Friday, February 27, 2009


In the absence of plurality within Allah, Islam runs into a problem of relatability within Allah. How can Allah be merciful or compassionate? These are relational qualities. These can exist in Allah only if there is an actual relationship within his being expressed in love and communication. Quran is referred as the “word of God” signifying the capacity of communication in Allah. But to communicate, love and relate Allah must be more than one person or a plural unity. Otherwise he would have to depend on finite creation to actualize his qualities. Not only that the moment you conceive God as “Personal” or Ultimate reality as Personal” one has to infer “Relationship” and “Communication ” intrinsic to the being of God. That’s why when we study the conceptions of God in ancient Greek or Roman Mythology or Hinduism like Krishna who has “Radha as consortium” or any others gods or goddesses are found existing in community and relationships. To conceive God as Personal leads also to conceive him in relationship and communication. In Christian faith we find the right integration of “plurality” and “unity” in the being of God. God is Being in Relationship. A community of FATHER-SON-HOLYSPIRIT, where there is retentions of humanity’s quest for Monotheism (desire for oneness of God) as well as “relationship and communitcation (desired in polytheistic conception of God)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Worldview in Action

The other day I was reading a magazine ( i shall leave it unnamed) the editor of the magazine mentioned about the port rail of theirs gods in their religion. He wrote “why do we have gods and goddesses with holding arms in their hands" the reason is to destroy the asuras (demons). We need to take the example of gods and goddesses and take arms in our hands and destroy the demons of our times. The demons of our times are the secularist, the Muslims and the Christians. We need to destroy them and eliminate from the face of the earth like our gods destroying demons. You see friends how a person imitates one's view of God in practical life. Worldviews Matters. People behave according to their worldviews. When terrorist strikes innocent, remember behind those atrocities is the Worldview. Unless right worldview is adopted, right behavior will not be produced. Let's stop fighting with arms and use the reason and evaluate all worldviews and come to grips with right worldview and adopt it and bring peace and unity in the world

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Many people say that there is no need to learn apologetics. One has to simply share the gospel or simply give the bible. Let us not forget people’s interpretation depends according to one's worldview. When a pantheist is reading the gospel and comes across the Lord’s Prayer
"This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
According to pantheist Jesus is teaching here Dwaitism or dwaita philosophy (Dualism”)
When he comes to the verses "I am in father and father is in me"
According to pantheist Jesus is teaching here Vishisthadvaita (qualified non-dualism)
When he reads the verse "I and the father are one"
According to pantheist Jesus is teaching here Advaita (Non-dualism)
You see how one’s worldview determines one’s interpretation of the claims of Christ. Simply telling Gospel will not suffice in such context. One has to show the inconsistency of pantheistic worldview and establish and show the reasonability and plausibility of Theistic worldview. Only in the theistic context one can rightly interpret the claims of Jesus. This can be done by using apologetics. Bible commands us to do that (1 pet: 3:15-16). Every Christian is commanded to learn and practice apologetics.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009



Mahatma Gandhi popularized the concept of “Sarva Dharma Sambhava” meaning “All religions are same and has to be respected” Very often we here it thousands of times in country “we all come through different routes and end up in the same place as if God is a place or an experience or a feeling but we know that he is not.” Most Indians approach religions with this kind of Mindset assuming that because we perceive reality differently, various religions are various perceptions of ultimate reality, we need to conclude that all view of reality is true and therefore all religions to be true. To establish this point we are posed with the parable of 6 blind Man touching the elephant (I assume readers are familiar) and coming with different conceptions and conclusions of an elephant. We think if belief is the oldest then it is the Truest as if Truth is defined by the calendar. Dr. Ravi Zacharias says “ Pluralistic cultures are beguiled by the cosmetically courteous idea that sincerity or privilege of birth is all that counts and that truth is subject to the beholder. In no other discipline of life can one be so naive as to claim inherited belief or insistent belief as the sole determiner of truth. Why, then, do we make the catastrophic error of thinking that all religions are right and that it does not matter whether the claims they make are objectively true?
Indians are familiar with the popularized T.V. show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (who will become the Millionaire” as the show was meant to become crorepati by answering questions posed by the host Amitabh Bachchan (Indian Cinema actor) . I want to use the scenario of the show and would endeavor to refute the notion that all religions are same. I am presenting an imaginary questions and answers series
Where is Taj mahal in India ?
A) Delhi B) Mumbai C) Agra D) Calcutta
Answer : Agra :
Well done your answer is right ! you win 1 crore
But, suppose the let us reframe the answer
A) Delhi B) Mumbai C) Agra D) All three cities (a,b,c)
Answer : D) In all three cities.
Hey, how can Taj mahal be in all three cities. That is factually not true. What an illogical answer? Can’t you see this quite an obvious point? Your answer would have right if all the cities too would have tajmahal, but since Taj mahal is only in Agra which is factually true, your answer “all three cities “is an absurd.
Now suppose the 2nd question is asked
What do you think about God ? Does he exist ? what he is like ? ( more options for the answer)
A) There is no God
B) All is God and God is All
C) There are many Gods
D) There is only one God
E) All views about God is true
F) Only one view about God is true
Suppose the first answer is :
Answer 1) All views about God is true
Wow, Well done, you are right. Mahatma Gandhi and all our religious traditions are teaching this truth .You have given the right answer. You win…
But what if the answer is given.
Answer 2) f) Only One view about God is true.
Hey ! you are an arrogant, narrow minded. How can you believe there is only one view True ? We Indian follow the precept of Mahatma Gandhi “Sarva Dharma Sambhav” and every one in the world should follow this precept so that there will be peace and harmony.
In the above two scenarios of question, if you observe when it comes to the question of Tajmahal and when the answer was “IN ALL CITIES” everyone would without even much thought would agree the answer is absurd and opposing such answer would not be considered as intolerance but if somebody answers for the question of God that “only one view of God is true” people will be labeled as intolerant and would not see the absurdity of embracing and affirming the position of “All view of God is true”
We need to understand for all the great questions of life there is only one true answers. There cannot be contradictory answers because TRUTH IN ORDER TO BE TRUTH HAS TO BE NON-CONTRADICTORY, EXCLUSIVE, ABSOLUTE AND UNIVERSAL and IT MUST CORRESOND WITH REALITY. Try challenging this definition and you end up in self-contradiction.
Human beings have this insatiable quest to find THE TRUTH because on that answer depends all other fundamentals question for life. If there is no truth then there is no point to find the answer for the question like Does God Exist ? what is his nature ? Is there life after death ? etc and so on. Not only that but even the quest for harmony and peace among nations and community depends upon Truth. We long to find “universal” which would give meaning, identity and harmony to the particulars. All such notions like “Sarva Dharma Sambhav” is a quest to find that “universal” which would become the frame of reference for the answers of human life as well as Harmony among Human being. But to accept any such universal as a frame of reference has to be analyze logically. When done we will come to the conclusion that it is impossible to reconcile contradiction within the universal, if we are honest enough to admit. The validity of law of non-contradiction, that basic law for all right thinking is always established the moment anybody opposes to any meaningful statement. If contradictions are true factually then there will be no problem to accept the position that “Only One religion or view point of God is True.” Which is opposite to “All religions are same and true” but we know well that the moment you pronounce yourself to be exclusive you end up deemed to be Narrow minded and bigot.
Take all religions and analyses the basic concepts of 1) God 2) Man 3)Morality 4) Destiny. You will find most to be in complete contradictions. Even in India in ancient time there was whole tradition of doing debates where by viewpoints were being presented and each one would try to critique the others positions as they knew well that one has to refute to opposite viewpoint otherwise it would lead to contradictions. Explore the six schools of Indian philosophy you will find this to be true. An Advaitin like Sankara tried to refute Buddhism, Dwaita school tries to refute Advaita and and Vice-versa. The ISCONITES opposed the Sankara’s Notion of “ultimate reality to Impersonal” as they maintained “ultimate reality to be Personal” who according to them is Krishna . They used terms like “Mayawadis” for Sankara and his followers in a derogatory sense and attempted to refuted the whole viewpoint of Advaita. The whole idea behind opposing any particular viewpoint is that inherently we know “opposites both cannot be true at the same time and in the same sense”. Even those who propound the belief that “ALL RELIGIONS ARE SAME” oppose the belief “ALL RELIGIONS ARE NOT SAME”. A person following the belief that ONLY ONE RELIGION IS TRUE” wants the whole world should believe his belief in the same fashion the one who says “All religions are same” wants the whole world to believe the same. This shows how much we adhere to right understanding of the Truth ..absolute, exclusive, non-contradictory and trans cultural.
Let me reiterate at the conclusion the words of Dr. Ravi Zacharias “ All religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God. All religions do not say that all religions are the same. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not and accordingly, of defining life's purpose.” Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religion at its core is exclusive

Does it make sense to Believe in Trinity ?

“ You believe in Three gods.”

“How can God be “Three” and “One”?”

Philosophers, Skeptics, Non-Christians specifically Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other Cult group people often raise such objections pertaining to Christian understanding of God as Trinity.

Often our answer is “ it is a mystery” or “ such questions comes from satan” and try to avoid the questions and objections. ?

Apologist L.T. Jeyachandran says “ We all believe in the Trinity but we pray to the Trinity than nobody would question us about the Trinity. Are there answers to this questions? Is it possible to respond to this objections and silence the critics ? My answer is yes. As we approach to understand the nature and being of God, Firstly, we have to remember God is Infinite and Man is Finite and the gap between Infinite and Finite is always infinite. That means we will never know God unless God reveals himself to us. We can know about God only as much as he reveals to us. In other words only God can tell us what He is like. No human being by virtue of his intellect or experience can know About God. Revelation precedes knowledge. Secondly, We can know about God TRULY but not EXHAUSTIVELY. Because God is Infinite, finite human mind is incapable to fully comprehending God, so God reveals himself to us only to that extent, where we can grasp him. We have to expect mystery in relation to the knowledge of God. Now Mystery is not an absurdity. Mystery is not something which goes against reason but beyond reason. Now let us explore to the nature and being of God as revealed in the bible. BIBLICAL BASIS OF TRINITY

Throughout the bible we see that it says God is One. (Deut. 6:4, 1 Cor. 4:7) Along with, we also find this God revealing himself as existing in community of three persons namely, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Old Testament we find reference to plurality of persons implicitly present in verses like Gen. 1:26, 3:22, 19:24, Psalms 110 :1, 45: Isaiah 48: 12-15, Zechariah 2:8-11. 6: 12-15.

When we read New Testament, after the advent of Jesus, find explicitly further revelation and confirmation of God existing as Father, Son and Holy spirit in verses like Matthew 3:16, 28 :19, 2 corn 13:14, John 1: 1-3, 14 :16, 26, 15 :26

When Muslims or other people think of God as One, the understanding of “ONENESS” gets limited to one person unity, or singular unity. But in our casual language we use many words which are taken as one but refers to plural unity. Words like Group, Couple, Family, Army, community, Church, Nation etc. though taken in singular form refers to unity of comprising more than one person and nobody says to such unity or oneness as absurdity or contradiction. Similarly, when we Study Hebrew language we find there are two words for “ONE” or “ UNITY”

1) Yachid : refers to Singular unity,

2) Echad : refers to Plural unity

When God says to Abraham in Gen 22 : 2 “Take Your son, your ONLY son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah”. Here the word for one (ONLY) in Hebrew is Yachid, thus refers to singular unity.

While, in Gen 2 : 24 “ for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Here the word for one is Echad, which refers to plural unity.

This same word Echad is used in Shema : Here O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is one. (Echad) . CHARACTERISTIC OF TRINTY 1) God, according to Old testament, Jehovah, exists as three persons, namely Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three persons are distinct from one another. Father is not Son, Son is not Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit is not Father, but Father is Jehovah, Son is Jehovah and Holy Spirit is Jehovah. These three persons are Co-equal and Co-eternal. God was always Trinity, is Trinity and will be Trinity forever. 2) God is One in one sense and three in another sense, not in same sense. The oneness pertains to ESSENCE and three ness pertains to PERSONS. In other words there is one What (essence) or Three “Who” (persons). The Essence unites the three persons; Person is that which distinguishes them. Thus the unity of the Trinity does not mean “aloneness”, nor does the distinction with the Trinity mean “dividedness”. If we say God is one essence and three essence or God is one person and three person, at the same time, it would be a contradiction. As three angles in a Triangle are inseparably united to form one Triangle, in the same way the three persons are united inseparably in essence to form one God. 3) God is Jesus & Jesus is God both statements had different meanings and are not identical in meaning. When “is” is used in “Jesus is God” it is used in predicate sense, means Jesus is divine who shares the same one divine nature (essence) which other two persons “father” and “Holy Spirit” shares. To say God is Jesus will be inappropriate because Jesus does not exhaust what it means to speak of God. Jesus and God are not identical, as other persons too share the same divine nature and therefore are divine. 4) God is a being in relationships. The three persons of trinity are deeply interrelated and mutually indwell one another (perichoresis) and thus have a necessary and unbreakable oneness. Even though three will exists, yet only one will is expressed. Whatever they do, they do together. Because the members of trinity share the same essence and mutually indwell one another, they also act as one rather than in isolation from one another. The acts of God are always the acts of each member of Trinity, one or more initiating the process and the others backing it. There is no conflict, competition, confusion between them due to self giving love which exits between them. 5) God the Son, takes incarnation and not God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. So, let’s not pray thank you father for dying on the cross. Father did not die on the cross, it was God the Son. . In incarnation there is no subtraction of deity but addition of humanity, therefore, God the son became man without ceasing to be God, and hence three persons remains united in essence. While crying from the cross “ my God, my God why have you forsaken me,” there is no separation or brokenness in Essence but only temporary brokenness of fellowship and relationship which existed between three persons of trinity. Even death of God the Son on cross does not mean cessation of God the Son. Death according to bible is separation of Body and Soul. God the Son, in his divine nature was united with human nature in person of Jesus Christ. During death the human spirit of Jesus remains unified with Divine nature of God the Son and is separated from the body, which again reunites with glorified body after resurrection and remains forever in that state forever in submission to God the Father. DEFENCE OF TRINITY 1) When we look at the universe, we observe that it is made up of so many diverse things like plants, animals, humans, stars etc. Sunlight which appears white to naked eye, viewed through prism appears to be made of seven colors. We are made, physically and chemically, of the same elements yet we are so different from other human beings, things and animals. A word is made up of many Alphabets; A painting of many colors produces a harmonious mosaic. An orchestra of many musical instruments produces a symphony, instead of cacophony. If there is unity in diversity in the creation, is it not reasonable to expect unity and diversity in the creator. 2) Bible says God is love. If God is unipersonal, He will not be love. For God to be love there must be Subject-Object duality, without which loves will not be a possibility. In absence of plurality of persons within the being of God, love will remain as potential and not an actuality. So in one sense, we (creation) would have helped God find His perfection by being the object of His love! This of course is absolute nonsense. We have to reach the unavoidable conclusion that within God there has to be a plurality - a Subject (Father) Who loves, an Object (Son) Who is loved (John 1&:24) and a Medium (Holy Spirit) through Whom that love is communicated (Romans 5:5). This combined with the unity of the Essence of God is the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.