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Heavens Fire

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  1. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Andalusi honestly this is a massive list of arguments against Christianity. I suppose I could answer all of them but it would take forever. Honestly I think it would be more effective to get to the heart of the matter. Why should Muhammad be accepted as a prophet and what makes you think Jesus isn't God incarnate despite the witness of several of the apostles and a number of their associates?
  2. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Since Paul's teachings were ratified by the apostles, particularly Peter who Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven, he would have the authority of Jesus in this matter. God's Servant gave the verse.
  3. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Hi everyone I'm back. Pardon if I was gone a bit longer than a month. Lent started so I wasn't using the internet because of that. Then my school work got tougher and I had to study more.
  4. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Jesus did teach like that. I have tried to do the same but have gotten nowhere in the approximately half year this has been going on. Hence the need for a break. Pardon if I seem rude. I have been getting sick of this discussion for awhile now. I'm guessing I just lack the knowledge and experience to very well explain Christian doctrine. I agree I don't know it all very well if at all. In fact I've been learning the doctrines through this discussion. For example until now I didn't understand Original Sin. However this has run its course and I need some time where I'm not thinking about how I'll organize my reply outlining a doctrine but rather focused on learning the doctrine in question. God bless. Andalusi I'm sorry for my frustration. I will come back eventually. God bless.
  5. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    You have not enlightened us to the illogic of the hypo static union. Not the first time it came up, nor the second time when it came up again after you changed the subject, nor this time. You just parroted your original question with slightly different words and then claimed victory. I am done. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Matthew 10:14 Pardon my impatience. I am just tired of this discussion. God bless.
  6. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Fathi as I said earlier I am sick of debating. Feel free to message me with your questions and then give me a month or two to reply. I need an extended break from this forum. God Bless.
  7. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Aligarr you hit the nail on the head. I have tried to explain all these things to Andalusi in the hopes that he will understand. I have to agree that he is a lost cause. I disagree with you on Doctrine and Religion but you are right on everything else. God bless. Truth be told Andalusi I am sick of going round and round on the same issues only to have you ask the same questions that I answered before. I will not discuss these things with you anymore. What we believe, while important, only matters if we live out our faith. This discussion with you is obstructing that path. God bless.
  8. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Fathi, on original sin I explain it better through a series of questions. The first one I think I know the answer to but I must ask it anyway. Is God flawed?
  9. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Fathi on your first article. The author makes the claim that early Christians did not believe in a triune God. Here are a few quotes by early Christians. All but Ireneaus were alive alongside the Apostles. I would especially like to emphasize Ignatius' quote. That sounds alot like the Trinity. Polycarp (70-155/160). Bishop of Smyrna. Disciple of John the Apostle. "O Lord God almighty... I bless you and glorify you through the eternal and heavenly high priest Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be glory to you, with Him and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever" (n. 14, ed. Funk; PG 5.1040). Justin Martyr (100?-165?). He was a Christian apologist and martyr. "For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water" (First Apol., LXI). Ignatius of Antioch (died 98/117). Bishop of Antioch. He wrote much in defense of Christianity. "In Christ Jesus our Lord, by whom and with whom be glory and power to the Father with the Holy Spirit for ever" (n. 7; PG 5.988). "We have also as a Physician the Lord our God Jesus the Christ the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin. For ‘the Word was made flesh.' Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passable body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts." (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The ante-Nicene Fathers, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975 rpt., Vol. 1, p. 52, Ephesians 7.) Irenaeus (115-190). As a boy he listened to Polycarp, the disciple of John. He became Bishop of Lyons. "The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: ...one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father ‘to gather all things in one,' and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess; to him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all...'" (Against Heresies X.l) Here is the basis for a three persons God from Scripture. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/apologetics/trinity/the-trinity-in-scripture/ The author also sets up a straw man by trying to make it look like early Christian councils taught that God was flawed because man is flawed and Jesus became man. This ignores Christian theology. Man was not always flawed. We only became flawed because of disobedience to God. Jesus obeyed God and was free of the corruption from Adams error so he was not flawed and did not make God flawed. Here are some links on the three councils he mentions and on why they were called, in case you wanted to know more. http://http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/nicea1.txt http://http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum03.htm http://http://www./cathen/03555a.htm He claims the trinity originated in Babylon and moved to Greece and then Christianity. I am not knowledgeable about Babylonian gods so I'm not sure which three he is referring to but in Greece he claims Zeus, Poseidon and Hades were a one God in three persons. This is untrue. The Greeks worshipped those three God's as the most influential among their many gods. They were not believed to be united into one God and in some myths even fought against each other. For example in the Iliad Poseidon supported the Greeks while Zeus supported the Trojans. The author then quotes Numbers 23:19 out of context. First off the verse is about how God doesn't lie or change like humans. Second, and more importantly, Jesus had not incarnated yet and as such God had not become man. The author then uses several Christian sources that state the Trinity was not clearly formulated until Nicaea and thus was not believed until then. Here he is incorrect. As I have shown earlier the Trinity was believed by Christians very early in Christian history. Then he uses the book, The Doctrine of the Trinity Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound by Anthony F. Buzzard Charles F. Hunting to claim that the Trinity developed in the 2nd century. The Christians I listed were from the first century and show Mr. Buzzards error. He then claims that the Trinity was cobbled together from pagan beliefs. Here is an article I found on the subject. http://http://www.catholic.com/blog/jon-sorensen/the-early-church-fathers-and-paganism It shows the Church Fathers disdain for paganism. He then takes a quote by the catholic encyclopedia and twist it to serve his purpose. Catholic Encyclopedia 1991 "The term 'Trinity' does not appear in scripture" "(The Doctrine of the Trinity) - hammered out over the course of three centuries of doctrinal controversy against modalism and subordinationism" He uses this to claim that the Catholic Church made up the trinity. While the word Trinity isn't found in the bible the belief is. Just read the introduction to John's Gospel. Doctrines are attempts to find the correct words to explain a belief. Many incorrect explanations were put forward by people and were refuted under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and declared heretical. He then repeats his claim on Babylon. Here is a site I found on Babylonian gods and goddesses. I couldn't find any that were a trinity, though I had to skim through it. http://http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/assyrbabyl-faq.html He then talks about Arius. Arius claimed that Christ was a created being. However unlike Muslims he did not teach that Jesus was a man but rather a powerful demigod. The author then attempts to show how Constantine forced the trinity on Christians. I found several articles on Nicaea and his role in it, which I will post below. http://http://www.earlychristianhistory.info/nicaea.html http://http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/godsreligion/p/aa082499.htm http://http://www.catholic.com/blog/jon-sorensen/constantine-has-been-beaten-to-death Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on Arianism. It shows how Constantine didn't particularly care about the doctrines involved and only wanted agreement from the bishops. Although he was committed to maintaining what the church had defined at Nicaea, Constantine was also bent on pacifying the situation and eventually became more lenient toward those condemned and exiled at the council. First he allowed Eusebius of Nicomedia, who was a protégé of his sister, and Theognis to return once they had signed an ambiguous statement of faith. The two, and other friends of Arius, worked for Arius' rehabilitation. At the First Synod of Tyre in AD 335, they brought accusations against Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, the primary opponent of Arius; after this, Constantine had Athanasius banished, since he considered him an impediment to reconciliation. In the same year, the Synod of Jerusalem under Constantine's direction readmitted Arius to communion in AD 336. Arius, however, died on the way to this event in Constantinople. Some scholars suggest that Arius may have been poisoned by his opponents.[17] Eusebius and Theognis remained in the Emperor's favour, and when Constantine, who had been a catechumen much of his adult life, accepted baptism on his deathbed, it was from Eusebius of Nicomedia.[18] You'll note that after the Council the doctrine of the Trinity was formulated to explain the trifold God found in the Bible and early Church. In conclusion the idea of a God in three persons was believed since the times of Christ and was shown in the Bible. It was formulated into the doctrine of the Trinity at Nicaea. Note that this doesn't mean that it wasn't believed until then but rather that it was not put into one universal way of explaining it. Before the doctrine of the Trinity there were many ways of explaining the three persons of God. That led to all the disagreements. Pardon if this is long and full of spelling errors. God bless.
  10. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Fathi, many Muslims don't understand original sin correctly. I'd like to make sure we're both on the same page. Can you explain to me your understanding of original sin.
  11. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Thank you Fathi. Your a pleasure to discuss this with as well. I appreciate your lack of condescension. I'm going out with family tonight so I won't be able to reply to your articles until tomorrow at the earliest. Until then God bless and have peace.
  12. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Your first link is very long and downright incorrect. It combines the Babylon religion theory (discredited several times) with a straw man on Church councils and on Constantine. I will need a while to gather all the sources necessary to point out the holes in it. The second link is much shorter but I'd still like to gather some sources for it. Until then God bless.
  13. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Algarr. The word religion means relationship as well as beliefs about God. After all to have a relationship with someone you have to understand them. That is what beliefs are.
  14. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    I don't see how this explains your earlier post. Anyway I'd first like to explain a misunderstanding. In Christian understanding inspired means that God inspired men to record the Bible. It doesn't mean that God directly told the authors what to write. On your contradiction. The lineage in Luke is traced through Mary who was placed under Josephs name. Heli is another translation of the name Joachim, Mary's father. Matthews traced Josephs actual line and thus Jesus' legal lineage.
  15. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    The latest gospel (John) has been estimated to 90 AD. That's about 60 years after the crucifixion. It was estimated to then because a fragment from the gospel was found in Egypt around 110 AD and it would have taken some time to reach their. On the Church Fathers, I tend towards Ireneaus in this regard. While he didn't meet the Apostles, he was taught by one of their disciples, St. Polycarp. Polycarp told him that the gospel of John was written by John. He also mentions the authors of the other gospels and backs up the traditional idea of authorship. Ad for your claims on a prophet, that is the very argument Andalusia invited me into the thread with. I will post my reply in a minute.
  16. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Thank you for explaining. Personally I prefer to rely on the eyewitness account of the early church fathers. http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=6976
  17. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    I think I have to agree with gmcbroom here. Theology can get very, very, very deep. However in my, admittedly short, time studying it I have not seen these cracked you mention. I have questioned nearly all of the Church's doctrines and probably will question many more before I die. Yet they have always made sense and formed a cohesive world view that fit history. I'm also not completely getting your ideas. Could you explain them in more detail?
  18. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    I don't see how the use of the words he him and according to show that the gospels weren't written by the apostles. Please explain.
  19. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Here is the verse in context. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. How does this show John not being the author? From what I can see John is saying that the witness to the Crucifixion is a true witness.
  20. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    I found this on Jesus' Sonship. It covers the topic in detail. It is true that the Bible teaches that God has many sons but it is not correct to assume that this somehow means that Jesus is God’s Son in the same sense as the rest. In the first place, angels are God’s sons in the sense that they are spiritual creatures that dwell in heaven, God’s abode, unlike man who is created from the dust of the ground to dwell on earth (cf. Genesis 2:4-7, 3:19; Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:4-7). In other words, angels are called sons because their nature is similar to God in that they are spirit beings like God: "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24 "And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.’" Hebrews 1:7 NKJV But even here we need to be careful since God is an omnipresent and timeless Spirit Being whereas angels are not. Thus, even though angels are similar to God this doesn’t mean that they are identical to him since God is infinitely more complex and greater than them: "And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints. For who in the heavens can be compared to the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him. O LORD God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You." Psalm 89:5-8 NKJV Secondly, the nation of israel is God’s son because he chose them to be his people who would reflect his glory to the nations: "‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the israelites." Exodus 19:4-6 "I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy." Leviticus 11:44-45 And as israel’s Father God would save and protect them, as well as provide for their every need, much like an earthly father does for his children: "Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you." Deuteronomy 8:1-5 "But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or israel acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name." Isaiah 63:16 Thirdly, David and the rest of israel’s kings were God’s sons because they were chosen to sit on God’s throne to rule over his people. As such, God served as guardian of the throne who made sure that their enemies were brought under complete subjection: "Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. ‘Let us break THEIR chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off THEIR fetters.’ The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.’ I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’ Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him." Psalm 2:1-12 "David said to Solomon: ‘My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. But this word of the LORD came to me: "You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over israel forever."’" 1 Chronicles 22:7-10 "Then David said to the whole assembly, ‘Praise the LORD your God.’ So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king… Then they acknowledged Solomon son of David as king a second time, anointing him before the LORD to be ruler and Zadok to be priest. So Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king in place of his father David. He prospered and all israel obeyed him. All the officers and mighty men, as well as all of King David's sons, pledged their submission to King Solomon. The LORD highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all israel and bestowed on him royal splendor such as no king over israel ever had before." 1 Chronicles 29:20, 22b-25 Fourth, Adam is God’s son by virtue of the fact that God created him, being his life-giver and Sustainer. In this sense everyone is a child of God since God gives life to and provides for everyone: "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:24-28 Fifth, the reason why peace-makers are called God’s children is because they reflect and share God’s attribute of peace. In other words, the term son is being used here in the sense of one who has a specific characteristic of God (albeit to a limited extent). Jesus, on the other hand, is the unique Son of God: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (ton huion ton monogenee), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life… Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son (tou monogenous huiou tou theou)." John 3:16, 18 The term monogenes literally means of sole descent, only one of its kind, unique (*). Thus, Jesus is the only Son of his kind, God’s Son in a unique manner, Son in a sense that no one else is.(1) Christ’s uniqueness consists of his having the following qualities and characteristics: 1.He bears the very nature of God: "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped," Philippians 2:5-6 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation… For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him," Colossians 1:15, 19 "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." Hebrews 1:3 Christ bearing the nature or form of God and being the very exact representation of God’s being means that he is fully God in essence, that he has every essential attribute of God. This is precisely the point made by both John and Paul in their inspired writings: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (kai theos een ho logos)." John 1:1 John places the word "God" (theos) before the verb "was" (een) in order to stress and emphasize the qualities or nature of the Word. John is basically saying that the Word has all the essential qualities of Deity, possessing the very nature of God. Paul says the same thing when he writes that: "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form," Colossians 2:9 In light of this does it come as a surprise that Jesus is addressed as God or Theos in the NT? "Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’" John 20:28 "Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen." Romans 9:5 "while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ," Titus 2:13 "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:" 2 Peter 1:1 Or that OT prophecy identifies him as the Mighty God? "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6-7 2. He Fully Comprehends and Reveals the Nature of God to man. "At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’" Matthew 11:25-27 "It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father." John 6:45-46 "Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, ‘Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.’" John 7:28-29 "Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:15 "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me." John 17:25 The point that the above references are all making is that since Jesus alone has seen and knows God, due to his intimate relationship as the Son, he alone is qualified and capable of perfectly revealing God to man. In the words of the inspired Evangelist: "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only (monogenes theos), who is at/in the Father's side/bosom, has made him known (exeegeesato). John 1:18 The word exeegeesato, which comes from exeegeomai, means: 1) to lead out, be leader, go before 2) metaph., to draw out in narrative, unfold a teaching a) to recount, rehearse b) to unfold, declare 1) the things relating to God 2) used in Greek writing of the interpretation of things sacred and divine, oracles, dreams, etc. (Source) John is essentially saying that Jesus is the One who explains or interprets God for man, that he is the perfect commentary on God’s nature, which is precisely what he claims in his first epistle: "We know also that the Son of God HAS COME and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." 1 John 5:20 This explains why Jesus could say that to see him is to see the Father: "Then Jesus cried out, ‘When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.’" John 12:44-45 "‘If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.’" John 14:7-11 Noted NT and evangelical scholar Murray J. Harris sums it up best: "Central to the Christian tradition is the belief that God as he is in himself cannot be seen by the physical eye; he is invisible (1 Tim. 1:17; 1 John 4:12). No one has seen him or can see him (1 Tim. 6:16). But equally central is the conviction that, in Christ, God the Father has revealed himself perfectly. Jesus Christ has accurately and comprehensively made visible the invisible nature of God: No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is God and who resides in the Father’s heart– he has revealed him. (John 1:18, my translation) Only the Son who shares the divine nature (cf. John 1:1) is qualified to reveal the Father personally and completely. John’s compound verb (exegesato, ‘he has revealed’) implies the perfection of God’s self-revelation in Christ. In response to Philip’s request. ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us’ (John 14:8), Jesus remarked, ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9). It is not only the apostle John who expresses this view of the role of Jesus. Paul depicts Jesus as ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col. 1:15). That is, he is the exact and visible expression of a God who has not been seen and cannot be seen. Then there is the author of Hebrews, who declares that ‘the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being’ (Heb. 1:3). The two Greek terms in this verse are colorful. Apaugasma (‘radiance’) pictures Christ as the ‘outshining’ or ‘effulgence’ or ‘irradiated brightness’ of God the Father’s inherent glory. Charakter (‘exact representation’) points to Christ as the flawless expression of God’s nature, one who is indelibly stamped with God’s character." (Harris, Three Crucial Questions about Jesus [baker Books, Grand Rapids MI, 1994], pp. 70-71) And: "… John’s point in the verse [John 1:18] is that, although no person on earth can claim to have gained knowledge of God as he is in himself, Jesus Christ, the only Son, has accurately and fully revealed God to humankind, since he himself is God by nature and intimately acquainted with the Father by experience." (Ibid, p. 94; comments within brackets ours) 3. He existed with God before creation and was sent to redeem it: "He was with God in the beginning… He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only (hos monogenous), who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:2, 10-11, 14 "No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.… For God did not SEND his Son INTO the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:13, 17 "Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is HE who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’… Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty… All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.’ At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, "I came down from heaven"?’… ‘I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world… Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever… What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!’" John 6:32-33, 35, 37-42, 47-51, 57-58, 62 "But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me." John 8:16-18 "Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me." John 8:42 "‘Yes, Lord,’ she told him, ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come INTO the world.’" John 11:25-27 "No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father." John 16:27-28 "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." John 17:5 "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by SENDING his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man," Romans 8:3 "But when the time had fully come, God SENT his Son, born of a woman, born under law," Galatians 4:4 "This is how God showed his love among us: He SENT his one and only Son (ton huion autou ton monogenee) INTO the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and SENT his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins… And we have seen and testify that the Father has SENT his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God." 1 John 4:9-10, 14-15 4. He is the Agent and Heir of all creation: "He had one left TO SEND, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard." Mark 12:6-8 "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." Luke 10:22 "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him." John 1:3, 11 "The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands." John 3:35 "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;" John 13:3 "All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you." John 16:15 "All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them." John 17:10 "in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins… For by HIM all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by HIM and for HIM. HE is before all things, and in HIM all things hold together. And HE is the head of the body, the church; HE is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything HE might have the supremacy… And through HIM to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation." Colossians 1:14, 16-18, 20-22 "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." Hebrews 1:1-2 "But about the Son he says… ‘In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.’" Hebrews 1:8a, 10-12 "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:1-3 5. He holds universal sovereignty and rules forever. "Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this." Isaiah 9:7 "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." Daniel 7:13-14 "Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’" Matthew 28:18 "But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ‘I am,’ said Jesus. ‘And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’" Mark 14:61-62 "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." Luke 1:31-33 "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’" Acts 7:55-56 "and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." Ephesians 1:19-21 "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." Ephesians 5:5 "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves," Colossians 1:13 "But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.’" Hebrews 1:8-9 "and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:11 The foregoing makes it abundantly clear that the NT doesn’t place Jesus in the same category as the other children of God, which leads us to our next point. Believers are not children of God by nature but through adoption, which occurs as a result of trusting in God’s unique Son: "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." John 1:12-13 "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you… because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Romans 8:9-11, 14-17 "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3:26-29 "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 5:1-5
  21. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    For me it is a fraud due to the authors misunderstanding of Greek. In the introduction he calls Jesus, Christ but then says that Jesus wasn't the Messiah. In Greek Christ means Messiah. I haven't read the book, though, this is secondhand information. Please correct me if I am wrong.
  22. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    Yes as I've shown you through the testimony of their students, the Apostles believe in the Holy Trinity. I remember reading a letter by Mary to one of the Early Church Fathers where she offers to teach him the message of Jesus. Also the doctrine of the Trinity can be illustrated as I have attempted to show earlier in this very thread. And it is not accepted blindly but is accepted on the authority of Jesus and His Apostles.
  23. Muslim-Christian Debate, Here

    It is assumed to be Yahweh. The word was considered too holy to say or write by the Ancient Jews and we have only this shortened version left. In truth we only know that in English His name means I Am Who Am or I Am. As I said earlier most Christians call Him God or one of His titles.