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The Spiritual Condition of Infants: A Biblical-Historical Survey and Systematic Proposal Kindle Edition

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Length: 198 pages

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About the Author

Adam Harwood is Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at Truett-McConnell College at Cleveland, Georgia.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1051 KB
  • Print Length: 198 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1608998444
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers (March 15, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 15, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Y6E7IW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,793 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William Birch on March 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
In his book "The Spiritual Condition of Infants: A Biblical-Historical Survey and Systematic Proposal," published by Wipf & Stock, 2011, Adam Harwood, Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at Truett-McConell College, Cleveland, Georgia, tackles head-on a subject debated since the second century AD. But Harwood's book does not focus all its attention upon the concept of infant salvation; it boldly addresses "the spiritual condition of living infants" (5).

Harwood begins by noting the difficulty of various views inherent in such a topic: "If you believe that people need to hear and respond to the Gospel to be saved, and you say that infants are guilty of sin, then the consistent viewpoint is that all infants who die without hearing and responding to the Gospel will be separated from God" (5). In this manner of speaking, a person cannot have his cake and eat it too. An infant (a person one year old and younger, including the pre-born) cannot stand both guilty of sin and also in need of hearing and responding to the Gospel in order to be saved.

In my opinion, this scenario differs significantly from adults who have not heard the Gospel, since all adults have sinned. In their case, they are both guilty of sin and also in need of hearing and responding to the Gospel in order to be saved. But such cannot be admitted with regard to infants.

Harwood is not attempting to neglect the issue of infants possessing a sin nature, which would ensure that the person would sin as he ages. His agenda is to demonstrate that "infants inherit a sinful nature and later acquire their own guilt after they know the difference between right and wrong but knowingly choose to do wrong" (9).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Pitman on February 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Here is a scriptural, scholarly schematic for approaching and appreciating one of the most debated and difficult questions of Biblical theology. Written with an academic hand, but with a pastor's heart, the author has offered a near encyclopedic survey of scripture texts and theological traditions on the matter. This is a worthy volume and demands a hearing by all who want to grasp the complexities of the spiritual condition of those who die in infancy. No study of this issue would be complete without attention to this author's thesis. I recommend this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Theron Mathis on April 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Have you ever taken a seemingly insignificant topic, idea, or person, and delved into that subject learning all the interactions and facets connected to it? Several years ago a friend lent me the book Cod, which did exactly as described above. The author took this ubiquitous fish and explored it in the history of Western peoples, and lo and behold, not only did you learn about this fish, but the whole of history began to open with connections and causes you never grasped in high school Western Civ.

Theology works in similar ways. Taking a small tangential subject and exploring how others have wrestled with one issue opens up the way that person thinks about God, Christ, Sin, Salvation and the Church. When all research is done and the topic is laid bare on the table, you end up with much more than you expected.

Adam Harwood did this with The Spiritual Condition of Infants: A Biblical-Historical Survey and Systematic Proposal. Harwood is a professor at the Georgia Baptist college, Truett McConnell, and grapples with an issue painful for anyone who has lost children and thorny for the Christian friend or clergy called to minister to a friend in time of crisis.

This is not some dry academic tome, although there is no doubt he has done his homework. It is packaged in a readable work, full of personal stories and historical narratives, navigating the tragic nature and steps of logic necessary for such a topic.

The book begins with the author stating his assumptions about the topic and how he came to interact with this subject and the theologians he has wrestled with along the way. Related topics and questions are considered, and then he jumps headlong into the historical treatment of the fate of infants.
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