Reexamining The Logical Coherence of the Trinity
In Light of the Assertions of a Muslim Polemicist

How Some Dawagandists Never Learn

Sam Shamoun

Bassam Zawadi has produced an article where he seeks to tackle whether the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is logically consistent (*).

In this article we will examine his arguments to see whether he was capable of proving his assertion that the Trinity is both irrational and unbiblical.

What about John 17:3?

Zawadi thinks he can refute the coherence of the Trinity on the basis of what John 17:3 says concerning the Father being the only true God. After citing the text Zawadi asserts:

Notice how the Father is being referred to as THE ONLY TRUE GOD. Thus, we are required to restate the formulation of the Trinity as follows:

- The Father is the only true God.
- The Son is truly God.
- The Holy Spirit is truly God.

But just as we saw with the previous example, this is logically impossible. How is it possible for the Father to be the ONLY true God, while at the same time the Son and Holy Spirit are God as well? If the Son and Holy Spirit are God as well, then it is false to say that the Father is the ONLY true God. Similarly, if we say that the Father is the ONLY true God (how clearer can it get for someone to express Unitarianism?) then we can't say that anyone else (i.e. Son and Holy Spirit) is God as well.

It would also be ludicrous for someone to reformulate the Trinity as follows:

- The Father is the only true God.
- The Son is the only true God.
- The Holy Spirit is the only true God.

Since it is necessary that at least two of the above three statements would be false. It is not possible for any one of the persons (Father, Son or Holy Spirit) to be the ONLY true God at the same time when the other two are God as well.

Before we demonstrate why Zawadi’s argument is nothing more than the fallacy of false dilemma as a result of his assumption of unitarianism, which explains his use of false analogies and comparisons, we would first like to examine the theology of John. This will be vitally important in establishing the fact that John was not a unitarian, and one must therefore be careful to avoid interpreting his writings in light of unitarian beliefs.

We begin by examining the context of John 17 itself:

"After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.’" John 17:1-5

The Lord Jesus, in this prayer, emphatically states that he has been granted the right to give eternal life to all those whom the Father gives him, a claim he made all throughout his earthly ministry:

"I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live… Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned." John 5:25, 28-29

"And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:39-40

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." John 10:27-30

Jesus’ assertion that he is able to give eternal life and insure that no one will ever be able to pluck believers out of his protective hand or power are direct and explicit claims of Deity since, according to the OT Scriptures, only Yahweh has the power to carry out such functions:

"See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand." Deuteronomy 32:39

"There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God… The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up." 1 Samuel 2:2, 6

"Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?" Isaiah 43:13

The Lord further says that eternal life comes from knowing both the Father and the Son whom he sent, and that he personally existed with the Father in the same Divine glory before the creation of the world! This presupposes that Christ existed before creation and was sent into the world from the Father out of heaven, which is precisely what he says in the following verses:

"No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven — the Son of Man." John 3:13

"What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!" John 6:62

"But he continued, ‘You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I AM, you will indeed die in your sins.’ … Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.’ … ‘Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.’ ‘You are not yet fifty years old,’ the Jews said to him, ‘and you have seen Abraham!’ ‘Truly, truly I say to,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I AM!’ At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds." John 8:23-24, 42, 56-59

"what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God's Son’?" John 10:36

"Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.’ Then Jesus' disciples said, ‘Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.’ ‘You believe at last!’ Jesus answered." John 16:25-31

The Lord also mentions in his prayer that he, like the Father, is spiritually indwelling all his faithful followers and has intimate communion with all of them:

"I IN THEM and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me… I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be IN THEM." John 17:20-23, 26

Which is another point he consistently made all throughout his ministry:

"‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are IN ME, and I AM IN YOU. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.’ … Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make OUR home with him." John 14:20-21, 23

"Remain IN ME, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain IN ME. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains IN ME and I IN HIM, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5

"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20

"and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20

The only way that the Lord Jesus could dwell and live with all true believers in the same way and to the same degree that the Father does is if he were omnipresent, which he could only be so if he is God since only God is spiritually present everywhere.

John himself writes in his prologue that Christ is the preexistent Divine Word who had communion with the Father before creation and the Agent of creation, being the One through whom God created every thing that has been made:

"In the beginning was (een) the Word, and the Word was (een) with God, and the Word was (een) God. He was (een) with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known." John 1:1-3, 10, 14

The Greek verb een, "was," is the imperfect tense form of the present tense verb eimi, and implies continuous existence or action in the past. Just how continuous will depend primarily upon the context itself. In the case of John 1:1, een is used to denote the Word's continuous past existence before the very beginning of creation (cf. 1:3).

This therefore means that the Word was already existing before the start of all creation and does not have a beginning to his life. In other words, if the Word was existing before creation came into being he must therefore be eternal. The verse further shows that he existed in eternal fellowship and communion with the God who, in the context, is the Father (cf. 1:14, 18). Moreover, the use of the verb within this specific context also implies that the Word eternally existed as God, or existed in the nature of God before creation itself.

To put all of this in simpler terms, there was no point in time when the Word didn’t exist with the Father and in the nature of God. Noted Evangelical scholar Murray J. Harris writes:

"… In itself John 1:1a speaks only of the pretemporality or supratemporality of the Logos, but in his conjunction of en arche and een (not egeneto) John implies the eternal preexistence of the Word. He who existed ‘in the beginning’ before creation was himself without a beginning and therefore uncreated. There was no time when he did not exist. John is hinting that all speculation about the origin of the Logos is pointless. The imperfect tense een (= Latin erat), which here denotes continuous existence is to be carefully distinguished from esti (‘he is’), which would have stressed his timelessness at the expense of any emphasis on his manifestation historically (cf. 1:14), and from egeneto, which would have implied either that he was a created being (‘he came into existence’) or that by the time of writing he had ceased to exist (= Latin fuit)." (Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus [Baker Book House, Grand Rapids MI, 1992], p. 54; underline emphasis ours)


"… In the first proposition of verse 1 John affirms that the Logos existed before time and creation and therefore implicitly denies that the Logos was a created being. In the second, he declares that the Logos always was in active communion with the Father and thereby implies that the Logos cannot be personally identified with the Father. In the third, he states that the Logos always was a partaker of deity and so implicitly denies that the Logos was ever elevated to divine status. The thought of the verse moves from eternal preexistence to personal communion to intrinsic deityonly because the Logos participated inherently in the divine nature could he be said to be already in existence when time began or creation occurred and to be in unbroken and eternal fellowship with the Father. This would justify regarding theos as emphatic, standing as it does at the head of its clause." (Ibid., p. 71; underline emphasis ours)

For more on John’s prologue and Christ’s prehuman existence we suggest the following articles: 1, 2

The Evangelist says something similar in his first epistle:

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning THE WORD OF LIFE. THE LIFE appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you THE ETERNAL LIFE, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father AND with his Son, Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:1-3

Not only does John state that Christ is THE Life, THE Word of Life, and THE Eternal Life he also reiterates the fact that Jesus enjoys fellowship with all true believers in the same way that the Father does.

What makes John’s statements all the more amazing is that he concludes his letter by identifying the true God as the Eternal Life, and again repeats the point that all the faithful have fellowship with Christ by being in the Son just as they are in the Father:

"We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true — even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:20-21

By calling Christ THE Eternal Life at the start of his inspired epistle John was basically identifying Jesus as the true God. Since Zawadi is into logic he must contend with the following facts:

  1. The true God is Eternal Life.
  2. Jesus is the Eternal Life who existed with the Father from the beginning.
  3. Therefore, Jesus is the true God (but not the Father or the Holy Spirit).

And lest Zawadi squirm his way out of addressing these texts by denying that Christ ever made a reference to being Life itself here are the very words of the immortal Lord himself to show otherwise:

"For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it… For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself." John 5:21, 26

"Jesus said to her, ‘I am THE Resurrection and THE Life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she told him, ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.’" John 11:25-27

"Jesus answered, ‘I am THE Way and THE Truth and THE Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’" John 14:6

Zawadi is now in a dilemma since he must accept that Christ claimed to be God when he said that he is THE Life and THE Truth. After all, according to Zawadi’s Islamic theology these names and attributes belong to God alone,

That is because Allah, He is the Truth, and it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who is Able to do all things. S. 22:6 Hilali-Khan

Wherefore let God be exalted, the King, the Truth (al-haqqu)! There is no god but He! Lord of the stately throne! S. 23:116 Rodwell

And cannot be attributed to any creature no matter how exalted:

5. Maintaining the unity of Allaah’s names also means that Allaah’s names in the definite form cannot be given to His creation unless preceded by the prefix ‘Abd meaning "slave of" or "servant of". Many of the Divine names in their indefinite form like Ra’oof and Raheem are allowable names for men because Allaah has used some of them in their indefinite forms to refer to the Prophet …

"A messenger has come to you from among yourselves to whom anything which burdens you is grievous. He is full of concern for you and is full of pity (Ra’oof) and full of mercy (Raheem)."

But ar-Ra’oof (the One Most Full of Pity) and ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful) can only be used to refer to men if they are preceded by ‘Abd as in ‘Abdur-Ra’oof or ‘Abdur-Raheem, since the definite form they represent a level of perfection which only belongs to God. Similarly, names like ‘Abdur-Rasool (slave of the messenger), ‘Abdun-Nabee (slave of the Prophet), ‘Abdul-Husayn (slave of Husayn), etc., where people name themselves slaves to other than Allaah are also forbidden. Based on this principle, the Prophet forbade Muslims from referring to those put under their charge as ‘Abdee (my slave) or Amatee (my slave girl).(2) (Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) [Islamic Book Service, New Delhi, India, Reprint Edition: 2004], 1. Chapter on the Categories of Tawheed, pp. 14-15)

Hence, Zawadi must contend with the fact that Jesus was emphatically proclaiming himself to be God by ascribing to his own Person the very names and traits of the one true God.

For more on this specific topic please read the following:

Jesus further claims to be the Sustainer of all true believers in his Bread of Life discourse, another Divine function:

"Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.’ … At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, "I came down from heaven"?’" John 6:35-38, 41-42

"‘But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ … Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.’" John 6:50-51, 53-58

As if the above data wasn’t sufficient enough to disprove the assertion that Jesus cannot be the only true God in light of his statement concerning the Father being the only true God, contrast what the inspired Evangelist says regarding both the Father and the Son being the Light which illuminates the minds of the believers:

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:5-7

Even though he says here that God is the Light in whom there is no darkness John identifies Christ as the true Light that came into the world:

"In him was life, and that life was the light of menThe true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world." John 1:4, 9

And also records Jesus claiming to be THE Light of the world:

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am THE light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’" John 8:12

"As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am THE light of the world." John 9:4-5

"Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.’ When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them… ‘I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.’" John 12:35-36, 46

Once again, the only way for Christ to be THE true Light is if he is the true God; otherwise John would be saying that a creature, and not the true God, is the true Light of the world!

And, in light of Zawadi’s own Salafi theology which says that titles such as the above cannot be attributed to a creature in their definite forms, he must concede that Jesus did claim to be God, or that John at least believed that Christ is God, since the Quran says that it is God or Allah who is THE Light:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things. S. 24:35 Pickthall

To summarize the data from the Johannine corpus we discovered that:

Since these are characteristics and functions of the only true God Jesus must therefore be the only true God, even though he is neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit.

The foregoing conclusively shows that whatever the immortal Lord or John meant by the Father being the only true God, in light of the overall teachings of Christ and his beloved Apostle, this cannot mean that Jesus cannot be the only true God as well.

As it stands, the text of John 17:3 serves as a witness to and an affirmation of the Deity of the Father without negating the absolute Divinity of the Son. It is a commentary on the nature of the Father, not a denial of the uncreated Divine essence of the Son.

Jesus as the Only Sovereign and Lord –
A Denial of the Sovereignty and Deity of the Father?

To further corroborate our point that John 17:3 does not refute the explicit Biblical witness to the absolute Deity of the Lord Jesus here is a Biblical reference where Christ is said to be the ONLY Sovereign and Lord:

"For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our ONLY Sovereign and Lord (ton monon despoten kai kyrion hemon). Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe." Jude 1:4-5

Now if we were to apply the logic of Bassam and the other anti-Trinitarians to the above text this would prove that the Father cannot be either our Sovereign or Lord since only Jesus is both. To top it off Jude claims that Jesus is that very Lord who delivered Israel out of Egypt and punished them for their sins in the wilderness, indicating that by Lord Jude meant that Jesus is Yahweh. Again, using Zawadi’s logic this means the Father cannot be Yahweh since only Jesus is!

Anyone studying the Holy Bible seriously and with some depth can immediately see the problem with the above assertions since they go against the express Biblical testimony to the fact that the Father is both Sovereign and Lord:

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ (ton Christon kyriou). Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord (despota), as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.’" Luke 2:25-29

"At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth (pater, kyrie tou ourano kai tes ges), because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.’" Luke 10:21

"When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord (Despota),’ they said, ‘you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: "Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord (tou kyriou) and against his Anointed One." Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord (kyrie), consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.’" Acts 4:24-29

"You are worthy, our Lord and God (ho kyrios kai ho theos hemon), to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Revelation 4:11

The above verses indicate that there is something wrong with the thinking of anti-Trinitarians like Zawadi. After all, just because the Holy Bible uses exclusive language for one particular Member of the Godhead this doesn’t mean that that same language cannot be applied to the other Divine Persons. The only way that Zawadi can prove that it doesn’t is to first show and conclusively prove that the NT teaches unitarianism, i.e. God is only one Divine Person, specifically the Father.

And whereas a unitarian must find ways around this specific passage from Jude 1:4 a Trinitarian, however, is able to account for all these Biblical texts with no problems. The reason why Jesus can be our only Sovereign Master and Lord without this excluding the Father (or the Holy Spirit) is because both the Father and the Son share the same eternal Being of the one true God.

In a similar manner, the Father can be called the only true God without this suggesting that the Son and the Holy Spirit are not the only true God as well, since the NT is clear that all three Persons share in all of the Divine attributes of God fully and equally and must therefore share the same eternal Being as well.

To state it simply, what is said of one Person in regards to his Divine nature and characteristics will also hold true for the other Members of the Godhead.

Thus, in light of our examination we can conclusively see that John 17:3 does not prove that the concept of the Trinity is Biblical incoherent. It proves that Zawadi is Biblically illiterate and that he has no clue what a logical argument is.

Jesus – the Only Name that Saves
More Proof that the Father is not God?

Here is another example where exclusive language is used for the Lord Jesus without this ruling out the fact that both Father and the Holy Spirit are also truly and fully God. According to the Apostle Peter salvation is found only in Jesus and his name (i.e., his power, authority and/or presence) is the only One that saves:

"On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the NAME of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation IN NO ONE ELSE, for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:5-12

Peter repeats this point elsewhere:

"As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through HIS NAME." Acts 10:36-43

And lest someone accuse Peter of distorting the truth, or of taking this too far, here is what the Lord Jesus said concerning salvation:

"Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed IN HIS NAME to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’" Luke 24:44-47

What makes this rather astonishing is that on the Day of Pentecost Peter quoted from the prophet Joel, specifically Joel 2:28-32, to show that salvation comes by calling on the name of Yahweh:

"But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’" Acts 2:16-21

The OT further teaches that salvation comes from the name of Yahweh:

"For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great." Psalm 25:11

"Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might." Psalm 54:1

Now if salvation comes only from Jesus and through faith in his name then Christ must be Yahweh; otherwise the NT would be teaching that salvation originates from a creature, not God! To see how this works out logically, notice that:

  1. Salvation only comes from Jesus and by calling on or believing in his name.
  2. The OT teaches that salvation comes from Yahweh and by calling on or believing in his name.
  3. Therefore, Jesus is Yahweh God.

But then this introduces another problem for the anti-Trinitarian, namely, the Father cannot save anyone seeing that he is not Christ (nor can the Holy Spirit save since he isn’t the same Person as the Son either). Again, note the logic,

  1. Salvation only comes from Jesus and through faith in his name.
  2. Jesus is not the Father (or the Holy Spirit).
  3. Therefore, the Father (as well as the Holy Spirit) cannot save anyone.

We know that there is something wrong with this logic since the NT clearly says that God the Father does save:

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope," 1 Timothy 1:1 – cf. 4:10

"After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,’" Revelation 19:1

Again, the Trinitarian can account for all of these texts whereas a unitarian like Zawadi cannot. It is true that Jesus is the only Savior and the only name that saves since he is God, the One from whom all salvation stems:

"‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior." Isaiah 43:10-11

"Declare what is to be, present it— let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other." Isaiah 45:21-22

At the same time, Jesus can be the only Savior without this precluding the Father or the Holy Spirit since the Son isn’t the only Person who is God. Both the Father and the Holy Spirit are also God and therefore can also be called or identified as the only Savior of all men:

"This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time." 1 Timothy 2:3-6

"and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior… Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior." Titus 1:3-4

"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, AND TO the Lamb!’" Revelation 7:10

This is simply another example of exclusive language being employed by the inspired Bible writers in relation to the Divine nature and functions of one specific Member of the Godhead which equally applies to the other Divine Persons as well.

With this in the background we can now move to the second part of our discussion where we will analyze to see whether Zawadi managed to prove that the Trinity is illogical.

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