READER CLAIMS WHAT I WROTE
ON INFANT REGENERATION IS "100% FALSE
A gentlemen on my mailing list is obviously not
acquainted with the Pedobaptist (baby baptizers) theological writings, and thus
he wrote to say, "Bob, I am staggered at your totally unfounded
statements." He says that what I represented to be the Reformed Pedobaptist
view on infant regeneration is "100% false."
He goes on to ask,
"Where O where is your consistency and Christian charity? Do you always have to
be so negative? It undermines much of the good work you do."
Baptist, it is not merely that I am "negative" or lack in Christian charity, but
the fact that I understand the Bible to teach the baptism of believers and that
baptized believers to be received into the church as members.
the Pedobaptists who believe in infant regeneration, infant baptism, and infant
membership are no doubt, by a the very nature of the case, just as "negative"
toward the Baptist point of view as I am toward the Pedobaptist point of view.
And as for charity, I think I do have charity in not making this ecclesiastical
difference a "test" of one's basic Christianity.
gentleman's benefit and for the benefit of others who are not aware that the
Pedobaptists do indeed believe in the very early regeneration of children
born to believers, here are a few quotes from some of the well-known
theologians who represent Reformed thinking:
W. G. T.
"Infant baptism does not confer the regenerating Spirit, but
is a sign that he either HAS BEEN, or WILL BE conferred, in
accordance with the divine COVENANT OF GRACE. The actual conferring of
the Holy Spirit may be PRIOR to baptism, or IN THE ACT itself, or
SUBSEQUENT TO IT. . . . the regenerating grace of the Spirit, signified
and sealed by the rite, may be imparted WHEN the infant is
baptized, or PREVIOUSLY, or at a FUTURE TIME." (Dogmatic
Theology, Volume 2, page 575.
"LUTHER . . .
made the efficacy of baptism dependent on the faith of the recipient; but when
he reflected on the fact that infants cannot exercise faith, he was
inclined to believe that God by His prevenient grace wrought an incipient
faith in them through baptism; . . . . Reformed theologians solve the
problem by calling attention to three things, which may be regarded as
alternatives, but may also be combined. (1) It is possible to proceed on the
assumption (not the certain knowledge) that the children offered for
baptism are regenerated and are therefore in possession of the semen
fidei (the seed of faith); and to hold that God through baptism in
some mystical way, which we do not understand, strengthens this seed of
faith in the child" (Systematic Theology, pages 641, 642).
"As regeneration is a change wrought by creative power in the
inherent moral condition of the soul, infants may plainly be the subject of
it in precisely the same sense as adults; in both cases the operation is
miraculous, and therefore inscrutable. The fact is established by
what the Scriptures teach of innate depravity, of infant salvation, of
infant circumcision and baptism" (Outlines of Theology, page
"It does not follow from this
that the benefits of redemption may not be conferred on infants at the time
of their baptism. That is in the hands of God. What is to hinder the
imputation to them of the righteousness of Christ, or their receiving the
renewing of the Holy Ghost [i. e. regeneration], so that their whole
nature may be developed in a state of reconciliation with God? Doubtless this
often occurs" (Systematic Theology, Volume 3, page 590).
Pedobaptist theory is based on an elaborate effort bya their scholars to prove
that the "covenant" with Abraham in the Old Testament, involving the
circumcision of infants, is perpetuated in the New Testament church, and
supposedly believing parents are required to have their offspring baptized in
Historically, Baptists have rejected this concept and do
not practice infant baptism, infant church membership, and do not believe that
regeneration is a "covenant" blessing which takes place in infancy in the case
of children born to believers..
-- Bob L. Ross
MY APOLOGIES: I
somehow inadvertently sent an article to some of my mailing list "CC" in an
earlier mailing. This was not intentional, and I apologize.
granted to copy and use this article.
By request, names are
added to my Email List, or removed
Publishers of C. H. Spurgeon's
Sermons & Other Works
Send your snail-mail address for a printed Price
Pilgrim Publications, Box 66, Pasadena, TX 77501
477-4261. Fax: (713) 477-7561