Do you believe in the one true God?

Trinitarian Monotheism or Unitarian Monotheism?

Monotheism is one of the similarities between Islam and Christianity and monotheism is also one of the major differences.

 

This is a diagram showing the relationship between the Persons of the Triune God. Christian monotheistic belief is summarized by the following seven points: 1. The Father is God; 2.The Son is God; 3.The Holy Spirit is God; 4.The Father is not the Son; 5.The Son is not the Holy Spirit; 6.The Holy Spirit is not the Father; 7.There is only one God.

Diagram of the Relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The difference is that Muslims are Unitarian monotheists and Christians are Trinitarian monotheists

The question therefore is not monotheism, but whether Trinitarian or Unitarian monotheism is true.

The Bible and Monotheism

Without doubt, the Old and New Testaments affirm monotheism (Deuteronomy 6:4Mark 12:29), but not the Unitarian monotheism of the Quran. Unitarian monotheism is foreign to the Christian Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments

The very first chapter of the Bible affirms monotheism and yet it is not the kind of monotheism found in the Quran (Genesis 1:1-2, Genesis 1:26,27 with John 1:1-3).1It is important to understand that God gradually revealed Himself over time, Before the coming of NT redemption, human beings knew God less fully. This deficiency is not an incidental fact arising merely from some mental or moral deficiency in the individual or the society. It is an inevitable consequence of the very structure of history and the structure of redemption. Human knowledge of God can grow only in step with the redemptive operations that work out God’s plan. Consequently, God’s Trinitarian character is only dimly revealed and dimly understood in the OT. Trinitarian theology in its full form rests on NT revelation (Vern Sheridan Poythress, “Reforming Ontology and Logic in the Light of the Trinity: An Application of Van Til’s Idea of Analogy”; Westminster Theological Journal Volume 57:214).

Other biblical examples of monotheism that are not affirmed in the Quran can be found with: 

  • The Angel of the LORD (Genesis 18:1-2,17; 32:28-30). These are texts wherein God appears in the form of a man.2In Exodus 3:1-6 the Angel of the LORD appears to Moses in the burning bush and tells Moses to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. The Angel of the LORD identifies Himself in Exodus 3:6 with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He also reveals His name as Yahweh (Exodus 3:13-16; 4:1-5). Yahweh gradually revealed Himself in ways that are not compatible with the Unitarian monotheism of the Quran. 
  • Statements King David made in the Psalms (Psalm 2; 45:6-7 with Hebrews 1:8-9110:1 with Matthew 22:35-46)
  • The Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 48:16)

These are not full-blown Trinitarian texts, but these texts are not compatible with Unitarian monotheism. However, they are compatible with Trinitarian monotheism and what Jesus revealed.

Jesus and Monotheism

Jesus Christ gives the definitive answer to monotheism (John 10:30):

  • Jesus has an Old Testament name meaning “Yahweh saves” (Matthew 1:21; cf. Jonah 2:9).
  • Jesus also has the Name “Immanuel” meaning God with us (Matthew 1:23).
  • Jesus forgave sins; something only God can do (Mark 2:1-13).
  • Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am” thus identifying Himself with the way God revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush (John 8:58-59 with Exodus 3:14-15).
  • Jesus affirmed the unity of God when He taught, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
  • Jesus accepted worship from others  (Matthew 8:214:3315:2520:2028:17Mark 5:6).
  • Jesus confessed to being the Christ3Jesus’ title “Christ” refers to Jesus’ relationship to the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity (see 1 Samuel 16:13; John 1:32-34; 20:22; Acts 2:33-36). To believe Jesus is the “Christ” is to believe in Jesus’ death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and His ascension to the right hand of God the Father (Matthew 16:13-23; Acts 2:32-36; 1 Peter 1:3; 3:21-22). before the Jewish Sanhedrin and was condemned for blasphemy (Matthew 26:63-66).
  • The Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus was vindicated when He rose again from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Jesus is the reason Christians are Trinitarian monotheists (cf. Hebrews 1:1-3).

Trinitarian Monotheism is a Reason the Quran is not the Word of God

Is the Quran the Word of God?  The simple answer: No. The Quran cannot be the Word of God because the Quran denies the One True God of the Bible. The Quran does not affirm Trinitarian monotheism (cf. Quran 4:1715:73).4“Some have suggested that the Qurʾān refutes heretical Christian beliefs (e.g. tritheism, adoptionism, the physical generation of the Son) rather than the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity, Incarnation, etc. In practice, however, the vast majority of Muslim commentators have assumed that the Qurʾān does refute the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Christian doctrine of divine sonship, especially as these are understood to contradict the central Islamic tenet of the oneness of God” (Kate Zebiri, “Polemic and Polemical Language”; Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe . Brill [Leiden and Boston], 2005. CD-ROM version). Unitarian monotheism is foreign to both Old and New Testament revelation.

An Invitation to Believe in the One True God

If you believe in Jesus, then you should be a Trinitarian monotheist who confesses Jesus as Lord and Savior (John 20:27-28). Believe in Jesus and be baptized in the Triune Name of God (Matthew 28:18-19; Acts 2:36-42).

Related Posts

Trinity, Tawheed, and Monotheism

Do Muslims Believe in Jesus?

 

References   [ + ]

1. It is important to understand that God gradually revealed Himself over time, Before the coming of NT redemption, human beings knew God less fully. This deficiency is not an incidental fact arising merely from some mental or moral deficiency in the individual or the society. It is an inevitable consequence of the very structure of history and the structure of redemption. Human knowledge of God can grow only in step with the redemptive operations that work out God’s plan. Consequently, God’s Trinitarian character is only dimly revealed and dimly understood in the OT. Trinitarian theology in its full form rests on NT revelation (Vern Sheridan Poythress, “Reforming Ontology and Logic in the Light of the Trinity: An Application of Van Til’s Idea of Analogy”; Westminster Theological Journal Volume 57:214).
2. In Exodus 3:1-6 the Angel of the LORD appears to Moses in the burning bush and tells Moses to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. The Angel of the LORD identifies Himself in Exodus 3:6 with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He also reveals His name as Yahweh (Exodus 3:13-16; 4:1-5). Yahweh gradually revealed Himself in ways that are not compatible with the Unitarian monotheism of the Quran.
3. Jesus’ title “Christ” refers to Jesus’ relationship to the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity (see 1 Samuel 16:13; John 1:32-34; 20:22; Acts 2:33-36). To believe Jesus is the “Christ” is to believe in Jesus’ death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and His ascension to the right hand of God the Father (Matthew 16:13-23; Acts 2:32-36; 1 Peter 1:3; 3:21-22).
4. “Some have suggested that the Qurʾān refutes heretical Christian beliefs (e.g. tritheism, adoptionism, the physical generation of the Son) rather than the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity, Incarnation, etc. In practice, however, the vast majority of Muslim commentators have assumed that the Qurʾān does refute the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Christian doctrine of divine sonship, especially as these are understood to contradict the central Islamic tenet of the oneness of God” (Kate Zebiri, “Polemic and Polemical Language”; Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe . Brill [Leiden and Boston], 2005. CD-ROM version).