Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Opus 2011-120, Koran Klarifications: God Changes His Mind

In Islam Allah is free to change his mind and in fact the Koran seems to set the stage for such changes.
“Whatever verses we cancel, or cause thee to forget, we bring a better or its like. Knowest thou not that God hath power over all things?” Sura 2, “The Cow,” verse 106
This seems to develop a bit of inconsistency in the words of Allah.  This verse seems the opposite of what you just read:
“And the words of thy Lord are perfect in truth and in justice: none can change his words: He is the Hearing, Knowing.” Surah 6, “Cattle,” verse 115
I guess a way around this is to say that Allah can change what He said but no one else can.  This seems to hinge on the fact that Allah is supreme and can do anything He wants.  In a podcast on the book The Closing of the Muslim Mind by Robert Reilly, the author quoted one of the debates that took place in Islam in the ninth century.  The question was formulated, “Is murder wrong because Allah said so, or did Allah condemn murder because it is wrong?”  The faction of Islam that won the argument said that it was wrong because Allah said so.  If He changed His mind and declared it good, them murder would be good.  Allah was free to do whatever He wanted.  That kind of thinking dominates Islam today.  The author said that what is called the Golden Age of Islam came to an end with this philosophical and theological change.

Notice that the Koran endorses the Virgin birth.
“Remember when the angel said, ‘O Mary! Verily God announceth to thee the Word from Him: His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, illustrious in this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God;  And He shall speak to men alike when in the cradle and when grown up; And he shall be one of the just.’  She said, ‘How, O my Lord! shall I have a son, when man hath not touched me?’ He said, ‘Thus: God will create what He will; When He decreeth a thing, He only saith, 'Be,' and it is.’”  Surah 3, “The Family of Imrhan,”  verses 45-47
Later it denies that Allah had begotten Jesus.
“And SAY: Praise be to God who hath not begotten a son, who hath no partner in the Kingdom, nor any protector on account of weakness. And magnify him by proclaiming His greatness.” Surah 17, “The Children of Israel,”  verse 111
That seems a bit inconsistent but I guess you could say Allah created Jesus in a virgin without begetting Him.  It comes down to an acceptance of anything Allah wants to do.  He does not need to be consistent.  He does not need to keep His word.  You are considered an Infidel because you try to limit Allah by expecting Him to fit any categories.  He is not the God of the Bible, but the Allah of the Koran.

All Koran quotes are from the translation by Rev. J.M. Rodwell, M.A. provided by the Gutenberg Project.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.