Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Jonathan McLatchie's Comments on the Apologetics Academy: Orthodox or Heretical?

I suspect Jonathan may have evolved his thoughts on the number of wills Jesus has after the discussion with Mansur. A few months ago, Jonathan did produce a blog post in response to some chatter around his statement to Mansur (i.e.  Jesus has "one will, not two"). In his blog article he has conflated “will” with “desire/urge”.
He has the same mistaken conflation in his discussion with Dr Tony Costa and Paul Williams as highlighted in the clip of him  presenting his thoughts (after Paul Williams had left the room) to Dr Tony Costa. Yes, I know Dr Costa agreed with him but he’s mistaken too albeit his “yes” in agreement with Jonathan seemed a bit unsure. Perhaps he didn’t quite catch Jonathan’s misunderstanding.
In any case, I strongly suspect Dr Costa, in his preparation for his recent debate with Robert Sungenis, watched Dr White’s debate with Robert Sungenis and thus repeated Dr White in asserting the belief Jesus has two wills is orthodox – I don’t think he has researched or thought it through himself (which is not a criticism as this is a very little-known area in Trinitarian Christian theology).
I’ve clipped all the relevant comments in the new video below including Dr James White’s comments clearly teaching the idea of Jesus having two wills is orthodox (and the idea of one will is unorthodox).
Let’s go through some bits from Jonathan McLatchie’s article whilst we’re at it.
JM: I believe that, in one sense, Jesus could be said to have two wills; in another sense, Jesus could be said to have only one will. If by saying that Jesus possesses two distinct wills you mean that He possesses two separate centers of consciousness which conflict in their intentions and will, then such a view collapses into Nestorianism, a well known fifth century heresy which maintains that Jesus is two persons.  At Speaker's Corner, Muslim polemicist Mansoor Ahmed asked me whether the human will of Jesus worships the divine will of Jesus. Thus, it was clear to me that by saying that Jesus possesses two wills, Mansoor meant it in the heretical Nestorian sense. In this sense, Jesus only possesses a single will. Yes, he most definitely possesses two natures. But to suggest that Jesus has two separate and conflicting wills seems to me to be virtually indistinguishable from Nestorianism.
What you’re doing here, Jonathan, is mixing up definitions and terms. It’s really loose language. To say Jesus has only “one will not two” to Mansur just to express the idea that the two wills don’t conflict is careless use of language to say the least To express your idea, why not just say “I believe he has two wills, one divine and one human, but those two wills agree with each other”?  (NOTE: Jonathan later puts forward an example from the NT showing the wills don't agree with each other).
That would avoid all the finger-pointing and cries of “heretic”, right?
And I don’t think it’s clear Mansur was driving at the wills not being in agreement so I have reservations when it comes to your reasoning explaining why  you said what you did did to Mansur. I think Mansur was driving at the same point Dr Bart Ehrman hints at. Bart Ehrman writes the following when asked why there was such an opposition in the first 1000 years of Christianity to the idea of Jesus having one will and one nature:
The problem was that he had to be fully human and fully divine, not half of each. Otherwise, it was thought, he wasn’t “really” either, but a kind of hybrid. [Bart Erhman]
Herein is the issue. If one maintains there are two natures with respect to Jesus then each nature will be said to have a separate consciousness (i.e. will) otherwise the natures (both human and divine) would be considered incomplete. Quite perceptively, this seems to be one of the observations Mansur brings to the fore in his discussion with Jonathan.
JM: In another sense, however, Jesus can be said to have two wills. This is clearly seen, for instance, at Jesus' temptation (Matthew 4, Mark 1, Luke 4), in which Jesus, according to Hebrews 4 "in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." One might ask, if I am saying that Jesus possesses only one will, then how can He have been tempted? After all, God cannot sin. In response to this, I would point out that even a single person can have a complexity of will. For example, a sailor drifting at sea might desire to drink the sea water in order to quench his thirst, and yet at the same time know that drinking the salt water will only worsen his thirst. In a similar way, Christ -- being fully and completely human -- possessed human desires, such as the desire to not be hungry. At the same time, however, he knew that it would be sinful for him to turn the stones into bread as the Devil has tempted him to do, and so he did not succumb to the temptation. Thus, insofar as it is possible for a single person to possess a complexity of will, Jesus possessed a complexity of will.
Jonathan, this idea of “complexity of will” is just a conflation between will and desire on your part. I think you’re basing arguments on flawed definitions and understandings of terms and words here.
I think Jonathan has a mistaken understanding of the concept of “will”, he’s confusing it with natural urges/desires.
“Will” doesn’t refer to “desire”. “Will” refers to a centre of consciousness. For a human it’s effectively the capacity to process desire (and reason) to act/think decisively.
In order to be considered fully human, orthodox Christians insist Jesus  has a human will, the same applies to the idea of his divine nature (thus they insist Jesus had a divine will too). To say Jesus only had one will would open the door to folks who maintain monophysitism and/or monothelitism as the divine and human natures  are not considered complete or full.
JM: It was in His human nature that Christ bore the temptation to sin. I believe that the divine nature of Christ would always have served as a backstop to prevent Christ from sinning. Nonetheless, Christ bore the temptation in the arm of His flesh and overcame.
I think this conflation of nature and will is Jonathan flying close to the sun. Sooner or later he will get too close to the sun and ultimately plunge into the sea of “heresy” – perhaps he has already taken a dip or two.
This  is just another example of how the Gospel authors didn’t have the same theology as Trinitarian Christians like Jonathan McLatchie. If they truly believed the “divine nature” of Jesus would ultimately prevent Jesus from sinning then how can they describe it as a temptation to sin? A temptation to do something can only be a temptation IF the means and ability is there. There’s no good somebody giving me a bike and then claiming they’ve tempted me to travel to Mars! I don’t have the ability to travel there, there’s a backstop in place, thus I can’t be tempted.According to Trinitarians,  Jesus didn’t have the ability to fall into that temptation to sin so the assumption here is either:
1. The authors of the Gospels and Hebrews didn’t believe Jesus had a “divine nature” acting as a  “backstop” preventing him from sinning.
2.The authors of the Gospels believed Jesus’s human nature didn’t know he had a “divine nature” acting as a “backstop” preventing him from sinning.
3. The authors of these books didn’t really think their words through theologically.
JM: Likewise, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus in His human nature had the desire to not experience pain or abandonment and separation from the favorable presence of God, for "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). And He knew very well what experiencing the wrath of God would entail. Hence, in Matthew 26:39 / Mark 14:36, Jesus says "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." While, since He possessed a human nature, He felt the human desire to not experience pain, He nonetheless understood full well that experiencing the wrath of God would be necessary in order to provide redemption for His people.
In summary, the idea that Christ has two wills, I believe to be in error in any sense that suggests that Christ possesses two separate centers of consciousness (Nestorianism). On the other hand, I believe it is quite valid to assert that Christ possessed a complexity of will in the manner in which individual persons can be said to possess a complexity of will.
And this is the fruit of Jonathan’s mixing of terminologies. Confusion on top of confusion.
Jonathan says Jesus can’t have two wills that conflict yet here he cites an example of Jesus’ human will not being in-line with what the Trinitarians believe to be the will of the divine.
Think about what is being said here. Jonathan cites an example of Jesus consciously asking God for something in opposition to what the Trinitarians believe to be the divine will. The idea of Jesus’ human nature consciously asking for something different to what the divine wills is not only teaching Jesus had two wills but it’s also teaching the wills aren’t in agreement! Yet at the same he’s saying it’s [tantamoun to] Nestorianism (a heresy) to say there Jesus had two conflicting wills.
Lastly, I think we need to make sure our focus is not distracted to the extent that there's no thoughts on whether this idea of dyothelitism is Biblical or not - James White couldn't give a Scriptural basis for such a belief.
Here are all the relevant clips including Jonathan's comments to Dr Costa, Dr Costa's comments to Paul Williams and Mansur's dialogue with Jonathan at Speakers Corner.

James White's Comments Rebuke Arguments of Jay Smith and David Wood

How Jay Smith, Beth Grove, Usama Dakdok and David Wood contribute to the apostasy of Christians

Notes from Sean Finnegan's interview with Patrick Navas: Is the Trinity Biblical

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

Why Islam



Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Blog: Aggressive Sid Cordle and Lizzie Schofield on Mary Worship and The Quran


Lizzie Schofield of Pfander Centre for Apologetics and Sid Cordle (of the CPA) talk to a Muslim. The Muslim, Hamza Myatt (EF Dawah), tried to correct them but he finds himself shouted down. Lizzie Schofield begins by stating it's so dull to continuously talk about the Trinity - considering it's an essential and fundamental belief about God in her church tradition that comment was surprising.

I used a clip of pastor JD Hall to highlight how some Trinitarian Christians believe if one doesn't believe in the Trinity doctrine they believe in a "false god". Lizzie thros in the "Quran gets the Trinity wrong" polemic - this is addressed by a clip of Dr Ali Ataie in the video.

Sid Cordle shouts no Christians ever worshipped Mary - this is not true as highlighted by the quote from James White and Taylor Marshall's citation of an ancient prayer found written on papyrus manuscript (p470), this manuscript is dated is dated to 250 CE.


Brewer's dictionary on Mariamites:

Worshippers of Mary, the mother of Jesus. They said the Trinity consisted of God the Father, God the Son, and Mary the mother of God. [Source]

Ali Ataie does not see the Quranic Verse 5:116 specifically denouncing the Trinity doctrine here but rather Mary worship and deification of Jesus Christ.

If the video does not play, it is also uploaded here

Shadid Lewis: Is Quran wrong about the Trinity?

Excerpts from Discover The Truth:

The aim of this article is to respond to the claims made by missionaries that the Quran got the trinity wrong. Let’s now read the verses they use as proof that the Quran says ‘Mary is part of the Trinity’,
“And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.” – Quran 5:116
From this passage Christians think it speaks about the Trinity, but they are wrong. If we read the verse from start to end one will not find the word “Trinity” in there. Another passage they use as proof that the Quran got the Trinity wrong is,
“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of God aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in God and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for God is one God: 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 God as a Disposer of affairs.” – Quran 4:171
Again, the above verse does not say anything about Mary being part of the trinity. If one reads the above verse carefully, it is clear that the passage is mainly speaking of Jesus. The name of Mary is used, because Allah is elucidating, making Christians ponder that Jesus son of Mary was only a messenger of God, and through His (God’s) command, he (Jesus) became a created being that was born in the womb of Mary. Then after that, Allah says, “say not trinity” (or Three). It is quite clear that the verse does not say anything about Mary being part of the Trinity.
 The Quran does speak about the Trinity somewhere else, but says nothing about Mary being part of the Trinity. Here is the verse:
“They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One God. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.” – Quran 5:73
As we read the above passage, it does speak about the trinity, but does not mention anything about Mary being part of the trinity.
Another thing critics love citing for chapter 4 verse 171, is use classic commentaries such as Tafsir al-Jalalayn, and Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, by that they conclude the Quran is a false book and not from God, since they believe the trinity consists of “the Father, Son and Mary.” Nowhere in the verse (Quran 4:71) does it say that the trinity consists of, “the Father, Son and Mary.” Even if we agree with what some of the commentators like Tafsir al-Jalalayn and Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs said, it will not disprove what the Quran already stated. The Scholars made that comment, because they were referring to some Christian sects, who believed that trinity consisted of the “Father, the Son and Mary.” Another thing if you read their exegesis, nowhere will you see them mention that this ‘belief was believed by all Christians.’ There is vast amount of evidence from the Church Fathers that there was certain sect(s) in Arabia that believed the trinity consisted of: “Father, the Son and Virgin Mary.”
1. George Sale
“This notion of the divinity of the virgin Mary was also believed by some at the council of Nice, who said there two gods besides the Father, viz., Christ and the Virgin Mary, and were thence named Mariamites. Others imagined her to be exempt from humanity, and deified; which goes but little beyond the Popish superstition in calling her the compliment of the Trinity, as if it were imperfect with her. This foolish imagination is justly condemned in the Koran as idolatrous….” [1]
2. Reverend Gilbert Reid D.D.
As to Christianity as it was represented in Arabia, it was not a clear untarnished theism, but tritheism. The Heavenly Father, Mary the mother of God and Jesus their son, were WORSHIPPED as three Gods, and their images appeared in the churches along with the images of other saints. Christianity as taught by Christ had lost its identity in the formalism and errors of the church of Arabia. Still more the truths pro-claimed by God through all the ages had been lost sight amid the vain imaginings of men’s hearts. The only God of, an omnipresent spirit, without form or body. The reformation of Mohammed was thus a return to the first and second commandment of the Prophet Moses, which Jesus himself had taught.” [2]
Question: “why does the Quran in chapter 5 verse 116 state Mary is a God?”
Well it’s clear that the Quran is in dialectic discussion with the native Arabs of that time, when it was first revealed. The Quran is naturally responding to ideas and teachings of people had at that time. So, the Quran is correcting their error in worshipping Mary and bringing them back to the path of worshipping God as One (Monotheism) and none else besides Him i.e., no worship of Mary or Jesus. The Quran also makes it abundantly clear that Jesus never told people any of this. Allah is asking Jesus on the day of judgement, “did you tell people to worship You and your Mother as Gods?” In the presence of the people, to bring them to judgement. It will be obvious that Jesus won’t accept any responsibility as he is not the one who commanded such a thing. Here are many more academic sources that attest to Mary being worshipped as a God
1. Reverend Henry Adelbert Thomson (Cincinnati, Ohio)
It is plain that the tendency to sail with the popular wind, which existed in church dignitaries of that age as well as in this, easily prevailed on many who held ecclesiastical office, so that they approved or winked at beliefs and practices which more independent clergymen considered erroneous. The people carried the clergy along with them. Even the fearless and powerful Augustine, and with him such strenuous men as John Chrysostom and two Gregories of Nazianzen and Nyssa, were unable to stem the tide in some matters of which were disapproved. The worship of Mary and the Saints met the popular mood and pleased the popular fancy; so the great leaders. Confronted by an enthusiasm they were really powerless to curb, endeavoured to the point out and maintain a distinction between latreia and douleia. But, once having given way, even partially, to the prevailing opinion, these same great men were afterward quoted as conservators and expounders of the tradition which, through them, thus received the more impressive authority….. the pure Christian doctrine had led to veneration of Saints; the adoration of the feminine ideal, together with the peculiar relationship of Mary to Christ, had designated her as “Queen of Saints;”….. the practice of Mariolatry gained a tremendous impulse, along with the Worship of Saints, especially in the post Nicene period….. the Church was still more effectually darkened and its doctrine debased. In such a period those elements of the Faith which almost readily lent themselves to idolatry suffered most in purity and gained most in practice. Saints, relics, images, with Mary, as Queen of Heaven, at their head, almost completely absorbed the worship of the people. [9]
2. Ernst Benz
The virgin birth entered into creeds of all Christendom and became one of the strongest motifs in the liturgy and worship of the early Church. Veneration of the mother of God took a tremdous leap from the moment Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Empire and the pagan masses began pouring into the Church. For thousands of years the religious mentality of the peoples of the Mediterranean basin and near East had been shaped by the cult of the great Mother Goddess and Divine Virgin. From the ancient popular religions of Babylonian Ishtar to the mystery religions of the late Hellenistic age the great Goddess had been worshipped under a variety of forms. The peoples who had practiced her cult could not easily adjust to the sole dominance of the Father God and to the strictly patriarchal structure of Judaic religiosity, which had been taken over by the early Christians. This ancient tradition sought a new mode of expression within the Christian Church and found it in adoration of the Virginal Mother of God in whom the mysterious union of the divine Logos with human nature had been accomplished…. In Egypt the veneration of Mary began very early. Origen, the Alexandrian father of the Church, employed the term theotokos- God bearer in the third century. The second council of Ephesus gave its sanction to this title. The second council of Constantinople added the epithet ever-lasting Virgin.” The prayers and hymns of the Orthodox Church invoke the name of the Mother of God as often as the names of Christ and the Holy Trinity. A god example of such homage is found in the Eucharistic liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, at the conclusion of the great intercessory prayer: “Truly worthy is it to praise Thee God bearer, eternally blessed and perfectly irreproachable Mother of our God, who art more worthy of honor than the cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the seraphim, who intact, hast borne the Divine Logos-Thee the true Mother of God, we Praise.” [10]
3. Professor of the New Testament Beverly Roberts Gaventa
“Orthodox theologians insist Mary is deserving of this grace, and it is for that reason that she is identified as Panhagia, or All Holy. From birth she is without sin. Her own holiness and her divine maternity warrant the high veneration given to her by the Church. Mary is “the first of all humanity to have attained, through the complete transfiguration of her being, that to which every creature is summoned. She has already transcended the boundary between time and eternity and now finds herself in the Kingdom which the Church awaits with the second coming of Christ.” Because of Mary’s own holiness, she stands in solidarity with the sanctified humanity who constitute with the Church. For those reasons, Orthodox Christian tradition icons and hymns praise Mary at ‘the centre of the Saints as a representation of the worshipping and praying community.’”[11]
4. Professor James R. Adair
“…the highest veneration was given to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Historically Marian veneration can be connected with the controversies over the use of the term theotokos, rejected by Nestorius but accepted by most Christians of the day. The veneration of Mary was especially popular among the common people and the Monks, particularly in the EAST.” [12]
5. Reverend James Gardner
“Mariolatry, the worship of the Virgin Mary. In the fourth century, in consequence of prevalence of the ascetic spirit, the most extravagant opinions began to be entertained of the merit of virginity, and Mary, the mother of our blessed Lord, was venerated as the ideal of the celibate life. About this time an opinion arose that there were in the temple of Jerusalem virgins consecrated to God, among whom Mary grew up in vows of perpetual Virginity. In the end of the fourth, it became customary to apply to Mary the appellation, “Mother of God.” …the worshippers of Mary prevailed, and in the fifth century images of the Virgin were placed in the Churches holding the infant Jesus in her arms. Once introduced, this species of worship spread rapidly, and Mary became a conspicuous object of veneration in the Churches, both of the East and West. .. towards the close of the tenth century the custom became prevalent among the Latins, of celebrating masses, and abstaining from flesh on Saturdays, in honour of Mary. About the same time the daily office of St. Mary, which the Latins call lesser office, was introduced, and it was afterwards confirmed by Pope Urban II. In the council of Clement. The Rosary also came into use, consisting of fifteen repetitions of the Lord’s prayer, and one hundred salutations of St. Mary; and the Crown of St. Mary, as it was called by the Latins consisted of six or seven repetitions of the Lord’s prayer, and sixty or seventy salutations according to the age ascribed by different authors to the Holy Virgin. Mariolatry now became an established doctrine and practice in the Church of Rome, and down to the present day has continued to occupy a very spicuous place in her ritual; while with equal intensity Mary receives the worship of Oriental Church under the name of Panagia, or All-Holy…” [13]
6. German Professor Johann Heinrich Kurtz
…the Collydrians- a female sect in Arabia dating from the fourth century- who offered to her bread-cakes (in imitation of the heathen worship of ceres). Epiphanius, who opposed that sect, maintained:…. On the Antidicomarianites, comp. 92. But during the Nestorian controversy Mariolatry became again more general in the Church. In the fifth century, the 25th march was celebrated as the Feast of the Annunciation… [14]

7. Reverend John Dowling
When we observe, on the one hand, the earnest manner in which these fathers contend for perpetual virginity of Mary, and on the other hand the extravagant honors attached to the virgin state, we need not be surprised that the notion soon became prevalent among some that ‘ the mother of God.’ As she was now frequently denominated, was herself worthy of the honors of divine worship. Accordingly, about this time, we find that a sect sprang up, whose peculiar tenet it was, that the Virgin Mary should be adored in worship, and that religious honors should be paid to her. They were called Collyridians, from collyridae, the cakes which they offered to the virgin… [15]
8. Church of England quarterly review
The first persons upon record, as offering divine honours to the Virgin Mary, were the Collyridians, who derived their names from the…, or certain cakes, which they offered annually to Saint Mary, in sacrifice upon her festival, when they worshipped her as a goddess. This superstition came from Thrace, and the yet more distant regions of Scythia and Arabia… [16]
9. Professor of the New Testament studies Amy-Jill Levine
“There are even stronger hints that Mary was venerated as a goddess. By the fourth century, Epiphanius (315-403 CE) was ordering the faithful not to worship Mary but only the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, suggesting that such activity had been transpiring for a while.” [17]
10. Professor of religious studies Gail Paterson Corrington
“It would certainly not have been surprising if the Christian women of Egypt had found another divine mother with whom to identify; the Christian women of Arabia, to Epiphanius’s consternation, did a similar thing in their worship of Mary rather than Jesus… The cakes (kollybas) offered by the Collyridians to Mary in the worship are described in a way similar to the cakes offered Isis as the queen of heaven…” [18]
11. Mary Walsh
“The first council’s decision was approved, and Mary was the theotokos, ‘The Mother of God.’ This date, A.D. 431, marks the time when Mary was in the ascendancy, and her veneration and worship began. …. About the middle of the fourth century, according to Jerome, Augistine, Gregory, Epiphanius, and others, teachings came in regarding Virgins who had taken the vows of sanctity and chastity and who devoted their lives to the service of the temple at Jerusalem. Among these virgins was Mary, who had consecrated her life to God by taking the vow of perpetual virginity. It was declared that her marriage to Joseph was formal, and that she continued a virgin until her death. This was the new teaching, and it caused long debated arguments as to whether Mary was actually was a perpetual virgin. The other phrase of the new teaching was that Mary was the ‘Mother of God’ and was therefore entitled to devotion and honor. These extravagant honors conferred on Mary led to the development of a sect called Collyridian, derived from the word collyridae, the cakes which were offered to the Virgin. This sect regards Mary as worthy of divine worship. Thus the floodgates were opened for the beatification of the Virgin.” [19]
12. Thomas Anthony Trollope
Collyridians, from Greek word signifying a piece of bread or cake in a cylindrical form; a sect of Christians, who arose towards the conclusion of the fourth century, and, together with another sect, called the Antidico-Marianites, filled all Arabia with controversies and disorder. These latter maintained that the Virgin Mary did not preserve immaculate state after the birth of Christ, in jospeh autem mariti sui concubitu adhuc indulgebat. The Collyridians, on contrary, who are said to have chiefly consisted of women, worshipped the Virgin as a goddess, and sought favours by libations, sacrifices, and oblations of cakes. [20]
13. Professor Maxwell E. Johnson
“Epiphanuis of Salamis (315-403 CE), according to his witness, not only was there in existence an anti-marian group called the Antidicomarianites, who denied Mary’s perpetual virginity, but also an EXTREME pro-marian group, known as the Conllydrians (from cakes), a group compromised mostly of women who worshipped Mary as a goddess, offered her and then consumed small cakes, and had a female priesthood…” [21]
14. Protestant theologian and Church historian Phillip Schaff writes,
“Epiphanius, in his seventy-eighth heresy, combats the advocates of the opposite view in Arabia toward the end of fourth century (367), as heretics under the title of Antidiomarianites, opposer’s of the dignity of Mary i.e., of her perpetual virginity. But, on the other hand, he condemns, in the seventy-ninth heresy, the contemporaneous sect of the Collyridians in Arabia, a set of fanatical women, who, as priestesses rendered divine Worship to Mary…”[22]
15. Reverend George William D. Evans
The religious worship now paid to the virgin seems clearly deducible from that which was paid to the female deities of old. How reluctantly the converts from heathenism bade adieu to that sex as objects of worship, is evident from heretical opinions held by the sect of the Collydrians- a sect which arose towards the close of the fourth century, and offered up cakes (collyridae) to the Virgin Mary, as a goddess, and the Queen of heaven… [23]
16. Erich Fromm
“In the Nestorian controversy a decision against Nestorius was reached in 431 that Mary was not only the mother of Christ but also the mother of God, and at the end of the fourth century there arose a cult of Mary, and men addressed prayers to her. About the same time the representation of Mary in the plastic arts also began to play a great and ever-increasing role. The succeeding centuries attached more and more significance to the mother of God, and her worship became more exuberant and more general. Altars were erected to her, and her pictures were shown everywhere.” [24]
17. English historian Edward Gibbon
“The Christians of the Seventh century had insensibly relapsed into a semblance of paganism: their public and private vows were addressed to the relics and images that disgraced the temples of the East: the throne of the Almighty was darkened by a cloud of martyrs, and saints, and angels, the objects of popular veneration; and the Collydrian heretics, who flourished in the fruitful soil of Arabia, invested the Virgin Mary with the name and honors of a goddess. The mysteries of the Trinity and incarnation appear to contradict the principle of the Divine unity. In their obvious sense, they introduce three equal deities, and transform the man Jesus into the substance of the Son of God: and orthodox commentary will satisfy only a believing mind: intemperate curiosity and zeal had torn the veil of the sanctuary; and each of the Oriental sects was eager to confess that all, except themselves, deserved the reproach of Idolatry and Polytheism. The Creed of Mahomet is free from suspicion or ambiguity; and the Koran is a glorious testimony to the unity of God. The Prophet of Mecca rejected the worship of idols and men, of stars and planets, on the rational principle that whatever rises must set, that whatever is born must die, that whatever is corruptible must decay and perish.” [25]
We can conclude that the Quran nowhere says that “Mary is part of the trinity.” I responded to critics claims on  Scholars (commentators of the Quran), they also never said, “Mary is believed by all Christians to be part of the trinity.” Their views were based on certain sects of Arabia which believed that Mary is part of the trinty. I also referenced two dozen or more academic quotes from Christian experts, that Virgin Mary indeed was worshipped and she was part of the trinity. I believe everything I have presented is in my favour that the Quran is not wrong in responding to the Christians of that time in Arabia that they worshipped Mary as a Goddess.

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

Why Islam



Blog: Lizzie Schofield Believes Jesus Called for Apostates to be Killed

Lizzie Schofield of Pfander Centre for Apologetics believes in the Trinity doctrine thus she believes Jesus (as the Second person of the Trinity doctrine) called for the killing of apostates who called to worship other gods.

If the video does not play, it's also uploaded here

Punishment for Apostasy in the Bible

13 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.


6 “If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, 7 of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, 8 you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; 9 but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 11 So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you.

12 “If you hear someone in one of your cities, which the Lord your God gives you to dwell in, saying, 13 ‘Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods”’—which you have not known— 14 then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed among you, 15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it, all that is in it and its livestock—with the edge of the sword. 16 And you shall gather all its plunder into the middle of the street, and completely burn with fire the city and all its plunder, for the Lord your God. It shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again. 17 So none of the accursed things shall remain in your hand, that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of His anger and show you mercy, have compassion on you and multiply you, just as He swore to your fathers, 18 because you have listened to the voice of the Lord your God, to keep all His commandments which I command you today, to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord your God.






Beth Grove of Pfander Films Spreading Falsehood of Aisha Being Hit by Prophet Muhammad

Beth Grove begins by offending two Muslim gentlemen by a comment about stealing. She then talks about translations of the Scriptures confusing the fact that the actual language of the Scripture is what is considered Scripture as highlighted by Dr Ben Witherington. She then misunderstands a Hadith and claims Prophet Muhammad hit Aisha (despite the fact Aisha herself taught that the Prophet never hit any of his wives!)

Lizzie Schofield Witnesses Rude Beth Grove Arguments at Speakers Corner -  Pfander Centre for Apologetics Refuted

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From Discover The Truth:

The hand imposition of the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) it is a gesture driving away evil influence (waswas) and conferring blessings, it’s nothing bad at all. The intent of the Prophet Muhammed (p) was to drive away ‘evil influence’ from Aisha. Proof from the following Hadiths that the prophet Muhammed (p) pushed Aisha (Ra) and never hit her:
Aisha said: Allaah’s Messenger (pbuh) never hit anything with his hand ever, except when fighting in the path of Allaah. Nor did he ever hit a servant or a woman.” [Recorded In Ibn Majah. Al-Albani graded it Sahih.]
Aisha reports: Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) did not hit Anything with his hands, besides the time when he made Jihaad in the Path of Allah. He did not hit a servant nor a woman (wife, girl etc.)”. [Shamaail‐e‐Tirmidhi (331) Hadith Number 6.]
‘Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Messenger of Allah (pbuh) never hit anything with his hand neither a servant nor a woman but of course, he did fight in the Cause of Allah. He never took revenge upon anyone for the wrong done to him, but of course, he exacted retribution for the sake of Allah in case the Injunctions of Allah about unlawful acts were violated. [Muslim Arabic/English book reference : Book 1, Hadith 644]
As you have read from the above Hadith reported in three different Hadith Books , the prophet never hit any woman nor a servant, these statement(s) that the Prophet never hit any woman are from Aisha own mouth. So, the correct translation is that the Prophet pushed Aisha, to drive away evil influence, as Aisha makes it evidently clear that he NEVER hit any woman or servant. That statement from Aisha alone shows that Prophet Muhammed (p) was never abusive in any shape or form, to any of his wives. This proves that the translation for the Hadith that says Muhammed ‘struck’ Aisha is false.


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