Faith and reason: an invitation to the Christians

· Christianity
Authors

Albert Einstein said, “The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.”

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” Galileo Galilei

Thomas Paine writes in the Age of Reason, “The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.”

This invitation is extended to the fellow Christians with love and compassion because the Holy Quran says about them:

And thou shalt assuredly find those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ to be the nearest of them in love to the believers. That is because amongst them are savants and monks and because they are not proud.
(Al Quran 5:83)


The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.  (Thomas Paine)

Andrew Conway Ivy writes, “One should never retreat from reason. One should use reason, and use it accurately and aggressively. A faith which is not preceded by reason is a weak faith and is vulnerable to devastating attack and to subversion. Religious faith not based on reason breeds bad character and bad conduct.”

Church

When faced with a difficult argument many a Christians choose to bury their proverbial head in the sand of so called faith. Another area where all Christians except for the Unitarians short circuit reason is when they choose to continue to believe in three gods in one form or the other despite the fact that the whole universe speaks of One Creator.

Ivy makes a clear case for reason over blind faith. He then contrasts Theistic outlook with atheistic or materialist paradigm and demonstrates the superiority of the Theistic perspective. Growing up in the twentieth century USA Ivy did not have any exposure to Islam. Given his experiences he equates Theistic perspective with Christianity. However, once the limitations of Christianity have been demonstrated as in this publication, then only logical and pragmatic survivor of Theistic outlook is Islam! This is my invitation to all the Christian and agnostic readers of my knols. Ivy also examines as to what happens to human rights in an atheistic paradigm.

Andrew Conway Ivy (1893-1978) was appointed by the American Medical Association as its representative at the 1946 Nuremberg Medical Trial for Nazi doctors. He became vice president of the University of Illinois, responsible for the medicine, dentistry and pharmacy schools. From 1939 to 1941 he was president of the American Physiological Society. By 1945 he was probably ‘the most famous doctor in the country.’ The article can be read online:
President Thomas Jefferson — Was he a monotheist?
A compelling argument that Thomas Jefferson negated belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ and affirmed the unity of God. Was he influenced by the Qur’an?

The adulterated accounts of the Bible did not satisfy Jefferson. After extensive studies of different books Jefferson concluded:”Christianity had traditionally rested not upon reason or experience but upon mystery and miracle. The Bible, moreover, portrayed a deity quite different from that revealed in nature, a deity that reason could neither explain nor defend. How rational could it possibly be for the God of the whole universe to reveal himself solely to one small nation in the eastern Mediterranean and to leave the rest of the world in utter ignorance of his existence? It seemed even more irrational to believe that the Supreme Being of the cosmos had ‘sent his only begotten son,’ who had not offended him, to be sacrificed by men, who had offended him that he might expiate their sins, and satisfy his own anger.”

To read the article in April 2007 volume of Review of Religions go to the following link:

http://www.alislam.org/ror/April_2007.pdf

History of Corruptions of Christianity
by Joseph Priestly (1733-1804)
Andrew Dickson White

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Priestley discovered 10 new gases including oxygen and a gas later identified as carbon monoxide. Just like his contributions to science his writings on religion are masterly and earned him the friendship and tutorship of President Thomas Jefferson. Priestley argued, for example, that the real “mystery” of the Trinity was that so many Christians believed it. For Jesus did not teach it, the Bible did not proclaim it, and Reason could not honor it. Jesus lived as a human being, claimed to be nothing more than the “son of man,” whose mission was to show all humankind how they should live and what God expected of them. The Old Testament honored monotheism, as did the New Testament, rightly read. Whole of his book can be read at www.archive.org.

The “Fall of Man” and Anthropology
by Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918)
Andrew Dickson White

The Church has somehow survived the fierce blows from the development of science especially the theory of evolution. The fundamental doctrine of ‘Original Sin’ lost all its philosophical footing with the scientific revolution as evidence piled in the fields of geology, archaeology and biology. The Church, however, has been able to successfully ignore the evidence or push it under the rug and away from the consciousness of the masses. The dogmas of Christianity seem to have survived the blows of Darwinian evolution. But they cannot survive the evolution of printing press into internet and websites, as that allows for the skeletons and demons to revisit centuries later and often!

Here, we reproduce a chapter of a book by Andrew Dickson White, detailing the geological and biological evidence against the doctrine of the fall of man or Original Sin. He was the founding President of Cornell University and published his book A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, in 1896. You can read this chapter online:

http://www.alislam.org/egazette/articles/Anthropology-200910.pdf

A History of Warfare of Science with theology in Christendom

This is a detailed and a wonderful history book by Andrew Dickson White, who was the founding President of the Cornell University.

Because the suppression of scientific thought by the medieval Church represents one of blackest periods of human history, many scholars have studied this period with great care. Worth special mention is a remarkable two-volume treatise by Andrew Dickson White entitled A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, published in 1896. The whole text of the two volumes of the book can be read on www.archive.org.  Here is one example:

“The doctrine of the spherical shape of the earth, and therefore the existence of the antipodes, was bitterly attacked by theologians who asked: ‘Is there anyone so senseless as to believe that crops and trees grow downwards? . . . that the rains and snow fall upwards?’ The great authority of St Augustine held the Church firmly against the idea of the antipodes and for a thousand years it was believed that there could not be human beings on the opposite side of the earth – even if the earth had opposite sides. In the sixth century, Procopius of Gaza brought powerful theological guns to bear on the issue: there could not be an opposite side, he declared, because for that Christ would have had to go there and suffer a second time. Also, there would have had to exist a duplicate Eden, Adam, Serpent, and Deluge. But that being clearly wrong, there could not be any antipodes. QED!”

To review additional fascinating accounts in this compendium, go to the following link:

http://www.alislam.org/egazette/articles/Andrew-Dickson-White-200907.pdf

Original Sin

by Zia H Shah
The dogmas of Trinity and Original sin are not only bad religion but also bad history.  The word Trinity is not even mentioned in the New Testament.  It is stated in 1890 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, “The Trinitarians and the Unitarians continued to confront each other, the latter at the beginning of the third century still forming the large majority.”  In The Encyclopedia Americana we read, “Unitarianism as a theological movement began much earlier in history; indeed it antedated Trinitarianism by many decades.  Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The Road which led from Jerusalem to the Council of Nicea was scarcely a straight one.  Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching.”

Whereas Pope John Paul II had the wisdom to accept the theory of evolution, the Christians as a whole have not had the wisdom and courage to give up the false doctrine of ‘Original Sin;’ that among many other prerequisites also requires human history of less than 6000 years. This article reviews the biological data that has shattered the dogma of Original Sin, and can be read online in the archive section in summer 2008 volume at MuslimSunrise.com

Once you discover the fallacies of the dogmas of Christianity, before assuming agnosticism or atheism try the Monotheism of Islam.  Visit:

www.alislam.org

&

http://alislam.org/introduction/index.html

&

If faith and reason are based on good foundation, they do not have to be polar opposite.  They can be synergistic, as Albert Einstein has said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

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  1. Zia H. Shah

    President Thomas Jefferson’s views
    A letter to theologian James Smith — December 8, 1822 — elaborates Jefferson’s views on the subject.

    “Sir, — I have to thank you for your pamphlets on the subject of Unitarianism, and to express my gratification with your efforts for the revival of primitive Christianity in your quarter.

    No historical fact is better established, than that the doctrine of one God, pure and uncompounded, was that of the early ages of Christianity; and was among the efficacious doctrines which gave it triumph over the polytheism of the ancients, sickened with the absurdities of their own theology. Nor was the unity of the Supreme Being ousted from the Christian creed by the force of reason, but by the sword of civil government, wielded at the will of the fanatic Athanasius. The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs. And a strong proof of the solidity of the primitive faith, is its restoration, as soon as a nation arises which vindicates to itself the freedom of religious opinion, and its external divorce from the civil authority. The pure and simple unity of the Creator of the universe, is now all but ascendant in the Eastern States; it is dawning in the West, and advancing towards the South; and I confidently expect that the present generation will see Unitarianism become the general religion of the United States. The Eastern presses are giving us many excellent pieces on the subject, and Priestley’s learned writings on it are, or should be, in every hand. In fact, the Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one, is so incomprehensible to the human mind, that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea? He who thinks he does, only deceives himself. He proves, also, that man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without a rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons gullibility which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck.”

    “I write with freedom, because while I claim a right to believe in one God, if so my reason tells me, I yield as freely to others that of believing in three. Both religions, I find, make honest men, and that is the only point society has any right to look to. Although this mutual freedom should produce mutual indulgence, yet I wish not to be brought in question before the public on this or any other subject, and I pray you to consider me as writing under that trust. I take no part in controversies, religious or political. At the age of eighty, tranquility is the greatest good of life, and the strongest of our desires that of dying in the good will of all mankind. And with the assurance of all my good will to Unitarian and Trinitarian, to Whig and Tory, accept for yourself that of my entire respect.”

    There are host of additional materials available on this webpage:

    http://www.brunswickcounty.com/Thomas_Jefferson_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity-a-1150.html

  2. Zia H. Shah

    Reality does not bend to the psychology
    In the words of Michael Shermer:

    Of course, reality does not bend to the psychology of belief. Millions of people believe in astrology, ghosts, angels, ESP, and all manner of paranormal phenomena, but that does not make them real. Mormons believe that their sacred text was dictated in an ancient language onto gold plates by the angel Moroni, buried and subsequently dug up near Palmyra, New York by Joseph Smith, who then translated them by burying his face in a hat containing magic stones. Scientologists believe that eons ago a galactic warlord named Xenu brought alien beings from another solar system to Earth, placed them in select volcanoes around the world, and then vaporized them with hydrogen bombs, scattering to the winds their souls (called thetans, in the jargon of Scientology), which attach themselves to people today, leading to drug and alcohol abuse, addiction, depression, and other psychological and social ailments that only Scientology can cure.

    http://www.templeton.org/belief/

  3. Zia H. Shah

    My take on Prof. Bart Ehrman
    Prof. Bart Ehrman is an agnostic scholar of the New Testament. If the agnostic and the religious scholars of the Bible, hold honest discussions about the Bible, the Holy Quran wins! What does this mean? If we preserve the best and accurate in the Bible and Christianity what survives is Islam!

    Try me, and read the different books of Prof. Bart Ehrman and listen to his interviews and debates available on the Youtube. And, of course, if you are not a Muslim and do not know about the Holy Quran, you have to learn about it from the Muslim sources, in addition to the usual Christian experts on Islam. Here is a Google Knol for starters:

    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-holy-quran-as-the-miracle-of-the/1qhnnhcumbuyp/55#

    My Christian friends have to remember that they have to spend enough hours in learning the Holy Quran to overcome their decades of pre-conceived biases and centuries of Islamophobic propaganda. And remember, according to Confucius, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

  4. Zia H. Shah

    Cross examining the witness: Mark 8

    Pope Benedict XVI writes:

    “All three synoptic Gospels present Jesus’ question to the disciples about who the people think he is and who they themselves consider him to be (Mk 8:27-30; Mt 16:13-20; Lk 9:18-20) as an important milestone on his way. In all three Gospels, Peter answers in the name of the Twelve with a confession that is markedly different from the opinion of the ‘people,'” Let us see how worth while the testimony of Peter is? For that let me first quote a large portion from Mark chapter 8.

    Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

    They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

    “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ”

    Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

    He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
    But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

    Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8: 27-38)

    This is hardly a satisfying account of Jesus divinity and his dying for the human race. He is known to be Christ only by Peter, who is called Satan by Jesus, within few lines of his confession of Jesus’ status. Jesus calls himself son of man twice in this account and his simple count of number of days before he rises up again is wrong.

    This is just stating the obvious on a deeper inquiry one would find further problems with this testimony of Peter!

    In short, when you cross examine the witness, the testimony is not trust worthy and certainly not worth basing a dramatic religion on it that suggests a human incarnation, never witnessed in history before or since.

    Joseph Raztzinger–Pope Benedict XVI. The Jesus of Nazareth. Doubleday, 2007. Page 287.

  5. Zia H. Shah

    Cross examining the witness: Matthew 16

    Pope Benedict XVI writes:

    “All three synoptic Gospels present Jesus’ question to the disciples about who the people think he is and who they themselves consider him to be (Mk 8:27-30; Mt 16:13-20; Lk 9:18-20) as an important milestone on his way. In all three Gospels, Peter answers in the name of the Twelve with a confession that is markedly different from the opinion of the ‘people,'” Let us see how worth while the testimony of Peter is? For that let me first quote a large portion from Matthew chapter 16.

    When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

    They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

    “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

    Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

    Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[d] will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

    From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

    Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

    Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

    Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Matthew 16:13-28)

    Some of the criticism that applies to Mark 8 applies to this account as well. According to historical evidence Matthew and Luke copied almost a third of their gospels from Mark, yet there are discrepencies in the three accounts. In Matthew’s version, Jesus is not only the Christ but also Son of the living God. Here Peter is given the keys but not in Mark. In Mark, Jesus addresses the crowd and here he addresses the disciples and tells them to hide the testimony. What is Jeus afraid of if he is going to die on the cross any way?

    In short, when you cross examine the witness, the testimony is not trust worthy and certainly not worth basing a dramatic religion on it that suggests a human incarnation, never witnessed in history before or since.

    Joseph Raztzinger–Pope Benedict XVI. The Jesus of Nazareth. Doubleday, 2007. Page 287.

  6. Zia H. Shah

    Cross examining the witness: Luke 9
    Pope Benedict XVI writes:

    “All three synoptic Gospels present Jesus’ question to the disciples about who the people think he is and who they themselves consider him to be (Mk 8:27-30; Mt 16:13-20; Lk 9:18-20) as an important milestone on his way. In all three Gospels, Peter answers in the name of the Twelve with a confession that is markedly different from the opinion of the ‘people,'” Let us see how worth while the testimony of Peter is? For that let me first quote a large portion from Luke chapter 9.

    Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”
    They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

    “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

    Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

    Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:18-27)

    Some of the criticism that applies to Mark 8 applies to this account as well. Additionally, the occasion of the whole event is different from Mark 8. Here the whole event happened as they were praying in private not so in Mark’s account. Additionally in Luke at the conclusion Jesus addresses the disciples, whereas in Mark he addresses the crowd. Here in Luke, Jesus want his status to be kept hidden from the people.

    In short, when you cross examine the witness, the testimony is not trust worthy and certainly not worth basing a dramatic religion on it that suggests a human incarnation, never witnessed in history before or since.

    Joseph Raztzinger–Pope Benedict XVI. The Jesus of Nazareth. Doubleday, 2007. Page 287.

  7. Zia H. Shah

    Cross examining the witness: Luke 9
    Pope Benedict XVI writes:

    “All three synoptic Gospels present Jesus’ question to the disciples about who the people think he is and who they themselves consider him to be (Mk 8:27-30; Mt 16:13-20; Lk 9:18-20) as an important milestone on his way. In all three Gospels, Peter answers in the name of the Twelve with a confession that is markedly different from the opinion of the ‘people,'” Let us see how worth while the testimony of Peter is? For that let me first quote a large portion from Luke chapter 9.

    Joseph Raztzinger–Pope Benedict XVI. The Jesus of Nazareth. Doubleday, 2007. Page 287.

  8. Zia H. Shah

    Christian theologians want to have their cake and eat it too!
    According to Encyclopedia Britannica:

    In the 17th century, as a counterpart to the various “confessions” of the Reformation, there appeared several “Orthodox confessions,” endorsed by local councils but in fact associated with individual authors (e.g., Metrophanes Critopoulos, 1625; Petro Mohyla, 1638; Dosítheos of Jerusalem, 1672). None of these confessions would be recognized today as having anything but historical importance. Orthodox theologians, rather than seeking literal conformity with any particular confession, will look for consistency with Scripture and tradition, as it has been expressed in the ancient councils, in the works of the Church Fathers (the early theological authorities of the church), and in the uninterrupted life of the liturgy. Most theologians will not shy away from new formulations if consistency and continuity of tradition are preserved.

    What is particularly characteristic of this attitude toward the faith is the absence of any great concern for establishing external criteria of truth—a concern that has dominated Western Christian thought since the Middle Ages. Truth appears as a living experience accessible in the communion of the church and of which the Scriptures, the councils, and theology are the normal expressions. Even ecumenical councils, in the Orthodox perspective, must be accepted by the body of the church in order to be recognized as truly ecumenical. Ultimately, therefore, truth is viewed as its own criterion: there are signs that point to it, but none of those signs is a substitute for a free and personal experience of truth, which is made accessible in the sacramental fellowship of the church.

    “Eastern Orthodoxy.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 30 Jul. 2010 .

  9. Zia H. Shah

    Even President Bush had to accept that the Bible is not literally true
    This is in response to the comment below. I have made knols on New Testament and Old Testament, where I have provided plenty of evidence of textual corruption of the Bible:

    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-new-testament-how-was-it-compiled/1qhnnhcumbuyp/87#

    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-old-testament-how-was-it-compiled/1qhnnhcumbuyp/88#

    Or read Bart Ehrman especially his book ‘Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them).’

    I have made several knols about the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him. Any questions about him please write in those knols and I will answer those God willing. Let us stick to the topic of this knol here. Those knols are:

    http://knol.google.com/k/tribute-to-islam-the-prophet-muhammad-and-quran-by-non-muslim-writers#
    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-message-mohammed-messenger-of-god-a/1qhnnhcumbuyp/33#
    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/muhammad-seal-of-the-prophets/1qhnnhcumbuyp/109#

  10. Zia H. Shah

    Independent proof for Christianity
    Christian apologists should make a case that the nature speaks and demands a God who is ‘three persons in one being’ or ‘three persons and one substance.’ Then go onto show that God told all races and humans about Trinity and told them that He will be sending his only begotten son eventually, stay tuned! He would have obviuosly told the Jews in no uncertain terms about what kind of Messiah they should be waiting for. And finally when Jesus did come, he should have at least told his disciples that he is on a mission to die for others, so watch out! At least then Peter would not have had any need to resist Jesus’ arrest as he did in the Garden of Gethesme.

    Christianity has been a journey from fact to fiction. Brothers and sisters time to wake up and do some reading:

    http://www.alislam.org/library/books/chr…index.html
    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-ne…umbuyp/87#

  11. Zia H. Shah

    Andrew Norton — Was he denied Islam?
    “When we look back through the long ages of the reign of the Trinity — we shall perceive that few doctrines have produced more unmixed evil.”

    Ref:
    Andrews Norton. A statement of Reasons for not Believing the Doctorine of Trinitarians Concerning the Nature of God and the Person of Christ. Hillard Gray and Co., 1833. Page 287.

    This book is more than 400 pages and is available in Google-Books.

  12. Zia H. Shah

    Our God: Proving the existence of God by rational means
    My fear is that after reading the whole of this article and its links Christians will become atheists. I would rather have them Unitarian than agnostics or atheists, so linking this book here. It is a very easy and simple reading.

    Here is the foreword of the book:

    I have long wanted to write a book on the subject of the existence of God, for the benefit of young people in particular. I wanted to set out in a brief and simple manner the arguments which prove the existence of God—Who is our Master and Creator—and to describe His attributes and the advantages and means of establishing communion with Him. For a number of reasons, I have, until now, been unable to fulfil this desire. A few days ago, however, someone asked me about the existence of God in his own peculiar manner, thus rekindling my old desire. I took this to be an appeal from beyond and embarked upon writing this book. No one has any capacity to undertake anything without Allah and I place my trust in Him alone.

    It would be incorrect to think that I have prepared myself for this task, or that I wish to shed any light upon it from a purely intellectual point of view. The only purpose I have in mind is to share my existing knowledge on the subject with the young and ordinary people in a simple and concise manner. If God so wills, it might grant guidance to some lost soul, or refresh someone’s stagnating faith, or serve to comfort some anxious and restless heart, or, perchance, our dearly beloved might come to realise that the true aim and purpose of our lives is to recognise our Lord, Whose love is greater than any other.

    Before I begin I pray to the Almighty: ‘O my Lord, You are aware of all my shortcomings and my knowledge and deeds are not hidden from You. Grant me, through Your grace, the strength to complete this book in accordance with that which pleases You. Grant power to my words and lead my pen along the path of righteousness and truth, so that people may recognise You and attain the goal of their lives. O my Helper and Guide, though I consider myself true in my intentions, You know me better than I know myself. If You are aware of any ill-intentions on my part, do have mercy on me and purify me so that this book may not be deprived of the blessings which You send down in support of the truth. Be it so, O God. Amen.’

    The whole text can be read online:
    http://alislam.org/library/books/OurGod.pdf

  13. Zia H. Shah

    The gene of Original Sin may have reversed for some
    In the comments here we have been mostly discussing Trinity, this is not to give an easy pass to Original Sin, ressurection or Eucharist etc.

    Biology has proven that Homo sapiens are more than 6000 years old. Adam and Eve lived 6000 years ago. So, we are not all descended from Adam and Eve. It would seem from the comments of Kalle Schwarz here that he and I do not have the genes of Original Sin! Is it possible that we may be innocent and may not need Jesus Christ to die for us.

    Even if he died for some, biology has shown no mechanisms, as to how dying of Jesus, may peace be upon him, could affect the gene of Original Sin in case of Dan Marcum, one of our contributors here.

    It is also theoretically possible that mutations may reverse, what if some one claims that his gene of Original Sin reversed spontaneously and he does not owe it to Jesus Christ.

    I do believe that Jesus Christ was a holy Prophet and we owe some of our wisdom to him. For example, blessed are the meek, for …

  14. Zia H. Shah

    The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s self inflicted wound
    Let me invite all open minded readers to read a book, by Unitarian Christians, ‘The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound’ by Sir Anthony Buzzard and Charles F. Hunting.

    This important work is a detailed biblical investigation of the relationship of Jesus to the one God of Israel. The authors challenge the notion that biblical monotheism is legitimately represented by a Trinitarian view of God and demonstrate that within the bounds of the canon of Scripture Jesus is confessed as Messiah, Son of God, but not God Himself. Later Christological developments beginning in the second century misrepresented the biblical doctrine of God and Christ by altering the terms of the biblical presentation of the Father and Son. This fateful development laid the foundation of a revised, unscriptural creed that needs to be challenged. This book is likely to be a definitive presentation of a Christology rooted, as it originally was, in the Hebrew Bible. The authors present a sharply-argued appeal for an understanding of God and Jesus in the context of the original Christian documents.

    Sir Anthony Buzzard teaches at Atlanta Bible College. Charles F. Hunting is a retired pastor and college business manager.

  15. Zia H. Shah

    Water, ice and steam: Too easy to diffuse
    My partner in this argument Dan Marcum is not ready to give up yet! I hope and pray that he eventually understands the arguments that we are building here. In one of his comments below he brought up the age old cop out of Trinitarian apologists, water, ice and steam.

    This is a wrong metaphor in this situation. At a given temperature it is either, water, ice or steam, they cannot all co-exist. It would have been applicable if God the Father sometimes changed into Jesus Christ and sometimes changed into Holy Ghost, depending on need and circumstances. In that case Jesus Christ could not pray to God the Father, for there would be no God the Father at that time, any where!

    This metaphor has been made by apologists to only confuse the gullible! For additional details please go to a knol, ‘Jesus son of Mary: An alliance of the Unitarians.’

    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/jesus-son-of-mary-an-alliance-of-the/1qhnnhcumbuyp/98#

  16. Zia H. Shah

    Testimony of Bishop John Shelby Spong about Jesus Christ
    In his book ‘Why Christianity Must Change or Die’ the controversial Bishop writes:

    “Thus it was that by drawing on their sacred history, the first century Jewish folk found the words to talk about the God presence that they had met in Jesus. They knew no God except a God defined as an external being with supernatural powers, and so they described the God presence they met in Jesus in the only God language they knew how to use. God had come down by spiritual conception or by an outpouring of heavenly spirit upon him. Jesus was a spirit person, a window in to the holy, an incarnation of the divine. Underneath the description, however, lay an experience, and it is that experience that beckons us even as we set the literalness of their description of that experience aside.”

    Bishop Spong here expands the idea that referring to Jesus as ‘God Incarnate’ was not a literal statement at all, but merely an expression of how the people felt that Jesus, may peace be upon him, was a special figure with great closeness to God.

    Spong, John Shelby, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, HarperColins Publishers limited, New York, 1999, p.112

  17. Zia H. Shah

    Testimony of Thomas Sheehan about Jesus Christ
    In his highly acclaimed book, ‘The First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity,’ Sheehan analyses the person of Jesus and relates how one Messianic figure was changed to the literal ‘Son of God’ and part of a Trinity:

    “Today, at the dawn of her third millennium, the Christian church is undergoing a crisis over the truth about Jesus of Nazareth. The crisis grows out of a fact now freely admitted by both Catholic and Protestant theologians: that as far as can be discerned from available historical data, Jesus of Nazareth did not think he was divine, did not assert any of the messianic claims that the New Testament attributes to him, and went to his death without ever intending to found a new religion called ‘Christianity.'”

    Sheehan, Thomas, The First Coming: How the Kingdom of God became Christianity, Random House, USA, 1986

  18. Zia H. Shah

    Testimony of EP Sanders about Jesus Christ
    In his book ‘The Historical Figure of Jesus’ Sanders analyzes what we know about Jesus, may peace be upon him, through detailed textual analysis. On the issue of his divinity and title as ‘Son of God,’ he writes:

    “The early Christians, then, used ‘Son of God’ of Jesus but they did not think that he was a hybrid, half God and half human. They regarded ‘Son of God’ as a high designation, but we cannot go much beyond that…. The first followers of Jesus, however, when they started calling him ‘Son of God’, would have meant something much vaguer: a person standing in a special relationship to God, who chose him to accomplish a task of great importance.”

    Sanders, E.P., The Historical Figure of Jesus, The Penguin Group, England, 1993, p.244-245.

  19. Zia H. Shah

    Jesus Christ never claimed to be God
    Sometimes a question is raised as to whether Trinitarianism was the orginal Christian position or the Unitarianism. The simple answer is that the Jews believed in only God the Father and so did Jesus Christ himself. If this claim can be established then obviously Unitarianism is the orthodox position and Trinitarianism a later invention.

    The Holy Quran says:

    And when Allah will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary, didst thou say to men, ‘Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah?’”, he will answer, “Holy art Thou. I could never say that to which I had no right. If I had said it, Thou wouldst have surely known it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy mind. It is only Thou Who art the Knower of hidden things.

    “I said nothing to them except that which Thou didst command me — ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ And I was a witness over them as long as I remained among them, but since Thou didst cause me to die, Thou hast been the Watcher over them; and Thou art Witness over all things.

    “If Thou punish them, they are Thy servants; and if Thou forgive them, Thou surely art the Mighty, the Wise.”

    Allah will say, ‘This is a day when only the truthful shall profit by their truthfulness. For them are Gardens beneath which streams flow; therein shall they abide for ever. Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him; that indeed is the great triumph.’”

    (Al Quran 5:117-120)

    Scores of proofs will be cited from the Bible in proof of the above Quranic claims in due course of time, in this knol. For starters read about his earnest prayers to God the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    Jesus was known to be a prophet. According to Matthew 21:11, when he went to Jerusalem, the multitude said, “This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth.” He was also called prophet many other places such as Matthew 13:57, Luke 13:33, Luke 24:19 and John 6:14. In essence, he has been called a prophet in all the Gospels. Also see:

    http://www.muslimsunrise.com/dmddocuments/2007_iss_1.pdf#page=30

  20. Zia H. Shah

    Three persons and one substance: How could that be?
    Dan Marcum still insists, in his comments below, that three persons in One God is somehow one. So, in order to try to explain it again to him let me tell you something about ‘substance.’

    In the old days when protoplasm and biology was not well understood it could be considered conceiveable that well intentioned theologians made the mistake of creating ‘Trinity.’ But, now that we know what man is made of, it is no longer tenable to confuse these issues. Man is made of 46 chromosomes and as such is made of DNA, proteins, enzymes etc and almost has 60% water in his body. Whereas, God the Father is Transcendent, beyond time, space and matter. So you see Jesus Christ and God the Father are not of the same substance. If this was not clear to those indoctrinated in Trinity yet, think of the mother Mary, what does this conundrum make of her? What substance is she? The Holy Quran has explained this very eloquently in one line:

    “The Originator of the heavens and the earth! How can He have a son when He has no consort.” (Al Quran 6:102)

    The Holy Quran regards mother Mary as a very pious and chaste lady and one of the 114 chapters of the Holy Quran, is named after her. Praying, that all the Trinitarians become Unitarians as our Third President Thomas Jefferson hoped for.

  21. Zia H. Shah

    Semi-Arianism — another proof that Trinity has no legs to stand on
    The interesting thing about Trinity is that more you talk about it the more confusing it gets, never satisfying human logic and rationality. I picked up quotes from Encyclopedia Britannica about ‘Arianism’ and ‘Semi-Arianism’ on the same day and they do not agree about belief of Arius with each other. Trinity is in daily conflict with itself, it has done only one thing, it is a machinery for confusion and making heretics. The quote here from Encyclopedia says, ‘Son and Spirit derived their divinity from the Father.’ The quote of Encyclopdia a few comments down about Arianism says, ‘It affirmed that Christ is not truly divine but a created being.’ Please come out of this maze and follow the simple and beutiful Muslim creed, ‘There is no God but Allah, the One and Only.’

    Here is what Encyclopedia Britannica has to say about Semi-Arianism:

    “Semi-Arianism is a 4th-century Trinitarian heresy in the Christian church. Though it modified the extreme position of Arianism, it still fell short of the church’s orthodox teaching that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are of the same substance.

    Arius held that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were three separate essences (ousiai) or substances (hypostaseis) and that the Son and Spirit derived their divinity from the Father, were created in time, and were inferior to the Godhead. Semi-Arians, however, admitted that the Son was ‘like’ (homoiousios) the Father but not of one substance (homoousios) with him. This doctrinal controversy, revolving around two words distinguished by a single iota (ι), gave rise to the popular expression, ‘It makes not one iota of difference.’ To Orthodox Christians, however, the iota was of great importance. Both Arianism and semi-Arianism were condemned at the Council of Nicaea (325).”

    “semi-Arianism.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 05 Jan. 2010 .

  22. Zia H. Shah

    Ebionites and the Jews

    One of the confusions often created by Christian apologists is as to what is the Orthodox view in Christianity, Unitarian or Trinitarian? The simple answer is that the Jews are strict monotheists and so were the early Christians. They were circumcised according to the Jewish tradition. It was a political move of St Paul to give up circumcision to recruit the gentiles. There are so many proofs for the open minded Christians to see that Unitarian Monotheism was the Jewish position and also position of Jesus Christ and the early Christians. The Exhibit that I want to present in this comment are the ‘Ebionites.’ Each of my comments here is a separate evidence against the dogmas of Christianity especially ‘Trinity.’

    Encyclopedia Britannica says about Ebionites, a group of early Christians, as it explains that they did not consider Jesus to be God but a Prophet:

    Ebionites are member of an early ascetic sect of Jewish Christians. The Ebionites were one of several such sects that originated in and around Palestine in the first centuries ad and included the Nazarenes and Elkasites. The name of the sect is from the Hebrew ebyonim, or ebionim (‘the poor’); it was not founded, as later Christian writers stated, by a certain Ebion.

    Little information exists on the Ebionites, and the surviving accounts are subject to considerable debate, since they are uniformly derived from the Ebionites’ opponents. The first mention of the sect is in the works of the Christian theologian St. Irenaeus, notably in his Adversus haereses (Against Heresies; c. 180); other sources include the writings of Origen and St. Epiphanius of Constantia. The Ebionite movement may have arisen about the time of the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem (ad 70). Its members evidently left Palestine to avoid persecution and settled in Transjordan (notably at Pella) and Syria and were later known to be in Asia Minor and Egypt. The sect seems to have existed into the 4th century.

    Most of the features of Ebionite doctrine were anticipated in the teachings of the earlier Qumrān sect, as revealed in the Dead Sea Scrolls. They believed in one God and taught that Jesus was the Messiah and was the true “prophet” mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:15. They rejected the Virgin Birth of Jesus, instead holding that he was the natural son of Joseph and Mary. The Ebionites believed Jesus became the Messiah because he obeyed the Jewish Law. They themselves faithfully followed the Law, although they removed what they regarded as interpolations in order to uphold their teachings.

    “Ebionite.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 06 Jan. 2010 .

  23. Zia H. Shah

    The Kingdom of David: a documentary
    Dan Marcum in one of his comments below is perhaps suggesting, that Trinity was the original view and Unitarianism was a later invention. That is perhaps, what the Church wants gullible people, to read into history. But that is not true, Arius was not a heretic, his was the orthodox position! Jesus Christ was a Jew. For the first 50 years there was also the controversy whether every Christian should be circumcized or not.

    There is 1300 year history of Judaism before Christianity to confirm Arius position and strict monotheism. The Unitarian Christians are orthodox and on the Original Truth and not the Trinitarians.

    One easy way to learn about Jewish history is to watch a PBS documentary:

    Empires – The Kingdom of David – The Saga of the Israelites ~ F. Murray Abraham, Rene Auberjonois, Jake Borowski, and Keith David (DVD -Mar 8, 2005) It is available on Amazon.com only for $12.00.

  24. Zia H. Shah

    Da Vinci code and the search for the Holy Grail
    The character Sir Leigh Teabing, in the Da Vinci code says, “We are in the middle of a war. One that has been going on forever to protect a secret so powerful that if revealed it would devastate the very foundations of mankind.” What could that secret be?

    François Bérenger Saunière (1852-1917) was a priest in the French village of Rennes-le-Château, in the Aude region, officially from 1885 to 1909. Dan Brown in his best-selling 2003 novel the Da Vinci Code, has named the the character Jacques Saunière who is the curator of Louvre museum after him. Many documentaries about the Da Vinci code refer to fact that François Bérenger Saunière had found a secret that made him a very rich man. What was that secret? Did he find some secret documents? Did he find the holy Grail? Did he find that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus Christ? Did he find the Royal blood line of Jesus through Mary Magdalene going all the way back to King David; or did he find that Jesus did not die on the cross?

    I propose that the sense of secrecy and a hype, about a certain secret that the book the Da Vinci code has aroused in the masses, is actually hiding in open sight. It is none other than the fact that Jesus did not die on the cross! What would finding a descendent of King David or Jesus Christ do in the modern life. World has moved beyond kingship. What would be the big impact if we all come to believe that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus Christ? What could a untensil the Holy Grail achieve unless it was Alladin’s lamp? What would the discovery of a secret organization do? There are perhaps scores out there! There is however, one secret that will demolish the dogmas of Christianity, if majority come to see and believe it! That open secret is that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross. As far as the Western population is concerned this is still a secret, most have not heard about it. It is as if it were hidden in open sight. It is fair to say that, it is the elephant in the room that the movie, the novel, the commentaries and the documentaries fail to capture!

    This is the Holy Grail, if you discover the full truth of this for yoursel, it will not only fulfill your intellectual curiosity but would fulfill you spiritually.

    Your search for the Holy Grail starts with a BBC documentary, Jesus in Kashmir:

    This thirty minute documentary by BBC, examines what happened to Jesus Christ after he was put on the cross, based on Bible, historical and medical evidence:

    Part I

    Part II

    Part III

    The discovery of clues in the documentary will lead you to a book, Jesus in India, by none other than the founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad:

    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/jesus-in-india/1qhnnhcumbuyp/43#

    After you have read this book, for additional satisfaction, you may want to read a book with a similar name, Jesus in India – King of Wisdom. This is a book and a documentary movie by Paul Davids. The film was chosen by the Sundance Channel for a national U.S. television broadcast as its Christmas documentary for 2008, with a prime time airing December 22nd and a repeat broadcast the day after Christmas and on the day of New Year’s Eve. Additionally, the International Television Division of NBC Universal offers the film for broadcasts around the world.

    To read the foreword of the book go to:
    http://www.reviewofreligions.org/download/RR201001.pdf

    Your search through different websites, books and movies will eventually lead you to a hidden treasure of spiritual knowledge:

    http://www.Alislam.org

    But you will not be able to open the lock of the treasure unless you first cleanse yourself in a bath of humility, patience, honesty and diligence!

  25. Zia H. Shah

    Saint Arian a proponent of Monotheism
    Alexandrian presbyter Arius should have been declared a saint rather than a heretic. The world history would have been so different! Jews, Christians and Muslims would then have had one faith, called the Abrahamic Faith! But, in any case, Read on, and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon’s advice, ‘Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.’

    Here is what Encyclopedia Britannica has to say about Arianism, I have put some of my words in [ ] brackets:

    “Arianism is a Christian heresy first proposed early in the 4th century by the Alexandrian presbyter Arius. [it preexisted in form of Judaism, Jesus Christ was a Jew]. It affirmed that Christ is not truly divine but a created being. Arius’ basic premise was the uniqueness of God, who is alone self-existent and immutable; the Son, who is not self-existent, cannot be God. Because the Godhead is unique, it cannot be shared or communicated, so the Son cannot be God. Because the Godhead is immutable, the Son, who is mutable, being represented in the Gospels as subject to growth and change, cannot be God. The Son must, therefore, be deemed a creature who has been called into existence out of nothing and has had a beginning. Moreover, the Son can have no direct knowledge of the Father since the Son is finite and of a different order of existence.

    The controversy seemed to have been brought to an end by the Council of Nicaea (ad 325), which condemned Arius and his teaching and issued a creed to safeguard orthodox [Arius’ view was orthodox, examine Judaism] Christian belief. This creed states that the Son is homoousion tō Patri (‘of one substance with the Father’), thus declaring him to be all that the Father is: he is completely divine. In fact, however, this was only the beginning of a long-protracted dispute.”

    “Arianism.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 05 Jan. 2010 .

    The controversy never came to an end. Trinity has been forced on to human consciousness by political force, in one Ecumenical Council after another as we shall examine here in detail, God willing.

    The term ‘begotten’ itself means that Jesus Christ is not eternal. Trinity is Paradox par Excellence! No matter how you look at it, it does not make any sense.

  26. Zia H. Shah

    Joseph Priestley and Trinity

    Logic, rationality, biology, geology, archeology, history and all other religions are all on the side of Muslim understanding of Monotheism. Only thing upholding the belief in Trinity is gullibility of Trinitarians, a 1600 year tradition and political force. Read my comments in reverse order, from bottom up, that is how they have been developed. Now let me present to you a great man Joseph Priestly, a friend of President Thomas Jefferson and also of Benjamin Franklin. Without further adoo, here comes, Joseph Priestly!!

    According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Joseph Priestley discovered 10 new gases including oxygen and a gas later identified as carbon monoxide. Just like his contributions to science his writings on religion are masterly and earned him the friendship and tutorship of President Thomas Jefferson. Priestley argued, for example, that the real ‘mystery’ of the Trinity was that so many Christians believed it. For Jesus did not teach it, the Bible did not proclaim it, and Reason could not honor it. Jesus lived as a human being, claimed to be nothing more than the ‘son of man,’ whose mission was to show all humankind how they should live and what God expected of them. The Old Testament honored monotheism, as did the New Testament, rightly read.

    (Edwin Scott Gaustad. Sworn on the altar of God: a religious biography of Thomas Jefferson. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996. Page 112.)

    Priestly further writes:

    “Now I ask, wherein the doctrine of Trinity differs from a contradiction? It asserts, in effect, that nothing is wanting to either the Father, the Son, or the Spirit, to constitute each of them truly and properly God; each being equal in eternity and all divine perfections; and yet that these three are not three Gods, but only one God. They are, therefore, both one and many in the same respect, in each being perfect God. This is certainly as much a contradiction as to say that Peter, James and John, having each of them everything that is requisite to constitute a complete man, are yet, all together, not three men, but only one man.”

    (Joseph Priestley. A history of the corruptions of Christianity Page 321. Published by The British and foreign Unitarian Association in 1871.)

    Whole of his book can be read at http://www.archive.org or Google.com, books section.

  27. Zia H. Shah

    The Council of Nicaea and the three others
    The best way to understand the doctrine of ‘Trinity’ is to study its historical evolution. It took four Ecumenical Councils from year 325 CE till 451 CE, spread over more than 100 years and 450 years after Jesus Christ was put on the cross, for the doctrine to arrive in what is its current form.

    Contrast all this to the simplicity and beauty of the Muslim creed, “There is no God but Allah!”

    No wonder, it has always amazed Muslims, why the Trinitarian Christians do not opt for something better. We extend a cordial invitation to all the Christian brethren in the words of the Holy Quran, “Say, ‘O People of the Book! come to a word equal between us and you — that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partner with Him, and that some of us take not others for Lords besides Allah.’ But if they turn away, then say, ‘Bear witness that we have submitted to God.’ ” (Al Quran 3:65)

    For details go to:

    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-council-of-nicaea-and-the-three/1qhnnhcumbuyp/76#

    Dan keep reading this information. I will answer all your questions below, and may God help you see that ‘one is not equal to three’ and ‘three is not equal to one.’ Because your ancestors have over the centuries gone through these fallacies of these four councils, it is becoming difficult for you to see clearly on this issue. This is the archetype, in your psyche, that you have, in the words of Carl Jung. Ask any of your Jewish friends as to why God is one in person and one in substance!

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