Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hodge's Arguments for Irresistible Grace - Infants

Charles Hodge argues that regeneration is monergistic, because most Christians believe God regenerates infants and infants don’t have a choice in the matter.

This argument is irrelevant to the resistible/irresistible grace debate; both sides agree that regeneration, strictly defined, is monergistic. Of course, I believe infants are saved (not just regenerate, but saved), even if I am not sure how that works.

3 comments:

natamllc said...

As in the "Old" so it is in the "New" goes the saying. My mentoring Apostle taught what he was taught that the "New" Testament is contained in the "Old" Testament and the "Old" Testament is explained in the "New" Testament.

So I heartily agree that infants can be saved when they are born "into" an already "Saved" family.

I cannot say what judgment an infant or a child yet in the womb who suffers murder by the hands of a murderer killing the child by a blow to the stomach of the womb bearing that soul or the killing of a pregnant mother will be? Can you??

I want to note this about who's will is being infringed upon when we read these words:

Gen 17:12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring,
Gen 17:13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.
Gen 17:14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."


and this strange request too:

Deu 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.


And this unusual extension of Grace too:

Jos 5:2 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, "Make flint knives and circumcise the sons of Israel a second time."
Jos 5:3 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.
Jos 5:4 And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the males of the people who came out of Egypt, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way after they had come out of Egypt.
Jos 5:5 Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised.
Jos 5:6 For the people of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished, because they did not obey the voice of the LORD; the LORD swore to them that he would not let them see the land that the LORD had sworn to their fathers to give to us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Jos 5:7 So it was their children, whom he raised up in their place, that Joshua circumcised. For they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised on the way.


What is interesting to me is those words from God: "....until all the nation, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished, because they did not obey the voice of the LORD;...."

hmmmmm, ok, So is this what I read? God killed all the disobedient "circumcised" in the wilderness, keeping alive all the "uncircumcised" and then commanded that they too are now "circumcised" knowing this Word of Moses already:::>

Deu 31:28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them.
Deu 31:29 For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands."
Deu 31:30 Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:


and this one too:

Lev 26:40 "But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me,
Lev 26:41 so that I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies--if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity,
Lev 26:42 then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
Lev 26:43 But the land shall be abandoned by them and enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them, and they shall make amends for their iniquity, because they spurned my rules and their soul abhorred my statutes.
Lev 26:44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not spurn them, neither will I abhor them so as to destroy them utterly and break my covenant with them, for I am the LORD their God.
Lev 26:45 But I will for their sake remember the covenant with their forefathers, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD."


Wow, both God and Moses declare these people, called by God's Covenant Name, will forget the covenant and act corruptly anyway but He promises to remember the Covenant for them.

God's way are unusual, are they not?

I mean, in these days, I, a very wretched man, full of sins committed and very sinful in my flesh serving the law of sin and death am "Saved by a Savior" who knew no sin nor was any sin found in His mouth! The innocent one is punished with my chastisement and I am freed from the curse of the Law I did not nor can I keep!

Odeliya said...

Dear Dan,

you dont happen to have a link by chance? i am curious to read his rationale.

"Because most chrsitians believe" sounds very strange... for a more or less substantial theologian to use such a speculative argument as "popular opinion has it" to make his case :)

Modern preachers are often operate on the "yellow press" level, but he is not modern..

(Not to argue the premise itself -I dont ,honestly, care and fully trust the Lord with what happens with babies. But i am not a parent, and you are, so i dare not to even speculate, God forbid)

O.

Godismyjudge said...

Dear Odeliya,

Here's a quote and link:

The first argument in proof of the Augustinian doctrine of efficacious grace, is drawn from common consent. All the great truths of the Bible are impressed on the convictions of the people of God; and find expression in unmistakable language. This is done in despite of the theologians, who often ignore or reject these truths in their formal teachings. There are in fact but two views on this subject. According to the one, regeneration is the effect of the mighty power of God; according to the other, it is the result of moral suasion. This latter may be understood to be nothing more than what the moral truths of the Bible are in virtue of their nature adapted to produce on the minds of men. Or, it may characterize the nature of the Spirit’s influence as analogous to that by which one man convinces or persuades another. It is from its nature one which may be effectually resisted. All those, therefore, who hold to this theory of moral suasion, in either of its forms, teach that this influence is effectual or not, according to the determination of the subject. One chooses to yield, and another chooses to refuse. Every man may do either. Now, infants are confessedly incapable of moral suasion. Infants, therefore, cannot be the subjects of regeneration, if regeneration be effected by a process of rational persuasion and conviction. But, according to the faith of the Church Universal, infants may be renewed by the Holy Ghost, and must be thus born of the Spirit, in order to enter the kingdom of God. It therefore follows that the faith, the in-wrought conviction of the Church, the aggregate body of God’s true and professing people, is against the doctrine of moral suasion, and in favour of the doctrine that regeneration is effected by the immediate almighty power of the Spirit. There is no possibility of its operating, in the case of infants, mediately through the truth as apprehended by the reason. It is hard to see how this argument is to be evaded.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hodge/theology2.iv.xiv.iv.html

God be with you,
Dan