An Objection by a Shi'a Muslim about the Holy Trinity

I been having some religious discussions with a good friend of mine both of us are devout to our faith but discussing with him the Trinity he gave me the following objection towards the end of our discussion which really stump me

Here’s his exact words in a text

“”""It’s not that the Father gave the son something that makes him greater than the son. It’s -what- He gave the Son, which was authority over creation, to the point where Jesus said explicitly he can’t do anything without the Father’s Will being behind it.

In Shi’a Islam we call this concept Wilayat Takwineeyah, which has varying degrees, too. This means Authority over the Universe. This means God has granted certain individuals authority over the atoms of the Universe, so that they can do miracles (like multiplying fish and bread, turning water into other substances, etc., raising the dead, healing people’s blind eyes, etc.) This is specified that this isn’t their own power, but the power of God behind this and God is using them as a medium

If Jesus and the Father were consistently and truly always equal with each other, then at no point in time would Jesus have been subjected to the Father’s Authority and power, whether human or not

Especially considering there are no scriptural instances of Jesus having power over the father"""""

End quote can some of you guys help me , I told him I don’t have the answer but I’ll find it

God from true God and God became man and dwelt among us, Jn1:1-14.

[Phili2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ **Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.]

[Jn5:19 Then answered **Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.]

God the Son, equal to the Father, became man. Christ had two natures divine and human he lived as a normal human being on earth humbling himself. As a man he was like us in all things but sin. As a man He had to learn as we learn. As a man He could do nothing he did not see the Father do. If the Father did not reveal, let him see, the hour as a man he could not know the hour. The hour is something a man could not learn it must be revealed by God.

But that doesn’t help me answer the last part of his objection of The Father and Son being co-Equals

36

Use John1:1 & 14 the word was with God and the word was God. 14 the word became flesh and dwelt among us. Also in my above post see [Phili2:5 **Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Also in the Koran it describes the Trinity as God and partners. It is an error. There is only one God. Within the one being of God are three co-equal indivisible persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Not three gods or one God and partner gods.

: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Also in the Koran it describes the Trinity as God and partners. It is an error. There is only one God. Within the one being of God are three co-equal indivisible persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Not three gods or one God and partner gods.

What I’m looking for is an answer to give as to why Christ and God are equal
He’s saying if they are equal then Jesus wouldn’t have to be given authority or anything else from the Father cause in his equality with him he’ll already have it

The CCC does not use the word equal concerning the Father and the Son. It says the Father and Son are one in nature or substance, CCC 255. The Creed also says the Son was begotten not made. God made all things(creations), but the Son was begotten by God. That means the Son is God.

Like you are human and so is your son. Because your son was begotten by you, not made by you.

We have to remember that there is a hierarchy of sorts within the Trinity Himself.

The Trinity is equal in Nature, but in relation between each other, the Father is prior to the Son and Spirit.

The easiest way I would put it to your friend is that Christ Himself refered to Himself by the Name of God, yet He had authority over nature. In this case, the Trinity is the theory that balances between the fact that Christ is God, yet is subordinate to the Father.

All descriptions of God are analogical!!!

Christi pax,

Lucretius

Thats a poor way of putting it since Christ is eternal he wasn’t begotten like man
He has always existed

The Athanasius Creed says they are all co-equal if they weren’t it wouldn’t be one God

Nope. The Trinity…Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all one and eternal. One has never existed without the other. Jesus IS God…always has been and always will be. God did NOT exist prior to Jesus. Nor was there a time when the Holy Spirit did NOT exist.

Ultimately, it is a mystery that no one can completely know but we can ponder certain aspects to it. Jesus Himself said that before everything else existed, he did.

Okay, bad example. I found this from Tim Staples:

He is also said to proceed from the Father as “the Word” in John 1:1. This “generative” procession is one of “begetting,” but not in the same way a dog “begets” a dog, or a human being “begets” a human being.** This is an intellectual “begetting,” and fittingly so, as a “word” proceeds from the knower while, at the same time remaining in the knower.** Thus, this procession or begetting of the Son occurs within the inner life of God. There are not “two beings” involved; rather, two persons relationally distinct, while ever-remaining one in being.

The Athanasius Creed says: (among other things)

He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He
is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God,
perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the
Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father
as touching His
Manhood.

The one rebuttal that you need is this: it was Christ’s death that atoned for the sins of the world. If God wanted to assign specific supernatural powers to Christ just for miracles, that wouldn’t make Christ’s death, who in this framework is a creation of God rather than God Himself, sufficient to atone for the sins of mankind. :shrug:

But of course, you see, in Islam, it isn’t Jesus who was killed on the cross, so that’s conveniently swept under the rug. :confused:

apostolic-churches.net/bible/strongs/ref/?stgh=greek&stnm=2758

Read the above link to Strong’s Greek Definition for # 2758=kenoo the Greek word translated as " of no reputation" in the KJV I posted.

See the AMP Bible and read at lest 2Phili 2:6-8 for better understanding
Christ stripped himself of his power as God to live totally as man. As man he relied on God the Father, as all human beings must. Yet He was equal to the Father as many scriptures tell us.

Strictly speaking as God Jesus did not need authority from the Father but he wanted to live as all human beings and depend on God the Father he emptied himself of his prerogative as God humbly living as an ordinary human being. Being dependent and obedient to God the Father as man.

Read the above link to Strong’s Greek Definition for # 2758=kenoo the Greek word translated as " of no reputation" in the KJV I posted.

legacy.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians2&version=AMP

See the AMP Bible and read at lest 2Phili 2:6-8 for better understanding
Christ stripped himself . Yet He was equal to the Father as many scriptures tell us.

The following is a correction of my above post #14:

Strictly speaking as God Jesus did not need authority from the Father but he wanted to live as all human beings and depend on God the Father he emptied himself of his prerogative as God humbly living as an ordinary human being. Being dependent and obedient to God the Father as man.

[apostolic-churches.net/bible/strongs/ref/?stgh=greek&stnm=2758]](http://www.apostolic-churches.net/bible/strongs/ref/?stgh=greek&stnm=2758])

Read the above link to Strong’s Greek Definition for # 2758=kenoo the Greek word translated as " of no reputation" in the KJV I posted.

See the AMP Bible and read at lest Phili 2:6-8 for better understanding.

Christ stripped himself of his prerogatives as God to live totally as man. As man he relied on God the Father, as all human beings must. Yet He was equal to the Father as many scriptures tell us.

legacy.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians2&version=AMP

I don’t think that we can fully understand this because of the concept of eternity. With the Father, Son and Holy Spirit nothing new has ever occurred in eternity. There was never “a time” when the Son did not have authority. He had, has, will have everything in perfect sharing with the Father. Time does not exist in eternity, there was never a “moment” when the Father gave the Son something new. However, when the Son became a man, there was an emptying of the Son’s glory so that He could step down into humanity. I believe that when He says authority has been given to Him by the Father is reflective of His humanity (not His equality with God in His Divinity). He is saying that we can trust that the Father in heaven has anointed Him, a man Who is also One with the Father, with authority and power.

I’m don’t think a Muslim will honor the Scriptures as true but rather they sort of pick and choose what they think is true based on the quran. However, Philippians 2:6-8 (already cited) provides some insight. Also, Jesus flat out makes the claim to be God when He said, “Before Abraham was I AM”. This use of the Divine Name was not lost on the Jews who immediately wanted to stone Him. Also, He says “the Father and I are one” in John 10:30

The Father begets the Son. The Father is, in a way, first in order of primacy (but not in time), though the Son is no less in substance, a perfect image of His Father… The only difference is in their relationship. If only human families expressed such unity! Should not a Son seek to obey his Father, should his Father be perfect, in all things? Catholics do stress a patriarchal relationship in the Trinity. I have not studied it greatly, but Orthodox refer to a “monarchy of the Father.” They are co-equal in substance, in being co-eterenal, but in God the Father may be considered the authority in relational terms (though never in His actual nature, in which the Son and Holy Spirit are equal).

Many muslims when debating this point also start speaking as if Christians do not believe God is one being. We believe God is one.

I don’t mean prior in the temporal sense. The Son is eternal. I mean the Father is prior to the Son because the Father begots and the Son is begotten. The Father is prior to the Spirit because the Father breaths and the Spirit is breathed.

It makes no sense to talk of that which begots without relation to that which is begotten, yet that which begots is still “active” or first, while that which is begotten is still “passive” or second. That is the “hierarchy” I speak of. A hierarchy of relations, not of essences.

The Father begots the begotten Son eternally, and the Father breaths the breathed Spirit eternally.

Christi pax,

Lucretius

Jesus said He and the Father are One. He said if you see Me you see the Father.

Jesus said, before abraham was I AM. I AM was the Jewish Name for God.

your muslim friend knows nothing about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. that your muslim friend’s conclusions are based on ignorance is the best argument for rejecting his understanding.

however, this might lead him to think further about the Trinity. the Father is the ungenerated Person, the Divine Person with no origin. the Son proceeds from the Father and is generated by the Father before creation, the Divine Person that is generated by the Father. that is why the Son shares the Father’s nature completely and without distinction.

God could not be called Father if He had no eternal Son.

if God were one Person, there could not be a creation because there would be no principle of generation in eternity.

I think this discussion (of the OP) is interesting.

However, the OP should bear in mind that his Muslim inquirer is operating under certain “first principles.” Based on his questions, if the OP can sound their depth, he may be able to deduce what they are. These first principles may not even be consciously known to the Muslim inquirer. But establishing what they are will be a true exercise in really listening to what he says. It may help the dialog along as well, if the Muslim inquirer recognizes your real interest in what motivates his beliefs.

What are first principles? "A first principle is a basic, foundational proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption. "

IOW, it is not provable, but is an assumption that all further knowledge depends on.

For example: the Muslim assumes as a first principle that Mohammed is the greatest and the last prophet. He also assumes that the Christian Bible is corrupt and full of errors.

He can’t prove these things, but it will make discussion impossible if he is unwilling to suspend his first principles (for the sake of argument at least.) :wink:

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