David Bernard set forth the following propositions to which summarizes Jesus’ Only, theology on the relationship between the Father and the Son. He writes:
1. Jesus said that He would send the comforter to us (John 16:7), but He also said the Father would send the comforter (John 14:26).
2. The Father alone can draw men to God (John 6:44), yet Jesus said He would draw all men (John 12:32).
3. Jesus will raise up all believers in the last day (John 6:40), yet God the Father quickens (gives life to) the dead and will raise us up (Romans 4:17; I Corinthians 6:14).
4. Christ is our sanctifier (Ephesians 5:26), yet the Father sanctifies us (Jude 1).
We can easily understand all of this if we realize that Jesus has a dual nature. He is both Spirit and flesh, God and man, Father and Son(David K. Bernard, The Oneness of God, (Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1983), 69.)
Error in Bernard’s propositions:
Does the argument stand? Is Jesus, the Father and the Son?
- Only F does p,
- S does p,
- Therefore S is F
Bernard’s argument is a valid form of a deductive argument, but sadly not a sound one.
Quick Explanation of Types of Arguments: Deductive and Inductive.
A deductive argument is an argument in which the arguer claims that it is impossible for the conclusion to be false given that the premises are true.(Conclusion follows necessarily from the premises)
An inductive argument is an argument in which the arguer claims that it is improbable that the conclusion be false given that the premises are true.(Conclusion follows probably from the premises)
We talk about soundness of deductive argument when it is valid and it has true premises and true conclusion.
In inductive, we talk about cogent, when the argument is strong and has true premises and true conclusion.
Examples of Valid but Unsound Arguments:
|1. All Dogs can fly||1. Atoms are invisible by naked eyes.||1. All Dogs can fly|
|2. Pluto is a dog||2. A bridge is made of atoms||2. Donald Duck is a dog|
|3. Therefore Pluto can fly||3. Therefore the bridge is invisible by naked eyes.||3. Therefore Donald Duck can fly.|
FTF is a valid deductive argument, but unsound because of falsehood of the major premise and conclusion, TTF has all true premises but false conclusion, FFT has all false premises but true conclusion. For the soundness of a deductive argument, all premises and conclusion need to true(TTT).
NB: the soundness of an argument is not sufficient for making an argument a good one. A sound argument needs the premises not only be true but also more plausible than their negations in light of the evidence.
Back To Oneness Pentecostals Logic:
Is Jesus’ Flesh The Son and his Spirit the Father?
Oneness apologists argued that Jesus is the Son(in flesh) and the Father(in spirit). This what David Bernard’s conclusion claims: “We can easily understand all of this if we realize that Jesus has a dual nature. He is both Spirit and flesh, God and man, Father and Son”
In the lights of Christ Jesus own cry in Luke 23;46, echoing Psalm 31:5, it is false saying Jesus’ spirit is that Father.
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.(Luke 23:46 ESV)
In Bernard’s reasoning, Jesus would be saying something like this, ” My Spirit, in your hands I commit my spirit” which is absurd.(cf:Jn 19:30 Jn 11:33 Matt 27:50, Mk 2:8, Jn 13:21 also see Stephen doing the same in Acts 7:59)
Another Route: Is the Son the Father then?
- Only The Father can do x.
- The Son does x.
- Therefore the Son is the Father.
One could start with questioning the truthfulness of proposition 3. Is it true, that the Son is the Father?
According to John 14-16 and Matthew 10 and 25 among other places in the Bible, one can show that, it is not the case that the Son is the Father.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.(Matthew 25:31-34 ESV)
The Son in his glory still has a Father to whom those who are in the Son, blessed by the Son’s Father can inherit the kingdom prepared for them.(cf Matt 26:29)
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever(Jn 14:15-16 ESV)
The Son is not the Father, because the Son ask the Father to send another (“allos” a Greek word for other of the same kind.cf Matthew 27:61, Mary Magdalene and other Mary), helper, Holy Spirit who is of the same kind as the Son, meaning same nature.
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.(Jn 14:23-24 ESV)
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.(Jn 15:1-2)
The Son is the vine, and the Father is the vinedresser, and If we are in the vine, as branches, the Father will dress us 🙂
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.(Jn 15:10)
If we keep the Son commandments, we will remain in his love as the Son have kept his Father’s commandments and remain in the Father’s love.
The connection between The Followers to the Son, and the Son to the Father show that the Son is not the Father.
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.(Jn 16:7)
The Son send the Holy Spirit, the some way He was sent by His Father, the same way He send his Disciples. This shows that the Son is Not the Father.
So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (Mt 10:32–33)
In Heaven, if the follower did acknowledge the Son before men, the Son will acknowledge them before his Father. This show that in Heaven, the Son is the Son and the Father is the Father.
So whats wrong with Oneness Pentecostals Argument?
It is wrong because the evidences show that The Father is the Father and the Son is the Son, and Jesus’ Spirit is not the Father.
The argument become truer to the Bible if formulated in this form:
- Only God can do x
- The Father does x
- The Son does x
- Therefore, the Father and the Son is God
This is the Truth of Hebrew 1, were the Father calls his Son, O God(.v8) and Himself, as the Son’s God(.v9)
This is the truth of the unity of three persons in One and Only God, the truths that led to the formulation of the doctrine of Trinity.
Note: There are truth propositions about the Son and the Father in the Bible that can’t interchanged. Example The Son sits at the right hand of His Father, never is the Father said to sit on the right hand of the Son. The Father sends the Son, never does the Son sends the Father.
Thus, Oneness apostolic reasoning does not hold together, Jesus is only The Son and not the Father.
NB: I did not attend to counter arguments, because I would love Oneness Apostolic members to bring them forward in the comments area, so we could discuss them in a dialogue form.