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In the Name of God بسم الله

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  1. Salam 'Alaykum. Hi, guys. I was wondering if any of you have read Karen Armstrong's "The Case for God". I really admire Ms.Armstrong's work and think this book is a good defense of theism in the traditional sense. However, there are a couple of points I can't seem to agree with her on. For the sake of a productive discussion I'd like to limit this conversation to those who've read the book. She says that the physical world cannot tell us anything about God. While I don't have a problem with this per se, I do think this type of doctrine can become a problem. If this is the case, then how can we conclusively say that the good tings that happen to us in life are actually the product of God's mercy. How can someone cultivate an attitude of gratitude towards their creator if concrete reality can tell us nothing about Him. Problem number two arises when she gets to discussing the divinity of Christ. Throughout her book, she makes it clear that religious doctrines cannot be taken literally for that would be anthropomorphic. Ergo, Christian doctrine cannot be taken literally. She illustrates the teachings of Eastern mystics like Denys and the Cappadocians to show that this has generally been the educated Christian's stance. To paraphrase Ms.Armstrong: The trinity was not a rationale doctrine--that was the whole point behind it. By realizing the futility of reason to apprehend the Divine, we would enter a state of transcendence. But Allah(swt) clearly condemns the Trinity in the Holy Qur'an. Therefore, the logical conclusion that us Muslims must draw from this in relation to Armstrong's explanation is that the Trinity DID NOT lead to transcendence. The Qur'an condemns the Trinity on rational grounds, and yet Armstrong says that an irrational doctrine can lead to transcendence. It is quite clear that Armstrong's case is made very weak by the Qur'anic attack on the Trinity since it implies that reason must be present in the contemplation of any doctrine. What do you think? Are these points problematic for Karen Armstrong's polemic? Is there a way around it?
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