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Christianity without the Cross: A History of Salvation in Oneness Pentecostalism

3.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1581125849
ISBN-10: 1581125844
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Universal Publishers (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581125844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581125849
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,301,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Mr. Fudge has done a commendable job in helping people see the danger of making a formula the means of salvation, rather than just simply trusting Christ to receive a new heart. Of course, there is much more to the book than that. He goes into the facts of the merger that formed the United Pentecostal Church. Of the two groups that made the merger, one held to a sacremental salvation (Acts 2:38) Just go through the three steps and you are saved i.e. repent, be baptised in Jesus' Name and receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. The other group believed a person was saved the moment they came to faith in Christ. They, of course, believed in water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ and the infilling of the Holy Spirit , with tongues. But to them, these two events followed salvation rather than constituting it.. Believing this, they could accept other believers who had trusted Christ for salvation and have at least some fellowship with them. At the merger, there was an agreement that each side would not push their views. In the end this pledge was broken and second group found themselves sort of out in the cold to put it mildly at and after the 1992 General Conference. This is how I would understand the situation, having listened to both types of preaching for many years and having heard Howard Goss a number of times back in the 1950's when he came through our area. Although he was the first General Superintendant of the United Pentecostal Church, what I remember most about him was his gentle spirit. Our attitude tells alot about our Christianity. I believe Mr. Fudge has done a great job in explaining the two sides of the issue. After that I believe he has shown that the leadership of the organization in 1992 and before, has not kept to the pledge of the merger.
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Format: Paperback
When people think of the UPC, they immediately think of Holiness Standards, Jesus Name baptism, and Oneness theology. However, it has not always been this easy to describe Oneness people. The United Pentecostal Church (UPC) formed in 1945 with the merger of two organizations: Pentecostal Church, Incorporated (PCI) and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ (PAJC). The main difference between the organizations was the interpretation of the New Birth. Both organizations subscribed to Repentance, baptism by immersion in Jesus' name and receiving the Holy Spirit (Ghost) by glossolalia (speaking in tongues, or babbling incoherently). However, the largest faction of PAJC believed this three-step formula was required to enter heaven and avoid hell fire, whereas the PCI largely believed that one was justified at repentance and that water baptism and spirit filled glossolalia were not necessary to avoid hell fire. The merger language was very carefully chosen to bring these two groups together to agree on the fundamental doctrine. The phrase "full salvation" was the magic term that the PAJC interpreted to mean that the three steps were necessary, whereas the PCI position could interpret "full" to mean something more than mere "salvation" which to them was achieved at repentance. "Full salvation" to a PCI was indeed the three-step formula, but not defining for one's eternal destiny. Such was the agreement at the merger that ministers would not contend over this issue to the destruction of the new body called UPC. The problem appears to be that official publications of the UPC do not wish for many to know about the PCI tradition within the organization.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
As a pastor who once taught college courses I was struck by the author's comprehensive endnotes and references. While one can always offer a counterpoint on a given topic, it is hard to refute a point when it is backed up with so many references. Fudge doesn't hide behind rumors or innuendos; he states his case and provides the references for one to go find it out for yourself. That is academic scholarship!

Also as a former UPCI minister I had the good fortune of coming into the UPCI under a pastor whose father was a UPCI General Official, and his family goes back to early Pentecost pioneers. In talking at length with my UPCI pastor I learned some of the inside story of the UPCI and its merger with the PCI and PAJC. I also learned the "legalist" way of salvation and some of the skullduggery that goes on behind the scenes of the UPCI.

I see Fudge's book as a point by point indictment by God of the UPCI's works-salvation theology (?). Their incessant demand of their standards of holiness, dress, and behavior replaces Justification, Sanctification, and Grace. While the word "Grace" is used from their pulpits, its meaning has a different connotation than what traditional Christianity believes. Sadly, Grace and truth only comes by THEIR doctrine. Outside of their doctrine, there is no Salvation. I have heard some pastors say there are other organizations one can belong to and make it to heaven but they don't really believe it!

Perhaps the most troubling--Fudge points out--is a good number of early Pentecostal pioneers and present UPCI pastors do not have any advanced education in systematic theology, hermeneutics, eschatology, apologetics, and so forth. Much of what they believe--they say--comes strictly by "revelation of God!
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