« On Calvinism and Infant Salvation: A Brief Proposal by Peter Lumpkins | Main | Reading Minds the Future of Fighting Crime? by Peter Lumpkins »

Aug 04, 2010

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Debbie Kaufman

Peter: The bottom line is this. Do you trust a Sovereign God, who ultimately makes that decision, if some babies did go to hell? That is the bottom line. I do. I believe God regenerates children before they die to go to heaven. We all still need a Savior and that is where this doctrine comes from what I understand in reading. Do you trust God no matter what? Even if this doctrine were to be true? Would he still be just and righteous as he claims? The answer to that is yes.

Debbie Kaufman

I add this: The simple truth is we trust God no matter what, we do not trust our logic or what we think God should be. We trust God. Period.

Malcolm Yarnell

Peter, well done. Unfortunately, infant reprobation is simply one of the dangerous outworking of the speculative system of the Reformed theologues. And "Reformed Baptists" must ever stand on the edge of being ejected from the Reformed camp due to a simple free church biblicism that will not countenance such philosophical peculiarities, or self-ejected from the Baptist camp for following Reformed theology to its (il?)logical conclusion.

Rick

Peter,
This is nice work.
Well done.
Rick Garner

peter lumpkins

Debbie,

No, the bottom line *is not* do I trust "if some babies did go to hell." Not at all. The bottom line is, does one's theological presupposition demand a view of God contrary to every thing we know about God in Scripture? If it does, something is screwed up with our theology.

And, something was definitely screwed up with classic, historic Reformed theology. If it wasn't, there'd be little outcry today against folk like myself who cites one of their historic doctrines only to hear them cry out in protest how I misrepresent "reformed theology."

With that, I am...
Peter

Ron Phillips, Sr.

Peter,

Isn't this precisely what makes one a "Reformed Baptist"? It seems to me that the YRR group is jettisoning Reform (big R) doctrine(s) that they find distasteful, keeping those they like, yet keeping the Reformed moniker. In essence they are attempting to change the definition of Reformed while keeping the label.

Thus, as per one of your previous posts, "Reformed Baptist" to some is not an oxymoron, as "Reformed" as it is used by some today does not really mean Reformed. They have changed the definition.

And no, I do not think many have (or will) read beyond the "Sproul-Piper-Mahaney-White-Founders" realm of Calvinism/Reformed theology. I wonder if any have read Bob Ross' writings?

Blessings,

Ron P.

Debbie Kaufman

Peter: Either you trust God no matter what he does, or you do not. That is the bottom line. He cannot adhere to your rules or ideas of him. I believe all infants are regenerated before heaven and I base that on the scripture David gave in the first part concerning David and his words concerning his seeing his dead child again. But....I trust God and twisting my words to say what I did not doesn't serve anything. Take what I say, not what you want me to say. God is just, and he is just and good even if some babies did go to hell. Do I love children?Yes. Do I believe all children under the age of accountability go to heaven when they die? Yes. But if God chose to not do it this way, which you could be wrong, I could be wrong, it still makes him a loving, merciful, and just God. It would simply make us wrong. Now? I question you again. Do you still trust God even if children were in hell? That is the bottom line question. You seek to swerve around it, but that is the bottom line, cause if you say "no I can't, or I wont" that would be a huge problem. More so than what Calvinists believe or do not believe.

peter lumpkins

Debbie,

No, it *is not * the bottom line, Debbie. He may not adhere to "my rules" but He does to His. And no Scripture passage explicitly or implicitly suggests He burns babies in hell for His eternal glory; to the contrary, the Bible finds Him embracing children not torturing them. But to suggest we "trust" Him even "if He did do so" is reminiscent of Medieval Voluntarism. It's like saying we should "trust God" even if He tells us to love our neighbor by murdering our neighbor.

Now, if you cannot exchange ideas without your creepy suggestions I'm "twisting" your words, Debbie, please do not waste my time on this thread. Fair enough?

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Ron,

Thanks. I think you have a point. Sociologically speaking, there may be a "coolness" or "trendiness" in identifying one's self as "Reformed" because of the influence of some of the bigger names--Piper, Mahaney, Driscoll, etc. Yet, because reprobation is sorta the theological "ugly duckling" of Reformed theology, even theologians who embrace it--like R. C. Sproul--do not talk much about it. Hence, many of the YRR are not even aware of its prominence in their theological heritage. Yet "Reformed" they nonetheless insist upon embracng.

With that, I am...
Peter

Don Arndt

Peter,

I don't know if this will help. I am certainly speaking only for myself. I'm pretty sure I would come down on the side of babies who die in infancy or the womb would go to heaven. But even as I say that, I wonder why do I generally feel that way. If I am honest, the primary reason is that is what I have ben taught my whole life. As I think about the Scriptures, it is almost silent on this specific issue. I think most, not saying all but a significant some, who hold to this at some point would eventually say something like. "If some infants die and are not taken to heaven, that makes God out to be a monster, or that's not fair."

Well, if some do make that argument, then it is indeed dangerous ground. If we all got what was fair and just, none of us would be saved. And the God of Scripture is certainly no monster, a God of justice and grace. I think one should at least be careful when making the argument from Scripture that universal infant salvation is a reality.

I think your point is valid that one should carefully evaluate whether or not to give oneself a label. Which is why there is some disconnect in this situation. When sometimes I used the word reformed (again, labels are dangerous things), I do not mean that I embrace every tenant of Reformed Theology.

I want to judge every doctrine in light of Scripture. Scripture will be my final arbitrator of what I should believe and do.

I am already a little longer than I intended, but let me I think help express what I think is a common attitude of at least my own little circle of YRR's, (a certainly insignificant group if every one was)
I am a student at SBTS. Frankly, I came to SBTS expecting that calvinism was going to be pushed at every opportunity and that was not a problem with me. However, when I go here what I heard was fidelity to the Scriptures, Expositional preaching. Over ond over agian, learn to rightly divide the word of truth. Of those that I have dealt with, professors and students alike, none fall into a calvinist or reformed label with exactness. Rather, they want to let the Bible speak the truth of God into their life and follow wherever that leads.

Again, sorry for the length and I am sure there are mistakes in humble presentation. In summary. labels are dangerous. Calvinist, Hyper-calvinist, Arminian, Reformed, reformed. We should just be sure that when we communicate, we try to understand what the other person means by the label, cause certainly and obviously with your last two posts, It leads to confusion and frustration.

Don Arndt

Wow, should have previewed better, several typos.

My apologies.

peter lumpkins

Don,

Thank you for your worthy contribution to the thread, and offering another, much needed, and in some ways corrective, interpretation as we wade through the murky waters of making sense of today's Baptists. I appreciate your testimony that so many of the 'YRR' I have encountered are not necessarily the whole sack of potatoes.

And, I sympathize wholeheartedly with the view which dictates that Scripture remains our ultimate epistemological authority for revealed truth. Pertaining to the present issue, the justification of infants dying in infancy has no lack of biblical exegetes over a broad sweep of Christian history. The interesting thing is, since the Reformation, the champions in exegeting the biblical data have been virtually all Arminian.

For centuries, Reformed churches held strong their view of Infant Reprobation based on Original Sin and Absolute, Unconditional Predestination. And, almost "overnight" (historically speaking, of course), they suddenly began to speak of universal infant salvation (all infants dying in infancy *are* elect), using, in many ways, the previous texts of Scripture they had formerly rejected from the Arminians! They did, however, place a new 'twist' upon them (e.g. insisting God 'regenerates' them either in the womb, right before death, or some held, right before entering Paradise, pure speculation obviously).

Personally, I think Reformed theology is stuck with its theological 'ugly duckling.' As I mentioned earlier, given Reformed presuppositions on Original Sin and Absolute Unconditional Predestination--the very same presuppositions Calvin himself strongly held--if Reformed folk--Baptist or otherwise--accept Calvin's assumptions on Original Sin and Predestination (and almost all do with whom I am familiar), they are stuck with Calvin's logic, Calvin's horrible decree.

Thanks, again Don.

With that, I am...
Peter

Darby Livingston

Dr Yarnell, you said: "infant reprobation is simply one of the dangerous outworking of the speculative system of the Reformed theologues."

I assume you have strong exegetical support beyond the general "let the children come to me" verses as well as David's child's case to call these theologues system "speculative."

It seems to me when it comes to this issue, we're all somewhat speculative as the biblical evidence is scarce to say the least.

Stephen M. Garrett

Dear Peter:

As you perhaps know, I do not like the "reformed" label, although a Calvinist. Two groups began their departure from Baptist fellowship, in the early 1800s, with the label "reformed," the Hardshells and the Campbellites. Those who supported the protestant reformation were a diverse group.

About the case of infants. I think there are problems for both Arminians and Calvinists here.

First of all, how do we define "infant"? Is a five year old an "infant"?

Second, when is one constituted or viewed by God as a sinner? Have Baptists not traditionally taught "original sin"? Even some Arminians?

Third, if "infants" are sinners, then they need regeneration, correct? How are they regenerated? Is this a problem for Calvinists alone?

Fourth, why is the bible relatively silent on this issue? Certainly the Lord knew that this question would be debated. Is it possible that he had good reasons for not addressing it clearly? For instance, if he taught the salvation of all small children and infants, would not killing such guarantee their salvation?

Fifth, were infants not destroyed in the flood? And, did Peter not say that the flood was "brought in on the world of the ungodly"?

I would like to think that all "infants" are saved, but I cannot prove it conclusively from scripture.

So, in conclusion, I think we should be silent where God is silent and keep a mystery what he has determined shall remain a mystery.

Blessings,

Stephen

Chris Gilliam

Peter,

The bottom line is that you indeed understand historic calvinism along with her logically deduced "ugly duckling". Now that indeed makes your parody piece just and fair. Your unveiling of this historic fact places one in a position to either reject Calvin's tight logic with clear reasons as to why, or to embrace it. One must honestly deal with this unveiling. Thanks for your research.
Chris

Brennon

Josh Thibodaux, a very good Arminian blogger, has a great piece responding to Steve Camp's acceptance of the *some infants go to hell* doctrine. Found here.

Malcolm Yarnell

Darby, the passage about David's child is mouthed by a true prophet of God and is, therefore, theologically authoritative, thus not speculative. Reformed theologians have no biblical foundation for infant reprobation and must rely upon mere speculation. Does that help?

Don Johnson

Brennon, thanks for added scriptural insights.

Cammie Novara

"Not all historical theologians were hardly as embarrassed as perhaps Warfield. For example, 19th C. Reformed theologian Dr. H. J. Van Dyke openly asserted, "Now let us be candid with ourselves, and even with our opponents." I am gobsmacked by the truth in those words.

Ron Phillips, Sr.

I find God's grace truly amazing especially when it comes to David and his child! Not only was this child born out of a sinful act of adultery, but his mother's faithful and righteous husband was murdered at the orders of this child's father. If ever there was a case for infant reprobation, certainly this would qualify: born out of the acts of lust, adultery, conspiracy, murder, and cover up. After his son died David said that he would go to him. These words were as Paul said, "God breathed".

Isn't God's grace truly amazing!

Blessings,

Ron P.

Don Johnson

Apart from the afore mentioned texts, there is another which has not yet been mentioned. Which for me settled the issue.

"Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it." Deut. 1:39

The little ones and children were able to possess the Promise Land because "in that day" they had no knowledge between good and evil.

The writer of Hebrews in chapters 3 and 4 states it was unbelief which kept the Jews from entering His rest.

It was unbelief that kept the Israelites from possessing the Promise Land and it is unbelief which keeps people from entering heaven.

Just as those "in that day" inherited the Promise Land, so too will those in the same mental condition "in that day" (death) inherit eternal life.

The reason the Saints on this thread (Arminian, Calvinist, non-Calvinist or Reformed) seem to agree for the most part that infants go to heaven is because Saints have the mind of Christ 1 Cor 2:16. The problem seems to come when the mind of Augustine and Calvin take the place of Christ's.

Tim G

Peter,
This is a wonderful post and a great defense of one of the horrible Reformed doctrines that does not stand in the scriptures. I find it ironic that as some say you may be stretching it here, reformed holding people are actually backing you up. Steve Camp should know better!

Great work!

Debbie Kaufman

Job 3:11 also leads me to believe this doctrine is true. You have distorted the view Peter even with what you have given here. We are all reprobate. All of us even at birth we need a Savior, the Bible is clear that we are born into sin. The Bible is also silent on what happens to newborns at death. Unless you have a Bible that says differently. God must do a work in the heart, changing the heart of even the babies.There is only one way to heaven and that's through Jesus Christ. I believe all babies are elect. Now you can distort that, but it will be hard to do so in the light of scripture. The Bible clearly says there is none righteous no not one. I tend to agree with Charles Spurgeon who being devotedly Calvinist believed all babies went to heaven. This can only be done through a work of God in the heart of the infant changing him from a reprobate to a born again Holy Spirit wrought be

Debbie Kaufman

This article by Sam Storms Biblically looks at all the arguments on this subject.

http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/article/are-those-who-die-in-infancy-saved/

Debbie Kaufman

This is actually a great way to show that we have no more control over our salvation than an infant. It is all through God's Grace. Just as the infant is miraculously saved by Grace before their death, so we are. Just as in the infant it is all God's doing and none of ours.

peter lumpkins

Stephen,

Thanks. As for there being difficulties for both Arminians and Calvinists, you are correct. Indeed issues like this seem to show just how insufficient systems of biblical interpretation are. Admittedly, hands down, Calvinism historically is the more rigid system of the two I must point out.

As for the questions you posed, some are very good. But others like "Is a five year old an "infant"?" only stall discussion in my view. For the sake of discussion, we could easily agree that an infant is a person who a)__, b)___, and c)___.

As to Baptists historically teaching "original sin" another like Dr. Yarnell should answer that. I'm quite confident the present BF&M *does not* teach "original sin" in any "Reformed" sense of the term.

As for infants requiring regeneration, I think it depends on what one concludes concerning "original sin." If I am correct about what the BF&M suggests, then, our confessional statement does not seem to suggest infants require regeneration.

Finally, personally, I cannot go the route of agnosticism on this issue, Stephen. It touches far too many lives within and without the church. Nor do I think it a mystery about how incredibly much God loves the "little ones" Jesus instructed us to "suffer" to come to Him, and about which He insisted we must all be "converted" and be like.

Thanks, again brother.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Debbie,

"You have distorted the view Peter even with what you have given here." This is precisely why, Debbie, I've blocked your IP from this site so many times. When a reasonable, calm exchange is happening, you incorrigibly insist on making it personal--I'm distorting the "view."

Unless you can make a viable contribution without your staple, cookie-cutter insults, claims, charges, and unsubstantiated innuendo, I suggest you go back to your site and write all you wish on how "distorted" my views are.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

All,

I want to point out something that is continually assumed by many (most?) on this thread: the idea that the Bible is silent on the status of reprobate infants who die in infancy. What is curiously overlooked is the magnificent historical witness of both Reformed and Reformed Arminian theologians who insisted the Bible *was not silent on the issue*. The very few followers of Zwingli who argued all infants dying in infancy are elect did not argue their position on Scripture's *silence*. Neither did Dort nor Westminster theologians.

If this is correct, before one can take the "Scripture is silent" position seriously, it seems to me, one must wrestle with exegetical arguments these learned doctors presented. Furthermore, if I am correct, then the possibility exists--perhaps probability is more accurate--the "Scripture is silent" position (or agnostic position) is more a 'cop-out' than a genuine conclusion based on sober analysis.

Finally, as one theologian pointed out (I can't recall who), in the end, the fate of reprobate infants who die in infancy is really very simple given Calvinist assumptions. Either God passes them over or He has no purpose in mind for them whatsoever. We know the latter to be entirely false while we know the former is in exact keeping with how God deals with all human beings throughout Scripture.

Calvin's logic is impeccable.

With that, I am...
Peter

Ron Hale

Peter,
I want to explore it more later, but check out a couple of O.T. scrptures: Jeremiah 19:4 "the innocents"; 2 Kings 21:16 "innocent blood". This is in reference to babies offered in the altar fires dedicated to Baal.

peter lumpkins

Ron,

I think you have a very good point, one definitely worth pursuing. Those passages only make it more difficult to argue the Reformed view of inherited guilt of Original Sin. I encourage you to tease it out with exegesis on those passages and parallel ones.

On a similar note, Dr. Steve Lemke, Provost and Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary recently allowed a short essay he penned for the Louisiana Baptist a few years ago to be posted on Pastor Tim Roger’s blog.  Entitled, “Age of Accountability,” Dr. Lemke wrote, “So while we believe in an inherited sin nature, we do not believe in inherited guilt.  It is the belief in inherited guilt that leads those in the Reformed tradition toward the necessity for infant baptism.”

While Dr. Lemke’s proposition stirred the waters a bit concerning the “Reformed” understanding of baptism, his perceptive distinction between the classic Reformed understanding of Original Sin and the Free Church dissent from such a view was all but missed. Personally, I think the distinction he drew between our inheriting a “sin nature” rather than the Reformed view of inheriting “sinful guilt” fits squarely with Scriptural revelation, and certainly squares nicely with the Baptist Faith & Message which insists,

“By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.” (Art. 3, para. 1; bold mine)

Given our confession of faith, it hardly seems possible to argue the classical Reformed view of Original Sin and remain in the parameters of the Baptist Faith and Message. Nor, given the substance above, does it follow that infants require regeneration. But, I surely may be incorrect.

Perhaps Dr. Yarnell could weigh in on this if he is still following the thread.

Thanks again, Ron.   

With that, I am…

Peter 

Malcolm Yarnell

Peter,

I believe you are correct. The Baptist Faith & Message teaches that we have a nature and environment inclined toward sin, but that responsibility for that sin (or guilt) does not come until the individual actually sins, which he or she will do. The point seems to be that original sin (as nature) is inherited but original sin (as guilt) is not. The Augustinian and Reformed positions put both nature and guilt under the rubric of "original sin," whereas Southern Baptists who affirm the BF&M do not.

By the way, Dr. Lemke's blogpost was, in my opinion, perceptive of the problems underlying Reformed theology. Infant baptism is required to remove original sin, or, in an attempt to allay the problems with that position though unsuccessful in the end from a biblical perspective, infant baptism is required to bring a child into the covenant. Either position of the Reformed is outside of the Baptist understanding.

In Christ,
Malcolm

Stephen M. Garrett

Dear Peter:

I must disagree that the historic position of Baptists on "original sin" excludes guilt. Death is the wages of sin and those who die show that God holds them guilty. I think Romans 5 is very clear on that. Plus, Psalm 58:3 says that people go forth "as soon as they are born, speaking lies." Is speaking lies not a sin that involves guilt?

Since when do we base our theology/soteriology on our emotions? I too want to believe that all infants are saved, but I cannot base my theology on what I want to be the case.

Your idea that "suffer little children to come unto me" as applicable to infants is not tenable. First, how can infants come to Christ? Are not the "little children" therefore not infants, but simply small children who are capable of understanding and faith? Do you give out such invitations to infants?

Also, why must "little children" (infants) come to Jesus if they are not sinners in need of salvation?

What I have said is that there is no clear cut statement of scripture that says all infants are saved. All men can do is attempt to deduce or infer it.

Were the infants who died in the flood not "ungodly"?

Your view seems to fit Campbellite view who also say that the infant is no sinner and needs no salvation or regeneration.

Blessings,

Stephen

Malcolm Yarnell

Stephen,

I would be interested in your interpretation of Romans 5, especially verse 12. In the Augustinian tradition, this verse has been misinterpreted, primarily because Augustine was not very good with Greek. I will leave that with you to research.

You are correct that Scripture does not speak directly to infant salvation; however, I do believe the implication is contained within Scripture, especially when the love of God is considered. If love is God's motivation in both creation and redemption, which I would argue is the case, how could we claim that He condemns a child before that child is offered redemption? The only reason we would do such is if we had replaced divine love with divine capriciousness.

Augustine manufactured his theology of original sin (inclusive of original guilt) in order to answer his opponents. Though he advocated much that is truth, he also advocated much that is error. It is in the discernment of where Augustine went right and went wrong that Western theology finds its dilemma. If anything else, this is good reason to read outside the Western tradition.

In Christ,
Malcolm

volfan007

Stephen,

I do not believe that God holds little children responsible for thier sins until they're old enough to understand right from wrong. I also believe this is what the BFM is saying. It's not that they dont sin, but that they are not held accountable for their sin, until they can understand what sin is, that their sin is against God, to be able to understand repentance and faith. Children are not looked upon as being in rebellion against God until they are old enough to understand things and have a concept and awareness about God, and right and wrong, and such. And, the same holds true for the mentally challenged of our world, whether they're retarded or insane. So, it doesnt mean that they're not born sinners. We are all born sinners. Babies are born very selfish. They come out crying to have their way, and have no patience at all. They want what they want, and they'll scream and cry to get it. And, just spend a little time in a nursery, and you'll see selfishness and sin displayed between toddlers. But, they're not held accountable for their sins until they're able to understand evil, and their conscience is able to know right and wrong, and about God, etc.

I do believe that the situation with King David and his baby that died shows us this. Also, the many, many passages that talk about the children who dont know the right from the left; the little children and Jesus; and other Scriptures like those passages mentioned in the above comments by other people show us this. So, it's not just emotion that leads me to hold to this view about babies going to Heaven. Although, I admit that babies and retarded people and insane people going to Hell forever to pay for sins which they never understood and had no concept of does seem very harsh and masochistic.

Now, before you think that I'm some bleeding heart liberal, who doesnt like the idea of God sending people to Hell; let me put your concerns to rest. I believe very much that God sends people to Hell, and He will do so one day. I do believe the OT where God told the Israelites to completely wipe out the Canaanites...men, women, and children...animals...everything. And, yes, children did die in the flood...that does not mean that they went to Hell. But, when the judgment of God falls on a nation, or on the world; sometimes the "innocent" have to suffer along with the rest of them...just as the saved Jews in the OT had to suffer many times when God judged the nation of Israel and allowed a foreign nation to take them over. Daniel knew something about that.

So, I really do not...and can not...understand how the Reformed fellas can believe that children and retarded people go to Hell, or that that is a possibility. I understand that they could say that this is not a definitive teaching in the Bible. But, I really cannot understand how they could say that some babies go to Hell and some dont...just depends on what God decides. Yet, I understand that being Reformed would lead one to that logical conclusion. I dont think that Reformed fits the Bible.

David

Craig Daliessio

Or it could be that an innocent nature chooses God every time.
Oooooohhhh...there's the offspeed pitch.

Stephen M. Garrett

Dear Dr. Yarnell:

How does the Greek text undermine original sin in Romans 5: 12? I have debated this topic with the Campbellites and know the various ways they and others attempt to make the verse say what it does not say. Does Paul not say the same thing in other ways? Does he not say that the one act of the one man made or constituted all sinners and this is why all die? What is the judgement that came upon all because of Adam's sin? Is it not condemnation?

If infants are innocent, then your view would have God inflicting a penalty (death) upon innocents. How is God loving in that scenario?

I am not seeing the words of Paul through any theological lens, but only taking him at what he says prima facie.

Besides, does this idea of infantile innocence involve one's ideas about the extent of the atonement? Do you not believe that Christ die for all men, that is, all the human race? Yet, if infants are not sinners, why would he die for them? Do you believe Christ died for them, for their salvation?

Blessings,

Stephen

Stephen M. Garrett

Dear volfan007:

And where is your scripture for affirming that one must have a certain level of understanding in order to be held guilty? I did not see any cited.

Did Christ die for infants?

I think it is a stretch to argue that men can sin but not be guilty of it because they do not know it is sin. Scripture proof?

The case of David and his child is not clear cut proof. All souls, righteous and unrighteous, went to the same place, in the OT, to "sheol," so this would prove nothing. Besides, even if one allows that David believed that his child would go to heaven, how does this prove that all infants go there?

How can you say that a person who is called "ungodly" by the Lord is innocent?

Blessings,

Stephen

Job

Peter:

So what is your agenda here? To get Reformed Baptists to reject Calvinism or to get free will Baptists to reject Calvinists and to move to eject them out of the SBC and its seminaries? I sincerely doubt that you agenda is the former. I am becoming certain that your agenda is the latter.

peter lumpkins

 

Stephen,

Thanks.  First, you are welcome to disagree that the “historic position of Baptists on "original sin" excludes guilt.”  And, while there may be some discussion involved (since the confessional sweep is so broad), certainly you must account for the historical data that suggests you may be mistaken,Stephen.  For example, two early Baptist confessions explicitly deny “original sin.” 

In the Short Confession of 1609, John Smyth affirmed, “That there is no original sin (lit., no sin of origin or descent), but all sin is actual and voluntary, viz., a word, a deed, or a design against the law of God; and therefore, infants are without sin.” (John Smyth, Short Confession of Faith in 20 Articles, Art. 5).

Additionally, the Short Confession of Faith of 1610 affirmed that none of Adam’s posterity “are guilty, sinful, or born in original sin.”  (A Short Confession of Faith (1610), Art. 4.).  Baptist confessions tend to have affirmed an inherited sin nature, focusing on guilt from actual sin, not inherited guilt.

Finally, all three Baptist Faith & Message documents (1925, 1963, 2000) have almost identical wording under Article III: “Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell…whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.” Hence, you may disagree if you wish.

Second, you state that “Death is the wages of sin and those who die show that God holds them guilty.”  I assume you mean since infants die, therefore God holds them guilty.  But if God holds them guilty, then all infants are responsible for their sin and are lost, are they not?  It’s interesting how one may make a sweeping judgment that no clear cut statement of Scripture says all infants are saved but manage to find a clear-cut statement of Scripture that presumably pronounces all infants as lost

Pertaining to Romans 5, I’ll wait until you;ve replied to Dr. Yarnell’s excellent question. So far as Psalm 58 is concerned, the same reply I offered above will suffice.  If babies “speak lies” from birth and are therefore counted guilty as you suggest, then the answer to the query is over:  infants are under condemnation and bear full responsibility for their inherited guilt and willful rebellion.

As for basing basing our theology/soteriology on our emotions, I’m not sure toward what you refer. Nor do I desire a theology I’ve simply carved out of my favorite set of propositions.

As for my closing thought to “suffer” the “little ones” to come to Jesus, I did not know I specifically referenced it to “infants” alone but since you mention it, I don’t see why infants could not be included. Do you think it would please the Lord Jesus if we attempted to keep infants from Him?  What your point is, I do not know.    My point was and is very straightforward:  the magnificent love Jesus has for “little ones.”  Why you would not think His love extends to them I cannot tell.  And, to cast my words into an evangelistic invitation, Stephen, is absurd, as is the question, “why must "little children" (infants) come to Jesus if they are not sinners in need of salvation?”  Again, would you prefer “little ones” be kept from Jesus?  If not, what is your point? 

But even so, Stephen, you’re assuming the exclusive reason to “come to Jesus” is evangelistic in nature.  It is not.  I go to Jesus often but not to “be saved.”  So do you.  However, early exposure to the Lord and His wonderful gospel is a sure way to lead children to Christ when the day arrives and the Holy Spirit begins to move in their inward life and the gospel itself pierces their young souls.

As for the infants dying in the flood being “ungodly” I’m wondering what light it brings.  You’ll have to tease that out.

Finally, as for my view fitting the “Campbellite view” all I can say is, so?  Mormons in my town meet on Sunday.  Hence, I also fit their view.

Thanks for your dialog.

With that, I am…

Peter

peter lumpkins

Job,

Technically, of course, there are no "Free-will Baptists" in the SBC so far as I know.

With that, I am...
Peter

Job

peter:

So what do you refer to yourself as? You reject both "Arminian" and "free will Christian." And no, I will not refer to you as "biblicist" for obvious reasons. Also, I would like to know if your aim is to get Calvinists ejected from the SBC.

Ron Phillips, Sr.

Job,

Have you read the OP (parts 1 and 2)? His aim was to show that those calling him a liar regarding Reformed Theology teaching Infant Reprobation was merely their ignorance of the history of their chosen systematic theology. He has done that quite well. Not one peep from the "You sir are a liar" crowd to refute the documentation he has given. Thus he has succeeded in his clearly stated aim.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Ron Phillips, Sr.

Job,

Another question. How does one go about ejecting someone from the SBC?

Blessings,

Ron P.

peter lumpkins

Job,

I'm unsure what you're after. On the one hand, you ask me "what do you refer to yourself as?" but immediately come back with, "no, I will not refer to you as "biblicist"..." How does what I call myself affect your hesitance to refer to me likewise? The question was not, "what do you prefer others to refer to yourself as?"

That aside, you pretty much opened you sack to let me see inside. It seems to me, you obviously do not care much what I think or else you'd not be so quick to reject something I had not even spoken.

Good day, Job.

With that, I am...
Peter

Stephen M. Garrett

Dear Peter:

John Smyth is not part of the ancestry of Southern Baptists, but of the General Baptists. Southern Baptists are descendents of those who embraced the London Confession of faith, or the Particular Baptists. The founders of the SBC held to original sin, including both inherited depravity and imputed guilt.

I do not care to continue this debate in the comments section. I am willing to formally debate this with you or Dr. Yarnell any time that is convenient. Also, I think my arguments from scripture have not been refuted and my questions have not been addressed.

So, I will give you the last word here.

Blessings,

Stephen

volfan007

STephen,

Somehow, we all thought this would be your answer.

BTW, Stephen, I did not say that children are innocent. I said that I DO NOT BELIEVE that they are held accountable for their sins until they reach the age of accountability...which I BELIEVE is different for different children.

Also, to echo Peter, Stephen, to believe as you about children and the retarded and the insane, is to believe that they ALL go to Hell, since none of them ever reach the point of being to repent and put their faith in Jesus. Thus, if they're born sinners, and they're guilty of sin, and they're held responsible for their guilt; then they ALL go to Hell forever and ever and ever.

I dont believe that, and I told you already the Scriptures that I believe backs up my view. I'm sorry that you dont agree with my view of those Scriptures...but, so be it.

David

peter lumpkins

Stephen,

Begging pardon, Stephen, but your statement I addressed was not specifically about the history of Southern Baptists, rather, the “historic position of Baptists on "original sin"..." And, for the record, no, John Smyth was not a "General" Baptist. Perhaps English General Baptists followed his theological lead but that's certainly not the same thing as suggesting he was a "General Baptist."

However, if you'd like to just limit it to Southern Baptists, I gave you the only three confessions Southern Baptists have produced as a convention. None of the three agree with your assertion and all three are identical to mine.

To be fair, I honestly did not see where you dealt with Scripture in the comments to me. You quoted a few verses and asked a few questions, questions I thought I actually answered. Perhaps I didn't.

Anyways, the keystone was Romans 5:12, a verse Dr. Yarnell asked concerning the way you would exegete it, and a response for which I eagerly awaited. I'll look again, but when I read your response earlier, didn't you answer Dr. Yarnell with a couple of questions? I was hoping for an exegetical break-down.

Again, Stephen, thank you for participating. You're always welcome. Our Lord be praised.

With that, I am...
Peter

Chris Gilliam

Peter,

I don't understand how one can make the satement "all babies are elect" and at the same time not be a universalist. What does one do with all babies are elect, if all elect will be saved? Furthermore, If all babies are elect, then do they loose their election at a certian age of accountability and thus make God's Word untrue in Romans 8:28-30? Again, Calvin's logic is tight.

Chris Gilliam

And you made that point clearly in your essays. I don't understand why the Reformed are up in arms? Either accept the whole bag of donuts or....

Darby Livingston

Thanks for your reply. While I certainly agree in the authority of every verse of Scripture, and appreciate your stand on that as well, I don't think David's child is proof of anything other than that David would see this particular child again. It doesn't prove the entire doctrine of universal infant salvation.

As far as reformed theologians having no biblical foundation for infant reprobation, it seems to me that you're falling into the very trap that Peter set in this post. Do you mean to tell me you've never read any of the reformers biblical warrants for infant reprobation? That their entire argument is from metaphysical philosophy void of Scripture? That's as unacceptable as some of the neo-reformed that Peter is correcting in this series of posts.

The comments to this entry are closed.