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Pilgrim #15606 Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:12 PM
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Pilgrim, you said, “Again, the very fact that death exists, of which some unborn infants also experience, goes to prove that they too are sinners by nature, and thus liable to judgment.” I agree that infants are totally depraved and have a sin nature. Infants who die in infancy do temporarily live in a fallen world, and they suffer physical death as a result. To say, however, that some of the ones who die in infancy are condemned to hell because of their sin nature is speculative. If some of them go to hell, then why not all of them? What makes the difference between one dying infant and another? Baptizing the infant? Being a son or daughter of an elect person?

Boettner commented on the Westminster confession that has been previously discussed:

“It has often been charged that the Westminster Confession in stating that ‘Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ’ (Chap. X, Sec. 3), implies that there are non-elect infants, who, dying in infancy, are lost, and that the Presbyterian Church has taught that some dying in infancy are lost. Concerning this Dr. Craig says: ‘The history of the phrase “Elect infants dying in infancy” makes clear that the contrast implied was not between “elect infants dying in infancy” and “non-elect infants dying in infancy,” but rather between “elect infants dying in infancy” and “elect infants living to grow up.” ’ However, in order to guard against misunderstanding, furthered by unfriendly controversialists, the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. adopted in 1903 a Declaratory Statement which reads as follows: ‘With reference to Chapter X, Section 3, of the Confession of Faith, that it is not to be regarded as teaching that any who die in infancy are lost.’ . . . Concerning this Declaratory Statement Dr. Craig says: ‘It is obvious that the Declaratory Statement goes beyond the teaching of Chapter X, Section 3 of the Confession of Faith inasmuch as it states positively that all who die in infancy are saved. Some hold that the Declaratory Statement goes beyond the Scripture in teaching that all those dying in infancy are saved; but, be that as it may, it makes it impossible for any person to even plausibly maintain that Presbyterians teach that there are non-elect infants who die in infancy. No doubt there have been individual Presbyterians who held that some of those who die in infancy have been lost; but such was never the official teaching of the Presbyterian Church and as matters now stand such a position is contradicted by the Church's creed.’ It is sometimes charged that Calvin taught the actual damnation of some of those who die in infancy. A careful examination of his writings, however, does not bear out that charge. He explicitly taught that some of the elect die in infancy and that they are saved as infants. He also taught that there were reprobate infants; for he held that reprobation as well as election was eternal, and that the non-elect come into this life reprobate. But nowhere did he teach that the reprobate die and are lost as infants. He of course rejected the Pelagian view which denied original sin and grounded the salvation of those who die in infancy on their supposed innocence and sinlessness. Calvin's views in this respect have been quite thoroughly investigated by Dr. R. A. Webb and his findings are summarized in the following paragraph: ‘Calvin teaches that all the reprobate “procure” -- (that is his own word) – “procure” their own destruction; and they procure their destruction by their own personal and conscious acts of such must live to the age of moral accountability, and translate original sin into actual sin.’ ”
http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/boettner/infants_boettner.html

#15607 Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:43 PM
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Hi again, Averagefellar. Sorry I was not clear. I was making the point that there is not a particular chronological age for all people. For one person the particular age may be eight; for another person it may be ten. Infants dying in infancy and severely mentally handicapped people never reach a particular chonological age that would be designated as the age of accountability or age of responsibility.

1. You asked me to provide some Scripture about Adam’s free will. Well, obviously he was the first human being and could not have inherited total depravity from another human being (another Adam). Adam was made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), and thus there was no depravity in him that would mar his will. Adam was part of a very good creation (Genesis 1:31), and thus again there was no depravity in him that would mar his will. God commanded Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge, but God implied that it would be possible for Adam to eat from it when God gave the consequences for eating from it – spiritual death (Genesis 2:17). Thus, Adam had a free choice. He was not encumbered with total inability to make the right choice. He was held responsible for the choice he did make.

The five-point Calvinist Arthur Pink (1886-1952), who wrote articles in the monthly magazine Studies in the Scriptures, said that Adam had true free will:

“In unfallen Adam the will was free, free in both directions, free toward
good and free toward evil. Adam was created in a state of innocency, but
not in a state of holiness, as is so often assumed and asserted. Adam’s will
was therefore in a condition of moral equipoise: that is to say, in Adam
there was no constraining bias in him toward either good or evil, and as
such, Adam differed radically from all his descendants, as well as from ‘the
Man Christ Jesus.’ ”

(Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, 1930, pages 134-135.)

Similarly, God did not force Satan to sin, and thus Satan self-generated a bias toward sin from a position of moral neutrality. The modified Calvinist Norman Geisler, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and 1998 president of the Evangelical Theological Society, commented on Satan’s true free will:

“For the strong (extreme) Calvinists the ultimate question is: Who made the
devil do it? Or, more precisely, who caused Lucifer to sin? If free choice is
doing what one desires, and if all desires come from God, then it follows
logically that God made Lucifer sin against God! But it is contradictory to
say that God ever could be against God. [. . .] Consequently, some less
strong Calvinists claim that God does not give any evil desires but only
good ones. However, this view has two problems. First, why would God
give a desire to do good only to some and not to all? If He is all-loving,
then surely He would love all, as the Bible says He does (John 3:16; 1 Tim.
2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Second, this does not explain where Lucifer got the desire
to sin. If it did not come from God, then it must come from himself. But in
that case, his original evil act was self-caused, that is, caused by himself –
which is exactly the view of human free will the strong Calvinist rejects.”

(Norman L. Geisler, Chosen But Free, 1999, pages 20-21)

The Bible says that at certain times people can make a free, morally significant choice from a position of moral neutrality. Again, notice the passages below:

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before
you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that
you may live, you and your descendants.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

“And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for
yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers
served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose
land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
(Joshua 24:15)

“And Elijah came near to all the people and said, ‘How long will you
hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if
Baal, follow him.’ But the people did not answer him a word.” (1 Kings
18:21)

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of
Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people
of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; considering the reproach
of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to
the reward. (Hebrews 11:24-26)

When God gives people a free choice between two alternatives, obviously they can freely choose to reject God’s offer. Scripture makes this clear:

The Bible says that non-Christians can reject salvation when God offers it to them:

And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt
before Him, and began asking Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to
inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17)
And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him, and said to him, “One thing
you lack: go and sell all you possess, and give to the poor, and you shall
have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But at these words his face
fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property.
And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for
those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:21-23)

Jesus loved this man with the highest form of love (“agapao” in Greek), and the man obviously had the opportunity to receive eternal life, but the man rejected the offer of salvation. Jesus said, “No one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions” (Luke 14:33). Non-Christians cannot earn their salvation by good works, but they must be willing to let Jesus be Lord of every area of their lives, including their possessions, to receive the gift of eternal life.

2. You asked, “If infants are not held accountable, why do they suffer the consequences of sin?” In regard to the consequences of sin, we must specify whether we mean physical consequences in this life or eternal consequences in hell. Infants dying in infancy were represented by Adam in the first sin. They would have made the same choice. They inherit a depraved physical world for which they bear responsibility. Adult Christians also bear responsibility since they were also represented by Adam. Thus, adult Christians also suffer the physical consequences of a fallen world such as disease, war, etc. But like adult Christians, infants dying in infancy (all of which are elect) do not suffer in hell as a result of Adam’s sin. God saves them.

#15608 Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:08 PM
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I think that before we can move on about infant regeneration, we need to discuss mans ability. Let me refer you here For whom did Christ die? and if you could answer that first I think we will be able to come to a basic starting point. Thank a buncha.


God bless,

william

#15609 Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:19 PM
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The Bible says that at certain times people can make a free, morally significant choice from a position of moral neutrality

I don't understand, at what time would I have been neutral ?
and do you mean also without GODs Grace in this position?

Just wondering what would you say would happen to me , if GOD ask me to be a servant and I said no. is that the end of me having the comforter drawing me?

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/chatter.gif" alt="" />Thanks neicey

#15610 Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:30 PM
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If some of them go to hell, then why not all of them? What makes the difference between one dying infant and another? Baptizing the infant? Being a son or daughter of an elect person?
I believe it is called GRACE. Sola Gratia is the sole means and the foundation of salvation according to the biblical record; God's revelation to man. ALL are born "children of wrath". (Eph 2:3) ALL are at enmity with God and are thus by nature enemies of God. (Rom 5:10) ALL are under condemnation by virtue of the fact that we ALL are made after the likeness of our father Adam. (Rom 5:16; Gen 5:3)

The conclusion is incontrovertible despite your denial of it, that guilt and corruption of nature are the result of God's punishment and curse upon the human race and which ultimately results in eternal damnation UNLESS God's sovereign free grace is applied. ALL, without exception are in need of: Redemption, an acceptable Sacrifice, Propitiation and Reconciliation. Without the atonement of Christ applied, NO man will escape the judgment which by nature rests upon him. There is NONE righteous, no NOT ONE. (Rom 3:10)

There is nothing about an unborn infant which would lend itself to God more than any other human being so that God would be inclined to save it from hell. I hold tenaciously to UNconditional Election.


Romans 9:8-13 (ASV) "That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed. For this is a word of promise, According to this season will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only so; but Rebecca also having conceived by one, [even] by our father Isaac-- for [the children] being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. Even as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."



As to Boettner's diatribe in support of your view, what more can I say that he is in error and likewise has not one shred of biblical evidence to offer in his behalf. Speculative sentimentalism may surely sway the masses, but the propositional truths of Holy Writ are the foundation of all that we are to believe. The majority of mankind cringes at the thought that God would only love some and hate others. Most find the truth that Christ died for only a remnant of the human race and not all most odious. Should it be surprising that the majority of people would find that unborn babies will be cast into the Lake of Fire most objectionable?


John 6:65-68 (ASV) "And he said, For this cause have I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father. Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away? Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."



In His Grace,


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#15611 Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:11 PM
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koreahog2005 states:
The non-Christian’s conscience may be functioning from birth, but every part of him is affected by depravity, including the conscience. The Holy Spirit must activate and calibrate it during the time of special conviction. At that time the effects of depravity are temporarily counteracted so that the non-Christian can self-generate a bias from an unbiased position (equipoise) and surrender to Christ in faith and repentance.
It seems to me from the statement you wrote above and from the other replies which you wrote after this to "averagefellar" that you do not hold to traditional, classical Calvinism. This in itself would certainly account for the view you are espousing.

The biblical teaching about man is that every thought, word and deed is governed by his nature, both antecedent to and subsequent to the Fall. 1) Adam was endowed with a disposition which was inclined toward God; not a "neutral" disposition of which the Bible never teaches. Either one is a "bondservant" of righteousness or else a "bondservant" of sin. Since Adam had no predisposition to evil, then he obviously, being created in the imago dei and "very good", he was inclined to righteousness. The Lord God, the pre-incarnate Christ, would never have walked with Adam in the garden if that were not true. What you have brought up in your reply below is the issue of the "origin of sin", which certainly Geisler has no answer. No reputable theologian who has ever lived has ever offered an answer to this question for it is one of those incomprehensible mysteries. Geisler's attempt to give an answer by relegating true Calvinists to the pejorative class of "high (hyper) Calvinists" is not only inaccurate but woefully weak.

Secondly, subsequent to the Fall and consequent of it, man possessed a depraved nature, i.e., every thought, word and deed was evil continually. (Gen 6:5; 8:21) Fallen man has no moral ability to do that which is good nor does he have the desire to do so. Man cannot love God nor do good because he will not. And man will not love God nor do good because he cannot. Unless a man is "born from above", "drawn", "taught of God", "made alive", etc., he will never come to Christ because he CANNOT. (John 6:44)

Thirdly, the Bible knows but one work of the Spirit which enables any man to be inclined toward God, love Christ and hate sin. This is called, "regeneration". But in the way of Wesley and Finney you want to bring in something called "special conviction", whereby an individual is said to brought to a place of "unbiased equipoise". Of this you wrote:

Quote
At that time the effects of depravity are temporarily counteracted so that the non-Christian can self-generate a bias from an unbiased position (equipoise) and surrender to Christ in faith and repentance.

I would sincerely like to see the relevant biblical texts which teach this. From my reading of Scripture and that held by Augustine, the Reformers, Puritans and many others in between, a sinner is by nature bound to that nature and naturally, irresistibly sins, hates God and all that is good. Even the Gospel is foolishness to his ears. Natural man is obsessed with idolatry and with wiping out the very thought of the one true God from the face of the earth. And it is such men that the Holy Spirit "makes alive"; giving him a new nature. This new nature is one which is predisposed, inclined to God and thus the "new birth" drives/draws a man infallibly and irresistibly to Christ whereby he abhors that which he sees in himself and the sin he has committed, repents of that sin and flees to Christ, begging for the remission of his sins and desires to be reconciled to God in Him. There is no "unbiased equipoise" to be found. For all men only choose that which is according to their nature. (Matt 7:17, 18)

ALL whom God has predestinated to salvation in Christ will infallibly come to Christ. (Jh 6:37; 10:16, 27) They are made willing. (Ps 100:3) Without regeneration, no man CAN "choose Christ". Salvation is by grace not choice. (Rom 9:14-24)

Lastly, I would commend to you James Harrison's excellent critique and refutation of the theology of Norman Geisler in the following article: Chosen But Free?.

In His Grace,


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Pilgrim #15612 Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:28 PM
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Pilgrim, I agree with you that salvation is all about grace. Everyone (elect and non-elect) is born with a sin nature, totally depraved. I, too, hold tenaciously to unconditional election. I agree with you that God loves some and hates others (Romans 9:13). Obviously, God loves His elect. If all infants who die in infancy are elect, then God loves all of them. You may be familiar with W.G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), a Presbyterian who taught at Auburn, Andover, and Union Seminary, New York. He was a great defender of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Shedd commented on infants:

“In the first place, we have ground for believing that all of mankind who die in infancy will be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. . . . The Protestant Church understands the Bible to declare that all who die in infancy die regenerate. Probably all evangelical denominations, without committing themselves to the statements of the Westminster Confession concerning ‘election’, would be willing to say that all dying infants ‘are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth’ (Conf. x. 3).”

(W.G.T. Shedd, Calvinism: Pure & Mixed, pages 126-127)

#15613 Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:29 PM
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The modified Calvinist Norman Geisler

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> "Modified Calvinist"... Yeah, right!

Maybe you should read James White's response to Geisler, The Potter's Freedom.

And if you interpret those verses as meaning that "at certain times people can make a free, morally significant choice from a position of moral neutrality," you make the Bible out to have contradictions. Total Depravity is most definitely taught in Scripture!

You'll find some wonderful articles here:

http://www.the-highway.com/calvinism.html

Of relevance to this discussion are the articles under the categories of Soteriology and Anthropology.

By the way, Pink was speaking of the condition of man BEFORE the Fall.

A chart from the Monergism website:

State of man in history

Morally Able to do

GOOD EVIL
Created yes yes
Fallen no yes
Redeemed yes yes
Glorified yes no

Inclined by Nature to
GOOD EVIL
Created no no
Fallen no yes
Redeemed yes no
Glorified yes no

A summary of Thomas Boston's Human Nature In Its Fourfold State:

http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/four-fold.html


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#15614 Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:37 PM
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You may be familiar with W.G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), a Presbyterian who taught at Auburn, Andover, and Union Seminary, New York.
I am very familiar with W.G.T. Shedd. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> And like all those who embrace this fallacy, he has not one shred of biblical support for his view. You can quote 10 thousand authors who might hold this view, but again, the issue is: Does the Bible teach it?

I've given you myriad biblical passages which teach that ALL men are conceived in sin, born with a depraved nature, inherit an imputed guilt from the Fall and thus they are ALL under the wrath of God and His condemnation. Now, can you do likewise and bring biblical passages to support this view you are espousing?

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#15615 Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:47 PM
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Averagefellar, thanks for referring me to John Owen’s “For Whom Did Christ Die.” I did read it. This subject is interesting and important.

Timothy George stated the following:

“Since the Middle Ages, many theologians, including Thomas Acquinas and John Calvin, have made this distinction: Jesus’ death is sufficient to save all, but it is efficient to save only those who repent and believe the gospel.”

(Timothy George, Amazing Grace: God’s Initiative – Our Response, page 81)

Tom Nettles, a five-point Calvinist and professor at The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, commented:

“Historically, two streams of thought emerge from the writings of those who have defended limited atonement. We must not confuse either with those who purposefully rejected limited atonement. One stream, represented by such Baptists as Fuller in England and Boyce in the United States, affirms both the sufficiency of the atonement in its nature to save all men and the limitation of the atonement to the elect only in its intent. This probably represents a majority view among Calvinists. The second stream, represented by Abraham Booth in England and John L. Dagg in the United States, affirms that it is the nature of the atonement to save all for whom it is sufficient, and therefore its limitation in intent is necessarily a limitation of its sufficiency. (For the remainder of this chapter, I will argue for the second option in understanding limited atonement.) . . . The proper combination of these elements should encourage Calvinistic Baptists (and Calvinists of all sorts) to reexamine the traditional formula of ‘sufficient but efficient’ and perhaps question its aptness as an accurate description of effectual or limited atonement – for, in actuality, such a phrase does not distinguish this view from the view of general atonement.”

(Tom Nettles, By His Grace and for His Glory, pages 302, 319 )

Jim Ellis stated:

“To say that Christ's death on the cross provided an atonement sufficient for all is to specifically suggest that He has atoned for the sins of all men, which is essentially a universal atonement. This is a false conception and makes us, along with those who hold to a universal atonement, say the opposite of what we mean.”

(Jim Ellis, “Sufficient for All”)
www.the-highway.com/sufficiency.html

Phil Johnson argued against Dr. Nettles’ view:

“Nettles’ argument is this: if Christ’s death was substitutionary then He died for particular sins of particular people. And if He died for particular sins than He didn’t die for other sins than those. And so Nettles seems to see such a one for one equivalence between our sins and the price of their atonement that he denies the sufficiency of the atonement to save anyone but those for whom it was designed to save. Nettles apparently holds the view that some would call equivalentism. It’s the notion that Christ suffered just so much, a finite amount, in relation to the sins of the elect. Now it pains me to disagree with Tom Nettles because I have the utmost respect for him and his writings have been extremely helpful to me and to countless others who want to understand Calvinism’s role in historic Baptist Theology.”

(“The Nature of the Atonement: Why and for Whom Did Christ Die?”, 2003 )
www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/SC03-1027.htm

To me, the word “sufficient” indicates potential extent, and the word “efficient” indicates actual extent and actual intent. It seems to me that if His death was sufficient to save the non-elect, then in some sense there was enough blood to provide for the potential salvation of the non-elect. If there was not enough blood to provide for the potential salvation of the non-elect, then how can we say that His death was sufficient to save them? His death was sufficient to save an infinite number of worlds had He intended to do so. I think there’s a sense, however, in which the extent of his atonement was measurable and limited. Dr. Nettles explained:

“Concerning the atonement, although sin is imputed to Christ, Scripture does not allow us to consider his death as an atonement for only the guilt of Adam to his posterity. As the apostle Peter clearly states: ‘He himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree. . .’ (1 Peter 2:24, NIV). God’s wrath comes not only for what Adam’s sin has done to the race, but for the aggravation the race has added to the original corruption. Moreover, it is a non sequitur to move from the deity of the sacrifice to sufficiency for every individual man. Such a conclusion assumes that deity can do nothing by measure. Every event of the ministry of Jesus refuses to harmonize with that basic idea. His act of feeding the five thousand produced just enough food to satisfy those, plus another day’s provisions for the disciples.”

(Nettles, By His Grace and for His Glory, page 308 )

Note the three illustrations below:

Blood Illustration #1 (Arminian): Let’s suppose that God has created 100 units of blood for use on the cross, and only 100 people have existed in the history of the world. Fifty of them are elect, and fifty of them are non-elect. Each of these 100 people could be bought for a unit of blood, and each bought person would then have eternal life. There is enough blood to buy each of them. The blood supply is sufficient for all of them. At the redemption center a unit of blood is available for distribution to each person, and 50 elect people receive 50 units and do not reject them. Fifty non-elect people, however, either are not aware that a unit is available or refuse (veto) the unit placed in front of them. Thus, there are fifty wasted units of blood. (In this case we can say that 100 units of blood were sufficient to save 100 people, but we cannot say that 100 units were efficient to save 100 people. Fifty units were efficient to save the 50 people that God intended to save. Thus, the other 50 units were wasted.)

Blood Illustration #2 (Five-point Calvinistic): Let’s suppose that God has created 50 units of blood for use on the cross, and only 100 people have existed in the history of the world. Fifty of them are elect, and fifty of them are non-elect. Only 50 out of these 100 people could be bought for a unit of blood, and each bought person would then have eternal life. There is not enough blood to buy all 100 people. The blood supply is insufficient for 50 of them. At the redemption center no blood is offered to non-elect people because they might accept it, and there is only enough blood for the elect people. Fifty units are offered to the 50 elect people whom God intended to save. These 50 elect people receive the 50 units and do not ultimately, finally reject them. There are no wasted units of blood. (In this case we cannot say that 50 units of blood were sufficient to save 100 people, but we can say that 50 units of blood were efficient to save the 50 people that God intended to save.)

Blood Illustration #3 (Modified Calvinistic): Let’s suppose that God has always known both what the 100 people “could” do and also what they “would” do under certain circumstances. He knows that in certain circumstances, if 100 units of blood were provided to potentially buy them, all 100 people “could” receive eternal life, but He knows that only 50 people “would” actually choose to receive it under those circumstances. Those 50 people who “would” choose to receive it are also the 50 elect people that God has always intended to save. At the redemption center in the actual world a unit of blood is offered to a few non-elect people, but they refuse to take it. (Their rejection hastens their hardening, which somehow fits into God’s plan.) The 50 non-elect people “would” choose to reject eternal life under any circumstances. Thus, in the actual world, God only created 50 units of blood for use on the cross. These 50 units are efficient to save only the 50 elect persons that God has always intended to save. There are no wasted units of blood. (In this case we can say that 50 units were potentially sufficient to save 100 people because God had already potentially provided the extra 50 units in His omniscient foreknowledge. The 50 units could be offered to all 100 people, but there would be no danger of a shortage of blood for the 50 elect people. We can say that 50 units of blood were efficient to save the 50 people that God intended to save.)

The third illustration is of course the one I prefer. The other two seem to lack either efficiency or sufficiency.

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Pilgrim, you said, “I've given you myriad biblical passages which teach that ALL men are conceived in sin, born with a depraved nature, inherit an imputed guilt from the Fall and thus they are ALL under the wrath of God and His condemnation. Now, can you do likewise and bring biblical passages to support this view you are espousing?”

I agree with you that all men are conceived in sin, born with a depraved nature, inherit an imputed guilt from the fall in some sense, and are all under the wrath of God and His condemnation. To my knowledge, however, you have not produced a biblical passage that shows where an infant dying in infancy is sent to hell. I’m not from Missouri, but please “show me.”

#15617 Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:00 AM
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Blood Illustration #3 (Modified Calvinistic): Let’s suppose that God has always known both what the 100 people “could” do and also what they “would” do under certain circumstances. He knows that in certain circumstances, if 100 units of blood were provided to potentially buy them, all 100 people “could” receive eternal life, but He knows that only 50 people “would” actually choose to receive it under those circumstances. Those 50 people who “would” choose to receive it are also the 50 elect people that God has always intended to save. At the redemption center in the actual world a unit of blood is offered to a few non-elect people, but they refuse to take it. (Their rejection hastens their hardening, which somehow fits into God’s plan.) The 50 non-elect people “would” choose to reject eternal life under any circumstances. Thus, in the actual world, God only created 50 units of blood for use on the cross. These 50 units are efficient to save only the 50 elect persons that God has always intended to save. There are no wasted units of blood. (In this case we can say that 50 units were potentially sufficient to save 100 people because God had already potentially provided the extra 50 units in His omniscient foreknowledge. The 50 units could be offered to all 100 people, but there would be no danger of a shortage of blood for the 50 elect people. We can say that 50 units of blood were efficient to save the 50 people that God intended to save.)

The third illustration is of course the one I prefer. The other two seem to lack either efficiency or sufficiency.

If there are 100 people who have ever lived, and only enough shed blood for 50 of them, then it is not "sufficient for all." God doesn't save people with "potential blood." Jesus did not "potentially" shed His blood. God doesn't have to provide for things that "potentially can happen," as God has no Plan B. I don't think the third option makes any sense whatsoever.

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The 50 units could be offered to all 100 people, but there would be no danger of a shortage of blood for the 50 elect people.

The fact of particular redemption does not mean that the gospel should not be preached to all mankind. This statement does not demand the Atonement was "sufficient for all."


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#15618 Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:06 AM
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koreahog2005 said:
I agree with you that all men are conceived in sin, born with a depraved nature, inherit an imputed guilt from the fall in some sense, and are all under the wrath of God and His condemnation. To my knowledge, however, you have not produced a biblical passage that shows where an infant dying in infancy is sent to hell. I’m not from Missouri, but please “show me.”
You are making a joke, right? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> When I read my Bible, I am impressed with the fact that ALL who are under condemnation are destined to perdition UNLESS they are saved by grace. Therefore, since ALL men are born under the wrath of God and liable to condemnation by nature it isn't unreasonable to conclude that infants are included, they being part of that same human race. You admit that infants are born guilty, corrupt under God's wrath and condemnation. But you then posit an "exception clause" for infants dying in infancy. Where's the "beef"?

Sorry my friend, but the onus is upon YOU to produce the Scriptural evidence to show that infants dying in infancy are elect. Now I will readily admit that although I have read through the Bible countless times in English and in the original languages, I may have missed this. So, if you would be so kind as to point me to where the Bible mentions this, I would be grateful. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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neicey #15619 Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:12 AM
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Neicey, your name is interesting. What does it mean?

You asked, “I don't understand, at what time would I have been neutral?
And do you mean also without GOD’s Grace in this position?”

No, I do not mean without God’s grace. By His grace we’re saved through faith. At times humans under the special conviction of God can form a bias from a position of neutrality (equipoise). It is temporary neutrality. Before and after this phase they are free agents, but they do not have true free will except during this phase. Adam and Satan are examples of people who temporarily had true free will. Totally depraved humans are free agents – they do what they want to do, sin. They cannot surrender to Christ in repentance and faith until their total depravity is counteracted. Five-point Calvinists believe that God regenerates them to counteract their depravity so that they can surrender in repentance and faith. Most five-point Calvinists believe that their repentance/faith is simultaneous with their regeneration, but the logical order places regeneration before repentance/faith. Some five-point Calvinists hold to an extended (elongated) view where regeneration is viewed as more of a process than an event. In the elongated view there may be a time gap between initial regeneration (illumination) and repentance/faith. Modified Calvinists (like me) and Arminians believe that regeneration (the actual imparting of spiritual life) follows repentance/faith. I believe that there is a conversion process in which God takes the initiative. Rather than calling God’s initiative “initial regeneration” like those holding the elongated view, I prefer to call it “special conviction” to distinguish it from common grace and the regeneration event where life is imparted.

Pilgrim #15620 Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:21 AM
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Hi again, Pilgrim. You said, “When I read my Bible, I am impressed with the fact that ALL who are under condemnation are destined to perdition UNLESS they are saved by grace.”

I agree with you. All who are destined to perdition unless they are saved by grace. My contention is that all infants dying in infancy are saved by grace.

You then said, “You admit that infants are born guilty, corrupt under God's wrath and condemnation. But you then posit an ‘exception clause’ for infants dying in infancy. Where's the ‘beef’?”

Actually, I didn’t make an exception for infants in terms of grace. They are saved by grace just like other elect people.

Finally, you said, “Sorry my friend, but the onus is upon YOU to produce the Scriptural evidence to show that infants dying in infancy are elect.” Why is the onus on me and not you?

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