A Brief Explanation of the Trinity - Isn’t the Islamic doctrine of the strict oneness of Allah intrinsically better than the Christian doctrine of the Trinity?
This is the belief of Muslims, but they must provide down-to-earth evidence of the superiority of their belief, beyond quoting the Quran or asserting, "Muhammad said so!"
Discussing abstract theology is inadequate. If Muslim theologians discuss the divine attribute of omniscience, then so do Christian theologians. If they discuss the divine attribute of light, then so do Christians. If they discuss the divine attribute of mercy, then so do Christians—and so on. These abstract discussions are endless. So how do we break the deadlock?
How can Muslim theologians provide empirical evidence for the alleged superiority of the strict unity of Allah outside of a supposed revelation in the Quran or outside of an abstract discussion in a theology book? Could they compare the reliability of the Quran with that of the New Testament? But that would take us down a textual path, and still more complications would emerge.
Muhammad would like his followers to believe that military victory is proof of the truthfulness of non-empirical doctrines. After the surprising victory at the Battle of Badr in AD 624, which pitted over 300 Muslim jihadists against around a 1,000 Meccans, he writes in Sura 8, which deals with this battle, the following dubious claim:
8:7 ... [B]ut it was God’s will to establish the truth according to His Word [the Quran] and to finish off the disbelievers— 8 to prove the Truth to be true, and the false to be false, much as the guilty might dislike it. (Haleem)
Muhammad is saying here that Allah’s will was to kill the Meccans, so that Muhammad’s truth would be established. But linking military victory with truth is tenuous. Truth should win out through persuasion, not the sword.
Other than military expansion, how can Muslims prove that their doctrine of strict Oneness is intrinsically better than the doctrine of the Trinity? Somehow God must communicate with humans. Muhammad claims that Allah through Gabriel channeled his messages through him not only for the Muslim community in Medina, but also for the entire world. Allah guided his prophet on a straight path, in his daily life. Here we have a means to test Allah’s revelations to a human: Muhammad’s life.
Unfortunately, for Muslim apologists (defenders of Islam), this test works against them, for Muhammad did not live an exemplary life. In the ten years that he lived in Medina (622-632), he either sent out or went out on seventy-four raids, expeditions or full-scale wars. They range from small assassination hit squads to raids on Meccan caravans, to a military Crusade of thirty-thousand jihadists to Tabuk in the north. So if he did not lead a model life down here on earth, then why should we believe him about abstract doctrines like the nature of God? As noted in this article, he fails Jesus’ simple and down-to-earth fruit inspection (Matt. 7:17-20). So we have the right to ignore him in high-minded ideas, for by the fruit of prophets we shall know them. He does not know what he is talking about.
On the other hand, Jesus indeed lived an exemplary and sinless life, so we should to listen to him when he speaks of non-empirical ideas like the Trinity in Matthew 28:18-20. The true God said that he loves his Son and sent down the Holy Spirit to empower him (Matthew 3:16-17), in a majestic and visible affirmation of the Trinity. Jesus walked in perfect and sinless love for humanity. Therefore, we should listen to him in high theology, for he does know what he is talking about.