Presumptive regeneration more...

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Don

Puritan Board Freshman
Would presumptive regeneration mean that my kids, grandkids, great grandkids and everyone in my line will be saved, since the promise is to "you and your children"? One line of argument used in James White's debate was that all of Europe would be saved and since they are not, that disproves it. Thoughts?
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Don,
This is where the warning passages are rightfully appointed; they are there for exactly this reason. As a baptist, I was unable to reconsile them, yet as a presbyterian, it is solved in the light of CT. As I previously have mentioned, God is never unfaithful to His promises, men are faithless!
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:610dd082e9][i:610dd082e9]Originally posted by Scott Bushey[/i:610dd082e9]
Don,
This is where the warning passages are rightfully appointed; they are there for exactly this reason. As a baptist, I was unable to reconsile them, yet as a presbyterian, it is solved in the light of CT. As I previously have mentioned, God is never unfaithful to His promises, men are faithless! [/quote:610dd082e9]

But Scott, you said the promise is that your child WILL believe. If God is suppose to be faithful to his promise then if your child does not believe, then that means God has not been faithful to the promise, at least the way you are describing it. How can God be faithful to the promise, and yet the child not believe as was the case with Esau, and many Isrealites who perished in the wilderness? To say that they were faithless doesn't answer the question in light of the way you say the promise is to be understood. You said the promise is that they will be saved. And clearly some are not. So does this promise that God will be a God to our children really mean that God will save all our children? Or does it mean something else?
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Pat,
Let me say this then; God fulfills His promises.

In light of the elective decree, how is it that there are warnings of "falling away". Jesus himself said, "I will lose none". How does one resolve this conundrum? The exhortations surely imply one can _maintain_ themselves by persevering, yet there is the warning of falling away. How can this be?


[Edited on 5-17-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

Dan....

Puritan Board Sophomore
Kevin,

[quote:3e14ecb5ac]
How exactly would you admonish a child who was caught in a sin?

Do you treat them as if they should know better? Do you punish them? Do you tell them that they
need to ask the Lord for forgiveness? Do make them say they're sorry?
[/quote:3e14ecb5ac]



As I have a child which is due to be born in June, I have been doing a bit of reading up on the topic of correction. In the book, "Withhold Not Correction", by Bruce Ray, I glean the following system of questions that should accompany correction:

1. What did you do? (Be specific).
2. What does God say about this? (Quote Scriptures)
3. Was what you have done right or wrong, according to the scriptures?
4. What happens when you disobey?
5. What must I do as a parent who is under God's authority?
6. What ought you to do in the future?

The principle behind these questions is that the child understands that his disobedience is against God and that there are consequences for disobedience, because God is Holy.

[quote:3e14ecb5ac]
If you do any of these things, then by necessity, you must presume they are regenerate, for the unregenerate does not know better, they go unpunished, and they will neither say they are sorry, nor repent.
[/quote:3e14ecb5ac]

No, to do such things is first and foremost obedience to God. God has commanded us to correct our children, and we are obligated to obey. Second, Biblical Correction is a means of Grace. If our children do not give signs of a regenerate heart, that is no reason to give up and say, "well its useless; they don't know any better; they might as well go unpunished" - may it never be! This is all the more reason to withhold not correction. Biblical correction is an ordained means of Grace. If we withhold the means of Grace from our children because they do not demonstrate a repentant heart, we do them doubly wrong by taking away a means that God has appointed through which He works to draw His chosen ones to Himself.

[quote:3e14ecb5ac]
I apologize if this is not the proper doctrine, but this is how I look at presumptive regeneration. I treat my kids as disciples. I chastise them if they do wrong, and I expect them to do right.
[/quote:3e14ecb5ac]

Such is good so long as we do not proclaim to them that they are one of His, when they may not be yet one of His. This gives those children who are not yet regenerate (and we know not who is and who is not) a false assurance.

[Edited on 5-18-2004 by Dan....]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Dan,
In regards to "false assurance"; If I rear my daughter in the way she should go. I exhort her as a believer. She lives unto God by that which I teach her and that which the scriptures exhort. She prays, she repents. How is this a fruit of false assurance? Well you may say, "Scott, but what if she leaves the faith and lives like hell?" My answer to this is that which the scriptures promise:

Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, [b:c2102c66aa]he will not depart from it[/b:c2102c66aa].

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.
Heb 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
Heb 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:be9351985c][i:be9351985c]Originally posted by Scott Bushey[/i:be9351985c]
Let me say this then; God fulfills His promises.
[/quote:be9351985c]
agreed
[quote:be9351985c]
In light of the elective decree, how is it that there are warnings of "falling away". Jesus himself said, "I will lose none". How does one resolve this conundrum? The exhortations surely imply one can _maintain_ themselves by persevering, yet there is the warning of falling away. How can this be?
[/quote:be9351985c]

What are they falling away from? The elect never fall away absolutely. It is only the reprobate within the covenant who fall away. But God was still faithful to them correct? So the promise can't mean that God WILL save them, unless you do put a condition upon it, that is if they respond in faith. Only the elect will respond in faith. That is why I think Rutherford's distinction is helpful.

"So the Lord promiseth life and forgiveness shall be given to these who are externally in the covenant, providing they believe, but the Lord promiseth not a new heart and grace to believe, to these that are only externally in Covenant. And yet he promiseth both to the Elect." (COL, pg. 94)

We presume the realities are present in the members of the church, but that doesn't mean they are there absolutely. Only the elect have those realities in truth. There are different layers to the promises. God promises a new heart to his elect (Ez. 36) but not all in the covenant receive a new heart. Therefore, the reprobate in the covenant do not have this promise made to them. Not all Israel are Israel. That is why I think the promise that God will be a God to our children (even our reprobate ones) is not a promise of salvation, at least not one without conditions (instrumental, not done by man's own effort). But perhaps I'm not following your thought behind the question.

You say that the promise is that God will save our children. If God decides to reject an Esau in my family, does that mean that God chose not to fulfill the promise or that the promise was never made to him?

[Edited on 5-18-2004 by puritansailor]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Kevin,
You can go here to read Bushnells treatise:

http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text...987448edbeaab0;idno=afz0908.0001.001;view=toc

Pat,
More to come.......

"........it is that infant baptism becomes an appropriate rite. It sees the child in the parent, counts him presumptively a believer and a Christian, and, with the parent, baptizes him also. Furthermore, you wil/ perceive that it must be presumed, either that the child will grow up a believer, or that he will not. The Baptist presumes that he will not, and therefore declares the right to be inappropriate. God presumes that he will, and therefore appoints it. The Baptist tells the child that nothing but sin can be expected of him; God tells him that for his parents' sakes, whose faith he is to follow, he has written his own name upon him, and expects him to grow up in all duty and piety."
~Christian Nurture; Horace Bushnell/pg. 40,41

[Edited on 5-18-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:d63c989b3b][i:d63c989b3b]Originally posted by Scott Bushey[/i:d63c989b3b]
"God presumes that he will, and therefore appoints it. The Baptist tells the child that nothing but sin can be expected of him;[/quote:d63c989b3b]
God does not presume, God knows. It is we who must presume because we can not see the heart. But perhaps that is discussed in the greater context of the quote.
[quote:d63c989b3b] God tells him that for his parents' sakes, whose faith he is to follow, he has written his own name upon him, and expects him to grow up in all duty and piety."
~Christian Nurture; Horace Bushnell/pg. 40,41
[/quote:d63c989b3b]
I can agree with this. God does expect this. But even though God does expect this of all covenant children (and so should we), he does not give this grace to all, only the elect.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
[quote:ce1225eec6][i:ce1225eec6]Originally posted by puritansailor[/i:ce1225eec6]
I can agree with this. God does expect this. But even though God does expect this of all covenant children (and so should we), he does not give this grace to all, only the elect. [/quote:ce1225eec6]

Patrick,
This is true. However, how much faith should a believer exhibit toward his God whom is faithful and is even able to speak life into being?

If God commands something, it is done. If He promises His son something, whom am I to doubt his promises. To me, this is the greater sin.

11 And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf , and he give him a stone ? or a fish , and he for a fish give him a serpent ? 12 Or[if ] he shall ask an egg , will he give him a scorpion ? 13 If ye then , being evil , know how to give good gifts unto your children , how much more shall[your ] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ?
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:856a7819fd][i:856a7819fd]Originally posted by Scott Bushey[/i:856a7819fd]
Patrick,
This is true. However, how much faith should a believer exhibit toward his God whom is faithful and is even able to speak life into being?

If God commands something, it is done. If He promises His son something, whom am I to doubt his promises. To me, this is the greater sin.
[/quote:856a7819fd]
The fact that God is faithful to His promises is not in dispute. What I'm still trying to get out of you is, what does it mean for God to be faithful to the promise when the child does not believe? We agree God is faithful no matter what. We agree that man is faithless (both believer and unbeliever). But obviously that faithfulness of God in the covenant doesn't result in the salvation of all in the covenant. So we must consider some options or else we are left with contradictions. God is faithful in a different sense to the elect than to the reprobate in the covenant, and/or the promise must be conditional, from our perpective, upon faith. Yes, it is God who works the faith. But not all have faith. So in what sense is God faithful to both the elect and reprobate within the covenant?

[quote:856a7819fd]
11 And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf , and he give him a stone ? or a fish , and he for a fish give him a serpent ? 12 Or[if ] he shall ask an egg , will he give him a scorpion ? 13 If ye then , being evil , know how to give good gifts unto your children , how much more shall[your ] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ? [/quote:856a7819fd]
What ever we ask according to His will, he answers. Is it His will that we raise them in the faith? Yes. Is it His will that all our children be saved? Perhaps we must make a distinction between the will of precept and the will of decree? Is this what you are trying to get at? (Just thinking out loud here)
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
[quote:0e975254c6]
So in what sense is God faithful to both the elect and reprobate within the covenant?
[/quote:0e975254c6]

He promises blessings and curses. He is faithful to uphold it.


[quote:0e975254c6]
Perhaps we must make a distinction between the will of precept and the will of decree?
[/quote:0e975254c6]

Most certainly. PR rests on the distinction.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:401123ec9d][i:401123ec9d]Originally posted by webmaster[/i:401123ec9d]
[quote:401123ec9d]
So in what sense is God faithful to both the elect and reprobate within the covenant?
[/quote:401123ec9d]

He promises blessings and curses. He is faithful to uphold it.
[/quote:401123ec9d]
How are you defining the blessings here then? Scott argued above that the promise was that our children WILL believe. If that is the case, then how can there be any curses? And how could there be children who are not saved if the promise says they will be saved and God is always faithful to that promise? And how can you say there's blessings and curses if there is no condition upon the promise which the child must fulfill? We don't want to be baptistic or semi-pelagian right?
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Apply your thoughts around the compound and divided sense here. Are we talking about decrees? Are we talking baout perception? Which? It is certainly not both in every instance.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:2f2c8fcf0d][i:2f2c8fcf0d]Originally posted by webmaster[/i:2f2c8fcf0d]
Apply your thoughts around the compound and divided sense here. Are we talking about decrees? Are we talking baout perception? Which? It is certainly not both in every instance. [/quote:2f2c8fcf0d]
Actually that's what I'm trying to get out of you and Scott :)

[Edited on 5-21-2004 by puritansailor]
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
PR, in every instacne, is beleived based on precept, though decree will not necessarily validate that later. I believe God desires us to trust in His promise (preceptively) in order to be Christian optomists on His will to work in our families, and not pessemists (liek the Arminians ("well see and make judgments based on what we learn later about our children")).
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Deep low voice, breathing heavily.....shaking black glove while holding light saber....

"Join with us and you will expereince the power of the PR side!"

Fred comes into the frame...a bit tattered and the wind blowing hard against him. He reaches out with his hand to grasp Patrick in time....

(Sounding like Luke Skywalker...) "Patrick....NOOOOOOOOOO!"

Music gets loud, Empire music from Star Wars....

Deep low voice....breathing heavily in helmet....looking at Fred, then Patrick...addresses Patrick while Fred falls to his knees exhausted from fighting stormtroopers at his law firm...

"The Emperor is waiting for you..."

To be continued in Episode 37....
 

Ianterrell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Matt,

The scenes where vader is tempting luke to change over to the dark side are the best! I love that imperial theme haha.

"I'll never turn to the dark side."

"Then you will die!"
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:ea26d76329][i:ea26d76329]Originally posted by webmaster[/i:ea26d76329]
"The Emperor is waiting for you..."
[/quote:ea26d76329]
I always looked better in black :cool:
(What happened to the Star Wars smilie???)

Honestly I don't think even Fred and you are that far apart either. Fred I think would say that his children are members of the visible church too. So something is being presumed about the children by making them members. The question really is what does it mean for them to be members? I'm thinking that much of this is just semantics, though each side of the debate I think has some valid reasons for their concerns about the others position.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Patrick,
I suggest you use the search function and re-review the long thread previously that dealt with this as it has all the items of historical reference. As Matt and I have shown, historically, the church has held to more than just resting in the misunderstanding as simply"semantics". I myself, as history also supports, believe it is much more than that.

A thought:
Are the sacraments just bread and wine or is there more to it? The baptist may say, it is an issue of semantics in regards to how the Presbyterian view the sacraments and we do. I say, the mystery is much more than just semantics; there is a difference.

[Edited on 5-22-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Oh, I've been reviewing them. I said much of the debate is semantics, not all. I understand that the Southern Presbyterian's (like Fred) do not presume regeneration has occurred. Wayne said elsewhere (talking the middle ground I think) that he considers them Christians but won't presume regeneration because that is something we can't know (or something to that effect, correct me if I'm wrong Wayne). Yet all three sides call their children visible members of the church and federally holy. So perhaps there are conflicting presumptions. But when it comes to practical application, I don't see where there is any difference, so long as we are raising our children in the faith. All withold the children from the Supper until there is evidence of a mature faith able to discern the Lord's body. All raise their children in the faith with the expection that their children will remain true to the God of the covenant and that God will remain faithful to them. There are extremes to either side but their errors I think are obvious so I will leave them off. Just trying to build unity where I can Scott, that way we can get down to settling the real differences.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Yes. Essentially, we are on the same page. I don't believe issues like this [i:c224804e65]should[/i:c224804e65]divide; yet, many times they do . This is sad.............
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
By the way does anyone have a qoute of an church father before calvin who believed in presumptive regeneration? I know some of the early church fathers were paedobaptist but most of them believed in baptismal regeneration,yes?.

VanVos

[Edited on 5-26-2004 by VanVos]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
VV,
Look on Matt's site for his catechism. I believe it has alot of quotes from the puritans on this subject. Both Matt and I believe that PR was the historic position. The quotes lend more than enough support in my opinion.


[quote:4d51348a67][i:4d51348a67]Originally posted by VanVos[/i:4d51348a67]
By the way does anyone have a qoute of an church father before calvin who believed in presumptive regeneration? I know some of the early church fathers were paedobaptist but most of them believed in baptismal regeneration,yes?.

VanVos

[Edited on 5-26-2004 by VanVos] [/quote:4d51348a67]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
VV,
Look on Matt's site for his catechism. I believe it has alot of quotes from the puritans on this subject. Both Matt and I believe that PR was the historic position. The quotes lend more than enough support in my opinion.


[quote:3a1bcae601][i:3a1bcae601]Originally posted by VanVos[/i:3a1bcae601]
By the way does anyone have a qoute of an church father before calvin who believed in presumptive regeneration? I know some of the early church fathers were paedobaptist but most of them believed in baptismal regeneration,yes?.

VanVos

[Edited on 5-26-2004 by VanVos] [/quote:3a1bcae601]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks, but I'm also looking for quotes on presumptive regeneration that predate calvin.

VanVos
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Simple enough:
13 Then were there brought unto him little children , that he should lay his hands on them , and pray : and the disciples rebuked them . 14 But Jesus said , Suffer the little children , and forbid them not , to come unto me : for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven . 15 And he laid his hands on them , and departed thence .
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
You know I anticipated such a response that why I said [i:99378025c3]early church father [/i:99378025c3] I think the silence speaks volumes.
Although if it can proven the bible teaches this then it must be true (Not that hold to solo scriptura). I would just argue that it doesn't.:) (sorry don't mean come across smug).

VanVos
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
VV,
Please exegete the passage I present. What exactly is being implied by Christ? Does Christ bless and lay hands on all children? Is there some Jewishness to what He is saying and doing?

Humor me.....
 
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