<a href="https://biblicalmissiology.org/author/ghoussney/" target="_self">Georges Houssney</a>

Georges Houssney

Georges Houssney was raised in the predominantly Muslim city of Tripoli, Lebanon. He came to faith in Jesus Christ as a teenager. Soon God grew a deep love for Muslims in his heart, and he began to sense God's call for full-time service among them. Well-known for his work supervising the translation and publication of the Bible into clear modern Arabic, Georges and his family moved from the Middle East to the United States in 1982 to minister to international students. Georges is passionate about reaching internationals here and abroad with the great news of salvation. He writes and lectures internationally about ministry to Muslims, and he strives to awaken a new generation who will proclaim the gospel boldly. Georges is founder and director of Horizons International and does Muslim evangelism training through his training Engaging Islam.

12 Comments

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    Thank you for this post, it gave some interesting approaches. However, I would caution about how you speak about the incarnation as Jesus being physically human but spiritually divine: this seems to suggest Apollinarism. Instead, we should affirm that Jesus is both human, including body and spirit (and/or soul, depending on your anthropology), and divine.

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    Thank U Very Much, I Shall Use Your Exact Examples To Explain These Muslims Who Call Me A Mushrik

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    Dear Georges:
    Just to underscore your comment the convincing must come in the spiritual realm first is shown by the testimony of Bishop Subhan, a Sufi who came to embrace the Trinity:

    “I did not accept the doctrine of the Trinity as a result of some satisfactory explanation of it offered by some Christian teacher, but it was the doctrine which came to possess me. The belief in God as Tribune (sic) is inevitable as a result of Christian experience____The change in the life of a believer which is produced in consequence of accepting Christ as his Savior brings him to an entirely new relationship with God, wherein his experience of God’s redemptive love corresponds to the objective revelation of God as the Father, the Son and
    the Holy Spirit ” From,John A. Subhan “How a Sufi Found His Lord”,4th ed. (Lucknow,India: Lucknow Publishing House, 1952), page 60
    Shalom

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    Georges, I am so very thankful for you! I am overjoyed that you decided to share this story. I can already tell that it will be a HUGE help when I discuss the Trinity at my next forum – style group meeting (with “adults who are young at heart”). I host the meeting monthly to address concerns that are often overlooked or never brought up in a normal Church setting. I prayed that God would give me some serious help with this topic and He has already begun to do so – through you!!

    I pray that God continue to bless, keep, and use you mightily for His glory!

    Peace and Blessings

    Elder Saafir

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    Excellent! Thank you for your response. That was something of a question on my mind. As I’ve been given the red light from above in terms of studying at a proper language school I have very limited opportunity to learn it (Start talking Hebrew and Greek and we can “rumble” a little more), so I have to trust others’ explanations.

    So…for my education (and that of others), will you please list some verses from the Qur’an or passages from other Arabic writings I could use to demonstrate that, so that if I’m talking with some Muslims and/or Arab-speaking friends I can intelligently demonstrate that one need not see sexual relations between God and Mary just because Isa is ibn-allah (did I get that last wording right?)?

    (By the way…I hope I’m not coming off as pretending to be genuine here. I’ve been to the Common Ground conference before and found it enlightening, compelling and interesting, but I try not to swallow everything I hear lock, stock and barrel until I’ve had a chance to hear other sides. Have to admit I was, at first, more of a “fan boy”, but this blog is helping me to sift through things, so thanks for your help)

  6. Georges Houssney

    Dear Markomus,
    I have never had to explain the difference between Ibn and Walad to Arabs. I find myself do that with Westerners who do not fully grasp what is natural for Arabs to grasp.
    But since you brought this up. The Quran uses the words Lam Yaled wa lam Youlad to mean he did not beget nor is he begotten. Ibn is used in the noun. You cannot use the word in the verb to express begetting. So walad is used instead.

    There is etymological difference between salad and ibn. Walad does stem from the root that indicates birth. But that word is also used as a metaphor often. Muwalled means generator (as in electricity). However Ibn does not have sexual connotations as some have claimed. It is implied but not explicit. Ibn is used in more metaphors than Walad.

    Either way if your question has anything to do with the current debate about translating son of God then be assured that my conviction is that any alternative to a literal translation of Son of God is wrong and diminishes the meaning and the function of the phrase. The rule of thumb is this: Ask a father of children in any language who his boys are. Whatever word he uses to express their sonship to him is the correct word to use in translating Son for Son of God. That simple.

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    This was REALLY good! Have you expounded more elsewhere on the difference between ibn and walad?

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    Thanks, Georges. This is helpful for the talk I’m giving on the subject next week. thank you especially for using the Scriptures in your argument. Completely opposite to this one http://www.jesusinthequran.org/tools/

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    Thanks Georges, that was awesome reading – you had me on the edge of my seat at each line wondering how Faysal would respond! Praise God for this work of the Spirit to draw him, and for that family who knew enough to take him to you! One thing I would add is that when I speak about “the Word (kalam)” to very religious Muslims such as Saudis, I like to point out for them the Qur’anic title for Jesus “kalimatullah” and vest it with new, fuller meaning. I love the look on their faces when that happens!

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    To help clarify the non-physicality of the Trinity I often will ask an Arabic speaking Muslim if they know anyone who has gone to Mecca on the Hajj. Most do. Then I ask them what is visited during the hajj. eventually the expression DarAllah (house of God) comes up. Here, with a big smile I feign shock. I say but isn’t Dar the equivilent to Bait = Baitullah doesn’t that equal manzilullah? The place where God resides? Why does he have a house? Does it protect him from sun and rain? Does he need it when he sleeps. Where does he leave when he yanzil in his home? How can Muslims believe such ridiculous things. All this while they will likely be protesting that nothing of the sort is meant by the expression DarAllah. Finally, with a theatrical recongnition suddenly dawning I say; “So when you say DarAllah you mean nothing physcial and nothing that would lower God from his glory. And when the Bible uses the expression Son of God nothing physical that would lower God’s glory is ever intended.”

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    Thank you so much for sharing this. It is useful not only for Muslims, but your analogies can help anyone understand the Holy 3-in-1 better. I had thought of the analogy between the Holy Trinity and H20 (solid ice, liquid water and gaseous steam) before, but the analogy of the sun and its light is much better!

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    Thank you for your post on such a difficult topic. I especially appreciated your conclusion. It was a helpful reminder to me, “At its core, engaging Muslims is a spiritual endeavor, not an intellectual or cultural one. The battle must be won in the spiritual realm before a Muslim is able to see and hear the truth.”

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