Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2005 11:25 PM
Subject: PRE-BIRTH REGENERATION? [08/06--2005]

I will not hold Presbyterians in general responsible for this idea proposed by John Robbins of the Trinity Foundation, but in some recent email exchanges with me he has alleged that at least two men in the Bible were "born again before they were born," and he apparently implies that this in some way proves his case for the regeneration of babies born to believers, as held by some Pedobaptists, including Presbyterian scholars such as Shedd, the Hodges, and Berkhof.

Now, I think it is a bit too much for Baptists to swallow the idea that babies which born to believers are born again in infancy, but it is even a greater difficulty for us to give any credence to the affirmation that babies may even be born again before they are born into the world. But this seems to be what John Robbins is suggesting.

The following was his reply when I asked him if there is any record in Scripture of a baby that was born again. He cited John the Baptist and Jeremiah.
Pay attention, Bob. John the Baptist and Jeremiah, among others. They were born again before they were born.


I personally do not understand that Jeremiah and John were born again before they were born, although I do recognize the fact that they were very unique cases in the sovereign purpose of God for each of them (Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:41). But I do not know that they were born again before birth.

However, even if that were the case with them, they are not represented in Scripture as being "examples" or precedents for the idea that the new birth takes place before birth. I could not even get John to go that far, even using Gordon Clark's logic. I don't think that Clark would even argue that it is a "necessary inference" which we have to conclude that babies are born again before they are born, based on the cases of Jeremiah and John. This would defy Clark's own teaching in regard to "necessary inference."

I asked John if he was born again like Jeremiah and John the Baptist, and when he was born again? He would not give me a direct answer, and accused me of changing the subject.

He replied, "Whether or not I was born again as  a baby is irrelevant" and "Don't change the subject, Bob. The Bible clearly teaches that babies can be and have been born again."

Although John claims he is somewhat of a "logician," he is here practicing the logical fallacy of "circular reasoning," which is not very good logic. He begins with the presupposition of the Presbyterian teaching that babies are regenerated in infancy, imposes that idea upon Jeremiah and John even before they are born, and then concludes that "The Bible" teaches that babies can be and have been born again.

The fact is, John could not prove any one of those fallacies from either Scripture or logic.

John gives us a classic example of how far afield the human mind can go when it is bent all out of shape due to the influence of an old and prevalent religious tradition for which there is no justification in Scripture. That type of mind "will find a way" to its own satisfaction, even if it an obvious piece of phantasmagoria when rationally and biblically evaluated. -- Bob L. Ross

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