Oct 5, 2005

Muslims and The Deity of Christ

Probably the most significant obstacle to a Muslim coming to faith in Christ is the Christian belief in the deity of Christ. Islam’s absolute monotheism has no room for the idea that God is triune and thus no room for thinking that Jesus is the Second Person of the triune Godhead. What’s more, Muslims view God as so transcendent that it would be beneath God, somehow defiling to God, for Him to become a man.

How is a Christian to remove these obstacles and lead his Muslim friends to faith in Christ? There isn’t space here to give a full-blown, detailed answer, but let me offer this suggestion: Ask your Muslim friend why it would be beneath God or defiling to God to become a man. Chances are, he will have a hard time explaining exactly why God’s becoming a man is such a bad thing. If so, you will then have an opportunity to explain why God becoming a man is a good thing.

First, it is a good thing for God to become a human being in Jesus because it is a good thing for us to know God. Our finitude and sinfulness hinder us from having a clear and firm understanding of God’s character. What better way, then, for God to make Himself and His will known than to take on human flesh and show us God’s character face-to-face in his daily actions?

Second, the incarnation of God demonstrates more clearly than anything the love and compassion He has for His creatures. Sure, God’s condescending to become a man is humiliating, but rather than defile God, this humiliation exalts Him as a God of love and mercy. Is it defiling for a grown man to get down on the floor and play games with his children and talk baby talk with them? Of course no. It’s compassionate and loving. Why then is it bad for God to come down to our level and talk our language and live our life in order to deliver us from sin?

If the Muslim argues that it is somehow impossible for God to become a man, again, ask him, why? Why is it impossible for the omnipotent Creator of the universe to take on human flesh? Although some clever philosophers have tried to argue that the idea of one person who is both God and man is contradictory, none of those arguments hold water.

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