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Les Prouty
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Peter, I have a couple of minutes now and need to respond. I've been thinking over this thread the last day and a half while doing other things. It just cannot seem to leave me alone. I think I am through with the back and forth on this one. I truly have neither the time nor desire to continue to go back and forth chasing down citations and reply. At most, all I have time for lately is short comments and/or questions (e.g. my original question to Lydia). And I'm sure you're pretty busy as well, though you're a fairly prolific blogger and make time for that. I'm not and I don't build in much time for it. I've stated my views on infants and am comfortable with them, though I hold them not as strongly as other theological views I have. You may agree with my conclusions and differ on how I get there. Or you may differ on both. In either case, noted theologians both agree with me and disagree with me. That's usually the case. And to the extent that I may not have satisfied you with my comments and/or have not been clear or I've been inconsistent, well it's not the first time for any of those. And I'm very confident it won't be that last. I have been more and less active in reading and commenting over the last few years. Blogging and commenting seem to sometimes bring out the worst in my digital attitude. I can too easily devolve into snarkiness, arrogance and generally an ungracious spirit. I'm sure I've done that here more times than I want to admit. I hope on this thread I've conducted myself in a gracious manner (though my "Not Hardly" reference above a few times wasn't gracious). Last, I have to believe you are a gracious and kind person in person. You're a pastor, of course a husband and father and a grandfather (I think). I'm confident all those people in your life love you. But in your comment stream, and this is only one man's view, you sometimes come across as combative and even unkind. I doubt you intend to do so. But for me, it's just not the kind of interaction that is enjoyable. But again, that's just me and how I perceive it. I'm not accusing you of being unkind. I'm just saying that the way you sometimes word things seem that way to me. Probably my own issue. Perhaps if in God's providence we ever sat down for SBUX we would enjoy each other's company. All that said, I think I've gone far enough on this thread. I've got my next trip to Haiti coming up soon, a large family in town and looking forward to spending time with them (rather than a lot of time doing research and being online) and other responsibilities. Have a blessed Christmas with your family and know that though we've never met in person, I count you as a brother in Jesus and pray the very best for you. Les
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Peter, Quickly. Calvin didn't follow Augustine to the point of agreeing that babies burn in hell. Yes I deny that Calvin believed what Augustine believed re babies burning in hell. My apologies on the paraphrase...not that I cited it, but that I was not clear. It is not my paraphrase. It comes from Charles W. Shields, “The Doctrine of Calvin Concerning Infant Salvation,” Presbyterian and Reformed Review 1 (1890): 643, cited in Strong, Systematic Theology, 663. Calvin’s exact wording appears on p. 641 of Shields’s article, which I reproduced and to which you did not respond. "You also contradict yourself." By quoting what Calvin said? No. "Even so, you now pass Calvin off as suggesting "original sin" doesn't matter before God. Only a person with "actual sin" can be "justly condemned" by God." No again. I have not suggested Calvin taught that original sin matters not before God. Have to run.
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Peter, First, "Hence I neither addressed you personally nor expressed expectations you'd read them in "small bites" nor necessarily even read them at all much less respond, Les." Ok. I read it carefully. I didn't think you addressed me personally any more than you, I'm sure, didn't think I was addressing you personally when I asked my question of Lydia way back up thread. Yet you responded to me by name for my question to Lydia. My "small bites" comment was simply a recognition of the amount you wrote. Sort of in jest, as was the "where do you get the time" comment. I hope you were not offended at those words. I'm sorry if you were. They were meant in good fun. But I'm slow. Were the Calvin quotes meant to show him as bolstering your argument or mine or neither. Have a blessed day. Les
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Peter, just read your quotes on Calvin. I have to take all your posts in small bites. On Calvin, I'm confused. What are you trying to prove by all these Calvin quotes? That he affirmed that all infants dying in infancy are regenerated and go to be with the Lord? Or, that Calvin believed that only the elect infants go to be with the Lord and that not all infants are elect? I mean, Calvin said (paraphrased) said, "“I everywhere teach that no one can be justly condemned and perish except on account of actual sin; and to say that the countless mortals taken from life while yet infants are cast down from their mother’s arms into eternal death is a blasphemy to be universally detested.” Here is Calvin's fuller actual statement from the "Secret Providence of God in Reply to the Calumnies of Castalio Torn," "As to your objection that no one can be justly condemned except on account of actual sin and after actual sin there, is no dispute between you and me concerning the former; since everywhere I teach that no one will perish unless by the just judgment of God. I may not disguise, however, that there is a hidden venom under your words; for if the comparison which you propose be admitted, God will be unjust who involves the whole race of Abraham in the guilt of original sin. You deny that it is right for God to condemn any mortal except of actual sin. Countless mortals are taken from life while yet infants. Now put forth your virulence against God who hurls innocent new born babes, torn from their mothers breasts, into eternal death. Whosoever will not detest this blasphemy, wherever it is publicly exposed, may revile me as much as he pleases. For I dare not ask to be exempt and free from the insults of those who do not spare God." You had said above, "it becomes unavoidable in concluding with Augustine, Calvin and the vast majority of Reformed believers through the years: some babies—unelect babies--burn in hell." Augustine? Yes. Calvin? Not hardly. Maybe I can get to a little more tomorrow.
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Peter, two more tomes. Wow! Brother I cannot know for the life of me know where you get the time. It's 10:15pm in central America. I've just gotten home from a long day about a half hour ago, and with my low level reading comprehension I probably won't even get through reading your posts till midnight. Maybe, I can reply sometime this week to all this, but I do have a job to do and never intended to get into this much of a back and forth with you or anyone else. When I do reply, I promise it will be much shorter. Just too tired tonight. Blessings to you brother. Les
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Peter, thanks for the lengthy response. I hope to get back to this tonight. But there is much to which I must respond. I'm pretty busy getting ready for my next tri to Haiti and other pressing matters. But I will be back at some point. Thanks for the exchange. Les
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It was meant to be only once. I didn't think it took. Have a great night.
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Peter, I'm trying to post a reply. It looks like it makes it then I don't see it. Is there a word limit?
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Peter, thanks. I hope to reply later today. Busy day and just had a family member back into the garage door. Now working on that. Thanks for the dialogue. Later. Les
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Thanks Lydia. I think we've made ourselves clear. You do just fine in answering, when you answer. :) But if you don't mind, I'm now confused about the paedobaptism thing. You just now said about it much more than you said earlier. It was a bare mention earlier and seemed to have nothing to do with people dying defending credobaptism. I know why RCs baptize infants...for the washing away of that Adamic original sin and guilt. Reformed folks do not baptize infants for that reason. Anyway, I think I replied to your paedo question earlier satisfactorily, or did I? BTW, in my PCA church just this morning we saw two children baptized as believers upon their profession of faith. They are 10 and 13 yrs. old I think. It was a beautiful thing. And yes, God is merciful and gracious! Les
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Peter, "Knowing the precise boundaries of a category does not eliminate the category." I don't think I wanted or suggested an elimination of the category. Just that the boundaries of the categories are in question and cannot be known precisely. "unless you're prepared to argue that we are right and just to actually assign blame to infants—let’s say, 1 year and under both inside and outside the womb so that we’re crystal clear (this includes the mentally challenged)--for actions we all would consider worthy of blame if we ourselves behaved in such a way, what is your point?" Well let's say a 1 year old. Or a 2 year old. Or 3. My point is, and perhaps it's not germain to what you are wanting to discuss, is that some young children may indeed be held accountable for actual sins. I just don't know when. 1? 2? 3? 4? Neither do you of Lydia or anyone else. I was just responding originally to Lydia: ""did the babies KNOW what they were doing, whether sharing to stealing a bottle, and be accountable for the behavior?" So in your understanding, Lydia, is knowledge of something being right or wrong the criteria of whether one ia accountable and guilty of committing that wrong?" She has not responded. "Now, you suggest you believe in inherited guilt for babies at conception. And, from what I gather above, you also believe both the unborn fetus and the infant newborn remain both guilty and responsible for their sin, and consequently stand condemned before God. So, what then, Les? Clearly, the unborn fetus and infant child are human beings made in God’s image. And, Scripture is clear that humans beings ultimately have one of two destinies—heaven or hell." My view is that every human is born guilty, inherited sin and guilt from or Adam. Infants (I do not know at what age any infant becomes accountable for his/her own actual sin. God does) dying in infancy and mentally incapably adults dying are regenerated and upon death go to be with Jesus. Thanks for the exchange. Les
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Lydia, I'm looking again at your question. I see you asked about "covering." What do you mean by "cover?" Are you asking if the baptism provides a sort of temporary cover for infants until they reach some age of discretion or understanding? If that's what you're asking, my answer is still no.
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Lydia, Your statement and question is not an answer to my question. But I will answer your question. "Do you believe that infant baptism covers an infants "guilt" before God?" No. Baptism water does not remove guilt before God for infants or adults.
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Thanks Peter. I fully get Lydia's point. I was asking in a broader sense and from a biblical basis. This is especially pertinent since none of knows when an infant or young child has that capability. Is is i year old? Is it 2 1/2 as I have seen children be taught, therefore they understand, a thing is wrong and not to do that thing. Are they accountable then? We just don't know. So I was just wondering in Lydia's view how knowledge plays into it. In any case, I believe in inherited guilt for babies at conception so I'm just better trying to understand the views of you all who don't. Blessings, Les
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Lydia, "did the babies KNOW what they were doing, whether sharing to stealing a bottle, and be accountable for the behavior?" So in your understanding, Lydia, is knowledge of something being right or wrong the criteria of whether one ia accountable and guilty of committing that wrong? Thanks Lydia. Les
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Adam, No biggie. It's just that "irony" can have a not so complimentary. Funny as in maybe also odd? Odd being my word. Anyway, not a big deal. And really not surprising that a faculty in a different era will have some different interpretations. Heck look at some of the interpretations that came out of SBTS prior to Mohler becoming president. Now those were some to really be concerned about. God bless and may you have a very worshipful Lord's day this weekend. Les
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Lydia, I was speaking of the SBTS faculty. And I don't think anyone suggested anyone was dishonest. Irony has a range of meanings so I was just putting in pixels that it shouldn't be surprising that the faculty of SBTS did the translation (as at "irony" might suggest). I certainly didn't mean to suggest that there was any dishonesty suggested by anyone else.
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Adam, "As you know, this journal was published at the time by the faculty of (wait for the irony... wait for it...) SBTS." They are academicians, theologians and generally honest folks after all.
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Lydia, Ha ha! You got me there. There is no other kind. I find myself using sometimes. It is a quite commonly used phrase by the pastors and Christians in general in Haiti. "Have a blessed day in Jesus." "I love you in Jesus." "I love you brother." "How are you my brother." Anyway, when I'm there and then when I come back their phraseology sort of sticks with me. They have an incredible consciousness of Jesus and it comes out in their conversation and greetings, etc. So, my sister, have a blessed day in Jesus.
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Peter, Sorry not to be clear. I was trying to say that I read that sentence to say that both heredity sin and actual sin, not necessarily together, led to guilt. Now, with this new quote from Mullins makes his view, and your reading of him, clearer. I disagree with Mullins and you on the issue, but now I see what Mullins believed. Thanks, Les
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Thanks Peter. I wasn't at all meaning to mi-render Mullins. This quote of his, ""Hereditary and actual sin render men not only corrupt but also guilty and condemned until they are justified by faith in Jesus Christ." I was reading this to mean both do render men guilty and condemned. Heredity sin...renders. Actual sin...renders. So I was reading the "and" as encompassing, in this instance, infants and those who later actually sin. You may be right the way you read Mullins. You're way more familiar with his writings than I. But in my view, this section of his might have been stated more clearly to get what you're getting out of it. But thanks again. Good discussion. Les
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Peter, This continues to be a fascinating and I think necessary discussion. One question if you could help clarify what you think Mullins was trying to communicate. He wrote: "In consequence of the fall of man sin has become hereditary... As a result of this sinful heredity of race, all men actually sin when they acquire capacity for sinning." and then later he wrote: "Hereditary and actual sin render men not only corrupt but also guilty and condemned until they are justified by faith in Jesus Christ." I realize the first quote says that this "heredity sin" leads to actual sin when capability is there. All agree with that. But in the 2nd quote he seems to say that this "heredity sin" render men "corrupt" and "guilty." Maybe I'm just misunderstanding Mullins here, but he seems to say that all "men" are born guilty via this "heredity" sin. How do you reconcile these tow parts of the section? Thanks, Les
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Thanks Lydia for the exchange. Have a blessed day in Jesus. Les
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Lydia, I didn't really expect an answer. I thought it appropriate to ask though. As my comments above point out, you have taken Mohler's words out of their context (more than once), especially as related to Adrian Rogers. But what could you do really? Divert? Or admit I was right in what I said and implied in my questions? You chose to divert and go back to tribalism. Total dodge, except for your perceptions about how Mohler acts. His words speak for themselves in this case. Your perceptions of his acts are, well, your perceptions. Good to catch up again. Les
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Lydia, How are you. It's been too long. And, I'm not really wanting to wade into this particular debate. But I do have an honest question. You said referring to Al Mohler and Adrian Rogers, "But I would be curious how Mohler could be friends with someone who fits into a group he has publicly stated should be marginalized." I've seen you make that kind of broad sweep about what Mohler said, as if he was saying he wants to marginalize everyone who disagrees with him. I looked back at the quote from him where that "marginalize" word was used. Here it is: "This conversation will marginalize those whose influence should be marginalized — those who have a party spirit, who play into tribalism, or who want to divide Southern Baptists from each other." How would "...those who have a party spirit, who play into tribalism, or who want to divide Southern Baptists from each other" apply to Adrian Rogers? Now I am fully aware that you care not for Mohler as a SBC leader and I know many of the public reasons you have indicated that. So respectfully I don't need you to go into all that. But it seems to me that Mohler was targeted on who he thought should be marginalized and I don't see how that would include people like AR. Can you help me out? Thanks Lydia.
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