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Monday, September 01, 2003

Two Theological Musings-When I read this piece on the Pittsburgh diocese, my mind went to various space opera plots-"Prepare the shuttlecraft for separation." The escape pods will head towards the Plano homing beacon. The other interesting tidbit of the morning happened via a Brazilian Google hit for "Ron Kenoly Heresy." No, nothing wrong with Mr. K, but I stumbled into some sniping at Phillips Craig and Dean. Turns out that PCD are all United Pentecostal ministers. Here are two pages, including one quoting Christian singer Steve Camp, that go after PCD on the case that the United Pentecostal theology is Unitarian. Is that a bum rap? I happen to be checking the denomination's web site earlier this week, since we inadvertently visited one of their churches last Sunday at a neighbor’s invitation. The denomination's web site lays it out for the world to see.
1. Is the word trinity in the Bible? No. 2. Does the Bible say that there are three persons in the Godhead? No. 3. Does the Bible speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Yes. 4. Do these titles as used in Matthew 28:19 mean that there are three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead? No, they refer to three offices, roles, or relationship to humanity.
Point one is true, but I'll take issue with #2; I made a Biblical case for the Trinity last July. One of the things that split up the early Pentecostal church was the issue of how to baptize. Matthew 28:19 has Jesus instruction as "baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" while in four sections of Acts, the disciples were baptizing in Jesus' name. Some early Pentecostals did this equation
Baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit=Baptize in the name of Jesus Baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit=Baptize in the name of Jesus the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit=Jesus
Thus, many folks then took that a step further and said that Jesus is the Godhead. The United Pentecostals aren't alone in that quirky theology. Televangelist TD Jakes gets into hot water on the issue. I'm not sure what to do with folks that otherwise have a solid theology but wind up having a off-kilter view of the Godhead. The preaching at the UP church I went to last week was sound if more than a bit dramatic. The music of PCD has been a blessing over the years. I wouldn't want to go back to that church knowing what I know today, but what seems to be an issue is whether this is sufficient grounds for me to chuck my PCD tape and CDs or to banish them from Christian radio, or to deem people in various Oneness Pentecostal churches Hell-bound. MY gut response is that it isn't, but that's a very slippery slope that I'm not comfortable staking out. Once YACCS gets back up and running, give me your take.

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