Refuting A Muslim Pseudo-Scholar Pt. 5

I now come to the section where Muhammadan convert Tim Winter seeks to misuse the testimony of Hebrews to refute Christ’s essential Deity (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/17/refuting-a-muslim-pseudo-scholar-pt-4/).

 WINTER

Again and again he is portrayed as obedient to the Father, and sent by Him, “learning obedience” (Hebrews 5:8). Since such qualities conflict with what is logically known of God, the Gospel writers are here clearly professing him as a non-divine being.

RESPONSE

 What Jesus’ human qualities conflict with is Murad’s unproven assumption and question-begging that God cannot become man and experience genuine human limitations without ceasing to be God. And yet these are the very assumptions that the inspired writer to the Hebrews refutes in his opening chapter!

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power…” Hebrews 1:1-3a

The inspired author identifies Jesus as the divine Son of God by and for whom all creation exists, the very One who sustains the entire creation by his very own powerful word. And as the divine Agent and Heir of all creation, he is to be worshiped by all of God’s angels. The writer has basically ascribed the very unique functions of Yahweh alone to Christ!

For instance, the Hebrew Bible testifies that Yahweh created and sustains the entire cosmos all by himself, which is one of the reasons why the angelic host worships him:

“You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.” Nehemiah 9:6

“who ALONE stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea;” Job 9:8

“Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it:” Isaiah 42:5

“Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: ‘I am the LORD, who made all things, who ALONE stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth BY MYSELF,’” Isaiah 44:24

“I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host… For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other.’” Isaiah 45:12, 18

Remarkably, Hebrews has God the Father quoting the following OT texts which command the angels to worship Yahweh,

“Rejoice with him, O heavens; bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people’s land.’” Deuteronomy 32:43

“Rejoice, you heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice you Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.” LXX

“All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!” Psalm 97:7

“Let all that worship graven images be ashamed, who boast of their idols; worship him, all you his angels.” Psalm 96:7 LXX

And where Yahweh is described as the Immutable Creator and Sustainer of all creation,

“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.” Psalm 102:25-27

And attributed all of this to his Son!

“And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’… But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God (ho Theos), is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’ And, ‘You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.’” Hebrews 1:6, 8-12

In other words, it is the Father himself that praises Jesus for being Yahweh Almighty who created and sustains all things, and further glorifies him for being the God who reigns forever in righteousness.

This explains why the Father commands all the angels to worship his Firstborn Son as Yahweh God himself and why he has seated the risen Christ alongside him on high, above the heavens,

“After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… And to which of the angels has he ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’?” Hebrews 1:3, 13

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Hebrews 4:14

“who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of AN INDESTRUCTIBLE LIFE… The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since HE ALWAYS LIVES to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, AND EXALTED ABOVE THE HEAVENS. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever… Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,” Hebrews 7:16, 23-28, 8:1

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” Hebrews 9:24

“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.” Hebrews 10:12-13

“looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

As Lord,

“The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” Psalm 110:1

Even though this is a divine status that belongs uniquely to Yahweh:

“that they may know that you ALONE, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.” Psalm 83:18

“For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.” Psalm 97:9

“Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high,” Psalm 113:5

Hence, the plain and emphatic testimony of Hebrews is that Jesus is the God-Man, the eternal Son of God who became man and is, therefore, the physical enfleshment of Yahweh Almighty.

And yet this is the very book that Winter has the audacity to quote in order to refute the essential equality of Christ with God the Father!

Winter’s woes are far from over since I have more to say in the next part (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/refuting-a-muslim-pseudo-scholar-pt-6/).

 

 

3 thoughts on “Refuting A Muslim Pseudo-Scholar Pt. 5

  1. “Hence, the plain and emphatic testimony of Hebrews is that Jesus is the God-Man, the eternal Son of God who became man and is, therefore, the physical enfleshment of Yahweh Almighty.”

    Excellent work!

    I wonder if Winter is appealing to Hebrews because he is trying to perform an internal critique of Christianity or whether he is appealing to it as an authoritative statement of truth. If the former, then he has to wrestle this excellent response by brother Sam. If the latter, he not only has to deal with the irrefutable evidence that Hebrews teaches that Jesus is indeed the God-man, eternal Son of God who became man, and is, therefore, the physical enfleshment of Yahweh Almighty, but he also has to wrestle with the fact that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead in the same book of Hebrews, in the very verse he appeals to!

    Hebrews 2:9-17, 5:7-9, 6:4-6, 9:12-28, 10:10-14, 13:20-21.

    Liked by 1 person

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