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Trinity and Islam

Here's a talk I gave at the Plymouth University mission earlier this year.  It was entitled "Three in One, have Christians got God right?"  We invited the Islamic Society along, so it definitely had a Muslim audience in mind (though the talk is not exclusively pitched at that audience).

Here's the introduction...

Listen to two very different voices from very different times and places.  They have one thing in common - a deep dislike of the Doctrine of the Trinity:

The first is from Thomas Jefferson:

“When we shall have done away with the incomprehensible jargon of the Trinitarian arithmetic, that three are one and one is three; when we shall have knocked down the artificial scaffolding, reared to mask from view the simple structure of Jesus; when, in short, we shall have unlearned everything which has been taught since his day, and got back to the pure and simple doctrines he inculcated, we shall then be truly and worthily his disciples.”  Thomas Jefferson

The second is from the Quran:

Allah is one, he does not beget nor is he begotten and there is none like him.  Surah 112

Do not say ‘Three’  Surah 4:171

No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold each god would have taken away what he had created and lorded it over the others!  Surah 23:91

Incredibly different times, places and cultures.  But a real unity on this issue - they find the Trinity incomprehensible, if not blasphemous.

But tonight I want to say that the Trinity is the only thing that will make sense of your world, yourself and of God himself.  You might think that the Trinity doesn't make sense.  I want to say that without the Trinity life doesn't make sense.

Let me begin by asking you a question, What do you think was there 'in the beginning'?...


Powerpoint Slides (these would be helpful if you want to listen, or if you want a quick view of the talk)


5 thoughts on “Trinity and Islam

  1. Larry

    But the Qur'an clearly states that there is only one god, and the Qur'an is absolutely true because it comes from Allah. His words cannot be comprimised

  2. abdi

    Jesus was a jew preaching to the jewish people, he went to the synnoquoe, read the Torah and practised Judism. Where did it say that he told the told the Jewish people what they were practising was wrong and that they should worship him as their God.

  3. Paul

    Hello Abdi,

    Your question gets to the heart of the matter. We need to know what Jesus HImself said about all this - and there has been far too much misunderstanding about Jesus. We need to listen to Him in His original context and understand what His words meant to the people who actually heard Him in the Jewish synagogues of His day.

    The confrontations between Jesus and some of the religious teachers of the day are some of the most explosive and exciting parts of the eye-witness accounts of His life and teaching.

    One of my favourite bits comes when Jesus has healed a man on the Sabbath. Jesus gets into a conversation where Jesus literally states that everything that He was doing was literally exactly what God the Father did. Jesus said that His work is identical to God's work - that He does nothing of a personal or private nature but that He only does exactly what God does!

    The religious leaders from the synagogue were pretty shocked because they could see that Jesus was equal with God - yet instead of backing down from such a massive claim, Jesus pushed it even further and, as Glen said, Jesus said that it is impossible to honour God unless we first honour Jesus as God.

    John 5:16-23 -- "...because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him."

    Abdi, whether we worship the LORD Jesus or not, it is important for us to recognise that Jesus really did clearly state that He is fully equal with the Most High God who sits enthroned in the heavens. We might find that hard to fit into our current systems of belief or our assumptions but that seems to be the consistent message from the real, historical Jesus of Nazareth.


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