A Brief Statement on Muslim Apologists
It has been brought to my attention that some Muslim apologists have been citing my writings on theological paradox to support their arguments against the doctrine of the Trinity, especially in debate with Christian apologists. Since that’s directly contrary to my own views and arguments, I thought I should issue a statement to clear up any confusions.
In Part I of my book Paradox in Christian Theology, I argue that the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity is paradoxical in the sense that it presents us with an apparent contradiction. However, I reject the conclusion that the Trinity is really contradictory. In Part II of the book, I develop and defend an epistemological account according to which (1) the doctrine of the Trinity is a merely apparent contradiction and (2) Christians can be rational in believing the doctrine, on the basis of divine revelation, despite its paradoxical nature.
It is true that I claim (in PCT and elsewhere) that there is currently no satisfactory solution to the so-called logical problem of the Trinity. (That’s why we find it paradoxical!) But it doesn’t follow that there cannot be a solution to the logical problem, or that the doctrine of the Trinity is illogical, incoherent, or nonsensical. In fact, since I deny that there are any true contradictions, I think there must be a solution to the logical problem, even if it turns out that that God alone can comprehend it. I don’t argue that we will never understand how the doctrine of the Trinity is logically consistent. Perhaps we will gain that understanding in the eschaton; I can’t rule that out. All I argue in my book is that there are good rational grounds for believing the doctrine of the Trinity even in the absence of a satisfactory solution to the logical problem. In other words, it’s rational for Christians to believe that there is a solution, even if we can’t specify that solution. (Compare: it’s rational for physicists to believe that there is a solution to the apparent conflict between relativity theory and quantum mechanics, even though no one has figured out that solution.)
All this to say, my book taken as a whole is a defense of rational belief in the Trinity. If you encounter Muslim apologists citing it against the doctrine of the Trinity, you should know that they are not representing my views and arguments responsibly. They’re citing my work selectively and not giving the full story and context. That’s rather like the critic who quotes some New Testament scholar saying “There have been tens of thousands of changes to the text!” without also mentioning that most of those changes are trivial and make no difference to the meaning of the text.