Explaining the Trinity to a Muslim -- By: Daniel Janosik

Journal: Christian Apologetics Journal
Volume: CAJ 04:2 (Fall 2005)
Article: Explaining the Trinity to a Muslim
Author: Daniel Janosik

Explaining the Trinity to a Muslim

Daniel Janosik

The “mathematics” of the Trinity seems to baffle Muslims! How can 1+1+1=1? This point is illustrated by reviewing the words of Mish’al ibn Abdullah, a Muslim author. Abdullah defines the Trinity as:

the merging of three entities into one similar entity while remaining three distinct entities. In other words: Three bodies fold, blend, or merge into one body so that they become one entity while at the same time exhibiting the characteristics of three distinct and separate entities.1

He then goes on to give a caricature of the way the Trinity inter-relates by wondering how “one” can be “three.” He quotes Isa. 43:10–11 which states that there is only one God, and then says that this is inconsistent with the Christian belief that Jesus died on the cross. As he reasons, if Jesus is God and He died on the cross, then God died on the cross. But since God cannot die and it was only Jesus who died, then Jesus must be separate from God. In other words, how can God be both one and three at the same time? Another example

he uses is “when God is described as having ‘begotten’ a son it is not the ‘Trinity’ nor Jesus (pbuh) which has begotten, but a distinctly separate being from the other two.”2

Abdullah is a reflection of the manner in which Muslims approach the Trinity. From his writings it becomes very apparent that he does not comprehend what Christians mean by the Trinity. In a way, Christians can relate, for to them the doctrine of the Trinity is very much a mystery and beyond our comprehension. However, it is also a truth revealed by God and a reasonable doctrine. The Trinity can be explained in an understandable way and the thrust of this article is, therefore, to present an approach to explaining the Trinity to a Muslim.

In order to clearly understand the Muslim apologetic, this article reviews the works of two Muslim apologists who have had a tremendous amount of influence on the thinking of Muslims today, especially in relation to Jesus Christ. They are Ahmed Deedat3 and Jamal Badawi. Deedat is very forthright in his contempt for Christianity since it espouses what he believes to be the “greatest sin,” to equate Jesus with God. He cannot accept Jesus Christ as deity and says boldly that “to say that Jesus is God or Son of God is not only a mockery of Godhood, but blasphemy of the lowest order and an insult to the intelligence of man....

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