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The Monadic Formula of Water Baptism: A Quest for Primitivism via a Christocentric and Restorationist Impluse

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image of Journal of Pentecostal Theology

Controversy over the proper baptismal formula enveloped much of the Finished Work camp of Pentecostalism from 1913 to 1916. This article demonstrates that, while often called the new issue by both supporters and detractors, the use of the monadic formula of Jesus' name in baptism was not a new phenomenon. Employing the monadic formula of water baptism was instead historically and theologically rooted in the Christocentric and restorationist impulse of the nineteenth century and was used by various groups (even second work advocates) that espoused the principle of primitivism. The revival of Jesus' name baptism within Pentecostalism was a result of these same influences reignited through—though not solely dependent upon—Durham's Finished Work doctrine. In fact, one might argue that Jesus' name baptism was a logical evolution among those who understood themselves to be the eschatological people of God walking in the 'evening light' which was being restored.


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