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The Character of God

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    Ben's Avatar Limited Member
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    The Character of God

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    God, as a perfect being, must be all-loving. The Qur’an says, “On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love” (19:96). So the Qur’an assures us of God’s love for the God-fearing and the good-doers, but he has no love for unbelievers or sinners, as can be seen throughout the Qur’an: God loves not unbelievers, God loves not the impious and sinful, God loves not evildoers, God loves not the proud, God loves not transgressors. Thus, in the Islamic conception, God is not all-loving. His love is partial and has to be merited. The Muslim God loves only those who first love him. Thus, it seems to me that Muslims revere a God who is morally deficient. This is a stark contrast to the all-loving God described in the Bible.

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    'Abd-al Latif's Avatar Super Moderator
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    Re: The Character of God

    The Muslim God loves only those who first love him. Thus, it seems to me that Muslims revere a God who is morally deficient. This is a stark contrast to the all-loving God described in the Bible.
    First, it's not a 'Muslim god'. He is the Lord of all the heavens and the earth and all that exists. Allah is just the arabic word for god.

    Second, are those who are pious and righetous the same as those who are evil and rebelious? No they are not. Even in court the testimony of a previously convicted criminal will hold no weight over a honest respected police officer.

    And third, if god in the bible is all love then what's the concept of hell about and why will people doomed for eternity for rejecting jesus? The concept of love in the bible just provokes emotion, not spirituality, so emotion (i.e love) cannot be used as a basis for religion.
    The Character of God

    And verily for everything that a slave loses there is a substitute, but the one who loses Allah will never find anything to replace Him.”
    [Related by Ibn al-Qayyim in ad-Dâ' wad-Dawâ Fasl 49]


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    Re: The Character of God

    format_quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    God, as a perfect being, must be all-loving. The Qur’an says, “On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love” (19:96). So the Qur’an assures us of God’s love for the God-fearing and the good-doers, but he has no love for unbelievers or sinners, as can be seen throughout the Qur’an: God loves not unbelievers, God loves not the impious and sinful, God loves not evildoers, God loves not the proud, God loves not transgressors. Thus, in the Islamic conception, God is not all-loving. His love is partial and has to be merited. The Muslim God loves only those who first love him. Thus, it seems to me that Muslims revere a God who is morally deficient. This is a stark contrast to the all-loving God described in the Bible.

    Thoughts?


    I hope this video clarifies this issue from both the Christian and Islamic perspective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obwQO...eature=related
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    Jon Paul's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: The Character of God

    format_quote Originally Posted by 'Abd-al Latif View Post
    First, it's not a 'Muslim god'. He is the Lord of all the heavens and the earth and all that exists. Allah is just the arabic word for god.
    I agree with you, however bare in mind many Christian's object to the "Islamic god" and the "Judaic god" as being God because Judaism and Islam do not hold to the Holy Trinity.

    Personally I believe Islam and Judaism keep to the same God with a rather imperfect understanding of Him.

    Second, are those who are pious and righetous the same as those who are evil and rebelious? No they are not. Even in court the testimony of a previously convicted criminal will hold no weight over a honest respected police officer.
    Yes, a pious and righteous man is the same as an evil and rebelious man in that they are both children of God. They are both made in the image and likeness of God, they both have rational and eternal souls and they both have Free Will. That is where the sameness ends, of course. But it's key to my next point.

    And third, if god in the bible is all love then what's the concept of hell about and why will people doomed for eternity for rejecting jesus? The concept of love in the bible just provokes emotion, not spirituality, so emotion (i.e love) cannot be used as a basis for religion.
    Allow me please, to quote St Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Dcotor.

    "God loves all existing things. For all existing things, in so far as they exist, are good, since the existence of a thing is itself a good; and likewise, whatever perfection it possesses. It is known that God's will is the cause of all things. It must needs be, therefore, that a thing has existence, or any kind of good, only inasmuch as it is willed by God. To every existing thing, then, God wills some good. Hence, since to love anything is nothing else than to will good to that thing, it is manifest that God loves everything that exists. Yet not as we love. Because since our will is not the cause of the goodness of things, but is moved by it as by its object, our love, whereby we will good to anything, is not the cause of its goodness; but conversely its goodness, whether real or imaginary, calls forth our love, by which we will that it should preserve the good it has, and receive besides the good it has not, and to this end we direct our actions: whereas the love of God infuses and creates goodness." - Pt. 1 Q. 20 Art. 2 pp. 6, Summa Theologica

    I hope this helps clarify God's love in a Christ (Catholic) conception.

    Regards,
    JP.
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    Re: The Character of God

    'Abd-al Latif, sorry I said the “Muslim God.” My bad…I guess I should have said the “Muslim conception of God.” This seems to be just a niggling point.

    Of course the pious is not the same as the evil-doer. The problem is that Allah loves not the impious and sinful. Over and over again the Qur’an declares that Allah does not love the very people that the Bible says God love so much that he sent his only son to die for them. Thus Allah is not perfectly moral.

    Well, 'Abd-al Latif, people who reject Allah are going to hell, too, so it seems futile to raise this point since it’s consistent in both of our beliefs. The difference, however, is that God, as described in the Bible, loves sinners. God “desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1Timothy 2:4). But as consistent as a drumbeat throughout the Qur’an, Allah loves only those who love him. Allah’s love is partial, but this is inconsistent with the necessary all-loving nature of God, thus making Allah morally deficient.
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    Re: The Character of God

    format_quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    Allah’s love is partial, but this is inconsistent with the necessary all-loving nature of God, thus making Allah morally deficient.
    Jesus love is partial .too


    "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father."
    If you follow Jesus' teachings, God will love you -- otherwise... well, you know. 14:21

    "He that is not with me is against me." 12:30


    15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

    16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be ****ed.


    Jesus will send his angels to gather up "all that offend" and they "shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." 13:41-42, 50


    3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


    1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
    1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.



    All loving God is totally inconsistent with one god who is taking vengeance on those who don't accept his conditions to be saved...



    I don't care of him saying in every page of the New Testament ,
    'I'm all loving God'

    as long as ,by his own acts of vengeance on them those who reject to believe in his gospel , he proves

    'I'm loving God on conditions'


    format_quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    God “desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1Timothy 2:4)
    but He knows that a minority that will accept him, if he is all loving he wouldn't make this condition,rather making salvation without conditions.
    Last edited by Imam; 07-17-2009 at 01:26 PM.
    The Character of God



    (إلزم طريق الهداية و لا يغرنك قلة السالكين و أبعد عن طريق الغواية و لا يغرنك كثرة الهالكين)



    { ادفع بالتي هي أحسن فإذا الذي بينك وبينه عداوة كأنه ولي حميم

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    Ali_008's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: The Character of God


    Brother Ben, I get your point. You see in the Glorious Qur'an wherever you have this "Allah loveth not... " before that statement is an action mentioned like :

    In Surah Al Baqarah (Surah # 2) verse 276:
    Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked.

    In Surah Ale - Imran (Surah # 3) verse 32
    Say: "Obey Allah and His Messenger": But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith.

    In Surah Al A'raf (Surah # 7) verse 31
    O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.

    So Allah Subhaanahu Wa Taala gives us the commandments about what is to be enjoined and what is to be forbidden and he also tells us the consequence of not doing so. Moreover, Allah keeps on repeating in almost every chapter of the Qur'an that he loves those who repent, believe and do righteous deeds. Though Allah clearly states what he dislikes but he also says to us that he doesn't like to punish and hate us in

    Surah An Nisa (Surah # 4 ) verse 147
    What can Allah gain by your punishment, if ye are grateful and ye believe?

    Allah loves all because everything is his creation and it angers him when his creation rebels. And these kind of verses are present in the Bible as well, you see in:

    Psalms 7:11
    God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day.

    Psalms 11:5
    The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.

    Proverbs 6:16-19
    16 There are six things the LORD hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:

    17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that shed innocent blood,

    18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
    feet that are quick to rush into evil,

    19 a false witness who pours out lies
    and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.


    Malachi 1: 2-3
    2 "I have loved you," says the LORD.
    "But you ask, 'How have you loved us?'
    "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" the LORD says. "Yet I have loved Jacob,
    3 but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals."


    Psalsm 5:4-5
    4 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;
    with you the wicked cannot dwell.

    5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
    you hate all who do wrong.


    The Character of God

    If Allah helps you, none can overcome you; and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you? And in Allah (Alone) let believers put their trust.
    Surah Ale Imran : 160

    It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
    The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) climbed up Uhud, accompanied by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan, and the mountain shook with them. He struck it with his foot and said: “Stand firm, O Uhud, for there is no one on you but a Prophet or a Siddeeq or two martyrs.”
    Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3483)

    Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala) does not inspire seeking forgiveness in a slave whom he wishes to punish.
    Ali (RadhiAllahu Anhu)
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    Jon Paul's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: The Character of God

    format_quote Originally Posted by Imam View Post
    Jesus love is partial .too
    No it isn't my friend. For the reasons I gave above.

    "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father."
    If you follow Jesus' teachings, God will love you -- otherwise... well, you know. 14:21
    By love, and the observance of His commandments, that will be perfected in us which He has begun, viz. that we should be in Him, and He in us. And that this blessedness may be understood to be promised to all, not to the Apostles only, He adds, He that has My commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves Me. He that has them in , and keeps them in life; he that has them in words, and keeps them in works; he that has them by hearing, and keeps them by doing; he that has them by doing, and keeps them by persevering, he it is that loves Me. Love must be strewn by works, or it is a mere barren name. As if He said, You think that by sorrowing, as you do, for my death you prove your affection; but I esteem the keeping of My commandments the evidence of love. And then He shows the privileged state of one who loves: And he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him. I will love him, as if now He did not love him. What means this? He explains it in what follows: And will manifest Myself to him, i.e. I love him so far as to manifest Myself to him; so that, as the reward of his faith, he will have sight. Now He only loves us so that we believe; then He will love us so that we see. And whereas we love now by believing that which we shall see, then we shall love by seeing that which we have believed. He promises to show Himself to them that love Him as God with the Father, not in that body which He bore upon earth, and which the wicked saw. For, as after the resurrection He was to appear to them in a body more assimilated to His divinity, that they might not take Him then for a spirit, or a phantom, He tells them now beforehand not to have misgivings upon seeing Him, but to remember that He shows Himself to them as a reward for their keeping His commandments; and that therefore they are bound ever to keep them, that they may ever enjoy the sight of Him.

    "He that is not with me is against me." 12:30
    None of this deminshes God's love for us.

    15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
    None of this deminshes God's love for us all.

    16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be ****ed.
    None of this deminshes God's love for us.

    Jesus will send his angels to gather up "all that offend" and they "shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." 13:41-42, 50
    None of this deminshes God's love for us.

    3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    None of this deminshes God's love for us.

    1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
    1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.
    None of this deminshes God's love for us.

    All loving God is totally inconsistent with one god who is taking vengeance on those who don't accept his conditions to be saved...

    I don't care of him saying in every page of the New Testament ,
    'I'm all loving God'

    as long as ,by his own acts of vengeance on them those who reject to believe in his gospel , he proves

    'I'm loving God on conditions'
    This is where you are wrong, wrong and wrong. So far all you have proved is that people will be punished. You equate punishment with a lack of love which is not the case. I have demonstrated that God being all-loving is a logical and necessary consequence of of His being God. God loving on condition is a fallacy.

    Regards,
    JP.
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    Re: The Character of God

    format_quote Originally Posted by Jon Paul View Post
    No it isn't my friend. For the reasons I gave above..

    Dear jon paul......

    you know why I didn't quote you yet?
    because you(and some other christians here as well) try to reason without Biblical support.......

    I(and most Muslims here as well) usually skip the undocumented assumptions..
    In all your posts (whether here or another threads) you provided not one verse to support your assumptions !

    format_quote Originally Posted by Jon Paul View Post
    You equate punishment with a lack of love which is not the case.
    so you believe that the act of God casting In flaming fire,and for eternity, taking vengeance on them who rejected his gospel, though considered punishment still not a lack of love !!!...

    Isn't that cute?

    I hope next posts you support your ideas by quoting the Bible ,directly .....

    Regards
    Last edited by Imam; 07-17-2009 at 02:19 PM.
    The Character of God



    (إلزم طريق الهداية و لا يغرنك قلة السالكين و أبعد عن طريق الغواية و لا يغرنك كثرة الهالكين)



    { ادفع بالتي هي أحسن فإذا الذي بينك وبينه عداوة كأنه ولي حميم

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    Re: The Character of God

    so Jesus loves you but you still burn in hell if you dont see him as divine? - God also has the wrath of God which nobody should forget.

    Furthermore the bad people are not the same as the people who act morally better - they are different - they choose different paths - therefore they get different rewards.
    Last edited by Zafran; 07-18-2009 at 01:08 AM.
    The Character of God

    Do you think the pious don't sin?

    They merely:
    Veiled themselves and didn't flaunt it
    Sought forgiveness and didn't persist
    Took ownership of it and don't justify it
    And acted with excellence after they had erred - Ibn al-Qayyim
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    Jon Paul's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: The Character of God

    format_quote Originally Posted by Imam View Post
    I hope next posts you support your ideas by quoting the Bible ,directly .....

    Regards
    I am a Catholic and not a Presbyterian or a Baptist. I nor the Church hold with Sola Scriptura.

    Regards,
    JP.
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    Re: The Character of God

    Regarding whether God loves the better morre, I will once again turn to St Thomas Aquinas.

    format_quote Originally Posted by pg. 116, Q. 20 Art. 4 Pt. 1
    Objection 1. It seems that God does not always love more the better things. For it is manifest that Christ is better than the whole human race, being God and man. But God loved the human race more than He loved Christ; for it is said: "He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (Romans 8:32). Therefore God does not always love more the better things.

    Objection 2. Further, an angel is better than a man. Hence it is said of man: "Thou hast made him a little less than the angels" (Psalm 8:6). But God loved men more than He loved the angels, for it is said: "Nowhere doth He take hold of the angels, but of the seed of Abraham He taketh hold" (Hebrews 2:16). Therefore God does not always love more the better things.

    Objection 3. Further, Peter was better than John, since he loved Christ more. Hence the Lord, knowing this to be true, asked Peter, saying: "Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these?" Yet Christ loved John more than He loved Peter. For as Augustine says, commenting on the words, "Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me?": "By this very mark is John distinguished from the other disciples, not that He loved him only, but that He loved him more than the rest." Therefore God does not always love more the better things.

    Objection 4. Further, the innocent man is better than the repentant, since repentance is, as Jerome says (Cap. 3 in Isa.), "a second plank after shipwreck." But God loves the penitent more than the innocent; since He rejoices over him the more. For it is said: "I say to you that there shall be joy in heaven upon the one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance" (Luke 15:7). Therefore God does not always love more the better things.

    Objection 5. Further, the just man who is foreknown is better than the predestined sinner. Now God loves more the predestined sinner, since He wills for him a greater good, life eternal. Therefore God does not always love more the better things.

    On the contrary, Everything loves what is like it, as appears from (Sirach 13:19): "Every beast loveth its like." Now the better a thing is, the more like is it to God. Therefore the better things are more loved by God.

    I answer that, It must needs be, according to what has been said before, that God loves more the better things . For it has been shown (2, 3), that God's loving one thing more than another is nothing else than His willing for that thing a greater good: because God's will is the cause of goodness in things; and the reason why some things are better than others, is that God wills for them a greater good. Hence it follows that He loves more the better things.

    Reply to Objection 1. God loves Christ not only more than He loves the whole human race, but more than He loves the entire created universe: because He willed for Him the greater good in giving Him "a name that is above all names," in so far as He was true God. Nor did anything of His excellence diminish when God delivered Him up to death for the salvation of the human race; rather did He become thereby a glorious conqueror: "The government was placed upon His shoulder," according to Isaiah 9:6.

    Reply to Objection 2. God loves the human nature assumed by the Word of God in the person of Christ more than He loves all the angels; for that nature is better, especially on the ground of the union with the Godhead. But speaking of human nature in general, and comparing it with the angelic, the two are found equal, in the order of grace and of glory: since according to Revelation 21:17, the measure of a man and of an angel is the same. Yet so that, in this respect, some angels are found nobler than some men, and some men nobler than some angels. But as to natural condition an angel is better than a man. God therefore did not assume human nature because He loved man, absolutely speaking, more; but because the needs of man were greater; just as the master of a house may give some costly delicacy to a sick servant, that he does not give to his own son in sound health.

    Reply to Objection 3. This doubt concerning Peter and John has been solved in various ways. Augustine interprets it mystically, and says that the active life, signified by Peter, loves God more than the contemplative signified by John, because the former is more conscious of the miseries of this present life, and therefore the more ardently desires to be freed from them, and depart to God. God, he says, loves more the contemplative life, since He preserves it longer. For it does not end, as the active life does, with the life of the body.

    Some say that Peter loved Christ more in His members, and therefore was loved more by Christ also, for which reason He gave him the care of the Church; but that John loved Christ more in Himself, and so was loved more by Him; on which account Christ commended His mother to his care. Others say that it is uncertain which of them loved Christ more with the love of charity, and uncertain also which of them God loved more and ordained to a greater degree of glory in eternal life. Peter is said to have loved more, in regard to a certain promptness and fervor; but John to have been more loved, with respect to certain marks of familiarity which Christ showed to him rather than to others, on account of his youth and purity. While others say that Christ loved Peter more, from his more excellent gift of charity; but John more, from his gifts of intellect. Hence, absolutely speaking, Peter was the better and more beloved; but, in a certain sense, John was the better, and was loved the more. However, it may seem presumptuous to pass judgment on these matters; since "the Lord" and no other "is the weigher of spirits" (Proverbs 16:2).

    Reply to Objection 4. The penitent and the innocent are related as exceeding and exceeded. For whether innocent or penitent, those are the better and better loved who have most grace. Other things being equal, innocence is the nobler thing and the more beloved. God is said to rejoice more over the penitent than over the innocent, because often penitents rise from sin more cautious, humble, and fervent. Hence Gregory commenting on these words (Hom. 34 in Ev.) says that, "In battle the general loves the soldier who after flight returns and bravely pursues the enemy, more than him who has never fled, but has never done a brave deed."

    Or it may be answered that gifts of grace, equal in themselves, are more as conferred on the penitent, who deserved punishment, than as conferred on the innocent, to whom no punishment was due; just as a hundred pounds [marcoe] are a greater gift to a poor man than to a king.

    Reply to Objection 5. Since God's will is the cause of goodness in things, the goodness of one who is loved by God is to be reckoned according to the time when some good is to be given to him by divine goodness. According therefore to the time, when there is to be given by the divine will to the predestined sinner a greater good, the sinner is better; although according to some other time he is the worse; because even according to some time he is neither good nor bad.
    Regards,
    JP.
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    Re: The Character of God

    What do you want to prove by all such huge post?

    to show whose God loves more and who less?

    if so how does that related with the point under discussion?


    you believe that the act of God casting In flaming fire,and for eternity, punishing with everlasting destruction and taking vengeance on them who rejected his gospel, though considered punishment still not a lack of love...


    And we believe that act of God casting In flaming fire,and for eternity, punishing with everlasting destruction and taking vengeance on them who rejected his gospel, Is both punishment and lack of love..

    If a father punish his son temporarily with some kind of punishment,we may argue he still love his son

    but if he punish taking vengeance on him by casting him in Ernal fire and everlasting destruction,we have to argue though he may loved him once,his act shows without any reasonable doubt he no longer loves him...


    Regards
    The Character of God



    (إلزم طريق الهداية و لا يغرنك قلة السالكين و أبعد عن طريق الغواية و لا يغرنك كثرة الهالكين)



    { ادفع بالتي هي أحسن فإذا الذي بينك وبينه عداوة كأنه ولي حميم

    my blog:

    http://al-azhar7.blogspot.com/
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  17. #14
    'Abd-al Latif's Avatar Super Moderator
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    Re: The Character of God

    format_quote Originally Posted by Jon Paul View Post
    I agree with you, however bare in mind many Christian's object to the "Islamic god" and the "Judaic god" as being God because Judaism and Islam do not hold to the Holy Trinity.
    I'm in a rush right now and I have to go, but we can come back to this topic. Do remind me if I forget. But in short, the trinity was never something revealed to any of the Prophets, including Jesus himself. For further explination view this thread: http://www.islamicboard.com/comparat...vented+trinity

    Personally I believe Islam and Judaism keep to the same God with a rather imperfect understanding of Him.
    It is the same god, just a new Law. There is even a whole chapter dedicated to Mary in the Qur'an and Moses is mentioned countless times.

    If you studied the concept of god in Islam, you would without a speck of a doubt in mind know who god really is. Islam explains god and the concept of god like no false ideology or religion could ever do.

    Yes, a pious and righteous man is the same as an evil and rebelious man in that they are both children of God. They are both made in the image and likeness of God, they both have rational and eternal souls and they both have Free Will. That is where the sameness ends, of course. But it's key to my next point.
    Without any harm or offence intended I'll ask you a rather blunt question.

    Are you going entrust you're beautiful 18 year old daughter who has never had a boyfriend to remain in the company of convicted rapist and serial killer for the summer?

    Or how about we stroll down the police station and ask the them to free the peodophiles from jail and then hire them as baby sitters with your children over the weekend under the pretext of "Being no different then my trusted righteous, pious, priest".

    It's common sense that you would never do this for the simple reason that truth and falsehood cannot ever co-exist.



    Allow me please, to quote St Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Dcotor.

    "God loves all existing things. For all existing things, in so far as they exist, are good, since the existence of a thing is itself a good; and likewise, whatever perfection it possesses. It is known that God's will is the cause of all things. It must needs be, therefore, that a thing has existence, or any kind of good, only inasmuch as it is willed by God. To every existing thing, then, God wills some good. Hence, since to love anything is nothing else than to will good to that thing, it is manifest that God loves everything that exists. Yet not as we love. Because since our will is not the cause of the goodness of things, but is moved by it as by its object, our love, whereby we will good to anything, is not the cause of its goodness; but conversely its goodness, whether real or imaginary, calls forth our love, by which we will that it should preserve the good it has, and receive besides the good it has not, and to this end we direct our actions: whereas the love of God infuses and creates goodness." - Pt. 1 Q. 20 Art. 2 pp. 6, Summa Theologica

    I hope this helps clarify God's love in a Christ (Catholic) conception.

    Regards,
    JP.
    Look into your bible and you'll see that god does not love the evil doers and then we'll talk.
    Last edited by 'Abd-al Latif; 07-17-2009 at 03:28 PM.
    The Character of God

    And verily for everything that a slave loses there is a substitute, but the one who loses Allah will never find anything to replace Him.”
    [Related by Ibn al-Qayyim in ad-Dâ' wad-Dawâ Fasl 49]


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  19. #15
    'Abd-al Latif's Avatar Super Moderator
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    Re: The Character of God

    format_quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    'Abd-al Latif, sorry I said the “Muslim God.” My bad…I guess I should have said the “Muslim conception of God.” This seems to be just a niggling point.
    No problem. But you should know that Muslims only speak about God from what He has said about Himself and not from our personal interpertations. The first chapter in the Qur'an with the first verse says:

    Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds; [Qur'an 1:1]

    And this is what we say about God. He is the same god of the christians and jews. We just refer to Him as Allah because He refers to Himself as that.

    Of course the pious is not the same as the evil-doer. The problem is that Allah loves not the impious and sinful. Over and over again the Qur’an declares that Allah does not love the very people that the Bible says God love so much that he sent his only son to die for them. Thus Allah is not perfectly moral.
    Yes that's true. Wouldn't you hate a killer who killed your family member, or a thief who stole your money? If one's bad qualities excel then he is a bad person and every body knows that bad people have bad intentions so no one loves them.

    Well, 'Abd-al Latif, people who reject Allah are going to hell, too, so it seems futile to raise this point since it’s consistent in both of our beliefs. The difference, however, is that God, as described in the Bible, loves sinners. God “desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1Timothy 2:4). But as consistent as a drumbeat throughout the Qur’an, Allah loves only those who love him. Allah’s love is partial, but this is inconsistent with the necessary all-loving nature of God, thus making Allah morally deficient.
    My point was, god isn't all love. I challenge you to go through the bible and find me a clear cut verse where jesus says "I am god, worship me" and there are other verses that Jesus was praying. He obviously couldn't be praying to himself which means he was praying to god. Now anyone who rejects The Most beneficent (Allah/God) and His law, this is the person who deserves Hell.

    No society ever accepted - let alone loved - evil people simple because their crimes far outweighs they good. As I said in my previous post, good and evil cannot co-exist therefore the pious and righetous deserve to be loved whereas those who are evil and corrupted deserve what they worked for their whole lives.
    The Character of God

    And verily for everything that a slave loses there is a substitute, but the one who loses Allah will never find anything to replace Him.”
    [Related by Ibn al-Qayyim in ad-Dâ' wad-Dawâ Fasl 49]


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  20. #16
    Jon Paul's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: The Character of God

    [QUOTE='Abd-al Latif;1187291]I'm in a rush right now and I have to go, but we can come back to this topic. Do remind me if I forget. But in short, the trinity was never something revealed to any of the Prophets, including Jesus himself. For further explination view this thread: http://www.islamicboard.com/comparat...vented+trinity

    We are not Protestants or Moslems, and so we reject the notion of "Sola Scriptura"- Bible alone or "The Book Alone", we hold to the deposit of the faith (those truths essential for salvation as revealed by God), which have been handed over to the Prophets and Apostle and transmitted both orally (by preaching) and in a written form (the Sacred Scriptures). In fact unlike Islam, the prophets such as Abraham followed what is classified as a Patristic religion, which the Catholic Church holds to today. We look to what those Church Father who went before us had laid down in their writings and in their practices. Hence we look to both the Scriptures and Tradition, holding to that which was taught always, everywhere and by all.

    The word trinity is not explicit in scripture but implicit. Since Christ claimed to be God, and he gives testimony of the Holy Ghost as having divine attributes, it hence becomes clear that we have three divine persons and one almighty God. The fact that word is not in scripture is another proof of the Catholic religion, since we have not tampered with the scriptures to suit the times, but rather understand the scriptures in the manner that Christ had intended them to be understood, namely according to definitive understanding as expounded by the Church which He founded as an infallible guide to salvation (Matt 16:18, Matt 18:18, 1Tim 3:15).

    What we mean by the word Trinity is precisely that Christ is God and that he clearly claimed to be and so He is indeed the third person of the Blessed Trinity.

    It is evident that Christ is God from the fact that He asserts of Himself that which in the Old Testament is said of God alone and thereby makes Himself equal to God. Like God in the Old Testament Christ sends out prophets, seers and doctors of the Law (Matt 23:34, Luke 11:49) and gives to the promise of His assistance (Luke 21:15/Exodus 4:15). Like God in the Old Testament He is Lord of the law and in His own perfection of power he completes and changes certain precepts of the Old Testament Law (Matt 5:21) He also claims to be Lord of the Sabbath (Matt 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5). Like God of the Old Testament he makes a covenant with man (Matt 26:18, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20).

    That Christ claimed to be God is also evident from the fact that He imposes obligations on His disciples, which none but God can impose on men, such as belief in His Person and of a supreme degree of love directed to Himself personally. He wishes to be Himself the content and object of faith (Luke 9:26).

    If you wish to discuss the Trinity furher, I will enter that thread but not just yet. In time, however.

    It is the same god, just a new Law.
    We have different understands of the Nature of God however.

    There is even a whole chapter dedicated to Mary in the Qur'an and Moses is mentioned countless times.
    And?

    Without any harm or offence intended I'll ask you a rather blunt question.

    Are you going entrust you're beautiful 18 year old daughter who has never had a boyfriend to remain in the company of convicted rapist and serial killer for the summer?

    Or how about we stroll down the police state and ask the police guards to free the peodophiles from jail and then hire them as baby sitters with your children over the weekend under the pretext of "Being no different the my trusted righteous, pious, priest".

    It's common sense and a truth and falsehood cannot co-exist.

    Look into your bible and you'll see that god does not love the evil doers and then we'll talk.
    Please, read my first post in this thread. St Thomas Aquinas explains quite cleary why God loves us all. One issue I have with Islam is your very anthropomorphic way way of looking at God. However, this may not be the case with other Muslims, but generally this appears to be the case.

    Regards,
    JP.
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  21. #17
    Jon Paul's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: The Character of God

    format_quote Originally Posted by 'Abd-al Latif View Post
    I'm in a rush right now and I have to go, but we can come back to this topic. Do remind me if I forget. But in short, the trinity was never something revealed to any of the Prophets, including Jesus himself. For further explination view this thread: http://www.islamicboard.com/comparat...vented+trinity
    On the basis of the Koran itself since the Koran does not reject the Christian notion of the Trinity. The problem is that the Koran doesn't contain the term "trinity" rather the literal Arabic text states: "They are blasphemers who say that Allah is the third of three" - that is of three deities/gods - which no Christian believes in. What the Koran condemns is polytheism (the belief in more than one God), which is also condemned by Christianity.

    In fact nowhere in the Quran does one find the orthodox Christian position of the Trinity attacked or defined. Instead, the Quran attacks the belief that God is the third of three and therefore those who believe such must stop saying that God is three. Furthermore, the Quran defines Christian teaching on the Trinity as the belief in God, Mary and Jesus as three gods and accuses Christians of believing in Jesus and Mary as two separate gods apart from the true God. Since no Christians hold or have ever held this the pretension to reject the trinity on the basis on the Koran is not really accurate.

    Secondly, the fact is that the Quran itself teaches that Allah is tri-personal in some sense since it views God's Word and His Spirit as entities that are both distinct from Allah and yet at the same time eternal and inseparable from him. For instance, God's Spirit is personal as well as the instrument through which God grants life to man and strengthens believers:

    "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance to him." S. 15:29

    Man was given life by God's Spirit, implying that the Spirit is the source of life.

    "She (Mary) placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then We sent Our Spirit (ruh), and he appeared before her as a man in all respects." S. 19:17

    God's Spirit assumes the form of a man and is described with masculine pronouns. This indicates that the Spirit is not just some force, but is a divine personality.

    "Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allah will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Truly it is the Party of Allah that will achieve Felicity." S. 58:22 Y. Ali

    Believers are strengthened by a spirit from Himself, i.e. a spirit from God. In order for the Spirit to be able to strengthen believers everywhere implies that the Spirit is omnipresent. Yet, only God is omnipresent which essentially means that the Spirit is God. This is precisely the conclusion one Muslim scholar comes to in his footnote. Yusuf Ali notes:

    "Cf. ii 87 and 253, where it is said that God strengthened the Prophet Jesus with the holy spirit. Here we learn that all good and righteous men are strengthened by God with the holy spirit. If anything, the phrase used here is stronger, ‘a spirit from Himself'. Whenever any one offers his heart in faith and purity to God, God accepts it, engraves that faith on the seeker's heart, and further fortifies him with the Divine Spirit, which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature of God." (Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Quran, p. 1518, f. 5365)

    Hence, the Spirit is of the divine essence, is incomprehensible, omnipresent, personal, and the source of Life, all qualities that are true of God.

    This also refutes the Muslim claim that the Spirit of God is the angel Gabriel since Gabriel is neither omnipresent nor divine. In fact, both the Quran and hadiths clearly demonstrates that the Holy Spirit is not Gabriel:

    "They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: "The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men)!" S. 17:85

    According to Sahi Bukhari this verse came down when the Jews questioned Muhammad on the Spirit's identity:

    Narrated Ibn Mas'ud:

    While I was walking in company with the Prophet in one of the fields of Medina, the Prophet was reclining on a palm leave stalk which he carried with him. We passed by a group of Jews. Some of them said to the others, "Ask him about the spirit." The others said, "Do not ask him, lest he would say something that you hate." Some of them said, "We will ask him." So a man from among them stood up and said, 'O Abal-Qasim! What is the spirit?" The Prophet kept quiet and I knew that he was being divinely inspired. Then he said: "They ask you concerning the Spirit, Say: The Spirit; its knowledge is with my Lord. And of knowledge you (mankind) have been given only a little." (17.85) Volume 9, Book 93, Number 554

    Hence, Muhammad did not even know the identity of God's Spirit. Two hadiths from Sahi Muslim affirm that the Spirit is not Gabriel:

    "Narrated Aisha: The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) used to pronounce while bowing and prostrating himself: All Glorious, all Holy, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit." Book 4, Number 0987

    This tradition makes a distinction between Angels, of which Gabriel is one, and the Spirit. This indicates that Gabriel is not the Holy Spirit.

    The Quran also describes the Word of God as being personal and as having a dual aspect to it.

    "Then the angels called to him as he stood praying in the sanctuary: That Allah gives you the good news of Yahya verifying a Word from Allah, and honorable and chaste and a prophet from among the good ones." S. 3:39 Shakir

    John is to bear witness to a Word from God, namely Jesus the Christ. Here, Jesus is the one who is the Word from God. The fact that he is a Word from God implies preexistence, that Jesus preexisted as God's Word. This point is brought out more clearly in the two following passages:

    "(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah)." S. 3:45 Pickthall

    According to this passage God's Word is not a mere abstraction but rather a person. This is due to the fact that the Word of God is given a personal name, Jesus. This implies that the Muslim argument that Jesus is only a by-product of God's creative command cannot be sustained. Hence, according to this one passage the Word of God is a person who shall be known as Jesus, implying that Christ is the personal Word of God come down from heaven.

    "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not ‘Trinity': desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs." Y. Ali

    Jesus is both the Word of God, not just a word from him, given to Mary and a spirit that proceeds from God himself. We discover that in one sense the Quran denies the divinity of Jesus and yet in other places it affirms that he is the divine preexistent Word and Spirit from God.

    Muslims try to evade the fact that Jesus is the very Word of God by indicating that he is called God's Word solely because he was created directly by God's command, kun fayakun- "Be and it is." Firstly, the problem with this is that Jesus is not simply a by-product of God's command, but is the very Word of God to man. This is based primarily on the fact that the Quran clearly teaches that the Word of God is personal and became man in the person of Jesus.

    Secondly, if it were true that Jesus is God's word solely because he was created by the command of God then we would expect to find Adam called the Word of God since he was also created by God's command according to the Quran (cf. S. 3:59). Yet, neither Adam nor anyone else is ever called the Word of God.

    This implies that the Quran acknowledges that the eternal Word of God became flesh, two aspects (eternal - according to his Divinity and finite - according to His human nature) united in one Person.

    In fact, not only is Christ eternal and finite at the same time, the Quran itself is believed by Muslims to be the eternal speech of God in book form. This would imply that the Quran also has a dual aspect, one eternal and one finite. Yusuf K. Ibish, in an article entitled "The Muslim Lives by the Quran," writes:

    I have not yet come across a western man who understands what the Quran is. It is not a book in the ordinary sense, nor is it comparable to the Bible, either the Old or New Testaments. It is an expression of Divine Will. If you want to compare it with anything in Christianity, you must compare it with Christ Himself. Christ was an expression of the Divine among men, the revelation of the Divine Will. That is what the Quran is. If you want a comparison for the role of Muhammad, the better one in that particular respect would be Mary. Muhammad was the vehicle of the Divine, as she was the vehicle... There are western orientalists who have devoted their life to the study of the Quran, its text, the analysis of its words, discovering that this word is Abyssinian, that word is Greek by origin... But all this is immaterial. The Quran was divinely inspired, then it was compiled, and what we have now is the expression of God's Will among men. That is the important point. (Charris Waddy, The Muslim Mind [New York: Longman, 1976], p.14)

    Therefore in light of the preceding factors, Muslims have no case against the Trinity or the Incarnation since they themselves must affirm that Allah is somehow triune as well as affirming that the Quran, like Christ, is both eternal and finite at the same time.

    Hence, if Christians are blasphemers for believing that God is a triune Being or for believing that Jesus is both eternal and finite at the same time, then Muslims themselves are unbelievers. Muslims either believe that there are three distinct eternal beings, implying that there are three Gods or must admit that God is a multi-personal Being.

    Regards,
    JP.
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  22. #18
    Ben's Avatar Limited Member
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    Re: The Character of God

    Man, you guys reply quickly! Even if I get away from the computer for a few hours, I have a lot of catching up to do! Good thing today is my day off work, but I really do have chores I need to take care of…

    First I’ll tackle the Muslim defensive apologetic:

    Ali_008, you hit the nail on the head when you say that Allah, “loves those who repent, believe and do righteous deeds.” So here’s the paradox: the Qur’an calls Allah “The All-Merciful” but what Allah’s mercy really cashes out to is that if you believe and do righteous deeds, then Allah can be counted on to overlook your sins and to reward your good works. Allah’s love is thus reserved only for those who earn it. Now don’t you think that this is an inadequate conception of God? What would think of a parent who said to his children, “If you measure up to my standards and do as I say, then I will love you?” I have yet to see a good defensive argument…

    Second I’ll tackle the Muslim offensive apologetic:

    There were a lot of verses from the Bible thrown out there, but I think Zafran wrote a good summary of the main objection to an all-loving God according to the Bible: “Jesus loves you but you still burn in hell if you don’t see him as divine.” Again, the doctrine of hell is not unique to Christianity. I will explain how, on Christianity, an all-loving God can allow people to go to hell, but to be fair, I think it is also necessary for the Muslim to explain how Allah can be all-loving and allow people to go to hell.

    This question really digs into the heart of Christianity, namely, we’re looking at justice versus love. The solution to the dilemma is Jesus Christ, who, at the cross, was the fulfillment of justice and love. At the cross we see God's love for people and His wrath upon sin. Jesus was our substitute. In order to receive forgiveness, we need to place our trust in Christ as our Savior and the Lord of our lives—this is what Christianity is all about!

    But if we reject Christ, then we reject God's mercy and fall back on His justice. If we reject Jesus' offer of forgiveness, then there is simply is no one else to pay the penalty for your sin--except yourself.

    God’s desire is that everyone be saved (as I mentioned in my previous post). But if we reject Christ's sacrifice for our sin, then God has no choice but to give us what we deserve. God will not send us to hell, but we will send ourselves.

    God’s all-loving and all-just character is not compromised. I think the Muslim would have a very difficult case in saying the same.

    PS—I have a hard time reading excessively long posts (I’m sure I’m not alone), so I’ll try to keep my as short as possible. If there’s something that I’ve not addressed, send me a message and I’ll respond to you!
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    Imam's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: The Character of God

    format_quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post

    The doctrine of hell is not unique to Christianity. I will explain how, on Christianity, an all-loving God can allow people to go to hell, but to be fair, I think it is also necessary for the Muslim to explain how Allah can be all-loving and allow people to go to hell.
    Allah is not all loving ,and neither you nor me should tell him whose to love and whose to loves not....

    He loves(he has no emotions the way we think)

    so let's say he is merciful and his mercy is conditional based on (good deeds)....

    exactly As the Biblical god (Jesus) his mercy is conditional based on a condition (faith).......



    format_quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    This question really digs into the heart of Christianity, namely, we’re looking at justice versus love. The solution to the dilemma is Jesus Christ, who, at the cross, was the fulfillment of justice . !
    Jesus in the cross should be a living example of Biblical God's injustice, who though innocent was bruised ,tortured for humans iniquities.... and that is not a solution to the dilemma..it is a dilemma itself....



    format_quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    God’s all-loving and all-just character is not compromised.!
    And I repeat again the claim of all loving biblical God is refuted by the Biblical God's own acts himself ( casting In flaming fire,and for eternity, punishing with everlasting destruction and taking vengeance on them who rejected his gospel, would damage any claim of all loving biblical God)....
    The Character of God



    (إلزم طريق الهداية و لا يغرنك قلة السالكين و أبعد عن طريق الغواية و لا يغرنك كثرة الهالكين)



    { ادفع بالتي هي أحسن فإذا الذي بينك وبينه عداوة كأنه ولي حميم

    my blog:

    http://al-azhar7.blogspot.com/
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    Zafran's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: The Character of God

    On the basis of the Koran itself since the Koran does not reject the Christian notion of the Trinity.
    the Quran talks about those who say God (singular) is 3 (trinity) - it does speak out against the trinity - and the concept of son of God - and the concept of original sin which gets passed down generation to generation.

    All of these are well talked about so is the concept of exaggerating Isa (as) role.

    those who believe such must stop saying that God is three.
    Thats exactly what you say - you say God is three or a trinity.

    Furthermore, the Quran defines Christian teaching on the Trinity as the belief in God, Mary and Jesus as three gods and accuses Christians of believing in Jesus and Mary as two separate gods apart from the true God. Since no Christians hold or have ever held this the pretension to reject the trinity on the basis on the Koran is not really accurate.
    The Quran nowhere defines the trinity with Mary - however you guys definilty catholics like to say some very extreme stuff - even calling Mary the "mother of God" - thats worshipping her.

    similar to the hindus - when you tell them that they worship Idols - they say they use the idols to focus on God - you have a very similar reason of using her as an intercessor.

    Regardless of who it is its shirk. Specifically Islamic sense of Monotheism.
    Last edited by Zafran; 07-17-2009 at 05:56 PM.
    The Character of God

    Do you think the pious don't sin?

    They merely:
    Veiled themselves and didn't flaunt it
    Sought forgiveness and didn't persist
    Took ownership of it and don't justify it
    And acted with excellence after they had erred - Ibn al-Qayyim
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