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April 28, 2008

Comments

Camille Lewis

Amen and AMEN!!

Timothy R. Fry

The logical conclusion to the above theology is that covenant children (children of believers) are born redeemed and are in no need of God's regenerative work. This would also lead one to assume that a child is redeemed through the faith of his parents. However, God is clear that all are guilty before Him, all have fallen short of His glory and all are "justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Rom 3:24 ESV)

Boneman

Hey Timothy,

Great comment. I'm at work so I can't answer now, but will try to by tomorrow morning.

Boneman

Brett Bonecutter

Timothy,

I don't know if you're a credo or paedo-Baptist, but I'll assume for the moment that you are at least paedo-Baptist (Presbyterian). Otherwise the starting-point for these comments would be different.

The logic you are advancing is exactly the "flattening" of Scriptural distinctions that I am referring to. Yes, all men are sinners and deserve condemnation. Absolutely. But you are leaving out Scriptural "data-points" that give us a qualitative difference between covenant children and people outside of the covenant. God has made numerous promises to His covenant people and their children - promises of salvation (eg. Gen 17:7-8, Psalm 103:17-18, Psalm 127:3, Acts 2:38-39, 1 Cor 7:14, Titus 1:6).

The genius of the Reformed faith is trying to hold verses like Romans 3:24 in proper tension with the above promises. You don't just trot out that verse and say that logically the discussion is over. No. What you do is look at all of the Scriptures and say, "Huh. I guess there is something here I am going to have to wrestle with." Calvin, for example, did it by saying that covenant children have the "seed of faith" by virtue of God's promises . It is therefore the covenant community's job to water and till the soil of that child's faith - not through evangelism, but nurture. Do covenant children need to believe the Gospel? Of course! Do we approach them as outsiders who have no special interest in the kingdom by virtue of God's promises? Of course not!

This exercise is all about allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture rather than just pulling out one verse or theological category and in one "logical" step arriving at a poor conclusion.

Boneman

pgepps

"genius" is better left to the Romantics and fanciful rhetors, and theology in the hands of "faithful men who will teach others also."

That's not an answer to your points. Only to your glosses.

Peace,
PGE

Brett Bonecutter

Peter - Bob Jones, The Master's College, AND Baylor? I'm not worthy of your erudition! Your Baptist pedigree is almost totally complete. The only thing left for you is to stop by blogs like this and drop meaningless comments!

Are you sure you didn't spend any time at Westminster West? I think you would find it to your liking.

Thanks again for sharing your insight on this matter. I'm sure everyone found it helpful.

Boneman

Splash

Not news to us because, unfortunately, the best church in our small town is Conservative Baptist affiliated (same as we were attending in Fresno). All but one of the elders and one of the pastoral staff consider themselves Calvinist, a few strongly so, but stuff like this comes with the territory. Not to mention the drums-n-geetars during the 'contemporary' service, which are...well...not as cool as they think they are.

Actually, we have a PCUSA in town too, and the pastor was impressive, but with a lady-type elder and few wee ones there for our wee ones, we kept looking. After reading your post on women in the pulpit, tho, I'm mildly tempted to revisit.

But until I can personally fund my own heavily liturgical, orthodox but not too anal, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, pipe-organ'd, preterist, in-a-cool-old-building-that-looks-like-a-church church, we'll probably have to make do with what we have.

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