Theology and apologetics
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In this third installment, I am going to be reviewing Zakariya’s third wave of attack, which is against the gospels as eyewitness testimony.
I have been reviewing Zakariya’s claim that Jesus was not in fact crucified, as per the Qur’an (4:157), which is defended in chapter 5 of the book. So far we have examined his objections to the gospel authors having written under divine inspiration. In this article, I turn to his next wave of attack, which is against the claim that the crucifixion is foretold in the Old Testament.
Over the course of this and subsequent blog posts, I want to interact with some of the central claims of Abu Zakariya’s book, since I thought it a good opportunity to explore some popular fallacies of thought that occur when people study the Scriptures.
Even if these contradictions turned out to lack possible harmonization, at best the only outcome would be that we might be compelled to revise our understanding of inspiration or inerrancy. It would in no wise detract from the central truth claims of the Christian faith.
The New Testament is rich with allusions to the Hebrew Scriptures. Regrettably, in modern Christendom, we are largely ignorant of much of the Old Testament, and so these allusions are lost on us. When they are discovered, however, they help to illuminate the Bible’s teachings on the nature of Jesus Christ.
Tuggy’s rebuttal was high on rhetoric but lacking in substance. He, moreover, thoroughly misrepresents the position of Trinitarians such as myself. Tuggy’s assertions notwithstanding, the book of Acts — and in particular Peter’s sermon here in Acts 2 — is thoroughly Trinitarian.
Biblical Unitarian Dale Tuggy published an article at his blog in which he argues that belief in the doctrine of the Trinity and deity of Christ are not definitional to the gospel, and are not essential for salvation. After all, Tuggy, points out, Peter in his proclamation to the Jews in Acts 2 makes no mention of those doctrines.
One favorite proof-text among Muslims and Unitarians who deny the deity of Jesus is John 14:28, in which Jesus declares that “The Father is greater than I.” Is this a denial on the part of Jesus to be God?
The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1:24, identifies Christ as “the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Is Paul here identifying Christ with the personification of wisdom that we find in Proverbs 8? If he is, does this entail that, in Paul’s theology, Christ is a created being?