Archive for the ‘Infants’ Category

Turretin on the Faith of Infants (Reasons – Part 1)

May 25, 2011

XIV. Rationes cur ita statuamus sunt: 1. Quia promissio Foederis non minus ad Infantes, quam ad Adultos pertinet; siquidem Deus pollicetur se fore Deum Abrahami, et seminis ejus, Ge. xvii.7, et, Act. ii. 39, promissio dicitur facta Patribus et Liberis. Ergo et beneficia Foederis, qualia sunt remissio peccatorum, et sanctificatio, ad eos pertinere debent, ex Jer. xxxi., xxxii., et pro statu ipsorum a Deo ipsis communicantur. Quo sensu juxta quosdam fidelium liberi dicuntur sancti Paulo, 1 Cor. vii. 14. Licent hoc melius referatur ad sanctitatem externam et foederalem quae illis competit, secundum quam, quia nascuntur ex parentibus foederatis et Christianis, saltem ex altero, censentur etiam in sanctitate geniti, id in Christianismo, et non in Ethnicismo, qui status erat ἀκαθαρσἱας et impuritatis.

XIV. The reasons are: (1) the promise of the covenant pertains no less to infants than to adults, since God promises that he will be “the God of Abraham and of his seed” (Gen. 17:7) and the promise is said to have been made “with the fathers and their children” (Acts 2:39). Therefore also the blessings of the covenant (such as “remission of sins” and “sanctification”) ought to pertain to them (according to Jer. 31 and 32) and are communicated to them by God according to their state. In this sense (as some think), the children of believers are called “holy” by Paul (1 Cor. 7:14). This may with more propriety be referred to the external and federal holiness which belongs to them, according to which (because they are born of covenanted and Christian parents—at least of one) they are also considered to be begotten in “holiness” (i.e., in Christianity, and not in heathenism, which was a state of uncleanness [akatharsias] and impurity).

(source for English, including the other paragraphs of this question)

The above is taken from Turretin’s Institutes, Volume 2, 15th Topic, 14th Question, 14th paragraph. One unfortunate error in Dennison’s edition of Turretin’s Institutes (in English) is that “Patribus et Liberis” has been placed in quotation marks (see English version above), when – in fact – it is not a quotation from Acts 2:39, but rather the sense of the text.

This is mostly being posted for a friend who wants the Latin, rather than to spark conversation (although, of course, if someone wants to comment on the faith that infants can have, they are welcome to do so).


John Calvin and the Fathers on Baptism

December 3, 2009

I’ve been told that John Calvin invented a justification for infant baptism that was new. I’m not fully persuaded that, in its essence, Calvin’s justification was new. My impression is that the main argument is that Calvin was departing from medieval Western tradition that viewed baptism essentially as regenerative by virtue of its operation. However, of course, I want to acknowledge up front that I haven’t seen a precisely worded expression of the claim that Calvin’s view of baptism was a theological novum. Perhaps, in the precisely worded expression of the claim, the point is that some of the details of Calvin’s justification for infant baptism were new. In any event, I hope the following post will help at least to demonstrate what wasn’t new to Calvin.

For example, Calvin writes:

Scripture gives us a still clearer knowledge of the truth. For it is most evident that the covenant, which the Lord once made with Abraham (cf. Gen. 17:14), is not less applicable to Christians now than it was anciently to the Jewish people, and, therefore, that word has no less reference to Christians than to Jews. Unless, indeed, we imagine that Christ, by his advent, diminished or curtailed the grace of the Father – an idea not free from execrable blasphemy. Wherefore, both the children of the Jews, because, when made heirs of that covenant, they were separated from the heathen, were called a holy seed (Ezra 9:2; Isaiah 6:13), and for the same reason the children of Christians, or those who have only one believing parent, are called holy, and, by the testimony of the apostle, differ from the impure seed of idolaters (I Cor. 7:14). Then, since the Lord, immediately after the covenant was made with Abraham ordered it to be sealed, infants by an outward sacrament (Gen. 17:12), how can it be said that Christians are not to attest it in the present day, and seal it in their children?

– John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 4, Chapter 16, Section 6

Yet we see similar comments in the church fathers:

This sacrament the Lord Himself received in infancy, although He abrogated it when He was crucified. For these signs of spiritual blessings were not condemned, but gave place to others which were more suitable to the later dispensation. For as circumcision was abolished by the first coming of the Lord, so baptism shall be abolished by His second coming. For as now, since the liberty of faith has come, and the yoke of bondage has been removed, no Christian receives circumcision in the flesh; so then, when the just are reigning with the Lord, and the wicked have been condemned, no one shall be baptized, but the reality which both ordinances prefigure— namely, circumcision of the heart and cleansing of the conscience— shall be eternally abiding. If, therefore, I had been a Jew in the time of the former dispensation, and there had come to me a Samaritan who was willing to become a Jew, abandoning the error which the Lord Himself condemned when He said, “You worship ye know not what; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews;” [John 4:22] — if, I say, a Samaritan whom Samaritans had circumcised had expressed his willingness to become a Jew, there would have been no scope for the boldness which would have insisted on the repetition of the rite; and instead of this, we would have been compelled to approve of that which God had commanded, although it had been done by heretics. But if, in the flesh of a circumcised man, I could not find place for the repetition of the circumcision, because there is but one member which is circumcised, much less is place found in the one heart of man for the repetition of the baptism of Christ. You, therefore, who wish to baptize twice, must seek as subjects of such double baptism men who have double hearts.

– Augustine, Letter 23, Section 4

If the only meaning of baptism were the remission of sins, why would we baptize the newborn children who have not yet tasted of sin? But the mystery [of baptism] is not limited to this; it is a promise of greater and more perfect gifts. In it are the promises of future delights; it is a type of the future resurrection, a communion with the master’s passion, a participation in His resurrection, a mantle of salvation, a tunic of gladness, a garment of light, or, rather it is light itself.

– Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Compendium of Heretical Fables, Book 5, §18, Preface (courtesy of David King)

And if any one seek for divine authority in this matter, though what is held by the whole Church, and that not as instituted by Councils, but as a matter of invariable custom, is rightly held to have been handed down by authority, still we can form a true conjecture of the value of the sacrament of baptism in the case of infants, from the parallel of circumcision, which was received by God’s earlier people, and before receiving which Abraham was justified, as Cornelius also was enriched with the gift of the Holy Spirit before he was baptized. Yet the apostle says of Abraham himself, that “he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith,” having already believed in his heart, so that “it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Why, therefore, was it commanded him that he should circumcise every male child in order on the eighth day, [Genesis 17:9-14] though it could not yet believe with the heart, that it should be counted unto it for righteousness, because the sacrament in itself was of great avail? And this was made manifest by the message of an angel in the case of Moses’ son; for when he was carried by his mother, being yet uncircumcised, it was required, by manifest present peril, that he should be circumcised, [Exodus 4:24-26] and when this was done, the danger of death was removed. As therefore in Abraham the justification of faith came first, and circumcision was added afterwards as the seal of faith; so in Cornelius the spiritual sanctification came first in the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the sacrament of regeneration was added afterwards in the laver of baptism. And as in Isaac, who was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth, the seal of this righteousness of faith was given first, and afterwards, as he imitated the faith of his father, the righteousness itself followed as he grew up, of which the seal had been given before when he was an infant; so in infants, who are baptized, the sacrament of regeneration is given first, and if they maintain a Christian piety, conversion also in the heart will follow, of which the mysterious sign had gone before in the outward body. And as in the thief the gracious goodness of the Almighty supplied what had been wanting in the sacrament of baptism, because it had been missing not from pride or contempt, but from want of opportunity; so in infants who die baptized, we must believe that the same grace of the Almighty supplies the want, that, not from perversity of will, but from insufficiency of age, they can neither believe with the heart unto righteousness, nor make confession with the mouth unto salvation. Therefore, when others take the vows for them, that the celebration of the sacrament may be complete in their behalf, it is unquestionably of avail for their dedication to God, because they cannot answer for themselves. But if another were to answer for one who could answer for himself, it would not be of the same avail. In accordance with which rule, we find in the gospel what strikes every one as natural when he reads it, “He is of age, he shall speak for himself.” John 9:21

– Augustine, On Baptism, Against the Donatists, Book 4, Chapter, Chapter 24 (Section 32)

But in respect of the case of the infants, which you say ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, and that the law of ancient circumcision should be regarded, so that you think that one who is just born should not be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day, we all thought very differently in our council. For in this course which you thought was to be taken, no one agreed; but we all rather judge that the mercy and grace of God is not to be refused to any one born of man. For as the Lord says in His Gospel, “The Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them,” [Luke 4:56] as far as we Can, We must strive that, if possible, no soul be lost. For what is wanting to him who has once been formed in the womb by the hand of God? To us, indeed, and to our eyes, according to the worldly course of days, they who are born appear to receive an increase. But whatever things are made by God, are completed by the majesty and work of God their Maker.

– Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 58, Section 2

David’s Son – an Unworkable Argument

September 24, 2009

One of David’s sons died in infancy. David mourned him before he died, but stopped grieving when the child died. This puzzled the servants of David. When asked about his odd behavior:

2 Samuel 12:22-23
And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

A large number of people use this as a prooftext for the idea either that infants of believers (or all infants) who die in infancy will be saved. There are three main problems with that argument:

1) Go to him in Heaven?

The verse just says “go to him.” It doesn’t say “go to him, in heaven.” It does not indicate that David thinks he will join his son in Paradise. Furthermore, David’s calm is not produced by joy. David does not rejoice that his son is in heaven. He just submitted to the providence of God and went about his business:

2 Samuel 12:19-20
But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, “Is the child dead?”
And they said, “He is dead.”
Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

As one of my friends who uses the handle “Hobster,” recently pointed out. David may simply have meant that he was going to be joining his son in the grave. In the Hebrew mind, we see this kind of thought. For example:

1 Kings 2:10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.

In case you think this is a good thing, note that it is also said of wicked king Ahab:

1 Kings 22:40 So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.

2) Go to him in Hell?

As noted above, David doesn’t say where he thinks the child is going. He also doesn’t say where he thinks he himself is going. He has just sinned grievously, and we are not specifically told whether David has assurance of salvation at this time. I suppose he ought to, but we are not told that he does have such assurance. If David does not have assurance of salvation, then this verse would seem to have either same general “go to the grave” concept, or perhaps a more sinister concept of going to the place of the damned.

3) Is David Inspired?

The text of Scripture is inspired, but the text is an historical narrative. It tells us what David said, but it does not specifically endorse what David said. Even if David meant he would see his child in heaven, we could not necessarily conclude that David was right as opposed simply to David being optimistic.


We don’t know for sure where David’s son went. It would not be wise, therefore, to build a doctrine regarding the salvation of infants on this verse alone. David’s resignation and lack of joy (ending his weeping and fasting, not putting on a celebration) suggest that he had simply accepted the punishment of God, rather than having any particular hope as to the salvation of his son.

That is not, of course, to say that I think I’ve proved that David definitely didn’t mean what so many softhearted folks would like to think he means. David thinking that his son was in heaven hasn’t been proved wrong, and perhaps the comments by David were put there for us to adopt.

Regardless of whether one adopts the highly optimistic view that David thought his son was saved, one should heed David’s argument. While a child is alive, pray for its health and welfare. Once it is dead, it is too late. Accept the chastisement of God (if it is that, as it was in David’s case) and resist the temptation placed before you to be angry with God. Go, wash up, clean your face, worship God and go about your business. That’s easy for me to say, but it is also the right thing to do.


Response to Beowulf2k8 on Calvinism

October 11, 2008

I noticed that Beowulk2k8 had commented over at Triablogue on the topic of Calvinism (link to comment).

B2k8 writes:

You guys are so ridiculous. When Calvinism is ridiculed, it is funny because the Calvinist system is truly stupidity and Satan worship. When Arminianism is ridiculed it is just asinine lame Calvinists trying to look cool after being burned by the truth.

What the Calvinist dictionary says about what you believe is true.

Augustine: The first church father.

Free Will: Something that can’t exist because it would make God helpless if true.

Infant damnation: Something that brings God glory.

Glory: Praise we give to God for anything wicked that has ever happened (except for the birth of Charles Finney).

God’s secret will: To save a few and reprobate the rest (secret to Arminians but not to us)

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know: Misleading children’s song.

Jesus Loves the Little Children: Another terrible song, obviously written by someone who didn’t take the time to do a proper exegesis of scripture.

You love talking about exclusive Psalmody because you want to sing about killing your enemies rather than Christ’s love. You love ignoring every ecclesiastical writer prior to Augustine because they all taught free will and election based on foreknowledge of faith (including Augustine before he became an Imperial bishop). You relish in the doctrine of infant damnation as if damning innocent infants for another man’s sin was some great honor and glory to your manmade god.

Let’s hit a few points: “When Calvinism is ridiculed, it is funny because the Calvinist system is truly stupidity and Satan worship.” This is the sort of comment that cannot be backed up. One has to chuckle a bit, because one of the more frequent criticisms of Calvinism is that it is excessively intellectual. The “Satan worship” comment just demonstrates that B2k8 doesn’t know what the Gospels is and who God is. A person who says that Calvinism is “Satan worship” is either (a) not a Christian, or (b) someone who doesn’t know what Calvinism is.

B2k8 claims that “Augustine: The first church father” is actually a Calvinistic belief and B2k8 thinks that “You love ignoring every ecclesiastical writer prior to Augustine because they all taught free will and election based on foreknowledge of faith (including Augustine before he became an Imperial bishop).” This is absurd of course. While Augustine’s writings are certainly notable, and undoubtedly contrary to B2k8’s views, we find the same Calvinistic themes not only in the Old and New Testaments, but also in the Apostolic fathers – those ECFs that are the earliest to leave any writings behind. For one example, see this earlier post of mine (link). Incidentally I’d be highly interested in the supposed ECF that taught “election based on foreknowledge of faith” … if anyone knows, please inform me.

B2k8 claims that “Free Will: Something that can’t exist because it would make God helpless if true” is actually a Calvinistic belief. This is wrong as well. Calvinism teaches that men have a compatible free will, as opposed to the Arminian conception of an autonomous free will. The former kind of free will is compatible with predestination, that latter is not. The former kind can exist, and the latter – if true – would make God helpless to save those he wants to save. For more discussion, see my earlier post on deflating assumptions regarding man’s free will (link).

B2k8 claims that “Infant damnation: Something that brings God glory” is actually a Calvinistic belief. This is a confused objection. First of all, if God chooses to damn any infants, it certainly will bring God glory. “All have sinned” applies not only to adults but to infants as well. Adam’s sin is placed on the account of each of his natural descendants. Consequently, God would be just to condemn infants as well as adults. Nevertheless, God is also able to save infants, if he chooses. The standard Reformed position is that “elect infants, dying in infancy, will be saved.” Some Calvinists believe that the category of “elect infants” includes all those infants who die in infancy, and others believe that the number is a subset of the group of those who die in infancy (there may even be some who believe that no infants who die in infancy are among the elect, but I’ve never much such a person). For more discussion, consider my earlier article on the “innocence” of children (link).

Bk28 claims that “Glory: Praise we give to God for anything wicked that has ever happened (except for the birth of Charles Finney)” is the Calvinist position. Leaving out the parenthetical, the statement is true but incomplete. We give glory to God in all things, or at least we try. It can be difficult to be like Job and say, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21. Charles Finney’s theology is error-riddled, but God had a purpose in his life as well. The comment is incomplete, because we give God praise as well for the good things that he does. In all things, God is to be praised. (1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.) Previously, I discussed the dangers associated with discerning God’s providence, which is connected with this fact that everything that happens is for the best (link).

B2k8 thinks that “God’s secret will: To save a few and reprobate the rest (secret to Arminians but not to us)” is an accurate picture of Calvinism. It seems clear that B2k8 doesn’t understand Calvinism, at least on this point. God’s secret will is his decree of Providence: his decision about what will happen. This is a “secret” will because God has given us very few details about what will happen. We know that there is a judgment day coming and that Christ will return, but we are not told whether the stock market will recover from last week’s down-turn, or whether Georgia will remain an independent European nation. We know that in general all of the elect will be saved, and that all of the reprobate will not, but Calvinists do not claim to know who the elect are. I have discussed this issue of God’s will many times, but one example would be in debating the issue with Seth McBee, as can be seen from this open question to him (link).

B2k8 thinks that “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know: Misleading children’s song” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children: Another terrible song, obviously written by someone who didn’t take the time to do a proper exegesis of scripture” are the Calvinist position. He’s mostly right. The first song tends to suggest that all children are in God’s present favor, the latter song explicitly says so. In point of fact, many (if not most) children are sinners in God’s disfavor and in need of salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ. It is interesting to note that at least some Calvinists seem to like the first song (Pastor Bill Shishko, for example, seems to fall in this category). Nevertheless, generally both songs are theologically weak. I’ve previously addressed “Jesus loves Me” (link).

B2k8 thinks that “You love talking about exclusive Psalmody because you want to sing about killing your enemies rather than Christ’s love.” This sort of dualism is practically Gnostic in its radical dispensational bent. And it is just wrong. We don’t sing the Psalms because we want to sing about killing our enemies. I cannot think of any Psalms that are written with that focus (though there certainly some in which we ask for God’s judgment on his and our enemies). Moreover, the Psalms are full of Christ’s love. Psalm 1, for example, mentions that “the LORD knoweth (loves) the way of the righteous,” and Psalm 2 speaks particularly of Christ saying, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” We could go on and on. My readers my recall my previous post contrasting certain modern worshipper-centered worship vs. God-centered worship (link).

Finally, B2k8 thinks that “You relish in the doctrine of infant damnation as if damning innocent infants for another man’s sin was some great honor and glory to your manmade god.” Mostly this is already addressed above. It is addressed at further link in this previous post (link).


Response to Victor Reppert on 1 Samuel 15

September 29, 2008

Victor Reppert wrote (not to me … but it is also relevant to me):

How can you be so strongly pro-life on abortion and also defend killing “babes in arms” as enjoined by I Samuel 15?

I answer:
a) Killing is ordinarily a lawful and just part of warfare; and
b) More particularly, Israel’s genocide of the Canaanites was specifically authorized by God as a punishment on the idolatry, necromancy, etc. of the nations of Canaan; but
c) Killing is not ordinarily a lawful and just part of life; and
d) More particularly, killing of unborn infants (at any stage of development) is not ordinarily authorized by God.


Objections Regarding Original Sin Answered

March 18, 2008

An anonymous poster provided some comments regarding this earlier post on the natural depravity of children (link). The comments by the anonymous commenter are in italics, with all the typos being as submitted.

I think some thoughts are being omitted from your interpretation of Psalms 58. First off, they go astray after they are born. They were not born lost.

No. They are already estranged in the womb, and they stray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Secondly the whole point of the Psalm, describing the eickedness of certain people, is to contrast them with the righteous, those that did not stray but remained faithful. They will be avenged when God judges men according to their deeds (Matt 12:36-37, Rom 2:6, 2 Cor 5:10, Rev 20:12, 1 Peter 1:17).

The whole point of the of the Psalm is actually to call for judgment on the wicked. The “righteous” (as such) is not even mentioned until the next-to-last verse. There’s nothing about a comparison between the righteous and wicked. In short, your claim about the verse is plainly incorrect. The righteous (singular) may even here be a reference to Christ. Regardless of whether it is Christ himself, or someone to whom Christ’s rigteousness has been imputed, the string citation of other passages doesn’t solve the anonymous commenter’s problem.

Ezek 18:1-4 The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.

Ez 18:14-17 “If, however, he begets a son who sees all the sins which his father has done, and considers but does not do likewise … but has executed My judgments and walked in My statutes— He shall not die for the iniquity of his father; He shall surely live!”

This appears as if no matter how evil the father is, the son does not bear the iniquity of the father. Adam’s sons would not bear the quilt of their fathers.

They would not bear the guilt of their fathers IF they repent of their fathers’ sins. The error that the prophet is correcting is the sense of hopelessness. There is hope for those who repent, regardless both of their own prior sins and the sins of their fathers. That is the gospel message: Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. It was the same message preached by Ezekiel, and it is the same message we preach.

Ezek 18:19-20 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

Presumably this is intended to be grouped with the Ezekiel passages above. It is already answered.

The gospel requires action a baby can’t do:
“Unless you repent you will perish”: Lk 13:3
“Repent and be baptized … for forgiveness of sins”: Acts 2:38
“Work out our own salvation”: Phil 2:12

The gospel requires repentance from sin and faith in Christ. That faith and repentance is evidenced in baptism, confession of the Lord (not listed above), and progressive sanctification. That a child can have faith in Christ seems to appear from John the Baptists miraculous reaction to the voice of Mary, the greatly blessed mother of our Lord.

Man is capable of making choices himself:
– Gentiles do by nature the good things of the law: Rom 2:14-16
– Cornelius was devout, feared God, righteous, Acts 10:1-4, 22 yet unsaved: 11:14
– Man has a freewill and can choose to do good or evil: Josh 24:15 “Choose this day…”

Doing those things “by nature” refers to the light of nature, not to the nature of the Gentiles. The obedience of the Gentiles is still not righteousness, because it is not motivated by love for God.

Cornelius was already a worshiper of Jehovah. He simply had not yet heard that the Messiah had come. Like others in a similar position, when he heard of Christ, he (and all his house) believed on him immediately. This is dramatically different from the Jews who had an outward show of worshiping God, but who did not believe on Christ.

Man certainly does have a “free will,” in the sense that he makes decisions and moral choices. The choice by Israel to serve God (mentioned in Joshua 24:15) was a moral choice. The fact that men do make choices, and that some of those decisions are free, does not mean that they are free in the sense required by Arminian, Molinist, or Open Theist interpreters.

God said that the king of Tyrus was “blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.” (Ezek 28:15) This would not be possible if he was born in sin.

One might think that. Nevertheless:

a) That verse is frequently referred to Satan, who was created innocent and fell.
b) If that verse refers to man who was the king of Tyrus, it also says (in the immediately preceding verse): “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” If that doesn’t clue you in to the fact that the verse is speaking poetically (assuming it is speaking of a mere man), then I’m not sure what would. The use of “blameless” or “perfect” as relative terms in the Old Testament is not rare.

Sin is committed by individually breaking God’s law. (1 Jn 3:4) Infants have done nothing. Isa 59:1-2, “Your sins have separated you from your God”, not Adams. In Exodus 32:31­33 this passage, Moses wanted to receive the punishment for someone else’s sin. In verse 33, the one who sinned is removed from the book, not the one whose parents have sinned.

a) All mankind (and the whole creation) is punished for Adam’s sin.
b) God visits the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto multiple generations of those that hate Him.
c) Infants are themselves sometimes punished for the sins of their father, recall the death of David’s first son by Bathsheba.

Newborns do not know the difference between good and evil. God allowed the children to enter Canaan but not the parents: “your little ones who…have no knowledge of good and evil shall enter”. (Deut 1:34-39)

Newborns don’t have a developed understanding of the moral law. I don’t think many people would suggest otherwise.


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