|Author: Ungaran Rashid
Publisher: IIUM Press, 2021.
No. of pages: 128
Price: RM 45.00
[This book is a revised version a thesis in fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Heritage (Uṣūl al-Dīn and Comparative Religion) at International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur].
Muslim scholars’ critique of the Christian teaching of the deity of Christ would be more credible if it engages with the origin of divine Christology in its historical context rather than relies on dogmatic assertions of Islamic doctrine. As such, this book is a commendable attempt by a Muslim scholar to engage with Christian scholarship based on historical criticism of primary sources and critical analysis of concepts of Christology.
For Christians, “Son of God” describes the filial relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father. However, Muslims reject the Christian understanding and assert that “He (Allah) begot no one nor was He begotten” (Sura 112 – Abdel Haleem translation). Dr. Ungaran Rashid, assistant professor at International Islamic University, Malaysia, argues that the way to resolve this conflict of interpretation is to examine the term “Son of God” from the main source, which is Jewish Scriptures (Ungaran’s term for the Old Testament). Continue reading “The Meaning of “Son of God”: A Muslim Critique – Christology Part 1″
High Court quashes govt’s 1986 ban on ‘Allah’ use by Christians, affirms Sarawakian Bumiputera’s right to religion and non-discrimination
10 March 2021 by Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 ― The High Court today ruled that the Malaysian government’s directive issued in 1986 with a total ban on the use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications is unconstitutional and invalid, and also declared orders to affirm Sarawakian Bumiputera Christian Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill’s right to not be discriminated against and practise her faith.
Justice Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin, who has since been elevated to be a Court of Appeal judge, granted three of the specific constitutional reliefs sought by the Sarawakian native of the Melanau tribe.
The three orders granted by the judge include a declaration that it is Jill Ireland’s constitutional right under the Federal Constitution’s Article 3, 8, 11 and 12 to import the publications in exercise of her rights to practise religion and right to education.
The other two declarations granted by the judge today are that a declaration under Article 8 that Jill Ireland is guaranteed equality of all persons before the law and is protected from discrimination against citizens on the grounds of religion in the administration of the law ― specifically the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and Customs Act 1967), and a declaration that government directive issued by the Home Ministry’s publication control’s division via a circular dated December 5, 1986 is unlawful and unconstitutional.
The order today means that the government’s long-standing absolute ban in the 1986 circular on the use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications in Malaysia has been declared invalid by the court. Continue reading “High Court Quashes Govt’s 1986 Ban on ‘Allah’ Use by Christians,”
The big news today is not that Big Tech (Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon) permanently bans President Trump. As outsiders, we don’t have to wring our hands over American politics. The big news is that Google has just banned Parler from its Play Store and Apple threatens the same action, citing infringement of its “robust” moderation policies.
The issue is bigger than Trump and American politics. The issue is about free speech (free speech of religion in particular) being suffocated by Big Tech. Big Tech aggressively promotes Woke Ideology (Intersectionality of activism for LGBT, Abortion, Racism, victim’s justice, etc.) while it increasingly censors, polices, blocks and cancels users who question the values and radical agenda of the Woke Movement. Big Tech Brother does not need to imprison you. It just makes sure that you will eventually be able to receive only one set of ‘news’ and (godless) views. I suspect that Big Tech’s ban on Parler is an attempt to nip in the bud a potential competitor to its technological and ideological monopoly. Some well-known Christian bloggers have already reported that Big Tech blocks their posts which are critical of LGBT issues. You should be worried. This is only the beginning. Continue reading “Big Tech Wants Your Money and Turn Your Heart From God”
[Life must be imbued with meaning if it is to be worth living. But how can meaning be sustained when the end of life seems pointless? Even if one diligently gathers wisdom for three score and ten years, life must still go the way of the grasshopper. It is hard to keep faith in a good God who orders providence when misfortune strikes and one loses everything that has been regarded as blessings of God. Faith clings precariously to a thread worn thin as one suffers unbearable pain caused by terminal illness…
The defiance of the hard core skeptic or Stoic in the face of pointless and overwhelming suffering seems heroic when he counsels that the best way to find peace is to renounce any hope of finding meaning in life and to submit to fate. But is not the resignation of oneself to everything without complaint nothing more than a capitulation to inscrutable fate? Is life not reduced to groping in the dark where all things are colorless and grey? Without beauty and meaning, one loses the desire to act and sinks into paralyzing resignation.
The Christian believer may seem to share the same kindred spirit with the Stoic when he prays through his suffering, the immortal words of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Thy will be done.” But his prayer is a reposeful confession of faith rather than an utterance of despair or resignation. For he knows something that a person without Christ cannot know. He knows that he is entrusting his life into the hands of the heavenly Father rather than capitulating to impersonal and capricious fate.]
Continue reading “God Stoops to Turn Our Resignation to Restfulness”
I posted in Facebook some of Tim Challies’ observations in his review of Scott David Allen’ s book, Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice (Credo House Pub., 2020).
Social Justice Redefined:
Scott David Allen notes the contemporary redefinition of “justice”: “Deconstructing traditional systems and structures deemed to be oppressive, and redistributing power and resources from oppressors to their victims in the pursuit of equality of outcome.” It is obsessed with power, privilege, oppression, and victimization; it uses pragmatic tactics to cow dissenters into submission; it fixates on identity markers such as class, race, gender, and sexual orientation; it is openly hostile to Judeo-Christian religion; it is militant against the natural family and traditional sexuality; and it focuses on the redistribution of wealth and power by means of a powerful state apparatus…
Scott Allen Contrasts this New Definition with Biblical Justice:
Conformity to God’s moral standard as revealed in the Ten Commandments and the Royal Law: “love your neighbor as yourself.” [Its two components are:]
Communitive Justice: living in right relationship with God and others; giving people their due as image-bearers of God.
Distributive Justice: impartially rendering judgment, righting wrongs, and meting out punishment for lawbreaking. Reserved for God and God-ordained authorities including parents in the home, elders in the church, teachers in the school, and civil authorities in the state. Continue reading “Biblical Justice and Black Lives Matter. Review and Comments”
Virtue signaling in solidarity with “social justice warriors” is becoming popular among Christian social activists. “Wokeness” is sweeping across mainline denominations and some conservative seminaries. Even the Southern Baptist Convention (historically the bulwark of theological conservatism) is experiencing division as some of its influential leaders eagerly join the bandwagon.
We are puzzled when highly intelligent and idealistic people are caught up in the ideological madness of crowds currently sweeping across the USA. We are troubled by incidents when some social activists who started their mission with righteous ideals end up becoming self-righteous and judgmental towards people who don’t share their avant-garde views. Continue reading “How I Left the Social Justice Cult”
CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE AND DIALOGUE UNDER THE SHADOW OF ISLAM
by Dr. Ng Kam Weng
250 pages, 8.5” x 5.5” x 0.85”
Price of book for orders within Malaysia: RM30 per copy plus shipping charges
Continue reading “Just Published by Kairos Research Centre! Christian Doctrine & Dialogue Under the Shadow of Islam”
TWENTY-NINTH QUESTION: THE ETERNAL GENERATION OF THE SON
Was the Son of God begotten of the Father from eternity? We affirm
I. The preceding question established the consubstantiality (homoousian) and essential identity of the Son with the Father. This question will demonstrate his personal distinction from him, his ineffable and eternal generation against the blasphemies of anti-Trinitarians.
Statement of the question.
II. The question is not whether Christ can be said to be begotten of God by the miraculous conception of the Holy Spirit; or whether he can be called the Son of God by a gracious communication of existence, power and divine glory (for this the adversaries readily grant and acknowledge no other cause of his filiation). But the question is whether he was begotten of God from eternity, and whether he may be called Son on account of the secret and ineffable generation from the Father. The Socinians blasphemously deny this; we affirm it. Continue reading “The Eternal Generation of the Son: Francis Turretin on the Trinity”
[Recapitulation: On the Trinity]
a. There is in the Divine Being but one indivisible essence (ousia, essentia). God is one in His essential being or constitutional nature. Some of the early Church Fathers used the term “substantia” as synonymous with “essentia,” but later writers avoided this use of it in view of the fact that in the Latin Church “substantia” was used as a rendering of “hupostasis” as well as of “ousia,” and was therefore ambiguous. At present the two terms “substance” and “essence” are often used interchangeably. There is no objection to this, provided we bear in mind that they have slightly different connotations. Shedd distinguishes them as follows: “Essence is from esse, to be, and denotes energetic being (Augustine On the Trinity 5.2). Substance is from substare, and denotes the latent possibility of being.… The term essence describes God as a sum-total of infinite perfections; the term substance describes Him as the underlying ground of infinite activities. The first is, comparatively, an active word; the last, a passive. The first is, comparatively, a spiritual, the last a material term. We speak of material substance rather than of material essence.” /1/ Continue reading “The Eternal General Generation of the Son: Louis Berkhof on the Trinity”
The dispute between the Sabah-Sarawak churches and the government over the rights of Christians to use the “Allah” word in the Bahasa Malaysia Bible (Alkitab) has lasted more than 10 years. The Malaysian church leaders continue to reach out to government officials to find an amicable solution even as they await the judgment of the court in two cases where Sarawak and Sabah Christians sued the government for their right to use the word in the Alkitab.
The dispute has lasted so long that it no longer garners attention as front-page news. Not surprisingly, many young Christian leaders today fail to understand the fundamental concerns that compelled the church leaders to bring the dispute to court – the dispute over the “Allah” word would not have arisen if the Malaysian authorities acknowledge the undeniable historical fact that Christians in Malaysia who use the word are merely following the honorable tradition of Arabic Christians who have been using the word for centuries long before the advent of Islam. By prohibiting Christians from addressing their God as “Allah”, the Malaysian authorities are violating common sense and human courtesy.
Young Christian leaders will gain a full understanding of the right of Christians to use the “Allah” word after reading the Expert Report shared in this post. Such an understand is vital so that they will continue defend with firm conviction the right of Malaysian Christians to use “Allah” word in the Alkitab since the usage is historically legitimate, linguistically and theologically well-founded. Continue reading “Christian Use of Allah Historically Legitimate, Linguistically & Theologically Well-Founded – High Court Expert Report”