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11.19.2005    |    Subtraction
In yesterday's post, Parsing the Trinity, I raised the notion that my understanding of the Oneness that is God is helped by thinking of the Trinity as the product of three Ones. As against thinking of it as resulting from some addition of of three entities.

Also posited is something I know as ground truth: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is very much the same God of His Son Jesus who became our Christ. Not mentioned is the God of the Muslims, "Allah."

Most apologists for this desert heresy will mumble things like, "'Allah' is just the Arabic word for God," or, the lie, that Islam is one of the "three great Abrahamic faiths." Worst informed are those who state that Islam is yet another "religion of the Book", by which they (at least Christians and Jews who say these things) mean the Holy Bible.

Firstly, "Allah" may translate as "god." But not "God," as in YHWH*. The word may be the same, but their concept of God is so different as to be unrecognizable. How so? Because Islam engaged in subtraction of God's revelation. Muslims incorporated a literal denial of Isa's (Jesus) divine nature. Then they also completely edited the Hebrew Scriptures to show that, somehow, Abraham's patrimony did not extend through Isaac, but through Ishmael.

Muslims, in short, subtracted from what we Christians know to be the Holy Scriptures, in ways that destroyed God's revelation. This is substantially different than the Jews rejection of the revelation of the Messiah, Jesus. Jews simply said, we're going to wait and see about the Messiah; we don't accept Jesus. Their Scriptures remain our Scriptures; we've just added some revealed truth. It is no accident that the Jews will be given first crack at the Throne, when Jesus returns.

As for members of all three faiths being that "People of the Book," this is only true if you use the more accurate concept that Islam regards Judaism and Christianity as faiths based on a book. Not the Book.

The Hebrew Scriptures remain God's Word, incomplete. God completed the Scriptures by the sending of His Son, and revealing His purpose. Which, through the agency of God's Holy Spirit, Christianity has now captured and completed God's Bible.

*As a side note, obervant Jews pronounce the Tetragram YHWH adonai, which literally means "my lord" in Hebrew, but is used as a stand-in for the unpronouncable name of God in the Torah.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.