How can I explain the Trinity to a Oneness Pentecostal?

Full Question

How can I explain the Trinity to a "Oneness" Pentecostal who says that Jesus is the only God and that the Father and the Holy Spirit are manifestations and not different persons of the Divinity? And how can I explain baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost when this person insists on Acts 2:38, repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus? He claims the name of the three persons, or manifestations in his view, is Jesus.


In Matthew 28:19 Jesus explicitly commands his apostles to baptize in the name of the Trinity. This is where the Church received the Trinitarian formula. It wasn’t some pope’s idea. In Acts 2:38 the author is not presenting a liturgical formula. He is concerned with distinguishing Christ’s baptism from John the Baptist’s. The practice of the early Church was thoroughly Trinitarian. For further information, go to

Fr. Vincent Serpa O.P.