nature of God, and so did the early Church Fathers. Dr. Badawi needs to realize that untruth does not become truth regardless of how many times it is repeated.

Host: What would you say to those who say that monotheism and Trinity are compatible and those who say that Muslims reject Trinity because they do not understand it?

Jamal Badawi: Kenneth Craig says that Trinity is one form of the expression of monotheism. It is futile to say this. If we mean an allegorical Trinity, this is not a true Trinity because it is open to others and we do not need to deify Jesus. If we mean real Trinity, then we have Tri-theism. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the Trinity is real, the Son proceeds from the Father through generation, which is eternal. This led to great confusion. As far as the claim that Muslims do not understand, we have given documentation that many Christians rejected the Trinity, Socianus emphasized that the essence of God was one. There are also misunderstandings about the Qur'an.

As I have said many times, it is impossible for man to comprehend God. The Trinity is a man's explanation of the nature of God based on what God reveled to us in the Bible. Some, including Dr. Badawi, do not want to understand the Trinity.

Host: Can you elaborate?

Jamal Badawi: Some say that Muhammad confused the concept saying that Mary was a part of the Trinity or that he was familiar with only the heretical sects. The evidence is overwhelming from science that the Qur'an is not from the mind of Muhammad and we cannot say that it is Muhammad's confusion, it is divine. The Qur'an disapproves of heresy as well as mainstream Christian ideas. There is disapproval of those who believed that Jesus is God (Sura 5:75) but again it could be a reference to heretics or mainstream. Others say that the Qur'an only negates that Mary was divine (Sura 5:119), this applies to some but Suras 4:171 and 5:76 speak directly about Trinity.

Either Muhammad was confused, or God was confused - and since God does not make mistakes, that leaves Muhammad! The problem here is that the Qur'an clearly misrepresents orthodox Christian beliefs, all of which existed both long before and in the time of Muhammad. These inaccuracies in the Qur'an along with Muhammad's ignorance of orthodox Christian teachings, is overwhelming evidence that the Qur'an is not from an all-knowing God, but is the product of humans with imperfect information and deficient knowledge. The possibility that heretical groups existed, and had influence on Muhammad's thinking, is further evidence of the Qur'an's human origins and does not excuse the Qur'an from this grossly inaccurate statement.

Andrew Vargo

Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
Answering Islam Home Page