Sunday, February 18, 2007

Oneness Pentecostalism

Dear Friend I have read many of your books and heard you at conferences, have appreciated your ministry. I especially enjoyed your book on the Trinity. My question is-what do we say about folks like T.D. Jakes, Phillips C & G., Jesus Only people, etc. Can a person truly be a saved person (Like Jakes) who denies the Trinity? Isn't the whole foundation of salvation destroyed by this? Is it simply ignorance on their part God will overlook? Is it in the same class as the Jehovah's Witnesses? Thanks. Doyle.

Hello Doyle,

To deny the Trinity is to deny the God of the Bible. When Jesus claimed divinity, it was always a claim of who He actually is, and not to the exclusion of the Father and Holy Spirit as co-equal and co-eternal divine Persons. Throughout John 8, where Jesus claims his own divinity (Consider the "I AM" statements in John 8:24, 8:58, 13:19, 18:6 with Exodus 3:14, and Isaiah 43:10), we see Jesus addressing the Father as a distinct, divine Person. Claiming that Jesus is divine isn't enough. One must believe in Jesus as He truly is: the second Person of the Trinity.

Jehovah's Witnesses deny the Trinity from a different angle by believing Jesus is indeed a god, but not Jehovah.

If you haven't already, you would be greatly benefited from reading Dr. White's The Forgotten Trinity. It is a personal favorite of mine, and have read it at least four times over the years =). For further information, I also recommend Robert Reymond's A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, specifically his section on the Trinity. It is excellent.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

In Christ,
Casey Ryan


At 4:30 AM, Blogger Rusty said...

Shortly after sending this, I sent Doyle an article that I am embarassed I forgot to include initially:

w00t =)

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell me, who was in charge when God was dead? How was he able to resurrect himself while dead? When Jesus said that no one knows the day or hour of the end of this system of things, "not the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" was he mistaken?

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Rusty said...

voirdire -

I have a few questions for you: (1) What is your religious perspective? (2) Do you understand the Christian doctrine of the Trinity? If so, please do your best to explain it. (3) Finally, what is your purpose in leaving this comment?

Please respond to each of these questions, fully and completely. If you choose not to respond to each question I will not continue our conversation.


At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3. My purpose in leaving the first comment was to get an answer to the questions.

2. No. I cannot.

1. I don't understand what you mean by "religious perspective." Perhaps you mean Christian, Jew, Muslim? Christian will do as a description of my perspective.

If you don't want to answer my questions, just say so. Are there some qualifications I need to have first?

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Rusty said...

Voirdire –

In inquiring about your religious perspective, I want to know what your worldview is. I am up front about mine (please peruse my blog for more info) , I expect the same from all those I converse with. When you say that you are a Christian, I assume you are a member at a church?

The reason I asked if you could properly define the doctrine of the Trinity is because your questions seem to utterly ignore the perspective I hold.

I consider it a privilege to discuss religious things, and therefore will do my best to respond to each of your questions. And no, there are not any qualifications you need to meet before I will engage you. But to properly answer your questions, it would greatly benefit our discussion if you explained your own perspective and if you demonstrated that you have taken the time to understand my own perspective.


At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look. I was surfing when I found your blog, not looking for some expert who needs to know my "worldview" to answer a couple of questions about the Trinity. And now you want me to "properly define the doctrine of the Trinity" before you'll answer them. Oh yeah, and first I have to take the time to understand your perspective. You know what? It's a lot easier just to ask someone else.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Rusty said...

voirdire -

You confirmed my suspisions that you didn't want a serious dialogue. If you decide to take the time to do the work to understand your opponent before asking questions, I'll be here.


At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How smug. I suggest it is because you admittedly view me as an "opponent" that you refuse to answer questions about the Trinity. I think I've done the work to understand you. You wish to maneuver the dialogue somewhere else; to create a diversion which you can "win." Well, sir, you have won. I am unable to drag answers from you. Perhaps that is how one becomes an expert.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger Rusty said...

Voirdire –

You said, “How smug.”

I don’t consider it smug to try to understand my opponent. What I do consider smug is the lack of consideration you have shown me by not even attempting to understand my perspective.

You said, “I suggest it is because you admittedly view me as an "opponent" that you refuse to answer questions about the Trinity.”

My use of the term “opponent” towards you was not meant to be taken as a derogatory term. On the contrary, in a civil debate “opponent” should be understood to mean “one who holds to an opposing view.” As stated earlier, I am more than willing to answer any questions regarding the Trinity, but your questions appear to completely ignore a Trinitarian perspective. Since you have admitted that you cannot explain the doctrine of the Trinity, is it fair to say that you do not have a sufficient knowledge of the doctrine to ask questions about the nature of God to Trinitarians? What do I mean by that? Well, for starters, when you asked: “Tell me, who was in charge when God was dead?” This question makes no sense from my perspective. I believe it is your lack of knowledge on the subject of my perspective - a Trinitarian perspective - that has led you to ask such a question. The same can be said of your other two questions. This is the sole reason I attempted at taking the time to understand where you were coming from. I was hoping you would show me the same respect. Apparently I was mistaken.

You said, “You wish to maneuver the dialogue somewhere else; to create a diversion which you can "win." Well, sir, you have won. I am unable to drag answers from you. Perhaps that is how one becomes an expert.”

No smug maneuvering here; just trying to bring clarity to our discussion. My attempts appear to have been a miserable failure. Finally, never have I claimed to be an expert. Surely I am nothing of the sort. Not with regards to the Trinity, or any area of Christian teaching, for that matter. My expertise, if I have any, would probably be related to the period of history known as the Enlightenment. I do someday hope to become an expert in Christian apologetics, but I still have a long way to go.

Unless you choose to provide more information about your own worldview, or inform me of an honest desire to better understand my own worldview, I am going to fold on this conversation.


At 7:28 AM, Blogger DG said...


Thanks for your continued efforts in defending our common Faith! And I justed wanted to let you know that I think you are doing a terrific job in keeping the tone of your posts and responses honest, professional, and loving.

Keep up the good work!

At 12:47 PM, Blogger JJ Brenner said...


Great recommendation again!

Love that book!


Post a Comment

<< Home