« Will "Infant Damnation Presbyterians" spawn "Infant Damnation Southern Baptists"? Part 1 | Main | 'it is most just, exceeding just'--Jonathan Edwards on the damnation of infants »

Aug 26, 2013

Comments

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

peter lumpkins

And again, Dagg commenting on the centurion slave-holder (Matt. 8:5-13):

"If the holding of slaves is sinful, it would have been a suitable occasion for our Lord when commending this slaveholder so highly, to have instructed his disciples to avoid imitation of him in this particular. But he gave no such caution; and, further, no such caution can be found anywhere in the New Testament" (p.347, emphasis added)

Stephen

Peter,

I can understand why this is a sensitive issue. My wife and I just had our first child, so this is much more than theory for me. However, for me personally and for those Calvinists that I have heard articulate this issue, it isn’t about supporting the idea of infant damnation. Maybe it is for some, but I would be very sad to hear that. For me, it is an issue of not going beyond Scripture to form doctrine. The safety of all infants can fit well within my theology, and I hold hope that our good God does save all infants. However, I am uncomfortable saying that He does save all infants because it isn’t specifically revealed in Scripture (best as I can read it now).

I don’t think the comparison you make above is fair because we aren’t talking about actively supporting infant damnation. All we are talking about is being silent where the Bible is silent. I hope that you receive this comment well. I trust the Judge of the earth to do what is right, which is why I sleep at night despite not knowing exactly what the fate of infants is. All the best to you.

Grace and Peace,
Stephen

Max

"Author Bruce Gourley says in 'Diverging Loyalties: Baptists in Middle Georgia During the Civil War' that the Calvinism that caused many Baptists to view the war as God’s providential hand guiding the Southern cause waned as early victories turned to defeat and all but disappeared from public discourse by the turn of the 20th century" http://www.abpnews.com/faith/history/item/7079-civil-war-changed-southern-baptists-historian-says#.UhvK0z_wZfY

peter lumpkins

Hi Stephen,

Thanks and I appreciate your moving testimony and the honesty with which you appear to cite your position. But I must disagree that being agnostic on the issue has any real bearing on the issue. Calvinists readily make many leaps when it comes to theological positions--infra, supra, and any number of other positions I could name with far less Scriptural data than we could cite on salvation. Mohler and Akin demonstrate this. I'm afraid that for many strict Calvinists, there remains a measure of cowardice in accepting the necessary inferences of their stated positions. While you may do so out of sincere caution--and I have no reason to suspect you do not--some brothers are simply not going to go there because they'll be caught with their theological pants down.

Thanks again, my brother. Lord bless...

peter lumpkins

Oh, and by the way, Stephen, the analogy remains intact, I think, because Dagg was citing the lack of prohibition --i.e. Scriptural verses to forbid belief and practice of slavery-- as some apparently today are citing the lack of prohibition--i.e. Scriptural verses to forbid belief in and Divine practice of infant damnation...

peter lumpkins

All

The comment below was logged at SBC Voices by Clark Dunlap. He posted there that he logged this comment here. However, it never came through the typepad system. Hence, I took the liberty to post it below.

I know you (Bro P.L.) must see the vitriol that is unwarranted in your comparison of the slavery debate and the doctrines surrounding the death of infants. But in case someone else doesn’t see it, Dagg was wrong, we won’t go into all the reasons here, but he was advocating a “Practice” that was inhumane and ghastly. Some modern reformed Baptists (his accusations don’t actually name anyone just suggest they are leaders) are not practicing or encouraging the practice of sending babies to hell. This is “apples and oranges” and once again Bro. Lumpkins (and I use the term brother hopefully) just wants to paint those with whom he disagrees theologically in the worst light possible. It is prejudicial behavior on his part and also inhumane and ghastly"

Clark Dunlap

All

The comment below was logged at SBC Voices by Clark Dunlap. He posted there that he logged this comment here. However, it never came through the typepad system. Hence, I took the liberty to post it below.

“I know you (Bro P.L.) must see the vitriol that is unwarranted in your comparison of the slavery debate and the doctrines surrounding the death of infants. But in case someone else doesn’t see it, Dagg was wrong, we won’t go into all the reasons here, but he was advocating a “Practice” that was inhumane and ghastly. Some modern reformed Baptists (his accusations don’t actually name anyone just suggest they are leaders) are not practicing or encouraging the practice of sending babies to hell. This is “apples and oranges” and once again Bro. Lumpkins (and I use the term brother hopefully) just wants to paint those with whom he disagrees theologically in the worst light possible. It is prejudicial behavior on his part and also inhumane and ghastly”

peter lumpkins

Hi Clark,

No, I actually don't see the supposed vitriol you seem to see by offering what I believe to be a solid analogy of similar hermenuetics. Thus, it's not an "apples and oranges" scenario as your cliche implies. Nor does your reasoning overturn  it. You suggest based on slavery as a practice that no one today is practicing (or encouraging the practice) of sending someone to hell.

The problem is, while slavery is a practice as you assert, it is also a <i>belief</i> which is precisely what Dagg called for and addressed in the quote above; namely Scriptural verses to <i>overturn the belief</i> in the validity of practicing slavery.

You like others fail to appreciate that for Dagg and apparently some today who at minimum, apparently entertain the notion babies burn in hell, the hermenuetical principle remains the same--<i>biblical silence for prohibition of the belief</i>--a belief which is the basis of the practice.

Now, I could make a big deal about whether or not you think I'm actually saved with your insulting hopefully-I'm-a-brother-in-Christ remark, but no need to, Clark. You've proved time and again when you comment here and elsewhere you have few reservations in slamming my Christian integrity. And, know I'm just as happy as a Georgia peach to allow you to judge as you wish to your heart's desire.

With that, I am...
Peter

P.S. If you log a comment again and it doesn't go through in a reasonable amount of time, just drop me an email as do others and I'll be sure and post it.

Roy

We must be careful however with the issue of slavery. While American slavery was based on racism and was clearly wrong because of racism, slavery itself is not preached against in the Bible. If we preach, as the abolitionist did in the 19th century, against slavery, we would be hard pressed to build a biblical defense for it. Would Philemon be unsaved if he owned slaves (which he did)? Where in the NT do we find condemnation of slavery? We do, however, find condemnation of racism and we find that true Christianity (as shown in the book of Philemon) transforms relationships so that slavery would end not by the hand of the state (as the Civil War shows and how it destroyed race relations to this day in the US) but by the grace of God in transformed lives (2 Cor. 5:17).

While slavery is best gone, it can only be truly ended by the power of the gospel. We remain a divided people in the US because of the lack of the gospel (Gal. 3:26-29).

peter lumpkins

Hi Roy.

Thanks. First, while it's true some distinctions might be made between slavery in the Greco-Roman world and slavery in the old South (including Colonial America), when all the dust settles from rehearsing the distinctions, we still have slavery nonetheless.

Second, if you'll carefully read Dagg from which the quote above was taken, you'll find Dagg offers little, if any, hint racism stood behind his moral argument for slave-owning. He appealed to the spoils of war, the intellectual ignorance of those held as slaves, the right of a state to offer to its citizens better conditions of life, which included more liberty than non-citizens (i.e. slaves), the betterment of slaves' own living advantages, the protection of foreigners (i.e. slaves) in an alien country, and even simple pity for the slaves themselves; all this coupled with the presence of slavery in Scripture on one hand with the silence of prohibitive Scriptures on the other made his case for slave-owning. Any or all of the aforementioned reasons for just slavery cannot rise to the mark of racism, Roy.

Third, you seem to suggest that racism remains the only motive for human slavery, doubtless a flawed perspective. If this is the case, then black slave owners could be morally condemned in what way exactly?

Fourth, granting for argument's sake that the Bible makes no condemnation of slavery proves what, Roy? This is precisely the point I challenged with these two parallel quotes. Those who argue the Bible offers no explicit verses that all infants dying in infancy are safe in grace stand very similarly to those arguing the Bible offers no prohibition of owning slaves. Hence, I conclude that since slave owning per se was not morally condemnable because of its silence, then the notion that at least some babies burn in hell should not be morally condemnable either. Why? The same hermenuetic used for arguing the justice of slavery is used for arguing either the silence toward or allowance of at least some babies burning in hell. "Since the Bible is silent, so shall we be silent" the argument goes.

Do you really want to play those hermenuetical cards, Roy? If so, then please inform us all how we might morally condemn taking for pleasure cocaine and meth? The Bible speaks to neither. Why we wouldn't morally approve torturing puppies as a sport, or feeding your neighbors poison mushrooms in a salad as a joke? There are many things the Bible doesn't outright condemn we could mention, things obviously morally condemnable. Hence, for you to lay that hand on the table reveals you might not have been at the hermenuetical cards long enough.

Thanks...

The comments to this entry are closed.