How Does the Lord save Infants/Babies then?

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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Yet, why must that biblical treatment go beyond what we already confess? The Confession declares that "elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit..."
I don't believe this is going beyond the scriptures or confession; see ch 28; there is enough information to warrant research on the idea. Children are regenerated in infancy at times; whether that be in the womb or at baptism or afterwards, it happens. The question that would follow, is can the baby be converted, i.e. receive faith and repentance if faith and repentance requires a mental assent to biblical propositions? Could an adult male be converted outside of a mental assent? Does God work that way? Like, God regenerates, gives faith and repentance and the man is left holding the bag, having absolutely no idea what his faith is in nor why he needs to repent of anything-or what repentance even is! That makes no sense!

simply acknowledging that - even if via atypical means - God will save the elect infant. You would agree that "saved" is equal to or at least encompasses "conversion," right? Else, they are saved but not converted, which is nonsense.
As I have clealry shown, the elect infant dying in infancy, receives the internal and external call of God from Christ Himself, encompassing the whole of the ordo-this to include faith and repentance (conversion). This is, as u would say, 'atypical'. Atypical in that, the typical way men are saved by the external call portion of the order, coming from an external voice, i.e. the preacher.

So, these elect infants are regenerated and saved atypically. Why must we posit what it might look like if they were to live beyond infancy? Is there any biblical warrant to suggest that they might?
This statement shows me that u are still not following me fully. When u ask, 'to suggest that they might?' , proves that, because no one has ever argued in that respect. What I am arguying for are infants that are not destined to die in the womb or shortly after but the infants that have been regenerated in the womb, at baptism, etc. that God has decreed will live a fruitfull, full life in the Lord, when do they receive faith and repentance (conversion)? It is not a vicarious adopting of a faith by Christ to an elect person, is it? In both the cases, infant vs adult, both must have a basis for their faith and must know that they are in need of repentance for a reason. Can a man be saved yet not know who Christ is? This would be the case of the infant. Can the infant see the kingdom of God? U might say, 'well the infant has faith'. I would respond, if regenerated, yes, in seed form-it needs the word to germinate it and then it grows. Conversion happens sometimes afterwards when the person comes to an assent of facts.

Why can we not say that elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved atypically in infancy, while elect persons surviving beyond infancy are regenerated and saved typically in a single, "spokes of the wheel," event?
See my above statement

Why must the latter be supposed to have been regenerated prior (by whatever measure of time) to their conversion?
See my post above

Someone earlier (or on another thread) mentioned Lazarus as a helpful example. Can we really fathom that he was lying there in the tomb alive (regenerated) just waiting for the external call, "Come forth?" Or is it better to think that the Master's cry was attended by the Spirit's vivification, and the dead came to life and responded in the same event (though logically in accord with the ordo salutis)?
First of all, one cannot hang their hat on this miracle of Jesus and attempt to corral it into a teaching example on the order of salvation. Secondly, since it was not a teaching in regards to the order, it makes no sense in trying to use it for such.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't believe this is going beyond the scriptures or confession; see ch 28; there is enough information to warrant research on the idea. Children are regenerated in infancy at times; whether that be in the womb or at baptism or afterwards, it happens. The question that would follow, is can the baby be converted, i.e. receive faith and repentance if faith and repentance requires a mental assent to biblical propositions? Could an adult male be converted outside of a mental assent? Does God work that way? Like, God regenerates, gives faith and repentance and the man is left holding the bag, having absolutely no idea what his faith is in nor why he needs to repent of anything-or what repentance even is! That makes no sense!



As I have clealry shown, the elect infant dying in infancy, receives the internal and external call of God from Christ Himself, encompassing the whole of the ordo-this to include faith and repentance (conversion). This is, as u would say, 'atypical'. Atypical in that, the typical way men are saved by the external call portion of the order, coming from an external voice, i.e. the preacher.



This statement shows me that u are still not following me fully. When u ask, 'to suggest that they might?' , proves that, because no one has ever argued in that respect. What I am arguying for are infants that are not destined to die in the womb or shortly after but the infants that have been regenerated in the womb, at baptism, etc. that God has decreed will live a fruitfull, full life in the Lord, when do they receive faith and repentance (conversion)? It is not a vicarious adopting of a faith by Christ to an elect person, is it? In both the cases, infant vs adult, both must have a basis for their faith and must know that they are in need of repentance for a reason. Can a man be saved yet not know who Christ is? This would be the case of the infant. Can the infant see the kingdom of God? U might say, 'well the infant has faith'. I would respond, if regenerated, yes, in seed form-it needs the word to germinate it and then it grows. Conversion happens sometimes afterwards when the person comes to an assent of facts.



See my above statement



See my post above



First of all, one cannot hang their hat on this miracle of Jesus and attempt to corral it into a teaching example on the order of salvation. Secondly, since it was not a teaching in regards to the order, it makes no sense in trying to use it for such.
Would those who are born mentally challenged and not able to understand the facts of the Gospel fall under a same category as babies and infants than in regards to God choosing to save some or all of them?
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
What I am arguying for are infants that are not destined to die in the womb or shortly after but the infants that have been regenerated in the womb, at baptism, etc. that God has decreed will live a fruitfull, full life in the Lord,
How do you know that such a situation would ever occur (apart from the biblical examples, which we agree were atypical)? How do you know that there are regenerated, but not converted, infants?
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
how many of them He will save then?
Precisely the number that corresponds with His will. We are not given firm biblical support for anything beyond that. We do know that, if they are elect, they are saved. Where Scripture is silent is whether every infant dying in infancy is elect. Thus, the Confession declares only that the elect infants, dying in infancy, are saved. It attempts neither to attempt identify nor quantify those elect.

As others have said, though, there is some scriptural support for the idea of believing parents having hope that their children are heirs to the promise, as well.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
How do you know that such a situation would ever occur (apart from the biblical examples, which we agree were atypical)? How do you know that there are regenerated, but not converted, infants?
How do we know that there are regenerate infants?
To begin with, we see examples in scripture where infants are surely set apart from the womb-granted, they are not typical, except for Timothy (2 Tim 3:15). As well, If you read ch 28 of the WCF, it states:

I. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,[1] not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church;[2] but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,[3] of his ingrafting into Christ,[4] of regeneration,[5] of remission of sins,[6] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in the newness of life.[7] Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world.[8]

VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered;[16] yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time.[17]
Since we are paedobaptists, looking at these portions of the WCF, along with the scripture references, these references are directly related to infants-not in the absolute, mind you, but in the majority. Upon reading them, thinking covenantally and paedobaptistically, one can simply deduce that God does at times, regenerate infants (as well as adults) at the baptismal font (if He so wills). Gievn what I have said, this is how we paedobaptists come to this conclusion.

How do we know that infants are most likely regenerated and not converted?

How are men converted?
Men are called to believe-they need to have a belief in the God of the bible, of Christ and His redemptive work (though not in lofty terms), their sin and the idea that outside of Christ's mercy and grace they are sliding headlong into hell for eternity. They need to understand that God is 3 in 1-again. Again, not in lofty terms. Do all of these things need to be cognitively understood before a man is converted? Possibly. Much of this is mysterious.

The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 1:17

17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Men are saved by God's power alone. By grace alone. What is the difference between regeneration and conversion? Regeneration is not conversion and conversion is not regeneration!How are men converted? Conversion happens when the person ascends to certain truths of the bible. The knowledge does not save, mind you, but it is relevant. Without it, how could a man repent if he doesn't see his need or if man has faith, what is that faith in? The scriptures tell us, 'unless a man repent, he will likewise perish'. Luke 13:3 and 'He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.' John 3:18

I have mentioned the terms assensus, fiducia and notia in an earlier post....they are instrumental.

Hodge writes:

The Bible makes eternal life to consist in knowledge; sinfulness is blindness, or darkness; the transition from a state of sin to a state of holiness is a translation from darkness into light; men are said to be renewed unto knowledge, i.e., knowledge is the effect of regeneration; conversion is said to be effected by the revelation of Christ; the rejection of Him as the Son of God and Saviour of men is referred to the fact that the eyes of those who believe not are blinded by the god of this world. These Scriptural representations prove much. They prove that knowledge is essential to all holy exercises; that truth, as the object of knowledge, is of vital importance, and that error is always evil and often fatal; and that the effects of regeneration, so far as they reveal themselves in our consciousness, consist largely in the spiritual apprehension or discernment of divine things. These representations also prove that in the order of nature, knowledge, or spiritual discernment, is antecedent and causative relatively to all holy exercises of the feelings or affections. It is the spiritual apprehension of the truth that awakens love, faith, and delight; and not love that produces spiritual discernment. It was the vision Paul had of the divine glory of Christ that made him instantly and forever his worshipper and servant. The Scriptures, however, do not teach that regeneration consists exclusively in illumination, or that the cognitive faculties are exclusively the subject of the renewing power of the Spirit. It is the soul as such that is spiritually dead; and it is to the soul that a new principle of life controlling all its exercises, whether of the intellect, the sensibility, the conscience, or the will is imparted.
and:

This new life, therefore, manifests itself in new views of God, of Christ, of sin, of holiness, of the world, of the gospel, and of the life to come; in short, of all those truths which God has revealed as necessary to salvation. This spiritual illumination is so important and so necessary and such an immediate effect of regeneration, that spiritual knowledge is not only represented in the Bible as the end of regeneration (Col. 3:10; 1 Tim. 2:4), but the whole of conversion (which is the effect of regeneration) is summed up in knowledge. Paul describes his conversion as consisting in Christ’s being revealed to Him (Gal. 1:16); and the Scriptures make all religion, and even eternal life, to be a form of knowledge. Paul renounced everything for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ (Phil. 3:8), and our Lord says that the knowledge of Himself and of the Father is eternal life. Faith is not a blind, irrational conviction. In order to believe, we must know what we believe, and the grounds on which our faith rests
A sixth question, included under the head of the relation of faith to knowledge is, whether knowledge is essential to faith? That is, whether a truth must be known in order to be believed? This Protestants affirm and Romanists deny. therefore, knowledge, or the intelligent apprehension of the meaning of what is proposed, is essential to faith. It follows from what has been said, or rather is included in it, that knowledge being essential to faith, it must be the measure of it.
1. From the very nature of faith. It includes the conviction of the truth of its object. It is an affirmation of the mind that a thing is true or trustworthy, but the mind can affirm nothing of that of which it knows nothing.

2. The Bible everywhere teaches that without knowledge there can be no faith.

3. Such is the intimate connection between faith and knowledge, that in the Scriptures the one term is often used for the other. To know Christ, is to believe upon Him. To know the truth, is intelligently and believingly to apprehend and appropriate it. Conversion is effected by knowledge.
I pray this helps....
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
C. Matthew Mcmahon writes on the subject:

An important notion that Van Mastricht takes some time to develop based on the Reformed dichotomy of regeneration and faith, is that regeneration confers spiritual life in the first act only. This first act, then, is a principle, not an operation. This idea of an operation of grace, the Reformed have always defined as “habits or exercises” of grace. Manton says, “The habits of all grace are brought into the heart by regeneration.” Turretin says, “Habitual or passive conversion takes place by the infusion of supernatural habits by the Holy Spirit.”26 These habits are exercised at a later time. Thus, fallen men who are regenerated are capacitated to believe and repent, but regeneration is not believing nor repenting. Such an action will come later.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Agreed, and the hope is rooted in the truth that God Himself, in the Person of Jesus at the Cross and in His resurrection, has provided in full the grounds by which He might choose to save all infants who have died.
David,
Just grabbing one of your posts at random: are you advocating the position that all infants who die in the womb are automatically saved? That is an exceedingly un-confessional position. If all babies who die are saved, where is the doctrine of Original Sin? We might as well become Pelagians (horrors!). Is it not better to believe that our Heavenly Father, who is good, and ordains all things that come to pass, will have done rightly, even in the damnation of unborn infants? His thoughts are not our thoughts; His ways not our ways: we must only believe that He is good and righteous, even if we can't understand His councils.
The Bible is clear: man is a sinner from conception, liable to the curse. God has nowhere guaranteed that unborn dead babies will be all saved. Therefore it is irresponsible to conclude that they are.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
More from C. Matthew McMahon:

Dr. William Twisse states, “We explain efficacious grace to be an operation of God affecting the will of man, which is not moral but physical, that is immediately and really working in us to do whatsoever good we perform, determining the will to action, but yet so that it acts freely.” Dr. Thomas Ridgley, in his exposition of the Larger Catechism states, “From hence I am obliged to infer that the regenerating act, or implanting this principle of grace, which is, at least, in order of nature, antecedent to any act of grace put forth by us, is the immediate effect of the power of God, which none who speak of regeneration as a divine work pretend to deny.” Dr. Stephen Charnock mentions the difference between regeneration and conversion, “Regeneration is a spiritual change; conversion is a spiritual motion.”37 Dr. Herman Witsius defines regeneration as “that supernatural act of God whereby a new and divine life is infused into the elect person, spiritually dead, and that form an incorruptible seed of the Word of God, made fruitful by the infinite power of the Spirit.”


Rev. Samuel Hopkins states, “Let us consider the divine agency, the work of the Spirit of God, by which persons are regenerated or born of God, and which lays the only foundation for conversion or holy exercises in the subject...the divine agency and operation, which is first, and lays the foundation for all right views and exercises in the person who is the subject, is called by divines regeneration.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
David,
Just grabbing one of your posts at random: are you advocating the position that all infants who die in the womb are automatically saved? That is an exceedingly un-confessional position. If all babies who die are saved, where is the doctrine of Original Sin? We might as well become Pelagians (horrors!). Is it not better to believe that our Heavenly Father, who is good, and ordains all things that come to pass, will have done rightly, even in the damnation of unborn infants? His thoughts are not our thoughts; His ways not our ways: we must only believe that He is good and righteous, even if we can't understand His councils.
The Bible is clear: man is a sinner from conception, liable to the curse. God has nowhere guaranteed that unborn dead babies will be all saved. Therefore it is irresponsible to conclude that they are.
Ben,
Somewhere imbedded in this thread, one of my posts show the reformed view on the subject. The camp is split on the issue. If you peruse this thread, you can find my post w/ citations.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Sophomore
Are there any scripture that states just some infants are saved though?
God promises to save His elect among the seed of believers. He never promises to do it at baptism or birth or in the womb. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. This is the means He uses. It's as the child grows and comes to understand the gospel that God effects what He's promises to do. Or, sometimes much later (as in the case of Jacob).
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
How do we know that there are regenerate infants?
No, I asked "how do we know that there are regenerated, but not converted, infants? Of course, I believe that there are regenerated infants! Those dying in infancy are both regenerated and converted.

we see examples in scripture where infants are surely set apart from the womb-granted, they are not typical, except for Timothy (2 Tim 3:15)
I interpret the βρέφος in 2 Tim 3:15 to mean "young child," rather than "infant." There is lexical room for either. However, if you want to employ this verse to indicate a regenerate infant, then you are striking at the root of your own argument, because the text says that from the time Timothy was a (βρέφος), he has known [εἴδω - to know, perceive, discern] the holy scriptures. And you call this typical! So, do you or do you not think that infants can know the holy scriptures?

one can simply deduce that God does at times, regenerate infants (as well as adults) at the baptismal font (if He so wills). Gievn what I have said, this is how we paedobaptists come to this conclusion.
Certainly God can - and perhaps - does regenerate (and convert) infants at the baptismal font. However, you go too far: "we paedobaptists" do not universally come to the same conclusion as you do. Some may; many do not.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Ben,
Somewhere imbedded in this thread, one of my posts show the reformed view on the subject. The camp is split on the issue. If you peruse this thread, you can find my post w/ citations.
Scott,
It appears from the replies that your position is in the minority among the reformed. Certainly no reformed person I've ever interacted with would agree that all infants are saved if they die in the womb.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Scott,
It appears from the replies that your position is in the minority among the reformed. Certainly no reformed person I've ever interacted with would agree that all infants are saved if they die in the womb.
-Reformed View:
1. Zwingli, Hooper, Candlish, and Toplady by inference, held that death in infancy is a sign of election, therefore all children dying in infancy are elect and saved.
2. The opposite side is that the only sure sign of election is faith with its fruits, therefore there are no grounds of knowledge on their fate wether they are children of believers or not . But God has His elect among them.
3. The majority of Calvinists held to the middle ground in that children of believers are saved and children of unbelievers are damned. Children of those in the Covenant are holy.
4. Owen goes a step further and held that if their parents were believers, God extends mercy BUT there are some elect amongst unbelievers infants.
5. The majority view is held in this statement by Petrus de Witte “We must adore God’s judgements and not curiously inquire into them. Of the children of believers it is not to be doubted but that they shall be saved, inasmuch as they belong to the covenant. But because we have no promise of the children of unbelievers we leave them to the judgment of God.”
6. The confessions refrain from all definition of the negative side of the salvation of infants, dying such, and thus confine themselves to emphasizing the gracious doctrine common to the whole body of Reformed thought.

Ruben,
I never actually told u my position, so I have no idea how u have come to your conclusion?
 
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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
I interpret the βρέφος in 2 Tim 3:15 to mean "young child," rather than "infant." There is lexical room for either. However, if you want to employ this verse to indicate a regenerate infant, then you are striking at the root of your own argument, because the text says that from the time Timothy was a (βρέφος), he has known [εἴδω - to know, perceive, discern] the holy scriptures. And you call this typical! So, do you or do you not think that infants can know the holy scriptures?
The point of this passage is the faithfulness of Timothy's grandmother and mother:

2 Tim 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice;
From birth, this child was nurtured in the faith. The text supports what I state. He was most likely regenerated in the womb or thereafter and then taught the faith, diligently unto conversion.

Certainly God can - and perhaps - does regenerate (and convert) infants at the baptismal font. However, you go too far: "we paedobaptists" do not universally come to the same conclusion as you do. Some may; many do not.
I. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,[1] not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church;[2] but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,[3] of his ingrafting into Christ,[4] of regeneration,[5] of remission of sins,[6] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in the newness of life.[7] Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world.[8]

VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered;[16] yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time.[17]
If you are confessional, you do....

I'm surprised that you haven't once interacted w/ Hodge et. al. on the matter; are you reading the citations?

I don't believe God 'converts' in the womb (generally) or at the rite of baptism, given what I have been saying over and over.
 
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earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I don't believe God 'converts' in the womb (generally) or at the rite of baptism, given what I have been saying over and over.
I generally believe God does convert when baptized, and we can only see the fruit of faith as a child grows and becomes a communicant member. :) Of course a close member of the family may see evidence of faith before a verbal profession of faith.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
I generally believe God does convert when baptized, and we can only see the fruit of faith as a child grows and becomes a communicant member. :) Of course a close member of the family may see evidence of faith before a verbal profession of faith.
Earl,
It seems u may be confusing regeneration w/ conversion. Not all children are regenerated at the font.

Charnock, et. al writes:

“Regeneration is a spiritual change; conversion is a spiritual motion". Hopkins: “Let us consider the divine agency, the work of the Spirit of God, by which persons are regenerated or born of God, and which lays the only foundation for conversion or holy exercises in the subject...the divine agency and operation, which is first, and lays the foundation for all right views and exercises in the person who is the subject, is called by divines regeneration.” VanMastricht: “This power in conversion which succeeds regeneration, proper circumstances being supposed, is in due time brought into actual exercise." "in regeneration, there is not bestowed upon the elect any faith, hope, love, repentance, etc., either as to habit or act, but the power only as yet of performing these exercises is bestowed, by which the regenerate person does not actually believe or repent, but is only capacitated thereunto".

C. M. McMahon, How Faith Works, n.d.
Make the distinction between the power to and habit and act.
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
He was most likely regenerated in the womb or thereafter and then taught the faith, diligently unto conversion
This is pure speculation to support your "gap theory."

If you are confessional, you do....
Patently false. There are many who are confessional who believe that regeneration and conversion occur as "spokes of a wheel" in the same chronological event. One needn't believe in your gap theory to be confessional. That is the only issue I am taking with your position: I reject the notion of a discernible, chronological gap between regeneration and conversion.

I'm surprised that you haven't once interacted w/ Hodge et. al.
I am just interacting with you - and still waiting for you to show biblical warrant (and not mere speculation) that there is a gap between regeneration and conversion. I am not interested (at this point) in what others have said for or against; I am trying to get you to prove your position from the text. (At any rate, just because Hodge said it, doesn't make it "gospel"!)

For your part, you didn't interact with the text that says Timothy knew the holy scriptures as an infant/child. Doesn't that militate against your whole argument - that even if one is regenerated, he cannot be converted until he has the knowledge necessary for faith and repentance? The text demonstrates that Timothy did have that knowledge - and you called that account "typical."

I don't believe God 'converts' in the womb (generally) or at the rite of baptism, given what I have been saying over and over.
I don't think that God converts in the womb either (generally), but I think that is what happened in those extraordinary examples we see in scripture because they were obviously regenerated and I don't believe in the "gap." In the event that God regenerates someone at the baptismal font (for which the Confession allows but which it by no means necessitates), I would say that He also converts them there.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Patently false. There are many who are confessional who believe that regeneration and conversion occur as "spokes of a wheel" in the same chronological event. One needn't believe in your gap theory to be confessional. That is the only issue I am taking with your position: I reject the notion of a discernible, chronological gap between regeneration and conversion.
You haven't interacted with any of the citations at all.....
For your part, you didn't interact with the text that says Timothy knew the holy scriptures as an infant/child.
I did...read again.
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
Scott, I really don't have the time to keep this up - you have your mind set. I think you're wrong. I think the majority of the Reformed world thinks you are wrong. I will step aside and let others interact with you as they see fit to do. May God continue to teach both of us (Ps 25:4-5).
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Ruben,
I never actually told u my position, so I have no idea how u have come to your conclusion?
Moderator Note:

Brother,

Rather than quote from a few (not "many" as you have asserted), why not just be plain spoken and inform us of your position in unambiguous terms? State it clearly and without equivocation so that we all may properly understand your starting position.

My read of all your posts to date on the matter assumes this is what you are advocating:

"Not all infants dying in infancy are elect. Those that are elect may be regenerated, a physical cause, which is in opposition to the moral act (per Mastricht, Theoretic o-practie a theologia, Il.l.vi, 52), yet the moral action that would give true faith (notia, assensus, fiducia), does not necessarily immediately accompany said physical cause of regeneration. In fact, this true faith may be separated from the action of regeneration by an extended period of time."​

Have I accurately captured your position? Please provide a correction if needed.

That we can find a position from the saints of the past that may align with our personal views is no warrant to claim that others have it all wrong or errantly understood. These men are not our regula fidei. At this site the starting point is the subordinate standard, one's Confessional basis, affirmed when joining.

Until you can demonstrate that the subordinate standard in question gives room for your views, the discussion will not proceed effectively. Appealing to a few men that may hold to your views, while perhaps necessary, is certainly not sufficient. You have been responded to by numerous ordained servants concerning your position. You continue to challenge their views by appeals to the writings of a few that may or may not support your view. Rather than asserting that this is the position (yours), it would be better to frame the discussion around why or why not these men of old are accurate, being misinterpeted, or just plain wrong.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Patrick,
To be accurate, my response to Ruben was specifically in regard to our conversation on the subject of whether or not 'all infants' dying in infancy were elect or some infants dying in infancy are elect; it is there that I said that I never said, 'what position I take on that subject'. So, having said that, it would seem as if you have misconstrued what he and I were talking about and my response. The main subject matter that I have been defending has been clear. But yea, your description is pretty accurate and have 'captured' it except for the opening remark-I am in the middle, depending on the conversation as to whether all infants are regenerated upon death or some of them are-I don't see this as a hill to die on.

others have it all wrong or errantly understood.
I believe I have been gracious with my argumentation. I don't believe I actually said anyone has it 'all wrong'.
In regards to the standards, I believe I am within the bounds of them. Since they do not address the ordo per se, more thought needs to go into that on our own. As well, the doctrine is gotten to my good and necessary consequence. Given that many theologians use the terms, dependent upon the subject matter, interchangeably, it makes the job much more difficult-hence, you have what you have.

You make mention of my citations yet, not one person has interacted with them.

I am not intentionally being cantankerous or difficult. The webmaster, C. Matthew McMahon, his paper entitled, 'How Faith Works', supports what I say-I know you respect Matt.
 
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Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Ruben,
I never actually told u my position, so I have no idea how u have come to your conclusion?
Hi Scott,
Just for clarity, I am not Ruben, though there is a paedobaptist (we all make mistakes) around here of that name, and we share a last name. But just so you know with whom you're interacting, I'm Ben Zartman, his older brother, and a Baptist.
I appreciate all the time you're taking to clarify your position, thank you for taking it. I still disagree with almost all of it.
Grace and peace to you.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Hi Ben,
My bad, pal. :) Yea, I was caught up in a loop. I have your brother's name stuck in my head from all the years of interacting with him. Thats ok that u disagree. Thats not a first. LOL. For the record, in regards to whether all infants dying in infancy are elect or just a portion of them are, I am undecided. There is enough good argumentation on both sides of the fence. Thanks for the discussion.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
David,
Just grabbing one of your posts at random: are you advocating the position that all infants who die in the womb are automatically saved? That is an exceedingly un-confessional position. If all babies who die are saved, where is the doctrine of Original Sin? We might as well become Pelagians (horrors!). Is it not better to believe that our Heavenly Father, who is good, and ordains all things that come to pass, will have done rightly, even in the damnation of unborn infants? His thoughts are not our thoughts; His ways not our ways: we must only believe that He is good and righteous, even if we can't understand His councils.
The Bible is clear: man is a sinner from conception, liable to the curse. God has nowhere guaranteed that unborn dead babies will be all saved. Therefore it is irresponsible to conclude that they are.
I am advocating for the position that the Lord, through the Death of Jesus, has provided for the atonement for the sins of all of His elect in Christ, and that God Himself has chosen to elect to salvation all infants and those who were born mentally challenged. I would agree with the Confession that all elect are saved, but I am saying that God has chosen to elect all in such a state. They still have Original Sin and are born as sinners, but God Himself has chosen to redeem them all through the merits of the Cross of Christ.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
God Himself has chosen to elect to salvation all infants
So all infants are elected to salvation, and then at some point in their future many of them are no longer elect to salvation but ordained to destruction? That seems to be a very shaky and costly view to uphold.
 
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