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By Jason Oliver Evans
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment PAR 399 Directed Study: Pentecostal Theology
William C. Turner, Jr.
Duke University Divinity School December 19, 2011
2 Introduction One day a cousin of mine invited me to attend Mount Airy Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for a special ―Holy Ghost Revival.‖ The guest evangelist was the acclaimed pastor and televangelist Bishop Noel Jones, Senior Pastor of City of Refuge Church of Gardena, California. Having heard and benefited richly from the preaching of Bishop Jones, I accepted my cousin‘s invitation. The sanctuary was packed to the rafters for this holy occasion. The Mount Airy COGIC Mass Choir sang the praises of God. Voices filled the sanctuary as the Bishop Ernest C. Morris, Sr., Senior Pastor of Mount Airy COGIC, led Bishop Jones to sit in the pulpit. After Bishop Morris introduced the speaker of the hour and the selection from the choir, Bishop Jones rose to his feet to stand behind the sacred desk. With a keen intellect and passionate love for the Christian Scriptures, Jones preached a powerful sermon that ―set the whole house on fire!‖ One of the most amazing things about that evening was the theological diversity presented within the sanctuary. Many came from around the city to hear Bishop Jones preach. Pentecostals, Apostolics, Baptists, Methodists, and non-denominational Christians filled Mount Airy‘s sanctuary to hear the Word of God. The question of each others‘ theological orthodoxies was tabled. Each member of these traditions left the sanctuary with their convictions regarding the nature of God unchallenged. The question of one‘s theological orthodoxies was set on the table. On that fall evening, every one of us, children of the African Diaspora, came to be blessed by the presence of the Spirit through the preaching of his brother. The ―issue‖ which was set on the table that evening is for many Christians, both Oneness and Pentecostal, is the central theological issue1 which caused the whole Pentecostal movement to split nearly a century ago,
Race also posed a central theological problem for Pentecostals, as it did for all Christians living in the United States in the turn of the twentieth century.
3 namely, the doctrine concerning the nature of the Godhead. In another way, the issue is threefold: 1) the baptismal formula for Christian initiation, 2) the nature of the Godhead, and 3) the nature of Spirit baptism. The nature of the Godhead is the chief cornerstone which holds the first and third issues together, for how both parties understand God‘s nature are directly correlated to their understanding of the Name in which sinners are baptized as members of Christ‘s church and the work of the Spirit in salvation. The cordial relationship between Black Apostolics and Trinitarian Pentecostals (with other black Christians) pose theological problems for those within and outside of the larger Pentecostal movement.2 For many Christians, the trinitarian dogma of the historic Christian faith is a non-negotiable issue. The doctrine of the Trinity is the central dogma of which distinguishes orthodox Christianity from other monotheistic traditions, namely Judaism and Islam. When orthodox Christians confess their belief in one God, they mean, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.3 Christians confess the mystery of the one God who exists from eternity in three coequal, co-eternal consubstantial hypostases or persons. The earliest Christians experienced this one God in their worship of the risen Jesus. However, the language which the church fathers and mothers bequeathed to the Church took centuries to develop. For nearly five centuries bishoptheologians engaged in painstaking theological debates to articulate the mystery of the one God revealed in the incarnate Son Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. The NiceneConstantinopolitan Creed (381) remains the chief ecumenical creed of Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant communions. The Creed summarizes the Church‘s confession of the great Mystery.
This ―cordial‖ relationship has not always been the case, as we will discuss further in the section ―the New Issue‖.
Following Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 38.8; 45.4: ―When I say God, I mean Father, Son, and Holy
4 The doctrine of the Trinity faces great challenges in the West. Since the rise of the Enlightenment, influential thinkers criticized the doctrine of the Trinity as irrational, as mathematically illogical (as if the Trinity was a mathematical problem!) or as an impractical doctrine for daily Christian living. Even the acclaimed Protestant theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher placed the doctrine of the Trinity as an appendix to his magnum opus The Christian Faith.4 During the rise of the Pietist movement within Lutheran Germany, proponents who were orthodox in doctrine stressed more a personal faith and religious experience over the rationalism forged within scholastic Protestant thinking. For the Pietists, ‗heart religion‘ took preeminence over doctrinal matters. Moreover, as David Reed convincingly argues, Pietism and the later Evangelical and Holiness movements in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries stressed a ―Jesus-centered‖ devotion which de-emphasized the Trinity within the worship of the churches. This Jesus-centered piety and ‗heart religion‘ and provided the environment for the development of Oneness Pentecostalism in the early twentieth century.5 According to one estimation, Oneness Pentecostalism has from 14 to 17 million followers globally and growing rapidly in the countries of Mexico, China, and the United States.6 Some conclude that Oneness Pentecostalism exists as a heterodox movement, other go as far to deem it heretical.7 So the question becomes, ―How can these groups worship together when their beliefs concerning the doctrine of God diametrically oppose one another?‖ With the exception of the
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, The Trinity: Global Perspectives (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2007), xii. Of the 760 pages of this work, Schleiermacher dedicated only 13 pages! David A. Reed, “In Jesus’ Name”: The History and Beliefs of Oneness Pentecostals (Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series 31; Blandford Forum, Dorset, UK: Deo Publishing, 2008), 9-68. See David A. Reed, ―Oneness Pentecostalism,‖ New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (ed. Stanley Burgess; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 940.
7 6 5
Gregory Boyd, Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1992).
5 recent dialogues between Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostal scholars,8 the predominantly white Oneness denomination, the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI), and the largest white Trinitarian Pentecostal denomination in the United States, the Assemblies of God (AG), have officially condemned each other‘s doctrines within published faith statements. Outside of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, white Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostals do not interact with one another. However, I am concerned with the interaction between black Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostals. Within Afro-Pentecostalism, the relationship between black Apostolic and Trinitarian Pentecostals began in a pugnacious manner, yet both groups maintained fellowship over the years. Each group remains committed to their core beliefs concerning the Godhead, baptism, and salvation, however both continue to worship together as long as the doctrine of the Godhead was tabled or not discussed within the context of joint worship. I look to explore this interaction by raising some questions. To borrow from Tertullian: ―What hath T. D. Jakes, Iona Locke, Noel Jones and Carolyn Showell have to do with Floyd and Elaine Flake, Gilbert Patterson, and Charles Blake?‖ This question points to larger theological issue. How do black Christians from different theological persuasions negotiate their relationships across fundamental theological boundaries? I think a broader question is: What are the taxonomies black Christians have constructed for their beliefs concerning the doctrine of God? This strategy of theological non-engagement between black Apostolics and Trinitarian Pentecostals presents opportunities for cultivating theological confusion among Oneness and Trinitarians. Many Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostal laypeople worship together under the assumption that they commonly share the same doctrine of God. In so doing, clergy and denominational leaders continue to leave members of their flock ignorant of serious doctrinal
―Oneness-Trinitarian Pentecostal Final Report, 2002-2007‖ Pneuma 30 (2008): 203-224.
6 matters which define the very core of the Christian faith. So the task of this essay is to offer both black Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostal leaders a theological proposal to take the doctrine of God off the table. In another way, this essay proposes that black Trinitarian and Apostolic Pentecostals take each other seriously by articulating their respective beliefs concerning the Godhead so that others may come to a deeper appreciation of what each offers to the larger theological conservation. I will do this from the perspective of one who confesses trinitarian faith, yet who hails from the Baptist tradition. I will argue that Oneness Pentecostalism can learn to appreciate the articulation of Trinitarian faith from their brothers and sisters on the other side of the debate. Trinitarian Pentecostals will also appreciate their Oneness brothers and sisters‘ concern for the upholding biblical doctrine and the unity of the Divine essence (which Trinitarians continue to affirm, perhaps fail to clearly articulate). In order for this to be successful, both sides need to hear what the other believes rather than perpetuating inaccuracies. To demonstrate, I will review the history, and beliefs of Oneness Pentecostalism within the United States and within African American Pentecostalism, specifically focusing on thought of Frank Ewart and Garfield T. Haywood. Then I will consider the biblical, historical, and theological developments of the doctrine of the Trinity. Finally, I will offer a theological and pastoral proposal on how black Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostals can engage one another. The New Issue: the Beginnings of Oneness Pentecostalism In the history of Pentecostalism, Oneness Pentecostalism began as a hermeneutical issue concerning the proper, scriptural way to baptize converts. In the spring of 1913 in Arroyo Seco, California, the acclaimed evangelist Maria Woodworth-Etter preached at the Apostolic Faith Worldwide Camp Meeting. At the same meeting, Canadian evangelist Robert McAlister administered baptisms to new converts. McAlister stunned the crowd when he proclaimed that
7 the apostles never used the Trinitarian formula ―in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,‖ outlined in the Matt. 28:19 passage. Instead the apostles baptized converts in the name of Jesus as outlined in Acts 2:38, which McAlister contended was preferable.9 After hearing McAlister‘s sermon and staying up all night praying, John G. Scheppe ran through the camp the next morning shouting that he had received a new revelation from God about the name of Jesus.10 From these messages, Australian-born Canadian Assemblies of God evangelist Frank Ewart and many other Pentecostal leaders left the Arroyo Seco meeting with new a message that would change many Pentecostals‘ understanding of the Godhead. After studying the Scriptures for a year, Ewart became convinced that ―Jehovah of the Old Testament was Jesus of the New Testament‖ and that Jesus is the new revealed name of the one God. By the end of the year 1913, Ewart baptized many new converts using Jesus‘ name and re-baptized his colleagues who were persuaded by his message. In 1914, Ewart set out to persuade many of his Pentecostal colleagues of the use short baptismal formula by preaching and teaching at revivals held in the Midwest. Ewart argued that Jesus manifested the fullness of the one God, and therefore rejected any differentiation within the divine essence. Ewart‘s journal, Meat in Due Season, became one of the most influential publications for spreading the message of Oneness theology. Moreover, Ewart published multiple monographs, including The Name and the Book (1936), Jesus: The Man and the Mystery (1941), The Revelation of Jesus Christ (mid- 1940s), and The Phenomenon of Pentecost (1947).11 Ewart and other early Oneness
Estrelda Y. Alexander, Black Fire: One Hundred Years of African American Pentecostalism (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2011), 207-208. Douglas Jacobsen, Thinking in the Spirit: Theologies of the Early Pentecostal Movement (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2003), 195.
8 adherents continued to spread the Oneness message with Assemblies of God circles by organizing and conducting camp meetings. In October 1-10, 1915, the Third Council of the Assemblies of God was held in St. Louis, MO to address the ―New Issue.‖ The Council Committee called several Oneness converts to present their views. Among them was E.N. Bell, a member of the Executive Presbytery of the Assemblies of God who first denounced Oneness teaching then later converted and was rebaptized, Garfield T. Haywood, a disciple of William Durham‘s Finished Work teaching12 and a prominent black pastor from Indiana who was influential in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW), then a Trinitarian Pentecostal denomination.13 After hearing Bell and Haywood‘s views along with several others, the Committee presented an irenic resolution which called for liberality of opinion. AG officials did not find the shorter baptismal formula problematic so they allowed for ministers to use both formulas in order to heal the tensions within the group that was rising when the New Issue was introduced. They did, however, repudiate the Oneness teaching that ―the Son is his own Father.‖14 Although the Third Council hoped that the tension between those who belong to the New Issue faction and the Trinitarian party will reconcile, tension became worse as the Oneness teaching spread rapidly within the Assemblies God. By 1916, the New Issue caused a rift within the Assemblies of God. At the Fourth Council, members of the Trinitarian camp were forced take a stance against their Oneness
Ibid, 136-164. William H. Durham, an early Pentecostal preacher and teacher, rejected the WesleyanHoliness view of sanctification as a second work of grace. Instead, Durham argued that sanctification is a ―finished work,‖ meaning that sanctification occurs within regeneration. For Durham, there are two works of grace, regeneration and Spirit baptism, contra the Wesleyan-Holiness view (three: regeneration, sanctification, Spirit baptism). Durham‘s theology influenced the doctrines of the Assemblies of God (AG).
Reed, “In Jesus’ Name,” 159.
General Council Minutes of the Assemblies of God, 1915 (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1915), 8, quoted in Reed, “In Jesus’ Name,” 160.
9 opponents. Leaders formulated a ―Statement of Fundamental Truths,‖ a document which declared, among its articles, the triune nature of the Godhead.15 Because of this, over 150 ministers and over 100 congregations left the AG and joined the Oneness party to form a fellowship of ―Apostolic‖ churches.16 G.T. Haywood: Church Father of African American Oneness Pentecostalism Black Oneness Pentecostals account for a large segment within Pentecostalism within the United States. ―Some estimate that 70 percent of all U.S. Apostolic Pentecostals are African American and that 40 percent of black Pentecostals are Apostolic.‖17 As of the year 2006, the largest black Oneness denomination, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW), has 1.5 million adherents. The second largest black Oneness group, the Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World-Wide founded by Smallwood E. Williams, has over 250,000 members. Within one hundred years of the beginning of the Pentecostal movement, over 30 black oneness denominations were founded either through schism from white oneness brethren, or, for the majority of them, schism within existing black Oneness groups because of doctrinal disagreements or ego.18 However, all of the black Oneness groups owe their theological development to Garfield T. Haywood, the first presiding bishop of the Pentecostals Assemblies of the World. Haywood‘s writings arguably shaped the entire Oneness Pentecostal movement within its first generation. Along with the works of Andrew D. Urshan, Jacobsen argues convincingly that Haywood‘s
―Statement of Fundamental Truths‖ (Springfield, MO: Assemblies of God). Alexander, Black Fire, 212.
―Global Statistics,‖ in The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, ed. Stanley Burgess, Eduard M. van der Maas and Patrick Alexander (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), p. 286, quoted by Alexander, Black Fire, 213.
See Alexander‘s historical profiles of major black Oneness denominations. Ibid, 213-248.
10 theological vision had the greatest impact on Oneness Pentecostalism.19 Haywood was among the many Oneness members who left the Fourth Council of the Assemblies of God and took many black trinitarian congregations with him. Over the course of his life, Haywood wrote songs and published works which would contribute to the development of Oneness theology within the first generation. His books include Divine Names and the Titles of Jehovah, which features Haywood‘s theology of the unitary nature of the Godhead, The Victim and the Flaming Sword, a Christology; two works on theological anthropology include The Birth of the Spirit in the Days of the Apostles and The Finest Wheat. Haywood‘s longest book deals with the history of the world, Before the Foundation of the World: A Revelation of the Ages (1923). Haywood, like many of his Oneness Pentecostal colleagues, argued solely from the Scriptures to develop his theology. Against scholars who contend that Oneness Pentecostals employed a rigid hermeneutic, Kenneth Archer explains, Oneness Pentecostalism was not the result of an ‗unbending literalism‘ but was the result of an unwillingness to embrace doctrinal statements like Trinity that were not directly supported by exact words or phrases in the New Testament, especially from the book of Acts. Hence, Oneness Pentecostals were unbending in their consistent rejection of the philosophical language of ‗man-made creeds‘ which did not express a biblical understanding and/or language.20 Employing a hermeneutic shaped within an early 20th century Common Sense Realist context, Haywood contended that the Scriptures were self-interpreting and therefore all experiences must be tested against the Word of God.21 Further, Haywood adopted the interpretive method of reading the Matthean formula through the lens of Acts 2:38. He became convinced that the apostles baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and found the traditional Trinitarian formula
Jacobsen, Thinking in the Spirit, 196-231.
Kenneth J. Archer, A Pentecostal Hermeneutic: Spirit, Scripture and Community (Cleveland, TN: CPT Press, 2009), 92. 21 Ibid, 92.
11 utilized by the Church for over 1500 years erroneous. Haywood argued that the Trinitarian doctrine could not be substantiated from the Scriptures and was an erroneous innovation developed within a post-apostolic Church.22 Haywood may have rejected the doctrine of the Trinity because of one man‘s claim to distinguish between the voices of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Haywood dismissed the claim as erroneous and appealed to the Scripture for the doctrine of the unitary nature of the Godhead.23 Haywood did find use for the titles of ―Father, Son, and Holy Spirit‖ to in his explication of the one God‘s work within salvation history thereby employing a sort of economic Trinitarianism. However, God uses many titles and names within the Old Testament to reveal Godself to humanity. It is the name Jesus, Haywood argues, that reveals the fullness of the Deity in our times. Jacobsen explains, It was precisely that name that had been revealed in Jesus. As Haywood put it, ―the Almighty‘s new name was JESUS.‖ The revelation of Jesus transcended all other events where God had ―appeared… in various forms, and spake unto the fathers by the prophets in divers manners.‖ In Jesus, God had finally allowed the divine unity to be fully revealed and the divine name to be identified without ambiguity.24 Haywood‘s journal Crying in the Wilderness became a primary publication of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Moreover, Haywood published numerous pamphlets which expounded the Oneness doctrine among Oneness adherents and distributed among those he sought to persuade. Not only did Haywood bequeath black Oneness Pentecostalism with a theological vision for the movement, but he was a prolific hymn writer. Some of his songs include ―I See Crimson Stream,‖ ―Jesus the Son of God,‖ ―Thank God for the Blood,‖ and the ―The Day of Redemption‖; all of them are sung within both Trinitarian and Oneness Pentecostal churches.
Jacobsen, Thinking in the Spirit, 205. Archer, A Pentecostal Hermeneutic, 119. Jacobsen, Thinking in the Spirit, 207.
12 The Doctrine of God in Oneness Pentecostalism Like interpretations of the doctrine of the Trinity offered over the centuries, Oneness doctrine varies concerning the nature of the Godhead and Christology. However, all of works by Haywood, Ewart, Urshan and recent theologians David K. Bernard,25 Talmadge French26, and David S. Norris27 agree on this one thing, that God is absolutely one in essence without differentiation in God‘s being. As we stated earlier, this theological claim developed from a reading of the triadic statement in Matthew 28:19 through the lens of Acts 2:38. According to Ewart‘s reading, the ―name‖ of the ―Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit‖ is the name of Jesus. Thus, Jesus was the incarnated God who manifested himself in these triadic titles. These titles were subsequently defined by Oneness Pentecostals in modalist terms. The God and Father of creation and Israel, was incarnated in the man Jesus of Nazareth. ―Sonship‖ referred to Jesus‘ humanity. The Spirit is the spirit of the Father who is incarnated in Jesus who now (after Jesus‘ ascension) indwells and equips the Church. These titles functioned as manifestations of the one God and did not denote three hypostases, which for Oneness doctrine, is tritheistic. Frank Macchia observes, ―This tritheism then undercut for [Oneness Pentecostals] the full deity Christ by confining the incarnation to only one god among others or to a subordinate deity who serves the will of the heavenly Father. This heretical Trinitarian doctrine thus undermined the full deity
David K. Bernard, The Oneness of God (Series in Pentecostal Theology, vol. 1; Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1983); The New Birth (Series in Pentecostal Theology, vol. 2; Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1984); The Oneness View of Jesus Christ (Hazelwood, MO: Pentecostal Publishing, 1996), Oneness and Trinity, A. D. 100 – 300: The Doctrine of God in Ancient Christian Writings (Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1991). Talmadge French, Our God is One: The Story of the Oneness Pentecostals (Indianapolis, IN: Voice & Vision, 1999).
David S. Norris, I AM: A Oneness Theology (Hazelwood, MO: WAP Academic, 2009).
13 of Jesus and his role as the Spirit Baptizer as well.‖28 Although unapologetically modalistic, Oneness Pentecostals diverge from a Sabellian view by affirming the deity of Jesus. However, Oneness Pentecostals understand Jesus‘ nature in a Nestorian sense. Instead of affirming a hypostatic union (a Trinitarian term) of the divine and human nature, Oneness Pentecostals contend that Jesus‘ humanity could relate to the Father who incarnated Jesus in a way similar to that any other human being. Oneness Pentecostals are clear to affirm the inseparability of the divine and human natures in the person of Jesus. In the Final Report of the five-year long Oneness-Trinitarian Pentecostal Dialogue, the Oneness Pentecostal team state, ―While there was a distinction between the divine will and his human will, he always submitted the later to the former. Jesus was, and remains, the one God manifested in the flesh.‖29 Oneness Pentecostals do not affirm the Son as the second person of the Trinity, so find that speculation on the eternal relations between Son and the Father in Trinitarian discourse tends towards ditheism and subordinationism. Early Black Trinitarian Pentecostal Responses to Oneness Colleagues Black Trinitarian Pentecostal leaders responded to the promulgation of Oneness teaching swiftly. In a 1915 publication of his Doctrines and Disciplines of the Azusa Street Mission, William Seymour referred to the practice of baptism in Jesus‘ name as unbiblical.30 Another repudiation of Oneness teaching came from Mother Mary Magdalena Lewis Tate, founder of the Church of the Living God.31 In 1945, Charles H. Mason, the first presiding bishop of the
Frank D. Macchia, ―The Oneness-Trinitarian Pentecostal Dialogue: Exploring the Diversity of Apostolic Faith,‖ Harvard Theological Review 103.3 (2010), 337.
―Oneness-Trinitarian Pentecostal Final Report,‖ 216.43 (page 216, paragraph 43).
William Seymour, Doctrines and Disciplines of the Azusa Street Mission of Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles, 1916), cited in Alexander, Black Fire, 241.
Alexander, Black Fire, 241.
14 Church of God in Christ (COGIC), openly critiqued his colleague Robert Charles Lawson, then of PAW but later founder and presiding bishop of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith (COOLJC), for presenting his Oneness views at a COGIC convention held in St. Louis, MO. Mason dismissed the Lawson‘s claim by referring to words of the Johanine comma, a biblical interpolation (1 John 5:7) found in the King James Version. ―Who can say that God and His Son and the Holy Ghost did not know how to count?...They said that ‗Three in Heaven,‘ but some the wise today say they see it better.‖32 Despite both parties‘ disagreements, black Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostals maintained cordial relationships over the years. Historical theologian Estrelda Alexander observes, But though Seymour, Mason and other early trinitarian leaders were quick to refute oneness doctrinal understandings, they did not break fellowship with oneness believers, and African American oneness and trinitarian Pentecostals have historically been more comfortable with each other than is true in the white arena.33 Some of the most vocal detractors against Oneness Pentecostalism come from white trinitarian Pentecostal denominations i.e. the Assemblies of God and the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), and many white conservative evangelical circles.34 Further, Alexander, drawing insight from the work of Roswith Gerloff, observes that black Oneness Pentecostals steer away from metaphysical speculation of the nature of Godhead and possess a degree of toleration which white Pentecostals, both Oneness and Trinitarian, do not have. Gerloff writes, [Black Oneness Pentecostals] emphasized the baptismal formula of the early church rather than speculative considerations about the inner nature of the Godhead articulated by the white [Oneness Pentecostals]. Blacks called themselves ―Apostolic,‖ not Oneness, in devotion to the ―power of the Name of Jesus‖ and the fight against discrimination and
Lillian Brooks Coffey, ed., Yearbook of the Church of God in Christ (Memphis: The Church, 1926), quoted in Alexander, Black Fire, 241.
Alexander, Black Fire, 241-242.
One example, Gregory A. Boyd, Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity: A world-wide movement assessed by a former Oneness Pentecostal (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1992);
15 injustice. Taken by followers to the Caribbean, Britain, and beyond, they overcame the separation within Pentecostalism by a biblical triadic emphasis and the surrender to Jesus as the sole savior and reconciler.35 In her ground breaking study on black Oneness Pentecostalism in Great Britain, Gerloff contends that black Apostolic Pentecostalism is a liberation movement which finds its primary center not in Trinitarian dogma but Christology.36 For black oneness Pentecostals, The court of appeal is not the abstract speculations that occur within academic theological (read Western, white male) circles but in the living experience of the Spirit of Christ in the community of faith. ―An abstract formula, handed down from the Hellenistic past to the present Church, may be suitable for ‗aristocrats,‘ or the sophisticated, but not for people evangelism in other milieus where it matters.‖37 While Gerloff praises the innovations of the black British Oneness Pentecostalism for its liberative praxis and innovate theological reflection, her analysis fails to consider that the doctrine of the Trinity is not the result of remote abstract reflections on the inner life of God by Western white males, but rather the painstaking critical reflection on the revelation of God revealed in the Christ by bishop-theologians who experienced that same Spirit of Christ in the context of worshipping community. The Trinitarian dogma accounts for the truth that God‘s self is revealed through God‘s works (more on this later). Perhaps what matters for black Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostals within America is their common experience of the Spirit, a Jesus-centered piety, and zeal for holiness in the midst
Roswith Gerloff, ―Encyclopedia of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity,‖ Pneuma 29.2 (2007), 319, also quoted in Alexander, Black Fire, 243. Roswith I. H. Gerloff, A Plea for British Black Theologies, vol. 1: The Black Church Movement in Britain in Its Transatlantic Cultural and Theological Interaction with Special Reference to the Pentecostal Oneness (Apostolic) and Sabbatarian Movements (New York, NY: Peter Lang, 1992; reprint: Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2010), 266.
37 36 35
16 of a changing culture hostile to their values, beliefs and practices. Such koinonia in the Spirit among black Trinitarian and Oneness people should prompt deeper reflective theological discourse on the nature of God from all black Pentecostals.38 Such reflection should start with a revisiting of the development of the Trinitarian doctrine in the early church and recent works from modern theologians which have sensitivities towards the experiences and the voices of black Pentecostalism. By listening to the voices of the past, both parties may find that the same Spirit poured out at Pentecostal and on Azusa Street was working guiding the Church through Nicaea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon. The Most Holy Trinity in Experience, Scripture, and Dogma of the Church, Then and Now Despite claims of tritheism, Trinitarian Pentecostals confess one God. However, Trinitarian Pentecostals, affirming the creedal tradition of the Church, understands this God exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—―three distinct but inseparable persons of one divine nature.‖39 This affirmation presses the issue into the dogmatic tradition of the Church exemplified in the ecumenical creeds. The doctrine of the Trinity develops from a deep and critical reflection on the revelation of God in the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth attested in the Holy Scriptures. Ralph Del Colle aptly describes the doctrine, [The Trinity] is the faithful attempt to represent the One known in the person of Jesus and in the life of the ecclesial community grounded as they are in the covenant history of Israel. Therefore, the Christian confession begins with the one God of Israel whose redeeming hand in the call and election of the patriarchs and the deliverance from Egyptian slavery establishes the matrix out of which Jesus‘ own affirmation of the Shema (Mark 12:29) is heard.40
Primarily this may start by reflection on pneumatology, but as a trinitarian, such reflection presupposes trinitarian discourse.
So affirms the Trinitarian Pentecostal team, ―Oneness-Trinitarian Pentecostal Final Report,‖ 216.44.
Ralph Del Colle, ―The triune God,‖ in The Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine, ed. Colin E. Gunton (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 122.
17 At first glance one cannot build an explicit doctrine of the Trinity from the material found in the First Testament alone. However, the First Testament yields the fertile ground from which the New Testament writers and the patristic theologians developed robust Trinitarian theology. Gerald O‘Collins contends, ―Some knowledge of the OT is indispensable for grasping the NT trinitarian message and is specifics. The OT contains, in anticipation, categories used to express and elaborate the Trinity.‖41 The First Testament attests to the One who delivered Israel from the house of slavery and the one whom Jesus identified as his ―Father.‖ Christian doctrine affirms that the Reality made known in the person and event of Jesus Christ is the God of patriarchs of Israel. This God is whom Jesus calls, ―Father.‖ The God is Israel, made known to Moses as YHWH (e.g., Ex 3:14; 6:6-8), is unlike anything which the Creator God has created. ―In the OT Scriptures, God exercises no sexuality and is utterly transcendent.‖42 Although female similes (e.g. Is 42:14; Num 11:12; Dt 32:18) are made through the First Testament (YHWH is neither male or female), O‘Collins observes that the ―father‖ metaphor appears more than 20 times in the First Testament.43 Further, O‘Collins observes, One of the earliest texts which God is addressed as Father comes from a song attributed to Moses: ―Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and senseless people? Is he not your Father, who formed you, who made you and established you?‖ (Dt 32:6)…. This text from Deuteronomy indicates how Father, when used of God, usually refers to the special covenantal relationship with God of the people who have been delivered from captivity and called God‘s (firstborn) son (e.g., Ex 4:22-23; Hos 11:1) or God‘s ―sons and daughters‖ (e.g., Dt 32:19; Is 1:2; 30:1). God gave them birth (Dt 32:18) by electing and adopting them. An historical divine choice, and not any kind of sexual activity and physical generation (as in the case of the gendered gods of surrounding nations), made God their Father.44
Gerald O‘Collins, The Tripersonal God: Understanding and Interpreting the Trinity (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1999), 11.
Ibid., 12. Ibid., 14. Ibid., 14 (with his emphasis).
18 Moreover, in later passages God promises to establish the Davidic dynasty by being a father to David‘s offspring who will succeed him on the throne (e.g., 2 Sam 7:12-15; cf. 1 Chr 17:11-15; 22:9-10; 28:5-6). Psalm 2:7 ―You are my son; today I have begotten you‖ is believed to be used at the king‘s coronation designating him as God‘s adopted son. Moreover, the Chronicle texts (e.g, 1 Chr 17:11-15; 22:9-10; 28:5-6) parallel Nathan‘s oracle found in 2 Samuel 7:12-15 stating God‘s promise to be Father to the king and adopt him as God‘s adopted son. Many other passages in the proto-canonical and deutero-canonical books refer to God as ―Father.‖45 Word, Wisdom, and Spirit were also personifications associated with the Divine. Wisdom, also known as Sophia, personified became associated with the divine work of creation, providence, and salvation. Moreover, Wisdom takes on the operations and attributes of God and is portrayed as feminine. In the book of Job, Wisdom is an aspect of the Divine yet it is not personified. Divine wisdom is involved in the work of creation yet distinct from it.46 In the book of Proverbs, Wisdom is portrayed as female. O‘Collins writes, ―Like a prophet Wisdom preaches her message, setting before her hearers a choice: either folly and disaster or fear of God and life. More precious than jewels, she proves a tree of life for those who grasp her (Prv 3:15, 18).‖47 Word is also associated with YHWH in the work of creation (Gen 1:1-2:4; Is 55:10-11). Moreover, the Psalmist sings of this same creative Word: ―Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm‖ (Ps 33:8-9). The Word is also associated with S/spirit: ―By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath (spirit/ruach) of his mouth‖ (Ps 33:6). Further,
Ibid., 14-23. Ibid., 24. Ibid., 25.
19 the Word came to the prophets to speak on behalf of God to the people. ―The prophets convey divine words of judgment over the people along with indications of God‘s will for them.‖48 Spirit (ruach) is used in the First Testament Scriptures to express God‘s power to create, redeem, and reveal YHWH‘s purposes. Spirit, meaning either wind or breath of life, is instrumental in the creation of the world (Gen. 1:2). Spirit is also the power which possessed the prophets to proclaim God‘s word to God‘s people. Spirit is also paralleled with word and wisdom (e.g., Ps. 33:6; Ps 147:18). Subsequently the Word, Wisdom, and Spirit as concepts leave the tributary of the First Testament Scriptures and flow into the New Testament conceptions of divine agency and personal power. In the New Testament lies the continued story of the God of Israel as revealed in the First Testament.49 Earliest Christians were Jews who affirmed the Shema inscribed in the book of Deuteronomy: ―Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.‖50 The God of Israel is the One who made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, elected and delivered Israel from the house of bondage in Egypt and gave the Torah as a sign of the covenant at Mt. Sinai. Jesus identifies with the God of Israel not only in affirming the Shema, but identifying himself in unique relation to this one God. Jesus identifies YHWH, the God of Israel as his ―Father,‖ and consequently he is identified as his ―Son.‖ Throughout his earthly ministry as attested in the Gospel discourses, Jesus refers to God as ―Father‖ (Mark 11:10, 25f.; 13:32; 14:36; Matt. 6:1-32; 10:20-37; 18:10-35; 26:39-42) or ―Abba,‖ (Mark 14:36) an Aramaic intimate address meaning
If the reader hasn‘t noticed by this point, I am deliberately using this designation to avoid the pejorative connotations which are associated with the use of the adjective ―Old.‖ I also avoid the use of the term ―Hebrew Bible,‖ used much in biblical scholarship alongside the term ―Christian Scriptures‖ for the New Testament, because, in my judgment, it creates a false dichotomy between the two testaments. The First Testament is also Christian Scripture. Deut. 6:4, The Holy Bible, New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984). Hereafter, all Scripture quotations will be from the NIV unless otherwise noted.
20 ―dear Father‖. Thomas C. Oden writes, ―The intimate and affectionate name, Abba, echoes throughout the Pauline letters (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 4:6). At Pentecost, the disciples received the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4; 2:32).‖51 Against Oneness readings of the ―Father-Son‖ relations, the Trinitarian Pentecostal team aptly states, There are texts, that, if taken at face value, thus bear witness to an eternal relation between the Father and the Son mediated by the Spirit, for Jesus prayed that the Father restore to him the ―glory‖ that he had with the Father before the worlds were made (John 17:5), a glory to which he was restored at the right hand of the Father after his ascension and from which he poured out the Spirit upon us (Acts 2:33). It was by also the ―by the Son‖ that the Father created the worlds (Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3; cf. John 1:3).52 Marguerite Shuster observes that all three persons of the Trinity make appearances in the together: at the annunciation (Luke 1:35), and the stories of the Jesus‘ baptism (Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:31-34).53 Contrary to Oneness readings, a fundamental trinitarian logic is found in the baptismal formula of Matthew 28:19 which would become the ground for all Christian baptism. The Pauline and deutero-Pauline epistles also attest to robust trinitarian material. Paul pronounces the great trinitarian benediction at end of his second letter to the Corinthian church: ―The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.‖54 In addition, Paul displays differentiation between the triune persons in his writings: he sends greetings in the name of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:3; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2), he prays to Jesus (2 Cor. 12:18). There are other passages throughout the New Testament which include relationship between the Son and the Father, the
Thomas C. Oden, Classical Christianity: A Systematic Theology (New York, NY: HarperOne, 2009), ―Oneness-Trinitarian Pentecostal Final Report,‖ 217.47. Shuster, ―Triune God,‖ 3. 2 Cor. 13:13, The Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1978).
21 Spirit of God to the Father and the Spirit to Christ. The brevity of this essay does not permit an exhaustive list of the biblical references as found elsewhere.55 Nevertheless, the early Christians had much to glean from the earliest attestations of the apostolic writings. The explicit trinitarianism of the New Testament, however, should not read as a separate, distinct revelation from the First Testament. It is not impossible to read certain theophanic passages in the First Testament as ―pre-introductions‖ of the pre-incarnate Son for the First Testament is the earliest Christians‘ Scriptures and were read and within the Church in light of their experience of the revelation of the one God in the person of Jesus Christ and the sending of the Holy Spirit.56 Nevertheless, it is the New Testament writings which have the raw material which the Church Fathers will interpret to bring the doctrine of Trinity to fruition. At the heart of Trinitarian theology is question of Jesus‘ relation to God the Father. Earliest Christians worshipped the one God of Israel and Jesus Christ, ascribing him the title ―Lord‖ (kyrios), the Greek form of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton YHWH (Yahweh), the sacred name of God. They did so through the power of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:3). Moreover, it was by this same Spirit Christians entered into fellowship with the Father and Son (Gal 4:4-6; Eph 2:18). The early Church was able to confess the mystery of the tripersonal God in light of their encounter with the Divine in the person of the risen Jesus. Yet the early Church had to articulate this experience in the face of misunderstandings from outside and from within the Church. Subsequently, the theological development of the Trinity took several centuries to mature after the end of the apostolic era. The Apologists St. Justin Martyr (d. ca. 165), St. Irenaeus of Lyons
Arthur W. Wainwright, The Trinity in the New Testament (1962; reprint, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2001). Here are a few texts: 1 Cor. 12:4-6; Gal. 4:6; Phil. 3:3; Eph. 2:18; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 John 5:6-12 (We can exclude the so-called Johannine Comma, a sequence of extra words found in 1 John 5:7-8 in some early texts from which the King James Version was translated: ―These are three that testify in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that testify on earth.‖)
Del Colle, ―The triune God,‖ 123.
22 (d. ca. 200), Tertullian (d. ca. 220) and Origen (d. ca. 254) were the first to articulate trinitarian theologies in the face of anti-Jewish Marcion and the various forms of Gnosticism. The primary emphasis of the beginning developments of patristic trinitarianism was the divine economy (oikonomia). This ‗economic trinitarianism,‘ Del Colle explains, ―is the recognition of God‘s triunity was confined to the revelation of God‘s activity in the economy of creation and redemption.‖57 The nature of the ‗immanent‘ Trinity was not the main concern of the apologists. Irenaeus of Lyons was the first to develop trinitarian doctrine founded upon the rock of God‘s economy of salvation. Irenaeus argued the Son and the Spirit are the ―two hands‖ by God creates and redeems humankind.58 The Son and Spirit are God‘s Word and Wisdom. Del Colle further observes, ―Irenaeus moved beyond the Apologists in asserting the eternal Sonship of the World which is generated from the Father, therefore delimiting the name of Son only in the incarnation (III, 30).‖59 Although Irenaeus set a pattern for subsequent theologians to articulate the specific work of the triune persons by appropriation, he left a tendency towards subordinationism which would have to be resolved by the Cappadocians. Tertullian left the Western Church with the trinitarian terminology of three persons (personae) of one substance (unius substantiae). This became the language of the Trinity in the West. Nevertheless, the West continues to raise the question of what ‗person‘ actually means. Persona is the Latin term for ―mask.‖ The East protested against the use of persona for it lends itself towards the Sabellian position which claims that the trinitarian names refer to one single divine being successively revealing Godself in history in three modes or manifestations. This the West outright rejects. Tertullian also left behind an implicit subordinationism in his work, which
Ibid., 126-127. Ibid., 127, Del Colle retrieves this insight from Irenaeus‘ Against Heresies IV, 7). Ibid., 127.
23 Origen picks up and attempts to correct, but to no avail. Del Colle explains, ―While affirming that the transcendent and ingenerate nature of God, that is, God (the Father) is without origin, he is also clear that the generation of the Son by the Father is an ‗eternal and everlasting begetting‘ (On First Principles 1.2.4).‖60 Arius, a presbyter in the Church of Alexandria, follows Origen‘s subordinationism to conclude the Son, although divine, was a creature, therefore less than God the Father. The famous dictum ascribed to Arius and his followers: ―There was a time when he [the Son] was not.‖ Arius‘ teachings found a nemesis in Athanasius (d. ca. 2 May 373), an archdeacon from Alexandria present at the Council of Nicaea (325). The Emperor Constantine summoned bishoptheologians of the ecumenical church to settle the controversy in peace.61 At the council, the bishop-theologians produced a statement affirming that the Son was of one substance with the Father (homoousios), thereby condemning Arius‘ position. Although a philosophical term, homoousios was the most appropriate way for the pro-Nicene party to explain the Son‘s relationship to the Father without compromising the Son‘s divinity. The term affirmed the Father‘s logical priority along with the phrase ―begotten, not made‖ and assured the equality between the Father and the Son. However the matter was far from settled. Athanasius fought for the pro-Nicene position for nearly fifty years leading up to the Council of Constantinople were a revised statement of the Nicene Creed was issued in 381. Athanasius not only defended Nicaea, he also defended the divinity of the Holy Spirit against the so-called Pneumatomachians or ―Spirit-fighters.‖ He was not alone; along his path to Constantinople he had allies in the Cappadocian Fathers.
The political motives behind Constantine‘s insistence on hosting the Council at Nicaea, although merits thoughtful study, are beyond the scope of this paper.
24 The Cappadocian fathers Basil of Caesarea (d. ca. 1 Jan 379), his brother Gregory of Nyssa (d. ca. 386?), and Gregory of Nazianzus (d. ca. 389) made significant contributions to the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. In their writings the Cappadocians introduced to the East what would become their definitive trinitarian terminology: one ousia and three hypostases. As Amos Yong observes from Russian Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky‘s study The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, ―the fathers accomplished a fundamental transformation of the available vocabulary so as to allow a truly new synthesis of ideas to emerge.‖62 Ralph Del Colle highlights three other contributions to the doctrine of the Trinity: 1) the introduction of the term perichoresis, a term which refers to the coinherence or mutual indwelling of the each person in the other. This idea prevents the triune distinctions from separating (tritheism) or dissolving into the other (modalism); 2) along with Athanasius, especially in Basil‘s treatise On the Holy Spirit, the Cappadocians contended for the full divinity of the Holy Spirit; and 3) the Cappadocians were able to discern the difference between theologia and oikonomia, respectively the inner life of the Trinity and the divine economy of salvation.63 This third point laid the foundation for further development of the economic Trinity and the immanent Trinity. Like Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostals, the East and Western Churches have significant points of disagreement regarding the triune relations. The East understands that the Father to be the arche (origin) of the Son‘s begetting and the Spirit‘s proceeding. The West understands the Son and Spirit both proceed from the ousia of the divine being, not the hypostasis of the Father. Therefore for the Latin West, filioque64 protects the distinctions
Amos Yong, The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh: Pentecostalism and the Possibility of Global Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005), 214.
Del Colle, ―The triune God,‖ 129-130.
Filioque, ―and the Son,‖ is an interpolation in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed under the third article pertaining to the Holy Spirit. St. Augustine‘s De Trinitate is the main influence. It is the idea that the Holy Spirit
25 between the relations while the East finds this absurd, stating that perichoresis of the persons protects the equality of the persons.65 Centuries after the Great Schism (ca. 1056), Orthodox and Western theologians continue to debate these points of difference while acknowledging each other as Churches in dialogue. Yong finds the Oneness-Trinity debate among Pentecostals analogous to the ongoing debate between the East and the West about filioque. Moving Beyond the Impasse: The Holy Spirit as Key One of the greatest challenges to moving beyond the impasse in the Oneness-Trinity debate is historiographical. Both Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostals read history to their advantage. The heretics condemned at Nicaea have become for Oneness the ancient defenders of the Apostolic faith while the pro-Nicene fathers have corrupted the faith with their philosophical innovations.66 This presents a dilemma for both parties. For Trinitarians, in order to defend trinitarianism, they would have to appeal to philosophical concepts outside of the biblical witness to defend a core belief they believe is biblical. The Oneness party has to defend its spiritual genealogy against the dominant Christian tradition. Both parties cannot escape discussing the one God in triune terms, yet both radically differ in their understanding of their employment of them. However, for black Trinitarians and Oneness, to revision their respective historiographies may not be such a hindrance since many do share a common history as members of a historically oppressed group within the United States. There common experiences as Africans in America
proceeds from both the Father and the Son. This clause was added to the third article of the NiceneConstantinopolitan Creed subsequently in the later centuries of the Latin Church. The main issue here is not so much that the East rejects the phrase as much as it was a decision which the Latin West made without consulting the wisdom of the ecumenical Church. It became a later argument of the East that filioque undermines the differentiation of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and subordinates the Spirit to the Son. See Yong, The Spirit Poured Out, 214-223.
Del Colle, ―The triune God,‖ 132. Yong, The Spirit Poured Out, 213.
26 may be one reason why they fellowship with one another. Both experienced the problems of racism within and outside of Pentecostalism. But because of the restorationist impulses, both parties see themselves as apostolic movements, although Trinitarians now find themselves affirming the creedal tradition which Oneness folk generally reject.67 Yong offers some suggestions for moving beyond the impasse between Oneness and Trinitarians by engaging the trinitarian theology of Karl Barth in Church Dogmatics, gleaning from the works of theologians in the Majority World. For the black Pentecostal community at large, such discussions seem far removed from the life of the churches. Further, critical discourse on the doctrine of God should rise above the preaching moment. Second order discourse on the doctrine of God should not hinder fellowship, but anchor it. One way to move forward beyond the impasse between Oneness and Trinitarians is to discuss the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of worshipping community. White Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostals can learn a lesson from their African American brothers and sisters. Black Pentecostals, both Oneness and Trinitarian, maintain a common love for the one Lord who delivered from the bondage of sin and death. They sing together, dance, shout, and worship in the Spirit. Pentecostals experience the manifestation of the Spirit‘s power in worship through the exercising of the gifts of the Spirit. They share the same ethic concerning holiness, some more stringent than others. They believe that the Spirit of the Lord delivers people from sin, disease, and from evil spirits. By the same Spirit, the Church cries ―Abba, Father!‖ Pneumatology then is the key to start the conversation concerning the doctrine of God. From a Trinitarian perspective, the Spirit takes the church into the communion with the Son and the Father. Oneness Pentecostals rightly condemn the notion
The Gathering at Beth Rapha of Pomona, NY, a non-denominational Pentecostal church pastored by the Rev. Dr. Jackie McCullough who has Oneness roots, may be a welcoming exception. On their website, the church affirms the Apostles‘ and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creeds. See their ―What We Believe‖ page at http://www.bethrapha.org/?page_id=37.
27 that Trinitarians worship three personalities. In fact, Trinitarians reject such a notion. ―To understand God as tripersonal is not to declare God as having three distinctly individual personalities (tritheism) but to affirm the fully interpenetrating and dynamic modes of relations that constitute the divine mystery.‖68 The Spirit executes the one Divine will shared by all persons within the Godhead. It is by this same Spirit that black Apostolics and Trinitarians can worship together. The doctrine of God need not tear the people of God apart but promote deeper appreciation for the insights and correctives both parties can bring to the table. One way to start this critical reflection on the work and person of the Spirit is to delve into a rich biblical study of the Spirit in the Holy Scriptures. George Montague‘s Holy Spirit: Growth of a Biblical Tradition offer rich critical commentary on the development of pneumatological discourse in the biblical witness.69 Reuben L. Speak‘s Prelude to Pentecost offers a pneumatology from an African American perspective.70 Admittedly, these works are from Trinitarian perspectives, nevertheless they offer content for critical engagement and mutual edification for both Trinitarians and Oneness Pentecostals. Black Pentecostal leaders can call joint-denominational studies within their churches. Another way to offer critical engagement is to host a forum for theological reflection to congregations and invite learned clergy and scholars to dialogue on the doctrine of God. In these contexts, black Pentecostals will be exposed to the history of African American Pentecostalism and understand the theological foundations of the churches they have joined. Black Pentecostal clergy are responsible for teaching the people of God their spiritual and theological heritage.
Yong, The Spirit Pour Out, 224. George T. Montague, Holy Spirit: Growth of a Biblical Tradition (1976; reprint: Wipf and Stock, 2006). Reuben L. Speaks, Prelude to Pentecost: A Theology of the Holy Spirit (1985; reprint: Wipf and Stock,
28 Black Trinitarians and Oneness Pentecostals show their white Oneness and Trinitarian brothers and sisters the possibility of moving beyond the impasse through their desire to worship the one Lord together. What is needed from black Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostals is critical reflection on their experience of the same Spirit. Taking God off the table and lifting God up through critical theological discourse within pulpits and kitchen tables will result in deeper love for the Mystery we confess is one Lord – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
29 BIBLIOGRAPHY Alexander, Estrelda Y., Black Fire: One Hundred Years of African American Pentecostalism. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2011. Bernard, David K., The New Birth (Series in Pentecostal Theology, vol. 2). Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1984. --------------------, The Oneness of God (Series in Pentecostal Theology, vol. 1). Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1983. Boyd, Gregory A., Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity: A world-wide movement assessed by a former Oneness Pentecostal. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1992. Del Colle, Ralph, ―The triune God.‖ In Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine, edited by Colin E. Gunton, 121-140. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997. Gerloff, Roswith I. H., A Plea for British Black Theologies, vol. 1: The Black Church Movement in Britain in Its Transatlantic Cultural and Theological Interaction with Special Reference to Pentecostal Oneness (Apostolic) and Sabbatarian Movements. New York: Peter Lang, 1992; reprint: Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2007. Jacobsen, Douglas. Thinking in the Spirit: Theologies of the Early Pentecostal Movement. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2003. Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti, The Trinity: Global Perspectives. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2007. Macchia, Frank D. ―The Oneness-Trinitarian Pentecostal Dialogue: Exploring the Diversity of Apostolic Faith‖ Harvard Theological Review 103.3 (2010): 329-49.
30 Montague, George M. Holy Spirit: Growth of a Biblical Tradition. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993; reprint: Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2006. Norris, David S., I AM: A Oneness Theology. Hazelwood, MO: WAP Academic, 2009. O‘Collins, Gerald, The Tripersonal God: Understanding and Interpreting the Trinity. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1999. Oden, Thomas C., Classical Christianity: A Systematic Theology. New York: NY: HarperOne, 2009. ―Oneness-Trinitarian Pentecostal Final Report‖ Pneuma 30 (2008): 203-224. Reed, David A., “In Jesus’ Name”: The History and Beliefs of Oneness Pentecostals. Blandford Forum, UK: Deo, 2008. Shuster, Marguerite, ―The Triune God.‖ In Exploring and Proclaiming the Apostles’ Creed, edited by Roger E. Van Harn, 13-19. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004. Speaks, Rueben, Prelude to Pentecost: A Theology of Holy Spirit. Charlotte, NC: A. M. E. Z. Publishing, 1985; reprint: Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2007. Wainwright, Arthur W., The Trinity in the New Testament. London, UK: SPCK, 1962; reprint: Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock , 2001. Yong, Amos, The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh: Pentecostalism and the Possibility of Global Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.
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