There are what might be called tropes in Mushtaq’s responses to me, which is why, rather than answer points seriatim which appear in various points in his long answers, I have preferred to deal with them by theme.
Thus, when I show him, as the last few posts have, that the same Church which gave us the Canon also gave us the Scriptures and must, therefore, be presumed to know how to read them, we get two kinds of answer: one, dealt with in the last post is that the real church died out with the disciples, which, as we have seen, would be to call Jesus a liar, since He said His Church would always prevail. The other is to offer answers such as these (the italics are Mushtaq’s words):
Answer 1: (Unitarian Christians have correct meanings of father, son and holy Spirit)
Baptise in name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit doesn’t mean baptize in name of three persons of Trinity or three members of Triune God. Since Bible uses Father in meaning of Creator, Son in meaning of Loved One, and Holy Spirit in meaning of angel.
This does not stand up. Unitarians are not Christians, they do not believe in the God which His Church understands; to cite them as evidence that the Church does not understand its own Book would be like me citing Evangelical protestants as a source for saying the Koran is wrong. The NT, as John’s Gospel and Paul and Matthew all show us, uses the words Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to describe different aspects of the One God; Mushtaq’s eisegesis about ‘loved one’ and ‘creator’ have no place in Christian theology.
Another of Mushtaq’s tropes we have already seen, and that is the need to remove from the NT parts of Scripture that cannot be read in any way other than a Trinitarian one – hence the insistence that in some way John’s Gospel is not genuine; this was deal with earlier.
Another example of this is his comment here ‘Answer 2 -(Mark 16:9-20 has been expunged in many Bibles)’. He clearly means Matthew, and no orthodox Bible omits those verses, and even if they did, there are so many other passages, the very ones which, as links on the previous posts have shown, prompted the Fathers’ long discussions, which point to the Trinity, that the only way to maintain the Islamic position is to butcher the NT, and/or insist the Church died, and/or insist Islam knows better. This is not apologetics, it is working from a set of propositions designed to work with people with no background in theology or Patristics or Church history; which is why it isn’t working here.
Another trope is t show that a Greek word can have many meanings when translated, as though that were not self evident. So, with the unique word ‘Paraclete’, Mushtaq points out it has many translated meanings and lists them:
Summing up all above, it is clear that there are lots of meanings of Paraclete available, whihc one is the exact true meaning, nobody knows.
Which misses the point entirely, of course. The Church founded by Jesus, which is still with us, as Jesus promised it would be, is clear. If Muslims wish to know the Truth, they should convert and then these things, which are hidden from heretics and non-believers, would be clear. Yes, Mushtaq, there is an authority, God, speaking through His Church has told us. Join us and you, too, will have that blessing.
A final trope is the one we sometimes see elsewhere here, which is to point out that in the ancient world there were religious practices which are not too far different from those of the early church, and then, is breath-taking leap of illogic, imply that means that the Christians adopted pagan practices; you don’t need to demonstrate this, you just assert it. Thus, Mushtaq provides us with: ‘37 TRIPLE DEITIES / TRIADS IN PAGANS’, all of which are true, and none of which have anything to do with Christianity. The Trinity comes, as the articles here to which I have referred him, from the attempts by the early church to understand how ‘Father, Son and Holy Ghost’ could be one God and not three – something our poor Muslim friends still cannot grasp,
A final trope of this technique is to take passages from the Apostolic Fathers, writing when the discussions were in their early stages, and then to insist beause they did not have a fully-developed Trinitarian theology, they were not Trinitarians. The most common example is the one Mushtaq uses, which is to choose Polycarp ad show he does not use the word ‘Trinity’. But all this has been explained at length on this blog here, and here, as well as here, with further dialogue here and also here, not to mention Geoffrey’s excellent piece here, all of which show how the search of the early Church to fully comprehend who Jesus was, took more than three centuries, so to say that Polycarp did not fully understand what St Cyril did is true, but irrelevant. To say, as Mushtaq does that Polycarp was the disciple of John who wrote of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. No one else in Scripture is written of in this way, not Adam, not anyone, is simply to deny that elsewhere we are told that Jesus said to baptise in the name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and to imply that John’s Gospel is not Scripture. Of course, that leads us, in circularity, to his main trope, which is to insist that the words do not mean what the Church founded by Jesus says they mean.
He claims the early Fathers were unitarian, but that is to read them from outside the tradition of which they were part. Equally, to cite, as Mushtaq does, a set of verses from Scripture and claim they do not mean what the Church says, is to assert oneself as better qualified to comment than the Church – and so it goes on in a vast circle of illogic.
The requirement for salvation is that you believe in Jesus. Who is Jesus? Well here and here are the answers which explain that His Church understands Him as the Second Person of the Trinity. Step outside the Grace of God’s Church and, as Jesus told us, these things will be hidden from you. If Mushtaq will stop trying to show us that Islam, which knows nothing of Christ and His Truth, knows better, and he will humble himself to receive the Truth, all these things will be revealed to him. I pray for him and his conversion to the One True Faith.