Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Unspringing a Loaded Oneness Question

Sometimes one will hear a Oneness Pentacostal ask a question along the lines of:

"When Jesus died on the cross, who died? Was it 'God the Son' or the man Jesus?"

The answer is that Jesus is one person. He died on the cross. He is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is fully God and fully Man. He is not a "hybrid" as mocking Oneness folks are wont to say.

The purpose of the question is rather transparent: it seeks to divide Christ into two persons: "God the Son" and "Jesus the Man." That's the loading that's placed on the question, and the spring that we need to be aware of when we address the question.

It may not be an intentional spring-loading. After all, the Oneness person may actually think of Jesus as a combination of an ordinary man and an impersonal Divine spirit. Thus, the Oneness questioner may himself want to argue that only Jesus the man died. Nevertheless, it is loaded with incorrect presuppositions, and they need to be exposed.

God the Father did not die on the cross.
The Holy Spirit did not die on the cross.
Jesus Christ, who is both the Son of God and the Son of Man did die on the cross, to save His people from their sins.

To ask the loaded question above is about the same as to ask the question, "When Jesus died, who died: the person who raised Lazarus from the dead, the person who gave the man born blind his sight, or the person who healed the lepers?" The answer is that all those descriptions match one person, the person who died. The same is true here. The person who died is both the Son of God and Jesus Christ, the man.


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