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Aaron O'Kelley

Note that Erickson is speaking, not exclusively about infants, but about children in general.

As a parent of a seven-year-old and a four-year-old, I can testify that I have absolutely no difficulty imagining that children are sinful. I would imagine that most parents would agree.

peter lumpkins

Hi Aaron,

Actually, he's speaking about children--i.e. infants >>>--who remain below what he and others dub the so-called "age of accountability" or what he references in the opening line of the quote above as "those who never reach moral competence." While your 7 year old might be reaching the moral competency threshold, from what I gather in Erickson's view, your 4 year old would not...

Aaron O'Kelley

Yes, that is a fair reading of Erickson. But I wonder if Erickson has read Matthew 19 fairly. Is there anything in the context of Matthew that would indicate that the children brought to Jesus were specifically or exclusively those who had not reached moral competence?

And believe me, my four-year-old has known how to sin for quite some time now, as I'm sure most any other parent would attest!

peter lumpkins


Well according to a host of Baptist scholars and theologians there most certainly is enough in Matthew, coupled with Jesus' dealings with children in general, to substantiate Erickson's claim.

Tim Rogers


Thanks for this article. I have used the same quote from Erickson in my article today. I believe that infant damnation is an issue of inerrancy. For me it is completely denying the text to say that infants burn in Hell, or they are annihilated. I just do not see where the Scriptures teach anything else but that infants that die before moral responsibility are spending eternity any other place but with Jesus.

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