Credobaptism and Raising Families

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TaylorOtwell

Puritan Board Junior
I am interested in hearing how credobaptists disciple (is that the right word?) their young children.

Is the common practice generally to read the Bible with them, pray with them, etc. and then constantly tell them that one day they must choose to believe in Christ? It seems like all the while they would be thinking "don't I already believe in Christ?"

I'm just curious, as I can't quite connect how a credobaptist view of baptism reconciles with the charge to raise a godly home. I would be interested in reading some personal examples.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Taylor, you ask a great question that separates the usual hyperbole of baptism discussions from substance. I'll attempt to answer plainly.

Reformed Baptists view their children as born at emnity with God. Paedos like to accuse us of thinking of our children as pagans. That is not an accurate charge. Our children are born into covenant homes. That's right -- covenant homes. RB's believe true covenant children are those who have entered into the new covenant by faith alone. The promises that are effectual for us are taught to our children through the corporate ministry of the Word and parental teaching. The methods of teaching are diverse but include: family devotions, one-on-one instruction, catechism and home schooling. RB's are not looking for a "decision for Christ" moment. Instead we are looking for a cognitive and behavioral indication consistent with regeneration. RB's that have come out of Arminianism still struggle with the lack of a point in time decision, but that is mainly due to residual theology that still needs purging.

In order for you to appreciate our dealings with our children you first need to understand our view of the new covenant. That takes precedence In my humble opinion.

I'm on my iPhone so I'll post more on this later.
 

TaylorOtwell

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks for the response.

A few initial questions come to mind...

By covenant home - do you just simply mean a home that practices the family devotions, catechism, and other things you mentioned?

By cognitive and behavioral indication - I assume you must wait until some kind of age of maturity, as a three to four year old could happily enjoy family worship, etc. Do you feel that the child needs to be a certain age to make their profession credible?

Thanks for the help! :)
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
Note as well that many Presbyterians, especially those in the Southern Presbyterian tradition, have been of the "vipers in covenant diapers" view--basically that the child is to be viewed as unregenerate until proven otherwise. Some will say that the child has to "close with Christ." The FV represents an overreaction to that kind of tendency, as well as to what they view as "revivalistic" or baptistic practices in modern Presbyterianism. But this probably getting a little off topic.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Taylor,

Let me isolate your questions and answer accordingly.

By covenant home - do you just simply mean a home that practices the family devotions, catechism, and other things you mentioned?
If the husband/father is a believer then the headship of the home is under the administration of the New Covenant. The child born into such a home is under the headship and authority of a new covenant believer. There is no equivocation present. The child is born under the headship of the father, but it does not mean the child is a member of the covenant. The believing father has the responsibility to make sure his household submits to the authority of scripture, albeit external conformity only. Ideally, with both parents believing, the children are catechized and exposed to the Word through corporate preaching, as well as by any additional means of exposure the parents dictate. It is the hope of RB parents that their child will respond to the gospel call and place their faith in Christ.

By cognitive and behavioral indication - I assume you must wait until some kind of age of maturity, as a three to four year old could happily enjoy family worship, etc. Do you feel that the child needs to be a certain age to make their profession credible?
Age is a poor indicator of an internal reality. In other words, there is no litmus test that proves what the internal spiritual condition is of a child. That condition proves itself by the behavior a child exhibits; especially as they mature.

Now, while I do not subscribe to an age of accountability in order to proctor a child's salvation, there is something to be said about welcoming a child into adulthood. The Plymouth Brethren have a practice of testing a person who desires to break bread. This involves a question and answer time with the male membership of the meeting. This sounds like a wise thing to do before allowing a child to partake of the Lord's Supper. One of the requirements of partaking of the Lord's Supper is the ability to examine yourself (1 Cor. 11:28). With that examination comes the additional ability of being able to articulate your faith in Christ. It may not be a bad practice for a young person who desires to partake of the Lord's Supper to be interviewed by the elders. At this time the young person will have the opportunity to confess their faith and confirm that they are able to properly examine themselves.

I hope these answers help.

-----Added 12/31/2008 at 05:28:25 EST-----

I can't quite connect how a credobaptist view of baptism reconciles with the charge to raise a godly home.
Taylor, I touched on this in my previous post. I was not guaranteed that my daughter would be saved when she was born. But that did not prohibit her from being raised in a godly home. Bethany was born into a home where the father and mother were both believers. As imperfect as both of us were, we raised our daughter within sight of the kingdom. She heard the gospel preached at church and it was reinforced in the home. In that sense it was a godly home.
 

TaylorOtwell

Puritan Board Junior
Herald,

Thanks for the help!

So, if a child can answer certain questions regarding the truths of the gospel, they should be considered a valid candidate for baptism, regardless of age?

I guess it still seems like there would be some awkwardness when your child is young. For instance, your four year old attends family worship; they obey you; they enjoy the Spiritual things you do together; however, you are not sure they can fully articulate the gospel truths. What do you tell them? Do you tell them "You don't understand" all the while they are claiming they do believe in Christ?

Maybe I am making up a far-fetched situation?

It seems that often when I ask conservative, credobaptist Christians about their family there is a hesitation to give any kind of response about their children. The response is sometimes "I hope they are believers", or "I'm not really sure", even when the child is not showing any signs of being rebelling against the Lord. Maybe this sound be the case, maybe not - these are the type of things I'm sorting through.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that with promises like Isaiah 59:21, which is given in context of New Covenant prophecies and promises generational faithfulness in the physical seed of New Covenant members (if I'm not mistaken in my interpretation), that perhaps we should be taking a more "innocent until proven guilty" stance rather than the alternative.

"As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the LORD.

Thanks again for the help - as I hope to lead a family one day, these are issues I want to have thought through!
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Herald,

Thanks for the help!

So, if a child can answer certain questions regarding the truths of the gospel, they should be considered a valid candidate for baptism, regardless of age?

I guess it still seems like there would be some awkwardness when your child is young. For instance, your four year old attends family worship; they obey you; they enjoy the Spiritual things you do together; however, you are not sure they can fully articulate the gospel truths. What do you tell them? Do you tell them "You don't understand" all the while they are claiming they do believe in Christ?

Maybe I am making up a far-fetched situation?
Taylor, if you're a parent I think my answer will resonant better. It's not a matter of just facts. Parents know their children. Facts that are met with faith are what parents are looking for. Are paedo parents any different in that regard? Baptism was already administered, but aren't they looking for the evidence of faith in the lives of their children? Of course they are!

My daughter attended Christian school through grade three. In her kindergarten year she came home one afternoon and told my wife that she accepted Jesus as her savior. My wife was excited but I was reserved. I spoke to my daughter and she had a difficult time explaining law and gospel. This was before I became a Calvinist, although I may have been a closet case Calvinist. The pastoral staff at our church refused to baptize her based on the fact that she could not articulate her faith. Seven years later my daughter asked to be baptized. It was a totally different situation. This time she understood the gospel and displayed a heart that loved God.
 
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TaylorOtwell

Puritan Board Junior
Herald,

Sorry, I edited my post and added some more comments after I originally posted it. Just making sure you noticed.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that with promises like Isaiah 59:21, which promises generational faithfulness in the physical seed of New Covenant members (if I'm not mistaken in my interpretation), that perhaps we should be taking a more "innocent until proven guilty" stance rather than the alternative.

"As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the LORD.
In my humble opinion that's a misapplication of OT covenant promises in light of light of the NC. Consider the following:

Psalm 51:5 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Romans 3:23 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 Corinthians 2:14 14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

There is no guarantee of generational faithfulness, although I do believe households of believing parents will have a higher percentage of believing children than households of unbelieving parents. Why? The gospel will be proclaimed in believing households. The gospel is the promise of the NC to all who believe.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Taylor, you are asking some great questions and this forum allows them to be answered without a myriad of different opinions drowning out the responses.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
If I may, this appears to me to be getting over-complicated. Credos disciple their children according to Deu 6 and the warning of Col 3:21; Ephesians 6:4 (to fail to bring your children up in the training and admonition of the Lord is to exasperate or provoke them to wrath), Gen. 18:19; Deut. 11:19; Ps. 78:4; Prov. 22:6 and as we see the result in Timothy (2 Tim. 3:15).

Only God can regenerate our children. But He uses means, and the primary means is, after His Word, parents. We have both the mandate and the privilege of striving to help our children grow up knowing, loving and striving to emulate our Savior. We give them every skill and morsel of knowledge we can. We teach them a biblical world view. In other words, we give them every spiritual advantage we can through the limitations we have has mere men, falling on our knees before God almighty and pleading with Him to bring them new life all along the way.
What follows their profession of faith varies widely among credos, from immediate baptism to catechizing (which is usually part of raising them in the nurture of the Lord) to witnessing a credible testimony.
I don't know if that complicated the matter or helps.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
So, if both Presbyterians and Baptists raise their chldren virtually the same; what does infant baptism actually add to the mix that isn't already there?
 

discipulo

Puritan Board Junior
So, if both Presbyterians and Baptists raise their chldren virtually the same; what does infant baptism actually add to the mix that isn't already there?
Brother, I do believe your question makes a lot of sense. But for myself I have been reading this thread with great benefit, and have abstained to ask similar questions, as much as I’d like to.
I think this has been a very good and important Pastoral input, and maybe we should just continue to follow it in those lines. Well, pretty much in line with what was mentioned...


Taylor, you are asking some great questions and this forum allows them to be answered without a myriad of different opinions drowning out the responses.
Actually Martin Marsh gave me a good hint on this above
:)
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
So, if both Presbyterians and Baptists raise their chldren virtually the same; what does infant baptism actually add to the mix that isn't already there?
Perg, you'll receive a fervent defense from Presbyterians on the continuity of the covenants. If I was a Presbyterian that's how I would respond. A second way I would respond is that I would not treat my children as though they were second class citizens and cut off from the CoG. But this thread really isn't about that. It may be a worthy discussion on it's own merit.

I harken back to something I alluded to earlier in this thread. When talking about Baptist views of raising their children in the Lord, one needs to differentiate between the flavors of Baptists being talked about. In the Arminian Baptist camp there are radical disconnects within their theology. On the one hand they rightly view their children born in sin (Ps. 51:5). As a result they do everything possible to get their child to pray the sinners prayer at VBS, Sunday School, or at home. They genuinely want to raise their children in the Lord and understand the problem of instructing those who are spiritually dead. The problem is that they place a great deal of faith in that childhood decision to the exclusion of evidence. This is not to say that those children do not grow up in the Lord. God is gracious to us in spite of our errors.

RB's understand God's covenant faithfulness to those who believe (Gal. 3:9). The RB approaches the raising of children differently. Parents are to train their children in the way of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). RB parents look forward to the day when the truth of the gospel is met with faith. It may not be an "Aha!" moment, but eventually a life of faith will display itself. So, for the RB parent evangelism and training are inseparable with no deadline to accomplish either. I know I'm repeating myself in this thread, but it's important to do so. God's covenant faithfulness is undeniable.

I close with the words of the Apostle John:

John 1:12-13 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Being a covenant child has nothing to do with age, ethnicity, type of household born into, or baptism. Being a covenant child is a promise made to, "those who believe in His name." In order to believe this plain teaching of scripture, RB's do believe there is a discontinuity between the OC and the NC. They cannot continue. The baton was passed from Abraham to Christ.

-----Added 1/1/2009 at 09:58:50 EST-----

If I may, this appears to me to be getting over-complicated.
Brother Joe, I disagree. The root of the discussion is not practice, but theology. The "why" behind what we practice is rooted in the nature of the NC. Too often that fact has been overlooked in our baptism discussions on the PB. In my humble opinion one's view of baptism naturally falls into place once they are settled on the nature of the NC.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
The fact that God, in His eternal wisdom, willed that my children be born/adopted into a Christian home is not lost on me as a RB. We all recognize that there might be Esaus among us, but I think all RBs would agree with Presbyterians that "godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy." (Canons of Dort, Art 17) The reason RBs do not 'doubt' the salvation of their children is not because of their 'holiness' (as per the COD), but their placement in a Christian home.

So from a practical standpoint I don't see a lot of difference between the way Reformed Paedos raise their children and the way Reformed Credos raise their children.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Okay,

Here is how I raised my kids.

I taught them that God is the Creator of all things living. He is their creator and the Father and keeper of all creation. He communicates His will to all men through the law. He is perfect and good. God loves his creation. Everyone has a relationship with God. It is either a good relationship or a bad one. The Decalogue is God's will for man. He gave it to man to reflect his perfect will and for their good. Matthew 5 expounds what sin is according to this law. They should try to do God's will. When they failed they came to the realization that they needed a saviour. Perfection and imperfection can not mix. They needed to be reconciled to God because of their sin. Christ is the only way for this reconciliation. After they understood justification by faith alone, I emphasized that 1 John 1:9 was still very applicable for the Christian. It is based upon having a good relationship with God and man. It is like when they disobeyed me we had problems and things were not right. Coming clean and owning our, sin so that we may repent, is very important. Repentance is a continual thing since we are prone to sin.

-----Added 1/1/2009 at 11:04:20 EST-----

I think all RBs would agree with Presbyterians that "godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy." (Canons of Dort, Art 17) The reason RBs do not 'doubt' the salvation of their children is not because of their 'holiness' (as per the COD), but their placement in a Christian home.
I don't assume and didn't assume my children were going to be regenerate. In fact I still teach my children 2 Corinthians 13:5 is still relative. Perserverance of the saints is a good doctrine even for the Christian to help him keep Christ in focus.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
The fact that God, in His eternal wisdom, willed that my children be born/adopted into a Christian home is not lost on me as a RB. We all recognize that there might be Esaus among us, but I think all RBs would agree with Presbyterians that "godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy." (Canons of Dort, Art 17) The reason RBs do not 'doubt' the salvation of their children is not because of their 'holiness' (as per the COD), but their placement in a Christian home.

So from a practical standpoint I don't see a lot of difference between the way Reformed Paedos raise their children and the way Reformed Credos raise their children.
Ken, do you believe all children are born in sin and in need of regeneration?
 

discipulo

Puritan Board Junior
The fact that God, in His eternal wisdom, willed that my children be born/adopted into a Christian home is not lost on me as a RB. We all recognize that there might be Esaus among us, but I think all RBs would agree with Presbyterians that "godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy." (Canons of Dort, Art 17) The reason RBs do not 'doubt' the salvation of their children is not because of their 'holiness' (as per the COD), but their placement in a Christian home.

So from a practical standpoint I don't see a lot of difference between the way Reformed Paedos raise their children and the way Reformed Credos raise their children.
Ken, do you believe all children are born in sin and in need of regeneration?
I hope I am not crossing the line here between forums. I would like to give my perspective since I do agree with pretty much of what Pastor Ken wrote.
In my humble opinion we all believe, according to Romans 3 and so many other scriptures, that our children need God’s given saving faith to be justified and regenerated.
And until they professed faith we should not assume otherwise.
For more respect that I may have for Abraham Kuyper, I don't think
presumptive or presumed regeneration is Biblical.
But what Pastor Ken wrote is what I meant in my former posts on the other thread,
We should see the household of believers in the perspective of God’s Promises and His Sovereignty.

We should also assume what Ursinus called an inclination towards faith.

Those who do not believe, that is, who have no faith at all, neither by
profession nor by inclination, are not to be baptized.
But infants born to believing parents have faith as to inclination.


Zacharias Ursinus . Commentary of the Heidelberg Catechism

This inclination is clearly seen by Paul in Timothy and in this passage the meaning is often commented as a «kind of inheritance». That inclination doesn't exempt a responsible, obedient to God, correct raising and education of our children in the Word, Home and Family Devotion and Church attendance

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother
Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
(2 Timothy 1:5)

and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able
to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(2 Timothy 3:15)

Charles Spurgeon on 2 Timothy 1:5

There is no transmigration of souls, but there is a kind of transmigration of faith,
as if the very form and shape of faith, which was in Lois and Eunice, afterwards appeared in Timothy.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
The fact that God, in His eternal wisdom, willed that my children be born/adopted into a Christian home is not lost on me as a RB. We all recognize that there might be Esaus among us, but I think all RBs would agree with Presbyterians that "godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy." (Canons of Dort, Art 17) The reason RBs do not 'doubt' the salvation of their children is not because of their 'holiness' (as per the COD), but their placement in a Christian home.

So from a practical standpoint I don't see a lot of difference between the way Reformed Paedos raise their children and the way Reformed Credos raise their children.
Ken, do you believe all children are born in sin and in need of regeneration?
Yes.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Cesar, this forum is for credo baptists to respond to questions asked by paedos. The difference between this thread and general baptism threads is that it is not for open debate. It allows credos to answer questions without having to defend against an onslaught of paedo points and counter-points. The same goes for the paedo answers forum. Credos can ask questions but it's not for open debate.

-----Added 1/1/2009 at 12:47:54 EST-----

Ken,

I'm trying to make sense of this statement:

The reason RBs do not 'doubt' the salvation of their children is not because of their 'holiness' (as per the COD), but their placement in a Christian home.
Can you explain this a bit further?

-----Added 1/1/2009 at 12:49:47 EST-----

The fact that God, in His eternal wisdom, willed that my children be born/adopted into a Christian home is not lost on me as a RB. We all recognize that there might be Esaus among us, but I think all RBs would agree with Presbyterians that "godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy." (Canons of Dort, Art 17) The reason RBs do not 'doubt' the salvation of their children is not because of their 'holiness' (as per the COD), but their placement in a Christian home.

So from a practical standpoint I don't see a lot of difference between the way Reformed Paedos raise their children and the way Reformed Credos raise their children.
Ken, do you believe all children are born in sin and in need of regeneration?
I hope I am not crossing the line here between forums. I would like to give my perspective since I do agree with pretty much of what Pastor Ken wrote.
In my humble opinion we all believe, according to Romans 3 and so many other scriptures, that our children need God’s given saving faith to be justified and regenerated.
And until they professed faith we should not assume otherwise.
For more respect that I may have for Abraham Kuyper, I don't think
presumptive or presumed regeneration is Biblical.
But what Pastor Ken wrote is what I meant in my former posts on the other thread,
We should see the household of believers in the perspective of God’s Promises and His Sovereignty.

We should also assume what Ursinus called an inclination towards faith.

Those who do not believe, that is, who have no faith at all, neither by
profession nor by inclination, are not to be baptized.
But infants born to believing parents have faith as to inclination.


Zacharias Ursinus . Commentary of the Heidelberg Catechism

This inclination is clearly seen by Paul in Timothy and in this passage the meaning is often commented as a «kind of inheritance». That inclination doesn't exempt a responsible, obedient to God, correct raising and education of our children in the Word, Home and Family Devotion and Church attendance

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother
Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
(2 Timothy 1:5)

and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able
to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(2 Timothy 3:15)

Charles Spurgeon on 2 Timothy 1:5

There is no transmigration of souls, but there is a kind of transmigration of faith,
as if the very form and shape of faith, which was in Lois and Eunice, afterwards appeared in Timothy.
Cesar, I'll let your post stand, but I'll ask you not to make points in favor of paedo baptism in this thread.

Thanks.
 

discipulo

Puritan Board Junior
Cesar, I'll let your post stand, but I'll ask you not to make points in favor of paedo baptism in this thread.

Thanks.
I'm sorry, that was not my intention. I tried to keep it in the topic of raising children. Thank you for your understanding.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Ken,

I'm trying to make sense of this statement:

The reason RBs do not 'doubt' the salvation of their children is not because of their 'holiness' (as per the COD), but their placement in a Christian home.
Can you explain this a bit further?
You wrote this:

If the husband/father is a believer then the headship of the home is under the administration of the New Covenant. The child born into such a home is under the headship and authority of a new covenant believer. There is no equivocation present. The child is born under the headship of the father, but it does not mean the child is a member of the covenant. The believing father has the responsibility to make sure his household submits to the authority of scripture, albeit external conformity only. Ideally, with both parents believing, the children are catechized and exposed to the Word through corporate preaching, as well as by any additional means of exposure the parents dictate. It is the hope of RB parents that their child will respond to the gospel call and place their faith in Christ....

Taylor, I touched on this in my previous post. I was not guaranteed that my daughter would be saved when she was born. But that did not prohibit her from being raised in a godly home. Bethany was born into a home where the father and mother were both believers. As imperfect as both of us were, we raised our daughter within sight of the kingdom. She heard the gospel preached at church and it was reinforced in the home. In that sense it was a godly home.
Then you wrote this:

There is no guarantee of generational faithfulness, although I do believe households of believing parents will have a higher percentage of believing children than households of unbelieving parents. Why? The gospel will be proclaimed in believing households. The gospel is the promise of the NC to all who believe.
The COD Article 17 in full:

Article 17: The Salvation of the Infants of Believers

Since we must make judgments about God's will from his Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature but by virtue of the gracious covenant in which they together with their parents are included, godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy.
I was trying to help answer Taylor's question about the 'awkwardness' of RB parents in raising their children. I have noticed in the past that there is a misconception among Paedos about how we view our children. As you have pointed out, it is more likely that a child born unto believing parents will believe than not because, as you said, "the gospel will be proclaimed in believing households."

I do not think that the language of the COD means that we should 'assume' that our children will believe, but we are not to 'doubt' whether they will believe. There is no guarantee, but it is more than a flip of a coin.

My point was to show that Baptists experience no more 'awkwardness' than do Paedos. I apologize if I derailed the thread.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Why does the fact that the Gospel is proclaimed in a believing household increase the odds that a child is elect?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
My point was to show that Baptists experience no more 'awkwardness' than do Paedos. I apologize if I derailed the thread.
Not at all. I wanted clarification on what you said so as not to misunderstand it.

RB's and Presb's are almost identical in how they teach this children. The difference is that Presb's consider their children saved unless their child repudiates their faith by word or deed. In their view regeneration takes place sometime during childhood, although it is impossible to pinpoint. Because they believe their children are part of the NC visible church they are able to benefit in a general sense from the CoG as disciples. RB's agree there is no way of pinpointing when regeneration occurs. They also believe that their children can benefit from the CoG, but not as disciples -- instead as the elect of God being called to faith. I was confident God would call my daughter to faith even though I had no iron-clad promise.

-----Added 1/1/2009 at 05:02:36 EST-----

Why does the fact that the Gospel is proclaimed in a believing household increase the odds that a child is elect?
Excellent question. I wouldn't use the term "increase the odds", although I did refer to, "a high percentage" would come to faith in believing households. The fact is that God uses the message preached in order to draw His elect (1 Cor. 2:21). I have no problem conceding that God ordains the means (the gospel) and the circumstances (exposed to the means). In Acts 10:22 Peter is told to go to Cornelius' house to preach the gospel. Not just to Cornelius, but his house. The chapter concludes with the Holy Spirit falling upon the members of Cornelius' house in a clear picture of regeneration. While not a proof-text of how God works within covenant families (the families of believers), it does indicate that family members were converted through the preaching of the Word.
 
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Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
OK, you don't use the term "increasing the odds" but the term "high percentage".

Why does the preaching of the Word lead to a high percentage of hearers in a believing household being elect?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
OK, you don't use the term "increasing the odds" but the term "high percentage".

Why does the preaching of the Word lead to a high percentage of hearers in a believing household being elect?
Children living in Christian homes are exposed more to the gospel than those in unbelieving homes (see my last post). If the message preached is the means by which God calls sinners to repentance, and if children in believing homes are exposed more to that message than unbelieving homes, it seems reasonable to conclude that more children in believing households will come to faith than those in unbelieving households. Guaranteed? No. But as I argued from Acts 10, not without precedent.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
OK, you don't use the term "increasing the odds" but the term "high percentage".

Why does the preaching of the Word lead to a high percentage of hearers in a believing household being elect?
Children living in Christian homes are exposed more to the gospel than those in unbelieving homes (see my last post). If the message preached is the means by which God calls sinners to repentance, and if children in believing homes are exposed more to that message than unbelieving homes, it seems reasonable to conclude that more children in believing households will come to faith than those in unbelieving households. Guaranteed? No. But as I argued from Acts 10, not without precedent.
Why do means affect the eternal decree of God?
 

Herald

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OK, you don't use the term "increasing the odds" but the term "high percentage".

Why does the preaching of the Word lead to a high percentage of hearers in a believing household being elect?
Children living in Christian homes are exposed more to the gospel than those in unbelieving homes (see my last post). If the message preached is the means by which God calls sinners to repentance, and if children in believing homes are exposed more to that message than unbelieving homes, it seems reasonable to conclude that more children in believing households will come to faith than those in unbelieving households. Guaranteed? No. But as I argued from Acts 10, not without precedent.
Why do means affect the eternal decree of God?
Rich, has not God ordained the means by which His eternal decree is made manifest? (1 Cor. 2:21)
 
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