Please note, I updated this post on 9/26/09 to make some needed changes and clarifications per reader feedback.

Given my last post, I thought it would be helpful to examine some of the historic Christian creeds, showing which parts are acceptable to Oneness Pentecostals (black font), which parts are not (strikethrough), which parts are questionable (red font), followed by some brief comments.

A little bit about my method: The parts I have struck out, I have struck out because I cannot agree with the terminology.  The parts I have kept, I have kept because I can agree with the terminology, even if I do not mean the same thing by those words as the drafters of these creeds meant by those words.  Furthermore, by striking out some words, I did not necessarily intend to create a new context, so do not try to read through the creeds using only the words that remain, thinking that it will make sense on its own.  In some cases it will, but in other cases it will not.

I’ll begin with the Apostles’ Creed:

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell 1. The third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church
2;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

Amen.

1 If this only means Jesus went to the place of the dead, I think it is acceptable.  If, however, it means Jesus descended into the place of hell, it is not.
2 As I understand it, this is not a reference to the Roman Catholic Church, but rather to the universal church.  This creed was a response to the Gnostics who taught that salvation was only for a select few.  In opposition to this, the creed believes the church is universal (catholic).

I think this creed can be affirmed by Oneness Pentecostals without much issue.

The Nicene Creed (A.D. 325)

We believe in one God the Father Almighty,
Maker of all things visible and invisible;

and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father,
that is, of the substance of the Father,
God of God, light of light, true God of true God,
begotten
not made
3, of the same substance with the Father,
through whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth;

who for us men and our salvation descended,
was incarnate, and was made man,
suffered and rose again the third day,
ascended into heaven and cometh to judge the living and the dead.
And in the Holy Ghost.

Those who say: There was a time when He was not, and He was not before He was begotten; and that He was made out of nothing; or who maintain that He is of another hypostasis or another substance, or that the Son of God4 is created, or mutable, or subject to change, the Catholic Church anathematizes.

3 The purpose of this clause is to affirm the eternality of Christ’s deity.  While Oneness Pentecostals also affirm the eternality of Christ’s deity, we would not say His deity is “begotten,” and thus I have struck out that word, while leaving “not made.”  Some may find fault with this decision, because on a Oneness view “Son of God” refers exclusively to God’s human mode of existence, which is, by all accounts, made.  I decided to leave the phrase in, however, since the context that follows makes it clear that Jesus’ deity is in view: “by whom all things are made.”  This refers to Jesus’ pre-existent deity, not His humanity, and thus I chose to keep the affirmation that He was “not made.”
4 I struck this, not because I do not believe that Christ’s deity is eternal, but because as a Oneness Pentecostal, we would not refer to Christ’s pre-existent deity as “Son of God.”

Most of this creed is perfectly acceptable to a Oneness Pentecostal.

The Constantinopolitan Nicene Creed (A.D. 381)

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of the Father before all worlds;
God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God;
begotten
,
not made5, being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary,
and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;

He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life;
who proceeds from the Father and the Son
;
who with the Father and the Son together
is worshipped and glorified;
who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

5 The purpose of this clause is to affirm the eternality of Christ’s deity.  While Oneness Pentecostals also affirm the eternality of Christ’s deity, we would not say His deity is “begotten,” and thus I have struck out that word, while leaving “not made.”  Some may find fault with this decision, because on a Oneness view “Son of God” refers exclusively to God’s human mode of existence, which is, by all accounts, made.  I decided to leave the phrase in, however, since the context that follows makes it clear that Jesus’ deity is in view: “by whom all things are made.”  This refers to Jesus’ pre-existent deity, not His humanity, and thus I chose to keep the affirmation that He was “not made.”

This creed has a few more problems, but since it is just an expansion of the Nicene Creed, it still has more chicken than bones.

Chalcedonian Creed (A.D. 451)

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the virgin Mary, the mother of God, according to the manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

Not much objectionable here.  This is my favorite creedal formulation!

The Athanasian Creed (~6th century?)

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son and another of the Holy Spirit.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son and such is the Holy Spirit.  The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Spirit uncreate.  The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.  The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.  And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.

As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.  So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.

For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say: There are three Gods or three Lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.  The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.  The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.  So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
And in this Trinity none is afore, nor after another; none is greater, or less than another.

But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal.  So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.  He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.  God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and made of the substance of His mother, born in the world.  Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.  Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.  One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.  One altogether, not by the confusion of substance, but by unity of person.  For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty;

From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.  At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies; And shall give account of their own works.

And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

Obviously this one has a lot more problems than the others.  The Athanasian Creed is explicitly Trinitarian.

I imagine some of you might make different decisions than I did regarding what is acceptable, questionable, and unacceptable.  If so, I would be interested in knowing what they are and why you hold the opinion you do.