Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rufuting a Muslim Refutation of the Trinity

I have rarely seen a worst defender of Christianity than Jack Chick. His ridiculous tracts are so offensive, I wonder why God doesn't strike him down in the OT Biblical sense. Matt Slick is pretty close, but his rhetorical at least seems more reasoned--it's not, but it seems that way. But, looking at debates and refutations on Catholics vs. Calvinists or Catholic refutations of Slick's nonsense, I came across a Muslim who attempts to refute the Trinity and he seems to think Slick is some kind of Christian authority. Sami Zaatari uses Jack Chick like structure and argument style to pretend to refute the Christian teaching of the Trinity. I will address this in a moment...I just want to point out the irony of Zaatari's claims. I've seen more and more so-called Christians stating that they do not believe in the Trinity. They either believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but not God the Son, or they believe that Jesus took on divinity temporarily as a man. These heresies were refuted by the Church long ago, but as the saying goes, "Those who do not study history, are doomed to repeat it." This is, of course, a paraphrase, but is very apt in the "art" of Protestantism.

So, back to Zaatari who believes that "Trinitarians do Worship Three God's" [sic].  He says,

"Trinitarians often like to claim that they have a monotheistic belief, and that the Trinity is not the worship of 3 Gods rather it is the worship of One God. Basically they say the Trinity doctrine is as follow:
Christianity is a monotheistic faith. Zaatari fails to understand what is the actual dogma on the Trinity.
 1- God is made up of 3 persons
So, far, so good. God is three Persons.
2- The three persons are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
OK, good.
 3- All three persons are distinct from each other, The Father is not the Son, nor is the Son the Father etc.
Right. The Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the Son nor the Father. But, they are one and the same God.
4- Each person in the Trinity has a role of their own
True, but They all work together as one God.
5- Jesus is the Son in the Trinity
More accurately, Jesus is God the Son.
So basically that is the dogma of the Trinity.
Very close, but not quite there. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

 234 The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith".56 The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin".57
Back to Zaatari:
Now let us show exactly why Christians do in fact worship three God's. As I said, the Trinity is made up of THREE people, these three people are all different than one another, it is basically exactly like having 3 people in an office, Tom Dick and Harry.[sic]
 Now Christians say that Jesus is God, the Father is God, and so is the Holy Spirit. So therefore if you have three people, and each one of them is God then what are you left with? You are left with THREE Gods! This is logic!  
This is only "logic" on the surface and is an observation by one who has not studied the Christian Trinity nor seems to care to do so. This is the Jack-Chick-style logic to which I was alluding.
If Tom Dick and Harry [sic] are each managers, how many managers do you have? You have three! Remember Trinity has THREE different persons, and each person is God, therefore you have three Gods and not one, there is no way around this mess.
The only "mess" is Zaatari's interpretation of the Christian Trinity. 

Let us even make it simpler for people:
Muslim: Is Jesus God?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: Is Jesus the Father?
Christian: No
Muslim: Is the Father God?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: Is The Father Jesus?
Christian: No
Muslim: So these are 2 different persons?
Christian: Yes, 2 distinct different persons
Muslim: And both are God?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: Is the Holy Spirit God?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: Is the Holy Spirit the Father or Jesus?
Christian: No, the Holy Spirit is not
Muslim: So Jesus is God, the Father is God, and the Holy Spirit is God?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: And these are three different persons?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: So you have three persons, each one is God, how many is that?
Christian: Three, opppssss no no I meant One
This, too, is what I mean by the Jack Chick style of refutation. He sets up a false argument and then makes the "Christian" fall for an argument that no intelligent Christian would actually be baited to argue. Trinitarian Christians would not fall for this "mess." While each Person of the Trinity is distinct, the are all the same God. Zaatari uses the word "different" which is not used in Christian apologetics.
 It cannot get any simpler than that, Trinitarians worship THREE Gods and they cant deny it.
I do deny it. The above discussion between a Muslim and a Christian is pure fiction.

Now off [sic] course Trinitarians have come up with dozens and dozens of laughable analogies to make sense of the Trinity, however so my favorite analogy Christians bring up to make sense of the Trinity is the Family analogy.

The family analogy basically says this:

A Family is made up of more than one member, a Father, Mother, and Son. Yet the family is one family and not three families, the same with Trinity.

This is my favorite analogy, and it is one of the most deceptive analogies. The family statement is true, a family is made up of 2 or more persons, a typical basic family is a Husband, Wife, and son.

But here is the problem, Christians say that each person in the Trinity is God, remember Christians say Jesus is God, the Father is God, and the Holy Spirit is also God. So therefore using the Christian Trinity doctrine, that would basically mean that the husband is a family, the wife is a family, and the son is also a family!!!!!!! In a family we say that the husband wife and son MAKE UP A FAMILLY, we do not say that each specific member of the family is the family!
I am personally not familiar with this analogy. However, any analogy of a mystery of God is going to be imperfect no matter what imagery one uses. While I agree this analogy is flawed, I can also see why someone may use it. The bond of love in a family would be the core of this analogy.  But the point here should be that Zaatari has set up his own argument of what a Christian means by a family and then falsely compares his interpretation of the meaning of the analogy to the Christian Trinity.

Just test this out for yourself, go ask any Christian, is Jesus God, they will immediately say YES!!!!!!!!!! AMENNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!! The Christian will not reply back by saying no Jesus is not God, but Jesus is part of God, you will NEVER hear this reply by a Christian, and I myself have never heard this from a Christian. So therefore the analogy FAILS since the analogy is not even close to Trinity, when you ask a husband are you a family sir? He will say I HAVE a family and yes I am in a family, but he will not say yes I am a family. So Christian Trinitarians have been very deceptive in their analogies and it seems they themselves don’t understand what Trinity even is!
As I said above, he is arguing against his interpretation of the family analogy, not actually presenting the Christian understanding of the Trinity, and He has not present any of the other "dozens of analogies" he claims is false. He is interpreting the Trinity on his own then arguing against himself. The Catechism says:

 237 The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the "mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God".58 To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel's faith before the Incarnation of God's Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.
Zaatari is making a human argument about God--a mystery our puny minds can cannot fully comprehend, let alone explain fully. Certainly no one can explain the Trinity to the satisfaction of some one so subbornly ignorant of actual Christian theology.  Back to his "mess":

Christians do not say No Jesus is not God, or no the Father is not God, Christians do not say that Jesus and the Father are part of God and make up God, they say that Jesus IS God, they say that the Father IS God. So the analogy crumbles. :)
No, Christians do not say Jesus is not God, nor the Father is not God. But his analogy crumbles because it is not only inaccurate but not presented properly. There are many, many other imperfect analogies that might explain the Trinity better, but a family, a loving, single unit of beings, is not quite the silliness he presents.

And this analogy even makes more problems! You see folks, someone doesn’t come up to you alone and say are you a family? For instance if I was standing outside a shop all alone, a person would not ask me hey Sami are you a family? They would ask hey Sami are you in a family or do you have a family. So basically if we want to compare the Trinity to this family analogy, then this means that we should not ask Christians is Jesus God, we should ask Christians does Jesus have a God, does the Father have a God! Because the analogy is basically turning God into a family, so therefore this means God is made up of people, and is not one alone person, just like a family, so this means we should be asking the Christians does Jesus have a God rather than asking is Jesus God.
No, a Christian analogy of the Trinity as a family is not what Sami has presented.  The Christian interpretation does not mean that God is made up of people. This means that we believe that God is made up of three Persons (not people, as in humans) who work together as a loving unit--they work together as one.

So as you can see, these analogies are so bad and deceptive they cause further problems for a Trinitarian. Trinitarians should simply accept the fact that they worship three God's, once doing so they will be able to throw this Trinity lie out the window and become a real monotheistic faith."
 1) Sami has only presented one of "these analogies" and that one is his interpretation of that one analogy. So, saying "these analogies" is very deceptive, since he only presented one and his opinion of that one analogy. He does not present even one actual Christian analogy quote, not any of the other "dozens" he claims are false.

2) No, Trinitarian will "simply accept" that they worship "three God's [sic]" because they do not. We worship one God--The God of the Old and New Testament.

3) If he is actually interested in the dogma of the Trinity, here is the presentation of the Catechism:
The dogma of the Holy Trinity
253 The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the "consubstantial Trinity".83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: "The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God."84 In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), "Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature."85
254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another. "God is one but not solitary."86 "Father", "Son", "Holy Spirit" are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: "He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son."87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: "It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds."88 The divine Unity is Triune.
255 The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."89 Indeed "everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship."90 "Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son."91
256 St. Gregory of Nazianzus, also called "the Theologian", entrusts this summary of Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople:
Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion, and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures: I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I entrust it to you today. By it I am soon going to plunge you into water and raise you up from it. I give it to you as the companion and patron of your whole life. I give you but one divinity and power, existing one in three, and containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of substance or nature, without superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts down. . . the infinite co-naturality of three infinites. Each person considered in himself is entirely God. . . the three considered together. . . I have not even begun to think of unity when the Trinity bathes me in its splendor. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me. . .92
The dogma of the Trinity has been studied, thought about, and believed for almost two thousand years. One Muslim's false interpretation of the Trinity is certainly not going to change my mind about the Christian understanding of the nature of God. I don't believe he will change the mind of any Christian who believes in the Trinity with this false logic.

Trinitarian Christians do have a monotheistic faith, and that, like God Himself, will not change.

No comments: