God is infinite. Matter is finite. God could not become a man.

Muslims deny that Jesus could be God in flesh.  They affirm that He was a great prophet, but they clearly deny His divinity.  One of the reasons is that Muslims are taught that God is infinite and that He could not become a finite man.  In other words, the infinite God cannot become finite man.  They say it doesn't make sense.  One Muslim asked me how God, who is dependent on nothing, can then become dependent as a man.  He said that by definition God is not dependent upon anyone; therefore, to become dependent is impossible.  Another said that if God became a man, he could not then become a god again because a man cannot become a god.

These questions reveal how Muslims think.  They have such a strict idea about God that they cannot admit the possibility of His (or part of Him) becoming a man.  Any idea of an incarnation becomes ludicrous to them.  They claim that it isn't logical.

Muslims are also taught that the Bible is corrupted and that only the Qur'an is perfect.  So, to quote from the Bible makes little impact on them.  Many Muslims have required logical proofs for the theory of the incarnation instead of biblical references.  I attempt to oblige them here.

The following outline is designed to answer the objections raised by Muslims.  In "Premise one," the objections are in bold.  The answers to them follow.

Premise one:  According to Islam, God can do anything.

If this is so, then it necessarily follows that if God can do anything, then he can become a man since that possibility falls under the scope of "God can do anything."

  1. This would mean that God stopped being God.
    1. Since God can do anything, according to the premise above, then God could do this without stopping being God.  See part "b." in next objection.
    2. If God, in some way, became a man, it does not necessitate that He stop being divine.  He could simple add to Himself human nature.
  2. This would mean that the infinite God became finite.
    1. Not if a "part" of God entered into a human form.  The totality of God could still exist, yet a localized "part" could take the form of a man.
    2. Is not the Qur'an the word of Allah?  Is not His word a reflection of His character since it proceeds from Him?  Is not the infinite word of Allah made to become knowable, readable in a physical form for us to understand?  Since this is so, why cannot the Word of God become flesh--as the Bible says?  Why cannot a representation of God (His word) take a physical form (Qur'an) or even a human form (Jesus)--since God can do anything?
  3. This would mean that the independent became dependent.
    1. It would not necessitate that the totality of God became dependent, per point "b." above:  a part of God could become man.
    2. God can choose to become dependent, in part, as a man.  He can make that choice, can he not?
  4. This would mean that the eternal became temporal.
    1. Again, by premise one, God could do it since He can do all things.
    2. If God, in some way, became a man by adding human nature to Himself, it would not necessitate that God stop being eternal since His divine nature would be, by nature, eternal as it is retained within the human form.
  5. If God became man, then he could not become God again.
    1. If only a "part" of God became man, then God would never have ceased being God, and the objection is moot.
    2. If God can do all things, then a part of Him can become a man and retain His divine nature and never have stopped being God at all.
  6. Why would God need to become a man?  Showing He has a need means he is dependent.  
    1. It is not a need.  It is a choice.  God is not compelled to do anything--except be Himself.  If He chose to become a man, it would be by His desire--not by His need.
    2. If God can do anything, then He can choose to share in the dependency of a human and not deny his own nature of being God.

Premise two:  God cannot do anything because He cannot do anything that conflicts with His nature.  Becoming a man conflicts with His nature.

  1. To say God's nature does not permit Him, in some way, to become a man requires that the Muslim establish those aspects of God's nature that negate the possibility of an incarnation; otherwise, it is only the Muslim's opinion.
    1. God's nature has to do with essential character and essence of His being--like holiness, love, compassion, goodness, patience, etc.
      1. There is nothing in holiness, love, compassion, goodness, patience, etc., that would mean God could not become a man.
    2. God's attributes are inherent characteristics like eternality, infinity, invisibility, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, speech, creativity, etc.
      1. None of the above attributes negate the possibility of a part of God becoming man.
        1. The essential nature of something is not changed if a part of it adds humanity.

Premise Three:  God's nature can be partially seen in His creation.

As a painter reveals part of himself, his style, what he is, etc., in his painting, so, too, God has revealed part of Himself, His style, and what He is in His creation.

  1. The universe is ordered; therefore, God is a God of order.
  2. The universe operates on laws; therefore, God is a God of law.
  3. The universe has a beginning; therefore, God is the creator.
  4. The universe is immense (functionally infinite); therefore, God is infinite.
  5. The universe is comprised of three primary aspects:  Space, Time, and Matter.
    1. Space is comprised of height, width, and depth--a trinity--but each aspect is by nature space.
    2. Time is comprised of past, present, and future--a trinity--but each aspect is by nature time.
    3. Matter is comprised of solid, liquid, and gas--a trinity--but each aspect is by nature matter.
      1. Therefore, we can conclude from looking at the universe, and God as its creation, that it is possible for God to have a trinitarian aspect to His nature.
  6. If it is fair to say that God may indeed be trinitarian in some aspect of His nature,
    1. then God could be a plurality and all aspects of this plurality, being of God, would be divine by nature.
  7. Since God is self-aware, has a will, can speak, etc., then it follows that the plural aspects of God would share, in some way, those same qualities.
  8. If this is possible, then why cannot part of God, since God is a plurality, become a man and add human nature to itself?

There is no logical reason to declare the impossibility of God being trinitarian; or that He, in some way, could become a man.

The Bible has declared that God is indeed a Trinity and that Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9; etc.).


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.