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  #1  
Old Jan 18, '06, 12:49 pm
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mikeledes mikeledes is offline
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Default Oneness vs. Trinity

I have a Trinitarian friend who has serious questions regarding the Trinity. He has a lot of Oneness Pentecostal friends who have been trying to convince him that there is only one person in the Godhead and that person is Jesus. One of the arguments that the Oneness use is that in Matthew 28:19 it talks about baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, while Acts 2:38 talks about baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, Jesus is the sole person in the Godhead and Father, Son and Holy Spirit are only his titles. They also point to Isaiah 9:5 where one of the titles given to the messiah is "everlasting Father" or " Father-Forever." They claim that this verse clearly identifies Jesus as the Eternal Father. There are a number of other verses they use, but these are among the strongest. Any responses will be extremely helpful.

God Bless
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  #2  
Old Jan 18, '06, 1:17 pm
VociMike VociMike is offline
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Default Re: Oneness vs. Trinity

It seems to me that if your friend is Catholic then he should accept the authority of the Church, the very same Church who's bible he is using to support his arguments. If he's not Catholic, then who's to say, outside the authority of the Church, that Oneness isn't correct and Trinitarian isn't wrong?

The reason the Oneness folks are so prevalent and active is that the bible is not nearly as clear on the Trinity as many Trinitarians like to believe. The Oneness/Trinitarian dispute is one of the great arguments against sola scriptura, and for the concept of the Magisterium.
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  #3  
Old Jan 18, '06, 1:18 pm
Matt16_18 Matt16_18 is offline
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Default Re: Oneness vs. Trinity

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeledes
I have a Trinitarian friend who has serious questions regarding the Trinity. He has a lot of Oneness Pentecostal friends who have been trying to convince him that there is only one person in the Godhead and that person is Jesus.
Oneness Pentecostals have resurrected the heresy of Modalism.
MODALISTS

The Monarchians properly so-called (Modalists) exaggerated the oneness of the Father and the Son so as to make them but one Person; thus the distinctions in the Holy Trinity are energies or modes, not Persons: God the Father appears on earth as Son; hence it seemed to their opponents that Monarchians made the Father suffer and die. In the West they were called Patripassians, whereas in the East they are usually called Sabellians. The first to visit Rome was probably Praxeas, who went on to Carthage some time before 206-208; but he was apparently not in reality a heresiarch, and the arguments refuted by Tertullian somewhat later in his book "Adversus Praxean" are doubtless those of the Roman Monarchians (see PRAXEAS).

Encyclopedia article Monarchians, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X
Copyright 1911 by Robert Appleton Company
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  #4  
Old Jan 18, '06, 1:19 pm
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mikeledes mikeledes is offline
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Default Re: Oneness vs. Trinity

My friend is not Catholic, but I think there are verses in the Bible that can be used to disprove the notion of Oneness.

God Bless
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  #5  
Old Jan 18, '06, 1:21 pm
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Verbum Caro Verbum Caro is offline
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Default Re: Oneness vs. Trinity

But Mike. . .who would Jesus be praying to when he prayed??

God Bless,
VC
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  #6  
Old Jan 18, '06, 1:32 pm
VociMike VociMike is offline
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Default Re: Oneness vs. Trinity

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeledes
My friend is not Catholic, but I think there are verses in the Bible that can be used to disprove the notion of Oneness.
I agree, and I'm sure they are listed on many websites, etc. I was just suggesting taking a step back from "dueling verses", because dueling verses is based on an underlying assumption about the authority of those verses, and how we have determined the authority of those verses. Once you have him thinking about why he believes what he believes about the truth of the bible, you may be able to lead him towards the actual pillar and foundation of truth.

While it would be good to get your friend to accept the Trinity, it would be even better to get him to accept the Catholic Church (and then the Trinity is included at no extra charge!).
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  #7  
Old Jan 18, '06, 1:50 pm
USMC USMC is offline
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Default Re: Oneness vs. Trinity

Here's a verse for you:

"There are three who give witness in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1st John 5:7).

This clearly shows that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are "three in one".

I would also refer to the verses (I think in John 14), where Jesus speaks gramatically in the first person, second person and third person. "I will go to the Father, and He will send you another".

I (first person), will go to the Father, and he (second person) will send you another (third person).

That is very clear. Jesus is speaking of three different persons.
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  #8  
Old Jan 18, '06, 1:50 pm
AquinasXVI AquinasXVI is offline
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Default Re: Oneness vs. Trinity

mikeledes:

If you can grab a copy of Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed...it does an excellent job of explaining the Most Holy Trinity. It is a synthesis of the topic of God in the Summa.

in XT.
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  #9  
Old Jan 18, '06, 2:10 pm
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mikeledes mikeledes is offline
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Default Re: Oneness vs. Trinity

Thank you all for the responses, but can anyone address the two verses I cited above. Though I do not believe the Oneness argument holds water, it is an interesting one.

God Bless
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  #10  
Old Jan 18, '06, 2:13 pm
JimG JimG is offline
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Default Re: Oneness vs. Trinity

I second the nomination of Frank Sheed as a resource.

But I would also like to second the reply given by Verbum Caro above: ". . . who would Jesus be praying to when he prayed??"

I've seen on the Non-Catholic Religions board the question posed by Muslims as an argument against the Trinity: "Why would Jesus be praying to Himself." They fail to distinguish that a difference in Persons doesn't necessarily imply a distinction in being or unity in nature.
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  #11  
Old Jan 18, '06, 2:40 pm
Donald45 Donald45 is offline
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Post Re: Oneness vs. Trinity

I recommend getting a particular book for your friend:

Gregory A. Boyd, Oneness Pentecostalism & the Trinity (Baker, 1992), ISBN 0801010195.

The author is a Protestant and former Oneness Pentecostal, so he knows the arguments. And although he's now drifted into so-called Open Theism (an erroneous theological system in itself), his book on oneness beliefs is an excellent refutation. Boyd's critique addresses the very biblical passages (and many more) that you mention in your post. You should be able to order it from any bookstore, or obtain a copy on the internet.

Naturally, Boyd approaches and uses the Bible like a Protestant rather than a Catholic, but his is still the best Christian response to the subject that I'm aware of.

God bless,
Don
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  #12  
Old Jan 18, '06, 3:08 pm
PhilVaz PhilVaz is offline
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Question Acts 2:38 and Isaiah 9:6

I second Boyd's book above. He is a former Oneness and evangelical theologian.

mike << while Acts 2:38 talks about baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, Jesus is the sole person in the Godhead and Father, Son and Holy Spirit are only his titles. They also point to Isaiah 9:5 where one of the titles given to the messiah is "everlasting Father" or " Father-Forever." >>

Short answer on Acts 2:38. First, the word "name" can mean "by the authority of" (see Matt 18:5, 20; 24:5). Acts 4:7 asks "by what power or by what name have you done this?" Peter answers: "by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth" (Acts 4:10). Name = authority.

Second, it can't be giving us an exact formula as the Oneness people claim since the words slightly differ (see Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; etc). Jesus, Lord Jesus, or simply Lord, which? The traditional formula used in the Church has been Matthew 28:19 which are not titles since it is Baptism in the name of THE Father, and of THE Son, and of THE Holy Spirit.

Short answer on Isaiah 9:6. The word in Hebrew Abba can mean "origin" or "source". Jesus is the everlasting source or eternal origin of creation (also Col 1:15-18; Rev 3:14). It is not teaching the Messiah is His own Father. John 17:5 is particularly good. Hebrews 1 is also confusing to them since there is dialogue between Father and Son before the Incarnation. They teach the Father = God nature, and Son = body or human nature of Jesus. So they argue a kind of Nestorianism (two persons) to maintain their "Oneness" belief. But this falls apart with John 17:5 and Hebrews 1 which talk about Father and Son as distinct BEFORE the Incarnation. Also John 1:1-18. And John 14:16 teaches the Holy Spirit is "another Comforter" therefore distinct from Father and Son.

Long Answer: my debate on Trinity and Oneness Pentecostals

Phil P
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