Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Islam Eliminates the Conundrum of Incarnation

Helping You to Become One More Muslim: A Response to Anthony Rogers

Anthony Rogers brings up objections to Islam based on his own incorrect presuppositions, which render his arguments inapplicable. His article is aimed at 1MoreMuslim but I will offer some insight and critique. I’m pretty sure 1MoreMuslim will respond to Anthony Rogers potently pretty soon (if he is not censored)

Rogers wants us to believe in the incarnation so sets out to deconstruct argumentation against the incarnation

Anthony Rogers would do well to note there are other arguments against the incarnation apart from the argument coming from transcendence. Rogers knows better than most that the doctrine of atonement is composed of a number of beliefs/assumptions and the incarnation is in actuality part of the make up of the Christian view of atonement. Thus, any argument against the doctrine of atonement effectively becomes an argument against the incarnation - the “need” for the incarnation is built on the idea of atonement.

The Incarnation Leaves an Uncomfortable Feeling of Paganism

The incarnation is a gateway to paganism. Neo-Christians such as Anthony Rogers, not only believe God became man but also believe God became a dove (yes a dove) and an angel. What is there to stop a Christian from claiming his/her cat is God? Quite simply, a Christian is effectively left with no criteria to identify God whereas a Muslim does have a criterion. Muslims believe God does not become His creation and God is absolute and unique – an angel, a dove and a man do not fit the bill of absoluteness nor uniqueness.

“Incarnation denotes the embodiment of a deity in human form. The idea occurs frequently in mythology. In ancient times, certain people, especially kings and priests, were often believed to be divinities. In Hinduism, Vishnu was believed to have taken nine incarnations, or Avatars.” (Incarnation, Groliers Encyclopedia)

Do you not see the problem the neo-Christian is being faced with? I do. What is the solution to this problem? Islam.

Muslim Warns Christians (Theologically)

If Anthony Rogers wants to maintain God became the angel of the Lord (without even informing anybody), a man (a man who never ever said he was a person of God) and in a form of a dove (a bird., see Lk 3:22 and John 1:32) then he opens up the floodgates to paganism as any off shoot of Christianity could lay claim to their cat, dog or gerbil being God. How would Anthony Rogers refute these claims? Anthony would be stuck in a hole. Islam would save Anthony from this sticky situation

People of Understanding

I certainly do not want this to become a full frontal attack against Christianity; I want Anthony Rogers and ALL Christians to ponder upon the significance of all this. Ask yourself why the Prophets of the Old Testament never taught the Trinity. Sift through the “proof” texts the Trinitarian offers to support the idea of the Trinity and embark on textual criticism. I’m basically inviting you to rethink Christianity in the light of Islam.

Apart from the parallelisms with paganism what other objections can you put forward against the incarnation?

As previously mentioned any objection to the atonement becomes an objection to the incarnation as the atonement is the philosophy which the “need” for the incarnation is underpinned

The doctrine of atonement, as pointed out by Mufti Taqi Uthmani, has “ a long sequence of historical and theoretical assumptions” [1]. One of these assumptions is that of the original sin. St Augustine espoused belief in original sin:

“In truth, all men who are sullied by the original sin were born of Adam and Eve” [2]

Here is an emotional argument to arise from belief in original sin, according to Christianity babies are born with sin.

Is this not somewhat problematic for the Christian? Yes, of course. What is the solution? Islam.

The Old Testament Testifies Against the Atonement

Furthermore, atonement becomes refuted by the Old Testament itself if we take Ezekiel 18 as reliable. “Once we accept Ezekiel 18 as a true revelation the whole message of atonement theology becomes unnecessary” [3]

…The soul who sins is the one who will die. (see Ezekiel 18:4).
…He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live (see Ezekiel 18:17)

When you have no need for the idea of atonement you have no need for the idea of incarnation. I think it is pretty straightforward. Please think about the gravity of what is being said rather than adopting a gung-ho approach of denial and counter attack without thought – these are matters pertaining to salvation.

Is the doctrine of incarnation in the Gospel of Mark?
No, it does not appear in the Gospel of Mark, it does not appear in the Gospel of Matthew or Luke! It appears in the Gospel of John – the most theologically evolved of the four Gospels.

Now, Christians have a real problem here as Mark (the earliest Gospel which is viewed as source material for the two other synoptic Gospels) does NOT teach the incarnation. As Bart Ehrman confirms, initially the Gospels were designed to be read separately. If Mark, Luke and Matthew believed in the incarnation they would have mentioned it or cited some text in support of it. How do Christians solve this problem? Islam – just reject the belief of incarnation.

Pondering on the conundrum that is the incarnation
Devoted Trinitarians believe Jesus of the Gospels is both God (the second person of) and man simultaneously.

“The question arises here. How is it possible that one person be both man and God; creator and created, high and low?” [4]

I think this concludes my brief attempt to get Christians to review their beliefs and look into Islam. Christians, please ask yourselves which faith has the more striking and convincing points? Indeed, the Islamic beliefs related to past Prophets (including Jesus) did resonate with myself and were key in my firm acceptance of Islam (God willing) emotionally, logically and theologically. I invite you to do your own research.

Before tying up a couple of loose ends with Anthony Rogers I will leave you with some reading material to further your research

Do you want to learn more about Islam and the Islamic view on Jesus? See here:
Who are the brothers and sisters of Jesus?
Which incarnation?
More about Islam:

A few loose ends with Anthony Rogers

Rogers makes the same mistake as his colleague , David Wood, in suggesting God is in the fire which Moses was drawn to. A while back I answered this claim when it was made by Anthony Roger’s colleague. Rogers would do well to avail himself of this answer and desist from propagating the same redundant arguments in the future, see here.

In Fact, Anthony Rogers’ Article is Inapplicable; that is to say it is ultimately Irrelevant.

Rogers presupposes God needs to be part of creation in order to communicate with His creation. This of course is the conjecture of Anthony Rogers and has no theological basis whatsoever; thus rendering his article inapplicable and irrelevant.

I leave you with the question; who is making the more potent points, the Muslims (1MoreMuslim, TGV and myself )or the Christian (Anthony Rogers)?

I also(politely) ask Anthony Rogers to make sure any response comments by 1MoreMuslim are approved


May Allah accept this effort and purify intentions and guide us all. Ameen

[1] Mufti Taqi Uthmani, What is Christianity, Darul Ishaat, 1995. pg 35

[2] ]Augustine, vol 2, p 633

[3] What every Christian Should Know About Islam, Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood, The Islamic Foundation, p139

[4] Mufti Taqi Uthmani, What is Christianity, Darul Ishaat, 1995. pg 27

Forgiveness in Islam and Christianity discussed:

American Guantanamo Guard Converts to Islam

As the US government moves to shutdown its detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, stories are emerging of the way it affected those inside.
Former inmates have talked about the deprivation and pressures they faced.
But Terry Holdbrooks was on the other side. He was a US soldier and he says he saw something in the behaviour of the inmates that changed him. He tells his story to Al Jazeera in his own words.