Numerical Analysis Pdf Notes On The Apostolic Movement

Numerical analysis pdf notes on the apostolic movement

Oneness Pentecostalism and the Trinity by Robert M. Bowman, Jr. An astonishing number of professing Christians today reject the doctrine of the Trinity. Of course, there are obvious examples of this, like the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Then there are the "Christian" liberals who reject the Trinity along with the Incarnation as myths.

Numerical analysis pdf notes on the apostolic movement

Evangelicals generally have no trouble identifying such movements as heretical, since in each case they deny the deity of Christ. Recently, though, anti-Trinitarianism has emerged in yet another form, that of Oneness Pentecostalism. Mormonism is the largest with over five million.

What sets Oneness Pentecostalism apart from other anti-Trinitarian heresies is its seeming orthodoxy. For this reason, many Christians have difficulty seeing anything wrong with the Oneness position. Moreover, unlike Mormonism and similar sects, Oneness Pentecostals make no appeal whatsoever to extrabiblical literature or modern leaders for authoritative interpretations of Scripture.

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Compared to many other controversial sects, Oneness Pentecostalism appears quite orthodox in many respects.

If the Oneness doctrine is heretical, then, it must be admitted to be a much subtler error than that of many current heresies. Subtlety does not, however, make an error less dangerous, but more, since the subtler the error the more people are likely to fall for it people are more apt to accept a criminal's counterfeit bills as real money than they are Monopoly bills.

This potential danger makes it all the more important that the Oneness teaching be evaluated on the basis of Scripture.

Numerical analysis pdf notes on the apostolic movement

That is, each person is a self-aware subject who relates to each of the other two as "another. However, God is not finite, so it may be that as an infinite being He exists as three distinguishable persons, while remaining one indivisible essence. Neither can the term "person" be restricted to human beings, since angels are self-aware subjects also.

Whether God is three persons cannot be determined by reasoning alone, but only by examining God's revelation of Himself in Scripture. The Bible repeatedly asserts that God is one. The first plank in the Trinitarian platform is the indivisible oneness of God.

However, nowhere in Scripture are we ever told that God is one person. It is sometimes argued that the use of "echad" "one" in Deuteronomy indicates that God is a composite unity. That is not quite accurate, since "composite" speaks of a uniting together of parts into a whole, whereas the three Persons are not three "parts" or three "thirds" of God. Nor is it true that "echad" necessarily indicates some sort of inner plurality.

Like its Greek counterpart "heis" in the New Testament, "echad" is simply the common Hebrew word for "one. Rather, the word "one" in any language can only indicate unity as unity, whether that unity is in some sense differentiated or not must be determined by other factors.

For example, to say that a certain biological entity is "one organism" says nothing about whether it is unicellular e. It may be one organism in one cell or one organism in many cells. In a logically analogous manner, God might be one God in one person or one God in three persons.

Of course, if God is three persons, these "three" cannot be three parts as cells are parts of an organism. Since God is an infinite being, He cannot be composed of parts in any case. Yet it may be that He exists as a kind of differentiated infinite unity that is "triune" three in one though not "triplex" three in parts. Since this is the infinite God we are talking about, there will be no corresponding or analogous instance of "triunity" or trinity in nature.

We must be careful, then, not to beg the question by assuming that the unity of the Deity will be the same sort of unity as we find in the finite world. According to Oneness theology, the term "Father" designates Christ's deity, while "Son" designates either His humanity considered separately or His deity as manifested in the flesh.

Therefore, while Oneness believers say that the Father is not the Son, they do hold that Jesus is both the Father and the Son.

The most common prooftext used to prove that Jesus is the Father is Isaiah , which gives Christ the name "Everlasting Father," or rather, "Father of eternity" as Oneness writers admit. However, this is not the case. A number of proper names in the Old Testament use the term "ab" "in accordance with a custom usual in Hebrew and in Arabic, where he who possesses a thing is called the father of it.

This would imply, of course, that He is the creator of the ages cf.

In John , Jesus stated, "I and the Father are one. If Jesus were the Father, He could have said, "I am the Father," or "the Son and the Father are one "heis" ," or some other equivalent; but as it stands, John excludes modalism and Oneness as surely as it excludes Arianism. Another such prooftext is John , where Jesus rebukes the Jews: "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. This contrast between "My Father's name" and "his own name" proves beyond question that Jesus did not come "in his own name.

Ironically, then, this is one of the clear prooftexts against the Oneness doctrine that Jesus is the Father. Also cited to prove that Jesus' name is the Father's name and therefore that Jesus is the Father is John , Oneness writers emphasize that Jesus "manifested" the Father's name, and that the Father "gave" His name to Jesus, as evidence that Jesus is the Father.

This interpretation overlooks the fact that a human father can give his name to his son, without the father and son being one person!

Numerical analysis pdf notes on the apostolic movement

The Oneness interpretation simply does not work. Since, as even Oneness writers acknowledge, God's "name" represents His character and His power, 18 and since in the context Jesus is asking the Father to keep the disciples holy and united , , it is apparent that Jesus is saying that He possessed and manifested the character and power of the Father.

A favorite passage of Modalists in all centuries has been John , where Jesus says, among other things, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father. The natural sense of these words is that Jesus is, not the Father, but a mediator between us and the Father. This is true, not because Jesus is the Father, but because those who know Jesus are led by Him to know the Father as they see Him imaged perfectly in Jesus.

Thus, says Jesus, "from now on you know Him, and have seen Him" v. Oneness believers frequently cite the second part of this last statement, "the Father is in Me," to mean that the deity "Father" dwells in the humanity "Son" of Jesus.

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This view, however, fails to explain the first part of the sentence, "I am in the Father," which in Oneness terms would have to mean that the human nature of Jesus dwells in the deity -- the opposite of what they believe. Moreover, it fails to account for the fact that "in this same context," as well as elsewhere, Jesus uses this sort of expression to denote His unity with believers: "In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you" v.

This does not mean that Jesus is the only person who is God; rather, it means that His nature is that of perfect, essential deity. Thus, the many passages which identify Jesus as God i.

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Only by isolating these verses from their context, and in some cases by ignoring the precise wording used by the biblical authors, can the Oneness position be maintained. When Oneness believers deny that "Jesus is in the Godhead," what they mean to deny is that Jesus is one person in a triune Godhead.

Colossians , though, does not rule out that possibility.

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What it affirms is that Jesus is no less than the full and complete revelation of God's nature "theotetos", "deity" in the flesh. While not all three persons of God are incarnate in Jesus, all of God's essence is incarnate in Jesus. The Oneness movement began, in fact, with the "revelation" that the "name" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit spoken of in Matthew was the name "Jesus," based on Acts in particular. It also makes much of the fact that Jesus said "name," not "names. Moreover, if one name is meant, it need not be "Jesus"; it could be "Lord," the New Testament equivalent of the name of Yahweh in the Old Testament.

In order to reconcile Matthew with Acts and similar passages it is helpful to see them as pertaining to two different historical contexts.

Those who were converted to Christ and baptized in the name of Jesus were either Jews Acts , 38; , Samaritans Acts , 12, 16 , God-fearing Gentiles Acts , 22, 48 , or disciples of John the Baptist Acts When pagan Gentiles who knew little or nothing of the God of Israel were led to Christ, however, they would need to confess their faith, not only in Jesus as Lord, but in the one God revealed in Scripture as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In order to demonstrate that "Jesus" is the name for God in the New Testament, Oneness Pentecostals cite passages such as Acts "no other name under heaven The point of Acts is identical to that of John -- salvation is through Jesus Christ alone; it does not mean that Jesus alone is God.

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In Philippians "the name which is above every name" does not mean the name "Jesus," but rather, an additional name which the Father has bestowed on Jesus because of His obedience to the point of death v. In context, that name is "Lord," since the passage concludes, "and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" v. That "Lord" is the name given to Jesus can be confirmed by a multitude of texts see, for example, Acts ; Romans , 1 Corinthians ; 2 Corinthians If "person" is defined as "an individual being," then without question God is only one "person" in that sense.

However, that is not the best definition of the term, which is, as we have already explained, used to mean simply a "self- aware subject," that is, an "I" aware of its own existence and the existence of other self-aware subjects.

Numerical analysis pdf notes on the apostolic movement

If, then, the Father and the Son are consistently presented in Scripture as two self-aware subjects, then they are two persons, even if they are one being. And the evidence for them being two persons is overwhelming; only a few examples can be given here.

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His statement, "there is another "allos" who bears witness concerning Me , proves that Jesus is not the Father. According to Oneness theology, what Jesus must have meant was that His divine Spirit and His human nature both testified. If Jesus is only one person, though, then only "one person" testified, not two, as Jesus' words demand. It would make just as much sense for a man to say in court, "I am two witnesses to the crime -- my body testifies, and my soul testifies," as for Jesus alone to be two witnesses.

These passages, then, are fairly explicit statements to the effect that Jesus and the Father are two persons. Further evidence is gained from the many passages that state that the Father sent the Son John ; Galatians ; 1 John ; etc.

The point here is not that the Son existed prior to His birth though that is true enough , but that the Son is a person other than the Father. It is therefore irrelevant to our point to cite John which says that God sent John the Baptist , as Oneness writers often do.

Numerical analysis pdf notes on the apostolic movement

Moreover, note that Jesus told the Disciples that He was sending them just as the Father had sent Him John ; Necessarily implied here is that the disciples were not Jesus; neither was Jesus the Father. Also relevant is the fact that the Father loves the Son John ; ; etc. This most naturally implies two persons; it certainly demands relationship, which is central to our definition of "person.

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The fact is that natures do not love, persons do. My human nature cannot love -- only I can love, in and through my human nature. If Oneness is correct, why is it that Jesus clearly and consistently implied that He and the Father were two persons, rather than saying the things which Oneness theologians think He meant?

Devastating to the Oneness view are the passages where Jesus prays to the Father. Of course, they are aware of the problem and have an answer -- the human nature prayed to the divine nature.

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However, this runs into the same problem as with the love of the two for one another: natures do not talk, only persons do.

In answer to this difficulty, their response is, "What would be absurd or impossible for an ordinary man is not so strange with Jesus.