Tag Archives: Christianity

The Easter Paradox

As it is Easter, I thought I’d just do a quick write up on why the Christian onto-theological model of God does not find much mileage in Islam. One of the classic go-to arguments by our Christian brothers and sisters is to argue that only the human nature suffered, not the divine nature. The reason this is argued is to circumvent the law of non-contradiction. What is the law of non-contradiction?

A cannot be A and not-A at the same time.

To circumvent this, we are told Jesus has two natures, so he suffered in one nature (the human nature or A) and didn’t suffer in another nature (the divine nature or B). On the surface this may seem like a reasonable response, until you break it down into notation form:

Jesus the Person {(divine nature), (human nature)}

In other words, Jesus, the 2nd Person of the Trinity and therefore God, can be said to have suffered, to say otherwise is to deny the personhood of Jesus in totality as the Trinitarian schema is presented to us. Calvinists in particular are fond of this argument but as RC Sproul has noted, other Christians accuse them of being Nestorians by dividing Jesus into two persons, a human person and a divine person. Those who argue in the form that Calvinists and most other popular Christian speakers do, fall prey to being declared apostates:as per the Council of Ephesus (431 CE):

If anyone distributes between the two persons or hypostases the expressions used either in the gospels or in the apostolic writings, whether they are used by the holy writers of Christ or by him about himself, and ascribes some to him as to a man, thought of separately from the Word from God, and others, as befitting God, to him as to the Word from God the Father, let him be anathema.

We can abstract this ontological model even further:

One Divine Being {(Father), (Son), (Holy Spirit)}

In this rendition, we can also say the Divine Being also suffered, as we are told each member of the Godhead is fully divine. Meme-ified we see:

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And:

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and God knows best.

A Bible for Slaves

A unique part of history, a terrifying part of history that shows how the Bible was used to justify slavery. It’s entitled, “Parts of the Holy Bible selected for use of the Negro Slaves in the British West-India Islands”. Shocking to say the least.

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Click to Enlarge

This Bible is said to have omitted themes of slavery, so passages from the Book of Exodus were removed. It is currently housed at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.

and God knows best.

Pagan Influences in Christian Theology

I recently read from a budding South African theologian of Ad Lucem Ministries that the New Testament’s concept of God is not based on Graeco-Roman philosophy. Yet this does not seem to be the case…(see attached photo), Acts 17:28 (NIV):

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It is quite peculiar that the New Testament uses the term “ειμι” (to exist) for God but never in the present participle form of “ὤν” (being). What’s interesting is that New Testament’s translators continue to replace in their translations “ειμι” for “ὤν” in English, almost as if the allegedly inspired texts in and of themselves use insufficient language…

We see further examples of a dependency on Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics in Philippians 2:6, where “μορφε” (form) is translated as “nature or essence”, a completely Platonic-Aristotelian pre-Christian concept in philosophy, referring to the “material whole”.

The Trivium Final

This is why in Christianity, God who is a “ουσια” (substance) can also be immanent, because it fits into the Aristotelian pre-Christian concept of an “accident” (a substance that exists in another substance), i.e. God (a being) in flesh (another substance). This can also be seen in the sense of passion, from the “Praedicamenta”/ 10 Categories of Being, where God (a being) uses a form and thus can experience pain in one sense and not in other because this Being can distinguish between itself (read as quantitatively, therefore “Persons” in the Godhead) and can have various forms (read as qualitatively) hence the hypostatic union.

The Trivium Final

While some Christian apologists deny these dependencies on Platonic-Aristotelian pre-Christian philosophies, by using these terms, they are implying an already understood meaning, which in this case would be the predominant Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics for their onto-theology of “God”.

It should be noted that this is the reasoning behind Justin Martyr’s statement of:

“And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound NOTHING DIFFERENT from WHAT YOU BELIEVE regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.”

Source: Justin Martyr, The First Apology, Chapter 21.

Some apologists have argued that Justin was using “hyperbole”, this is an ignorant claim, without understanding of basic Graeco-Roman metaphysics.

and Allah knows best.

Upcoming Debate: Br. Yusuf Ismail and Pastor Fluech

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To contact IPCI for further details, please see their Facebook page. We have requested details about a possible livestream and we have received information that there most likely will be one. As soon as we get any further information we’ll share it, and we’ll also post the link to our social media pages.

The time for the debate for those of us outside of South Africa is as follows:

  • London, UK – 4 PM.
  • New York, USA – 11 AM.
  • Port of Spain, Trinidad – 12 Noon.
  • Lahore, Pakistan – 9 PM.

and God knows best.

The Changes to the First Words in the New Testament

Last month I published a paper on how the very first words in the New Testament evolved over time. It was entitled, “The Inscriptio of the Gospel Attributed to Matthew.” Today we have produced a 2 minute video that simplifies and summarizes the research from that research paper:

Alternative YouTube Link: Click Here.

For more information, you can see a quick 15 minute talk on how the Old Testament was corrupted (including the Shema Yisrael!). To view or download the presentation slides from the 15 minute video, please click here.

To download or read the paper mentioned in this post, please click here.

and God knows best.

Missionary Mishap: Sam Shamoun and Reaction Formation

I came across this post on Facebook and immediately cringed because Sam Shamoun was demonstrating a psycho-social phenomenon that is quite easily identifiable. Let’s take a quick look at his post:

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Consider his argument:

  • If x says not y, I do y.
  • If Ehrman says don’t use the KJV, I use the KJV

In psychology this is called reaction formation:

Reaction formation is a type of defense mechanism in which a person acts in the exact opposite manner to his own disturbing or socially unacceptable thoughts or emotions. This behavior is often unconscious and appears exaggerated, perhaps in an effort to overcompensate for the embarrassment, guilt or repulsion the person feels regarding his private thoughts.

By using reaction formation, one’s self-identity remains “safe” as the ego is kept in ignorance of the person’s true motives. For example, a highly religious man with lustful urges toward women might react with exaggerated disgust upon seeing a woman in revealing clothes, or he may go into long lectures about modesty. Or a woman who harbors racist feelings may go out of her way to be overly kind to people of another race. Or a man who fears that he is falling in love with his new girlfriend begins to pick fights and lash out at her in anger.

Behavior due to reaction formation is often extremely exaggerated, compulsive and inflexible. These behaviors don’t vary due to changes in emotion as do natural behaviors. For example, a father who feels guilt at resenting his child may go above and beyond to express showy love to the child under all circumstances. These behaviors based on fake emotions are often easy to spot. Therapists often observe reaction formation in patients who claim to strongly believe in something and become vehemently angry at everyone who disagrees.

Does the last line remind you of anyone?

and God knows best.

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