Muslim apologists have been trying to undermine biblical truths tirelessly and pathetically for quite sometime. In their zeal they employ all kinds of questions that are basically fallacious. Prasanna answers six of those.
Muslim apologists have been trying to undermine biblical truths tirelessly and pathetically for quite sometime. In their zeal they employ all kinds of questions that are basically fallacious. They seem to be willing to go down to any level of dishonesty if they figure out that it will help justify Mohammad and his deity. Here we can see some of the deceptive methods Muslim apologists devised against God’s truth, and how they can be countered logically and scripturally.
Fallacious Tactic #1
Muslim apologists tend to raise the following questions with Christians in order to prove that Jesus is not God. Their questioning goes like this…
1. Can God die? (Muslims assume Christians would say ‘no’)
2. Did Jesus die? (Muslims assume Christians would say ‘yes’)From the above assumptions they would love to conclude saying, ‘therefore Jesus is not God.’
This may work with unsuspecting or uninformed Christians. But when tried with someone who is well prepared or insightful enough to test the validity of the questions in the argument it simply doesn’t work for Muslim apologists who heavily depend on ignorance and deceptive tactics in persuading the Christians to believe the lies against Jesus’ deity. Let’s see how it can be tackled.
If a Muslim or someone of that mentality comes to ask the question #1 the listener needs to get the clarification about the definition of ‘death’ first. The Christian should ask back for clarification:
What do you mean by ‘death’? Cessation of existence or Separation of the physical body and soul/spirit?
If the Muslim defines ‘death’ as ‘cessation of existence,’ which is unlikely unless he/she agrees with the so-called Jehovah’s Witnesses, then the answer to the first question is definitely ‘no.’ With this definition of ‘death’ the Christian can confidently say ‘no’ even to the question #2. The Bible never defines ‘death’ as cessation of existence. Instead, we see enough evidence in the Bible to the contrary (Lk.16-22-23; Rev.6:9-11). Furthermore, Jesus was in existence even after his ‘last breath’ and ‘giving up his spirit’ on the cross (Jn.2:19-21, 10:17-18; Lk.23:43; Eph.4:8-10; 1Pet.3:18-20). From here the Muslim can get nowhere. He/she cannot reach the point #3, which is his/her illogical conclusion.
If the Muslim defines ‘death’ as ‘separation of physical body and soul/spirit,’ as Islamic theology teaches, then the question #1 turns out to be an irrelevant and illogical question. God in his eternal existence does not possess a physical body. Raising a question like ‘Can God die (be separated from his physical body)?’ would only prove that the questioner is either a fool or out of his/her mind (Of course, Muslim apologists fit into one of these two categories very well). It is like asking about a person who never married, ‘Can he stop beating his wife?’
Fallacious Tactic #2
Muslim apologists have come with the ‘ultimate question’ of their standard as a result of their insatiable tendency to quiz Christians about the belief in the deity of Christ.
Here it is:
Where did Jesus himself say ‘I am God’ in the Bible? (If he himself did not say that why do Christians believe that Jesus is God and worship him?).
At the first sight the question might make sense to the reader. But if we analyze it carefully it becomes apparent that the question has been formed on shallow reasoning. One need not depend solely on a person’s own claim or disclaim or even silence to determine that person’s identity.
(1) Muslims believe that Jesus is…
(2) Christians believe that Jesus is…
the Son of God
All of them are true. However, none of them were directly claimed by Jesus. It is true that Jesus himself did not say ‘I am the Messiah’, ‘I am the Lord’ etc. Muslims believe that Jesus is a ‘man,’ a ‘prophet,’ and the ‘Messiah’ not because Jesus himself claimed them, but because the Quran says so. In the same way, Christians believe that Jesus is a ‘man,’ a ‘prophet,’ the ‘Messiah,’ the ‘Son of God,’ the ‘Lord,’ and ‘God’ not because Jesus himself claimed them directly (he did that indirectly), but because the Bible says so.
If the Muslim insists the Christian on answering the following questions:
Do you believe that Jesus is God?
If so, where in the Bible did Jesus himself say ‘I am God’?
Christian should insist the Muslim on first answering these questions:
Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah?
If so, where in the Quran did Jesus himself say ‘I am the Messiah’?
If the Muslim cannot answer the question yet wants to know the answer to his/her question, he/she is only demonstrating to the world that he/she is a big hypocrite and cannot even think logically and consistently.
There is enough evidence in the Bible that enables us to safely infer that Jesus is God beyond any shadow of doubt. The evidence can broadly be divided into the following three categories:
1. Testimony of the prophets/apostles (Acts 20:28; Rom.9:4-5; Tit.2:13; Phil.2:5-7)
2. Jesus’ own indirect claims (by using God’s name: Jn.8:58-59; 18:3-13=Ex.3:14; by claiming equality with God: Jn.10:30-31; 14:9; by accepting worship: Matt.14:33, 15:25, 28:9,17; Lk.17:16; Jn.9:38; Heb.1:6; Rev.5:8-14, 7:9-12 cf.Matt.4:10; Acts 10:25-26; Rev.18:21, 19:10, 22:8-9)
3. Testimony of the Father (Heb.1:8)
Fallacious Tactic #3
Muslim apologists employ inconsistent approaches to understand God. On one had they believe and assert that God is unknown or beyond our understanding and definition, and on the other hand they demand Christians to make God understandable to them. Muslims have hard time to comprehend the definition of ‘Trinity,’ which is the Biblical concept of God. As a result of this they blindly try to attack the concept of ‘Trinity’ without even knowing what they are trying to debunk. In this childish effort they can come up with endless questions regarding this doctrine of the Bible. One of the most frequent arguments Muslim apologists use against ‘Trinity’ is as follows:
1. Does God know everything? (answer is ‘yes’)2. Did Jesus say that he doesn’t know the hour of his coming? (answer is ‘yes’)
Therefore, they conclude, that Jesus is not God.
God knows everything not because he ‘came to know’ them. He knows everything because it is he who caused or predestined or allowed them to occur/exist. Regarding the hour of his coming, Jesus says, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matt.24:36).
1. In the above Jesus’ statement there is a reference to three distinct categories of beings, namely, human beings, angels and God.
2. Jesus did not categorize the ‘Son’ as human being (‘no one knows’ includes all human beings), rather he distinguished the ‘Son’ from human beings by placing him in a different category other than human beings.
3. Jesus distinguished the ‘Son’ even from the category of the angels because the ‘Son’ is not even a part of the angels.
4. The ‘Son’ is a part of the ‘Godhead,’ however, within the Godhead the ‘Son’ is distinguished from the ‘Father.’ This is clearly maintained in Jesus’ statement.
5. In the above statement instead of using the generic term ‘God,’ which refers to both the Father and the Son, Jesus used the term ‘Father’ selectively in order to refer only to the first person of Godhead in this context.
6. The verb ‘to know’ means to receive information about something. With reference to God the verb ‘to know’ does not connote this same lexical meaning simply because God does not ‘come to know’ things. Either he knows things as the cause of their occurrence or as the one who ordains them for the future or as the one who permits them come to pass.
7. In the light of the above facts, the phrase ‘only the Father knows’ is tantamount to admit that only the first person of Godhead, i.e. The Father, has the prerogative to ordain the ‘hour,’ but not the Son. The difference between the ‘Son’ and the ‘Father’ is not in knowledge but in function.
In short what Jesus is saying in the above statement is not that he cannot ‘come to know’ the hour, rather he is implying to his listeners that not he but the Father is the one who ‘decides’ or ‘causes’ it to occur. This does not make Jesus less than God, but only different from the Father.
Fallacious Tactic #4
Another Biblical doctrine that completely baffles Muslims is the ‘incarnation.’
Exposing their ignorance Muslim apologists ask questions like these:
Can God pray to himself? (assumed answer is ‘no’)
Did Jesus pray to God? (assumed answer is ‘yes’)
Therefore, Jesus is not God. (Muslim apologist’s conclusion)
Here Muslim apologist exposes two of his/her common traits, namely, hypocrisy and irrationality. Let’s see how these are playing out in this particular tactic.
The first sura in the Quran, Fatiha, is a prayer to God. Muslims believe that the entire Quran is spoken by God. If that is true then the first prayer in Sura Fatiha is a prayer by God to God! Yet, Muslim apologists hypocritically ask Christians the first question.
How to understand Jesus’ prayer to God? It is both logical as well as commonsensical to see Jesus praying to God. Jesus, the Son, is a part of the Godhead. He is God the Son, but not God the Father. In addition to this, Jesus had taken human form and nature as a part of his incarnation. Therefore, God the Son as human being is praying to God the Father. When Muslim apologist fails to recognize these truths he/she only exposes his/her ignorance in this matter.
If any Muslim asks the question, “Can God pray to himself?” Christian should respond to that by giving this counter question, “Yeah, that’s interesting. What do YOU think?” The Muslim will be more than happy to furnish the answer as ‘no’ to the question. At which point the Christian should immediately ask the Muslim, “if that is true, how come your God prayed to himself in the first sura of the Quran?” It would be very interesting and entertaining to watch and see how the Muslim tries to get out of this pit he/she himself/herself dug.
Fallacious Tactic #5
In their zeal to prove Christians wrong in believing that God is ‘Trinity’ Muslim apologists use questions like this:
Is God one or many? (assumed answer is ‘one’)
Are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit ‘one’ or ‘three’? (assumed answer is ‘three’)
Therefore, Muslims love to conclude, Christians’ belief in ‘Trinity’ is wrong.
Christians should respond to this kind of shallow reasoning cautiously. Christian can respond in the following way:
Muslim: Is God one or many?
Christian: Well, I want to say ‘one,’ but first let me know, what you exactly mean by one?
If the Muslim can’t get it, say something like this…
Christian: For example, I am one and you are one; Is that what you mean when you say God is one?
Muslim: (It is unlikely that Muslim agrees to this. In all probability he/she will try to prove to Christian that ‘God is one’ is incomparable to ‘man is one.’ By chance, if the Muslim says yes, which is unimaginable, Christian should help him/her to realize by that he/she is equating God to man!)
Christian: Do you agree that God’s oneness and man’s oneness are different?
Muslim: (must agree to this, willingly or unwillingly)
Christian: If you agree to this fact then I can easily say that God is one.
Muslim: Are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit ‘one’ or ‘three’?
Muslim: How can it be? It’s poor mathematics!
Christian: No it is not. Please listen to this! I am one, you are one and my friend is also one. If we add these numbers we will get three. Likewise, in the case of God the Father is one, the Son is one and the Holy Spirit is one. However, if you add these numbers you still get one. This is simply because our ‘one’ is a mathematical unit, whereas God’s ‘one’ is infinitely different to our ‘one.’ God is infinite. If you add or subtract or multiply or divide an ‘infinity’ you still get ‘infinity.’ That’s what God is!
If the Muslim cannot understand this leave him/her until he/she grows up enough to understand this reasoning.
Fallacious Tactic #6
Muslims in general tend to ask very childish questions about Jesus being God’s Son without realizing the imbecility in their disbelief. Here is an example of that sort. Muslims ask Christians:
Does God have a wife? (Christian’s answer is ‘no’)
If God doesn’t have a wife how can you say that Jesus is God’s son? (implying the Biblical teaching “Jesus is God’s son” is wrong)
It is both pathetic and tiring to hear the second question, either in the form of a question or in the form of a statement of disbelief, again and again from the lips of our Muslim friends.
In this context Christians should ask Muslims the following questions:
Can Allah have a wife? (Muslim’s answer is ‘no’)
Is it possible for Allah to have a son without a wife? (yes/no)
If the answer is ‘
yes,’ then that’s all what Christians too believe. But if the answer is ‘no’ then Muslims should answer this question:
If you say that Allah cannot have a son without a wife, why does Allah say in the Quran (39:4) that it is possible for him to have a son without a wife?
It would be interesting to watch him/her trying to justify or clarify his/her ‘no.’
Thankfully, not all Muslims are foolish enough to ask questions like these. I have personally met Muslims who are wise, open, willing to and capable of engaging in meaningful dialogues in order to know the truth of God. Some of them have found it! God gave this promise, “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.”