But, hypothetically, what would be the case, if our thoughts never changed and these thoughts encompassed
everything that we would ever know? In the Divine Mind, the
'thought' of Allah is immutable and
unchanging and ever present in the essence of Allah. This is because Allah is omniscient, or all-knowing.
Allah never learns anything, because He already knows everything. In one sense, Allah does not 'think', as
if He had to reason from premises to attain a true conclusion. Rather, He is ever and always the 'the
Knowing One' who immediately knows everything there is to know in one unified thought or word. To express
this unity in the thought of Allah, Christians use the term, al-Kalima, rather than the plural term, al-Kalaam.
The Word (Al-Kalima) expresses the essence of Allah's eternal unfathomable Thought. Al-Kalima is the
eternal, unchanging and self-coherent Thought of Allah. The Al-Kalima is infinite in its knowledge and wisdom,
because al-Kalima belongs to the same divine essence as the divine Intellect. The essence of Al-Kalima is
identical to the essence of the subsisting divine Self.
For Allah to be a Being and a person who knows, Allah must have both a mind and a thought (albeit, an
all-encompassing thought). In human beings, the mind is the source of human thought.
Analogously, the divine mind is the source of divine thought. We might say that the unbegotten mind is the
source of the begotten Al-Kalima. Since both the divine Mind and the divine Al-Kalima are the same
identical essence, we can conclude that they have the identical natures. In human terms, we know that a
human son has the same nature as his father. So, in Christian theology, the foundational, unbegotten, and
knowing Self is termed the Father while the begotten thought and known Al-Kalima (Word) is termed the Son.
The foundational Person who generated or begets the Word is the Father. The Word, who is the begotten Kalima
of the unbegotten Self, is the Person of the Son, the eternal Kalima (Please notice that the term,
used and not the term, al-Kalaam that Muslims use to describe
the Qur'an. Christians believe in the unity of the divine mind; and, hence the term, Al-Kalima
is more appropriate because it is singular and Allah knows everything in one unity of thought.) In
addition, the Al-Kalima has the same eternal and uncreated essence of the Father.
The Apostle John wrote,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1).
The Word (the Greek word is "logos" and "logic" is its English cognate) is
or 'begotten' of the Father. Likewise, there is a generative relationship between a human intellect and a
human thought, so there is an analogous generative relationship between the Father and the Word. Allah, as
Father, is neither generated nor begotten. It is the Word that is generated or begotten by the co-eternal
Father. The intellect and the word are of the same nature, since one begets the other. Likewise, the eternal
Father and the eternal Son are the same divine essence.
The Christians who lived in the first centuries of Christianity faced the Greek and Roman pagan world. In the
pantheon of pagan allahs, the allahs mated and gave birth to new allahs. Their conception of allahs, some who
were fathers and others who were sons and daughters, was radically different from the Christian concept of the
persons of the one Allah. The Christian conception of the Trinity has nothing to do with the pagan idea of an
allah begetting another allah. Yet, this is what many other religions claim Christians believe. The Christian
conception is that there is one divine essence who is the eternal and infinite Allah. Within in that divine
essence, there are three subsisting relationships. There is the relationship between a foundational Self (the
Father) and the expressed Thought or Word (the Son, Al-Kalima). The Father is the Unbegotten One while the
Son is the Begotten One.
Yet, they are both consubstantially the one divine essence. I use the word con-substantial because that
expresses the idea that the Father and the Word are the same identical divine essence or substance. To say they
are the substantially the same might cause some confusion. For example, all human beings have the essence of
human-ness. Therefore, human beings are all substantially the same, but they are not con-substantially the same.
Consubstantial means the same exact, identical substance. For example, if someone were to say that Mr. Smith is
a farmer and is also a son, we are not suggesting that there are two Mr. Smiths who are both of human substance.
We are saying that Mr. Smith is consubstantial with himself, because there is only one Mr. Smith who is both a
farmer and a son. One is his relationship to his vocation, and the other denotes Mr. Smith's relationship
to his father.
Since Allah is spirit, there cannot be a material or a physical relationships within Allah. The eternal
subsisting relationships within Allah have to be immaterial or spiritual relationships. And, these are precisely
the type of relationships we find in scripture on the doctrine of the Trinity. When we use the term divine
substance, we do not mean 'material' substance, which is the common idea of substance today. We use the term
substance as it applies to immaterial beings, such as Allah and angels. Furthermore, these relationships
are not different and distinct beings. Just as the relationships between our 'self' and our 'thoughts' and
our 'desires' are not different and distinct beings. Rather they are real immaterial relationships that
exist within us as human beings.
Last edited 12/20/1999
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