Response to Dr. Edward Dalcour

*Below is a point-by-point rejoinder to the erroneous assertions of Dr. Edward Dalcour regarding Oneness Pentecostal believers.  Dalcour’s charges are in black, with my responses appearing in blue.  Though the article appears in full-text below, Dalcour’s brief article can be viewed here for corroboration:


 John 17:3: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” The one true God has revealed Himself as three distinct persons, the Father and the Son, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

*First, we are rather curious as to how Dalcour can actually quote the passage wherein Christ Himself explicitly states that the Father is the “only true God” – then proceed to inform us that the “one true God has revealed Himself as three distinct persons??”  Did Dalcour fail to read his own “proof-text?”  And, precisely where can we read of this “biblical revelation” of “three distinct (divine) persons” on the actual pages of the Bible:________________?

Oneness Theology is a Non-Christian (*Dalcour does not complete his sentence here?)

*Ironically, as we shall see below, the diametrical opposite is true.  Sadly, it is the concept of multiple “divine persons” that is the clear departure from biblical Christianity.

Oneness Christology is a clear and major departure from biblical orthodoxy.

*This is no more than Dalcour’s mere (usual) pontificating.  What is a “clear and major departure from biblical orthodoxy” is the entirely unbiblical notion of “three-co-eternal-co-equal divine persons” within the Godhead that not one single biblical writer was inspired by the Holy Spirit to even mention (?).  

Similar to Islam, it teaches a unitarian/unipersonal (i.e., one person) concept of God.

*Ironically, it is Trinitarianism that is “similar to Islam” in their argumentation methodology.  That is, Muslim apologists are often heard to say, “Jesus never said, ‘I am God’!”  This is the identical thing that Trinitarians state – only they replace the noun “God” for the noun “Father.”  How many times have I heard Trinitarian apologists state, “Jesus never said, ‘I am the Father’!”?  Hence, unbeknownst to Dalcour, he has aptly described his own camp above by lumping Oneness believers in with Muslims (which, incidentally, commits the “Guilt by Association Fallacy”).

*Further, it is not us Oneness believers who claim that God is one person – it is the crystal-clear words of YHVH, Jesus, and the biblical writers as a whole.  Here is one of many:

**Galatians 3.20 (Amplified Bible):  Now a go-between (intermediary) has to do with and implies more than one party [there can be no mediator with just one person].  Yet God is [only] one Person [and He was the sole party in giving that promise to Abraham. But the Law was a contract between two, God and Israel; its validity was dependent on both].

*Sorry Mr. Dalcour, Oneness believers did not write that – it is justified in the Greek and, unlike your “3-distinct-divine-persons” hypothesis, our doctrine is found on the very pages of the Bible!

Hence, the chief Oneness Christological divergences from that of the biblical teachings are as follows:

*How someone can unashamedly claim that there is more than one called God in the Godhead, then charge another system with “Christological divergencies” is akin to Hillary Clinton labeling someone else “liberal!?” 

1. Oneness Christology denies the unipersonality and deity of the Son. It teaches that “Jesus” is the name of the unipersonal deity.

*This is a straw-man attack propped up entirely by Dalcour (and Trinitarian apologists in general).  Oneness believers deny *neither* the unipersonality nor deity of the Son of God.  We wholeheartedly confess that the Son of God is one person and is the one-singular YHVH enfleshed for the redemption of mankind (contra “the elect” in the sense of “Reform” theology {or “Calvinism”}).  Hence, contra Trinitarianism, we affirm the biblical posture of the absolute monadic identity of the Son of God in both person and deity.   

Accordingly, the “Son” merely represents the human natureof Jesus, while “Father/Holy Spirit” represents the divine nature of Jesus—thus, the Son is not God, only the Father is (cf. Bernard, 1983: 99, 103, 252; UPCI, 2008b).

*First, the Son of God does not merely “represent the human nature” of Christ.  The Son of God is simultaneously fully man and fully the one-single God enfleshed without confusing or mixing the two…period.  In the references above, Dalcour fails to inform his readers that both the UPCI and Elder Bernard unequivocally state that the Son is divine inasmuch as He is God revealed in flesh.  

*Next, of course Jesus’s humanity was not God/divine, unless Dalcour holds to the ancient heresy of Uticianism?  That there is an ontological distinction between Christ’s humanity and deity can only be missed by agenda-driven theology (I know of absolutely no serious scholar who holds to such an idea?).

*Further, the Scriptures are very plain that both Jesus and the biblical writers identified Christ as the Father and Holy Spirit (cf. John 14.9-10; 16-18; 2 Cor. 3.17; Isaiah 9.6; Col. 2.9-10).  This is not a “misunderstanding” of these passages, it is the natural, straightforward understanding of these clear texts and an individual has to perform theological gymnastics to deny the words on the pages of the biblical data (as does Dalcour).  

2. Along with the deity, Oneness Christology denies the preexistence and incarnation of the Son, and thus, His role as the Creator (cf. Bernard, 1983: 103-4; Magee, 1988: 25).

*Oneness believers teach and openly affirm the preexistence of the Son of God in a particular sense.  We simply do not affirm His preexistence with such tritheist trappings as do Trinitarians.  That is, along with the Bible (and even some Trinitarians) we do not accept the anti-biblical notion that the Son of God “preexisted” as a “second of three distinct, co-equal, divine individuals.”  

*Christ preexisted as “the lamb slain (perfect participial verb ἐσφαγμένου) from the creation of the world” (Rev. 13.8; NIV).  Passages which speak of creation “in” (έν + dative) the Son of God (e.g., Col. 1.15-16) no more require eternal-collateral divine individuals than does the same subject’s murder before creation!

*And, it was not the Son of God who was incarnate – it was the God of the Son who was incarnate (John 1.1-14; I Timothy 3.16; I John 5.20)…Guilty as charged!  

By denying the preexistence of the person of the Son, Oneness doctrine rejects the incarnation of the divine Son holding to the erroneous notion that it was Jesus as the Father, not the Son, who came down and wrapped Himself in flesh, and that “flesh” was called “Son” (cf. Bernard, 1983: 106, 122; 1991:103).

*Again, we do not at all deny that the Son of God preexisted in a very particular sense.  What we do openly and unashamedly reject is that the Son of God preexisted as a “second of three divine co-equal persons,” but rather the Son of God (a familial term by definition) preexisted in God’s forethought and envisaging (e.g., Col. 1.15-18; John 1.1-14; John 17.5; Rev. 13.8; Eph. 3.11)…”just as He chose us (i.e., the church) in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1.4; NASB).  Will Dalcour now equally tell us that the church preexisted as “distinct persons” (as we currently exist)?  Why not (indeed, if this be the case it’s time for Dalcour to shake hands with his Mormon brethren!)?

In sharp contrast to Oneness Christology, Scripture presents clearly and definitely that the distinct person of the Son 1) is fully God (cf. Dan. 7:9-14; John 1:18; 5:17-18; Phil. 2:6-11; Heb. 1:13, 8, 10; Rev. 1:8, 17),

*I challenge readers to closely analyze Dalcour’s “proof-texts” above to see if there’s anything stated – or even intimated – that “clearly and definitely presents the distinct person” (Dalcour’s typical mantra) of the Son of God from two other divine persons.  In fact, unbeknownst to Dalcour, many of his passages above actually militate against his “multi-divine-persons” hypothesis and prove the diametrical opposite!  

2) was the Creator of all things (cf. John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:, 2, 10-12),

*First, not one of the passages above state that the Son of God “was the Creator of all things.”  In fact, the law of Greek prepositions used in these texts will pose quite the problem for such imagery and subsequent theological construct.

*Second, again, Oneness believers absolutely affirm that the Son of God preexisted creation in a particular sense, and that sense is that YHVH predicated all of His creation upon His future incarnation (e.g., Rom. 5.14).  Far from revealing “multiple-divine-creators,” Scripture is crystal-clear that one-single “person” of God created all things (Isaiah 44.24; Matt. 19.4).  Ironically, it is Dalcour who has committed the “major departure” from the biblical presentation of God’s creation model – and hence (sadly), the biblical presentation of God altogether.

3) eternally coexisted with and is distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit (cf. Gen. 19:24; Dan 7:9-14; Matt. 28:19; John 17:5; 2 Cor. 13:14; 2 John 1:3; Rev. 5:13-14), and

*Again, not one passage Dalcour references above states anything whatsoever about the Son of God “eternally co-existing with and distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit.”  In fact, some of the passages referenced above would teach outright bodily separation within the Godhead if applied to a “Trinity of divine persons”…which, of course, is clear conceptual Tritheism (e.g., Daniel 7.9-14; Rev. 5.13-14).

4) became fully man in order “to give His life a ransom for many” (cf. John 1:1, 14; Mark 10:45; Phil. 2:6-11).

*The passages referenced above do not state that the Son of God preexisted in heaven as a conscious divine individual (so-called “Orthodox” Trinitariansim) and departed to earth while the Father and the Holy Spirit remained in the same (Dalcour’s theological conclusions).  The biblical presentation is that it was the one-single YHVH who became a man to die “for the sins of the whole world” – not merely “the elect” (I John 2.2).

This is the Jesus of biblical revelation.

*The “Jesus of biblical revelation” is very far removed from a “second of three divine individuals.”  The Jesus of “biblical revelation” is the one-single YHVH enfleshed for the sake of a lost and dying humanity…not one YHVH ordering another YHVH who “shares” a part of Him to go and do the same.

Jesus Christ is the only mediator and intercessor between God the Father and human beings. The Jesus of biblical revelation is the divine Son, the monogenēs theos who always is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18), a personal self-aware subject, distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit.

*First, there is a textual-variant in John 1.18.  The ECF preferred the reading μονογενὴς υἱὸς (only-begotten Son) and is obviously the majority reading of the MS tradition.  As numerous exegetes have pointed out (e.g., Drs. Joseph Thayer, Allen Wikgren), internal considerations of Johannine usage heavily tips the scales toward the reading μονογενὴς υἱὸς (only-begotten Son).  Hence, Dalcour’s point above is entirely moot.

*Second, note the “self-aware subject” language that Dalcour uses above.  Since any “self-aware-subject” necessarily possesses a center of consciousness or mind, Dalcour unwittingly argues for multiple minds or centers of consciousness within God – the very definition of tritheism!  

*How could YHVH repeatedly command the Israelites to worship Him as a single monad – (using no-less than 9,000 single-person-pronouns in the OT to define Himself) – if He in fact existed with such a radical, plural existence within Himself (unless Dalcour seeks to redefine a single-person-pronoun)?  And Dalcour is chiding Oneness believers for a “major departure from the blblical revelation” of God’s identity??  The proverbial elephant in the room is quite glaring!

In contrast to Oneness Christology, Jesus is not the Father, but “the Son of the Father” (2 John 1:3).

*In contrast to Trinitarian Christology, Jesus is not the second divine member in the Godhead, but rather He is “all the fulness of the Godhead in bodily form” (Col. 2.9).

Worshiping the unipersonal God of Oneness theology is not worshiping the true God in sprit nor truth. The Oneness concept of God is fundamentally the same as Islam: a unipersonal deity with no distinction of persons. True God of biblical revelation is triune—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is the biblical and thus historic Christian faith.

*Actually, according to Scripture the polar opposite is true, worshiping an unbiblical “Trinity of divine persons” is not biblical Christianity, but rather “Trinitarianism.”  Dalcour again lumps us in with Muslims when, as noted above, Trinitarians argue identically as Muslim apologists relative to the identity of Jesus.  Not to mention how Dalcour again commits the “Guilt by Association Fallacy” (something an “apologist” should recognize as a formal logical fallacy).

*And, it is Jesus Himself who identified Himself as both the Father and the Holy Spirit in John 14.8-10 and 14.16-8.  This does not even take into consideration other biblical witnesses (e.g., Col. 2.9-10; I Tim. 3.16; 2 Cor. 3.17; Is. 9.6; etc.).  

*Finally, Oneness believers recognize that there is a distinction between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The distinction, however, is that of simultaneous modes of existence (contra sequential “Modalism”) that God functions in relative to the redemption-plan of mankind.  This is very far removed from “three distinct co-equal, co-eternal divine individuals” that not one biblical writer was moved upon by the Holy Spirit to mention.  This is biblical Christianity.

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ.  He is the true God and eternal life.”  (I John 5.20; ESV).