Regeneration Precedes Faith Temporally (In Time)?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Alexander, Aug 5, 2017.

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  1. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    How are men converted? Can infants be converted? Consider that the gospel has internal and external distinctions. Inward call (the HS) vs outward call (the preached word). What exactly does the preached word (external call) accomplish?
  2. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't believe I have said anything that would rail against Ezek 36. All the elect remain enemies (in a divided sense) of God until that time when they ARE 'regenerated'. All the elect will be regenerated and converted in God's timing. When u consider that all regenerated individuals have seeds of faith onboard, it is more palatable.
  3. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    Just to clarify: do you believe that there could - even hypothetically - be one regenerated person in hell?
  4. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    In what I woould call, a divided sense. Can one have saving faith if one has no idea what they have faith in?

    ROM 10:17 Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God-this verse is clearly having to do with the preached word by God's vessel on Earth.

    No argument here-I am a Paedobaptist :)

    As I said....

    Correct. 'No one is saved without faith in Christ'. Is it our faith or Christ's faith? Can an infant ascend to biblical facts?
    *I want to qualify again the above statement-Infants dying in infancy and the handicapped i.e. those that will never be able to comprehend, God/Christ goes to those individuals on His own terms, in a way that is only supernatural and imparts biblical truths/preaches to these individuals. However, this is not typical nor the norm as men who are called to live a fruitful life MUST have the internal call and external call to be converted.
  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Of course not. I just said:
    John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
  6. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable


    I am trying to parse what you are saying. Help me out a wee bit.

    Given the quote above, and this:

    "Not everyone who is regenerated is converted as conversion is dependent upon a man knowing the gospel, i.e. sin and it's affect, repentance, belief in Christ, acceptance, to receive, etc."

    Then am I correct to assume you mean that
    "not everyone who is regenerated is converted at the moment of regeneration but will be converted in God's timing"

    or are you drawing some distinction between the elect and the regenerated, as in

    "not everyone who is regenerated is converted, as only the elect will be regenerated and converted"
  7. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I'm quite unsatisfied with this abstraction which is here going by the name "regeneration." Regeneration IS new life. Living. A man exists, he was generated. He was dead. Now he lives, he's regenerated.

    Life that requires breathing does not go on if there's no breathing. There's no living, if there's no breathing. There's no such thing as a living creature, that is not also a breathing creature. There is no such thing as a regenerated creature, which is not also a believing creature. So, if there's a living person, even in utero, he's a believer.

    I'm quite content with the idea of an extended process of "bringing a dead thing to life." That is "regeneration" or "regenerating." But that man IS NOT YET regenerated (an accomplished fact), until he's breathing/believing. Spank that baby so it fills its lungs and cries with a breath!

    What of the baby in the womb, the John the Baptist or the Jeremiah? God will work how and when he wills. I think he can (and does) use baptism itself (only administered in faith), at least as the first drop of his mercy, and copious measures of water-of-the-word. We're not able to see a seed's germination, no man can see that. What we observe is: what looks like life to us, what looks like the exercise of breathing, of faith.

    But the idea of a living person (of any age) just waiting for some shock to start him breathing--alive, but not growing, not really living apart from having an active thought or something--no, this is not helpful. It is too abstract; there's nothing there that relates to real physical life.

    Forget this notion of "time-lag." Use the idea of process. Jesus healed one blind man instantaneously; another he healed by a two-stage process. Use the planting metaphor; use the germination/eruption illustration. Use the new birth metaphor; use the conception/parturition illustration.

    But there's no benefit from bearing this idea around that there are spiritually alive people carrying on who are just waiting for the proper stimulus.
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  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    I have read those who seem to hold with a person can be regenerated for a period of time, even years, before real conversion, and just do not see the evidence for that, for God seems to have it all worked out so that he grants new hearts knowing they will be hearing the good news now.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  9. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Are you saying that God regenerates some infants while being baptized? The part of the spark/start od something was what I was asking about in your post.
  10. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Does God require infants to have saving faith before he can save them, in the sense of not holding their sin debts against them, as Jesus dies to cover them in that state?
  11. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    converslo: conversion; viz., the work of the Holy Spirit according to which the intellect and the will of the sinner are turned toward God in contrition and faith. Conversion can be distinguished into: (1) conversio passiva sive habitualis, passive or habitual conversion, commonly called regeneration (regeneratio), in which the will, passively, without any motion of its own, receives by grace alone the habit or disposition (habitus, q.v.) toward repentance and new life in Christ. Because the work of the conversio passiva begins in God and passes to the human subject, it is also called conversio transitiva, transitive conversion, a conversion that passes over from one being to another. (2) Conversio activa sive actualis, active or actual conversion, commonly called conversion (conversio) without modifier, in which the regenerated will actually and actively turns toward God; i.e;, the human side of conversion, the actual repentance or metanoia. Because the conversio activa is confined to the human subject, it is sometimes called conversio intransitiva, intransitive conversion, or conversion that does not pass over from one being to another. Conversio activa is sometimes also called regeneratio secunda, a second or further regeneration, belonging to the renovation (renovatio, q.v.) of the individual.

    The scholastics also define conversion in relation to its termini, or limits. The terminus a quo (q.v.) of conversion in a formal sense is sin itself, sin as such, while in an objective sense it is the specific objects of or reasons for sinning peculiar to the individual sinner. The terminus ad quem (q.v.) of conversion, formally considered, is faith in Christ; objectively considered, God, to whom the repentant return in and through Christ. The orthodox deny the concept of a homo renascens (q.v.), or man in process of being reborn in conversion, and therefore all notion of a middle condition (status medius) between the two termini of conversion. In other words, conversion is not a process. Thus conversio transitiva is immediately effective as conversio intransitiva, conversio habitualis immediately resultant in conversio actualis. The divine work and the turning of the human heart are inseparable and are distinguished only in terms of the subject of the operation.

    Source: Richard Muller. Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology (p. 83).​
  12. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    So saving faith placed into Jesus always will flow forth from God regeneration? As the fruit of that event now happening?
  13. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    To be clear, many theolgians use the terms 'regeneration' and 'conversion' interchangeably. They are not one and the same; in this conversation I am obviously not using them in that way, hence that must be considered in evaluating what I am saying.

    Consider Jesus' words with Nicodemus. Is the implication that the order is chronological or logical here?

    I believe it would be as well beneficial to say a few things on the ordo salutis: I hold to the idea that the ordo is logical in it's order; however, I do not believe it cannot be chronological at times, given the obvious, i.e. Infants that are regenerated cannot be converted as they cannot process what they see yet. In an earlier post, when I cite Turretin and when he speaks of 'seeds of faith', I believe he is seeing it in the divided sense; that being, a (f)aith that is present in microcosmic form, that is yet to be germinated and become (F)aith; The external call is what waters these non-germinated seeds, else what does the external call actually do then? It does have a specific application and that is more than just calling people to come to the Lord. Just like the internal call, this external call is given by a human, but carried along via the HS. It is the power of the HS that makes the human word, effectual. I would add, I believe that in most cases, the logical order of the OS happens all at once. Most people sitting under the gospel or church goers have the appropriated truths onboard already. I don't believe, based on what I have said about infants that we have to believe in a logical order in the absolute sense as this would grind against infants being regenerated in infancy or the womb.

    I asked this earlier: How are men converted? Is it our faith or Christ's? Is it Christ who repents or is it the man? Who believes and if the man believes, what does he believe? What does he repent of? To say that men can be converted without any of this information onboard is suspect. Granted, the information does not save, but the gospel is called good news for a reason-it is news. News has information attached. Regeneration allows for the mind and heart to appeal to information-to ascend to biblical facts and weigh them out. The call is important-why do we have an external call and what does that call actually accomplish? We all understand that the internal call regenerates, but what of the external? The call by the preacher is the appealing to the elect to come to Christ. Can a man come and not know who it is who they are coming to?

    You write:
    Where have I denied this? In my description of the order, have I said that the man or infant that is regenerated and not yet converted under the external call is dead? Upon regeneration, these people have seeds of faith present-they are alive! As well, if you prefer the word, 'process', I have no issue with that. I believe any process requires time, however.

    Would apostle Paul say a man is justified by regeneration?
    Would the apostle Paul say a man is justified by faith?

    The man is not justified by regeneration, but by faith. Faith comes by the hearing of the word....

    John 3 is chronological....
  14. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    John 3 is chronological...
  15. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Yes. If God wills, he may regenerate anyone at anytime He wills and decrees.

    See WCF ch 28
  16. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    If a man is regenerated, He will come to faith.
  17. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I'm just a man, and I don't know what God knows, and he does not explain the Spirit's work in a given individual, see Jn.3:8.

    What I know is: God uses particular means (intermediaries) to accomplish his purposes. He bears witness to his works in his verbal word, and in his appointed signs or visual (more broadly, sensory) word. Whether fast (to the point of instantaneous) or slow (as the beginning of an extended process)--I'm not in the position to judge of it--I can say that God communicates to some infants via the touch of the water (that he appointed, and appropriates).

    To say God could not do so is tantamount to denying that a mother is able to communicate to her infant better by touch than by words containing propositions rationally comprehended. I affirm the latter as clear and undeniable; therefore I affirm God could do so.

    The question: When does God start working on a man (a sinner) to make him whole? is seldom perfectly clear from the human vantage point. Is it at the first instant the gospel-word comes to him? Some men's testimony is that their gospel-awareness remained zero for years, whatever spiritual word they may have experienced in that time. We have no certainty if that preliminary work did anything or lots of things.

    But upon a later hearing, the Spirit's work of conviction began to bring him to a sight of his sin and misery. We may be able to mark some aspect of this transformation as a kind of "beginning" of his becoming a Christian. But just as the "quickening" of a child in the womb (the first sign of life, when the mother feels the baby move for the first time) is marked as a beginning of sorts, but is actually long past the real beginning at conception; neither can we say how wise we were to the Spirit's sealing and regenerating work.

    For many of us, we cannot draw a line across the timeline of our personal history, when we passed from death-to-life. We know it had to happen: the Bible tells me so. The ministry of God's grace to us was publicized in our baptism (as an infant) and was carried on for years by the Word of grace, so that we were not conscious of a time before we knew that 1) we were sinners; 2) we needed a Savior; 3) Christ is that Savior.

    To my knowledge, I personally have never questioned these facts. My understanding of all of them, and of the entire Christian Faith, has grown fuller and deeper over decades of life. My Savior means more to me today, than when I first professed my faith publicly. But I was not less redeemed in time past--starting whenever the moment was I became spiritually alive--than today.

    Was it when I was baptized? I don't know; that's not for me to know, or if it was before or after. I only know--as sure as I know I am a child of God--that when I was baptized, God made a witness in the world of men that he also sealed me as his property in the spirit realm. Theology teaches me this, not experience. What my faith confesses now tells me what happened at another time. 2Tim.2:19, "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His.”

    All I mean to affirm here is that from the beginning of my life, God has borne to me witness without pause (!) of "salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus," 2Tim.3:15. And that includes the day I was baptized, and the means of it. And my faith does not rest in either the beginning of that work, or the sum of it; nor in my earliest profession of confidence in it. It is in this: that Christ IS my Savior, today; and will be henceforth. He who has begun a good work in me will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. This I believe.
  18. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    This, again, sounds like you're affirming what previously you repudiated: that regeneration and the planting of faith-like-a-seed are indistinguishable.

    Are there regenerated people, who are not yet believing people? How can they be alive in the Spirit, and yet not believing? Can a man be alive in his flesh, yet not breathe?

    The temporal priority of regeneration does not translate to the establishment of a "gap" of indeterminate temporal length (greater/less) until faith. Like there's a temporal priority to turning the key in the ignition, and thence a spark that ignites the engine; life to the engine means the beast starts breathing; and that breathing makes the thing run (alive).

    If you want to talk about that process that starts with sliding the key into place; or starts with whatever wrestling it takes to get the key to fit; and then to turn in the cylinder against a protest; and then the chugging of a starter motor that doesn't quite seem to want to turn efficiently, but you feel like you're coaxing it to gogogoGO! There are cases where it seems like getting that person to see by faith what is right before him is a real travail. There's suspense for us, who are waiting for that new birth to come forth. Are those "signs of life?"

    You can call all that process regeneration if you aren't distinguishing between the effectual call and its effect on the man being effected. But the man isn't regenerated until he's believing. And when he's a believer, then he's regenerated.

    WSC 30: "Q. 30. How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
    A. The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, And thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.

    WCF XIII Of Sanctification
    1. They who are effectually called and regenerated...​

    It's so much better to identify that process of bringing to new-life as the work of effectual calling.
  19. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Can you quote me please?

    Having the capacity to believe and actually believing are not one and the same-unless of course you are willing to say that it is Christ's belief imparted to regenerate men or Christ's faith....

    Obviously, you are not following me. Yes, there are regenerate people who are not believing people. What do u think Christ meant when he said that one 'must be born again before he can SEE the kingdom of God'? Sight brings information to the brain to be processed. Can an infant that is regenerate, believe? if so, what do they believe in? The scriptures clearly show that our belief must be in Christ. Christ does not believe for us. Being reborn is a light bulb coming on so the regenerate man can process the things of the kingdom. If one is a believer, he believes in something. Christ does not believe for us; nor repent, accept, receive, etc. and we don't just have an empty belief. You say, "But the man isn't regenerated until he's believing." I ask you then, what exactly does the regenerate infant believe?

    I say, you have collapsed conversion into regeneration. Upon belief, men are converted. Regeneration allows for the data to hit the heart and stick.

    Your citation of the WSC does not rail against anything I have said; An infant has seed faith-it is not germinated; that faith is dormant-yes it is faith, but asleep. Can God work faith in this infant? The outworking of faith is fruit. This takes time and won't occur in this child's life until the external call waters the seed. Of course, an adult with mental capacity is different. The seed is planted upon regeneration and as the external call is made effectual, the seed watered and the man converted. That man's faith will produce fruit.

    In regards to the citation in the WCF; the divines use the term 'regeneration' to refer to the whole of the order of salvation. They never use the term conversion or converted-this is what I referred to in an earlier post. So, when reading the document, one needs to read between the lines on the idea of the ordo as they do not address it.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  20. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    No, Scott, I don't have to go with Christ doing the believing for anyone. Nor am I collapsing conversion into regeneration. I'm saying faith (a standard element of conversion) is as normal to regeneration as breathing is to a functioning cardiopulmonary system.

    He believes of Christ what he knows of him. And he knows of him comparably to what he knows of his own mother, for Christ makes himself known. Ps.22:9, "Thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts." That may be primitive hope, but it's still hope.

    His mother has limits respecting what she may communicate to him, limits of hers and limits of his. Christ has none of those limits, and he can overcome the child's natural limits.

    The child is given the spiritual sight necessary to apprehend Christ. The instinct to cling to Christ in the spirit is as natural to a regenerated child as his fleshly instinct would be to cling to his mother. This faith grows, is sharpened and deepened by the appointed means over time.

    I am able to distinguish between the capacity to do something, and doing it. But what's happening in your proposal, is that elements crucial to the literal analogy are being suspended, for a theory of not merely distinguishing but actually inserting a temporal "gap."

    It does not fit the description of life to say that the living thing is not exercising a necessary function for that life: such as breathing. There's an element of absurdity to saying that a man is alive, he just hasn't started breathing yet and maybe won't for... a couple weeks? a decade?

    Spiritual living is an analogy that people in the 1C (and before) would grasp by applying what they knew about living in the body. There were no artificial life-support systems then, or suspended animation--something between life and death. They did know pregnancy, gestation, and birth. They could stretch the analogy over that condition. But still, the business of life and death is binary, there's no in-between.

    I haven't brought in any discussion of "fruit," because we aren't dealing that far along in this matter of the ordo and historia salutis. A man who has been regenerated--no more dead but living, not on his way but there--is a believer; his faith is saving him.

    (btw, the West.Stds. use the term "convert/converted/converting" in the familiar sense 2X in WCF.9, 1X WSC 89, 3X WLC 4 & 191; and "conversion" in WLC 159)
  21. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Charles Hodge:

    Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 256.

    Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 718.

    The 2nd statement proves that men cooperate in conversion (which is distinguishable from regeneration where men do not participate) the fact they they are collating and processing information the enlightened mind now sees unto conversion.

    Eph 1:17
    17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all kprincipality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

    The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Eph 1:17–21.

    Notice how Paul builds upon the enlightneing of the eyes here. Obviously an instance of regeneration...Hodge agrees:

    Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 695.
  22. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    What does the infant know of him?

    Can a man be saved less he repent? Can a man be saved if he knows nothing of sin? Can a man be saved that doesn't understand that God is 3 in 1 and that Christ is a sacrificial lamb for sin? Please make the distinction between regeneration and conversion here.

    Being in the medical field all of my life, I believe this is disputable....Consider those infants that are given up for adoption-do they know the mother that adopts them is a surrogate?

    I don't disagree but conversion happens under the preaching of the word-the external call and hence, Christ limits that which He gives unto the infant. Have you ever met a infant who understands the gospel? How about a 3 or 4 year old?
    Do you believe Christ does this with adult converts as well? He gives information? Or does He validate that which the adult has heard in the past and verify it spiritually to the persons heart and mind so the mind now accepts biblical truth? There is a difference.

    Why does God enlighten the eyes and mind if it has no value? Why is the faith of a regenerated infant a seed? It seems as if you are collapsing the idea of having an efficacious capacity and having everything one needs unto salvation, even the infant. Yes, the infant can be saved; yes he or she can be regenerated, but conversion takes information-information that warrants those things that come with the gospel. No man is saved that doesn't repent, believe, accept, receive etc. etc. etc.

    Have I argued against that?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  23. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

  24. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable


    I have asked very plain and specific questions:

    Rather than ask me to consider how you are using terms, could you at least answer the questions?
  25. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Seriously, Scott, I know you believe "Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved." They are brought to spiritual life; they begin their life of faith by being granted spiritual apprehension of Christ. The Spirit teaches them, the same as he teaches the rest of us; just the means are different. Not the content. The speed of their maturity may or may not be improved upon ours.

    I haven't proposed that the hope of a regenerate child on his mother's breast is anything but primitive; but it's still hope. So, he doesn't know all that faith will call from him, or what appropriate repentance is, or even how to repent. Not one word of what I'm saying implies that a child who is (like JtB or David) infant-and-regenerate, and is yet to grow up into the man he will be, has already a mature hope. He has an infant's hope.

    C'mon, Scott. You don't think infants know the sound of their mother's voice before they even come forth? The "bonding" of mother and child was designed by God to begin as soon as the child is born; he's instantly learning in his native and primitive manner, he's suckling at the breast and distinguishing his mother's smell, her feel, her sound from everything else. It isn't as good on day 1 as it will be on day 10; and so? The focal length of a newborn's barely functioning eyes is set at about 8'', the distance between the breast and his mother's face. He starts to memorize her features immediately. I could go on...

    As for the essentials of a full conversion, what's interesting respecting the West.Stds. is noting that in the WCF discussion of repentance and faith is saved for after Sanctification; in the WSC, they are taught even later on after the treatment of the Law, and just prior to discussing the means of grace. That is, they generally are not discussed in the treatment of the divine work of the ordo salutis, excepting glorification (comes at the end). Only in the WLC, they are treated: faith after (context of) justification, and repentance again after sanctification.

    We know where conversion "belongs," i.e. after the effectual call and regeneration, and before justification. But the two (faith & repentance) are attended to for instruction especially as essentials of the life of the Christian. In other words, they are individually treated where they are considered not primarily as the entrance of the Christian life, but chiefly (not exclusively) for its maintenance; particularly as to repentance.

    I do not propose that a regenerate infant or child knowledgably and adroitly exercises the faculties of faith and repentance. But here, I would say that such a child has these spiritual faculties, the way a boy or girl has the physical faculties of manhood and womanhood, just not all of them ready for their exercise. Still, however immature, all aspect of life are a functional part of their living system. And at the appropriate time, certain parts come into their proper use.

    So also with repentance, a more mature exercise. But faith is spiritual sight, and as much as that is a part of mature manhood, it is yet fit to be exercised and trained starting right away as soon as one is born.

    What I'm saying is that regeneration is life, a germinated seed, a sprouted seed. That kernel splits open, and right then it doesn't look at all like a full grown plant. It is immature, but it's still living. It sends up a tiny leaf, and starts to breathe. This is why I said earlier we shouldn't identify planting such a seed with regeneration. It is just a dead thing, mere potential, until it starts to live.

    I really don't think I'm confusing or collapsing anything. I'm not making faith's exercise contingent on intellectual maturity (as that might be measured). Notitia may be barely visible, assensus practically implicit, and fiducia nearly everything. What matters is the Object, not the maturity. The more maturity, the more the information-quotient is requisite to a right exercise.

    As West.Stds. men, we should not be entirely about the hour of conversion, but whether repentance and faith are becoming more evident as the days of our lives and those of our children go by. Let those capable of marking that hour in themselves make of it what they will.
  26. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Yes. Sometimes the order happens instantaneously, others, not. All the elect will come to conversion. In the case of the instantaneous, this person has all the characteristics onboard that those that are not instantaneous, do not.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  27. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    When u say 'saved', it takes a different route than the typical due to the situation; one that is irregular. This teaching that you describe, is done due to the condition alone, else God would not need go this route as the infant who is not dying in infancy will live a fruitful, aged life to which the HS will lead after regeneration and the external call of the preacher will convert the person sometimes later after that person ascends to biblical facts.

    One cannot be converted outside of an external call. There is only one way men are saved. The treatment of the elect infant dying in infancy warrants the preaching being done of Christ Himself.

    Glad you believe this. A seed of (f)aith is not (F)aith per se. The distinction needs to be considered. It is the capacity to have (F)aith-eventually.

    In regard to the baby cognitively knowing it's mothers voice in utero, I will not argue the point; I will only repeat what I have said that the baby cannot cognitively understand that it hears and understands rightly. Thats the point. It is not intuitively processing the information. In the case of the surrogate mother, this would creat a crushing blow to the child if the voice changed or the scent.

    Again, it sounds as if you are collapsing the terms again here. What u describe is regeneration and not necessarily conversion as conversion would require that the person has ascended to biblical facts; these facts are not vague-see the citation in my previous post from 1 Cor. which helps.


    I disagree. Is that what Jesus says in John 3? A sprouted seed is one that has had the word to water it. A man cannot have faith in nothing. If a man has life, he is converted and if he is converted already, what is the external call for? An internal call without an external call is no call at all.

    Again I ask, have u ever seen a 2 or 3 year old extrapolate on his repentance or faith? They can't.

    This is not an issue of 'we', but of the person and the work of the calls of God. Regeneration brings life, conversion completes the process. Rom 10:17 would be a useless statement if in fact all of the attributes of salvation fall on Christ's behalf. In some cases yes, Christ works it out on his own. But typically, that is not how He has made it effectual-this happens under time and the external call. You mention assesus, fiducia and notia-these are not things that the person has the capacity to acquire ( as u put it) -thats nothing but emptiness. A milk jug that is empty has the capacity to be filled, but it is empty. It has absolutely no milk in it. One cannot be saved unless one has ascended to biblical facts, repents of sin, believes, accepts, receives.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  28. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    That regeneration would be due to Him doing that act apart from the water Baptism though, correct? Not in it as Catholics and Lutherans see it as being?
  29. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Do babies need to have faith in Jesus though in order to have God save them?
  30. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    God can and does regenerate during the rite of Baptism sometimes. It is not the same thing that the Lutherans or RC's hold to.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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