Resource Review: Foundations of Pentecostal Theology by Duffield and Van Cleave

Foundations of Pentecostal Theology is an excellent resource for ministers or theologians of either Trinitarian or Oneness Pentecostal traditions. It is one of the newer additions to my Logos system. If you do not have Logos click here to learn more. In the introduction Jack W. Hayford comments that "It is a practical book, featuring systematic theology in a form which is readily adaptable to nourishing the flock of God."(FPT) The authors, Guy Duffield and Nathaniel Van Cleave have "equally distinguished themselves as pastors, preachers, college professors, lecturers and writers."(FPT)

Logos.com describes this resource, "The one-volume reference is the culmination of Dr. Guy P. Duffield and Dr. N. M. Van Cleave’s life studies of the Pentecostal movement."(FPT) Hayford also notes that this resource is Pentecostal "because all truth must be made alive by the Holy Spirit in order to be reproductive, and refreshing...the quality inherent in this volume is that same trait which enabled Peter to rise with a text from Joel in hand, and to infuse it with contemporary relevance. The Holy Spirit wants to speak to today, and the vitality of the Spirit manifest herein makes ancient verities throb with life."(FPT)

This resource includes ten chapters: The Doctrine of the Scriptures, The Doctrine of God, The Doctrine of Man, The Doctrine of Sin, The Doctrine of Salvation, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, The Doctrine of Divine Healing, The Doctrine of the Church, The Doctrine of Angels, and The Doctrine of Last Things.

This work is unique in systematic theology resources. For example, in the chapter on divine healing it is clear to these authors that the days of miracles are not past. Duffield and Van Cleave conclude that "One of the strongest arguments in favor of the continuance of miracles is that they did in fact continue, according to some of the most revered saints and writers of Church history."(FPT)

The theological tendencies of this resource are conservative. For example, in the preface the authors suggest, "The Pentecostal movement is not just based on an inspirational experience. It is grounded upon the entire Bible as the Word of God."(FPT) In  chapter one--The Doctrine of the Scriptures--the authors affirm Inspiration and Inerrancy of Scripture.

Chapter ten is The Doctrine of Last Things. In this chapter the authors discuss Death, The Intermediate State, The Second Coming of Christ, and The Tribulation. The authors also take a futurist eschatological view, a view most commonly held in Pentecostal traditions. The section on the Second Coming of Christ begins with a quote from the Foursquare "Declaration of Faith" by A.S. McPherson. The authors emphasize the importance of His coming. They suggest that Christ's Coming is "mentioned more than 300 times" in the New Testament or "once in every twenty five verses."

As usual with my resources from Logos, each Scripture reference or other references cited by the authors in Foundations of Pentecostal Theology are also linked and highlighted. This allows you to open those resources or view the Scriptures or citations. The organization and arrangement of the resource is also very helpful in navigating through this resource. Any Pentecostal student of the Scriptures will want to obtain this resource.

Click the link below to add this resource to your Logos library.


FPT: Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (Los Angeles, CA: L.I.F.E. Bible College, 1983).


Jesus' Death As God's Victory

 ‎28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ESV

It is finished:

In verse 28 the KJV has "accomplished" and in verse 30 "finished." The ESV above has "finished" in both instances. The same root verb teleo is used 2x in John at 19:30 and also verses 19:28 to form tetelestai. In vs. 28 it is in the aorist and in vs. 30 the perfect indicative (NA 27). This word appears over 28 times in the Greek New Testament (Matthew 7x; Revelation 8x; Luke 4x; Acts 1x; John 2x; Romans 2x and 1x in 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 2 Timothy and James).

Some often connect the word for "finished" with the idea of "paid in full". This word has a secondary use in ancient commerce to indicate a bill was paid in full. Although the Greek word here does have use in commerce it also has use in a number of different contexts (tax collection, marriage, citizenship). Yet, it seems unlikely that Christ has in mind the sense of money or payment when He uttered those words. In reality the most plain meaning of the word is "to complete, to finish, to end, to accomplish." These are perhaps the most common usages of the word.

Notice that by saying "It is finished" Jesus is referring to an action completed in the past. However, the perfect tense usually refers to completed action and continuing results. The sense of completeness in this word comes from the usage of the grammatical tense of the verb teleo, not the word itself, which simply means to finish or complete. Some grammarians such as Ernest D.W. Burton or H.P.V. Nunn cite John 19:30 as an example of using the pluperfect tense. (1) Ultimately, the context helps decide the tense of the verb. The pluperfect tense is almost the same as the perfect tense but brings the results up to a time in the past.

The results of Christs death, burial and resurrection have infinite results for believers yet as Jesus also stated in Luke 22:37 "the things concerning me have an end." (KJV)  Mark 10:45, Matthew 20:28 and 26:28 indicate that while on earth Jesus understood His death and viewed it as a "ransom for many" (KJV) In John 13:1 Jesus had also told the disciples that His "hour had come" and "having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end." (ESV) "It is finished" could more closely mean then "the prophetic portraiture of Messiah had been realized"(2). It was His "obedience unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8 KJV).

Also in 19:28 Jesus understands this in terms of accomplishing and completing the work of the Father. He had indicated earlier in John that when the Father is working now, He is working now (John 5:17). It is by the work of Jesus that the Father and Son work and are glorified not because they are separate persons but because of the completed work done in God's plan. Christ raised Himself from the dead after three days so while the plan of God was not entirely exhausted particular plans of God for the Messiah had been completed.

Τετέλεσται [tetelestai] is accordingly a significant expression of the theological intentions of the Evangelist, who views Jesus’ death as God’s victory.(3)

The Bible perhaps does not teach any one theory of Atonement. The Bible teaches that Christ has taken our place and by doing so has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. From the Scriptures we can know that we have been redeemed and that a price has been paid. In the Garden of Eden the first Adam sinned against God, not Himself. Animal sacrifices will not suffice or satisfy (Hebrews 10:4). Christ is the perfect sacrifice which paid sins penalty (Hebrews 9:26; Romans 3:25-26, 6:23; Galatians 3:13).

Because of His, once for all, sacrifice believers are redeemed by Christ (Ephesians 1:7). As believers we are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). We are justified through the redemption that is in Christ, who God put forward as a propitiation by his blood (Romans 3:24-25). God did not remain remote and lofty but came Himself, and forgave us Himself. The death of Jesus is God's victory. Not because Jesus and God are separate or separate persons but that in a real way God has personally and substantively acted in the world.

Jesus is God (John 1:1, 14; 2 Peter 1:1) and therefore it is rightly said that God purchased the Church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). The work of Jesus is God's work. As God, according to the flesh (Romans 9:5), Peter can say we are "Redeemed...with the precious blood of Christ." (1 Peter 1:18-19) and later "Feed the flock of God" (1 Peter 5:2). Because his God was the same One God that Thomas called "Lord" and "God" as he beheld the Resurrected Lord of Glory (John 20:28; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:8).


1) Ernest De Witt Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek, 3rd ed. (Edinburg: T&T Clark, 1898). 23. - H. P. V. Nunn, A Short Syntax of New Testament Greek (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1920). 72.

2) Brooke Foss Westcott and Arthur Westcott editors. The Gospel According to St. John Introduction and Notes on the Authorized Version, Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament (London: J. Murray, 1908). 277."

3) Horst Robert Balz and Gerhard Schneider editors, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990-). 347.


Does the Bible affirm Pluralism?

Gregory Koukl describes the erosion of pluralism this way: “Both the New Age and the ecumenical movement have been steadily chipping away at the orthodox Christian teaching that Jesus is the only source of salvation and also, since Pentecost, the only object of salvation.” [1] In the book Is Jesus the Only Savior? by Ronald H. Nash argues that pluralism arises “mainly out of opposition to exclusivism”[2] so therefore an explanation of exclusivism and Biblical examples of it will be discussed in this post.

“Christian exclusivism can be defined as the belief that (1) Jesus Christ is the only Savior, and (2) explicit faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation.”[3]

The first premise obviously excludes the notion, held by pluralists, that there are many paths to salvation. Christians are not the only exclusivists though. Any religious person or groups who regard their unique religious claims as true are also exclusivists. Is there any virtue in being a follower of Allah if the Muslim does not really believe that the Quran is really a sacred book of truths? Or, why follow Allah if Yahweh will do?

Pluralism and Logic:

It can be shown that besides neglecting large portions of Biblical data, pluralism also suffers from logical inconsistencies. In an effort to close the divide between religious group’s pluralists overlook the plain facts. Religions such as Judaism or Islam rejects statements such as “Jesus is God Incarnate” as not true. Christians, on the other hand, would accept such statements as true. John F. Walvoord summarizes that belief this way:

“The evidence of Scripture is so complete that one who denies the deity of Christ must necessarily reject the accuracy of the Scriptures...All modern defections from the doctrine of the deity of Christ assume that the Bible is not authoritative or final in its revelation of this doctrine.”[4]

The law of non-contradiction basically asserts that “A cannot be both B and non-B at the same time in the same sense.” For example, saying Barak Obama cannot be both the President and not the President at the same time and in the same sense. Geisler and Brooks argue that “Without the law of noncontradiction, there is no such thing as true or false, because this law itself draws the line between true and false. So we can’t call it false without assuming that it is true.”[5]

The principle of the excluded middle is basically that “A is true or A is false.” Either Barack Obama is President or Barack Obama is not president. He cannot be both at the same time and in the same sense. Geisler and Feinberg argue that the principle of the excluded middle demands “either one or the other opposite is true, with no middle ground.”[6] Therefore, Jesus is either God or He is not God. The view of the Muslim and the view of the Christian, concerning the Messiah, cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense.

Religious truths, just as this one, do not differ from other propositional statements such as “fire is hot” or “fire is not hot”. Both of those statements are not religious but use the same form of logic as was used above. The pluralist must, eventually, undercut the actual Biblical claims in order to be true. Essentially, they are the ones who will not possess a high-view of the Scriptures or acknowledge them as authoritative.

Pluralism and Jesus Christ: 

Pluralism must actually undercut the Biblical data in order to be true. If not, it has no veracity. A major proponent of pluralism is English philosopher John Hicks. John Hick was formerly a faculty member of Cornell, Princeton and Cambridge. Hicks holds to the view that the early belief “Jesus is God” is a “myth”. Nash also points out “By ‘myth’ Hick means a story or image that is not literally true.”[9] So much for the tolerance of pluralism when major figures of their traditions are relegated to mere myth. 

The Jesus of pluralism is similar to the Jesus of Unitarianism or Socinianism. This Jesus merely represents God to us. He is not really God Incarnate; Jesus only manifested the reality of God to humans.

A pluralist is someone who believes there can be many paths to heaven, or many saviors. They would answer the question “Is Jesus the only Savior?” with a negative answer. Jesus is a savior but not the “only” savior for the pluralist since the ultimate reality or the real can also be understood in different ways.

Evangelical Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God and believes in the importance of the new birth and missions. If the Bible is the Word of God it is true and will not lead us into error. The Scriptures, however, make a pluralist interpretation impossible. Yet, people in this community have defected (e.g. Clark Pinnock, John Sanders) from such important truths to embrace a more inclusive view. Some of the arguments for this view can be dismissed from the Scriptures themselves.

Upon examination of the Old Testament, the God of this book cannot be the god of pluralism. In the Old Testament the God of Israel asserts that He, alone, created all things and is the true God (Isaiah 37:16; 44:24). Therefore, using the Old Testament will not help the case of the pluralist. Very early in Old Testament theology Deuteronomy 4:35, 39 records:

“To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him. …39 know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” (ESV)

This God is the “LORD”. Translators customarily capitalize the word LORD when, Yahweh, the scared name of God is actually present in the Hebrew text. The spelling “Yahweh” and its corresponding pronunciation are considered acceptable in modern scholarship but both are still uncertain until this day. 

Here this personal name of God is also joined with “God” or the Hebrew word elohim. Angels and men, such as Moses, could be called elohim. Angels are elohim: Psalm 8:5. Pagan gods are elohim: Genesis 3:5. Human judges are elohim: 1 Samuel 2:25. In this context the term elohim takes on a different meaning than when applied to men or angels. It is referring to the God of Israel, not a pagan or competing deity.

Therefore, Yahweh is Elohim and there is no other “elohim” besides him. The deliberation on the single, undividedness of Yahweh can be seen, and should not be overlooked, by use of singular personal pronouns. “God” here is not being used merely to describe a nature that is shared by other beings. Nor does it refer to any god but to the God of Israel. This “God” is personal and speaks as Who and is referred to as an He. No council of pagan gods can be included in this singleness. Whether in heaven and on earth there is no “other” besides the Lord of Israel who can be called God.

New Testament Witnesses:

Romans 10:9 records, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (ESV) 

The Jesus of pluralism has a Jesus who is not God, only God in a sense. This is inadequate. In Romans 10:9 Paul records for us that salvation includes confessing, with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord. The Old Testament Hebrew name for God (Yahweh) was regularly translated in the Greek LXX as Lord or kurios. Therefore, to confess Jesus is Lord is to confess Jesus is God. One cannot even be saved with a low or improper view of Jesus Christ. 

John 14:13-14 and Matthew 18:20 indicate it is Jesus as Jesus who hears and answers prayers, and is in personal communion with his believers. The Gospel of John also records, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36 ESV) Here John succinctly and forever buries the hopes of pluralism. One cannot have “eternal life” apart from believing in the Son and obeying the Son.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 ESV) 

Here it is clear that Jesus’ own self-understanding was not that of a mere man. No mere man can give eternal life. Jesus views Himself as the provider of salvation. Forgiveness is not possible without the cross of Calvary as payment and therefore from Christ comes the only source of salvation. Gregory Koukl wrote:

“Jesus is the Savior, the source of salvation for the world. The Father Himself chose Jesus for this purpose. That’s why rejection of Jesus is actually a rejection of the Father Himself. Such a rejection is met with God’s wrath, while belief in Jesus rescues from wrath. Rescue is possible because Jesus is the one who provides forgiveness from sin. Many impostors will claim to provide an alternate form of salvation, but there are no other alternatives. That’s why the church’s solemn commission is to make sure that all nations are given this Gospel. On the last day Jesus will be man’s final judge.”[10]


[1] Koukl, Gregory (2009-06-10). Jesus, the Only Way: 100 Verses (Kindle Locations 34-36). Stand to Reason Press. Kindle Edition.
[2] Nash, Ronald H. Is Jesus the Only Savior? Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994 (11)
[3] Ibid. 11
[4] Walvoord, John F. Jesus Christ Our Lord,. Chicago: Moody, 1969 (108, 109)
[5] Norman L. Geisler and Ronald M. Brooks, Come, Let Us Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1990). 16.
[6] Norman L. Geisler, Paul D. Feinberg and Paul D. Feinberg, Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1980). 168.
[7] Ibid. 31
[8] Ibid. 29
[9] Ibid. 71 [10] Koukl, Gregory (2009-06-10). Jesus, the Only Way: 100 Verses (Kindle Locations 81-85). Stand to Reason Press. Kindle Edition.

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)