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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17864
Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:22 AM
Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:22 AM
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Yes, rational man rebels at the idea that the Almighty God works through His Word alone creating and sustaining faith in a tiny child.


(Fred) Obviously, then, the Bible equally rebels against this notion of God creating and sustaining saving faith in an infant, because it does not know anything that you claim. There is not one mention of God producing regeneration through the means of baptism in infants baptized according to a trinitarian formula. This is sheer fantasy brought to the text to sustain the Lutheran tradition of infant baptism. Faith without works is dead, my friend. This is plain biblical teaching. Infants have no ability to manifest spiritual works to begin with, and I have yet to encounter any infant that thinks spiritual rather than selfishly.

Quote
Do you believe in sola fide? If so, how are tiny children saved without faith?


(Fred) The Bible is all but silent on the salvation or non-salvation of infants at death, but I would argue that God saves them out of the kindness of his great mercy. This is a debate that has occupied the thinking of many Christians over the last 2 millennia, but I believe the only correct approach to answering the question must be born out of clear Biblical evidence rightly exegeted, and not some favored denominational tradition that is moved aloft by bad theology. The baptismal regeneration solution falls squarely in that category.

Here are a couple of articles to consider:

What happens to infants that die

The Salvation of the little ones

I still am looking for the answer to the question of eternal security. Can a baptized infant that was baptized in a trinitarian formula who grows up as a hellion and eventually pursues a course of worldliness for the remainder of his or her adult life be said to have "lost his salvation" according to your view?

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: fredman] #17865
Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:40 PM
Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:40 PM

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fredman,

Obviously, you have rejected the scriptural doctrine justification by faith alone to pursue non-scriptural teachings born of man's reason.

With regard to eternal security, I did answer the question: Romans 11:33. I also said that baptism in a trinitarian formula is always efficacious but it is not always beneficial. Whether infant or adult, it must be received by faith alone.

Whether the baptized hellion ever believed is not revealed to us. We should not inquire curiously after much matters.

Quote
since God has reserved this mystery for His wisdom, and has revealed nothing to us concerning it in His Word, much less commanded us to investigate it with our thoughts, but has earnestly discouraged us therefrom, Rom. 11, 33ff , we should not reason in our thoughts, draw conclusions, nor inquire curiously into these matters, but should adhere to His revealed Word, to which He points us.

Thus without any doubt God also knows and has determined for every one the time and hour of his call and conversion [and when He will raise again one who has lapsed]. But since this has not been revealed to us, we have the command always to keep urging the Word, but to entrust the time and hour [of conversion] to God, Acts 1, 7.


Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Election

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17866
Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:12 PM
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Obviously, you have rejected the scriptural doctrine justification by faith alone to pursue non-scriptural teachings born of man's reason.

(Fred) So, I can take it from the conclusion in your response that you read those two articles I linked and gave them some considerable thought? Could you at least interact with the study of historic Christian theology and biblical exegesis that the men provide to explain why you think their conclusions are non-scriptural and born of man's reason?

With regard to eternal security, I did answer the question: Romans 11:33.

(Fred) I fail to see how that passage answers my question. Romans 11:33 says,

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Could you please explain how this verse answers my question of your theological viewpoint? It says nothing of eternal security or answers whether or not your Lutheran tradition of a baptized regenerate infant can grow up to become a hellion and reject Christ and thus loose his or her salvation. It would be helpful for you to give us your personal Bible study and explanation of why YOU think Romans 11:33 seals your case.

I also said that baptism in a trinitarian formula is always efficacious but it is not always beneficial.

(Fred) How can a divine act of regeneration be efficacious but not beneficial? What does that even begin to mean? God can begin a good work of regeneration in a sinner, but it won't benefit him?

Whether infant or adult, it must be received by faith alone.

(Fred) Wait a second. In other posts you are arguing for a total inability and no freewill, yet here you are saying that regeneration can be RECEIVED by faith alone? I thought regeneration begot the person's faith to begin with?

Whether the baptized hellion ever believed is not revealed to us. We should not inquire curiously after much matters.

(Fred) What?! James entire epistle is written to inquire after such matters. So was John's first epistle. A person who is regenerated and given saving faith by a divine act of God will produce good works. The Bible makes it quite clear, with no doubt, that if a person claims to have faith in Christ, but has no love for Christ, his people, never conforms to godliness and never produces the fruits of the spirit in his life that manifests in visible, godly works, then I am authorized as a Christian to question such belief and to doubt the person's claim.

I am sorry, bud, but I see here an expression of irrationality that warps the Bible so as to maintain a favored denominational tradition, in this case, the Lutheran view of regeneration by water baptism. So far, all I see is much swinging and missing.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: fredman] #17867
Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:59 PM
Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:59 PM
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Fred

I remember a conversation similar to this on the Reformed Reader board, with a few Lutherans.
After talking about faith for quite a while, they concluded that Calvinists do not have a correct view of the Reformation understanding of faith alone. They believe we are closer to the Roman Catholic view than the Reformed view.
So this conversation doesn't really surprise me.

Tom

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: Tom] #17868
Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:23 PM
Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:23 PM

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fredman,

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Could you at least interact with the study of historic Christian theology and biblical exegesis that the men provide to explain why you think their conclusions are non-scriptural and born of man's reason?


It is a doomed attempt to reconcile the popular heresy, age of accountability, with Calvinism.

Quote
How can a divine act of regeneration be efficacious but not beneficial? What does that even begin to mean? God can begin a good work of regeneration in a sinner, but it won't benefit him?


It doesn't begin. The Word of God offers the forgiveness of sins in the gospel. However, if man rejects the offer of grace, he is hardened in his unbelief.

Quote
Wait a second. In other posts you are arguing for a total inability and no freewill, yet here you are saying that regeneration can be RECEIVED by faith alone? I thought regeneration begot the person's faith to begin with?


It does in them that believe. "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!"

Quote
What?! James entire epistle is written to inquire after such matters. So was John's first epistle. A person who is regenerated and given saving faith by a divine act of God will produce good works. The Bible makes it quite clear, with no doubt, that if a person claims to have faith in Christ, but has no love for Christ, his people, never conforms to godliness and never produces the fruits of the spirit in his life that manifests in visible, godly works, then I am authorized as a Christian to question such belief and to doubt the person's claim.


Of course you are! But you raised the question about past belief not current belief.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17869
Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:51 PM
Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:51 PM
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fredman asked:
How can a divine act of regeneration be efficacious but not beneficial? What does that even begin to mean? God can begin a good work of regeneration in a sinner, but it won't benefit him?

To which you replied
It doesn't begin. The Word of God offers the forgiveness of sins in the gospel. However, if man rejects the offer of grace, he is hardened in his unbelief.

Man, what a convoluted "defense" you have offered here! Either regeneration, which you claim takes place at baptism exists in the recipient or it does not. Secondly, it seems you can't make up your mind whether regeneration precedes or follows faith?? Thirdly, if regeneration does take place when an infant (adult?) is baptised, it is either efficacious or it is not. If it is, then that individual is guaranteed salvation as the regeneration produces the repentance and faith necessary for justification and the good works to follow for sanctification. If one is regenerated then it is indisputably "beneficial", unless salvation isn't something which you think is beneficial.

It would also appear, which would be consistent with conservative Lutheran theology, that you believe in "baptismal regeneration", i.e., regeneration is inextricably connected with baptism and infallibly occurs at the time of baptism. Would this be a correct understanding of YOUR position too? If so, then I would posit that it is YOU who denies Sola Fide for baptism in this view is equally necessary for salvation, placing baptism in the category of a work. This clearly is in opposition to the biblical teaching. (cf. Joh 1:12, 13)

Further, the charge by some Lutherans, which Tom mentioned, that Calvinism is more aligned to the teachings of Rome is totally illogical and even hilarious for Lutheranism in its adherence to baptismal regeneration follows Rome in nearly every point. Would you hold that one can be saved without baptism?

Lastly, the WCF states in regard to the salvation of infants who die in infancy and those mentally incapable of comprehending the gospel:


III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,[12] who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth:[13] so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.[14]

12. Gen. 17:7; Luke 1:15; 18:15-16; Acts 2:39; John 3:3, 5; I John 5:12
13. John 3:8
14. John 16:7-8; I John 5:12; Acts 4:12
(WCF Chapter 10, Article III)



In short, the Confession teaches that ALL the "elect" are saved despite their physical condition. Salvation is of the LORD Who works in the elect at His appointed time by the Holy Spirit Who regenerates them and thus unites them to Christ. So, even here, regeneration guarantees salvation to those who have been elected from eternity. (cf. Rom 8:29, 30; Eph 1:4-13; et al)

In His Grace,


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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: Pilgrim] #17870
Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:56 PM
Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:56 PM

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Pilgrim,

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Either regeneration, which you claim takes place at baptism exists in the recipient or it does not.


Regeneration occurs when and where it pleases God in them that hear the gospel. If God is pleased to regenerate at baptism, it will occur.

Quote
Secondly, it seems you can't make up your mind whether regeneration precedes or follows faith??


It occurs at exactly the same time.

Quote
Thirdly, if regeneration does take place when an infant (adult?) is baptised, it is either efficacious or it is not.


We are probably using two different definitions. In Lutheran parlance, the word of God in baptism or preaching is always efficacious, whether many, few, or none actually come to faith.

Quote
It would also appear, which would be consistent with conservative Lutheran theology, that you believe in "baptismal regeneration", i.e., regeneration is inextricably connected with baptism and infallibly occurs at the time of baptism.


Could you please cite the section of the Book of Concord that teaches what you have described?

Quote
Would you hold that one can be saved without baptism?


I agree with Luther.

Quote
"the word of God is the greatest, most necessary, and most sublime part in Christendom--for the sacraments cannot exist without the word, but indeed the word can exist without the sacraments, and in an emergency one could be saved without the sacraments (as for example, those who die before receiving the desired baptism) but not without the word"


Luther Works, vol. 38, p 189.

Quote
In short, the Confession teaches that ALL the "elect" are saved despite their physical condition. Salvation is of the LORD Who works in the elect at His appointed time by the Holy Spirit Who regenerates them and thus unites them to Christ. So, even here, regeneration guarantees salvation to those who have been elected from eternity. (cf. Rom 8:29, 30; Eph 1:4-13; et al)


Agreed but a new heresy is teaching to itching ears that all children are saved.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17871
Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:09 PM
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speratus replies:
Regeneration occurs when and where it pleases God in them that hear the gospel. If God is pleased to regenerate at baptism, it will occur.

How can one "hear the gospel" unless they are antecedently regenerated?

Are those who are regenerated at baptism, particularly infants who survive into adulthood, saved immediately? And are such individuals required to repent and believe upon Christ at some time consequent to their baptism?

In His Grace,


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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: Pilgrim] #17872
Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:44 AM
Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:44 AM

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Pilgrim,

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How can one "hear the gospel" unless they are antecedently regenerated? Are those who are regenerated at baptism, particularly infants who survive into adulthood, saved immediately?


Calvinists stray into Arminian territory with their Order of Salvation. If man must first be regenerated before he can "hear the gospel" and believe, then salvation is not monergistic. Under Calvinism, salvation is a process where God does His part (effectual call) and then Man does his part by responding to the call and is thereby saved.

Lutherans do not separate regeneration and justification. Thus, salvation is completely apart from any cooperation of man. Through the means of grace (Word and Sacrament), God gives all His gifts at once. He calls, regenerates, gives faith, enlightens, and saves. Man does not respond; he receives.

Quote
And are such individuals required to repent and believe upon Christ at some time consequent to their baptism?


We are simultaneously saints and sinners. The Christian life is one of daily repentance and faith.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17873
Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:28 AM
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speratus said:
Pilgrim,


Quote
It would also appear, which would be consistent with conservative Lutheran theology, that you believe in "baptismal regeneration", i.e., regeneration is inextricably connected with baptism and infallibly occurs at the time of baptism.


Could you please cite the section of the Book of Concord that teaches what you have described?




speratus, I don't know the Book of Concord well enough to quote it to you. But I do know from many discussions with Lutherans, that they believe in "Baptismal Regeneration".
In fact one said to me that "All true Lutherans believe in 'Baptismal Regeneration'. Other Lutherans also affirmed exactly what he said.

I asked one of these Lutherans to show me proof that Martin Luther believed in baptismal regeneration and to his credit he did prove it, by some works written by Luther himself. He also quoted from the book of Concord as well.

Are you saying you disagree with them?

Tom

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17874
Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:00 AM
Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:00 AM
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Calvinists stray into Arminian territory with their Order of Salvation. If man must first be regenerated before he can "hear the gospel" and believe, then salvation is not monergistic. Under Calvinism, salvation is a process where God does His part (effectual call) and then Man does his part by responding to the call and is thereby saved.


You misunderstand the Ordo Salutis. This article might be helpful: "The Order of Salvation."


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: CovenantInBlood] #17875
Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:37 AM
Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:37 AM

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Tom,

Lutherans believe in Baptismal Regeneration as defined in Lutheran Confessions not as defined by Pilgrim.

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What is Baptism?--Answer.

Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God's command and connected with God's Word.

Which is that word of God?--Answer.

Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: Go ye into all the world and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Secondly.

What does Baptism give or profit?--Answer.

It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

Which are such words and promises of God? Answer.

Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Mark: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Thirdly.

How can water do such great things?--Answer.

It is not the water indeed that does them, but the word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is simple water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus, chapter three: By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.

Fourthly.
What does such baptizing with water signify?--Answer.

It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?--Answer.

St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


Small Catechism, Martin Luther

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: CovenantInBlood] #17876
Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:54 AM
Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:54 AM

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CovenantInBlood,

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You misunderstand the Ordo Salutis. This article might be helpful: "The Order of Salvation."


It doesn't help. I'm still left with the impression that salvation is a step by step process and Calvinists are synergists.

Quote
This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.


Westminster Confession, Effectual Call

Enabled to answer this call and embrace the grace offered? How does this differ from the Arminian's decision and RC infused grace?

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17877
Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:36 AM
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Enabled to answer this call and embrace the grace offered? How does this differ from the Arminian's decision and RC infused grace?


(Fred) So in your worldview, does God believe for a sinner when he regenerates him through baptism?

Me thinks you are woefully misinformed concerning the terms monergism and synergism. Perhaps you can provide a definition of each?

Fred

Still waiting for your answer about whether a regenerated infant can grow up to loose his or her salvation.


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17878
Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:57 AM
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It doesn't help. I'm still left with the impression that salvation is a step by step process and Calvinists are synergists.


Then you have obviously not bothered to put thought into what you read. The Ordo Salutis is not a "step by step" process whereby a man performs certain actions and is rewarded with eternal life. The Ordo Salutis is a description of the Biblical teaching regarding the application of God's redemption to His elect. It provides the logical order (not necessarily any sequence in time) in which GOD works to bring about redemption, not the "steps" by which man might earn his salvation.

Quote
Enabled to answer this call and embrace the grace offered? How does this differ from the Arminian's decision and RC infused grace?


The Arminian's decision is made APART FROM regeneration of the Holy Spirit, by a faith originating in the man himself, whereupon God regenerates the man and credits that faith as righteousness. So long as the man maintains his faith, he remains regenerate and in a state of justification. Rome's infused grace says that we are given by God the ability to do good works that merit our justification (primarily through the sacraments), and that if we continue in good works we will be justified because we will have actually become righteous in ourselves.

How do EITHER of these even come close to Westminster's teaching on justification? We are regenerated by the Holy Spirit on the decree of God alone, and not because we have faith. Through regeneration the Spirit compels us to believe, thereby effecting faith and repentance in us. God justifies us, declaring us righteous on the basis of Christ's blood.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
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