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:
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!