Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Theology of Infant Salvation by R. A. Webb - Chapter 3 - Uncertain Data

The Theology of Infant Salvation by R. A. Webb - Chapter 3 - Uncertain Data

We now come to chapter 3 concerning "uncertain data". Webb lists a series of quotes from theologians whom he believes have miss-quoted scripture. He agrees with many of their theologies, but believes the scriptures they are quoting have nothing to do with the subject of infant salvation.
  1. The first quote is from Dr Strong. "God so loved the world". Strong says "World" includes infants. He concludes that infants are saved because of this. The problem he runs into is the scripture goes on to say that" ...those who believe shall be saved" Infants can not believe so this can not be speaking of them.
  2. The second quote is from Romans and Corinthians. He does not give a specific theologian's name for this one, but says it is often quoted as a proof-text. "For in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" The reasoning is that all people became sinners because of Adam and babies are included in that group. So all will be made alive in Christ - babies are included in Christ so they will be saved. The problem with this interpretation is it proves too much. If the same group that was in Adam is in Christ then not only are all infants saved but all adults are too. We know from scripture that the latter is not true. Some adults will be damned.
  3. He next quotes Strong again. He quotes 2 Cor 3:18 - "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." Strong believes that babies will be regenerated/saved because they see the Lord the moment after death. This scripture is really speaking of the experience we have while still on this earth. The closer we get to God the more we are changed. Just like Moses who saw God from behind and his face shown. In fact the scripture quotes that very instance in this same passage.
  4. Next he quotes Dr. Stuart Robinson who quotes Rev 23:12 (this must be a misprint, there is no 23rd chapter of Rev. It is actually 20:12). - "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Robinson believes there are 3 books. One containing the judgement of sinners, one containing the judgement of the saved and a third on for infants - which would be blank - because they committed no works, good of bad. I agree that this is a stretch. It would be nice but is all speculation with no solid proof. 
  5. The last argument concerns covenant children. Abraham's promise was to him and his children. Salvation is spoken of being to you and your children. The problem with this argument is it would only refer to infants of Christian parents. What of the infants not part of a Christian family? How would they enter Heaven?
He ends the chapter showing any theology of infant salvation must agree that all infants will be saved and agree with the rest of scripture concerning salvation. It must agree with the following:
  1. All infants dying in infancy are by nature guilty and depraved
  2. All infants dying in infancy, if saved at all, are saved by the atonement of Christ, and in no other way
  3. All infants dying in infancy, if saved at all, must be regenerated and sanctified by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
  4. All infants dying in infancy, if saved at all, must be saved by the application of redemption to them prior to death
He believes any theology that disagrees with these propositions are doomed to fail.

Next Blog: Chapter 4: The Sinlessness of Infants

Check back next time when we study a new chapter

God Bless,

No comments:

Post a Comment