Archive for July, 2020

Edward Henry Bickersteth (1812-1916) The Trinity

July 26, 2020

31stJuly 2020

Edward Henry Bickersteth (1812-1916)

Before we start, I don’t really need to speak a lot about the Transcendence of God the Father.  As it is enough to Say that from Scripture, we have proved that from the point of view of God he is the Creator and our life relies on His creative activity.

Chapter 3 is an appropriate place to start because here Edward wants to talk about the Lord Jesus Christ, that he is fully God and fully man in Perfect union. 

He writes,”… I maintain that scripture brings before us One Mysterious Person, The Son of God, The Son of man, in wondrous union with the Father, but of distinct personality from the Father, to whom all the attributes of Deity are ascribed , and who claims  and receives without protest, yea as his just and inalienable right equal trust, adoration, love and service, with him who says , “I am Jehovah ‘יחוח’, my name is Jealous and my glory will I not give another””.

Aphrodite (Venus)changed to Mary in certain Pagan centres and this is what is mentioned in the Qur'an.

July 26, 2020

26th July 2020

 Prior to the appearance of Islam, there existed a peculiar cluster of people in the fifth century which worshipped and honoured Aphrodite (Venus), whom they venerated as queen of heaven.  With the spread of Christianity these pagans switched to the new faith without exactly knowing what it was.  Worst of all, they didn’t search the Christian scriptures.  However, these heathen did not wish to abandon the adoration of Aphrodite.  They found an easy solution by naming her ‘Mary’.  This way Aphrodite became Mary.  Such a bewildering belief was condemned outright by the Christians of the time and was rejected as part of their faith.  It was categorized as a heretical cult.  Nevertheless, its adherents continued serving and venerating Mary as Queen of Heaven.  Thus, Mary was enthroned on Venus’ seat.  The cult was so thoroughly devoted to Mary that her importance surpassed that of God and Christ.  Its followers came to be known as ‘Miriamists’.  Both in their teaching and practice a triune formula was established with Mary at the head.  Continued tomorrow; Cosmades

The Trinity and false ideas about the Trinity.

July 25, 2020

25th July 2020

This is the end of our excursion into The Trinity.  We have looked at one germ root for the Trinity in St Paul.  We also looked at the Koran (In English)

We learned that;

  1. There were people in the Middle East that worshiped Mary as a goddess
  2. The Islamic response was to question this worship.
  3. The Koran doesn’t claim 100% that this is the Trinity
  4. The Ulema (Muslim scholars) need to revisit these verses and be honest about them.
  5. The Holy Trinity as taught universally is not this so-called trinity mentioned in the Quran.

Where is the idea of the Trinity being God, Mary and Jesus come from. (This is in contradition to teachings on the Trinity.

July 25, 2020

25thJuly 2020

Actually, in the above video we find at least 6 different versions.   This should not be a problem for the Ulema, but they have to be honest about looking at the Koran and to stop the use of propaganda.  

The Trinity and Tawhid from the point of View of Kosmades.

Kosmades gives a Quranic verse;

Surah 5: 116

“Sahih International

And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.”

From; https://quran.com/5/116-120?translations=20

Here God is questioning Jesus and Mary about the claim that they are divinities. Therefore, Muslims claim that Christians believe in God, Jesus and Mary and that this makes the Trinity.  Why could this idea come up in the Koran and could this be interpreted in another way? This is another question but it is very interesting that Kosmades says the following;

 “THE ORIGIN OF THE FIERCE CONTENTION

 The doctrine of Tathlis (=Turkish word for Trinity) has to do with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  How could it be that Mary finds her way into the three-in-one one-in-three godhead?  At no period in history has it ever been heard that the Christian faith espoused such an earthly and ridiculous belief.  Deviation to such a disparaging assumption has been rebuffed more profoundly by Trinitarian Christians than by the Islamic rejection of it.  People who have believed in the triune godhead never allowed such a preposterous invasion of the truth of the Trinity.  It is self-evident that in the Quran a viewpoint is proposed which runs contrary to the historical-theological course.  At this juncture we are reminded of the obligation to be conscientious in the objective search for truth.  Truth does not allow anyone an escape route.  From where could the prophet of Islam have gathered this information which is without concrete confirmation?  The person who takes up an objective historic study will encounter no difficulty in obtaining the right answer to the belief of Islam.    (From Cosmades)

Continued tomorrow

The worship of Mary

July 24, 2020

24th July 2020

So, from looking at the evidence, the Koran is correct in the formulation that there was a heretical religious group that claimed to be Christians and they did make Mary out to be a god.  The problem here is that this was localized and did not actually speak about the universal Trinitarian point of view.  Even so looking at verse 116 in the Koran God is asking a question.  It is the ulema that have given this interpretation of the Trinity.

I did some research and these wiki’s page is helpful;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collyridianism

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/collyridianism

Thinking about different versions of the Koran

July 24, 2020

24thJuly 2020

 

I need to look at this topic a little closer and I seriously don’t understand the Ulema (scholars of Islam) who allowed this to happen in the Koran.  We need to remember that there is more than one version of the Koran in existence today.  Uthman took a lot of the different versions of Korans from the Islamic world and created one standard version.  However, as far as I am aware Uthman missed some versions such as the one found in Istanbul (TopKapı museum).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lJe3XOpnto

Cocluding remarks on a false view of the Trinity.

July 23, 2020

23rd July 2020

If the Muslim chooses to study the evidences of objective history, he can delve into the depth of the encumbrances and misgivings which trouble him.  Quite likely they will evaporate, and the spring of heretical teachings will be exposed before his eyes.  When a religion is deprived of objective search and evidence the followers find themselves in perplexing quandaries, sailing in rough waters.”

Taken from

http://cosmades.org/articles/tathlis.htm

Athansaian Creed (This would correct) the incorrect notion from the Ulema's point of view.

July 23, 2020

23rdJuly 2020

As Christians we can talk about the ‘economy of God’.  For Muslims this is Shirk, the greatest sin a person can commit.  The ulema (muslim scholars) made the claim that, the Koran speaks of the Trinity as God, Jesus and Mary…  This is actually anathema and heretical to Christian teaching.   So how could Islam make such a big mistake on basic definitions of the Trinity or have the ulema interpreted the text in a propagandist way? 

 

Here I think the Athanasian Creed is Helpful as it spells out the Unity of the Trinity.  There are no three gods in Chrsitianity;

 

Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic faith.

Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally.

Now this is the catholic faith:

    That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,
    neither blending their persons
    nor dividing their essence.
        For the person of the Father is a distinct person,
        the person of the Son is another,
        and that of the Holy Spirit still another.
        But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one,
        their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.

    What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has.
        The Father is uncreated,
        the Son is uncreated,
        the Holy Spirit is uncreated.

        The Father is immeasurable,
        the Son is immeasurable,
        the Holy Spirit is immeasurable.

        The Father is eternal,
        the Son is eternal,
        the Holy Spirit is eternal.

            And yet there are not three eternal beings;
            there is but one eternal being.
            So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings;
            there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.

    Similarly, the Father is almighty,
        the Son is almighty,
        the Holy Spirit is almighty.
            Yet there are not three almighty beings;
            there is but one almighty being.

        Thus the Father is God,
        the Son is God,
        the Holy Spirit is God.
            Yet there are not three gods;
            there is but one God.

        Thus the Father is Lord,
        the Son is Lord,
        the Holy Spirit is Lord.
            Yet there are not three lords;
            there is but one Lord.

    Just as Christian truth compels us
    to confess each person individually
    as both God and Lord,
    so catholic religion forbids us
    to say that there are three gods or lords.

    The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten from anyone.
    The Son was neither made nor created;
    he was begotten from the Father alone.
    The Holy Spirit was neither made nor created nor begotten;
    he proceeds from the Father and the Son.

    Accordingly there is one Father, not three fathers;
    there is one Son, not three sons;
    there is one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.

    Nothing in this trinity is before or after,
    nothing is greater or smaller;
    in their entirety the three persons
    are coeternal and coequal with each other.

    So in everything, as was said earlier,
    we must worship their trinity in their unity
    and their unity in their trinity.

Anyone then who desires to be saved
should think thus about the trinity.

But it is necessary for eternal salvation
that one also believe in the incarnation
of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.

Now this is the true faith:

    That we believe and confess
    that our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son,
    is both God and human, equally.

     He is God from the essence of the Father,
    begotten before time;
    and he is human from the essence of his mother,
    born in time;
    completely God, completely human,
    with a rational soul and human flesh;
    equal to the Father as regards divinity,
    less than the Father as regards humanity.

    Although he is God and human,
    yet Christ is not two, but one.
    He is one, however,
    not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
    but by God’s taking humanity to himself.
    He is one,
    certainly not by the blending of his essence,
    but by the unity of his person.
    For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
    so too the one Christ is both God and human.

    He suffered for our salvation;
    he descended to hell;
    he arose from the dead;
    he ascended to heaven;
    he is seated at the Father’s right hand;
    from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
    At his coming all people will arise bodily
    and give an accounting of their own deeds.
    Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
    and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.

This is the catholic faith:
one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.

Taken from;

 https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/creeds/athanasian-creed

Paganism and false worship

July 22, 2020

22nd July 2020

Prior to the appearance of Islam, there existed a peculiar cluster of people in the fifth century which worshipped and honoured Aphrodite (Venus), whom they venerated as queen of heaven.  With the spread of Christianity these pagans switched to the new faith without exactly knowing what it was.  Worst of all, they didn’t search the Christian scriptures.  However, these heathen did not wish to abandon the adoration of Aphrodite.  They found an easy solution by naming her ‘Mary’.  This way Aphrodite became Mary.  Such a bewildering belief was condemned outright by the Christians of the time and was rejected as part of their faith.  It was categorized as a heretical cult.  Nevertheless, its adherents continued serving and venerating Mary as Queen of Heaven.  Thus, Mary was enthroned on Venus’ seat.  The cult was so thoroughly devoted to Mary that her importance surpassed that of God and Christ.  Its followers came to be known as ‘Miriamists’.  Both in their teaching and practice a triune formula was established with Mary at the head.

The prophet of Islam who in his commercial enterprises travelled from the Arab Peninsula to Damascus and Aleppo became acquainted with the Miriamists.  He listened to the tenets of their religion and formed an idea.  The most regrettable formulation in his mind was to equate the Miriamists with the Christians.  Being illiterate according to Islamic legend he considered Jesus Christ an element in their teaching.  This opinion passed into the Quran.  The Muslim prophet, not having understood the true Persons of the Holy Trinity strayed to erroneous beliefs and practices.  Following the spread of Islam, the Miriamists this time embraced the Prophet’s religion, and their cult withered.  But the essence of this deviate teaching could not be wiped out.  It even influenced Islam considerably in its reverence of ‘Mother Mary’.

Tawhid (Unity oneness) or Trinity (Unity, Oneness, shared life, economia)

July 22, 2020

22ndJuly 2020

Verse 6b

The next part of the verse is another question though… For Muslims it is considered Shirk for all the wrong reasons.  I will touch on this later but for now let us see the importance of this second part of this verse for our understanding of God;

“…we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

 

First of all, the Trinity is a mystery and St Paul didn’t work out the ramifications of the Trinity, but he certainly spoke and lived it.  The Trinitarian economy is made up of Father the Creator, The Son the redeemer and the Holy Spirit the One Who Sanctifies us.  Three Persons who share the same Divine Life.  The Trinity in His own Union of Father, Son and Holy Spirit = 1 Godhead.   If you want to go deeper have a look at the following wiki;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perichoresis