Answering some Muslim objections to the Incarnation and Trinity

There has been some discussion with Muslims here  (no longer there as Paul Williams changed his blogs several times) about the Incarnation of Christ, the Trinity, Mark 13:32 (“no one knows that day, not even the Son”); and Philippians 2:1-11 and how could Christ, if He is God, how could He be limited in His incarnation while on earth?  A Muslim posted a lecture by a Unitarian by the name of Sean Finnegan, entitled “5 Major Problems with the Trinity”.  I think I answered them well enough in the com boxes.    The weakest of all Finnegan’s arguments was there was no controversy about Jesus and His claims of Deity in the first century!  The gospels are full of controversy over Jesus claim to Deity and in fact, that is why they crucified Him! (Mark 2:6-7; Mark 14:61-64; John 5:17-18; John 8:56-59; John 10:27-39; John 19:1-7)  Amazing that the Unitarian speaker dared to make that assertion!  If one says that Finnegan’s point was not that there was no controversy about the Deity of Christ or blasphemy, but specifically the full explicit articulation of the doctrine of the Trinity; well, that is an anachronistic charge that ignores the fact that the doctrine of the Trinity is based on and flows out of the Scriptural evidence that Jesus was God in the flesh, and the verses about the Deity of the Holy Spirit.  That Scriptural Evidence, along with Monotheism and the principle of progressive revelation, are foundational to the doctrine of the Trinity.  The doctrine of the Trinity flows from the incarnation of the eternal Son of God and Deity of the Son, and Deity of the Holy Spirit.  If the Scriptures teach all of those things, then it necessarily and logically teaches the doctrine of the Trinity.

But these Muslims are still objecting, mostly because they reject the Gospel of John as written by John the apostle or inspired, and rejecting the writings of the apostle Paul, and demanding that the doctrine of the Trinity has to be spelled out explicitly in one verse, and ignoring the principle of progressive revelation.   After those objections, they focus on Mark 13:32/Matthew 24:36 that how could Jesus be God when He didn’t know the day or hour of His second coming?  They also keep saying that for Jesus to veil or lay aside the use of some of His divine attributes for 33 years is somehow illogical or unreasonable to the doctrine of the incarnation and the Trinity, when in fact, it is part of the doctrine itself, that the eternal Son voluntarily came, and by taking on an additional human nature and body, He was necessarily limited in some ways for 33 years.   Dr. White points out that Jesus’ omnipresence was limited for those 33 years.  (see below)  Along with my answers in the com-boxes, here are some good videos and an excellent article, that we recommend that Muslims slowly listen to and read and pray to God with an open heart for guidance and illumination.

Here is a good answer by James White on Mark 13:32/Matthew 24:36 and the Incarnation and the Trinity:

Here is a good sermon on Philippians 2 by James White also:

Here is the full scholarly article by Dr. White wrote on Philippians 2:1-11 here: 

James White emphasizes the context of the passage is the exhortation for Christians, even though we are equal to one another in the sight of God, to humble ourselves and serve one another and look out for one another.  In the same way, even though Jesus is equal with God the Father and “existed in the form of God”, He did not regard that equality with the Father something to be grasped or held onto, but by becoming flesh, by adding a human nature and body to Himself, He voluntarily veiled some of His divine privileges and attributes for 33 years while on earth.

Here is James White’s translation of Philippians 2:5-11

You must have the same mindset among yourselves that was in Christ Jesus,
Who, although He eternally existed in the very form of God,
Did not consider that equality He had with God the Father something to be held on to at all costs,

But instead He made Himself nothing,

By taking on the very form of a slave,

By being made in human likeness.

And having entered into human existence,

He humbled Himself

By becoming obedient to the point of death,

Even the death one dies on a cross!

Because of this, God the Father exalted Him to the highest place,

And bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

So that at the mention of the exalted name of Jesus

Everyone who is in heaven, on earth, and under the earth,

Bows the knee,

And every tongue confesses:

“Jesus Christ is Lord!”

All to the glory of God the Father!

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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31 Responses to Answering some Muslim objections to the Incarnation and Trinity

  1. semsav12 says:

    Perhaps you should watch this video in response to White’s “exegesis” of Matthew 24:36 I think he soundly refutes Mr.Whites rhetoric and argumentation.

    Secondly, I think this video is an interesting response to the Philippians passage,


    • Ken Temple says:

      I removed the video that malfunctioned. I will respond later when I have time to watch/listen to these responses. Thanks for the interaction.

    • Ken Temple says:

      Semsav12 –
      When I have time I may write something about this also; but it is not very compelling either. but I guess that’s the best that Unitarians can come up with. Dr. White’s article answers his objections. I wonder if you read his scholarly article on Philippians 2 ? (I linked to the print article also below the video of Dr. White teaching on Philippians 2.)

  2. semsav12 says:

    My apologies for the malfunctioning of the first link, here is the correct link.

    • Ken Temple says:

      I agree with Sam that the speaker was very boring, but I did finally get through it (painfully, as I was bored with it) twice, and I made notes of every important point, I think.

      It is probably the best a Unitarian or Jehovah’s Witness or Muslim or atheist can do with this issue, and if this is the best they can do, then it is “pathetic”.

      Dr. White was not trying to “poison the well” by “guilt by association”; in fact, went out of his way to point out that atheists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Muslims make different applications to this text in their arguments.

      D. A. Carson sums up the issue well in his commentary on Matthew on page 508 (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, volume 8, 1984, includes Matthew by D. A. Carson, Mark by Walter Wessel and Luke by Walter Liefeld. (My understanding it that there is an updated version with just Matthew and Mark, but I don’t have that version; I have the original older version)

      “Jesus’ self-confessed ignorance on this point has generated not a little debate. In fact, it is part of the NT pattern of his humiliation and incarnation (e.g. [Matthew] 20:23; Luke 2:52; Acts 1:7; Phil. 2:7). John’s Gospel, the one of the four Gospels most clearly insisting on Jesus’ deity, also insists with equal vigor on Jesus’ dependence on and obedience to the Father – a dependence reaching even to his knowledge of the divine. How NT insistence on Jesus’ deity is to be combined with NT insistence on his ignorance and dependence is a matter of profound importance to the church, and attempts to jettison one truth for the sake of preserving the other must be avoided.” (Carson, Matthew, p. 508; see above)

      Let that sink in –
      “. . . attempts to jettison one truth for the sake of preserving the other must be avoided.”

      This is exactly what Unitarians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Muslims do with texts in the Bible, in order to try and make their arguments.

      So, Dr. White was right, that the text must be understood as Jesus speaking in His incarnate state as the Word/ eternal Son, who became flesh on earth for 33 years; being limited and humble and dependent and learned as He grew; but He is now glorified in heaven. (John 17:5; Revelation chapter 5)

      Luke 2:52 says that Jesus as the human boy grew in wisdom and stature, – he learned and grew in intellectual knowledge. He went through the same experiences that we did, yet without sin. Jesus was our model. (see also Hebrews 4:15)

      He learned Scripture, meditated on it and memorized it, in order to be a model for us to deal with temptation – Matthew 4:1-12 and Luke 4:1-12. The way Jesus dealt with the temptations of the devil was to be a model for us – prayer, fasting, dependency on the Holy Spirit and meditation and memorization of Scripture so that we can quote it out load – Jesus modeled that for us. If He just “knew” it all as the eternal Son while on earth, how would that encourage us? He, Jesus, encourages us, because, as Philippians 2 says, “even though He existed in eternity in the form of God, He did not regard that equality to be held on at all costs and didn’t cling or grasp on that as His right and privilege and by becoming a man, a servant, laid aside the use of that privilege of divine omniscience and learned and grew while on earth as part of His humility and dependence on the Father as the self-sacrificing Messiah for us.” (my commentary on the meaning of Philippians 2:5-8 in my own words)

      Sopater the Berean goes to Matthew 1:1 (“the book of the genealogy”) and tries to tie that with Genesis 2:4 and 5:1 that Matthew is about how Jesus Christ came into being, or, it seems he is trying to say Jesus was created and Matthew is about His beginning. (seems to be trying to deny the pre-existence of the Son and Deity of the Son). The book of the genealogy is about Jesus’ human nature and that his human nature came through being a son of David and son of Abraham, because, as the genealogy shows, was from the line of Abraham and David. Luke shows us this also, that His human nature was from Mary, who was from Nathan, one of the sons of David, who was from the line of Abraham.

      Matthew is showing us that Jesus came from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah and his genealogy is from the royal line of the kings of Israel.

      Sopater the Berean avoids Matthew 2:1-12, which shows that Matthew shows that Jesus is worthy of worship – the Magi came to worship Him and worshiped Him in verses 2 and 11; and the disciples worship Him in Matthew 14:33 and 28:16-17 – so Sopater the Unitarian violated his own principle of asking how Matthew the author would interpret the text.

      When Sopater the Unitarian goes to Hebrews 1:3-6 and 2:5-9, it is interesting that he avoided Hebrews 1:8 – one of the clearest verses on the Deity of Christ, and Hebrews 1:10-12, which are also clearly about the Deity of Christ.

      Revelation 1:1 and 3:12 – Sopater the Unitarian tries to make a valid point, but by avoiding the other content in Revelation chapters 2-3 which say seven times, “let him who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches” and 22:16 – “I Jesus, sent My angel to communicate to the churches . . . etc. – the author of Revelation is holding to both truths, as Carson stated so well. (both the Deity of Christ and His humility and dependence on the Father, and a hierarchy of roles within the Trinity – I Corinthians 11:3) He shows this even in Jesus’ exalted state at the right hand of the Father in heaven (see all of Revelation chapter 5 where the Lamb is worshiped and given the same glory and honor and blessing and power as the Father in Revelation chapter 4, the one who sits on the throne, etc. ) .

      So, overall, Sopater the Unitarian gave his best shot, but, in the end, “it is pathetic” as it avoids ALL the texts that the early church used – both for Monotheism and the Deity of Christ and the Deity of the Holy Spirit and the humility and dependency of Jesus while on earth and the submission of the Son in the economic Trinity of different roles – they, the church, and Trinitarians, took all the verses in context; and, as Dr. White and Dr. Brown showed that Anthony Buzzard and Joseph Good do with the Bible, they “read the Bible with one eye closed”, as D. A. Carson said,they try to hold onto one truth by jettisoning the other truth. The Doctrine of the Trinity holds on to all of those truths at same time.

  3. Sam Shamoun says:

    Semsav, I just watched the video on Matthew 24:36 and must say that this was one of the worst and most pathetic replies I have ever heard. It didn’t help any that this guy was a rather boring speaker. Could you be so kind as to explain to me which part of this video you found convincing?

    • Ken Temple says:

      True, it was boring, and ultimately “pathetic” because it avoids the other verses that Trinitarians rightly use without avoiding the ones that Unitarians hold on to and emphasize – we take both truths together, Unitarians and Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims only emphasize one set of texts. (see more above)

  4. Jesus says:

    “He was necessarily limited in some ways for 33 years.”

    God was limited for 33 yr ! , lol ! , man seriously do u believe that ? or i should say do u believe in such a God who is limited ?

    God being limited is a logical fallacy , a contradiction , it just dosent exist . In the same vein i want to ask u a question can a circle remain a circle if it becomes a square ? . Logical fallacies and contradictions are a central part of ur faith Ken , come to Islam .

    • Ken Temple says:

      If God the Son, the eternal Word کلمه الله (Kalimat Allah) became flesh/human ( John 1:1-5; 14-18) and lived on this earth for 33 years, then He was not omnipresent. He didn’t give up any divine attribute, but he voluntarily limited His use of the divine attributes by taking on a human nature/body. That is the Christian doctrine of the incarnation – that God the Son/Word became flesh.

      The humility and self-giving love of God in voluntarily coming for us and dying for our sins and His powerful resurrection is beautiful. May God open your eyes to see it.

      • Sam Shamoun says:

        Ken, I think you need to nuance your claim. Jesus wasn’t (and still isn’t) omnipresent in respect to his physical body, his human nature, but the Scriptures clearly show that Christ was omnipresent/omniscient by virtue of his Deity. See, for instance, Mark 7:24-30 (focus on v. 29), John 1:45-49, 16:29-31, 21:17.

  5. Ken Temple says:

    Sam, thanks for that – I did not notice that (David Waltz’ link to Ali Ataie’s dissertation on the side bar) before, but I see what you mean; excellent point.

    David Waltz is really hard to figure out – he is open to the possibility that Bah’ai-ism may be the true religion, and that (by believing Bahai-Allah was the manifestation of the Mehdi, etc.) necessarily means that Shiite Islam was a bridge of progressive revelation between Christianity and Bahai’ism – weird! I have been dealing with him lots over the years at his web-site. He is a very nice and peaceful person; but his thinking on truth and revelation is, IMO, not a Christian point of view. He grew up Jehovah’s Witness, became and went to a Reformed- Presbyterian (OPC) church for a few years, and then Roman Catholic, but a couple of years ago, he announced he rejected the Roman Catholic Church and Pope as infallible, but says he holds to some form of Christianity – Nicea or pre-Nicean creed ( ? ); but won’t say what church he goes to. He is very well read and hard to figure out. He knows a lot about Sufism, Shiite Islam, Bahai’ism, and the early church fathers and historical theology. He has tons of books and is always very gracious in answering questions about historical theology and church history.

  6. Ken Temple says:

    Sam Shamoun wrote:
    Ken, I think you need to nuance your claim. Jesus wasn’t (and still isn’t) omnipresent in respect to his physical body, his human nature, but the Scriptures clearly show that Christ was omnipresent/omniscient by virtue of his Deity. See, for instance, Mark 7:24-30 (focus on v. 29), John 1:45-49, 16:29-31, 21:17.

    Thanks for that! Those Scriptures are excellent food for thought. Also John 2:24-25 – Jesus knew what was in the hearts of all men. They definitely point to supernatural knowledge beyond a human ability – especially John 16:29-31 – “you know all things”. I don’t know if they show “omnipresence” though. I need to think about that more . . . when we think deeply about it, that God is Spirit and invisible – but He is not “in” things like pantheism and other false religions, since He has no spacial limitations or time limitations, but “everything is in His presence” – that is He knows everything, which means omnipresence is almost the same as omniscience; or it can be argued that it (omnipresence) is the same as omniscience; but His glorified body would seem to be limited to one particular space, being the same material body He was raised in, though glorified and able to go through walls and ascend to heaven, etc. mind boggling . . .

    The glorified body of Jesus now in heaven at the right hand of the Father is a mystery. They had a big debate on the “Ubiquitous nature of the human body of Jesus” at the time of the Reformation because of the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation in the mass – which seems to violate the unique incarnation of Christ as a one time historical event.

  7. Sam Shamoun says:

    By omnipresent I mean that the entire creation is present before him in that he oversees and sustains it. Christ didn’t stop sustaining creation while he was on earth. If you read the texts carefully, you will notice that Jesus saw things which were not possible for him to see with his physical eyes. Hence, Nathaniel’s reaction when Jesus said that he SAW him under the fig tree. Moreover, Jesus was able to cast out an unclean spirit from the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter even though he wasn’t physically present to do so. So I do not think that you can say Jesus wasn’t omnipresent while on earth. Moreover, you are confirming what I said since I stated that Jesus’ physical body is in heaven and therefore he is not omnipresent in respect to his body.

    • Sam Shamoun says:

      BTW, another text which goes hand in hand with Mark 7:24-30 is John 4:43-54 since once again Jesus is able to heal a person without being physical present to do so.

  8. Ken Temple says:

    You are absolutely right about all those verses and Jesus’ authority over distance and His ability to see and know things and heal without being present. They all point to His Deity.

    That makes explaining Matthew 24:36/Mark 13:32 even harder, seeing that He had so much supernatural knowledge and power in other places in the gospels, why not there in Matthew 24:36/Mark 13:32?

    Maybe I am not putting it in the right words, but the best answer is still that there is some kind of veiling of some of His usage of His divine attributes or taking on human limitations in the incarnation, being dependent on the Father, right?

    D. A. Carson’s statement (above) was the best I could find.

  9. Sam Shamoun says:

    Brother, here are a series of biblical quotes that I have compiled for a paper where I show that all of the NT documents affirm Jesus’ omniscience, bearing witnessing to his divine ability to know and discern hearts and motives. As you will see, these statements are even found in Mark. Hope this helps since these texts affirm that it is not an either/or scenario but a both/and reality when it comes to Christ as the God-Man:

    “And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ But some of the scribes were sitting there AND REASONING WITHIN THEIR HEARTS, ‘Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?’ Immediately Jesus, aware iIN HIS SPIRIT that they were reasoning that way WITHIN THEMSELVES, said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning about these things IN YOUR HEARTS? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, “Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk”? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.’ And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’” Mark 2:5-10 – cf. Matthew 9:4; Luke 5:22

    “AND KNOWING THEIR THOUGHTS Jesus said to them, ‘Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.’” Matthew 12:25

    “And He was saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.’ On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him. BUT HE KNEW WHAT THEY WERE THINKING, and He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Get up and come forward!’ And he got up and came forward.” Luke 6:5-8

    “An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking IN THEIR HEART, took a child and stood him by His side,” Luke 9:46-47

    “Others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven. BUT HE KNEW THEIR THOUGHTS and said to them, ‘Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls.’” Luke 11:16-17

    “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”

    “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.” John 6:64

    “‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.’ Some of His disciples then said to one another, ‘What is this thing He is telling us, “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me”; and, “because I go to the Father”?’ So they were saying, ‘What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is talking about.’ Jesus knew that they wished to question Him, and He said to them, ‘Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, “A little while, and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me”?’” John 16:16-19

    “‘These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.’ His disciples said, ‘Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech. Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe?’” John 16:25-31

    “He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’” John 21:17

    “until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles WHOM HE HAD CHOSEN… So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, ‘LORD, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;’… ‘Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that THE LORD JESUS went in and out among us—’… And they prayed and said, ‘You, LORD, WHO KNOW THE HEARTS OF ALL MEN, show which one of these two YOU HAVE CHOSEN.’” Acts 1:1-2, 6-7, 21, 24

    “on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.” Romans 2:16

    “For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:4-5

    “that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3

    “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this: ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first… and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.’” Revelation 2:18-19, 23b

    “‘Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.’… He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:12-13, 20

    Now contrast these statements with what the Holy Bible says concerning God’s knowledge:

    “in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.” 1 John 3:20

    “Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:21

    “then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men,” 1 Kings 8:39

    “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

    “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:10

    Can it be any clearer that Jesus is omniscient in the same sense that God is? Hope this helps.

    BTW, all Scriptural references are from the NASB.

  10. Ken Temple says:

    The D.A. Carson quote is about both/and.

    So how do you explain Matthew 24:36/Mark 13:32 ??

    – obviously it was temporary (for 33 years); and it was only as He was speaking from His human nature, in the incarnation, and in a different role from the Father, showing His humility and dependence on the Father while on earth.

  11. Sam Shamoun says:

    The best explanation I have heard thus far came from William Lane Craig who says that in Jesus’ human waking consciousness he didn’t know all things. I like this since even we humans who have but a single nature, one that is finite and imperfect, are able to retain a lot more information on a subconscious level which our waking consciousness doesn’t recall. Hypnosis is a perfect illustration of this fact.

  12. Ken Temple says:

    that phrase –
    “in Jesus’ human waking consciousness he didn’t know all things.”

    is basically the same thing as “Jesus was speaking from His human nature while incarnated on the earth for 33 years, part of the humility of becoming human and a servant, and dependency on the Father during that time.” (basically what Dr. White said in above video, and what D. A. Carson wrote)

    I learn a lot more from listening to Dr. White and his methods and his critique of William Lane Craig’s methods.

    William Lane Craig’s illustration of the Trinity with the three headed dog Cerberus in Greek pagan mythology was really, really bad, and trying to illustrate the incarnation with Avatar was pretty bad also. Also, the way he dismissed the guards at the tomb of Jesus in Matthew 27-28 and saying “no scholar thinks that is historical”- was really bad. (but I noticed that they took down that video, since Reformed apologists were really taking him to task on that.) Lots of conservative scholars argue for its historicity. Steve Hays at Triablogue listed 13.

    (But others have asserted that he has changed his mind since then.)

    WLC said: “I can hardly think of anybody who would defend the historicity of the guard at the tomb story. ”

    Steve Hays: “It’s incredible that Craig would say that. Just off the top of my head, scholars who defend the historicity of this account include Darrell Bock, Craig Blomberg, D. A. Carson, Knox Chamblin, R. T. France, Craig Keener, Leon Morris, John Nolland, Grant Osborne, Robert Stein, David Turner, David Wenham, and N. T. Wright. I can’t quite tell what C. A Evans’ position is, but he takes the account seriously enough to supply a lot of corroborative material.”

    Sometimes WLC is really good; but both he and Mike Licona really “shoot themselves in the foot” so to speak, by their apologetic method of “the preponderance of evidence points to an intelligent designer/ creator deity” or “the preponderance of the evidence of the empty tomb and the appearances point to the possibility that Jesus rose from the dead, but we don’t know if God did that or not.” That is really defeating to apologetics and evangelism.

    • Sam Shamoun says:

      Brother Ken, WLC’s point is a little more nuanced that simply saying that Christ didn’t know in respect to his human nature. Craig divides at least two layers of consciousness in humans, namely, subconsciousness and waking consciousness. His point (at least as far as I understand it) is that even finite creatures such as ourselves are so complex that there is a sense in which we know a lot more than we are able to consciously remember or recall. Now if this is true with imperfect creatures, how much more complex should we expect Christ to be who not only possesses a divine nature, but also a human nature which has two layers of consciousness that goes with it?

      • Ken Temple says:

        That is creative, but I don’t see that argument in the NT. It would seem to me that an argument would need to be based on a text like Philippians 2:5-8, which at least gives us some textual indication of some kind of humbling, and dependence on the Father, veiling, or putting aside of the use of the divine attributes, etc. however we are to understand what it means that “He emptied Himself” by taking on a human nature and form of a servant.

  13. Sam Shamoun says:

    that simply= then simply.

  14. Sam Shamoun says:

    BTW, I agree with you concerning the apologetic methodology of Craig and Licona, especially Licona’s. They both do great damage not only to their position, but also to our cause in reaching out to Muslims who constantly quote them against us.

  15. Sam Shamoun says:

    I forgot to mention, Craig actually defends the historicity of the guard at the tomb story:

    This is why his comments in that Ankerberg video left me baffled and perplexed since he actually refutes the criticisms leveled against this story’s historicity. Why, then, attack it on Ankerberg’s program? Things to make you go hmm.

  16. Ken Temple says:

    Interesting indeed. I wonder what the date of his paper that you link to is; and what was the date of the video with John Ankerberg. Interesting that they took the video down also.

  17. Sam Shamoun says:

    Brother Ken, to be frank someone can accuse you of being creative since Philippians 2:5-8 says absolutely nothing about Christ putting aside or veiling his divine attributes. Rather, this is your interpretation of what it means for Christ to empty himself. Yet the text is clear what the nature of that emptying was, namely he took on the nature or form of a slave, which means that the emptying is one of position or status, not of the use or non-use of his divine attributes. So just like you have to explain the nature of that emptying, Craig is also seeking to best explain the meaning of Mark 13:32. Besides, Paul nowhere tells us what kind of limitations Christ took on in order to become a man. Nor does Mark say that the reason why Jesus didn’t know the day or hour is because he emptied himself in order to become a flesh and blood human being. So, even though I believe that the Holy Bible is inerrant and therefore completely consistent, I first like to understand what a specific passage means in its own context, meaning examining it in the context of that particular book or author. I then see how it fits in with the rest of the inspired books.

  18. θ says:

    God in Trinitarian definition has 2 meanings:
    (i) He who fathered 2nd person, that is the 1st person, the Father.
    (ii) He who is not fathered nor has fathered anyone, that is the 3rd person.

    Allah for certain refuses to be equated with the Father because Allah has not fathered anyone.
    Hence Qur’an is correct if the Trinitarians prefer to equate Allah with the Spirit (the third person) who was not fathered and has not fathered. However Allah rejects the Trinity.
    Jn 4
    24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    Q.5, v.73. Certainly, they become disbelievers who say: ‘Allah is the third of the three,’ whereas there is none worthy of worship except the One God.

    In Arabic the personal title “Allah” is derived from “Al Ilah” (the God), and in Greek the title would be “Ho Theos” (the God).
    John 4:24 in the Greek manuscript actually proves that Spirit is the God. “Pneuma Ho Theos”
    Jn 4
    24 God is a Spirit (precisely: Spirit is the God, Pneuma Ho Theos) and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    Qur’an closed the baseless assumption of Christian apologists who presume Mary – not Spirit – is placed by Qur’an at the third rank in Trinitarian theology. Qur’an proves that it is not accurate description of Mary in Qur’an. If they intended to mock Qur’an’s knowledge of the Trinity in general, then it’s a silly assumption.

    Moreover, Allah rejects the belief of the Early Church’s fathers in the Binitarianism – when the Trinity was still in an infancy stage of development – who loosely equated the Holy Spirit (the third person) to Jesus the Christ (the second person).

    Q.5, v.17. They are unbelievers who say, ‘Allah is the Messiah, Mary’s son.’ Say: ‘Who then shall overrule God in any way if He desires to destroy the Messiah, Mary’s son, and his mother, and all those who are on earth?’ For to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them, creating what He will. God is powerful over everything.

    Q.5, v.72. They are unbelievers who say, ‘Allah is the Messiah, Mary’s son.’ For the Messiah said, ‘Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord. Verily whoso associates with God anything, God shall prohibit him entrance to Paradise, and his refuge shall be the Fire; and wrongdoers shall have no helpers.’

    Allah depicts all creations as His subordinates, including Jesus whom He takes up to Him.
    Q.19, v.93. There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant.

    1Cor 15
    28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

    In both Qur’an’s verses Q.5, v17, v.72 it does not say “Allah is the Word” (it is matched with John 1:1 in Greek: Theos en Ho Logos, that is, God was the Word), because the Word is just one of so many divine attributes of Allah. No one ever worshiped the Word before.
    Angels (alongside John in conception) began to venerate Jesus only after he was brought into the world in Mary’s womb.

    The Early Church fathers were Binitarian (with a belief that Holy Spirit is Jesus), hence they just have 2 persons only:
    2 Clement (14.3.3).
    If we say that the flesh is the Church and the Spirit is Christ, then he who has abused the flesh has abused the Church.
    2 Clement (14.3.4).
    Such a one, accordingly, will not share in the Spirit, which is Christ.

    Athenagoras (Suppl. 24).
    The Son, the Mind, Word, Wisdom of the Father, and the Spirit an effluence from Him as light from fire.

    Shepherd of Hermas.
    The son is the Holy Spirit.

    Tertullian, the Apology.
    He [Christ] is the power of God, and the Spirit of God, and the Logos, and the Wisdom, and the Reason, and the Son of God.

    John 4 :24 in the Greek manuscript actually proves that Spirit is the God. “Pneuma Ho Theos”
    Jn 4
    24 God is a Spirit (precisely: Spirit is the God, Pneuma Ho Theos) and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

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