My name is Tre Brickley. This is my wife and I.
From the age of 6 I grew up in a oneness pentecostal church. My father began attending this church and we both attended for about 15 years. I attended the private Christian school and Bible College available at this church. We were both heavily involved in various ministries at this church. We both even found our wives at this church.
My father began to experience doubts about the doctrines and practices of the church. These doubts were soon transferred to me. Eventually, he departed from the fellowship on the grounds that the church government was spiritually abusive and at least some of the doctrines and practices were either unsupported by scripture or contradicted scripture outright. He even felt comfortable calling the church and the movement of which it is a part “a cult”. This weighed heavily on me and lead to a few years of my own personal struggle.
In hindsight I think there were both good and bad things about this period of struggle. The bad was that I became extremely confused and lost touch with God. God is merciful and I am thankful that he has consistently been present and at work in my life drawing me closer to him. The good was that it inspired deep study of God’s revelation and a desire to come to a mature knowledge of his truth.
Currently, I consider myself to be a biblical unitarian. I believe there is only one God, the Father of Jesus, and that Jesus is God’s unique human Son, the Messiah. Growing up oneness pentecostal, I held to oneness theology and christology whereby there is only one who is God, the Father, and both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are “manifestations” or “modes” of the Father, not truly distinct persons other than the Father. During my time of struggling, I found myself comfortable affirming the doctrine of the Trinity but soon afterwards found my thinking conforming again to the oneness theology of my upbringing. After about six months of thinking on these issues, I’ve come to think that the biblical unitarian position is the more scriptural position.
In other respects, I agree with oneness pentecostal distinctives. For example, I agree with the oneness pentecostals that new birth is necessary to enter the kingdom of God and that this new birth is defined by repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus, and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. With respect to baptism in the name of Jesus, I agree that the apostolic precedent is to invoke the name of Jesus at baptism and not a triune-name formula. With respect to the gift of the Holy Spirit, I agree that the sign that one has received it is that they will be enabled by the Spirit of God to speak in tongues at the moment they receive it. I also agree with the oneness pentecostals that holiness is an essential part of Christian living and that practical application of holiness in the body of Christ is legitimate and important. There are many other areas of agreement but these are probably the most important to point out.
I am still on a journey. I do not think that I have perfect knowledge. That will come only once Christ returns (1 Corinthians 13:9-12). However, I do feel that I have come to understand some important truths about God, the Gospel, and Christian life. That being said, I am always open to correction from God through his word.
I want to be an analytic theologian eventually. For that I need a good amount of education and am currently doing what I can to make progress n that direction. This blog will serve as an outlet for my interests and maybe even a bit of a training ground for the kind of work I hope to do later in life.
My hope is that you will be blessed by what you find here. I hope that you are driven to study and prayer and that you find yourself drawing closer to God for having visited.
May God guide us all through Christ in our search for his truth,