Monday, 1 August 2016

A Muslim's Thoughts on Solas CPC's + Other Christian Campagins Against Same Sex Marriage in the UK


The Pro-gay marriage movement is one of the biggest movements within what Christian theologians would call the "body of Christ" in the West. Ecumenism is up there too. In reality both ecumenism and the pro-gay marriage movement stem from liberal Christianity.



The sheer size of the Christian pro-gay marriage movement would mean Christians like Alisdair (Ally) Smith and David Robertson of Solas CPC believe the majority of the members of the "body of Christ" are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit nowadays as opposed to 30 years ago:

In others words, while clear majorities disapproved in 1983 (highest at 74.8 per cent for Catholics and 79.7 per cent for other Christians), in 2010 opposition had fallen to lower than 50 per cent in each group – lowest at 37.4 per cent for Anglicans and 20.4 per cent for those with no religion. Note that in all our tables given below, survey weights have been applied. [Dr Ben Celements, Leicester University]

One would expect this trend to continue, perhaps to the extent of virtually all Christians in the UK being pro-gay marriage or at the very least accepting of it in the coming years. Again, putting forth further questions on the beliefs the Christian community have concerning the Holy Spirt. As GotQuestions describes these beliefs:

Jesus gave the Spirit as a “compensation” for His absence, to perform the functions toward us which He would have done if He had remained personally with us....The Spirit’s presence within us enables us to understand and interpret God’s Word. Jesus told His disciples that “when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

What are David Robertson's Solas CPC and the other minority of Christian activists going to say here? Will they say, the majority of Christians in the UK aren't guided by the Holy Spirt and thus don't interpret the Scripture in a way that is acceptable?

And what of the flip side, the Christian pro-gay marriage side? The majority side may well just point at their numbers and use that to support the claim the Holy Spirit is guiding them to do what Christ would do today!

In fact, the Christian pro-gay marriage side may even say there have been historical precedents in the past concerning early Christians and their deliberations towards the Trinity belief and the NT canon.

Let's focus on the NT canon for a few moments. It was basically decided by a majority rule, early on there was disagreement as to which books to consider "inspired". Christian theology would teach the decisions on the inclusion/exclusion of any book was guided by the Holy Spirit. Yet in reality, it appears, it was just majority rule which won out in the end.

it is not quite accurate to say that there has never been any doubt in the Church of any of our New Testament books. A few of the shorter Epistles (e.g. 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, James, Jude) and the Revelation were much longer in being accepted in some parts than in others; while elsewhere books which we do not now include in the New Testament were received as canonical. Thus the Codex Sinaiticus included the 'Epistle of Barnabas' and the Shepherd of Hermas, a Roman work of about AD 110 or earlier, while the Codex Alexandrinus included the writings known as the First and Second Epistles of Clement; and the inclusion of these works alongside the biblical writings probably indicates that they were accorded some degree of canonical status. [FF Bruce]

The only books about which there was any substantial doubt after the middle of the second century were some of those which come at the end of our New Testament. Origen (185-254) mentions the four Gospels, the Acts, the thirteen Paulines, 1 Peter, 1 John and Revelation as acknowledged by all; he says that Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, James and Jude, with the 'Epistle of Barnabas,' the Shepherd of Hermas, the Didache, and the 'Gospel according to the Hebrews,' were disputed by some. Eusebius (c. 265-340) mentions as generally acknowledged all the books of our New Testament except James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, which were disputed by some, but recognised by the majority. Athanasius in 367 lays down the twenty-seven books of our New Testament as alone canonical; shortly afterwards Jerome and Augustine followed his example in the West. The process farther east took a little longer; it was not until c. 508 that 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude and Revelation were included in a version of the Syriac Bible in addition to the other twenty two books. [FF Bruce]

Now, think about the parallels here between the gradual decision via majority-rule on what to call canon and the pro-gay marriage movement.

David Robertson and his colleagues at Solas CPC may state the glaring difference; homosexual unions have been outlawed Biblically (ref Leviticus 18:22, 1 Cor 6:9-11 and Romans 1:26-28)

There are two issues here for Solas CPC and other anti-gay marriage Christian activists:

1. The Bible is not a closed text. There has been relatively recent precedent of whole chunks of the NT being relegated to possible forgery status as per the findings of Dr Von Tischendorf in the 19th century. They are finding new manuscripts regularly. There is nothing to stop another find relegating other parts of the NT to possible forgery (scribal addition) status. What if that happens in 50 years time regarding 1 Cor 6:9-11 and Romans 1:26-28? All it would take would be a discovery of an early MSS of said texts omitting such verses or rendering different wording in those verses to the extent of changing the apparent meaning of the text.

It's clear Christians cannot have confidence in their NT texts.

2. The problem of interpretation. The pro-gay camp have their own interpretations of the relevant Bible texts. Rev. Dr. Mark Achtemeier, who has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 1984 as a minister, theology professor, and writer states there's an overwhelmingly positive case for gay marriage in the Bible:

Fortunately, the church across the centuries has developed guidelines for interpreting Scripture that help keep our use of particular passages in touch with the true portrait of God’s love in Christ. When we apply these guidelines, the Bible’s teaching about gay people and their relationships appears in a whole new light. In my book I show how the application of these time-tested principles of biblical interpretation produces an overwhelmingly positive biblical case in favor of gay marriage. I came to realize how my former reliance on fragmentary, out-of-context quotes from Scripture had led me to lose touch with the “big picture” of God’s love that lies at the heart of the Bible’s witness.

If you combine this with the fact the pro-gay marriage camp is the bigger camp now, in addition it is still growing, and couple it with the belief that Christians believe they are guided by the Holy Spirit in Scripture then there is a huge hurdle here for Solas CPC. Is this not a big problem as this camp will make a more forceful appeal to this belief concerning the Holy Spirit because they have the numbers in the West.

The problem here is the Christian belief about the Holy Spirit and the way history played it self out previously with regards to the Trinity belief and the NT canon being formulated based on majority rule.


Consistency: Western incompatibility - Alisdair Smith's colleagues' inconsistent argumentation.

Alisdair Smith's colleagues in the mission fields (certainly Jonathan McLatchie's colleagues) argue on the lines of Islam not being compatible with Western values when constructing polemics against Islam yet if we are consistent Alisdair Smith, SOLAS and the rest of the anti-gay marriage Christian camp are promoting a Christianity which is incompatible with Western values.

Again, questions concerning the Christian belief of the Holy Spirit arise as surely the Holy Spirit wouldn't guide towards inconsistency..

Christian hypocrisy

This is a subtle one for the thinking Christian

Christianity is not monolithic. The Christian pro-gay marriage movement has wide spread and rapidly growing support (as seen above) yet colleagues of SOLAS' Alisdair in the Christian polemics business such as Nabeel Qureshi, David Wood and Jay Smith would say ISIS is true Islam despite being miniscule and having no scholarly Islamic body supporting ISIS (in fact all Muslim scholarship has denounced ISIS) yet at the same time this Christian camp claims the pro same sex marriage movement is not true Christianity despite it having much more support from recognised Christian bodies, authorities and a vast and ever-growing supporter base amongst Christian laity.

Thus hypocrisy is outlined in more detail in this response to a Christian apologist, Jonathan McLatchie. Jonathan Mclatchie: Gay Marriage is "Madness" but Terrorism is..

Let's discuss another example of what appears to be hypocrisy from the conservative Christian camp.

There are heterosexual dating prohibitions (Matt 5:28, 1 Cor 6) yet the campaigns against this are nowhere to be seen. Can SOLAS or any other Christian anti-gay marriage campaign group show me a track record of vociferous campaigning against this throughout the years?

In fact, one would expect there to be overwhelmingly more anti-heterosexual dating/sex-before-marriage activity than homosexual marriage as homosexual marriage is a relatively new phenomena.

Selective focus like this not only invites accusations of hypocrisy but it again leads to questions about the Christian belief in the Holy Spirit. If this camp seriously believes they are being guided by the Holy Spirit then why a selective focus? Why hasn't the Holy Spirit not guided them to campaign more strongly against the more widespread sin - heterosexual dating and unmarried heterosexual sex?

Conclusion

British Muslims should not solely rely on Christians in this endeavour of campaigning against gay-marriage. Muslims must go out and take a lead role in this effort. Sure, working alongside straggling Christians like SOLAS is encouraged but do not sit back and think this Christian minority are knights in shining armour. They're not. They could capitulate tomorrow just like Christians did by agreeing to majority rule on the Trinity belief and NT canon. Not to mention them pretty much giving up their efforts against heterosexual pre-marital sex (once again, I'd imagine this was due to the pressure of numbers against them).

As for the Christian soldiers who are currently admirably standing against the tide of the zeitgeist why not do it under the umbrella of Islam? Friends, look into Islam with an open heart.


Muslim Helps James White out: Why Bart Erhman Finds James White Offensive

The Lying Hand of the New Testament Scribe

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Wayne Grudem Shoe-horning Partial Trinitarianism into the Old Testament



Let's forget about ERS and EFS for now. Time for a few comments on Professor Wayne Grudem's "Partial Revelation (of the Trinity belief) in the Old Testament" claim. Grudem's Comment are denoted by WD.




WD: The word trinity is never found in the Bible, though the idea represented by the word is taught in many places.

I'd be interested in seeing these "many places" where the Trinity idea is taught. Remember the 3-self Trinity idea is a 3in1 idea, that's to say an idea of God being tri-personal and all the "Persons" being consubstantial and co-equal.

Which places does Wayne Grudem have in mind? There are no places in the Bible which teach this Trinity concept. None. Zip. Zilch. Sure folk may scratch around and amalgamate a number of Biblical references and read a Trinity theory into those selected texts (i.e eisegesis) but that's not what Grudem appears to be claiming here. He's claiming places in the Bible teach this belief!

Perhaps his chief place is the Great Commission in Matthew 28. However, that does not teach the idea of the Trinity as outlined above.

Read it for yourself and see if it conforms with Wayne Grudem's definition of the Trinity belief:

WD: The word trinity means “tri-unity” or “three-in-oneness.” It is used to summarize the teaching of Scripture that God is three persons yet one God.

Old Testament and old Trinitarian claims

WD: Sometimes people think the doctrine of the Trinity is found only in the New Testament, not in the Old. If God has eternally existed as three persons, it would be surprising to find no indications of that in the Old Testament.

Grudem has external motivations to argue for the Trinity in the Old Testament - for him it would not make sense for there not to be some allusion to it at the very least for purposes of consistency. One of the problems arising for his position is that of confusion; if he believes a hint was given as to the 3-self Trinity belief wouldn't that not also mean he believes God confused people as there was no explicit teaching of the Trinity. Think about it, if hints of plurality within God were provided then that would have left people scratching their heads. Scratching their heads about fundamental ontology of God.

And why would a hint be given, why not just the full explicit teaching from the beginning - after all it is about the fundamental ontology of God? Surely a clear view of God would be expected to be given straight away rather than "hints" which would leave people confused for around 1500 years. Moses p is thought to have lived ~1500 years prior to Jesus p. Further problems arise for the Trinitarian position, Jesus did not teach the Trinity either, it was postulated by later Church Fathers from the fourth century onwards so Grudem would have folk believe God gave hints of the Trinity in the OT and thus left people confused for around 2000 years about a fundamental view of Himself.

The Bible itself would argue against confusion of that kind by stating God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33)

WD: Although the doctrine of the Trinity is not explicitly found in the Old Testament, several passages suggest or even imply that God exists as more than one person.

It's not explicitly taught in the NT either but let's have a look at one of the texts he appeals to as an implication of the Trinity belief.

WD: For instance, according to Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” What do the plural verb (“let us”) and the plural pronoun (“our”) mean?

Plurality doesn't necessarily denote three so to argue for plurality does not mean an argument for the Trinity belief. Plurality can be any number greater than 1. As we know the plurality of 3 did not become agreed upon by the Church until at least 381 CE. For those wondering why not 325 CE? “The Nicene Council only concluded that the Father and Son are ontologically one: it did not include the Holy Spirit in the co-substantial relationship supposedly obtaining between the Father and Son” [Edgar G Foster]

WD: Some have suggested they are plurals of majesty, a form of speech a king would use in saying, for example, “We are pleased to grant your request.” However, in Old Testament Hebrew there are no other examples of a monarch using plural verbs or plural pronouns of himself in such a “plural of majesty,” so this suggestion has no evidence to support it.

Now, this is not a major point of contention but from Jason Dulle, it appears there may be some candidates for the use of the royal plural elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures. Dulle gives possible examples from Ezra and Daniel:

The second theory is that the plural pronouns are used as a “majestic plural.” This type of language was typically used by royalty, but not exclusively. Biblical examples include Daniel’s statement to Nebuchadnezzar, “We will tell the interpretation thereof before the king” (Daniel 2:36). Daniel, however, was the only one who gave the king the interpretation of his dream. King Artaxerxes wrote in a letter, “The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me” (Ezra 4:18). The letter was sent to Artaxerxes alone (Ezra 4:11), yet he said it was sent to “us,” and was read before “me.” Clearly the letter was only sent to, and read to Artaxerxes. When Artaxerxes penned another letter to Ezra he used the first person singular pronoun “I” in one place and the first person plural pronoun “we” in another (Ezra 7:13, 24).

WD: Another suggestion is that God is here speaking to angels. But angels did not participate in the creation of man, nor was man created in the image and likeness of angels, so this suggestion is not convincing.

Firstly, would that be consistent from a 3-self Trinitarian perspective? Why are humans not tri-personal if we were created in the image of a tri-personal God? The 3-self Trinitarian has another dilemma.

Secondly, Dr Michael Heiser and others don't see a problem with viewing Gen 1:26 as an exhortational declaration:

God announced to his council his idea to create mankind (“hey, guys, let’s do this!” – a sort of exhortational declaration), then HE (and he alone, by virtue of the GRAMMAR) created humankind in HIS own image (not theirs).

Yet, the NIV Study Bible also confirms in its commentary on Genesis 1:26:

Us… Our… Our. God speaks as the Creator-king, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court [See Rabbi Tovia Singer on the Trinity]

Edgar G Foster discusses this in his summary of Alan J. Hauser’s views on Gen 1:26, which militates against the Prof. Wayne Grudem's conjecture and throw into question his abilities in Hebrew:

Hauser expands on this argument. He does not think that the use of the Elohim in Genesis 1:26 proves that Genesis teaches God’s triunity. One reason that Hauser concludes this has to do with the Hebrew word Elohim. Granted, Elohim is morphologically plural as are “us” and “our.” But these words, while they might seem to indicate plurality, definitely do not suggest triunity. It must also be kept in mind that in Hebrew it is common for the plural noun to cause the verb to be plural (Cf. Genesis 20:13, 35:7). E.A Speiser therefore renders Genesis 1:26 as follows: “The God said, ‘I will make man in my image, after my likeness.'”

WD: The best explanation is that already in the first chapter of Genesis we have an indication of a plurality of persons in God himself. We are not told how many persons, and we have nothing approaching a complete doctrine of the Trinity, but it is implied that more than one person is involved.

And what of the thousands of singular pronouns used in the Bible such as in Isaiah 44:24, Gen 1:5 and Gen 9:6 ? In fact the very next verse Genesis 1:27 uses a singular pronoun as to whom mankind were made in the image of

27 So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female.

Does Prof. Wayne Grudem have an answer for this? If he is consistent he'd see the singular pronouns being a problem for his Trinity hypothesis. In fact if this one reference, used as a far-fetched reference to plurality, is being pushed by Grudem as a hint to the Trinity belief then it really is case closed if he uses an objective mindset on all the singular pronouns used of God in the Bible - he has to believe those to be pointers to God's singularity in Personhood and Being if consistent.


Luis Dizon's "Only Conclusion" on Genesis 1:26 Discussed



Friday, 29 July 2016

Explanation Hadith of Blind Man Killing His Slave for Insulting Prophet Muhammad


You may have come across a Hadith where a blind man kills his female slave with an axe after she reviles (abuses/insults) the Prophet p. There are different versions but the basis of the story is authentic.

Sadly, at least one anti-Islam critic on the internet has began to use the Hadith, which he found in Bulugh-al-Maram, for an explanation for an axe attack on people on a train in Germany by a teenaged Afghan refugee. It's so disingenuous or ignorant to misuse such a Hadith to lend Islamic validity to such a terrorist attack.

Watch this video to see his claims and a response to his claims with regards to the motives of the terrorist and concerning the Hadith itself.


If the video does not play, this video is also uploaded here

Quick focus on the possible motives of the Afghan refugee terrorist

The critic links a flag which the refugee had in his home to his motives. The flag is not evidence for the motive of the attack. Why not focus on the more realistic speculation (i.e. he is a traumatised refugee who had mental problems)?

In fact, investigators are even speculating the man had psychological problems:

Investigators have speculated that the death of a close friend in Afghanistan may have left him traumatised and psychologically vulnerable.A psychiatrist currently treating traumatised refugees, many of whom have fled war zones and endured perilous journeys of thousands of miles, said that currently clinical evidence does not support a connection between traumatisation and vulnerability to the messages of extremists.

A 2015 report by Germany's chamber of psychotherapists found that half of refugees who entered the country are experiencing psychological distress and mental illness resulting from trauma.

These figures are reflected in the sample Richter is working with.

"More than 40% of them have psychological illnesses due to their experiences while fleeing their home countries," she said, with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and insomnia among the most common problem [IBTIMES]

In fact, Germany has had a similar attack recently in which no evidence was found that the attacker was motivated by religion but rather it was due to his psychological and drug problems (see the video above for the news report on this event)


How about the Hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud?

Looks like the critic did a key word search for "axe" in a Hadith database as the attacker used an axe.

The critic finds one Hadith, for which he completely overlooks the context, in his haste to try and link this suspected mentally disturbed person with Islamic teaching. If he had looked at the longer Hadith of the same event he would have got the context.

When the woman was found there was a public investigation into the matter in order to punish the one who killed her...


This story is indicative of the justice with which the Muslims dealt with the people of the Book, which was enjoined in the sharee’ah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who was a mercy to the worlds. The rights of the Jews who are under Muslim rule are guaranteed and protected, and it is not permissible to transgress against them by causing them any annoyance or harm. Hence when the people found a Jewish woman who had been killed they were alarmed and referred the matter to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who had made the covenant with them and guaranteed them security, and who did not take the jizyah from them. He got angry and adjured the Muslims by Allaah to find out who had done this deed, so that he could determine his punishment and judge his case. But when he found out that she had transgressed the covenant several times by reviling the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and impugning him, she forfeited all her rights and deserved the hadd punishment of execution which is imposed by sharee’ah on everyone who reviles the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whether he is a Muslim, a dhimmi or a mu’aahid (non-Muslim living under Muslim rule), because impugning the status of the Prophets is kufr or disbelief in Allaah the Almighty, and a transgression of every sacred limit and right and covenant, and a major betrayal which deserves the greatest punishment.  [IslamQA]


When the man confessed and explained what happened the Prophet simply made a pronouncement on whether blood money/retaliation for her was due.


The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not choose to kill her in this manner, but because she deserved to be executed as a hadd punishment for breaking the covenant and reviling the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he did not demand qisaas* from her killer.


*Qisaas is retaliation in kind


That's all - he was not endorsing vigilante killings and encouraging people to chop up random people on trains (it's so ignorant/disingenuous to try and link it as such).


And in any case, think about it.

The Afghan refugee started killing random people in a non Muslim state Even if one was to try and link his act of terror to that Hadith it fails for three reasons:

1. That act was a terrorist attack on random people - terrorism is forbidden in Sharia

2. It was in a land where Sharia Hadd punishments would not apply

3. It would have been a vigilante attack (there was no trial or judge involved) - vigilantism is not allowed in Islam


Killing Dhimmis?

As for killing a dhimmi unlawfully, it is major sin, and the warning concerning that is very stern, as was proven in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (3166) from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever killed a mu’aahid will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, although its fragrance may be detected from a distance of forty years’ travel.” Imam al-Bukhaari included this report in a chapter in his Saheeh entitled “Chapter: the sin of one who kills a mu’aahid unlawfully.” [IslamQA]



Follow this discussion on IslamQA for more information:
https://islamqa.info/en/111252


Is Salafism Behind ISIS Terrorism - DR YASIR QADHI

Russell Brand: Haters of Islam Encourage Muslims towards Extremism

Sharia Law against terrorism

[QURAN MIRACLES] The Miracles of the Number 19 in Quran | Dr. Shabir Ally

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam

Email: yahyasnow@yahoo.co.uk






Monday, 25 July 2016

Pastor Rudolph Boshoff Questioned on Sex, Racism, Women, Trinity Belief and More!


Rudolph Boshoff is a pastor in South Africa who teaches at Rhema Bible College. Here he is quizzed by a Muslim in order to get a better understanding of Trinitarian Christianity's views on the more obscure topics



Yes or no answers are required for clarity purposes.

YES/NO. Go, Rudolph!!!


The issue of relationships between couples is extremely confusing for outsiders looking in. We need clarity on these questions

1. Is dating (heterosexual) allowed in Christianity?

2. Are they allowed  kissing or fondling?

3. Is sex (oral or otherwise) before marriage allowed between boyfriend and girlfriend (unmarried couples)?


Let's talk women for a few moments..


4. Are female pastors allowed?

5. Are female Christian apologists allowed to address Christian audiences in public?

6. Do women have to wear a headcovering in church?

7. What about out of church, must it be worn?

8. Are Christian women allowed to cut their hair short?

7. Are Christian women allowed to wear yoga pants without any other garment covering the pants?

8. Are Christian women allowed wear tight-fitting T-shirts in public?

9. Tight jeans?

10 Low cut tops?

11. Skirts: a. knee length? b. a bit above the knee? c. really short (like short shorts)?


Let's talk sex for a few moments (we're all adults and can discuss this maturely)..


12. Are Christian married couples allowed to watch porn together?

13. Are they allowed anal sex?

14. Are they allowed oral sex?

15. Are they allowed to read erotica together?

16. Are sex scenes in Hollywood movies acceptable to be watched in Christianity if they pop up in the middle of a movie?


Let's talk racism..


17. Are Christians allowed to be racist?

18. Is there any Biblical prohibition of racism?

19. Is it OK to portray Jesus as a black man?

20. Are James White's comments on Middle Easterners acceptable in Christianity? [You have been noticeably silent on this issue despite you being a friend of James - I know you are not a Westerner but most Westerners would consider those comments to be problematic but I understand the Bible does not conform to Western ideals in many instances so it's important to get clarity from a pastor]


Questions about the Holy Spirit..


21. Do Christians believe the Holy Spirit only dwells in Christians?

22. Do Christians believe the Holy Spirit is still dwelling within them while they sin?

23. Does the Holy Spirit dwell within both Calvinists and Arminians?


Questions about Hell


24. Do you believe Muslims will go to Hell?

25. Do you believe some Christians will go to Hell or are they all saved in your view?

26. What about Catholics?

27. Mormons?

28. Jehovah Witnesses?

29. Other Unitarian Christians?


Questions about the Trinity idea (we're almost done!)


30. Must one believe in the Trinity idea to be saved?

31. Do you believe in Eternal Functional Subordination (to simplify for your specific ideology; do you believe the Son was subordinate to the Father prior to creation and also now)?

32. Did Abraham know about the Trinity?

33. How about Moses and David?

34. Did Jesus specifically explain the Trinity idea to his followers?

35. Did Peter preach the Trinity idea (ref Acts 2)?


OK, that's a lot - I'm tired after rushing to type all that. Thanks for taking time to answer

Sorry false alarm, one more question I want to add in for now as this was not answered on FB by yourself

36. Can somebody say the Father is a third of the Godhead according to orthodox Christian theology?

Oh no, false alarm again. Another subject.

37. Will Jesus kill unbelievers when he returns?

38. Will Christians help him to kill unbelievers when he returns?

39. Was it just the Father who allowed the severe beating of female and male slaves in Exodus 21:20-21 or is the Trinitarian position that the Holy Spirit and Jesus allowed that too?

40. Would that be the same for passages such as 1 Samuel 15:3 where women and babies are ordered to be killed?


Let's call it a day at 40. Thanks for your time - sincerely. It should not take you much time and if you need clarification on any question, you know how to contact me - FB messages are easiest for me. I don't normally leave the comment section open but for this post, feel free to post your answers in the comments. Peace


South African Christian-Muslim Apologetics Review Yusuf Bux and Rudoplh Boshoff (Ad Lucem)

Was Ignatius Trinitarian: Rudolph Boshoff, James White + Jonathan McLatchie (Muslim Responds)

Debate Analysis: Abdurraheem Green and Jonathan McLatchie on Trinity and Tauhid - IERA and Apologetics Academy

James White: Show Me Where Prophet Muhammad Said He was the Last Prophet p

Prophecies of the Messiah - Reza Aslan

British Muslims Protested to Defend Jesus p

Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam


Conversions to Islam

Learn about Islam

Email: yahyasnow@yahoo.co.uk


Sunday, 24 July 2016

Discussion: Ex Muslims, Slogan "Free If You Leave Islam", Atheism, Nihilism, Consumerism and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks


This claim of "freedom" is just a slogan used by the Neo-Atheist and anti-religion camps. What exactly does it mean? Nothing. It's an empty slogan.

Islam is all about encouraging spirituality whilst giving a framework for spirituality to flourish (an example of a facet of this framework would be the prohibition of destroyers of spirituality such as alcohol, drugs, over-eating, back-biting, gambling and pornography)

So what exactly is he free from? Free from a religion that prescribes God consciousness and restrictions/prohibitions on base indulgences. Is that really something to celebrate or sloganeer?

Analysis: Atheist and ExMuslim Slogans of Freedom After Islam (and other Religion)

This video is also uploaded under Richard Dawkins Type Slogans by JajaboarTheNomad AKA Mufassil Islam

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks touches the concept of freedom here and it is much more profound than the superficial "I am free" slogan the anti-religion camp hold up:

Even so, the costs are beginning to mount up. Levels of trust have plummeted throughout the West as one group after another — bankers, CEOs, media personalities, parliamentarians, the press — has been hit by scandal. Marriage has all but collapsed as an institution, with 40 per cent of children born outside it and 50 per cent of marriages ending in divorce. Rates of depressive illness and stress-related syndromes have rocketed especially among the young. A recent survey showed that the average 18- to 35-year-old has 237 Facebook friends. When asked how many they could rely on in a crisis, the average answer was two. A quarter said one. An eighth said none.


None of this should surprise us. This is what a society built on materialism, individualism and moral relativism looks like. It maximises personal freedom but at a cost. As Michael Walzer puts it: ‘This freedom, energising and exciting as it is, is also profoundly disintegrative, making it very difficult for individuals to find any stable communal support, very difficult for any community to count on the responsible participation of its individual members. It opens solitary men and women to the impact of a lowest common denominator, commercial culture.’

A you can see Jonathan Sacks lists ailments the West is encountering and he puts it down to this "freedom" from religion. The question one needs to ask, is this "freedom" Atheists champion truly beneficial for society and the individual?

This problem of anti-religion freedom is further explored by Sacks:

It is just that, in the words of historian Will Durant, ‘There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.’...But Durant’s point is the challenge of our time. I have not yet found a secular ethic capable of sustaining in the long run a society of strong communities and families on the one hand, altruism, virtue, self-restraint, honour, obligation and trust on the other.

Nobody is ever totally free. EVERYBODY has a worldview and set of principles which binds them.

Atheism effectively encourages nihilism and the void left in the Atheist after leaving Islam (or any other organised religion) is filled with individualism, relativism, and materialism to
certain degrees which ultimately leaves one prone to consumerism in the West - a slave to consumerism!

The anti-religion movement has no solutions but simply mindless, meaningless and empty slogans.

Let's think beyond these.

Message of Concern: ExMuslims Come Back To Islam - Don't Give Up on the Mercy of God

British Atheist Becomes Muslim

People converting to Islam

Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam

Email: yahyasnow@yahoo.co.uk 

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Was Ignatius Trinitarian: Rudolph Boshoff, James White + Jonathan McLatchie (Muslim Responds)


Dr James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries, Jonathan McLatchie of the Apologetics Academy and PS Rudolph Boshoff of Ad Lucem all appeared to respond to portions of this video which features a Speakers Corner discussion between Mansur Ahmed, Paul Williams and Jonathan along with some material edited in by yours truly.

I am toying with the idea of responding to Dr White via audio but in reality James did not interact with any of the points in the video aside from trying to argue for the Trinity from the text itself more forcefully than Jonathan did in the discussion. After what appeared to be paranoia on his part about a Muslim/s recording or watching his Dividing Line podcast and Muslims "dividing" Christians (ironic considering somebody recommended by his friend accuses Dr White of dividing Christians - not to mention him proceeding to criticise two Christians - one of which was Dr Bruce Ware - after he had finished the Dividing Line segment talking about Ignatius and the Trinity) he got on to the discussion and in all reality did not add anything that Jonathan's article has not added. Dr White, although obviously interacting with this video, did not even interact with the material from Dr Foster and Dr Tuggy.

How can one have a meaningful dialogue when the other party fails to even attempt discussing the concerns raised? Not to mention Dr White's avoidance in naming which Muslims he was referencing - how can his audience even see what the opposition has said if he is so cryptic and guarded in his approach to avoid giving away the identity of those he is responding to?

I may address him in an audio video if I feel I have the time and encourage a more critical evaluation of the sources and a more rounded approach.

For our purposes Jonathan McLatchie's response captures the essence of what Dr White was saying so this here goes.

Now, I've already written on this subject in the past. Here's the basics you should know, basics which will take the fizz out of much  of Jonathan McLatchie's argumentation:

--
Did Ignatius of Antioch believe in the Trinity idea? Some Trinitarian apologists claim Ignatius taught the Trinity idea before the 4th century (in the first or second century). Is this a valid claim? No.

Firstly, the letters of Ignatius are suspected to be highly interpolated thus cannot be used as proof of Ignatius' beliefs as they are unreliable. See

..even the genuine epistles were greatly interpolated to lend weight to the personal views of its authors. For this reason they are incapable of bearing witness to the original form [Source]

Also:

There may be serious question whether these epistles of Ignatius have not been emended or edited by later writers. There are some words and phrases alien to early Christianity which raise suspicion that some of the works have been manipulated or added to by later church [Source]


Secondly, the quote Trinitarians use to contend Ignatius believed in the Trinity is thus:

"In Christ Jesus our Lord, by whom and with whom be glory and power to the Father with the Holy Spirit for ever,"

Notice there's no mention of the Trinity idea here. Remember the Trinitarians teach 3 in 1. This verse mentions three but there's no mention of the three being co-equal and of the same substance.

Thirdly, the Trinitarian is quite selective here in terms of which Triune formula they reference as it seems there's Triune formula including Mary:

A "triune formula" -- often used to prove the Trinity -- is a phrase which includes three things or three persons. The answer to this question is yes. There is one surprising Trinitarian formulation which seems alien to early Christian. In To the Ephesians, section 7, there is a trinity of God, the Son, and Mary. Or, in section 18, the trinity of Jesus, Mary and the Holy Ghost. [Source]
---

OK now you're all up to speed,  we are back looking at what Jonathan wrote. What you'll notice is, the third point above does militate against him as he selectively grabs something which he thinks to be pointing at a triune formula (see highlighted parts of Jonathan's text below). Before, looking at it further, notice what's happening here. Jonathan is really just arguing via inference and speculation. He doesn't have anything definitive. Here's Jonathan piece:

Here is an excerpt from Ignatius' letter to the church of Ephesus:

“There is only one Physician --
Very flesh, yet Spirit too;
Uncreated, and yet born;
God-and-Man in One agreed,
Very-Life-in-Death indeed,
Fruit of God and Mary’s seed;
At once impassible and torn
By pain and suffering here below;
Jesus Christ, whom as our Lord we know.”
[…]
Deaf as stones you were: yes, stones for the
Father’s Temple, stones trimmed ready for God to build with, hoisted up by the derick of Jesus Christ (the cross) with the Holy Spirit for a cable; your faith being the winch that draws you to God, up the ramp of love.”

In this text, we have allusion to the
Father, as well as the Son (who is identified as God) and mention is made of the Holy Spirit. In the very same epistle, he later writes,

“As for me, my spirit is now all humble devotion to the Cross: the Cross which so greatly offends the unbelievers, but is salvation and eternal life to us. Where is your wise man now, or your subtle debater? Where are the fine words of our so-called intellectuals? Under the divine dispensation,
Jesus Christ our God was conceived by Mary of the seed of David and of the Spirit of God; He was born, and He submitted to baptism, so that by His passion He might sanctify water.”

Again, this text refers to Jesus Christ as God and speaks of the Holy Spirit as being the "Spirit of God". Since Ignatius affirms monotheism, and affirms the deity of the Father, Son and Spirit while distinguishing them from each other as individuals, how can one assert that Ignatius does not affirm the Trinity?

As the parts of his citation he uses to allude to a triune formula is covering old ground let's add further insight on this whole discussion with special emphasis on what calling Jesus God could have meant and whether the Trinity is viable through the descriptions of Jesus in Ignatius' letter to the Ephesians 7:2 via Dr Edgar G Foster:

Schoedel writes that the distinctions made by Ignatius above cannot apply to the "internal relations of the Godhead" but it only applies to the incarnate Christ. However, I am puzzled over how one can apply Ignatius' words to the immanent Trinity or the economic Trinity. Subsequent believers [at Nicaea] declared that the Son is begotten, not created and that the Father is unbegotten. But how does one consider Christ "unbegotten" in relation to the cosmos (humanity) that he came to save? It is no wonder that Bart Ehrman writes in The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture that theologians would later find Ignatius' formulation in Eph 7:2 "vague." It does not seem to assist the Trinitarian case at all. It therefore has no theological force.
Interestingly Cyril C. Richardson plainly writes that Christ is called hO QEOS by Ignatius and he further points out that the bishop "does not explain, he only asserts that Christ is God" (Ignatius of Antioch, page 45). But Richardson goes beyond the surface structure orprima facie meaning of Ignatius' terminology and explores "what type of picture Ignatius has in mind when he employs the signifier QEOS. His conclusion?

"Unlike Theophilus of Antioch, he has nothing to say about God as creator; His eternity and invisibility are mentioned only in Pol. 3.2, and He is never predicated with immortality, the chief attribute of the heathen 'Gods.'
For Ignatius QEOS means essentially a superhuman, moral being" (45).
He adds: "There is never a hint in his writing that Christ was in any way absorbed in God or confused with Him. He always stands in a place secondary and inferior to him" (44).

So what are we seeing here?

The citations provided by Jonathan McLatchie and Dr James White are not being dealt with with a critical lens and a desire to understand what the author may have meant. Instead an anachronistic view is foisted upon poor Ignatius of Antioch by later Trinitarians to try and claim him as his own. As seen, the citations:

Show an incompatibility with an understanding of Jesus that fits the 3-self Trinitarian paradigm. So what did we see from this discussion on the texts cited:

Jesus is considered secondary - subordinate - to God. Jesus, when called God, is meant to be superhuman rather than God himself. As Bart Ehrman points out in Foster's reflections later theologians found Ignatius to be vague too

Jonathan asks, how can one assert Ignatius didn't affirm the Trinity. Later theologians did not share Jonathan's confidence.

I'd also like to add, in my reading of Ignatius' epistle to the Ephesians I came across a portion which indicates agency. Agency in a Jewish understanding. So, was Ignatius offering elevated reverence to Jesus due to him being an agent of God? It's one worthy for consideration (see Ignatius's letter to Ephesus chapter 6 to see what I am referencing)

Conclusion

The conclusion is the same as my previous one; to say Ignatius taught the Trinity would be misleading.

Note: I have noticed gentlemen on social media who are straw-manning the Muslim arguments. We aren't saying because Ignatius didn't use the word "Trinity" that means he didn't believe in it. No, our contentions are he did not believe in the 3-self Trinity idea and this is apparent in his lack of Trinitarian thought coming out of his text.

Let me make a simple but extremely effective point. When Christians fraudulently added 1 John 5:7 into the text of the Bible in the 1500s the teaching was simple after outlining the 3 "Persons" of the 3-self Trinity belief it states they are one.

To convey the basic idea of the 3-self Trinity belief without the word Trinity is quite easy. Why don't we see this in the first 3 centuries? Why don't we not see this earlier still; in the writings of Paul, Mark and Matthew? Or earlier still, why not in the mouth of Jesus in any of the Texts? Or even earlier, why not in the Old Testament?

I think it's obvious why. The Trinity belief is a later development.

It is my hope James, Jonathan and Rudolph will reflect on the points outlined. The same applies to other Christians.

May God guide us all. Ameen









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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Jonathan Mclatchie: Gay Marriage is "Madness" but Terrorism is..


Jonathan McLatchie calls gay marriage "madness" yet when it comes to terrorist attacks such as the Orlando shootings, it's not called madness. It's called Islam - this is the message we get based on the videos of one of his colleagues, David Wood*, which he shares on his FaceBook page. All this despite there being more support from Christian authorities for gay marriage than support from Muslim authorities for terrorism!

You have the modern phenomena of indiscriminate killings of civilians which all Muslim scholastic bodies have condemned to be against the spirit of Islam. Dr Timothy Winter of Cambridge University states "terrorism is the arbitrary targeting of the innocent in order to place pressure on governments, which is something which doesn't have origins in Islamic culture or ethics and comes out of the French revolution and certain 19th century anarchist movements that used terrorism. As a doctrine in the Muslim world it's very recent and it's an expression of Westernisation. Terrorism, 9/11 for instance, according to classical Islamic Law is classified as hiraba which carried the death penalty"

An excellent quote from Muhammad Asad's book rebuking McLatchie's fellow evangelical Christians (Jeremiah Johnston and Craig Evans) who parse terrorist attacks in a similar manner to McLatchie and his friend David Wood:

"Simply put, every Muslim scholar - whether Sunni, Shia, Salafi, Deobandi - has condemned and spoken out against Daesh. Their arguments against Daesh and its acts are derived from traditional Islamic religious texts and  based firmly in Islamic jurisprudence".

The evangelical Christian inconsistency

Contrast that with the equally modern phenomena of gay marriage. Although there is a growing number of churches, Christian leaders and lay Christians accepting gay marriage as being within the spirit of Christianity, Jonathan would dismiss gay marriage as "madness".

More Christians who are involved in the CoE believe gay marriage is right rather than wrong. A recent survey by YouGov suggested 45% of Church of England followers felt same-sex marriage was right, against 37% who believed it wrong [stats sourced from Huffington Post]. According to the Huff Post, the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ and now the Presbytarian Church (USA) sanctify the marriage of two men or two women.

Rev. Dr. Mark Achtemeier, who has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 1984 as a minister, theology professor, and writer states there's an overwhelmingly positive case for gay marriage in the Bible:

Fortunately, the church across the centuries has developed guidelines for interpreting Scripture that help keep our use of particular passages in touch with the true portrait of God’s love in Christ. When we apply these guidelines, the Bible’s teaching about gay people and their relationships appears in a whole new light. In my book I show how the application of these time-tested principles of biblical interpretation produces an overwhelmingly positive biblical case in favor of gay marriage. I came to realize how my former reliance on fragmentary, out-of-context quotes from Scripture had led me to lose touch with the “big picture” of God’s love that lies at the heart of the Bible’s witness.

All this in the eyes of Jonathan McLatchie is "madness". Yet if he would just step back for a few moments he would observe the huge inconsistency he and his evangelical colleagues operate on. There's actually much more support for gay marriage from Christian authorities, churches and lay Christians alike than there is for terrorist acts such as Orlando.

If McLatchie was consistent he would say, that gay marriage is CHRISTIAN not "madness". I'd imagine for him, Christian proponents of gay marriage decontextualize and rely on fragmentary readings of the Bible. BUT he and his colleagues are not even cognisant to this being the case for Muslim terrorists despite:

In 2008, a classified briefing note on radicalisation, prepared by MI5’s behavioural science unit, was leaked to the Guardian. It revealed that, “far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could . . . be regarded as religious novices.” The analysts concluded that “a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation”, the newspaper said. [Mehdi Hasan]

I recently heard rabbi Tovia Singer, a man who has no horse in this race, say terrorists abuse texts from the Quran and Hadith. Ask yourself why a Jewish rabbi can be more scholarly, consistent and fair than Jonathan McLatchie and his evangelical Christian colleagues - a crowd who claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit?

There's clearly an agenda at play here. Perhaps Jonathan McLatchie will enlighten us on this glaringly obvious inconsistency and why it is operated on. For now, smart and fair-minded people are not impressed.

* David Wood, in pretty much the immediate aftermath of the Orlando shootings made a video effort claiming Omar Mateen's actions were in line with Islamic texts. Maeten's former gay lover has now come out and said he thinks it was nothing to do with religion but a revenge attack concerning a sexual liaison with a man/men who did not inform him of  a HIV positive status - see the Independent. David Wood has a history of hurdling over facts and fair-minded analysis.




Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Luis Dizon's "Only Conclusion" on Genesis 1:26 Discussed


Luis Dizon contends Genesis 1:26 can only be concluded as a reference to plurality of persons in the being of God (with a strong intimation this plurality is the 3-self Trinity belief). Here's his conclusion with the assistance of Gleason Archer:

It is also important to note that the Trinity does not occur exclusively in the New Testament, but can be traced back to the Jewish scriptures (the Old Testament, which came centuries before Christianity). Several times in these scriptures, God speaks in the plural. A prominent example of this is close to the beginning of the Bible, where God says, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness...” (Gen 1:26, cf. 3:22, 11:7). It also appears in the book of the Jewish prophet Isaiah. Here, God asks, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us” (Isa 6:8)? The common Muslim argument when faced with these verses is that God is using the plural of majesty, which is a custom in which a royal figure speaks in the plural. Muslims argue that since Allah frequently speaks this way in the Qur’an,141 then the same must be the case in the Old Testament. However, this explanation is anachronistic, because the plural of majesty is not used anywhere in the Old Testament. In fact, the concept did not even exist until after the Old Testament was completed. As biblical scholar Gleason Archer notes:


This first person plural can hardly be a mere editorial or royal plural that refers to the speaker alone, for no such usage is demonstrable anywhere else in biblical Hebrew. Therefore, we must face the question of who are included in this “us” and “our.” It could hardly include the angels in consultation with God, for nowhere is it ever stated that man was created in the image of angels, only of God. Verse 27 then affirms: “and God [‘elohim]created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them” (NASB). God—the same God who spoke of Himself in the plural--now states that He created man in His image. In other words, the plural equals the singular. This can only be understood in terms of the Trinitarian nature of God. The one true God subsists in three Persons, Persons who are able to confer with one another and carry their plans into action together—without ceasing to be one God.142

On the basis of this information, the only conclusion we can come to is that the passages where God speaks in the first person plural demonstrate a plurality of persons within the being of God.


Problems raised for Luis Dizon and Gleason Archer

1. There are other Christians with differing interpretations and thus do not share Luis Dizon's view that an idea of plurality of personhood is the "only conclusion" nor Gleason Archer's appeal to the Trinity belief (which ironically is anachronistic in itself!)

2. Plurality doesn't necessarily mean 3. As we know the plurality of 3 did not become recognised until at least 381 CE. For those wondering why not 325 CE? "The Nicene Council only concluded that the Father and Son are ontologically one: it did not include the Holy Spirit in the co-substantial relationship supposedly obtaining between the Father and Son" [Edgar G Foster]

3. The suggestion there's no other examples of a Majestic Plural in the Hebrew scriptures may well be inaccurate - see the discussion on this below. In any case, why would an absence of a "royal we" used by a king in the Hebrew scriptures demarcate the absence of such a usage in Hebrew all together? It wouldn't. An absence of evidence is not absence of evidence. Luis Dizon is committing a logical fallacy; argument from ignorance.

4. Confusion for 14 centuries. This point of confusion is a philosophical headache for Trinitarian apologists. 1 Cor 14:33 states "for God is not the author of confusion" yet Luis' conclusion would imply there was confusion for 14 centuries (evangelical Christians believe Genesis was written 1400 years ago). In fact the duration of confusion would be greater still as the Trinity was developed from the 4th century onwards so the implication in the Trinitarian Christian worldview is that God left people in confusion about Him and Genesis 1:26 for 18 centuries!

Thus all those faithful believers and Prophets, including Moses who is traditionally considered to be the author of Genesis amongst evangelical, were all left in confusion concerning this supposed plurality being taught in Genesis 1:26!

CAN YOU NOT SEE THE PROBLEM HERE?

Let's drive this problem home further still. In Exodus 33:11, it is taught Moses had the Lord speak to him face to face as one speaks to his friend. Despite this, the Trinitarian narrative contends Moses did not know about true the nature of God; that's to say he had a deficient understanding of God because he was unaware of the Trinity belief.

Isaiah 41:8 describes "Abraham as God's friend "But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend," yet Luis' theory would have us believe Abraham, too, had a deficient understanding of God as the Trinity, according to the evangelical narrative was not revealed during Abraham's time.

Do Luis and others who argue for the Trinity in Genesis 1:26 not see the problems that come with such assertions?

Let's concentrate on providing some divergent views on Genesis 1:26 to show Luis' view that it's the "only conclusion" one can arrive at to be baseless:

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges o Genesis 1:26

Commentary from the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges surveys a number of explanations put forward over the years for "let us make" in Gen 1:26. Interestingly, the Trinity explanation is considered untenable:

Until recently, the traditional Christian interpretation has seen in the 1st pers. plur. a reference to the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. The requirements of a sound historical exegesis render this view untenable: for it would read into the Book of Genesis the religious teaching which is based upon the Revelation of the New Testament.

At the culmination of the list of various explanations the commentary concludes "The two last explanations appear to be the most probable". The last two being:

1. Use of the Plural of Deliberation
2. The old Jewish explanation that God is addressing the inhabitants of heaven

Dr Michael Heiser on Genesis 1:26 and the name Elohim

Michael Heiser gives his explanation, which differs and agrees with the more common:

(27) So God created (the verb is SINGULAR) man in his own (a third masculine SINGULAR suffix in Hebrew) image, in the image of God - we know this is singular as well from context - the preceding suffix tells us he created (the verb is SINGULAR) him; male and female he created (the verb is SINGULAR) them.

Conclusion – from the TEXT:
God announced to his council his idea to create mankind (“hey, guys, let's do this!” – a sort of exhortational declaration), then HE (and he alone, by virtue of the GRAMMAR) created humankind in HIS own image (not theirs).


He also explains the history of the name Elohim which does away with the idea that Elohim refers to a plurality in personhood:

It is of course true that "elohim" is MORPHOLOGICALLY plural (morphology refers to the construction or "shape" of a word). The - im ending of elohim makes the noun plural. As Psalm 82 (see above) tells us, elohim CAN be plural in the Hebrew Bible. The same psalm, though, also has elohim as a contextually clear SINGULAR (the morphologically plural word came to be used as a proper name for a singular deity).

NIV Study Bible and Liberty University on Genesis 1:26

Rabbi Tovia Singer offers a list of authorities for evangelicals who do not espouse such conclusions about the Trinity being in Genesis 1:26. His list includes Liberty University's commentary on the Bible, NIV Study Bible amongst others. You can check this for yourself. Here's a snippet which shows another Christian authority siding with one the traditional Jewish views on Genesis 1:26 rather than what Luis Dizon and Gleason Archer contend:

Yet, the NIV Study Bible also confirms in its commentary on Genesis 1:26,
Us… Our… Our. God speaks as the Creator-king, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court

Edgar G Foster on Genesis 1:26

Edgar G Foster discusses this in his summary of Alan J. Hauser's views on Gen 1:26, which militates against the Luis Dizon's "only conclusion"

Hauser expands on this argument. He does not think that the use of the Elohim in Genesis 1:26 proves that Genesis teaches God's triunity. One reason that Hauser concludes this has to do with the Hebrew word Elohim. Granted, Elohim is morphologically plural as are "us" and "our." But these words, while they might seem to indicate plurality, definitely do not suggest triunity. It must also be kept in mind that in Hebrew it is common for the plural noun to cause the verb to be plural (Cf. Genesis 20:13, 35:7). E.A Speiser therefore renders Genesis 1:26 as follows: "The God said, 'I will make man in my image, after my likeness.'"

In the same piece, Foster also cites Charles Ryrie. Ryrie talks about the use of plural pronouns with relation to God; he offers a striking observation in that there is no limitation to indicate a plurality is only three (i.e. the Trinity). Problem. In addition, from Tovia Singer's survey we see Ryrie considers Genesis 1:26 to be the Plural of Majesty, thus he too disagrees with Luis Dizon's "only conclusion" hypothesis.

Plural of Majesty

Gleason Archer, as Luis Dizon mentions, believes there's no other use of plural of majesty in the OT. Now, this is not a major point of contention but from Jason Dulle it appears there may be some candidates for the use of the royal plural elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures. Dulle gives possible examples from Ezra and Daniel

The second theory is that the plural pronouns are used as a "majestic plural." This type of language was typically used by royalty, but not exclusively. Biblical examples include Daniel's statement to Nebuchadnezzar, "We will tell the interpretation thereof before the king" (Daniel 2:36). Daniel, however, was the only one who gave the king the interpretation of his dream. King Artaxerxes wrote in a letter, "The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me" (Ezra 4:18). The letter was sent to Artaxerxes alone (Ezra 4:11), yet he said it was sent to "us," and was read before "me." Clearly the letter was only sent to, and read to Artaxerxes. When Artaxerxes penned another letter to Ezra he used the first person singular pronoun "I" in one place and the first person plural pronoun "we" in another (Ezra 7:13, 24).

I'd be interested in knowing people's thoughts on these verses. I would like to reiterate, this is not the main thrust of my article, please do not allow this side piece to detract from the points above.

Conclusion

It is my hope this piece helps to give young Christian apologists and those who follow Trinitarian Christian apologetics some pause for thought.

Dale Tuggy considers the arguments for the Trinity in the Old Testament to be "crummy arguments". He's taken aback by evangelicals, who should know better, arguing for this position. In this video I interspersed clips of Tuggy with an evangelist - RZIM'S Nabeel Qureshi - discussing various standard Trinitarian contentions based on the Old Testament.

I'd appeal to Luis and others who may have been exposed to Trinitarian Christian contentions based on the OT like the one discussed in this piece to avail themselves of this video.