Friday, 7 December 2018

Christian Confusion: Christ is "Eternally Begotten"

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وصلى الله على نبينا محمد
وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين
According to trinitarian Christianity, Christ is “begotten” of God “the Father”, while not having a beginning, being co-eternal with God “the Father”. Our objection is how can someone be “begotten” while simultaneously eternal without beginning? It is a contradiction in terms. The Christian New Testament says about Christ that God addressed him with the words of the Psalm:
בְּנִי אַתָּה--אֲנִי, הַיּוֹם יְלִדְתִּיךָ
“Thou art My son, this day have I begotten thee.”
[Psalm 2:7]

This is affirmed in Acts 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5; 5:5. These are the claimed proof texts for the trinitarian doctrine that Jesus is literally “begotten” by God “the Father”, which they interpret to mean as being of the same substance as God “the Father”. The Greek word used in the New Testament is gegennēka “have begotten” from the verb gennaó which means “to beget, to bring forth, procreate a descendant, produce offspring” and in the passive “to be born”. Now it is impossible for someone to be eternal who is born or begotten, who was given birth to. An early Christian doctrine, Arianism, associated with Arius [d. 336 CE], recognized this difficulty and posited that although Christ was the divine “Son of God”, sharing divinity with “God the Father”, being of the same substance as him, since Christ was begotten by the “Father” he was not eternal but had a beginning. In this way the Arians resolved the contradiction by putting forward the idea that the second person of the triune “godhead”, though technically God and of the same substance as God the “Father”, was nevertheless not eternal but had a beginning. This doctrine was condemned as heresy in the Council of Nicea in 325 CE. The so-called “orthodox” trinitarian Church believes that Christ is “eternally begotten” but as I have said, that is illogical, a contradiction in terms, and meaningless from the perspective of language. One cannot be eternal and begotten simultaneously, as these are opposites. The Psalm itself states that the son is begotten “today”, refuting the idea of eternal or timeless begetting. Interestingly, this absurd doctrine of the “Father” eternally begetting the “Son” resembles the Ashari doctrine of Allah eternally speaking the Qur’an, known as Kalam Nafsi. The orthodox Islamic belief is that events do occur in the Essence of God, meaning He speaks and commits actions when and as He wills. Influenced by the Platonic idea that stasis is perfection, the Asharis denied the occurrence of events within God’s Essence, believing that to be an imperfection based on their Platonic worldview and false philosophical framework for establishing the existence of God. Hence they stated that the Qur’an is eternal and does not have a beginning, i.e. Allah has been speaking the Qur’an eternally. Furthermore, according to the Asharis, this eternal Qur’an is not the Qur’an we read with its letters and sounds, but is an ibara or expression of what we have of the Qur’an between our hands which transcends letters and sounds. For all intents and purposes, the Asharis actually believe in two Qur’ans, an eternal speech with Allah that is an expression of meaning, and the concrete Qur’an which we have that consists of letters and sounds, which the Asharis not only acknowledge as being distinct from the eternal Qur’an but also a created thing in line with the Mu’tazilite doctrine.

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