An Introduction to the Islamic Worldview Part 2: The Doctrine of God & Christ according to Islam


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The Doctrine of God and Christ in Islam


  1. Tawhid and Shirk in Islam
  2. The Doctrine of Christ in the Qur’an: Sonship & the Crucifixion
  3. The Doctrine of the Trinity in the Qur’an

*All Qur’anic quotations are from the Saheeh International Version of the Qur’an unless indicated otherwise

*I know that there are a lot of definitions in this post, but it is important even if you don’t remember the Arabic terms to grasp the concepts which they represent, so that you know the general presuppositions of the Islamic worldview and how to respond to them

A more detailed version of the material on Tawheed & Shirk is posted on my blog from a previous lesson that I taught, for those who want more details:

Tawhid, Shirk, and a Presuppositional Approach for witnessing to Muslims


  1. Tawhid & Shirk in the Qur’an

As Christians we affirm monotheism, but it is important to understand that according to tawhid Unitarian monotheism is presupposed (Allah is one being and one person), so even a plurality of persons that is one substance (the doctrine of the Trinity) is still considered a violation of Tawhid.  The Trinity is perceived by Muslims as not being much different from the polytheism of Hinduism.  Here is a basic definition of the nature of God’s oneness (Tawhid) in Islamic theology,

“The Unity of God according to the Qur’an, implies that God is One in His person (dhāt), One in His attributes (ṣifāt) and One in his works (af’āl).  His Oneness in His person means that there is neither plurality of gods nor plurality of persons in the Godhead; His Oneness in attributes implies that no other being possesses one or more of the Divine attributes in perfection…”[1].

In contrast to tawhid, is shirk, which is a violation of tawhid by associating partners with God, whether that is the Trinity or polytheism, and even extends to mystic forms of idolatry[2].  Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab defined the grave nature of shirk as follows,

“The opposite of complete tawheed is defined in Islam as shirk, Shirk literally means to take partners with Allah in any aspect of His divinity.  Shirk is the antithesis of Islam, which is based on the belief that full acceptance of tawheed leads to eternal salvation and corruption of tawheed leads to damnation” [3].

So based on Islamic theology, when Christians present the Gospel to a Muslim they perceive the Gospel as an invitation to commit shirk and be eternally damned.  It is necessary to discuss the Islamic teaching of fitrah in order to have a more complete understanding of Tawhid and shirk in Islam.


According to the covenant that God made with Adam that he swear to his godhood, all men by birth have this oath imprinted on their soul, so all men are born Muslims according to Islam,

“This natural belief is called in Arabic the “fitrah”.  If the child were left alone, it would grow up aware of Allah in His unity [Tawhid], but all children are affected by the pressures of their environment whether directly or indirectly”[4].

“And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.  Or [lest] you say, “It was only that our fathers associated [others in worship] with Allah before, and we were but descendants after them. Then would You destroy us for what the falsifiers have done?” (Surah 7:172-173) [5].

This is affirmed by Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Al Muslim,

“I created My servants in the right religion but the devils made them go astray” [6].

“Each child is born in a state of “fitrah”, but his parents make him a Jew or Christian.  It is like the way an animal gives birth to a normal offspring.  Have you noticed any (young animal) born mutilated before you mutilate them?” [7].

So by birth everyone is born a Muslim with Tawhid imprinted on their soul, called fitrah, therefore any conversion outside of Islam is viewed as breaking Tawhid and committing shirk.  The way of the prophets is the guidance according to Islam, to help man’s fitrah defeat its foes and reach a state like Adam’s which is the goal of Tawhid,

“Man’s fitrah is the basis of Islam, so when he practices Islam in its totality, his outer actions and deeds come into harmony with the very nature which Allah created man’s inner being.  When this takes place, man unites his inner being with his outer being which is the key aspect of Tawhid.  The result of this aspect of Tawhid is the creation of the truly pious man in the mold of Adam, to whom Allah made the angels bow and whom Allah chose to rule the earth” [8].


2. Doctrine of Christ in the Qur’an: Sonship & the Crucifixion


Although Christ is revered as a prophet in Islam, there are very few references to Christ (called ‘Isa in the Qur’an, but Arabic speaking Christians and Arabic Bibles use the name Yasū‘a for Jesus) [9].  The virgin birth of Christ is affirmed in the Qur’an, but with the major difference from the New Testament of Jesus speaking from the cradle,

Surah 19:27-33, “Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. “O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.” So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?” [Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet.  And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive.  And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive” [10].

Jesus is viewed as the other prophets in the chain of prophets from Adam to Muhammad proclaiming the true monotheistic religion.  He is not set apart as unique from the other prophets according to Islam,

Surah 2:136, “ Say [O Muslims]: “We believe in Allah and that which is sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes; what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets by their Lord.  We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered ourselves” [11].

Surah 42:13, “He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]” [12].

The Qur’an’s teaching of the oneness of God (Tawheed) is linked to a denial of sonship, that God has no sons because according to Islam if God had a son, then there would be another God and God would no longer be one God, but would have a partner (resulting in Polytheism according to Islam).

Surah Al-‘Ikhlas (112:1-4), “Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge.  He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent” [13].

Surah 9:30-31,“The Jews say Uzayr is the son of Allah, and the Christians say the Messiah is the son of Allah.  Such is what they say with their own mouths, imitating those who disbelieved of old.  May Allah defeat them!  How perverse are they!  They have made their rabbis and their monks the Messiah the son of Mary into lords besides Allah; though they were only ordered to worship one god.  There is no god but He!  Transcendent is He above what they associate [with him]” [14].

Another one of the key presuppositions in Islam that I mentioned earlier is the Quran’s denial of the crucifixion of Jesus.  Muslims typically affirm that Judas Iscariot was made to appear like Jesus, so Judas was crucified while Jesus ascended to heaven and was never crucified.

Surah 4:157-158 (Surat An-Nisā), “And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.”


3. The Doctrine of the Trinity in the Qur’an


Another crucial aspect of tawhid is how the Quran expresses the doctrine of the Trinity since the Trinity is considered shirk, breaking tawhid, it ought to have a proper understanding of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity given that the Council of Nicaea had already occurred in the 4th century, so the Christian position on the doctrine of the Trinity was unambiguous at the time of Muhammad, 600 AD.  However the Quran reveals otherwise, demonstrating the author of the Quran did not understand the doctrine of the Trinity,

Surah 5:116-117,“And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.  I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness” [15].

Notice that not only does the Quran teach that all of the prophets accepted Tawhid, Surah 5 also gives an explanation of how the Quran understands the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, according to Surah 5:116-117 the trinity consists of Allah, Jesus, and Mary, which is found nowhere in the Bible.  Another important Surah in the Quran that attempts to describe the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is Surah 4:171-172,

“O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.  Never would the Messiah disdain to be a servant of Allah, nor would the angels near [to Him]. And whoever disdains His worship and is arrogant – He will gather them to Himself all together” [16].

Muslim apologists frequently argue against the doctrine of the Trinity by claiming it is logically contradictory and use human reason as the standard to deny the doctrine of the Trinity.  Here is a summary of this argument from the most well known Islamic apologetic book in response to Christianity, Izhar-Ul-Haq,

“As trinity and unity are taken by the Christians in their literal sense, the existence of trinity therefore would essentially prove plurality as we discussed under the ninth point in our introduction to this section.  The presence of plurality essentially precludes singularity; therefore it would mean two opposites co-existing which is a rational impossibility.  Someone who believes in the trinity cannot, therefore, be called a believer in unity.

The Christian contention that the unity of the three and one are only logically possible in the case of God is childish and unsupported by any argument.  Once it is confirmed that two things are inherently opposite to each other, or intrinsically contradictory to one another, both of them obviously cannot exist in one object at the same time.  This is because absolute ‘one’ is not compound and made of other parts.  It is absolute and without parts, while contrary to it three is a collection of three separate ‘ones’.  Now if both of them are assumed to be found together in one object, it would imperatively require the part is a whole and the whole is a part, this in turn would pre-require that God is made of parts that are infinite…This assumption, therefore stands in contradiction to human reason.  This would also require that one is a third of its entity, and three is a third of one” [17].

[1] Ibid, 109; Islam claims to be the only Abrahamic religion that has preserved Tawhid, “Yet, according to the Islamic Unitarian concept (Tawhid), Christianity is classified as polytheism and Judaism is considered a subtle form of idolatry”. Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawhid (Islamic Monotheism), (International Islamic Publishing house: Saudi Arabia, 2005), 11

[2] This makes some sufi Muslims guilty of shirk, “In fact, the belief in charms and omens is a manifestation of the grave sin of shirk (association) in this form of Tawhid” Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawhid (Islamic Monotheism), (International Islamic Publishing house: Saudi Arabia, 2005), 24; “Muslims whose acts of worship fall into this category of shirk [Ash-shirk al-Akbar] are those who pray to Prophet Muhammad or to mystics in the Sufi hierarchy of saints, believing they can answer their prayers…” ibid, 55

[3] Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab  (author), Sameh Strauch (compiler & translator), Kitab At-Tawheed Explained (International Islamic Publishing House, Saudi Arabia, 2010), 22

[4] Ibid, 65

[5] Translation from Saheeh International version:


[6] Saheeh Al Muslim (English Translation), vol. 4, pg. 1488, Hadtih no. 6853 [cited by Bilal Philips, The Funamentals of Tawhid, 65]

[7] Saheeh Al Muslim (English Translation), vol. 4, pg. 1398, Hadith no. 6423, and Saheeh Al Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol. 8, pg. 389-390, Hadith no. 597 [cited by by Bilal Philips, The Funamentals of Tawhid, 65-66]

[8]Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawhid (Islamic Monotheism), (International Islamic Publishing house: Saudi Arabia, 2005), 70

[9] This is in contrast to the Arabic word Allah, which is used by Jews, Christians, and Muslims to refer to God and predates Islam.







[13] The Arabic verb (walada) and noun (yalid) used in Surah 112:3 uses the same root (y-l-d/w-l-d) as the Hebrew verb (yālad) and noun (yeled) to describe the Messiah’s birth in Isaiah 9:6, so this Surah is a direct denial of the incarnation.




[16] ibid:

[17] Maulana M. Rahmatullah Kairanvi, Izhar-Ul-Haq (Truth Revealed): Distortion and Abrogation in the Bible, The Trinity Refuted Part 2 second edition (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Word of Knowledge for Publishing & Distribution, 1992), 253-4

13 Reasons in favor of the validity of the day of Rest and its connection with the Lord’s Day by Pastor Sugel Michelén


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The following is a translation of the Spanish post by Pastor Sugel Michelén.  He notes on his blog post that the material can be reproduced and transmitted without copyright under the following conditions:

© By Sugel Michelén. Todo Pensamiento Cautivo. You can reproduce and distribute this material, always without lucraticve goals, without altering its content and acknowledging its author and origin.

Here is the link to the original post in Spanish:

I have also translated the post to Portuguese on my blog:

Treze Razões a favor da vigencia do dia de repouso e sua conexão com o dia do Senhor pelo Pastor Sugel Michelén


1. Man created in the image and likeness of God has the duty to imitate him, and our God established in His creative work a model of 6 days of work and 1 day of rest (in the 4th commandment of the Decalogue God himself makes this connection between His example and our duty, compare Exodus 20:8-11).


2. Upon finishing His creation God blessed the 7th day and sanctified it, as it says in Genesis 2:1-3.  So that the day of rest (Sabbath) was not instituted by God at Sinai, nor was it designed exclusively for the nation of Israel.  It is concerned about the ordinance of creation, just as marriage and work, established by God for the benefit of man, as the Lord says in Mark 2:27.


3. The day of rest (Sabbath) supplies two of man’s basic necessities: the necessity that we have to give rest to our bodies and to have communion with God without our own impediments of a life of work in the rest of the week.  Therefore, it is about a blessing and privilege, not a straitjacket which would be better to free oneself from it.


4. The day of rest (Sabbath) was included in the Ten Commandments, in the summary of the moral law of God, written on two tablets of stone by the same God.  These Ten Commandments posses a  unique importance in conjunction with the mosaic laws.


5. Paul teaches in Romans 2:14-15 that even the gentiles that do not know the Word of God have the work of this law written on their consciences.  Therefore, this moral law continues to be the divine standard to judge what is and is not sin (compare Romans 3:20; 4:15; 7:7; 1 John 3:4).  If this moral law was no longer valid these texts wouldn’t make any sense.


6. One of the central blessings that God promises in the New Covenant is to write His law on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34).  In other words, God did not promise to annul the Ten Commandments, rather to give us the capacity to appreciate and obey them.  And in no place in the Old Testament or in the New Testament is the possibility suggested to reduce the 10 commandments to 9.


7. Our Lord Jesus Christ said expressly in Matthew 5:17-20 that he did not come to abrogate the law and the prophets.  This expression “the law and the prophets” signifies all of the Old Testament.  So that the Lord is establishing clearly that He sis not come to annul, rather to fulfill, the teachings of the Old Testament.  Now well, “What does this mean?”  Various things.  As Robert Martin pointed out this means that Christ came to perfectly obey the moral law of God, to suffer the curse of its disobedience in place of His people, to fulfill all of the ceremonial types of the ceremonial law, to establish the kingdom towards which the civil laws pointed, and to fulfill all of the prophecies that were given in reference to Him.  But now note something important.  Beginning in verse 18 the Lord says explicitly that the subjects of His kingdom should take very seriously the ethical demands of this law (verses 18-20).  What does this imply in relation to the Ten Commandments?  The Lord Jesus Christ is extremely clear with respect to this in verses 21-22, and 27-28.  Christ did not come to annul these commandments, rather to teach those who belong to Him the true scope of each of them.  Someone can say that the Lord didn’t mention the 4th commandment here, but neither did he mention the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th, and the 10th.  He chose 2 of the 10 in order to show the true scope of the commandments of the moral law of God.


8. During His earthly ministry our Lord Jesus Christ occupied himself with the 4th commandment more than any other commandments form the Decalogue.  instead of annulling it, the Lord purified this ordinance from all of the bonds imposed b y the scribes and Pharisees, and whom made this day a difficult burden to bear.


9. The New Testament teaches that the Ten Commandments conform an unbreakable unit (James 2:8-11); so that you cannot annul one of the commandments without affecting the rest.  To pop a globe you don’t have to pinch it in various parts at the same time.  It is sufficient to pinch it only on one side to pop it.  Likewise the Decalogue is like a globe; whatever commandment that one violates, he violates the entire globe.


10. Paul teaches clearly that the moral law of God resumed in the 10 commandments continues to be the law of the life for New Covenant believers (compare Romans 7:7, 12, 14 – it is spiritual in the sense that it has an divine origin and character, 1 Corinthians 2:12, and in the sense that it regulates our internal conduct, no only our external appearance; 18, 21 – 8:4).


11. The pattern established by God for His people in the New Testament continues  with the same frequency of meeting as His people in the Old Testament: once a week.


12. The redemptive work of Christ does not annul the necessity that we have to give our bodies rest once a week, and to occupy ourselves with our relationship with God in a special way, without our impediments from the rest of the week. Until we enter heaven, we need a day of rest.


13. In Revelation 1:10 the apostle John refers to a day of the week as “the Lord’s day”; and it is generally accepted that John is referring there to Sunday, the day in which the church was accustomed to gather to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Treze Razões a favor da vigencia do dia de repouso e sua conexão com o dia do Senhor pelo Pastor Sugel Michelén


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Este post é uma tradução por Eu desde o post de Pastor Sugel Michelen em espanhol do seu blog:

© Por Sugel Michelén. Todo Pensamiento Cautivo. Usted puede reproducir y distribuir este material, siempre que sea sin fines de lucro, sin alterar su contenido y reconociendo su autor y procedencia.

  1. O homem criado ao imagem e semelhança de Deus tem o dever de imitar-o, é nosso Deus estabeleceu em sua obra criadora um padrão de 6 dias de trabalho e 1 dia de repouso (no 4to mandamento do Decálogo Deus mesmo faz essa conexão entre Seu exemplo é nosso dever, comp. Êxodo 20:8-11)


  1. Ao finalizar o seu criação Deus bendisse o 7mo dia e o santificou, diz em Gênesis 2:1-3. De maneira que o dia de repouso não foi instituído por Deus no Sinai, nem foi desenhado exclusivamente para o povo de Israel.  Se trata duma ordenança da criação, como o matrimônio e o trabalho, estabelecido por Deus para o benefício do homem, como diz o Senhor em Marcos 2:27.


  1. O dia de repouso supre das necessidades básicas do homem: a necessidade que temos de dar-lhe repouso a nossos corpos e a necessidade de ter comunhão com Deus sem os impedimentos próprios duma vida de trabalho no resto da semana.  Pelo tanto, se trata duma bendição é um privilégio, não de uma camisa-de-força da que seria melhor livrar-se.


  1. O dia de repouso foi incluído nos Dez Mandamentos, o resumo da lei moral de Deus, escritos em duas tábuas de pedras pelo mesmo Deus. Esses Dez Mandamentos possuem uma importância singular no conjunto das leis mosaicas.


  1. Paulo ensina em Romanos 2:14-15 que ainda os gentios quens não conhecem a Palavra de Deus tem a obra dessa lei moral escrita em suas consciências. Pelo tanto, essa lei moral segue sendo o estandarte divino para julgar o que é pecado e o que não é pecado (comp. Romanos 3:20, 4:15, 7:7, 1 João 3:4). Se essa lei moral já não estivera vigente estos textos não teriam ninguém sentido.


  1. Uma das benções centrais que Deus promete na Nova Aliança é escrever a Sua lei em nossas corações (Jeremias 31:31-34). Em outras palavras, Deus não prometeu anilar os Dez Mandamentos, senão dar-nós a capacidade de apreciar e guardar os Dez Mandamentos.  É em ninguém lugar do Antigo Testamento apresenta a possibilidade de reduzir os 10 mandamentos ao 9.


  1. Nosso Senhor JesusCristo disse expressamente em Mateus 5:17-20 que Ele não veio a anular a lei e os profetas. Esta expressão“a lei e os profetas”assinala tudo o Antigo Testamento. De maneira que o Senhor está estabelecendo claramente que Ele não veio a anular, senão a cumprir, as ensinas de todo o Antigo Testamento.  Agora bem, O que significa esse? Várias coisas. Como bem assinala o Robert Martin, esse quer dizer que Cristo veio a obedecer perfeitamente a lei moral de Deus, a sofrer a maldição de seu desobediência em lugar de Seu povo, a cumprir todos os tipos e as cerimoniais da lei cerimonial, a estabelecer o reino para o qual as leis civis apontavam e a cumprir todas as profecias que se fizeram em quanto a Ele.  Mas agora notem algo importante.  A partir do versículo 18 o Senhor diz explicitamente que os súbditos de Seu reino deviam tomar muito sério as demandas éticas dessa lei (versículos 18-20). O que implica esse no relativo aos Dez Mandamentos?  O Senhor JesusCristo e sumamente claro ao respeito nos versículos 21-22, 27-28.  Cristo não veio a anular esses mandamentos, senão a ensinar aos Seus o verdadeiro alcance década um deles.  Alguém pode dizer que o Senhor não mencionou aqui o 4to mandamento, mas tampouco mencionou o primeiro, o segundo, o terceiro, o quinto, o oitavo, o noveno, e o décimo.  Ele escolheu 2 dos 10 para mostrar o verdadeiro alcance dos mandamentos da lei moral de Deus.


  1. Durante o seu ministério terreno nosso Senhor JesusCristo guardou o quarto mandamento concernente ao dia de repouso mais do que ninguém outro mandamento do Decálogo.   Em vez de anular-o, o Senhor purificou essa ordenança de todas as ataduras impostas pelos escribas e fariseus, e que faziam desse dia uma carga difícil de sobrelevar.


  1. O Novo Testamento ensina que os Dez Mandamentos conformam uma unidade inquebrantável (Tiago 2:8-11); de maneira que não se pode anular um dos Dez Mandamentos sem afetar o resto.  Para explodir um globo não tem que apertar-o por várias partes ao mesmo tempo.  É suficiente com que aperte por um solo lado para explodir-o.  Pois o Decálogo é como um globo; qualquer mandamento que alguém viole, violenta o globo completo.


  1. Paulo ensina claramente que a lei moral de Deus resumido nos Dez Mandamentos segue sendo a norma de vida para os crentes da nova aliança (comp. Romanos 7:7, 12, 14 – e espiritual no sentido de que tem um origem e carácter divino, 1 Coríntios 2:13, é no sentido de que regula nossa conduta interna, não unicamente nossa aparência externa; 18, 21-8:4).


  1. O padrão estabelecido por Deus para Seu povo no Novo Testamento segue a mesma frequência de reunião que de Seu povo no Antigo: uma vez à semana.


  1. A obra redentora de Cristo não anula a necessidade que temos de dar-lhe repouso a nossos corpos uma vez à semana, e de ocupar-nos de nossa relação com Deus duma maneira especial, sem os impedimentos próprios do resto da semana. Até que chegarmos ao céu precisamos um dia de repouso.


  1. Em Apocalipse 1:10 o apóstolo João se refere a um dia da semana como “o dia do Senhor”; e é geralmente aceitado que João se está referindo ali ao domingo, o dia no qual a igreja acostumava congregar-se para celebrar a ressurreição de nosso Senhor JesusCristo.



Serie de Predicaciones sobre el dia del Señor por Pastor Sugel Michelén


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Un Serie de seis predicaciones sobre la tema del dia del Señor explicando su contexto en la Biblia, respondiendo a argumentos comunes en contra de observarlo y dando sugerencias en como un creyente debería guardarlo.


An Introduction to the Islamic Worldview Part 1: Muhammad and the Qur’an


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I. A Definition of Islam

II. A Brief overview of the life of Muhammad and the Rise of Islam

III. Sources of Authority in Islam: The Qur’an and Hadeeth


I. A Definition of Islam

Here are two basic definitions that explain the Arabic term Islam to better understand what it stands for and how it describes Islam as a worldview:

Arabic etymology of Islam & Muslim

II. A Brief overview of the life of Muhammad and the Rise of Islam

Before giving an overview of Muhammad’s life as it relates to the Qur’an and the rise of Islam it is important to take into account that according to a conservative Sunni Muslim position the Qur’an is the eternal word of God and Muhammad was not the author, he merely dictated the revelation of the Qur’an.  Muhammad therefore has a passive role in Islam for the Qur’an and is not considered the author of the Qur’an (except by more liberal Muslim scholars).

Islam arose in part due to a response to polytheism prior to and during the lifetime of Muhammad where images and idols were worshipped in Mecca (which is believed by Muslims to be the location where Abraham and Ishmael made the Kaaba as a place to worship the one true God).  It wasn’t until later in Muhammad’s life at the age of 40 in 610 AD that he claimed to receive revelation from God starting his prophetic ministry.  Although when he first claimed to receive revelation from the angel Gabriel he doubted whether it was genuine,

“…there came to him an Angel in the form of a man.  The Angel said to him, “Recite!” and he said: “I am not a recite,” whereupon, as he himself told it, “the angel took me and whelmed me in his embrace until he had reached the limit of my endurance…He recited these words after the angel, who thereupon left him; and he said; “It was as though the words were written on my heart.”  But he feared this might mean that he become a jinn-inspired poet or a man possessed.  So he fled from the cave, he heard a voice above him saying: “Oh Muhammad, thou art the messenger of God, and I am Gabriel[3]”.

The process by which God revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad occurred over a period of 21 years, although it is traditionally accepted that all of the revelation was given to Muhammad on the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr).  Another crucial event in Muhammad’s life that is credited to prove his authenticity as a prophet of God is called the Mi’raj, which was a night journey where Muhammad rode upon a winged mule (called Buraq) to the furthest mosque and ascended to heaven receiving direct revelation and commandments from God.

“Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me.”(On this Al-Jurad asked, “was it the Buraq, O abu hamza?” I [i.e., Anas] replied in the affirmative.)  The prophet said, “The animal’s step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal’s sight.  I was carried on it, and Gabriel set out with me till we reached the nearest heaven.  When he asked for the gate to be opened, it was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered, ‘Gabriel.’  It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’  It was asked, ‘Has Muhammad been called?’  Gabriel replied in the affirmative.  Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed.  What an excellent visit his is!”…”When I went over the second heaven, there I saw Yahya (i.e. John the Baptist) and ‘Isa (i.e. Jesus) who were cousins of each other.  Gabriel said (to me), ‘These are John and Jesus; pay them your greetings.’  So I greeted them and both of them returned my greetings to me and said, “You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious prophet[4]”.

By briefly observing the citation given above it supports Muhammad’s claim of being a prophet by being allowed entrance into heaven and by meeting and being affirmed by prophets from Adam to Christ which is used to argue for Islam’s continuity with previous religions, Judaism and Christianity, that Muhammad is another prophet from God.

At the beginning of Muhammad’s role as a prophet with death threats and a limited number of followers they left Mecca and sought refuge in the city of Yathrib (later renamed Medina).  This important event is known as the Hijra (Pilgrimage), and it also marked a shift in a larger political and military role in Muhammad’s prophetic ministry.  Military conquests of Muhammad with surrounding tribes and cities are recorded in the Qur’an and Hadeeth, and the final battle that gave a crucial victory for the spread of Islam was its conquest of Mecca in 630 AD.  Muhammad led a siege of the city and also cleansed the Kaaba and removed all of the idols and declared himself the political leader.  All non-Muslims were driven out of both Mecca and Medina, which is still true to the present day.


III. Sources of Authority in Islam: The Qur’an and Hadeeth

The foundational revelation for Islam is the Qur’an, but there are also several other forms of tradition and sources of authority which are crucial for interpreting the Qur’an which are frequently used by Muslim scholars for Qur’anic exegesis.  The Qur’an is divided into different chapters called Surahs.  The Qur’an’s chapters are arranged by length, not chronologically, and some Islamic scholars have divided the Surahs into two basic categories based on the life of Muhammad: the Medinah Surahs written while Muhammad was in Medinah which detail warfare and battles, and the Meccan Surahs after Muhammad conquered Mecca.  Although the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad and later written down in the 7th century after Muhammad’s death it is viewed as the eternal and uncreated revelation of God perfectly preserved in the Arabic language.

“Another characteristic of the kalaam (speech) of Allah is that it is uncreated…Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah said, “He has lied (who says that the Qur’an is created)!”  Allah has stated, “To Him belongs the Creation and the Command,” so the creation is the creation of Allah, and His Command is the Qur’an[5]”.

The Holy Qur’an rightly claims to be the only divine revelation that is everlasting, preserving its originality and genuineness beyond all reasonable doubts.  This living miracle of the Holy Prophet is unique in that it continued beyond his death unlike the miracles of the previous Prophets that lasted only as long as they lived.  The texts of other Prophets and their signs have disappeared with them and no trace of them can now be found in the world.  The Holy Qur’an made a simple challenge to humanity to produce the like of it or any of its parts.  Centuries have passed and it remains as incomparable today as it was on the day it was revealed and will remain so up to the Day of Judgment.

According to this Qur’anic challenge, every individual surah of the Holy Qur’an, indeed any part equal to its smallest surah, is in itself a separate miracle making the Qur’an a collection of nearly two thousand miracles[6]”.

In addition to the Qur’an are the Hadeeth, which are the traditions about the teachings of Muhammad that were passed down by oral tradition and later written down.  The two most authoritative and reliable Hadeeth acknowledged by Muslims scholars are Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Al-Muslim since they have the most reliable chain of tradition dating to an earlier date that the other Hadeeth traditions.  Here is a basic overview of how the Hadeeth are verified as reliable according to Islamic scholars,

“Then Bukhari and Muslim made their collections for their books including only sahih hadiths of the Prophet and did not allow any tradition that was not qualified as sahih (Sahih = genuine/authentic).  Muslim hadith scholars invested great labor and took great pains in maintaining the accuracy of the prophetic traditions.  A new branch of knowledge known as Asma’ ur-Rijal, that is the biographies of each and every reader of the hadith right from the Companion to the present time.  It helped them know everything about a particular reporter in the chain of reporters of any single tradition.  All the collections known as Sihah (the books containing only sahih hadeeths) were so compiled by their authors that each and every statement is prefixed with complete chain of reporters starting from the author to the Holy Prophet himself (Muhammad).  There are some hadiths reported by Bukhari that have only three names between him and the Holy Prophet[7]”.

The Hadeeths help to provide important information on ambiguous passages in Islamic interpretation since the chain can be traced back to an early source it helps to prevent misinterpretation of the Qur’an.  Scholarly commentaries in Islam are called Tafsir, early Islamic commentators help to provide an interpretive lens of how the early Muslims followers understood the Qur’an and interpreted it.

This brief overview has attempted to provide a concise overview of both the meaning of Islam and the sources of its revelation and authority as well as the historical background.  Many events of Muhammad’s life are recorded in the Qur’an such as military conquests, so viewing the helpful distinction between the Medinah and Meccan Surahs of the Qur’an does help to interpret the Qur’an by better understanding the historical background.  The Hadeeth and Tafsir can help us to understand early interpretations of the Qur’an and Islam, so that we don’t misrepresent the affirmations of the Islamic worldview.  Many claims have been made in the citations from Islamic scholars about the superiority of the Qur’an to all other revelations from God and Muhammad’s status as a prophet of God which will be further evaluated in the following lessons.  The groundwork has been laid so that the following lessons can further discuss the Doctrine of God and Christ, Doctrine of Salvation, and the Doctrine of Revelation in the Qur’an as presented in the Islamic worldview to contrast with the Christian worldview by using the primary sources of the Islamic worldview (The Qur’an, Hadith, and Tafsir) and Islamic scholars to present their position.

[1] E. J. Young, Arabic for Beginners (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1953), 42

[2] Thomas Patrick Hughes, A Dictionary of Islam: Being a Cyclopædia of the Doctrines, Rites, Ceremonies, and Customs, Together with the Technical and Theological Terms, of the Muhammadan Religion (London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1885), 220.

[3] Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2006), 44-45, cited in James White, What Every Christian needs to know about the Quran (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House, 2013), 22-23

[4] Sahih Al-Bukhari, 2:177; 6:385-6 cited in Ibid, 30-31

[5] Yasir Qadhi, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an (Birmingham, UK: Al-Hidaayah, 2003), 34 cited in Ibid, 56

[6] Maulana M. Rahmatullah Kairanvi, Izhar-Ul-Haq (truth Revealed): Proof of the Divine Origin of the Qur’an and the Authenticity of the Hadiths Part 3, second edition (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Word of Knowledge for Publishing & Distribution, 1992), 18

[7]Ibid, 94

Directorio de Iglesias Bautistas Reformadas Hispanohablantes

Para ayuda em encontrar una Iglesia Bautista Reformada en Los Estados Unidos, Latino America, y en España.  Vaya al directorio aquí y encuentre su país en la lista.

Toque el link rojo abajo para ir al directorio:

Directorio de iglesias bautistas reformadas



Videos e Infográficos Sobre o Federalismo 1689


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Você pode achar alguns Infográficos úteis traduzidos pelo Daniel Pomermayer e o Pastor Rupert Teixera para ajudar a gente aprender as diferenças das formas diferentes do federalismo:

Aqui são os videos que Daniel traduziu em seu sitio ao Português.

O áudio dos videos é no inglês, mas se você faz click no “CC” por baixo do video então pode ler as legendas no Português:


La Iglesia Local y la Gran Comisión Parte 1


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Yo Traduje este “post” al español desde la transcripción de mi predicación en ingles:

  1. Describiendo la función de la Iglesia Local
  2. La Meta Primaria de la Gran Comisión (Hacer Discípulos)
  3. Los medios dado a la Iglesia (Los Medios de Gracia)


Mateo 28:16-20, “16 Pero los once discípulos se fueron a Galilea, al monte que Jesús les había señalado.17 Cuando le vieron, le adoraron; mas algunos dudaron. 18 Y acercándose Jesús, les habló, diciendo: Toda autoridad me ha sido dada en el cielo y en la tierra. 19 Id, pues, y haced discípulos de todas las naciones, bautizándolos en el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo,20 enseñándoles a guardar todo lo que os he mandado; y he aquí, yo estoy con vosotros todos los días, hasta el fin del mundo.”[1].


Es necesario que entendamos lo que Dios requiere de la iglesia (su función) en la Gran Comisión (Mateo 28:16-20), primero necesitamos una definición bíblica de la iglesia porque Cristo dio la Gran Comisión a lo apóstoles quienes son la fundación de la iglesia (Efesios 2:20) dándoles el mandato de la Gran Comisión, lo cual es la obligación de la iglesia.  Benjamin Keach, un bautista calvinista y un pastor quien firmó la confesión de fe bautista de Londres 1689.  Keach dio la siguiente definición de la función de la iglesia,


“Una Iglesia de Cristo, según la institución del evangelio, es una congregación de creyentes piadosos, quienes como una asamblea (siendo primero bautizados según una profesión de fe) por un acuerdo mutuo a la voluntad de Dios; y normalmente se reúnen en un lugar, para el servicio público y la alabanza de Dios; entre quienes la Palabra de Dios y los sacramentos [Bautismo y la Cena del Señor] son administrados, según la institución de Cristo[2]”.

Nuestra confesión de fe (la confesión de fe bautista de Londres 1689 también da un útil explicación de la iglesia y los papeles diferentes según los oficios diferentes y las obligaciones de los miembros de la iglesia:

1689 LBC 26.8: “Una iglesia local, reunida y completamente organizada de acuerdo con la voluntad de Cristo, está compuesta por oficiales y miembros; y los oficiales designados por Cristo para ser escogidos y apartados por la iglesia (así llamada y reunida), para la particular administración de las ordenanzas y el ejercicio del poder o el deber, que él les confía o a los que los llama, para que continúen hasta el fin del mundo, son los obispos o ancianos, y los diáconos. [3]”.

1689 LBC 26.11: “Aunque sea la responsabilidad de los obispos o pastores de las iglesias, según su oficio, estar constantemente dedicados a la predicación de la Palabra, la obra de predicar la Palabra no está tan particularmente limitada a ellos, sino que otros también dotados y calificados por el Espíritu Santo para ello y aprobados y llamados por la iglesia, pueden y deben desempeñarla.[4]”.

Una Iglesia consiste de oficios y miembros, y porque Dios ha dado dones diferentes a creyentes en áreas diferentes todos no tienen la misma obligación para evangelismo, por ejemplo todos los miembros de una iglesia no deberían predicar desde el pulpito. En la doctrina histórica de vocación, Martin Lutero describe 4 áreas de las responsabilidades que creyentes tienen: vocación en relación a la Iglesia, Gobierno, Familia, y empleo.  Todos los creyentes quienes son miembros de una iglesia local tienen una responsabilidad a la iglesia local, pero todos los miembros no tienen los mismos dones espirituales.  Debido a eso creyentes quienes son miembros de una iglesia local tienen obligaciones diferentes según los dones que Dios les dio a ellos.  Algunos Dios ha dado el don para predicar y ensenar la Palabra de Dios mientras otros ayudan por la oración, sirviendo como diáconos, o otros medios.  Papeles diferentes no significan que algunas obras de creyentes son menos importantes como Pablo dice claramente que las obras diferentes de creyentes en la iglesia local son como los partes diferentes de un cuerpo, todos cuales tienen un papel importante (1 Corintios 12:12-31).


[2] Benjamin Keach, The Glory of a True Church, and its Discipline display’d(London: n.p., 1697), 5-6, cited in James M. Renihan, Edification and Beauty: The Practical Ecclesiology of the English Particular Baptists, 1675-1705(Eugene, Oregon; Wipf & Stock & Paternoster, 2008), 44


Fil. 1:1; 1 Ti. 3:1-13; Hch. 20:17,28; Tit. 1:5-7; 1 P. 5:2


Hch. 8:5; 11:19-21; 1 P. 4:10,11

A Igreja Local e a Grande Comissão Parte 1


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Eu traduzi o seguinte duma transcrição duma minhas pregações.  Você pode achar o original no inglês aqui em meu blog:

  1. Definindo a função da Igreja
  2. o Primário Objetivo da Grande Comissão (Fazer Discípulos)
  3. os meios dados à Igreja (Os Meios da Graça)


  1. Mateus 28:16-20, “16 Partiram, pois, os onze discípulos para a Galiléia, para o monte onde Jesus lhes designara. 17 Quando o viram, o adoraram; mas alguns duvidaram. 18 E, aproximando-se Jesus, falou-lhes, dizendo: Foi-me dada toda a autoridade no céu e na terra. 19 Portanto ide, fazei discípulos de todas as nações, batizando-os em nome do Pai, e do Filho, e do Espírito Santo; 20 ensinando-os a observar todas as coisas que eu vos tenho mandado; e eis que eu estou convosco todos os dias, até a consumação dos séculos.”[1].

É necessário para nós aprender o que Deus diz é a função da Igreja na Grande Comissão (Mateus 28:16-20), primeiro precisamos ter uma definição bíblica da Igreja porque Cristo comissionou os doze apóstolos, quens são a fundação da Igreja (Efésios 2:20) dando-lhes o imperativo da Grande Comissão, o qual é a obrigação da Igreja.  Benjamin Keach é uma batista reformada é um pastor quem assinou a Confissão de Fé Batista de Londres de 1689, diz o seguinte definição da Igreja é sua função como é dado por Deus,

“A Igreja de Cristo, seguinte a instituição do Evangelho, é uma congegação de crentes devotos, quem como uma assembleia (primeiro sendo batizados conforme uma declaração de fé) faz por acordo mútuo a vontade de Deus; e regularmente assistem num lugar, para o culto público e a adoração de Deus; entre quem a Palavra de Deus e os sacramentos [o batismo e a ceia do Senhor] são administrados fielmentes, segundo a instituição de Cristo [2]”.

Nossa confissão (a Confissão de Fé Batista de Londres de 1689, abreviado pelo “LBC”) também nos dá uma explanação útil das funções da Igreja Local e o que fazem os membros da Igreja local:

1689 LBC 26.8: “Uma igreja local, reunida e completamente organizada de acordo com a mente de Cristo, consiste de oficiais e membros. Os oficiais designados por Cristo serão escolhidos e consagrados pela igreja congregada. São eles os anciãos (ou bispos) e os diáconos;15 cabe-lhes especificamente a administração das ordenanças [Batismo e Ceia do Senhor] e o exercício do poder ou do dever com que foram instruídos, ou para o qual foram chamados por Cristo. Este sistema deve ser mantido na igreja, até o fim do mundo [3]”.

1689 LBC 26.11: “Embora a tarefa de serem diligentes na pregação da Palavra seja, por definição de ofício, uma incumbência dos bispos (os pastores) das igrejas, a pregação da Palavra não está confinada exclusivamente a eles. Outras pessoas, que tenham sido dotadas e preparadas pelo Espírito Santo, e que também tenham sido convocadas pela Igreja, podem e devem ocupar-se com a obra da pregação [4]”.

Uma Igreja tem funcionários e membros, e porque Deus deu dons diferentes aos crentes em áreas diferentes por isso nós não temos a mesma obrigação para evangelismo; por exemplo todos os membros da igreja não deveriam pregar na igreja do púlpito.  Na doutrina histórica da vocação, o Martin Lutero descreve quatras áreas para as responsabilidades o qu crentes tem: a vocação na igreja, a vocação com o governo, a vocação na família, a vocação no trabalho.  Todos os crentes quens são mebros duma igreja local tem uma responsabilidade a sua igreja, mas nao todos crentes tem o mesmo dom espiritaul na mesma área.  Além disso os crentes quens são mebros duma igreja local tem responsabilidades diferentes segundo o dom que Deus lhes deu a eles para fazer.  Alguns Deus deu a tarefa pregar e ensinar mas outros ajudam pela oração, outros servem como diáconos, e outros meios.  Funções diferentes não insinuam que as tarefas de alguns são menos importantes como Paulo diz claramente com as outras tarefas dos membros da Igreja sendas comparadas as partes diferentes do corpo, todos quais tem um papel importante (1 Coríntios 12:12-31).


[2] Benjamin Keach, The Glory of a True Church, and its Discipline display’d(London: n.p., 1697), 5-6, cited in James M. Renihan, Edification and Beauty: The Practical Ecclesiology of the English Particular Baptists, 1675-1705(Eugene, Oregon; Wipf & Stock & Paternoster, 2008), 44


Atos 20:17,28; Filipenses 1:1.


Atos 11:19-21; I Pedro 4:10-11

Richard Baxter, Neonomianism, and the Federal Vision Movement


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I write this post as an earnest plea to those who accept the tenets of the Federal Vision (also abbreviated in this post as FV), those attending a CREC church or church with Federal Vision tendencies or sympathies, the official network of churches for the Federal Vision Movement, or those who are trying to consider the issue involved with this crucial topic that relates to the essential Christian Doctrine of the distinction of the Law and Gospel among related issues.

This post is intended to gather as much resources as possible in 1 place on the Federal Vision, so that you can evaluate the sources yourself and see some of the main responses and resources available.  Some of these resources are from reformed Presbyterians, while others are from reformed baptists.

Reformed baptists are not immune to the aberrant doctrines of the FV, as a former member of a FIRE church there were some of the elders who openly promoted FV advocates such as Douglas Wilson and James Jordan as orthodox and biblical authors and pastors, recommending their  books and resources to the congregation.  So within contexts of those holding to a limited view of subscription to a Reformed Confession, it can open the door to threats such as the FV or the New Perspective on Paul.

R. Scott Clark made a historical comment about loose subscription by Scottish Presbyterians, that also serves as an important warning today since loose subscription and system subscription leave a lot of loopholes open that can potentially become serious problems such as the FV,

“In 1900, foreshadowing developments to come in North America, the Kirk of Scotland required only that ministers subscribe with the understanding that the WCF was the confession of the Church of Scotland and that by signing it they were declaring that they “believe the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith contained therein.”  Obviously , one could drive a truck through such verbal holes, and that has been done for a century” (R. Scott Clark, Recovering the Reformed Confession: Our Theology, Piety, and Practice, 166-167).

FV Joint Statement of Faith 2011 (Notice how they redefine sola fide just like Richard Baxter to attempt to sound orthodox, but they end up redefining and denying sola fide):

For those unfamiliar with the Federal Vision Movement R. Scott Clark gives a useful overview on his podcast, episodes 55-57, of their basic theological presuppositions:




R.Scott Clark also gives a useful overview of the FV movement on this podcast episode of Echo Zoe:

If you haven’t read my posts on Richard Baxter on Justification, then you should read those first before proceeding with the other resources on this post since they provide important historical background as a  precursor to the modern FV movement:

This interview between Michael Horton and Douglas Wilson shows how Douglas Wilson tends to redefine terms to appear orthodox, to make it more difficult to identify his FV views i.e. he denies that the Adamic Covenant was a covenant of works in the interview and tries to make it also a gracious covenant, playing the same semantic games as Richard Baxter did with his responses to orthodox divines in the 17th century:

Here are 2 committee responses by Presbyterian denominations, the URCNA and OPC responding to the Federal Vision. The OPC document is longer since it also has a section responding to the New Perspective on Paul under the same committee study, and it also systematically addresses how the FV and NPP (New Perspective on Paul) not only modify the doctrine of justification, but all of the key areas of theology such as the doctrine of God and Ecclesiology. Although I hold to a 1689 federalism view of covenant theology these two committee reports are still profitable for understanding the FV and providing a biblical response to it.

URCNA (United Reformed Churches in North America) Response to the FV:

OPC Committee response to the NPP & FV:

Here are some additional resources for studying the FV movement from a reformed baptist perspective to provide a biblical response to the aberrant views that it propagates by mixing the law and Gospel:


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