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Matters of Conscience, Matters of Unity, Matters of Orthodoxy: Trinity and Water Baptism in Early Pentecostal Theology and Practice

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This article surveys early Pentecostal discussions of the doctrine of the Trinity and water baptism and focuses specifically on baptismal mode and formula. In tracing the discussion from 1906 to the period just after the 1916 General Council of the Assemblies of God, literature from various streams of the tradition is examined. By surveying the periodical literature as well as official documents produced by these various denominations and groups, not only will doctrinal discussions be seen but also the practices associated with water baptism. It is the author's conclusion that there was some degree of flexibility with regard to both formula and mode of baptism before the emergence of the New Issue (1914). However, the research reveals that there was a well thought out doctrine of the Trinity prior to the rise of Oneness theology thereby establishing that Pentecostal theology was Trinitarian in its inception.


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