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I am now a simple Grandpa who's life is made richer as each grandchild is born. My wife and I have raised five children and the 30 year love labor of raising them has begun to yield sweet fruit..... And then there are fruits of 30 years in ministry ... I am a satisfied old man full of the joy of the Lord.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Modalism

Modalism


Modalism is probably the most common theological error concerning the nature of God. It is a denial of the Trinity which states that God is a single person who, throughout biblical history, has revealed Himself in three modes, or forms. Thus, God is a single person who first manifested himself in the mode of the Father in Old Testament times. At the incarnation, the mode was the Son. After Jesus' ascension, the mode is the Holy Spirit. These modes are consecutive and never simultaneous. In other words, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never all exist at the same time, only one after another. Modalism denies the distinctiveness of the three persons in the Trinity even though it retains the divinity of Christ.
Present day groups that hold to forms of this error are the United Pentecostal and United Apostolic Churches. They deny the Trinity, teach that the name of God is Jesus, and require baptism for salvation. These modalist churches often accuse Trinitarians of teaching three gods. This is not what the Trinity is. The correct teaching of the Trinity is one God in three eternal coexistent persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

1 Comments:

Blogger quistian said...

Modes at the *same* time? Now that could potentially be an issue. But God is three in one at the same time. It's good to highlight this heresy, because the one-ness of God must be pressed to the limit of understanding.
I have to admit I have often had a problem with the term "person" in the Trinity doctrine. And I had to go through this doctrinal trial again, a second time in my life, after taking the test. By reading the explicit explanation that "person" does not mean separate "being", and that "person" is the best term we have (exemplified by the titles Father and Son), and that "person" has more to say about Trinity *relationship*, I can certainly and comfortably call myself Trinitarian.

3:52 AM, March 11, 2006  

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