In this segment, Dr. Badawi repeats his already familiar objections to the Trinity as well his misquotations of the Bible and misinterpretations of history. William Channing is also highlighted in this segment. William Channing was a brilliant man and an outspoken opponent of slavery and child labor. I do not agree with Channing's interpretation of the Bible, however, I can not imagine that he would be pleased with Dr. Badawi's attempt to use his ideas to promote Islam - a philosophy which he did not accept. In fact, Channing said in Love to Christ that Jesus [not Muhammad] was God's greatest gift to mankind. It should also be noted that Channing once said:
and I am sure that he was referring to all faiths [including Islam] when he said this!
Jamal Badawi: He came to North America. He was born in 1718 and came to Boston when he was 23 years old. He did not accept the Trinity but did not say it in public. He was accused of spreading Unitarianism and said that he is teaching about God and not teaching the Trinity. He said that the New Testament is based on the Old Testament and is a continuation. God does not contradict himself. He believed that God gave us a rational nature and will hold us accountable as rational beings. He believed in the doctrine of God's unity. The Bible did not convey any more that what it said.
As I have discussed in earlier segments, and will continue to discuss in this as well as future segments, the Bible contains proof of the Trinity in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Channing, and most modern Unitarians, place great emphasis on human reason and they tend to reject ideas which are not rational. That is why Channing, as well as modern Unitarians, do not accept Islam as a rational world view.
Jamal Badawi: He said that he objected to the doctrine of the Trinity because it affects the unity of God by claiming that there are three infinite persons sharing supreme divinity. Which of these the particular consciousness? Each plays a part in redemption. The Son is mediator, the Father sends the Son. We have three intelligent beings with different role, consciousness, and perceptions doing different acts. It this does not mean that there are three minds, how do we understand this? He said that Bible says that God sent the Son and anointed Him. He challenged his opponent where did the Bible say that God is three? He said that Christianity came up in an era of short sighted enemies. In the writings of the early Church Fathers, there is no mention of the Trinity.
Issue 1: The Bible calls the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit God. I believe that we all have a free will and are able to accept or reject what we please - including the Bible. However, I believe that it is dishonest to claim that the Bible (or any other book) denies an idea which it clearly states.
The Bible clearly says that the Father is God Philippians 1:2:
the Son is God in John 1:1,14 and Colossians 2:9:
and the Holy Spirit is God Acts 5:3-4:
Issue 2: We are redeemed and sanctified by the Father (1 Thessalonians 5:23), Son (Hebrews 2:11), and Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:2).
Issue 3: The early Church Fathers DID mention the Trinity
I apologize for repeating myself, however, I must repeat the truth since Dr. Badawi has repeated a falsehood. The early Church Fathers DID mention the Trinity, or triune nature of God.
Polycarp (70-155/160 AD). Bishop of Smyrna. Disciple of John the Apostle:
Justin Martyr (100?-165? AD). Christian apologist and martyr:
Ignatius of Antioch (died 98/117 AD). Bishop of Antioch:
Irenaeus (115-190 AD) - who Dr. Badawi implied was a Unitarian in an earlier segment:
Tertullian (160-215AD) - who Dr. Badawi implied was a Unitarian in an earlier segment:
Origen (185-254 AD) - who Dr. Badawi implied was a Unitarian in an earlier segment:
Jamal Badawi: He said that the concept of Trinity in practice undermines the devotion of God distracting the mind. God's unity offers us one object for worship and love. The Trinity presents us with three divine agents that are worshiped differently. If Jesus is infinite, he is more interesting than the Father because He is an object of worship which is like us. The Trinity makes Jesus more important than the Father because the Father is the repository of justice while the Son is the brightness of the divine mercy standing against the deity and guilty humanity.
No, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are not worshiped differently, because They are One.
Jamal Badawi: Channing said that Jesus was like us except that he was distinct because of his purpose. If we accept the Trinity, we make God three beings and Christ becomes two beings creating infinite confusion. Jesus would have two minds and souls. The human part is far removed from the perfection of the divine. He says that some passage in the Bible indicate the humanity of Jesus, but some claim that some theologians point to passages showing the divine qualities of Jesus. Channing said that the only way around this is to harmonize the two, but where did Jesus speak as God and then as man? He said that there is no such passage. He said that Jesus was always speaking about God, did he mean himself? Did any who heard him speak, have imagined that Jesus was the God that he declared himself to be inferior?
Channing was wrong. In John 20:28 Jesus is referred to as both man and God:
Jesus also declared His own divinity in several other passages:
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." The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked. "You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" They all condemned him as worthy of death.
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Did Jesus object to Peter's statement? No!
Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
Jamal Badawi: He said that Trinitarians denied an important advantage when they looked to Jesus as God because it made an infinite atonement. If Jesus is God, he provides an infinite atonement. When Trinitarians are asked if God suffered and died on the cross, they say that his human body endured the pain. How can we speak of infinite suffering. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Son of Man is infinite? The idea of God becoming a victim is unscriptural. We need no other savior than God. 2 Corinthians 5:10 it says that everyone must appear before judgement, but why if Jesus has offered the infinite atonement? This means that God has lost the prerogative to punish.
The sacrifice of Jesus was made once for all of mankind who are willing to accept this free gift of salvation. Before Jesus died on the cross, He said "it is finished" (John 19:30) - atonement was made at one time and in one place for all who accept Him as Lord and Savior.
What did Jesus mean when he said "It is finished"? Did He mean that His earthly mission was finished? No, the Bible uses the word tetelestai in this passage. What does this term mean? The ancient Greeks wrote this word on tax receipts and other documents to indicate that a debt was paid in full. In our case also, the debt created by our sins has been paid in full. Jesus finished the work of atonement. There are two problems which are solved for us on the cross : the first is atonement (that is to make amends to God for our sins); the second is propitiation (or the turning away of God''s wrath) for our sins. Jesus paid the debt for all sinners on that day outside of Jerusalem. There was, and is, nothing more that needs to be done because Jesus said It is finished - His death is sufficient for salvation.
Jamal Badawi: The U.S. had more religious tolerance. Channing and others were called heretics. Channing and others insisted that the Bible, if reasonably interpreted, would teach divine unity.
As I have said many times, religious persecution is immoral, whether in England centuries ago, or in the Sudan or Pakistan today. I thank God that we have religious freedom in the United States and the western world. People, including Dr. Badawi have the right to be wrong, however, the Bible does support the Christian belief in the Trinity regardless of how many times Dr. Badawi tells us that it does not.
Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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