Is the Holy Spirit a Person?

Most Christians believe in the Trinity since that’s what their church teaches. It says God is one essence consisting of three co-equal and co-eternal Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit is deemed a full-fledged Person.The church didn’t always believe this. During the 2nd and 3rd centuries, there was no consensus among writing church fathers, called “apologists,” about the constitution of the Holy Spirit. Most Christians didn’t think it was important. In fact … [Read more...]

Saint Luke Did Not Believe Jesus Was God

In recent decades, New Testament scholars have given Saint Luke his due honor. As the author of the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, Luke authored even more of the New Testament than did the Apostle Paul, thus more than any other NT author. These two ministered together multiple times during some of Paul's missionary journeys. A close, critical reading of all the NT material produced by these two men, Luke and Paul, reveals that they never expressly indicate or proclaim therein that Jesus … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Need the Holy Spirit?

Luke says in his gospel that "Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his work" (Luke 3.23 NRSV). But Jesus had been doing work many years prior as an artisan. The biblical description of Jesus as a tekton is usually translated "carpenter" (Mark 6.3; cf. Matt. 13.55); but it has a wider range of meaning that can include building things with wood, stone, and even metal. But Luke here refers to Jesus' public, itinerant ministry that he was just beginning as a prophet, sage, healer, and … [Read more...]

Peter Never Said Jesus Was God

I was a Trinitarian for twenty-two years. Then I read myself out of it in the Bible. I began to see that the Bible does not teach a Triune God as the post-apostolic, institutional, mostly Gentile church eventually declared and condemned those who differed. That is, there is no express teaching in the Bible about God being three in one, or God being three co-equal and co-eternal persons as I had been taught. In fact, the word "trinity" is not even in the Bible. This scared me when I thought of … [Read more...]

Is the Holy Spirit Neglected in the Book of Revelation?

Throughout much of the history of Christianity, the Holy Spirit mentioned so often in the New Testament was not mentioned very often by Christians. But that really began to change at the beginning of the twentieth century with the emergence of Pentecostals and, later, their younger siblings the Charismatics. In fact, this group has been most responsible for the growth of Christianity during the past century while the mainline churches have been suffering a decline in numbers of attendants at … [Read more...]

Eight Benefits of “Solving the Samaritan Riddle”

The New Testament book of Acts says Philip preached about Jesus to Samaritans who then believed (Acts 8.4–12), but they did not receive the Holy Spirit until days later when Peter and John came and laid hands on them (vv. 14–17). After that, Peter preached Jesus to a Gentile household. “While he was speaking,” they believed and “the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word” (10.44). Why did the Samaritans receive the Holy Spirit days after they believed, but the Gentiles received the Spirit w … [Read more...]

“Peter’s Kingdom Keys Explain Subsequence”

The following is my first journal article. It was published a few days ago in the Journal of Pentecostal Theology. (See my 11/1/13 post about this subject entitled "Peter's Kingdom Keys Explain Spirit Baptism.") The thesis of this article is laid out in more detail in my new book, Solving the Samaritan Riddle: Peter's Kingdom Keys Explain Early Spirit Baptism. Published by Wipf and Stock Publishers on September 24, 2015, this book is now available at amazon.com, wipfandstockpublishers.com, and … [Read more...]

Was the Apostle Paul a Cessationist?

[Much of the following is from my new book, Solving the Samaritan Riddle: Peter's Kingdom Keys Explain Spirit Baptism, which is being published by Wipf and Stock Publishers to be released this fall.]I was saved in a Nazareen Church when I was thirteen years old. But I began my theological education in a Bible church when I was an eighteen-year old freshman in college. At my new church, I soon learned about spiritual gifts in the New Testament (NT). They are listed as follows: Romans 12.6–8; 1 … [Read more...]