Discussion on how God can be one person.

by Matt Slick

This dialogue began after I made a comment about the error of oneness theology in a chat room.  Gary responded to me and we had the following dialogue.

Please note that during the dialogue I attempted to get Gary to see how confusing his position on the Godhead really is.  Also, oneness theology teaches that God is one person, not three as in the Trinity:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I begin the dialogue here with diagnostic questions trying to determine exactly what this guy believes.  I then continued by trying to hammer on his answers looking for any inconsistency.


Matt: Is Jesus a man right now?
Gary: Yes, in the Form of the Holy Ghost, Jesus is man, Jesus is also at the same time, Sprit in heaven.
Matt: Does Jesus, right now, the person of Jesus, have holes in His wrists and feet?
Gary: In Glorified form, in heaven, yes he does
Gary: Have you never read about Thomas?
Matt: Thomas in John 20:28?  Yes.  And Jesus is a man, right? Therefore, he is a person, right?
Gary: Yes, Jesus is a person, a man and more.

Matt: So, if Jesus is a person, then who is the Holy Spirit?
Gary: Jesus
Matt: So, the Holy Spirit has a body of flesh and bones with holes in his feet and hands?
Gary: Holy Spirit is not a name. Holy Spirit describes an aspect of God.
Matt: In the Bible, the Holy Spirit speaks, Acts 13:2; The Holy Spirit loves (Rom. 15:30); The Holy Spirit has a will (1 Cor. 12:11).  Just like the Father. Jesus speaks to the Father.  The Father speaks about the Son and to others, while Jesus is on earth!
Gary: The Holy Spirit and the Father are one in the same
Matt: Each person, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have a will.
Gary: Yes, God was fully man, and fully God.
Matt: Are the Father and the Son the same person?
Gary: Yes absolutely
Matt: Okay, now, let me ask you this. A person has a will, right?  If the Son is actually the Father, then that means there is only one will, right?
Gary: I would have to study the definition of person more to adequately answer that
Matt: Faith enough.
Gary: There is God in divine nature, and God in the Form of Christ, so yes they have one will
Matt: A person has "personhood". That is, a person is self aware, speaks, says "you" "yours", "me," "mine," etc.  Okay, if they have one will then why was the will of the Son different than that of the Father? "And he was withdrawn from them about a stones cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42Saying, 'Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done,'" (Luke 22:41-42).
Gary: Yes, absolutely.  But it is like when you work out and your body screams at you, stop, I am tired, but in your heart of hearts, you go and drive against the nature of the flesh.
Matt: You mean that Jesus' body was talking to God? It wasn't the person of Jesus that was speaking?
Gary: Not at all, mind body spirit we can have more than one will

Matt: If they are the same person, then they have one will, as you said. But, we see that the will of the Son was different than that of the Father; hence, two persons.
Gary: I think you are confused
Matt: No, I think you are confused.  You are telling me that the body of Jesus was speaking to the Father.  You are telling me that the Father who is the Son has two different wills on the same subject at the same time.
Gary: Yes, as the son, he has the will of the flesh.
Matt: So, are you saying that the will of the flesh was talking to the Father?  Then where was Jesus? Was He not a man? Did He not have flesh and blood?  Or was the Spirit of God in heaven and the flesh-man called Jesus on earth?
Gary: Yes, you make my point well
Matt: I see. So then, it really wasn't an incarnation was it?  It really wasn't God in flesh. It was flesh only.
Gary: Yes it sure was.
Matt: If it was, how can this be since you divide Christ up into the Father in heaven and the flesh on earth.  That is not an incarnation.
Gary: No, it was God putting on flesh, real flesh and blood.
Matt: Then was Jesus God in flesh or not?  If He was God in flesh, then who was He talking to in Heaven?  If Jesus is the Father, than was the Father in heaven and in the body of Christ at the same time?  Was it the Father that was incarnated in the Son?
Gary: It was God in the limitations of the human form, crying out to the God in his unlimited divine nature.
Matt: You aren't answering my question.  Was it the Father that was incarnated in the Son?
Gary: No, it, was GOD incarnated in the Son.  Father, is just a hat he wears.
Matt: Then is God the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit?
Gary: I am a son, and I can be a father, and more, but I am only one.
Matt: If Jesus is God, the totality of God, then who was the Father who was speaking to Jesus at the same time that Jesus was God?  Can you answer that question?
Gary: God is Father, Son, Spirit, and so much more
Matt: But, Jesus spoke TO the Father. The Father spoke TO the Son.  Who are they?  The same?  The same person?
Gary: He is God, the same person.
Matt: The same person speaking to himself in different forms and different names?
Gary: Yes, for our benefit.
Matt: And the same person disagreeing with himself?
Gary: Yes.
Matt: So the Father who was the Son disagreed with the Son who is really the Father, right?  And the Son did the will of the FATHER which is different than the will of the Son, who are really the same person, right?
Gary: Yes they are.
Matt: I see... So, the Father and the Son are the same person, but they have different wills?
Gary: Yes they sure could at times.
Matt: They could? So, what you are telling me is that God is really one person, who displays himself as Father and Son at the same time, who really has ONE will, but displays two that disagree with each other, right?
Gary: Yes.  Flesh disagrees with spirit.
Matt: Wait. Was the Flesh the Father?  Because you said that the Son and the Father are the same. If they are, then the Son was a man, then the Father was flesh, right?
Gary: I think you are confused. God is the same.
Matt: No, I think YOU are confused. I am just repeating back to you what you are teaching. You see the confusion in what is being said. That is good.
Gary: I am not teaching anything.  I see one mixed up puppy chatting at me.
Matt: Yes you are teaching. You are trying to teach me that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are all the same person.  I am trying to get you to see that you aren't making any sense. You have the Father and the Son being the same person who disagree with each other, which really isn't "each other" it is really Himself.  You have God as flesh disagreeing with God as spirit.
Gary: 1 Timothy 3:16, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
Gary: I think you are getting titles mixed up with God.
Matt: If Jesus was flesh disagreeing with the Father, then how can a single person have a disagreement with himself and have a conversation with himself at the same time?  Also, appealing to mystery at this point only tells me that you can't logically explain your position and that you see it is confusing.
Gary: I think you don't get it.  I think you are trying to chop up God into the boxes you want to put him in.
Matt: No. I am trying to get you to see that your view of God doesn't make sense.  I am not chopping God up, you are.   You have him part flesh, part spirit, part father, part son who all are not really different, but all the same person who talk to themselves but it really isn't themselves, it is really ITSELF. You have the flesh of God incarnate disagreeing with the Spirit of God in heaven.  But if that is true, then there is no incarnation and your view of Jesus' sacrifice is useless.
Gary: How so?  Please explain?
Matt: You don't have a real incarnation.  You don't have the person of God incarnating.
Gary: My view of God makes perfect sense.
Matt: It makes perfect sense? Hardly.
Gary: God is one God, who holds many positions, yet remains one God.
Matt: You cannot see that the Son speaks TO the Father. They have different wills, at the same time, on the same subject: the crucifixion ordeal I mentioned earlier in Luke 22:42 in the Garden.
Gary: One person, with many hats, I do not see what is so confusing about that?
Matt: The Father has a will. The Son has a will.  They each have wills.  Jesus isn't just flesh. He is God incarnate, the Word incarnate, the Word who was WITH God (John 1:1,14).  The Son speaks TO the Father. They converse. They have identities.  But you mix them up.  You have the Son be something that is or isn't God in flesh.  He is somehow the flesh talking to the spirit as if the flesh has its own personality that can communicate.  Is Jesus neither or both sprit and flesh?  You divide him up into parts and have one part talk to another.  Is this what it means to be a man? to have your flesh actually SPEAK out loud to your SPIRIT that is in a different location? That makes no sense at all.


At this point, he stopped posting.   It was probably because he was getting frustrated trying to explain the same thing to me.  But, he could not see that he wasn't making any sense at all.  He just tried to say that God had different hats.  But, that makes no sense since there are attributes of personhood in each of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.