Paul Bilal Williams said that the Bible’s statement, “God is love” is incoherent, non-sense, and incorrect grammar, for English, and says it should be “God is loving”. (no longer there as Paul Williams has changed his web-site several times.) But I pointed out that we go by the Greek text and not by the English text. The Greek word is definitely “the love”, a noun, a concept.
Love is a noun, a concept. “to love” is a verb.
In Greek is used as a noun
” . . . ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν. 9 ἐν τούτῳ ἐφανερώθη ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν, ὅτι τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἀπέσταλκεν ὁ θεὸς εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἵνα ζήσωμεν δι’ αὐτοῦ. (from 1 John 4:8-9)
” . . . for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
Hey Paul, I thought you believed in intellectual scholarship and that scholars should study the original languages to prove religion? Muslim theologicans and apologists study the original language of Arabic, etc. and Christians [should more than actually do] study the original Greek of the New Testament to base apologetic and theological issues on.
The second usage of the Greek noun is even more clear, with the definite article “the” = ‘η = pronounced, “hey”
“7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” 1 John 4:7-14
But, it is reported that Al Ghazzali, one of the most famous Muslim theologians and Sufi’s in history, said that Allah does not love. So what is it? Yet there are verses that say “Allah loves those who love Allah” and “Allah does not love the unbelievers”, etc. One of the 99 names of Allah is “wadood” ودود, which is more like, friendly, warm-hearted, congenial, according to several Arabic speakers I have asked over the years. I remember Georges Houssney telling me this, personally. He is a national Arabic speaker from Lebanon. But the word in Arabic that comes closest to the Greek word, agape / αγαπη, is the Mohabah/Mohabat/hobb words. محبه – محبت – حب
That root word is used in the Qur’an to describe Allah’s love of those who believe in Him and follow Him and obey Him first; but the Qur’an does not have anything like the Bible, the principle of “God loves sinners” first and takes the initiative, and “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Does Islam have a god who is love or loving or neither?
Al-Ghazzali reportedly said: “Love is to sense a need of the beloved and since Allah cannot be said to have a need or an experience of a need, it is therefore impossible that Allah should love”.
I wish that someone would give the exact reference for this. The book, page no. , date when written, etc. and even the original Arabic or Farsi. Al Ghazzali was a Persian/Iranian from the city of Tus in northern Iran. Did he write his works in Arabic or Farsi?
Abdullah Kunde, at the end of one of his debates with Samuel Green, said something to the effect that Allah can change His mind at the last second and sent all the good people to hell, and all the bad people to heaven, and that we have no right to question. (see the last video section. During the question and answer time, beginning at the 8:25 mark. )
This is one of the best debates out there, in my opinion.
Does anyone know where the quote from Al Ghazzali is found?
Abdullah Kunde quoted it at the end on the last video section of questions from the audience.
“If on the day of judgment Allah decides to send all the good people (believers in Allah) to hell and all the evil people to paradise, He can do that, and we have no right to question.” (I am remembering it from memory, so it may not be an exact quote.)
Can anyone track that down and publish the reference?
If all or even most Muslims agree with that statement that it is Islamic theology and not much disagreement; then that is enough for anyone not to want to become a Muslim, for it reveals the arbitrary and capricious nature of Allah and that His capricious will is above His nature/character and any promise or word to be faithful to that promise that He would give to believers.
But the God of the Bible cannot lie and is faithful to His promises.
God cannot lie. What a wonderful verse ! – God cannot do anything that is against His nature.
God cannot sin, and is not tempted by sin.
I guess that is why Muslims do not really have real peace in their hearts, for they know that Allah can “outwit” / deceive / trick them on the final day.
Allah is the best of deceivers/schemers/tricksters” (Quran 3:54; 8:30; 10:21) الله خیر المکارین
The verses in the Bible that seem to say that God has decieved only mean that God sovereignly allowed humans and demons to deceive people. But maybe that is what the Qur’an and Muslims believe also.
Yet, Jesus promises true peace (John 14:27, Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 5:1-11) and eternal life (John 3:16; 5:24; 20:30-31; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10, many others.
Another side point: Abdullah Kunde also revealed why the west should never allow Sharia law to be introduced – he admitted that it is a rule that Christians cannot build new churches, in Islamic territories. (based on the Pact of Umar) What an unjust religion and exposes the agenda that many Muslims in the west. In history, once the Muslims take over an area, through war and Jihad, and they are victorious, there is no freedom to evangelize or witness to Muslims or build new churches. That is where the development of the doctrines and principles of “Dar al Islam” (The territory or abode of Islam and peace) vs. “Dar Al Harb” (the territory or abode of war, that it is acceptable to attack that area in war) came from, some time later in Islamic history.
I recommend the discussion I had with Paul Williams and other Muslims in the com boxes of Paul’s article were he critizes the doctrine of substitutionary atonement in the Bible and Christianity. (No longer there.) Eventually, Paul stopped allowing my comments to go through. I wonder why? It seems he cannot deal with reason and good responses to his attacks. (he later let me back in, thanks to him for allowing good discussion, even though we disagree.)
In criticizing the atonement and Jesus taking on the wrath of God for sin and John Piper’s sermon, the part that Paul Williams leaves out is that Jesus the Son of God voluntarily chose, out of love to become flesh (John 1:1-5, 14; 17:5) and die for our sins and take on the wrath of God against our sin. He chose voluntarily to take the punishment, the curse.
Jesus said: “No one takes My life from Me, I lay it down voluntarily on My own initiative. . . ”
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Muslims then accused Jesus of committing suicide!
It was not really a suicide, since Jesus’ goal was to obtain redemption, forgiveness, and salvation for people. It was not a suicide, because suicides are sinful and tainted with self-pity, lack of faith in God and lack of hope; despair. Jesus counted the suffering and shame as nothing (Hebrews 12:1-2), “for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, counting as nothing the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Rather it was the highest act of love in history for human beings; for sinners from all the nations. (Revelation 5:9; 7:9) Christ’s work on the cross accomplished two things 1. the atonement for sin (verse 24) and 2. Jesus is modeling how to respond to injustice; unjust suffering.
Jesus is the greatest model for mankind, not Muhammad.
Christ is our Example:
19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:19-25
The second person of the Trinity, the Word کلمه الله , the Son, took on a body and human soul, so God did not have a body in eternity past obviously (John 1:1-5; Philippians 2:5-8; John 17:5), but He (the Son, the Word, NOT the Father) took on a body and had a body on the cross, yes.