Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Son of God

Reading through the Qur'an this year, I was surprised at how often I encountered verses denying Jesus as the Son of God (often while conflating the Christian concept of the "Son of God" with pagan concepts of gods who procreated as humans do). From what I had heard, I expected one, two, maybe three such verses, but it turns out that the denial of Christ's sonship rather permeates the Qur'an. Observe the following verses:
They say, "Allah has begotten a son." Glory be to Him. Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him. (2:116) 
How can He have a son when He has no consort? (6:101b) 
The Jews call 'Uzair [Ezra] a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the Son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the Unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them. How they are deluded away from the Truth! (9:30) 
They say, "Allah has begotten a son!" Glory be to Him! He is self-sufficient! His are all things in the heaven and on earth! No warrant have you for this! Do you say about Allah what you do not know? (10:68) 
Say: "Praise be to Allah, Who begets no son, and has no partner in (His) dominion: nor (needs) He any to protect Him from humiliation: yes, magnify Him for His greatness and glory!" (17:111) 
It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. (19:35a) 
They say, "(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!" Indeed you have put forth a thing most monstrous! As it is the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin. That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son. (19:88-92) 
And they say, "(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten offspring." Glory be to Him! They are but servants raised to honor. (21:26) 
No son has He begotten, (25:2b) 
Had Allah wished to take to Himself a son, He could have chosen whom He pleased out of those whom He creates. But Glory Be to Him! (He is above such things.) He is Allah, the One, the Irresistible. (39:4) 
Say: "If (Allah) Most Gracious had a son, I would be first to worship." Glory to the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne (of Authority)! (He is free) from the things they attribute (to him)! (43:81-82) 
He begets not, nor is He begotten; (112:3)
On the other hand, Christ as the Son of God is a key theme in the New Testament's proclamation of the good news concerning who Jesus is.

In Matthew, it is Satan who calls Jesus' identity as the Son of God into question (Matt 4:3-6), and Jesus' perseverance in the face of satanic trials demonstrates that He is indeed the Son of God.

Mark begins his Gospel account declaring Jesus to be the Son of God.

Luke explains that Jesus is called the Son of God because He is conceived not by human means, but by the power of the Holy Spirit directly working in Mary (Luke 1:35)

John says that the whole reason that he wrote his Gospel account was "...so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, you may have life in His name" (John 20:31).

In that grand gospel summary spoken by Jesus (as recorded by John), Jesus says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

John later wrote: Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:5, 12-13).

And so Christians believe that eternal life is specifically tied to the belief that Jesus is the Son of God.

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