Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Bible or the Qur’an: There's No Comparison


Mike Robinson
Bible vs the Qur'an
Bible vs. the Qur'an it's no contest


Introduction

A crucial reason one should esteem Christianity over Islam is that the Bible predates the Qur’an by many hundreds of years and there is not one passage in the Qur’an that explicitly and plainly claims that the Bible is unreliable, changed or corrupted. There are numerous verses in the Qur’an that reckon the Bible as true and that it is the word of God. Islam’s holy book esteems the Bible as God’s word and the Bible was written before the Qur’an. Moreover, the two books disagree on God’s nature and the path of salvation. Clearly one should take the Bible over the Qur’an.



1. The Bible ascribes a different nature for God, and a completely dissimilar way and means to salvation than Islam.
2. The Qur’an affirms the Bible (Muhammad directed Christians to follow the Bible they had in the seventh century in Qur’an verses: 2:40-42, 89,126; 3:3,71, 93; 4:47; 5:47-51, 69-72; 6:91; 7:157; 29:45,46; 35:31). 
3. The Bible is correct on the nature of God and salvation, not the Qur’an.

Many Muslims will deny two and will refer you to some Quranic or Haddith passages that suggest the corruption and undependability of the Bible. Yet, in light of the affirmative verses, that suggestion appears to lead to incongruity.

Precious Promises

As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Islam, along with every non-Christian religion, has one basic miscalculation in touching salvation: Its followers are trying to reach God, find God, and please God through their good works, sacraments, and rituals.

Christianity is God reaching down to man. Christianity claims that Christians have not found God, but that God found them. God decreed the directive for the Son of God to descend from Heaven to live and then die on the cross to pardon His people. Man-centered religion cringes at this thought. It insists that we try to be good enough to earn divine acceptance. It tries to put its followers on religious treadmills. Nonetheless, laboring to do those proper religious works and to clean up one’s soul is no real solution.

There are some who trouble you, and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:7-9).

Every false religion lacks the capacity to expiate one’s spiritual record of sin. Only Jesus can, that is why Jesus came to earth, to love and to die. Self-centered religion tries to conform and reform to earn salvation. Jesus Christ transforms through real forgiveness and empowerment by the Holy Spirit. False deities cannot provide complete forgiveness and eternal hope.

God is a Self-contained Being: Aseity


Some non-Christian systems (as the polytheistic religions and modern philosophical “personalisms”) posit personal gods of one kind or another, but those gods are not absolute in the sense of being self-contained. Other non-Christian systems accept absolute realties of various kinds, but those absolutes are not personal. Only in the biblical teaching are absoluteness and personality combined in the Supreme being.” [1]

First and foremost among the attributes, we, therefore, mention the independence or self-existence of God. ... He is self-contained rationality.[2]

Allah leads astray whomsoever He wills (Sura 14:4).

Allah is the best of deceivers (Sura 3:54).

Yahweh is a “self-individuated Spirit.”[3] The Triune God is “self-contained fullness”[4] and “absolute personality.”[5] Christian theism assents to a deity who is self-contained and personal. Islam teaches that their deity changes his mind, deceives, and he can lie. Additionally, he lacks immutability, and thus is deficient of aseity. The biblical God has aseity. This means that God has self-existence, self-sufficiency, and He’s not dependent or contingent upon anyone or anything. The power of His being is within Himself. “God is self-sufficient or self-contained in his being.”[6] 

Allah is not a personal being or a thing since he is “not like anything.” Thus he cannot be personal. Furthermore, he is inscrutably arbitrary in his decrees. In some ways the Islamic god seems fickle and capricious. This notion yields inconsistency and change; for Allah can do anything, including lie. He can deceive and mislead. He cannot ground changeless things for he is not bound to a nature. Changeless things, such as mathematics, logic, and moral law, exist and these require that which cannot change and cannot lie: the changeless biblical God.

The Sufficiency of the Triune God

bible god allah koran

The sovereign God is not someone who is beyond reach or beyond knowing.[7]

Van Til stressed the interlinking of God’s attributes in that the “immutability of God is involved in his aseity.” Since God is self-sufficient, He does not need to change like the Muslim deity. There must be a foundation, somewhere, that is unchanging and has aseity. Van Til illuminates this: “We must rather reason that unless God exists as ultimate, as self-subsistent, we could not know anything, we could not even reason that God does not exist, nor could we even ask a question about God.”[8] There must be a certain, absolute, self-sufficient, and unchanging basis for the intelligibility of our world: Yahweh. He must exist to account for the unchanging and transcendent laws of logic. Allah cannot supply the required pre-necessities for absolute and unchanging realities. Only the Lord God can. Even if Allah could account for the laws of logic, there is no basis for using such laws (since Allah is arbitrary and deceptive) to understand and interpret the world. Such laws simply would not apply. The true God alone has the ability and character to provide that which is necessary to make sense out of reality.

Van Til remarked that “God is absolute. He is autonomous.”[9] Man cannot be autonomous (not subject to the rule or authority of another) and the Muslim doctrine of Allah implies that Allah cannot be autonomous. For strict autonomy one must have true personality (Allah is not a person and lacks personality), aseity, self-rule, and supreme sovereignty which only the true God has. 


That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie. … This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast… (Hebrews 6:18-19).
For I am the LORD (Yahweh), I do not change (Malachi 3:6).

I know that that Yahweh, dissimilarity to Allah, provides all a priori essentials for the necessary epistemic elements utilized in all thoughts, knowledge, and achievements. The God of the Bible has genuine ontic attributes of omniscience, immutability, omnipotence as well as aseity (He has universal authority & reach) thus He has the ontological capacity (His nature) to be the ground for general principles, immutable laws, universal operational aspects of human thinking and understanding. In Christian theism God can be known (John 17:1-3; Romans 1). Moreover, a position that denies Yahweh as the epistemic (knowledge) foundation cannot be true, thus whatever evidence or proof one ascertains, must be discerned and processed with the rational equipment that arises from Christian theism and the worldview that is sourced by the Triune God.
The true God is the elemental requirement for knowledge, proof, evidence, and the laws of logic. He is the a priori verity condition for the intelligibility of reality. This is the case inasmuch as the immaterial, transcendent, and immutable Triune God supplies the necessary pre-environment for the use of immaterial, transcendent, universal, and immutable laws of logic utilized in all knowledge pursuits. Christian theism is the pre-essential truth condition for the grounding and understanding of knowledge. Christianity is true not only because it seems more probable than its antithesis, but because it supplies the basis for knowledge.

Muslims presuppose the rational necessities that the Christian worldview underwrites while they orally deny it. What are the compulsory conditions that make thought possible? Yahweh supplies those truth conditions to establish the rational parquet for intelligibility. Van Til called this “method of implication into the truth of God a transcendental method. That is, we must seek to determine what presuppositions are necessary to any object of knowledge in order that it may be intelligible to us.”

Christian Theism and Salvation

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalms 103:12).

Christianity supplies salvation certainty. The truth that Christ provides salvation freely and keeps those He saves is guaranteed. Through the cross, God removes the believer's sins as far as the east is from the west. If one lived in San Diego and wanted to travel as far west as possible, where would he go? When he started out west he could land in Hawaii, but the Philippines are still west of that, from the Philippines he could go west to China, and from there France, and then further west to New York and back to San Diego. How far west must he travel to reach the east? It is immeasurable and infinite. And so are his transgressions removed as he trusts in Christ. His transgressions are infinitely eliminated by the infinite atonement through the cross. That is good news that the Muslim faith and all other religions cannot deliver.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness (Romans 4:5).

Allah loves not transgressors (Sura 2:190). 

All people require a spiritual cleansing. Only Jesus Christ and His death on the cross can wash away all their sins. Jesus died and rose again. No one else has done that for sinners. Van Til presses: “If God was to continue communication with His creature, it was either to be by condemnation or by atonement.” God through His mercy provided a perfect and effectual atonement through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Believe on Him and you will be saved.

Allah loves not those who do wrong (Sura 3:57).

He loves not creatures ungrateful or wicked (Sura 2:276).

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs, according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7).

Access to God

The curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom. We have the access to our Father that no one else can have. We come to God’s throne spotless, redeemed. ... In Him, we have become the righteousness of God.[10] 

The Qur’an says, “To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward” (Sura 5:9). Ask the Muslim if he is doing enough good deeds to receive salvation on Judgment Day. Remind him that his repentance must be perfectly sincere for the Qur’an says, “O ye who believe! Turn unto Allah in sincere repentance!” (66:8). Only if the man, who is sincere, may receive forgiveness. Without faith in Christ, how can one know that one is sincere enough to be forgiven of God? The real solution is Jesus who paid for our sins on the cross, once for all. Thus Christians are safe and filled with hope in Him and do not have to fret about doing enough good works to be accepted (Romans 4:5). Christians do good works for the sake of love and gratitude.

Jesus vs. Muhammad in the Qur’an

Considering that Islam claims that Muhammad is the last and greatest prophet, it appears inconsistent that the Qur’an asserts the following concerning Jesus Christ in contrast to Muhammad:


·         Jesus was born of a virgin (Sura 19:16-35): not Muhammad.
·         Jesus is a Spirit from God (Sura 4:171): not Muhammad.
·         Jesus is the Word of God (Sura 4:171):  not Muhammad.
·         Jesus was sinless (Sura 19:19):  not Muhammad.
·         Jesus gave life to the dead (Sura 3:49 and 22:73):  not Muhammad. 
·         Jesus is coming back again as a sign of the hour of judgment (Sura 43:61):  not Muhammad.
·         Jesus performed many miracles (Sura 3:49 and 100:110): not Muhammad (Sura 29:47-51).
·         Jesus is the Messiah (Sura 4:171): not Muhammad.

There is something exceptional about Jesus Christ; even the Qur’an avows such. No other prophet or false prophet has His divine nature and accomplished what He did and taught what He taught (John 1:1, 10:30, 5:18, 8:24, 8:58, 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:16; Col. 1:16-17, 2:9; Matt. 22:42-45; Mark 14:64). Buddha, Joseph Smith, Krishna, Sun Yung Moon, and Muhammad never did what Jesus Christ did. Jesus died for our sins and rose again on the third day. He performed many miracles. He claimed to be God and demonstrated His deity.

Growth through Love and Truth

Jesus promised that His Church would grow from a small mustard seed to a worldwide movement and it has: from eleven followers to billions of Christians in every country in the world. The movement of Jesus, Christianity, grew large and fast by the power of love, truth, peace, and self-sacrifice. Islam generally grew by the sword. Muhammad and his followers killed many Jews, Christians, and Pagans as they plundered their towns. Islam advanced by the use of force: Christianity through love and hope. 

Jesus is the Messiah: the Christ. We can examine a pre-Christian and pre-Islamic source (not the New Testament or the Qur’an) to find the definition of the Messiah: the Old Testament. It, including the Torah, proclaims, asserts, and implies that the Messiah would be God (Psalms 110; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 43:10-11; Genesis 1:26, 3:22; Zechariah 10:12,12:10; Daniel 7:13-14; etc.). Jesus is the Messiah (John 4), so Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah as well as God (also see Revelation 1:7-8; 22:7 and 13; Hebrews 1).

Jesus: The Truth

Prediction is hard, especially when it’s about the future (Yogi Berra).

The Qur’an instructs “Seek knowledge, in China, if necessary” (Sura 39:12). One should go where the evidence leads. There were 333 Prophecies about the coming Messiah written in the Old Testament before the birth of Christ. All these came true in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. No other religious leader or prophet ever had massive predictive material written about their life before their birth. Jesus had countless fulfilled predictions about His life to attest to His claims as the Son of God. His virgin birth was predicted several hundred years before He was born. Islam attempts to use about a half-dozen Scriptures in an attempt to verify Muhammad’s claims. The Mormons attempt to misinterpret five or six Scriptures for the same reason in regard to Joseph Smith. Jesus did not have five or six; He had hundreds of clear and unambiguous prophecies that predicted events in His life before they occurred, even hundreds of years before His birth. 

If a claimant comes and announces that He's a god or the way to God, he should provide some evidence. Jesus Christ came and provided a posteriori proof by fulfilling numerous predictions. Powerful evidence would be for a man to claim that he is from God, and before he arrived, there were preexisting documents written before he was born, which contained hundreds of details that were forecast about his future life. Later, these specific facts were fulfilled in his life. If a cache of predictive material is easy to produce, why hasn’t anyone else started a religion, which provided hundreds of fulfilled predictions to demonstrate divine prescience? The reason is obvious; no one has the ability but the True God.

The prophet Micah foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem; Isaiah foretold the type of birth that He was to have (Isaiah 7:14); Psalms 22 predicted His death on the cross, as did Isaiah 53. The prophet Daniel, in chapter nine, predicted the day that Christ arrived in Jerusalem. Many more events, people, places, and times were prearranged by Yahweh and made known to men and documented before the events occurred. Christ's coming: the place, date, type of events were predicted on copies of the Old Testament dated centuries before Christ arrived with extra-biblical sources verifying much of the details of His life and death. Noteworthy is the fact that Jesus could not prearrange the self-fulfilling of many of these prophecies unless He was the sovereign God.

Only Christ is Risen 

Frank Morrison, a lawyer, disdained Christianity so much that he set out to write a book disproving the resurrection of Christ. After months of research, digging, studying, reading, examining the evidence, he fell on his knees and trusted Jesus Christ as Lord. For the evidence, contrary to his stated goals, was overwhelming. He discovered that the proof for Christ was unassailable. He did write a book, titled Who Moved the Stone? and subtitled, The Book that Refused to be Written. Harvard law professor, Simon Greenleaf, wrote the text book on legal evidence, which was used for over a hundred years in American law schools. His tome taught the proper manner in which one ought to measure and discern evidence in court. Greenleaf was a skeptic and unremittingly blasted Christianity in his law classroom. One day, a student challenged him to investigate the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. He searched the evidence, examined it, investigated it, and became a Christian. The evidence for the Messiah was overwhelming to the expert on evidence. The founders of the multitudes of religions, once deceased, remain deceased, including Muhammad. Unlike any other, Jesus Christ rose from the grave.

Islam’s main motif for denying the doctrine of the resurrection of Christ is to claim that Jesus never died. Since he did not die, He never rose from the grave. That notion goes against all the eyewitness testimony. Even Christ’s contemporary enemies did not dispute His death.

Crucifixion and a Resurrection

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness … “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”

The true and living God is just and righteous. Only through Christ’s death on the cross can mercy as well as justice be satisfied. An eternal Messiah paying the price for our sins against an eternal God is the only solution for sin and depravity.

A six-pointed star, a crescent moon, a lotus—symbol or other religious symbols suggest beauty and light. The symbol of Christianity is an instrument of death. It suggests hope.[11]

A simple framework to share with non-Christians is: Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude.

·         Guilt: All men sin and are guilty before God.
·         Grace: God extends His grace to men by sending His Son to die a vicarious death on the cross.
·         Gratitude: The one who trusts in Christ is forgiven of all of his guilt and sin and now serves God out of gratitude for saving him.

Faithful witnessing to Muslims involves the believer heralding the judgment of the law on the lost, and then offering the grace of the gospel to those without Christ. An almighty sovereign God, full of awe and righteousness, is not what the world wants. But He is the God all people need. The Bible reveals that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Christians should press God’s truth on the Muslim with compassion and patience. We are not to dazzle them with rhetoric or blast them with an uncaring scolding. One must with compassion warn them. We should sincerely care for the state of their souls through the graceful preaching of truth and the gospel. 

Islamic War

A good summary quote by Robert Morey: "At the beginning, Muhammad's armies attacked defenseless caravans during times of truce and peace. He then sent out his armies to conquer and loot small villages. Cities were later put under the sword. Ultimately, entire nations fell to the sword of Islam. Entire populations were slaughtered and great cultural treasures were either looted or destroyed. Whereas Jesus told his disciples to put away their swords, Muhammad commanded his followers make war in his name. Recorded in the Hadith, the second most important duty in Islam according to Muhammad, is Jihad or Holy War. The blood lust of Islam is thus rooted in a perverted religious impulse to kill and mutilate in the name of Allah. This is what makes it so insidious and wicked. The killing of innocent men, women, and children in the name of Islam becomes a thing of praise and a badge of honor. The more you kill, the more Allah is honored. The greater the destruction, the greater the glory of Islam. Listen carefully to what the most influential leaders of Islam have said." Christianity spread by love, charity, and the Gospel; Islam spread by the sword and war.

Conclusion

The critical reader should honor Christianity over Islam since the Bible predates the Qur’an by many centuries and there are numerous passages in the Qur’an that proclaim that the Bible is the word of God. The Qur’an names the Bible as God’s word and the Bible was revealed prior to the Qur’an. Moreover, the two books disagree on the nature of God and the way of salvation. Undoubtedly one should believe the Bible over the Qur’an.

For a more comprehensive exposition see Refuting Allah, Proving Jesus HERE on Amazon 
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NOTES

       1. Frame, Cornelius Van Til, p. 58.
       2.  Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology, (P & R, Phillipsburg: NJ, 1974), p. 206.
       3. Ibid.,Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology, p. 233.
       4. Van Til, Defense of the Faith, p. 42.
       5. Ibid., p. 42.
       6. Van Til, Christian Apologetics, (P & R, Phillipsburg: NJ, 1976), p. 7.
       7. K. Scott Oliphint, The Battle Belongs to the Lord, (P & R, Phillipsburg: NJ, 2003), p. 161
       8. Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology, p. 102.
       9.  Van Til, Christian Apologetics, p. 7. 
       10. Keith Green, Make My Life a Prayer, (Harvest House, Eugene: OR, 2001), p. 141
11.     Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking, (Harper, San Francisco: CA, 1993), p. 21.


For more see my book that refutes Islam at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/10158

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Glossary

•   Allah: God revealed in the Qur’an. Creator, sustainer, judge, and ruler of the material universe and the realm of human experience. Worshipped at the Kaaba in Mecca as the “high god” over all other gods prior to the rise of Islam. Comparison of Allah to humans is strictly forbidden due to the fear of associationism (Oxford Dictionary of Islam).
•   A Priori: Something held, believed, or known prior to or independent of observation and experience, which is assumed to be true without the necessity to prove it. It is fully and universally independent of experience, discernment, and discovery by the five senses. 
•   Epistemology: The study of how we know what we know; the nature and basis of knowledge; the accounting and justifying of knowledge claims; and the sources and scope of knowledge. “What do people ordinarily mean, when they say that they ‘know’ something?” (Greg L. Bahnsen: Van Til’s Apologetic). A true belief (epistemic feature) reflects the way a thing really is or how reality really is (metaphysical feature), thus ontology and metaphysics relate to the knowledge process and its justification (epistemology). Consequently the knower must begin with a worldview that is the foundation for one’s epistemic position. Epistemic consistency abides only in a system of knowledge that provides universals and invariants. Additionally one ought to remember: “We always know more than we can tell” (Michael Polanyi).
•   Falsafah (فلسفة): Philosophy. Refers to the rational methods and content of Western philosophy (especially Aristotle) which are applied in Islamic thought. 
•    Ghayb: The unseen, immaterial, or unknown in Arabic.
•   Hadith (حديث ): A recorded saying or tradition of Muhammad.
   ‘Ilm: All variations of knowledge or science within Islamic understanding.
•   Immutable: Unchanging; invariant; that which cannot change; always remaining the same; not mutable; perpetually the same, unceasingly unchanging, changeless (The biblical God, the laws of logic, and moral law are immutable).  
•   Khuluq: The study of moral law and ethics in Islamic thought.
•   The Laws of Logic: Laws of thought and reason that are immaterial, aspatial, atemporal, universal, obligatory, necessary, immutable, and absolute. Some academics identify them as the laws of thought, the laws of truth, or the laws of reason. A few scholars strongly prefer to name them the laws of logic because they are independent of human minds and are ubiquitous throughout all experience. All rational thinking (and communication) presupposes and uses the laws of logic. 
The Law of Identity (LOI) is A=A. The most well-known law is the Law of Non-contradiction (LNC): A cannot be A and Non-A at the same time in the same way (A~~A). A man cannot be his own father.
The laws of logic reflect the nature and mind of the God of the Bible; thus, they have ontological grounding—that is, they are grounded in the very nature of truth itself and cannot be reduced to human convention, opinion or psychology. Without these laws, knowledge and rational thinking are impossible. To deny the laws of logic, one must use these laws in one’s attempt to deny them. Those who deny the laws of logic are participating in a self-defeating endeavor. The Law of Non-contradiction (LNC), the Principle of Contradiction (or the Law of Contradiction) is perpetually necessary and in the words of Aristotle: “One cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time.” 
Allah lacks the explanatory power to account for the laws of logic (see Chapter One) since he changes his mind (abrogation: Sura 2:106, 16:101) and his nature is not analogous to anything known, including changelessness (immutability) and universality (“Nothing is like Him,” Sura 42:11).
•   Manhaj (منهج): refers to the manner by which truth is reached.
•   Masīḥ: The Messiah, Jesus Christ.
•   Ontology: The study of the nature of being; from the Greek word ontos. Ontology is the study and analysis of “existence,” or reality in general, in fundamental categories as well as relations thereof. The view of universals I utilize in this volume is connected to my position on ontic reality, of being (ontic: pertaining to ontology; relating to real or factual existence). My concept of being is comparatively univocal as I affirm that being is a broad category. Ontic actuality is predicated of a thing; one thing that is always predicated and essential is that the thing exists forasmuch as all things that may be intelligible are in the class of things that exist as material, abstract, mental, or spiritual kinds. If p grounds q, then p entails q, however not contrariwise.  

•   Presupposition: One’s primary rational principle. A preeminent belief held to be true and taken as a precommitment. It is the belief that is held at the most foundational level of one’s grid or web of beliefs. It is the lens through which one interprets reality; it is taken for granted and assumed in making a statement or a theory. It is one’s rational starting point; primary and fundamental assumption; and metaphysical foundation. Everyone has presuppositions—primary belief patterns that influence one’s thinking and outlook. Reason, logic, mathematics, knowledge, predication, and morality are consistent with Christian presuppositions (see below for additional explication). 
•   Shirk (شرك): The affirmation of polytheism; idolatry. The sin of believing in any god except Allah and of associating other gods with Allah.
•   Tanzih: An Islamic term that means transcendence. The central meaning of tanzih is divine incomparability, which implies Allah's transcendent distance from all things including men. Allah cannot be likened to anything: "Nothing is like Him" (Sura 42:11). Tanzih indicates distance, transcendence, reverence, and fear. 
Doctrine of divine exemption according to which God is unique and in no way like anything created (Oxford Dictionary of Islam)
•   Transcendental Argument (TA): Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen states “A transcendental argument begins with any item of experience or belief whatsoever and proceeds, by critical analysis, to ask what conditions (or what other beliefs) would need to be true in order for that original experience or belief to make sense, be meaningful, or intelligible to us.” TAs begin with the form “p presupposes q” in contrast to arguments for Christian theism which begin with the premise “p implies q.” 
Transcendental arguments “attempt to discover the preconditions of human experience.” For x (some aspect of human experience) to be the case, y must also be the case since y is a precondition of x. Since x is the case, y is the case. It is “not a deductive consequence of the premises of the argument but rather the metaphysical and logical ground of the very possibility of the premises themselves” (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Transcendental Arguments). Bahnsen adds: “In various forms, the fundamental argument advanced by the Christian apologist is that the Christian worldview is true because of the impossibility of the contrary. When the perspective of God’s revelation is rejected, then the unbeliever is left in foolish ignorance because his philosophy does not provide the preconditions of knowledge and meaningful experience. To put it another way: the proof that Christianity is true is that if it were not, we would not be able to prove anything.” Van Til notes: “We must rather reason that unless God exists as ultimate, as self-subsistent, we could not know anything, we could not even reason that God does not exist, nor could we even ask a question about God” (IST).
•   Truth: Truth is that which is consistent with actuality; it objectively matches reality and is not merely reliant on subjective convictions. “While God wants to reach the heart with truth, he does not bypass the mind” (Jonathan Edwards). Jesus declared, “I am the truth” (John 14:6) and in Scripture, the Lord Jesus said to the Father, “Your word is truth” (John 14:17). Lawson comments: “What is truth? It is defined as that which conforms with fact or reality. It is genuineness, veracity, or actuality. In a word, truth is reality. It is how things really are. Theologically, truth is that which is consistent with the mind, character, glory, and being of God. Truth is the self-disclosure of God Himself. … All truth must be defined in terms of God, whose very nature is truth” (Steven J. Lawson: Tabletalk Magazine). 
•   Universals: A universal is something that is true or applies everywhere and at all times. Immutable laws in mathematics and logic are universals; this sort of universal is a significant feature of the argumentation presented in this volume. Universals are applicable to or affecting all things, individuals, conditions, or cases; in general. Existing or prevailing everywhere, applicable or occurring throughout or relating to everything everywhere in the cosmos and outside the material cosmos. An assertion, statement or proposition that affirms or denies something about every member of a class, as in all men are mortal; a general term or concept or the type such a term signifies all of one thing, concept, or truth; a metaphysical entity taken to be the reference of a general term, as distinct from the class of individuals it describes. In broad manner, I employ this term in reference to laws or norms that are not limited ontologically to the spatio-temporal realm; the Law of Non-contradiction and the Law of Identity are examples of this classification of universals. There are diverse meanings and applications of the term “universal,” but herein the classification above is developed.
•   Yahweh (YHWH): The Lord God of the Bible sometimes imprecisely called Jehovah and the English translation in the Old Testament is LORD (all caps). Christians profess that He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as one God. He alone is the true and living God. He also calls Himself “I AM that I AM” (Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 43:10-11; John 8:24, 58). He is the only true and living God. Yahweh, in contrast to Allah, has real attributes and is tri-personal in His divine simplicity.


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