Concepts of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

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9780961296407: Concepts of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Subtitled "A Classification and Description of the Trinitarian and Non-Trinitarian Theologies Existent Within Christendom," this is a theological and historical handbook of how the variety of Christian denominations have defined and viewed God the Father, Christ the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit. Detailed and penetrating, it demonstrates how Christendom's many denominations and sects have differed and even powerfully clashed in explicating this so-called "central doctrine of the Christian faith," often with heated verbal sparring and sometimes by inflicting physical violence on opposers. Objective in tone, which is rare for a work of this sort, this careful study encourages the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. Unlike apologetic works, which often quote what critics say about variant denominational theologies, this work allows the plethora of denominations to speak for themselves. The author further solicited comments from many denominational headquarters to clarify and expand upon material from their available published works. It can truly be said that no stone has been left unturned in order to provide the reader with full and complete coverage of the subject. Includes 355 references and a detailed index. Sturdy libary binding, brown cloth with gold-embossed cover illustration. 104pp.

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About the Author:

Mr. Alfs has written for a variety of journals, magazines, and papers relative to Christian history and Biblical studies. A second book, published in 1991, investigated the history and sociology of an American-born religious sect. A work-in-progress deals with the relationship of Christology and Angelology in primitive Christian times. The author has been in demand as a lecturer on a variety of topics.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"Undoubtedly the most popular school of thought in Christendom today attempting to define the Biblical terms 'Father,' 'Son,' and 'Holy Spirit' ('Holy Ghost') is Trinitarianism. The concept advanced through this school of thought -- the doctrine of the Trinity -- is stressed strongly in the Roman Catholic Church, even being described by The Catholic Encyclopedia as 'the central doctrine of the Christian religion..' It fits with equal importance into the theology of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, where there is "an intense interest" in the concept. Thirdly, the vast majority of Protestant Churches affirm belief in the Trinitarian idea -- a survey taken in 1952 showing that 208 out of 222 religious denominations held to it.

What, though, does the 'Trinitarian' line of thinking actually entail? Probably the best (and safest) definition is merely to say that it advances a sort of Threeness pertaining to God -- a Threeness concerning the Biblical terms 'Father,' 'Son,' and 'Holy Spirit,' and such that each of these terms suggests something or someone (often referred to as a "Person") that can truthfully be called 'God.' To go beyond this definition is to belie the fact that the doctrine of the Trinity, for at least several centuries now, has found itself subjected to a number of distinct variations, not all of which would fit the commonly-understood definition of 'Trinity' as proposing 'a union in one God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.'" -- from page 1.

"Just as the Trinitarian school of thought has mushroomed into distinct varieties, so has this been true of the non-Trinitarian school of thought. Two main varieties, in fact, have especially surfaced. One type recognizes only one God, who is defined to be a simple Unity, or Monad. This we shall call the 'Monad-Monotheistic form of Non-Trinitarianism.' The other type understands a plurality with reference to God, of a non-Threeness type... We shall refer to this latter type of non-Trinitarianism as the 'God-Family Form of Non-Trinitarianism.'

[The latter] variety of Non-Trinitarianism is held to by several denominations that have emerged from America's Second Advent movement of the mid-1800s. The two groups we will be isolating for examination here are the Church of God (Seventh Day) and the Worldwide Church of God....

[The former] kind of non-Trinitarianism (in the form of an identifiable movement) ... had its ... roots in Reformation times. It manifests itself today in one multimillion-member group (the Jehovah's Witnesses), in another group claiming over two hundred thousand associates (the Unitarians), and in a number of smaller denominations, including the Christadelphians,... the Church of God (Abrahamic Faith),... the Way, International,... and the Gospel of the Kingdom Churches movement. We will examine the non-Trinitarian theologies of each of these groups...." -- Pages 48, 51-52.

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Matthew Alfs
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Descrizione libro Old Theology Book House, 1984. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Brand New. 1st edition. 104 pages. 8.60x6.00x0.70 inches. In Stock. Codice libro della libreria 0961296402

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