I. Origins

II. Birth

III. Organizational Development 

IV. Theology

A. A Jewish Christian Theology of the Name 
B. The Name and the Nature of God 
C. The Name and Christology
D. The Name and the Christian

Oneness Pentecostalism (OP) is a religious movement that emerged in 1914 within the Assemblies of God (AG) branch of the early American Pentecostal movement, challenging the traditional Trinitarian doctrine and baptismal practice with a modalistic view of God, a revelational theory of the name of Jesus, and an insistence on rebaptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It took on organizational form in 1917 as a result of the expulsion of its adherents from the AG. Originally called the "New Issue" or "Jesus Only' movement, by 1930 the selfdesignation was "Jesus' Name," Apostolic," or "Oneness" Pentecostalisrn (OP).

I. Origins 

In its distinctive teachings as well as in the doctrines that it continues to share with its AG counterpart OP is an inheritor of nineteenth-century revivalism and in particular of the form of evangelical pietism found in the Keswick Holiness movement and the works of A. B. Simpson (founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance) at the turn of the century.

As a form of evangelic Al experiential religion, the movement emphasized the importance of divine power in the individual Christian life, centering primarily on the experience of the "baptism of the Holy Spirit." A shift bad been occurring toward an increased use of the name "Jesus" in piety, hymnody, and teaching. This focus soon extended to the name of Jesus as an object of devotion and source of spiritual power.

For their developing theology of the centrality and name of Jesus. the first Oneness leaders drew heavily from the writings of Amo C. Gaebelein, 1. Monro Gibson, A. I. Gordon, William Phillips Hall, Essex W. Kenyon, and A. B. Simpson. They were less dependent in their "oneness" view of God and their advocacy of baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

II. Birth 

The Oneness movement received its first direct impulse in April 1913 at an international Pentecostal camp meeting in Arroyo Seco outside Los Angeles. In an environment of expectancy, a baptismal sermon preached by Canadian evangelist R.E. McAlister noted that the apostles baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 2:38), not in the triune formula of Matthew 28:19.

An otherwise unknown figure, John G. Scheppe, meditated on McAlister's observation throughout the night. In the early hours of the morning he ran through the camp shouting that the Lord had revealed to him the truth on baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The initial observation of the two baptismal formulas in Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:38, and the attempt to harmonize them, made little impact except in the mind of another witness to McAlister's sermon, Frank I. Ewart. Australian by birth and a former Baptist minister, Ewart had been converted to Pentecostalism while pastoring in Canada. He moved to Los Angeles and became associated at Seventh Street Mission with William H. Durham, the first Pentecostal leader to convert from the Holiness to the baptistic Finished work of Calvary" reaching. This assertion eventually placed the Oneness movement within the organizational fellowship of the AG.

Following the 1913 camp meeting, Ewart continued to minister in the Los Angeles area while privately studying the baptismal question raised by McAlister. One year later he was ready to act on his growing convictions. He erected a tent in the town of Belvedere outside Los Angeles and preached his first public sermon on Acts 2:38 on April 15, 1914. He was joined by Glenn A. Cook, another prominent evangelist, and together they baptized each other in a baptismal tank set up m the tent. While other early Pentecostals had been baptized in the name of Jesus, notably Howard A. Goss and Andrew Urshan, this was the first public baptism using the apostolic formula to receive its rationale from a more comprehensive theology of the nature and name of God. This action credits Ewart as the first to chart new direction within the early Pentecostal move. meet. It was he who formulated a theology of the name of JESUS to validate the new baptismal practice.

The new doctrine spread rapidly through evangelistic tours and a periodical edited by Ewart, Meat in Due Season. Since its circulation extended to the mission field, many converts were made there. The message was effectively phased in the Midwest through an evangelistic tour by Cook in the early month of 1915. The result was a number of baptisms at Mother Mary Barnes's Faith Home in St. Louis. It was there that 1. Roswell Flower, an early convert of Cook and leader of the newly formed AG, first hard but strongly resisted the doctrine.

Cook traveled to Indianapolis, where he was successful in winning another leader, L. V. Roberts, and his entire congregation. More significant was the acceptance by the prominent black preacher, Garfield T. Haywood, who was baptized with 465 members of his thriving congregation. Haywood's conversion was strategic for he was a popular preacher throughout the country and a singular black leader within the non-Wfeskyan Pentecostal fellowship. Although he did not officially hold credentials with the AG, his ministry was with those who eventually nude up that constituency. As a result, large numbers of black Pentecostals followed Haywood into the Oneness movement.

By the spring of 1915 the new movement was Wading rapidly. Louisiana test all twelve of its AG ministers. Advances were being made across Canada through the efforts of R. E. McAlister, Franklin Small (a Pentecostal leader from Winnipeg), and numerous kneriean evangelists.

As the "new issue" spread, controversy intensified. A leading figure in the debate was E. N. Bell, member of the executive presbytery of the AG and editor of its two magazine, Weekly Evangel and Word and Witness. His assistant editor was Flower, already an opponent and soon to be an archenemy of the new movement. During the spring of 1915 Bell published articles and editorials denouncing the movement. He supported the validity of baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ but opposed the requirement of rebaptism. Throughout his writings he remained cordial and conciliatory.

The summer brought a change in Bell. At an AG camp meeting in Jackson, Tennessee, under the strain of conscience and perhaps fatigue, he requested to be rebaptized by Roberts. The apparent defection caused confusion throughout the AG. In the fall Bell absented himself from the headquarters for the remainder of the year. Flower became responsible for the editorial work.

In articles that Bell published (which were edited by Flower), his religious enthusiasm centered on the centrality of Jesus Christ and the importance of the name "Lord." In a deleted portion he defended his personal conviction of die propriety of baptizing in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ without insisting that others be required to do so. But Bell never denied his Trinitarian beliefs. He refused to align himself with the new movement. He denounced contention and factionalism, recommended freedom in die use of baptismal formulae, discouraged rebaptism, and admonished visiting preachers to refrain from promoting their baptismal preference without expressed permission from the pastor.

The rapid and aggressive spread of the Oneness movement, Bell's rebaptism, and the growing confusion within the Al:; ranks thrust Flower into the center of the controversy as defender of the Trinitarian cause. Seeing a need to reverse the current confusion, he obtained permission to call the Third General Council for October 1-10 1915, in St. Longs. The purpose was to address the new issue in debate and discussion. At the assembly attention was given primarily to an examination of the baptismal formula. Although no consensus was reached, the council called for neutrality, liberality, and respect for the rights of conscience of both the ministers and the local congregations. It denounced aspects of the Oneness teaching on God and Christ that it regarded to be at variance with the Scriptures.

The coming months were a trial period, but they failed to achieve the goal of the Third Council. The Oneness proponents were still aggressively evangelizing within the fellowship. The Trinitarian faction was clarifying the theological issues and becoming increasingly irritated with the divisiveness.

As the hostility mounted, the agenda for the Fourth General Council in the fall of 1916 was set to tickle the doctrinal issue of the Oneness movement. The Trinitarians entered the meeting in control of the key positions and committees. The committee to draft a "statement of fundamental truths" (Council Minutes, 1916, 10) was solidly Trinitarian, including Bell, who by then was back in full favor with the council leadership.

Although the council at its inception in 19-4 disavowed any intention of creating an organization "that legislates or dorms laws and articles of faith" (Council Minutes, 1914, 4), the Fourth Council was faced with the pressure to establish doctrinal limits. The result was a seventeen-point "Statement of Fundamental Truths" that included a strongly worded section affirming the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. With the adoption of the Statement, 156 of the 585 ministers were barred from membership and with them many congregations.

III. Organizational Development 

Amid rumors of its demise, the disenfranchised company of dissidents reappeared within months to ensure itself a future. Leaders such as Goss, H. G. Rodgers, and D. C. O. Opperman, who less than three years earlier had been instrumental in the formation of the AG, called for an organizational meeting on December 28, 1916, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Six days later the General Assembly of Apostolic Assemblies (GALA) was formed, with a membership of 154 ministers, missionaries, elders, deacons, and evangelists.

The life of the GAAA, however, was short. Most ministers needed an organization that could issue credentials. But with the parading African involvement in World War I, it was discovered that the GAAA was formed too late to recognize ministers of military age.

Through the intervention of Haywood, a small organization was found that had embraced the Oneness message, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW). It had been formed in 1906 as a loose fellowship in the Los Angeles area. Haywood himself had held credentials since 19t 1. Undoubtedly it was his influence as well as his contacts with the GAAA members that led to a merger of the two groups. In January 1918 they met in St. Louis, Missouri, where they negotiated the merger under the charter of the PAW.

By the following year three publications already in existence were officially recognized-Ewart's Meat in Due Season, Haywood's Voice in the Wilderness, and Opperman's The Blessed Truth.

Prominent early Oneness leaders varied in their relationship to the PAW. Ewart, the architect of the new doctrine, was listed in the membership of the GAAA and the PAW. But he had no official position, and his name disappeared completely from the rolls by 1920. He continued his ministry in the Los Angeles area and maintained fellowship with others in the movement but showed little interest in organizational mattes.

Franklin Small, a former Baptist minister from Winnipeg, held credentials with the apostles for the purpose of fellowship. But in 1921 he formed a Canadian organization, the Apostolic Church of Pentecost (ACOP), to promote the movement in western Canada. The ACOP continues to be unique among the theologically Arminian
Pentecostals with its Calvinistic doctrine of the eternal security of the believer.

Andrew Urshan, a Persian immigrant and convert to Pentecostalism, was a prominent evangelist with the AG until the early part of 1919. He had practiced baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ since 1911, but after 1916 he came under increasing suspicion for holding views sympathetic to the Oneness cause. After joining the PAW in 1919, Urshan promoted the new doctrine through evangelism and the publication of a periodical; The Witness of God.

Haywood was wide-ranging m his; influence as a preacher, teacher, hymnwriter, organizational leader, and periodical publisher. He was an outspoken advocate of racial integration within the PAW. His doctrinal teaching and leadership continued to inspire the black Oneness movement lone after his death in 1931.

The vision for a racially integrated body gradually eroded between 1920 and 1924. With the moving of the PAW headquarters to Indianapolis and the influence of Haywood, the blocks were increasing in numbers until they were a majority in the North. Because of segregation policies in the South, conventions were held in the North. Financial limitations prevented large numbers of the white southern majority to attend. In 1921 the southern constituency held a Bible conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, that resulted in both unifying the white members and deepening the rift between them and the blacks.

The whites argued pragmatically that an intended organization was a barrier to the spread of the movement in the South. However, their racist attitudes were exposed in complaints that a black official was signing ministerial credentials for the white ministers, namely, Haywood, who was general secretary at the time. A compromise resolution in 1923 to allow T. C. Davis, a black, and Goss, a white, to sign certificates for those demanding it, failed to start the tide of disunity.

The whites entered the 1924 general conference with a proposal for two racially separate administrations under one organizational structure. With its failure to meet the approval of the blacks, the malaria of the whites withdrew from the PAW, cutting its rolls by over 50 percent. The schism left a legacy of hostility on both sides. It was regarded as a special affront to the black members who had struggled to maintain the racial unity of the fragile movement.

The years 1914-31 were slow and troublesome for both segments. The names and number of members in the PAW remained virtually unchanged. While the whites grew faster, dissension within their rattles increased. They divided organizationally into two groups, based in part on regional concentration.

One group began as Emmanuel's Church in Jesus Christ (ERIC), representing the tristate region of Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana. It merged in 1927 with a small group that had been formed in St. Louis, chancing its name to the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ (ACJC). Theologically many of its members embraced the "new birth" teaching that equated the new birth and salvation with water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Pentecostal experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit accompanied by speaking in tongues.

Another group formed in Tennessee in 1925 as the Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance (PMA). Its baptistic influences were evident organizationally in its preference for a less centralized government and theologically in its definition of the new birth as a conversion experience distinct from water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In 1932 it changed its name to Pentecostal Church, Incorporated (PCI).

This time period was one of fragmentation, failed attempts to reunify, and slight numerical growth. Finally, a large Conference of all Oneness groups was held in September 1931 in Columbus, Ohio, to explore the possibility of reunification. From that meeting came a flurry of negotiations, with both white organizations approaching the PAW. The PMA's proposal, which included a separate administration system, failed in the negotiation stage.

The offer by the ACJC of a racially balanced, integrated structure quickly won the support of many PAW leaders. A swift merger was achieved by November 1931 under a new name, the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ (PAJC) . The speed with which the leaders negotiated the merger, however, soon became a source of suspicion on the part of some black leaders in the PAW. They feared that insincerity and opportunism were the motives prompting the white negotiators.

The charges, the compromise to change the name of the organization, and the abandonment of the episcopal form of government practiced since 1925 were sufficient reasons for ministers like Samuel Grimes, E. F. Akers, and A. W. Lewis to take action. The original PAW charter was salvaged from obscurity shortly before its expiration date. A meeting to recognize was called in Dayton, Ohio, and] the old organization reemerged under the Leadership of Grimes.

The continuing PAJC was soon fraught with racial tension. Due to the selection of the southern city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, as the site of the 1937 general convention, black ministers were confronted with segregated accommodations. With this affront, most of the ministers who had supported the new experiment resumed to the PAW. With it also came sufficient disillusionment to thwart any future serious attempts at merger.

A persistent drive for unity continued between the two white organizations, the PAJC and PCI. One unsuccessful attempt-was made in 1936. In 1941 a significant schism occurred when L. R. Ooton from Indiana led nearly a thousand ministers from the tristate region of Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia out of the PAJC to form the
Apostolic Ministerial Alliance.

In 1945 the two organizations finally negotiated a merger to form the largest Oneness organization, the United Pentecostal Church' (UPC). Creating a ministerial strength of nearly 1,800 ministers and more than 900 congregations, the union was built on a delicate compromise over the theological interpretation of the new birth. All Greed on the practice of baptism in the name 'of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Pentecostal experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit according to the pattern of Acts 2:38, but they could not agree tot this pattern signifies the new birth. The compromise celled upon each member to refrain from promoting one position at the expense of the unity of the fellowship. The compromise succeeded in maintaining the structural unity of the organization, with the exception of two minor disaffections in later years. But eventually the segment that equates Acts 2:38 with the new birth increased more rapidly in numerical growth and finally gained control of most of the positions of leadership.

The UPC claims approximately one-half of the numerical strength of the Oneness movement. It maintains an aggressive evangelistic program publishes its own Sunday school) curriculum, and supports nine Bible schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Although much of its doctrine and organizational structure are similar to the AG, there are differences. Due in part to the Holiness roots of some of the early leaders prior to 1945, the UPC maintains a more centralized form of church government. It expects a higher degree of conformity to its code of conduct and allegiance to the organizational fellowship. There are ministerial restrictions on the public fellowshiping of any minister or group that has been formerly disfellowshiped by the UPC for doctrinal or moral reasons. Theologically it teaches the baptistic doctrine of progressive sanctification it inherited from the AG. En practice, however it reflects Holiness tendencies to specify certain religious customs as a standard by which to express one's piety. For instance, there is a strong injunction against women cutting their hair (see I Cor. 11). Ministers are not permitted to own a television and the faithful are strongly admonished against it.

The PAW has continued to be a predominantly black organization since 1931. Although whites are a small minority, a conscientious policy in integration is maintained. White representation is encouraged at all levels, including that of the episcopate. The PAW continues a high degree of commitment to an episcopal form of government.

Most of the black Oneness groups have their origin directly or indirectly in the PAW. There has been little variance from the Oneness doctrinal teachings of Haywood. Most disputes and schisms have occurred over conflict in leadership the stand on divorce and remarriage, and the use of wine in Communion.

The growing institutionalization of the movement and a desire for a larger Oneness identity among the smaller organizations led in 1971 to the formation of the Apostolic World Christian Fellowship (AWCF). Unrepresented for doctrinal reasons in the Pentecostal World Conference and the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America, the AWCF provides a means to express the worldwide unity of Oneness Pentecostals, to assess their strength, and to coordinate evangelistic efforts.

The momentum for the founding of the AWCF was provided largely by Worthy [Lowe, a pastor from South Bend, Indiana. The initial meeting attracted representatives from eight organizations. As a result, the international fellowship was established as an affiliation of organizations respecting the sovereignty of each Voting rights were granted only to official organizational' representatives, although independent clergy were encouraged to attend.

The conspicuous absence of the UPC from the outset was due to Rowe's association with a doctrinal deviation taught by his father, G. B. Rowe. The latter had held official positions in the early PAW, PAJC, and UPC. With his refusal to abandon the teaching of a form of adoptionistic christology, he was disfellowshiped from the UPC in the early fifties.. His son having never recanted the father's teaching, has continued under the ban. The UPC, therefore, has extended the ban to the AWCF, since it has continued under his chairmanship. The AWCF, however, has gained the respect and support of more than fifty Oneness organizations worldwide.

Like the Pentecostal movement in general, a small segment of Oneness believers can be found on the fringe. There are numerous independent churches that have affiliation with no organization and are frequently founded and pastored by a single leader. In addition, Oneness beliefs can be found among approximately two dozen small Sabbatarian groups. Some are Yahwist groups devoted to the sacred name of Yahweh, water baptism in the name of Jesus or Yahshua, and the monarchy of God. Finally, some of the snake-handling sects in West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky hold to some form of Oneness belief.

IV. Theology

A. A Jewish-Christian Theology of the Name 

Historically OP is part of the modem Pentecostal movement within the American revivalist tradition. Many of its beliefs and practices can be traced to these roots. Within the larger theological horizon, it is a modern sectarian expression of a Jewish-Christain theology of the blame.

From the NT texts emerges the perennial possibility of modes of thinking and motifs borrowed from Judaism. These may be concepts or practices pushed aside by advancing Gentile Christianity. Richard Lonenecker observes this tendency in the early chnstological disputes:

In reaction to the direction that the crystalization (sic] of thought in mainstream Christianity was taking, some undoubtedly latched onto earlier titles which they felt were being ignored and certain perspectives which they considered illegitimately relegated to an inferior position in the structure of Christian thought ( 1970, 153).

In its distinctive doctrines of God, Christ, and Christian initiation, OP is a modem sectarian expression of this desire to restore some aspect of primitive Christianity. It focuses on a distinctly Jewish theme or idea that becomes its point of identity. Part of its sectarian pattern is to place all other doctrines at the service of this one and by it to define the group's relationship to all other Christian bodies.

The specifically Jewish characteristics of the Oneness doctrine of God are the belief that the name of God reveals his true nature, that in his being he is radically one, and that he "dwells" in tabemacle, temple, and in particular his name.

From this view of God dwelling in his name, Oneness christology develops the Belief that the name "Jesus" is a major christological designation connoting his deity. The Jewish concept of divine presence as "dwelling" supports the Nestorian tendency in OP to keep the two natures in Christ separate.

The Jewish-Christian theology of the Name takes on significance for the believer when that person invokes the name of Jesus water baptism. By so doing, the initiate is linked with the risen Lord. Subsequent to baptism the name of Jesus becomes an instrument of power in the life of the one who bears that nanny, manifesting the signs of the Kingdom.

B. The Name and the Nature of God 

The core of Oneness theology is the belief that God has revealed himself through his name, beginning in the OT. The Name is more than a human designation for divine reality. It is God's method of revealing his presence and character and the means by which one encounters him (Exod. 33:18-19). Although the OT records various names for God that designate divine characteristics, the name of Yahweh defines God in his self-revelation in the Old Covenant. The singularity of this Name corroborates the radical oneness of God's nature. In to words of Frank Ewart, "The unity of God is sustained by the absolute unity or oneness of His name" (n.d., 21). Treating Yahweh as a proper name prepares the way for a theology Of the name of Jesus as the NT name given by God as a means of selfrevelation and salvation.

The radical unity of God is demonstrated in the Shema (Deut. 6:4) and in other passages that affirm God's oneness, Nadine Oneness writers such as David Bernard to claim for OP the designation "Christian Monotheism" (1983, 13).

Oneness theology builds its alternative to the traditional Trinitarian doctrine of the nature of God on three theological principles. First, the nature of God is a simple dialectic of transcendence and immanence. The only distinction within the Godhead is otherness and expressibility. In the NT it is expressed as Spirit and Word, or more personally as Father and Son. The monarchy of God is preserved in his transcendence; his threeness in revelation. Therefore, unlike Trinitarian theology, the divine threefold reality exists only on the side of God's immanence.

Second, the "personhood" of God is reserved for his immanent and incarnate presence in Jesus while "Spirit" designates God in his transcendence. Unaware of the complexity of traditional Trinitarian terminology, "person" is given the modem definition of a corporal human being. This makes comprehensible the Oneness accusation of crypto-tritheism in Trinitarian thought. To describe the transcendent pole of God's nature as "Spirit" does not imply that God is an impersonal force. The character of personality is preserved in the theology of the Name that reveals and embodies it. This Spirit-person" dialectic is the principle by which oneness theology explains the Incarnation. It is not the Second Person of the Trinity but the; Spirit, the full undifferentiated Deity, who becomes incarnate in the human person, Jesus. In Oneness language, the Father indwells the Son.

Third, the threefold divine reality is defined as "three manifestations" of the one Spirit in the person of Jesus. Taken from the christological hymn in I Timothy 3:16, the term "manifestation" bars the threeness from God's nature and restricts it to his self-revelation. As a form of modalism, it preserves the radical monarchy of God and affirms the triune revelation. mistakenly, that Trinitarianism teaches that God exists as three separate and distinct persons, it is concerned to show that the whole essential Godhead is present in Jesus, not just one divine Person (see Col. 2:9).

The fictional term "splices" is preferred by some writers instead of "manifestations." But its lack of biblical reference and impersonal tone make it less appealing to most Oneness representatives.

The Oneness interpretation of the traditional "us" passages in the OT (e.g., Gen. 1:26; 3:22), which some Trinitarians interpret as conversation among the members of the Trinity, varies with the authors. Gordon Magee argues that God is speaking to angels [n.d.). John Paterson, who holds a variant position that the Word had a distinct status before the Incarnation, believes that God was conversing with the Word, "the embodiment of the invisible God" (n.d. ) . Embodiment here refers to a divine hypostatic distinction. The plural name, "Elohim," is generally interpreted as a plurality of attributes or majesty, not persons.

Analogies are used by Oneness writers to illustrate their view of the Three-in-One, such as the triune nature of humanity as body, soul, and spirit; a man as son, husband, and father, a tree with roots, branches, and sap; a light ray giving illumination, warmth, and power; and fire, which also gives light, heat, and power. The Oneness choice of analogies, however, is poor; because of their Trinitarian implications, the Oneness point is lost. Some analogies would legitimately place the Oneness view within the acceptable range of Westcm Trinitarian thoughts.

The three manifestations of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit function in much the same way as persons do in Trinitarian theology. Personality is attributable to all three. The difference is that there is but one divine being whose essence is revealed as Father in the Son and as Spirit through the Son. The attention is christocentric in that as a human being Jesus is the Son, and as Spirit (i.e., in his deity) he reveals-indeed is the -Father- and sends-indeed is the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ who indwells the believer. Because the nature of God is one, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit arc all present in the manifestation of each.

Oneness Pentecostalism is a form of simultaneous modalism that, unlike Sabellianism, regards all decree manifestations as present at the same time, not in successive revelatory periods. Occasional statements chat parallel views of economic Trinitarianism are not developed sufficiently to warrant identification with it. There is also a corrective element to the general criticism chat modalism does not adequately support an incarnational bond between the Being of Gad and his revelation. One is a radical Jesus-centrism whereby God is not blocked from incarnating himself but is drawn out of eternity in his fullness in Jesus. Additionally, die Theology of the Name bonds the revelation to Tie nature of God by identifying die name "Jesus" as die proper name of God for the New Covenant age.

C. The Name ant Christology 

The most distinctive aspect of Oneness christobgy, and fundamental to it, is its Theology of the name of Jesus. Since "Jesus" etymologically embodies the Nadine of Yahweh and the latter theologically anticipates die revealing of a future new name, the name of Jesus is regarded as the proper name of God for this age. It reveals the identity of Jesus and describes his function as Savior of the world (see Matt. 1:21; see also John 5:43; Acts 4:12; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:4).

In the compound name "Lord Jesus Christ," the name of Jesus is seen with few exceptions as the revealed name, with "lord" and "Christ" functioning as descriptive titles to set him apart from all others by chat name. Departing from the traditional interpretation of the name of Jesus as a designation for his humanity, the name uniquely bears the stamp of divinity.

The Jewish-Christian characteristics are evident in the Oneness' description of the person of Christ. To the Hebrew Shema (Deut. 6:4), which is a favorite passage for defending the monarchy of God, is added a supporting NT text, Colossians 2:9, "In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (KJV). The incipient tritheism of Trinitarianism is seen to minimize the full revelation of God in Christ. If only one person in the Godhead becomes incarnate, then lams is neither the full revelation of deity nor the revelation of the full deity. Furthermore. it leads to an unwarranted subordination of the Son in his deity. The mission is to elevate the Son to his rightful place in the Godhead and in revelation.

Two images coming from Jewish-Christian roots that shape Oneness christology are "dwelling" and "glory." The more prominent one is dwelling, taken primarily from Colossians 2:9. Recalling the Jewish experience of God's dwelling temporarily in localized places, God now dwells permanently in the human tabernacle of Jesus. This is consistent with the fundamental principle of one undifferentiated Spirit and one human person. In Father-Son terms, the Father is the divine Spirit who indwells the human Son. in his deity Jesus is Father, in his humanity, Son. Yet the Father continues in transcendence after the Incarnation in the same manner as does the divine Logos in Trinitarian theology.

Integral to the dwelling image is that of glory. Like the glory tradition in pre-NT Hellenistic Judaism, (oneness theology gives special attention to NT words such as manifestation" (1 Tim. 3:16), "image" (Heb. 1:3), "form" (Phil. 2:7) and "face" (2 Cor. 4:10). They are all used to express the divine-human reality in terms of the Spirit-person principle. In Christ the hidden Cod becomes manifest. He who is without dorm takes on the dorm of a servant. The Invisible One reveals himself as in a mirror, Christ being the true and perfect image. The OT theophanies arc regarded as temporary manifestations that anticipate the future permanent attachment of God to the human body of Jesus.

The preexistence of Christ is developed in three stages. To protect the monarchy of God. the first stage is God's utter transcendent, undifferentiated being, which has existed from eternity. Prior to the creation of the world, God had a plan. It is only as the thought of God, as his purposeful plan, that Christ preexisted.

From solitary thought emerges the second stage of expression. The creative and redemptive activity of God reveals him as Logos. "Spirit" defines God in his eternal being, "Word" is God-in-relation or God-in-time. Unwilling to find a hypostatic distinction within God, the Word is bide a coming Forth from God and God himself. He is everything that can be implied by personification without creating a second personality.

The third stage is the divine self-disclosure in the Incarnation. God as Spirit is without differentiation or form. When he assumes a form, he is present in his dull essential being. As the firm of God, Jesus is the Coexistent Word. But in his dull deity, he is indwelled by the dull Godhead. In his final expression the deity of Christ is the one Spirit (Father) who proceeds from eternity, through the Word, into the human form of Jesus (Son).

The sonship of Jesus begins with his birth. In his humanity the Lion is subordinate to the Father. In his deity rhere can h no subordination or inferiority of position. While both natures are affirmed, the relationship follows the Jewish(Christian pattern that maintains a clear distinction between the two.

Although there is a serious desire to keep the integrity and unity of the two natures in Christ, the Nestorian bias gives a tentativeness to the union. The distinctive theology of the Name holds some potential for strengthening the bond in that the giving of the name of Jesus at the Annunciation to Mary is suggestive of the penmanent union chat exists between the divine name and the person.

It is in the ministry of Jesus that the inherent weakness of the union appears. Various human acts are attributed to either his deity or his humanity, thus depicting him as functioning with two parallel systems, switching from one to the other as the occasion demands, but never as an integrated person.

While Oneness teaching is not uniform on this issue, there is not a developed theology of the two natures. T his is evident in the Oneness doctrine of the Atonement. In Jesus' cry of dereliction from the cross, "My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. i7:46 rev), many teach that a withdrawal of God from the body occurs. Following a theology inherited from a strand of early Fundamentalism, Jesus as sin-bearer takes on the sins of the world at his moment of death. Because a holy God cannot encounter sin directly, he prepares in Jesus a sinless body as a sacrifice. In the moment of death, while the sin of the world is vicariously laid upon Jesus, the Spirit of God departs. 1 he union is broken, and the Spirit remains separated from the body until the Resurrection.

The provisional nature of the union is confirmed in the eschatological vision of Christ. Some teach that the sonship will cease at the end of history. With the mediatorial work of Christ completed, he may return to the dorm in which he existed prior to the Creation or simply be known as the Almighty God.

With the concern that pervades all Oneness literature to restore the centrality and exclusiveess of Christ, the humanity and sonship ultimately become dispensable in order that he may ultimately be known as the Lord of glory. Whereas the Trinitarian doctrine holds to an eternal relationship between the Father and Son, the Oneness view sees sonship as primarily functional and in some cases temporary. Consequently, termination or substantial change is consistent with a monarchian view of God.

D. The Name and the Christian 

The theology of the Name is carried consistently into the status and life of the Christian. As the name of Jesus is central to a knowledge of God, so it is equally essential for salvation. The point at convergence of the Name and salvation is the rite of water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of the familiar evangelistic text of John 3:16, the essentials of Christian initiation are summed up in Peter's instructions on the Day of Pentecost: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38 KJV). From ails text OP blends a conversionist theology and a Pentecostal doctrine of Spirit baptism with its own theology of the Name to form a unique three stage soteriology.

Repentance, the first step, is defined as faith acting in obedience. Repentance and obedience are the active elements m faith, without which salvation cannot be appropriated. Rejecting the conversionist axiom diet the disposition of a heart fumed toward God is sufficient for salvation, OP anticipates in the obedient act of repentance a willingness to take the ultimate step of obedience-baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

A test of true obedience, the second stage of baptism is the point of binding the name of Jesus to die' new believer. Although consistent with its Theology of the Name, She practice of rebaptism remains a major point of contention and division with other Christian bodies.

The third stage, the giving of the Holy Spirit, conforms to die traditional Pentecostal experience of the baptism in the Spirit accompanied by speaking in tongues.

Oneness soteriology from the earliest years has been divided into two main schools of thought. One follows the baptistic tradition of AG in which die new birth is experienced in conversion. Baptism in the name of Jesus conforms the believer to the NT pattern of Christian initiation. Spirit baptism is a second work of grace that gives the Christian power for ministry (see K. Reeves, The Great Commission ReExamined and F. Small, Living Waters-A Sure Guide for Your Faith (n.d.)). This interpretation consciously and theologically places OP within the larger evangelical Pentecostal tradition.

The other position, expressed ill sacramental terms, identifies all decree elements in Acts 2:38 as constituent of the new birth. To be bom of water and Spirit (John 3:5) means to be baptized in the name of Jesus and to receive the Pentecostal experience of Spirit baptism. Adapting She traditional interpretation of Colossians 2:11-13, which equates with New Covenant circumcision, the identification with Christ and cleansing from sin occur through baptism. The insistence that baptism is "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38) draws the charge of baptismal regeneration. It is countered, however, with the qualification that to be efficacious the water must be accompanied by an active faith and invocation of the name of Jesus. In the words of Haywood "To be saved by water baptism, it must be administered in the name of Jesus" (n.d. 24). In both traditions the invocation of the name of Jesus according to Acts 2:38 is harmonized with the Trinitarian baptismal formula in Matthew 28:19 by means of differentiating between "name" and "tides." Whereas "Jesus" is the one revelatory and proper name of God, "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" are descriptive titles. The singular use of "name" in Matthew 28:19 points forward to Jesus as the one name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Rejecting the traditional interpretation that "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" is a compound name, Matthew 28:19 is regarded as the command to baptize in the one name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Acts 2:38 provides the formula.

By incorporating the third stage of Spirit baptism into the new birth, the sacramental group transfers the initial entry of the Spirit from the traditional conversion experience to the Pentecostal one. Taking "loom" to be synonymous with "baptize," a highly exclusive theology of salvation is erected in which one is neither truly born again nor indwelled by the Spirit until the three stages of Acts 2:38 are completed. The roots of this teaching are traced to Haywood (The Birth of the Spirit and the Mystery of the Godhead [n.d.]) and Andrew Urshan (The Doctrine of the New Birth or The Perfect Way to Eternal Life (1921)).

The baptistic stream theologically recognizes as born again those who share in a conversion experience, while only oneness believers enjoy the "full gospel." The sacrarmentalists have more difficulty m that by definition Trinitarian Christians are not born again. Haywood and Urshan attempt to circumvent the problem by likening the difference to that which exists between the conception and birth of a child. In eschatological terms, oneness believers represent the church that will enter the eternal kingdom in a secret resurrection called the "Rapture." Trinitarians, OT saints, and the righteous people of other faiths will be saved according to their faithfulness to obey God to the limits of their knowledge of him and to their perseverance in enduring persecution. A total break with the wider church is avoided by introducing a stage in Christian initiation whereby one can be validly reconciled to God prior t o being born again. Not unlike many Evangelicals, the born-again theology functions to identify those Christians who are deemed to have appropriated the gospel in its fullness.

The two-tier classification of Christians, however, tends to inhibit relations with other Christian groups. The separation is most apparent in white organizations such as the UPS. More acknowledgment of and cooperation with other Christians is exhibited by the blacks and some indigenous groups in Third World countries.

OP represents a unique expression of Christianity on the frieze of the evangelicalPentecostal Movement. While sharing a common religious heritage and inheriting much of its theology, OP stands outside the accepted canons of orthodoxy by its rejection of the doctrine of the trinity and Trinitarian baptism. Unlike the cults that claim exclusive rights to salvation, OP is obligated to acknowledge a common religious experience in its Trinitarian counterparts. Many Oneness representatives actively engage in wider Christian fellowship and cooperation.

A more inclusive theology in OP will weaken the trend toward isolationism and strengthen its ties with the wider evangelical-Pentecostal tradition. Conversely, the Christian church is confronted in OP with the challenge to identify and understand those groups that have not gone the way of the cult but speak a different
language than orthodoxy.