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muslim_with_christian_iv[128x175]This follows from Mushtaq’s detailed response and summary, which can be found here. The two previous posts in the ‘Dialogue with a Muslim friend’ can be found by following the link.

Before beginning, it is sad that Mushtaq has not responded to the questions which I asked him:

1. Did Jesus say He was writing a book or founding a Church?

2. By what means was the nature of the Bible revealed to us?

3. What was the teaching of the disciples of the Apostles on the nature of God?

The reason it is a pity is that had he done so he would have begun to see that he is proceeding from the wrong basis.  All of his arguments are based on his reading of a text. This is natural for a Muslim who believes that God dictated a text. This is not what Christians believe.  If Mushtaq can cite me one passage from Sacred Scripture which says that Jesus is dictating a text to any one, or where Jesus says that his message is to be found in a book, then he would have some basis from which to proceed.

The answer to my first question is, of course, that Jesus founded a church.  It was that Church which decided what was and was not Sacred Scripture. It was that same Church which recognised that God is Trinity. Therefore, to argue, as Mushtaq does, that the Book Canonised by the Church founded by Christ fails to understand Him and His nature, is a fundamental error in logic and methodology.

Either Christ founded a Church which recognised His words in Scripture and His nature in the Trinity, or it did not. If it did not, then there is no point quoting from Scripture as it means nothing as Christ is not who His Church says He is. If He did, then to say that His Church could recognise the Books and not know how to read them is foolish. It is those who are outside Christ’s Church who do not know how to read His words.  This Christ Himself told us in Matthew 13:10-18

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should[a] heal them.’[b]

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it,and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

This, for a Muslim, outside the Church which Christ founded, to claim to know how to read Christ’s words, is fruitless.  Christ wrote no book. He is the Word. He founded a Church, that Church knows how to read the Book which it, itself, canonised. So, to claim that a Book it canonised does not support its doctrine is incorrect.

Now, over a series of posts, I shall try to deal with some of the points to be found in Mushtaq’s long posts to be found here.