The Highway
Posted By: neicey Choosen and Children - Thu Jun 24, 2004 3:03 PM
Before my children were born I ask GOD to take care of them,be with them always,I told GOD I would do what I could to be a good mother, and I needed his input in our lifes for that, knowing that GOD see's things I can't.

I love my children an still thank GOD for them, choosen people will be in heaven, what if one or all of my children are not elect, and I if I am elect and I believe I am, will know in heaven my chilren are not there, even after I ask GOD to take care of them.
Why would GOD take care of children here on earth an then let them die forever. that is a heartbreaker.

Hope somebody has some good news for me
Thanks neicey
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Thu Jun 24, 2004 4:32 PM
Quote
neicey asks:
Why would GOD take care of children here on earth an then let them die forever. that is a heartbreaker.[/i][/b]
This is one of those issues where emotions seem to dictate one's beliefs, rather than what the Scriptures teach being the foundation of truth. You will find passions run high on both sides; on the one side where emotions over rule propositional truth, all kinds of arguments are set forth, usually appealing to the love and goodness of God, parenthood, etc. One the other side are those who look at this issue more objectively and hold to the biblical teaching of the sovereign grace of God Who is infinitely holy and the sinfulness of man who is born into this world with both the guilt of the Fall imputed and the corrupt nature inherited (aka: Original Sin).

What the Scriptures teach is that ALL are born under the wrath of God and subject to condemnation. NONE are worthy of mercy or grace, for there is not ONE who is righteous, no not one. NO ONE seeks after God by nature. For ALL are born with an innate hatred of God and all that is good. God, being thrice holy would be perfectly just in condemning the entire human race into eternal punishment. But in His infinite mercy for reasons only known unto Himself, although we do know that His choice to save any is wholly "unconditional", i.e., there is NOTHING about the person nor ANYTHING that a person might do, e.g., believe (which is impossible without grace anyway), which moved God to choose some over any other. (Rom 9:6ff; Eph 1:4ff)

The truth of this matter is like a very large pill. It is very difficult for many to swallow. Instead of allowing the inspired Word of God determine what we are to believe, many reject that Word and impose upon God what THEY feel would be "fair", "just", "right", "love", etc.

The LORD God is benevolent to all here on earth in many temporal ways. (cf. Matt 5:45) That men are even allowed to draw a breath of air is testimony to the goodness of God. (Rom 2:1ff)

Thus most ask the wrong question, e.g., "How could God hate Esau?". The right question should be, "How could God love Jacob? Why has God loved anyone of the human race?" THIS is the reality of grace; i.e., UNDESERVED favor. If one posits that there is anything which is commendable about man which God should recognize and be swayed to act favorably because of it, then it is not grace which is bestowed, but one's due.

To end this now, I would suggest that at that last and sober day when all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be tried according to their works; either those of their own of those which were wrought for them in Christ, those of us who have been given new hearts and have been reconciled to God in Christ Jesus will be so enthralled with the Lord and His grace that all else will be nothing more than a fleeting thought. All our present attractions and bonds here on earth will be removed and we will be wholly bound in love to the Triune God; praising Him for both His grace and justice.

For more on this aspect, see here: The End of the Wicked Contemplated.

In His Grace,
Posted By: jfschultz Re: Choosen and Children - Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:46 PM
A couple of times during the past year or so, I heard R.C. Sproul relate a tale of Dr. Gerstner being asked a question along these line in a seminary class. Dr. Gerstner's response was that in Heaven we would be so sanctified and so oriented to God's glory that we could see our mother in hell and be glad.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Choosen and Children - Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:15 AM
I think that, honestly, the Catholics, from my understanding, have a good response to the issue of where babies go. They just say trust God cuz He'll do right despite what we think here on earth.

The Bible is pretty silent on the matter, and so therefore, I don't think that we CAN know, in this lifetime, how God chooses to work here apart from grace and Unconditional Election. When we get to heaven, though, I don't think that it will matter to us. I am not a father yet, in fact, I am only just beginning a relationship with a girl and pursueing things in the direction of, if it be God's will, someday marrying, but I am already praying that God give me peace about what His will is for my children. And that is all we can do. We really don't know, and we can only speculate, but we CAN trust God and His just decisions and know that He will do what is right all the time.

Quote
[color:"0000FF"]Then Job replied to the Lord:
I know that You can do anything
and no plan of Your's can be thwarted.[/color] Job 42:1-2 (HCSB)
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Choosen and Children - Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:58 AM
Quote
Kalled2Preach suggests:
The Bible is pretty silent on the matter, and so therefore, I don't think that we CAN know, in this lifetime, how God chooses to work here apart from grace and Unconditional Election.
Obviously, I believe the Bible is rather clear on the matter concerning who is going to spend eternity praising God and who is going to suffer justly for their sinfulness/sins.

But I am VERY curious about your belief in "how God chooses to work here <span style="background-color:yellow">apart</span> from grace and Unconditional Election". Are you suggesting that there are some individuals who are going to be saved without "grace" and/or who were not predestinated according to God's unconditional election? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Choosen and Children - Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:11 AM
I meant that grace and Unconditional Election are the only ways that we know that God works.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Choosen and Children - Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:14 AM
Quote
Kalled2Preach said:
I meant that grace and Unconditional Election are the only ways that we know that God works.
Thanks for the clarification! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Tom Re: Chosen and Children - Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:44 AM
Neicey

It is perfectly normal for a mother to have those kinds of feelings. However in the end, it is a matter of trust in the sovereign will of our God.
As I look at the book of Psalms, I see David lamenting and pleading with God on many occasions. However in the end he trusted God no matter what life through at him.
All we can do in the situation you brought up is make sure we bring our children up in the Lord and trust God no matter what happens.
However, I must say we should not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow with take care of itself.

Tom
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:35 PM
I am not an expert by any means on this subject, and I am trying to reconcile any emotions I have about this with Scripture. So please be patient with me, but I heard Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who is a Calvinist, speak on this subject. He referenced Numbers 14:28-33

28 "Say to them, 'As I live,' says the LORD, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you;
29 your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me.
30 'Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
31 'Your children, however, whom you said would become a prey--I will bring them in, and they will know the land which you have rejected.
32 'But as for you, your corpses will fall in this wilderness.
33 'Your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they will suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness.'

His argument was that God chooses/elects those infants that die before the "age of accountability" (or what ever you want to call it) and He does not hold them accountable to thier parents sins. I wish that they had not taken the speech off Mohler's web site, but unfortunately they have.

I hate making someone else's arguments for them because I usually get them wrong, so please be merciful in your replies. Anyway, what is your take on this?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:52 PM
I see two things here. First, I would like to know how this passage is interpreted to mean this. Second, I would like the "age of accountability" provided from scripture.


God bless,

william
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:08 AM
I'm in agreement, Will. I don't see how that passage could be an argument for an "age of accountability." I don't see how the idea of such an age could be compatible with the doctrine of original sin.

We've hashed this topic out before, by the way.

I just found an article that Mohler and Danny Akin wrote on the subject.

Here is a key paragraph to his argument:

Quote
What, then is our basis for claiming that all those who die in infancy are among the elect? First, the Bible teaches that we are to be judged on the basis of our deeds committed "in the body."(2 Corinthians 5:10) That is, we will face the judgment seat of Christ and be judged, not on the basis of original sin, but for our sins committed during our own lifetimes. Each will answer "according to what he has done,"(2 Corinthians 5:10) and not for the sin of Adam. The imputation of Adam’s sin and guilt explains our inability to respond to God without regeneration, but the Bible does not teach that we will answer for Adam’s sin. We will answer for our own. But what about infants? Have those who die in infancy committed such sins in the body? We believe not.

But I respond by saying that we are stillborn in trespasses and sins. We are born DEAD!

Another paragraph:

Quote
One biblical text is particularly helpful at this point. After the children of Israel rebelled against God in the wilderness, God sentenced that generation to die in the wilderness after forty years of wandering. "Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers."(Deuteronomy 1:35) But this was not all. God specifically exempted young children and infants from this sentence, and even explained why He did so: "Moreover, your little ones who you said would become prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good and evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it."(Deuteronomy 1:39) The key issue here is that God specifically exempted from the judgment those who "have no knowledge of good or evil" because of their age. These "little ones" would inherit the Promised Land, and would not be judged on the basis of their fathers’ sins.

We believe that this passage bears directly on the issue of infant salvation, and that the accomplished work of Christ has removed the stain of original sin from those who die in infancy. Knowing neither good nor evil, these young children are incapable of committing sins in the body – are not yet moral agents – and die secure in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

How do they make such a generalization from this specific text?

Quite frankly, I expect better arguemnts out of those two scholars.
Posted By: MarieP Jonathan Edwards on Original Sin and Infancy - Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:35 AM
http://www.jonathanedwards.com/text/osin/osin.htm

I especially found this paragraph insightful:

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Since God declared, that if there had been found but then righteous in Sodom, he would have spared the whole city for their sakes, may we not well suppose, if infants are perfectly innocent, that he would have spared the old world, in which there were, without doubt, many hundred thousand infants, and in general, one in every family, whose perfect innocence pleaded for its preservation? Especially when such vast care was taken to save Noah and his family (some of whom, one at least, seem to have been none of the best), that they might not be involved in that destruction. If the perfect sinlessness of infants had been a notion entertained among the people of God, in the ages next following the flood — handed down from Noah and his children, who well knew that vast multitudes of infants perished in the flood — is it likely that Eliphaz, who lived within a few generations of Shem and Noah, would have said to Job (Job 4:7), “Who ever perished, being innocent? and when were the righteous cut off? Especially, since in the same discourse (Job 5:1) he appeals to the tradition of the ancients for a confirmation of this very point (also in Job 15:7-10, and 22:15, 16.) and he mentions the destruction of the wicked by the flood, as an instance of that perishing of the wicked, which he supposes to be peculiar to them, for Job’s conviction; in which the wicked were cut down out of time, their foundation being overflown with a flood. Where it is also observable, that he speaks of such an untimeliness of death as they suffered by the flood, as one evidence of guilt; as he also does, Job 15:32, 33, “It shall be accomplished before his time; and his branch shall not be green.” But those who were destroyed by the flood in infancy, above all the rest, were cut down out of time; when instead of living above nine hundred years, according to the common period of man’s life, at that time, many were cut down before they were one year old.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Fri Jul 02, 2004 1:09 AM
It is my understanding that all are born in need of salvation; not that we come to need salvation at some uncertain age. In my two years at Baptist college, I have yet to have one person offer any significant scripture of this belief. I also understand that being born with original sin makes us a sinner. One needn't add age to the mix for this to be true.


God bless,

william
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Fri Jul 02, 2004 1:35 AM
I've heard 2 Samuel 12:23 used.

Quote
18 Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, "Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!"
19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" And they said, "He is dead."
20 So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate.
21 Then his servants said to him, "What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food."
22 He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.'
23 "But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."

What I'd like to know is how they can jump to these conclsions, and yet still believe in original sin and total depravity.

By the way, if David is not saying he will see his son in heaven (even if he was saying that, it wouldn't be enough to make a generalization), then what exactly is he saying? I have some ideas: that David is speaking in generalities about the fact that his son cannot be brought back from death, and that one day David will die too.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Fri Jul 02, 2004 4:30 AM
Marie,

I am deeply saddened and quite surprised as you were to read what these two men wrote, who are not novices to biblical doctrine and who claim to hold firmly to the doctrines of free sovereign grace. I see two glaring errors in their responses:

1) The doctrine of "Original Sin" as held by Calvinists for hundreds of years, being that which the Scripture everywhere teaches is that it consists of [color:"red"]"2"[/color] elements: a) The guilt of Adam is imputed to the entire human race. Thus ALL are guilty before God from the judgment rendered upon Adam, who was our Federal Head. This is part and parcel of "corporate solidarity" and clearly taught in Rom 5:12-18 and 1Cor 15:21, 21. To deny this truth is also to deny imputed righteousness and therefore the foundational doctrine of justification by faith. ALL are under judgment (Eph 2:3). The guilt imputed declares our judicial status/standing before God and has no bearing upon our "inability" to respond to the Gospel. b) The corruption of nature is inherited by generation from our parents, also as being part of the punishment rendered to Adam's transgression. It is this depravity of the soul; aka: spiritual death, which is the post-Fall natural inclination to be at enmity with God and to hate all that is good. We are thus prone to all manner of wickedness and evil. (cf. Gen 6:5; 8:21; Job 15:14-16; Ps 51:5; 58:3; Eph 2:1-5;)

The fact that Esau was rejected before he was born, even before he had done either good or evil, and God being perfectly just in all His ways (Gen 18:25b; Deut 32:4), shows that Esau was deemed guilty and worthy of damnation by virtue of his relation to the human race.

2) It is indefensible to take a portion of Scripture as Mohler did, from Numbers, which speaks to God preserving the youth under 20 years of age from physical destruction and force upon it a salvific meaning. Secondly, this portion of Scripture is local and historical, being a specific account and judgment upon a particular people at a particular time in history. There is no warrant to fabricate a universal principle out of it and thus apply it to all men everywhere for all time. If one were to apply this fractured interpretation with equity, then one would be forced to conclude that Moses was damned as well as all those who the Bible says were saints living during that period of time, for he, Moses, was forbidden to enter into the land and died without ever doing so.

Once again, it is my belief, that the truth of this matter is to be found in the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter X, "On Effectual Calling", in section III, where it states:


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



In His Grace,
Posted By: Tom Re: Chosen and Children - Fri Jul 02, 2004 4:41 AM
Pilgrim

The view that Mohler teaches on the subject is what many Reformed Baptists teach. Even CH Spurgeon himself believed that way.
However like you, this is one topic that I don't agree with them on.

Tom
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:58 PM
Quote
Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
Look at this from a person that has not grown up with a Reformed background and is relatively a newbie to the doctrine.

If this be true, then why do we need Scripture and Faith in the first place? This reminds me of the statement that William Carey's professor gave him when Carey asked why we don't have missions or attempt to spread the Gospel to the "heathen nations." Carey's professor is reported to have said, "If God so chooses to convert the heathen nations, He will do it without your or my help!"

Now, I am not saying that God can not save who He chooses. He is sovereign! Also, I am not saying that God does not send infants to Hell. I don't know. What purpose does it serve is, I suppose, my question.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:48 PM
Quote
Reformed SB writes and asks:
If this be true, then why do we need Scripture and Faith in the first place? This reminds me of the statement that William Carey's professor gave him when Carey asked why we don't have missions or attempt to spread the Gospel to the "heathen nations." Carey's professor is reported to have said, "If God so chooses to convert the heathen nations, He will do it without your or my help!"

Now, I am not saying that God can not save who He chooses. He is sovereign! Also, I am not saying that God does not send infants to Hell. I don't know. What purpose does it serve is, I suppose, my question.
Methinks you are confusing this statement in the WCF, which deals with a very narrow and specific situation; an exception to God's normal way of saving individuals. The Reformed Faith is very adamant that no one is saved without believing upon Christ and Him alone. This is man's responsibility, even though the ability to do so is made possible by God's sovereign working of regeneration in the soul. That all the elect will be infallibly saved is due to God's immutable decree is only one part of the whole. For the Lord has within that decree also determined the means to the end; i.e., that man will be regenerated, that repentance and faith will be exercised, that Christ's atonement will then be applied and that the Holy Spirit will infallibly preserve the person to final glorification. They hyper-Calvinists of Carey's day put all the emphasis upon the sovereignty of God and ignored or denied the means and responsibility of man to repent and believe on Christ.

In this particular portion of the WCF, it is dealing with those individuals who are physically incapable of participating in the regular/normal ordained means by which they are saved, e.g., the hearing of the Gospel. What is stating is that such individuals are not necessarily doomed to perdition, but rather God in His mercy calls even such individuals to Himself, albeit it secretly and unknown to us and redeems them. In short, God has predestinated even some unborn and physically disabled people to salvation. And thus ALL those who are of the elect, without exception will be infallibly saved to the glory of God.

I hope that clears that much up for you. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Tom Re: Chosen and Children - Fri Jul 02, 2004 11:19 PM
Pilgrim

You probably know this already, but in the London Confession of the Baptist Faith, it reads III. Infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit;[10] who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth;[11] so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

As you can see, it omitts the word "Elect" as it shows in the WCF. Basically my point in mentioning this is because what Mohler says is in keeping with what the London Confession of The Baptist Faith teaches. Also as what I said in my other post Spurgeon also taught that. (At least that is my understanding of what he taught)

This is one of the reasons why I like to check these kind of things with Scripture. This is one issue that I agree with the WCF over our Baptist confession.
I however am not the only Baptist that feels this way however.

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Fri Jul 02, 2004 11:57 PM
Quote
Tom offers:
Basically my point in mentioning this is because what Mohler says is in keeping with what the London Confession of The Baptist Faith teaches.
That's all well and good Tom, that Mohler and Spurgeon were consistent with their denomination/church's Confession. But need I point out that my reply to Marie and rejection of the statements made by the men quoted by her was based upon Scripture and not upon the WCF. The fact remains, much to the consternation of some, that there is not one shred of biblical evidence to support the notion that "all infants who die in infancy" are saved.

I believe it is no less true for those who would hold to such a position as it is for an Arminian who rejects God's sovereign grace in salvation, that there are times when the emotions unfortunately over ride the propositional revealed inspired Word of God.

In His Grace,
Posted By: Tom Re: Chosen and Children - Sun Jul 04, 2004 2:22 AM
Pilgrim

You said: "But need I point out that my reply to Marie and rejection of the statements made by the men quoted by her was based upon Scripture and not upon the WCF."

I was hoping you would notice the following quote from my post: "This is one of the reasons why I like to check these kind of things with Scripture."

I hope you also noticed that I am in 100% agreement with you on this one. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />

Tom
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Choosen and Children - Mon Jul 05, 2004 1:34 AM
Another Scripture passage to consider is Matthew 18:10:

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven.” (NASV)

D. A. Carson, Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, had an interesting interpretation of Matthew 18:10:

“And if ministering angels are sent to help believers, what are the angels in Matthew 18:10 doing around the divine throne, instead of guarding those people to whom they are assigned? [. . .] The most likely explanation is the one Warfield (1:253-66) defends. The ‘angels’ of the ‘little ones’ are their spirits after death, and they always see the heavenly Father’s face. Do not despise these little ones, Jesus says, for their destiny is the unshielded glory of the Father’s presence. The present tense (they ‘always see’) raises no difficulty because Jesus is dealing with a class, not individuals. The same interpretation admirably suits Acts 12:15: what the assembled group thinks is standing outside is Peter’s ‘spirit’ (angel), which accounts for Rhoda’s recognition of his voice. But can the word ‘angel’ be pressed into this interpretation? Certainly Jesus teaches that God’s people in the Resurrection ‘will be like the angels in heaven’ as to marriage (22:30) and immortality (Luke 20:36).”
(From “Matthew,” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 8, page 401)

Of course, all infants are not elect, because one cannot change from an elect infant into a non-elect teenager. One’s elect status does not change. Still, I think one can make a strong case that all infants dying in infancy are elect. Three key passages make the point that the non-elect are judged for their own deeds, not the deed of Adam:

Revelation 20:13 – “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.” (NASV)

2 Corinthians 5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (NASV)

Matthew 16:27 – “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and WILL THEN RECOMPENSE EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.” (NASV)

Obviously, infants dying in infancy cannot act in a morally significant way that would lead to their condemnation. Arthur Pink commented, “An idiot or an infant is not personally responsible to God, because lacking in natural ability. But the normal man who is endowed with rationality, who is gifted with a conscience that is capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, who is able to weigh eternal issues IS a responsible being, and it is because he does possess these very faculties that he will yet have to ‘give account of himself to God’ (Rom. 14:12).” (From The Sovereignty of God, page 154)
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Mon Jul 05, 2004 2:29 AM
koreahog2005,

Welcome to The Highway Discussion Board! [Linked Image]

Perhaps you haven't read the other posts in this thread? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" /> I ask because what you are proposing has been dealt with, IMHO, quite adequately, particularly in relation to the doctrine of Original Sin. The dilemma, which I do believe is unsupportable, for those who would like to believe that all infants dying in infancy is that it contradicts and obviates the guilt imputed to all human beings at conception due to Adam's transgression. It is upon this guilt alone that all men are under the wrath of God and liable to judgment. Secondly, the corruption of nature which all human beings inherit from that same Fall determines not only the external acts of sin, but the very predisposition of the soul. This too is enough to warrant God damning an individual.

Another aspect I find rejectionable with this view and which flows from the above truths is that it externalizes sin. Transgressing the law does not make one a sinner, but rather one sins because one IS a sinner and thus one naturally and irresistibly commits sin. Sin originates in the heart/soul of man and thus an embryo or infant is not exempt from its curse. The penalty for sin is "death". And the fact that some infants die in infancy goes to prove that they are sinners and share in the penalty of the Fall.

As for Carson's referencing Warfield's interpretation of Matt. 18:10 I would direct you to what Warfield actually wrote on this text here: Christ's "Little Ones".

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Choosen and Children - Mon Jul 05, 2004 5:04 AM
Hi Pilgrim. Thanks for the welcome. Carson was referring to Warfield’s view of the “angels” in Matthew 18:10. Notice the following quote from the article you cited by Warfield: “Thus multitudes of Christians seem to be accustomed to read Matt. xviii. 10: ‘See that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven,’ quite simply as a declaration that the ‘angels of little children’ (whatever these ‘angels’ may be) hold a peculiarly exalted place in heaven.”
http://www.the-highway.com/littleones_Warfield.html

I don’t think the article that you cited (“Christ’s ‘Little Ones’) is the one to which Carson was referring. Carson referred to the following work by Warfield: "The Angels of God's 'Little Ones,'" Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield, edited by John E. Meeter (Nutley, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1970), I:253-66. The article you cited comes from The Bible Student and Teacher, Vol. I (new issue), 1904, pp. 515-525. Most of the article you cited was spent advocating the position that the phrase “little ones” in Matthew 18:10 referred to the disciples, not to children in the sense of chronological age.

Notice the following quote from a web site that referenced Warfield’s “The Angels of God’s ‘Little Ones’ ”:

“Benjamin B. Warfield has argued against the notion that the ‘angels’ in these verses refer to guardian angels, contending that the phrase, ‘these little ones,’ in the Matthew passage speak not of children as such but more properly of his disciples in general and that their ‘angels’ in this context seem more appropriately to refer to these disciples' disembodied souls considered as a class. He declares that the real difficulty of explaining these passages by the aid of the notion of ‘guardian angels’ is that this notion does not in the least fit their requirements. Where should a ‘guardian angel’ be, except with his ward? That is the essential idea of a ‘guardian angel’; he is supposed to be in unbroken attendance upon the saint committed to his charge. But neither in Matt. xviii. 10, nor in Acts xii. 15 are the angels spoken of found with their wards; but distinctly elsewhere. After cogently arguing for the translation of ‘disembodied soul’ for the Greek a[ggelo", angelos, in these two passages, Warfield asserts:

‘What could so enhance the reverence with which "these little ones"...should be treated than the assurance that it is specifically their souls [as a class] which in heaven stand closest to the Father's throne? . . . Surely nothing could so heighten the sense of the real dignity that belongs to these little ones, whether the specially humble or the specially young be intended, than such a declaration.’

And he concludes:

‘There has been suggested no explanation of these two unique phrases—"the angels of these little ones" and "Peter's angel" — which has not difficulties in its way. Possibly it may be found, however, that the interpretation which sees in them designations of disembodied souls, despite the scorn with which this suggestion has ordinarily been treated, has more to say for itself and fewer difficulties to face than any other. It satisfies all the conditions of the passages themselves — which cannot be said of any of its rivals. It is rooted in a natural extension of the common meaning of the term employed. And it presupposes no conceptions which cannot be shown to have existed in circles out of which Christianity arose—which again cannot be said of its rivals. Perhaps that is as much as we should ask before we give it our preference.’ http://www.knoxseminary.org/Prospective/Faculty/KnoxPulpit/rreymond_angels.html
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Mon Jul 05, 2004 5:16 AM
koreahog2005,

First of all, just a point of procedure here. It would be greatly appreciated if you would click the "Reply" button within the post you are replying to. It would appear that you did not do that, when looking at the place in the thread that it appears. It makes it very difficult to follow a discussion otherwise. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Now, as to Warfield's quote which Carson was wanting to use.... I fail to see any connection whatsoever as to the issue of the salvation of infants who die in infancy. Secondly, Warfield held tenaciously to the WCF, which clearly holds that only "elect infants dying in infancy" are saved (cf. X:iii "Of Effectual Calling") So, in fact, Warfield was opposed to a general salvation of all infants dying in infancy. Why Carson chose to quote Warfield to try and support his view is beyond me and I see it as rather ironic that he would do so. [Linked Image]

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Mon Jul 05, 2004 2:45 PM
Another applicable passage is Romans 5:12-13:

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed where there is no law.” (NASV)

A.T. Robertson, Southern Baptists’ foremost Greek authority, commented on Romans 5:13:

“Until the law (acri nomou). Until the Mosaic law. Sin was there before the Mosaic law, for the Jews were like Gentiles who had the law of reason and conscience (Romans 2:12-16), but the coming of the law increased their responsibility and their guilt (Romans 2:9). Sin is not imputed (amartia de ouk ellogeitai). Present passive indicative of late verb ellogaw (-ew) from en and logoß, to put down in the ledger to one's account, examples in inscription and papyri. When there is no law (mh ontoß nomou). Genitive absolute, no law of any kind, he means. There was law before the Mosaic law. But what about infants and idiots in case of death? Do they have responsibility? Surely not. The sinful nature which they inherit is met by Christ's atoning death and grace. No longer do men speak of ‘elect infants.’ ”
http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries/...=5&verse=13

Millard Erickson, 2002 president of the Evangelical Theological Society, commented on infants dying in infancy:

“The current form of my understanding is as follows: We all were involved in Adam’s sin, and thus receive both the corrupted nature that was his after the fall, and the guilt and condemnation that attach to his sin. With this matter of guilt, however, just as with the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, there must be some conscious and voluntary decision on our part. Until this is the case, there is only a conditional imputation of guilt. Thus, there is no condemnation until one reaches the age of responsibility. If a child dies before becoming capable of making genuine moral decisions, the contingent imputation of Adamic sin does not become actual, and the child will experience the same type of future existence with the Lord as will those who have reached the age of moral responsibility and had their sins forgiven as a result of accepting the offer of salvation based upon Christ’s atoning death. The problem of the corrupted nature of such persons is presumably dealt with in the way that the imperfectly sanctified nature of believers will be glorified.”
(From Christian Theology, second edition, page 656)
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Mon Jul 05, 2004 3:01 PM
Welcome to the board.

Quote
“The current form of my understanding is as follows: We all were involved in Adam’s sin, and thus receive both the corrupted nature that was his after the fall, and the guilt and condemnation that attach to his sin. With this matter of guilt, however, just as with the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, there must be some conscious and voluntary decision on our part. Until this is the case, there is only a conditional imputation of guilt. Thus, there is no condemnation until one reaches the age of responsibility. If a child dies before becoming capable of making genuine moral decisions, the contingent imputation of Adamic sin does not become actual, and the child will experience the same type of future existence with the Lord as will those who have reached the age of moral responsibility and had their sins forgiven as a result of accepting the offer of salvation based upon Christ’s atoning death. The problem of the corrupted nature of such persons is presumably dealt with in the way that the imperfectly sanctified nature of believers will be glorified.”
(From Christian Theology, second edition, page 656)

I have two questions;

1) Since no man has the ability within himself, are the unregenerate excused the same way?

2) What is the specified age?


God bless,

william
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Mon Jul 05, 2004 3:25 PM
Golly gee..... haven't you read any of the other replies in this thread? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> Nearly everything you posited to defend this erroneous view, has been dealt with quite thoroughly already. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Quote
Another applicable passage is Romans 5:12-13:

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed where there is no law.” (NASV)

A.T. Robertson, Southern Baptists’ foremost Greek authority, commented on Romans 5:13:
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. Only sinners experience death, according to the Scriptures. In fact, it is because they are sinners do humans die. If they had no sin, then they would have no need of Christ's atonement applied to them. In fact, I had hinted at this already too, here: One of my replies below. Robertson's comments on verse 13 are irrelevant to the issue of unborn infants dying in infancy.

Secondly, Erickson surely contradicts himself right out of the gate. For he first acknowledges the truth that ALL are partakers of Adam's "guilt" and "corruption of nature" but then goes on to contradict that affirmation when he writes:

<blockquote>
With this matter of guilt, however, just as with the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, there must be some conscious and voluntary decision on our part. Until this is the case, there is only a conditional imputation of guilt. Thus, there is no condemnation until one reaches the age of responsibility.<br>
</blockquote>

Now, pray tell, where did he get THAT bit of information from; the "Devised Standard Version" of the Bible, perhaps? [Linked Image] I see lots of imaginative thinking, but nothing that resembles biblical teaching. The same goes for this novel idea of the "age of responsibility". Sounds more like the teaching of John Locke and his "Tabula Rasa" than the apostle Paul. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:24 AM
Averagefellar, I love your name. I’ll try to answer your questions:

1. Five-point Calvinists say that non-Christians are unable to repent of their sin and place their faith in Christ because they are spiritually dead. Remember Ephesians 2:1: “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.” How can a spiritually dead person do anything that is spiritually significant? Total depravity implies total inability. Jesus made it clear, however, that somehow a dead person could hear the gospel and believe in God (John 5:24-25):

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who
sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgement, but has passed
out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now
is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who
hear shall live.”

Some people argue that the dead people mentioned in verse 25 refer to physically dead rather than spiritually dead people, but the proximity to verse 24 and the clear reference to physically dead people in verse 28 seem to rule out that interpretation.

A common analogy used to represent depravity is drunkenness. A drunk
person is unable to drive safely, and a depraved non-Christian is unable to surrender his life to Christ in repentance and faith. Again, total depravity implies total inability. A person inclined to sin cannot truly repent of that sin unless his depravity is somehow counteracted. Is a person sober before he gets drunk and drives? Yes, and that is why society can hold him responsible for driving drunk. If an evil gang forced a person to drink and drive, then society would not hold the drunken man responsible for an accident.

God holds humans responsible for their depravity because they were perfectly represented by Adam when he committed his first sin. If Adam did not have true free will, then he could not be held responsible for his sin, and his descendants also could not be held responsible for the sins they commit while they are in a totally depraved condition. Humans are also held responsible for the ultimate, final choice they make to accept or reject Jesus as their Lord when they are under the special, illuminating conviction of the Holy Spirit. As Adam was held responsible for his free will choice, so his descendants are, also.

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.

2. The age is not specified chronologically. Some people who are severely mentally handicapped and infants dying in infancy never reach that age.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:41 AM
That sounds pelagian, or at least arminian/wesleyan. Here you contradict yourself

Quote
2. The age is not specified chronologically. Some people who are severely mentally handicapped and infants dying in infancy never reach that age.
Emphasis mine.

If your first statement is correct, and it is, your second statement is absurd. You claim there is no age, then claim an AGE that is never met. Maybe we should refer to it as a 'personal point of accountability'? Again, something I do not see in scripture. I also notice that on such an important thing as salvation of children, God is silent of an age, or a point. The Bible also says nothing of those with mental handicaps.

Quote
If Adam did not have true free will,

Could you provide some scripture that says Adams will wasn't bound to his nature?

One more question;

If infants are not held accountable, why do they suffer the consequences of sin?


God bless,

william
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:12 AM
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
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:43 AM
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 2:08 AM
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
Posted By: neicey Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 2:19 AM
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
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 2:30 AM
Quote
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,
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:11 AM
Quote
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,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:28 AM
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)
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:29 AM
Quote
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
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:37 AM
Quote
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?

[Linked Image]

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:47 AM
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:54 AM
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.”
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:00 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."
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:06 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,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:12 AM
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:21 AM
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?
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:25 AM
koreahog2005,

Long post but unfortunately it is contains some serious errors. The one in particular which I am wanting to point out to you is: "Blood Illustration #2 (Five-point Calvinistic). I don't know where you are getting such erroneous information from, but I would suggest you find another source. That section is woefully inaccurate and does not represent what classic Calvinism teaches concerning the sufficiency/efficiency of Christ's atonement.

And "Blood Illustration #3 (Modified Calvinistic) is a misnomer... it has little in common with Calvinism at all. It's semi-Pelagianism, if anything. That view denies the very definition of the deity of God; Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence.

However, to discuss this with you would be [Linked Image] Thus if you would like to continue with this new topic, then please begin a new thread. [Linked Image]

In His Grace,
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:37 AM
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Actually, I didn’t make an exception for infants in terms of grace. They are saved by grace just like other elect people.

Um, yes you did...

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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.

And here too...

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Obviously, infants dying in infancy cannot act in a morally significant way that would lead to their condemnation.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:38 AM
koreahog2005,

FYI, the "funny stuff" should be posted in "The Lighter Side" forum, not here.

You admit that ALL, infants included are liable to judgment unless they are saved by grace, aka: elected to salvation. We therefore agree on that much.

I then asked you to show me your biblical evidence where all infants dying in infancy are elect. And all you offer in reply is:


Why is the onus on me and not you?



Could you please include chapter and verse where that passage can be found? Surely you don't expect anyone here to accept that as biblical proof, do you? I mean, one could posit that all black females between the years of two and four who live on Long Island, N.Y. are elect and thus are saved, just as easily. And then one could ask for biblical proof that they are not. Now.... can you supply biblical evidence to show that "all infants dying in infancy" are saved or can you not? Since by admission, ALL are under condemnation, then the "exception" of GRACE is the only way in which anyone, including this class of humans can be saved. So, where is your biblical proof that God has decreed that this class of the human race is elect? Again..... "Where's the beef?"

In His Grace,
Posted By: RefDoc Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:42 AM
I really wonder why you even bother referring to yourself as a Calvinist as your view certainly is not classic Calvinism. Modified Arminianism might be a better definition.
By the way, this is considered a Calvinist (Reformed) board, so you need not patronize us with your definitions. I think we are all quite clear on Calvinism and soteriology
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:43 AM
SemperReformanda (Marie), I like your name. Does it mean “always reformed”?

You said, “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 agree with you that God doesn’t save people with potential blood and that Jesus did not potentially shed His blood. I also agree with you that God doesn’t have to provide for things that potentially can happen. He knows exactly what will happen in the actual world. God does, however, have knowledge of how things could and would happen under non-actual circumstances. An instance of this is found in 1 Samuel 23:10-13:

“Then David said, ‘O LORD God of Israel, Thy servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account. Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as Thy servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I pray, tell Thy servant.’ And the LORD said, ‘He will come down.’ Then David said, ‘Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?’ And the LORD said, ‘They will surrender you.’ Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the pursuit.”

God knew exactly what would happen in the actual world. He knew that David would leave Keilah before Saul arrived. God also knew exactly what would happen under non-actual circumstances where David did not leave Keilah before Saul arrived.

You said, “The fact of particular redemption does not mean that the gospel should not be preached to all mankind.” When we preach the gospel, we offer it to everyone in the audience. We don’t know who is elect and who is non-elect. God does not prevent a non-elect person from surrendering to Jesus in repentance and faith. Jesus blood is potentially available to cover that non-elect person’s sins. God knows, however, that the non-elect person would never surrender to Jesus under any circumstances, actual or non-actual. Thus, God only provided enough blood to cover the sins of the elect.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:46 AM
RefDoc, I apologize for offending you. I do refer to myself as a modified Calvinist. I did not intentionally try to sound patronizing. Again, I apologize.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:49 AM
I said "in terms of grace." I don't think I made an exception for them in terms of grace.
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:59 AM
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God does, however, have knowledge of how things could and would happen under non-actual circumstances.

Yes, I agree, but what does that have to do with the extent of the Atonement?

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God does not prevent a non-elect person from surrendering to Jesus in repentance and faith. Jesus blood is potentially available to cover that non-elect person’s sins. God knows, however, that the non-elect person would never surrender to Jesus under any circumstances, actual or non-actual. Thus, God only provided enough blood to cover the sins of the elect.

But where in Scripture does it say that Christ's blood is "potentially available"? That sounds like Arminian thinking to me.

Also, people do not and cannot seek after Christ unless they were chosen by God before the foundation of the world. God sovereignly regenerates the hearts of the elect, drawing them to Himself and granting them the gifts of repentance and faith. And when I say elect, I do not mean they were elected due to whether or not they would be willing to accept Christ. They were elected solely based upon the good pleasure and will of God.
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:04 AM
I don't think it was a matter of "offending" RefDoc. I think it was a matter of us noting how you disagree on some of the core doctrines of Calvinism.

Why do you call yourself a "modified Calvinist"? What parts of Calvinism have you not modified?
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:11 AM
It sounded to me like you did. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe that there is an "age of accountability" when we are held responsible for sin, right? I would disagree with an "age of accountability" because I believe that we all are born under the curse of sin and receive the punishment we deserve unless God sovereignly saves us by His grace. I do not believe all infants dying in infancy, or all mentally disabled people for that matter, are elect. I do not believe God has any obligation to save all infants dying in infancy, or all mentally handicapped individuals, which proponents of your view seem to believe.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:12 AM
Pilgrim, you asked for Scriptural evidence that all infants dying in infancy are elect. I don’t think there is one passage that clearly states such. I have already mentioned some relevant passages, but here’s another:

Millard Erickson, 2002 president of the Evangelical Theological Society, gave an example of an infant who died but would be seen again in heaven: “David had confidence that he would again see his child who had died (2 Sam. 12:23).”

(Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, page 654)

Robert Bergen, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Hannibal, Missouri, agreed with Erickson’s interpretation: “Though David was now bereft of his son, the separation would be only temporary. There is to be heard a note of consolation in David’s words ‘I will go to him.’”

(Robert D. Bergen, “1, 2 Samuel,” The New American Commentary, ed. E. Ray Clendenen, vol 7, page 376)

The famous radio preacher J. Vernon McGee also commented on this passage:

“David knew that the little baby was saved. He said, ‘I will go to him someday.’
David knew that when death came to him, he would be reunited with his son.
A child dying in infancy goes to be with the Lord. Matthew 18:10 says, ‘Take
heed that ye depise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven
their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.’ The word
angels in this verse should be translated ‘spirits.’ When a little baby dies today,
that baby goes immediately to be with the Lord. That is the teaching of the Word
of God.”

(J. Vernon McGee, “1 & 2 Samuel,” Thru the Bible Commentary Series, vol. 12, page 243)

You said, “And "Blood Illustration #3 (Modified Calvinistic) is a misnomer... it has little in common with Calvinism at all. It's semi-Pelagianism, if anything. That view denies the very definition of the deity of God; Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence.”

I don’t see how it denies God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. God knows everything about everything, including non-actual, imagined circumstances. God has always known that non-elect people would refuse to surrender to Him in repentance and faith under any circumstances in any imagined world. The Westminster confession says that His knowledge is infinite. It also says the following: “Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.” I agree with this statement. Notice that it mentions all “supposed” conditions.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:17 AM
I agree with total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement (as I define it), and perseverance of the saints. So, it would probably be accurate to refer to me as a four-point Calvinist or a modified Calvinist.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:20 AM
To all: Can we pick this up again tomorrow? Yall have kept me busy, but it's been a good learning experience.
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:21 AM
So you don't believe in efficacious grace, then. Why don't you believe this, and, could you give us an idea of what "definition" of efficacious grace you are rejecting?
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:22 AM
I should go to bed too. Good night.
Posted By: RefDoc Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:27 AM
Alright,
I am a little slow today, I think I spent a little too much time in the sun....I don't get it...don't most four-pointers throw out limited atonement? I could be wrong about that. I am quite sure that TULIP wasn't meant to be a cafeteria program.

The way I see it, Calvinists are five pointers, they see how the five points are interdependent. It would seem to me that if you reject any of the five points you cease to make any sense of the other four points, and you also cease to be a Calvinist. Thus, you are deceiving yourself to use modified, and Calvinist in the same sentence.
Posted By: MarieP Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:31 AM
I also found it curious that it was efficacious grace and not particular redemption that koreahog2005 rejects. I don't see how anyone who claims to believe in particular redemption can deny efficacious grace.

I would call koreahog2005 a three point Calvinist. I guess that makes him a two-point Arminian?
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:33 AM
koreahog2005,

To be honest, I anticipated that you would flee to that passage in 2Samuel. It's a favorite verse which is used by many who are advocates of this unbiblical view. One must "presume" that David is speaking of the after-life in that passage. Yes, it is possible, but it is also possible and no less feasible that David is simply saying that he will join his dead son in the grave.

But regardless of which view one takes, even if one opts for the first and believes that David is presuming that he will see deceased son in "heaven", the text cannot be taken as teaching a universal salvation of all dead children. Secondly, it says nothing of "unborn infants dying in infancy". So again, I challenge you to produce even ONE SINGLE text that teaches that God has elected to save all infants who die in infancy.

Now.... I suggested to you previously, that if you were wanting to continue in any other topic to please start a new thread. But you chose to ignore my request and went ahead and continued with an off-topic issue. So, I'll ask you but one more time. According to our stated Forum Guidelines, which you had to indicate that you read them when you registered, off-topic posts are subject to deletion. Thus, if you continue to post messages which are off-topic, they will be deleted without further notice.

However, I will offer but a simple reply to this comment you made which again I would ask you to start a new thread if you would like to continue with a discussion on this particular topic:

Quote
God knows everything about everything, including non-actual, imagined circumstances. God has always known that non-elect people would refuse to surrender to Him in repentance and faith under any circumstances in any imagined world.
God knows because He has foreordained all that will happen. His omniscience flows from His omnipotence and infinite will. There are no "contingencies" with God. Your understanding of the statement in the WCF is in error and twisted to fit with your "Modified Openness" theology.

In His Grace,
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:38 AM
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SemperReformanda said:
So you don't believe in efficacious grace, then. Why don't you believe this, and, could you give us an idea of what "definition" of efficacious grace you are rejecting?
PLEASE..... take this to a new thread. The topic here is "Chosen and Children"..... not any of the 5-Points of Calvinism. This thread has gone waaaaaaaaaaaaay off topic. And I'll take part of the blame for not putting my foot down earlier. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:49 AM
Pilgrim, I’m surprised that you would identify me with open theology. Surely you know that open theologians believe that God is not omniscient. They believe that God does not know every detail of the future. In contrast, I have clearly stated that I believe that God “knows everything about everything.” I believe that He knows every detail about the future. Shame on you.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:13 AM
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God does not prevent a non-elect person from surrendering to Jesus in repentance and faith.

Exo 4:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

Rom 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Rom 9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
Rom 9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

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Jesus blood is potentially available to cover that non-elect person’s sins.

I'm gonna have to ask that you show the universalness of Christs atonement from scripture.

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God knows, however, that the non-elect person would never surrender to Jesus under any circumstances, actual or non-actual. Thus, God only provided enough blood to cover the sins of the elect.


Then, since the blood only covers the elect, there is no potential, but actual atonement.

As far as I can tell, you aren't a calvinist, but possibly a modified wesleyan.


God bless,

william
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:22 AM
That's wesleyanism.......a modern version of semi-pelagianism. It's also the lead-in to open theism, a heresy. I suggest we start a new thread......or use this one What did Christ's death accomplish?. However, I notice a propensity to quote scholars significantly more than scripture. While I appreciate scholarship, Holy Writ, the Bible, is my ultimate source.


God bless,

william
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:34 AM
Averagefellar (William), I think you are misunderstanding Wesleyan Arminianism and Open Theism. There is a distinction between them and the modified Calvinism I have been describing. The Evangelical Theological Society has dealt with open theism:

“At the 2002 Annual Meeting, charges against Drs. Pinnock and Sanders were brought by Dr. Roger Nicole, and, by a majority vote, the Society referred these to the Executive Committee, initiating an investigation into the specific positions taken by these members.”
http://www.etsjets.org

Millard Erickson served as president of ETS in 2002. The executive committee, which included Millard Erickson, in 2003 unanimously agreed on the following about Dr. Sanders, a proponent of open theology:

“Sanders does not understand passages such as Micah 5:2 (see Matt 2:6) or Psalm 22:18 (see John 19:24) to be affirmations of what would actually happen during the life of Christ. Although this view is not affirmed by Dr. Sanders for every prophetic text (such as texts tied to incarnation or judgment), such readings apply to enough texts that the product of Scripture is not inerrant in the commonly understood sense, nor is the Bible true in terms of what the original text affirms. So one is left with a Bible that one cannot affirm teaches anything about the future except for stating probabilities. This approach yields a Bible whose truth affirmations are very different from the one described in the Doctrinal Basis of the ETS as commonly understood by the framers and by a broad array of ETS members. Dr. Sanders does not think that the Bible contains any unconditional prophecies of the future activity of free moral agents (except perhaps for unusual times when God overrides the free will of those agents). He also does not think, within his system of open theism, that it is possible for God to give any unconditional prophecies of the future activity of free moral agents that will certainly (not just probably) come to pass. This means that his understanding of the truthfulness of the prophecies of Scripture is incompatible with inerrancy as understood by the framers or broadly understood by members of the ETS. In addition, Sanders affirmed that when Scripture says what God is going to do in the future, and when there is no explicit or implicit condition attached to that statement in its context, there are still times at which God can change his mind and not do what Scripture said he would do. This seemed to us to be inconsistent with biblical inerrancy. Such a position would mean that we could not affirm that many biblical statements about the future are true (in the ordinary sense of "true," meaning that the events will certainly happen). Therefore, the Executive Committee unanimously affirms that Dr. Sanders' understanding of the Bible's inerrancy is not what the framers meant nor what a broad array of ETS members means.”
http://www.etsjets.org/members/challenge/execcomm/A-Sanders-ExecComm-10-23-03.html

Obviously, Millard Erickson is not a proponent of open theism, and neither am I. He is also not a Wesleyan Arminian, and neither am I. Erickson explained his position and mine:

“It might seem that the divine choice we have argued for is in part the same as the Arminian idea of foreknowledge. There is a significant difference, however. In the Arminian understanding, there is a foreknowledge of actual existing entitities. God simply chooses to confirm, as it were, what he foresees real individuals will decide and do. In our scheme, however, God has a foreknowledge of possibilities. God foresees what possible beings will do if placed in a particular situation with all the influences that will be present at that point in time and space. On this basis he chooses which of the possible individuals will become actualities and which circumstances and influences will be present. He foreknows what these individuals will freely do, for he in effect made that decision by choosing them in particular to bring into existence.”

(Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, page 387)

Again, open theologians do not believe that God knows every detail about the future. Erickson and I believe that God does indeed know every detail about the future. I think Erickson would agree with me that the Bible is our ultimate source.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Chosen and Children - Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:32 PM
You may gather one thousand heretics to suport your claim, which would still, be heretical.


God bless,

william
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