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The Spiritual Condition of Infants: A Biblical-Historical Survey and Systematic Proposal Paperback – March 15, 2011


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The Spiritual Condition of Infants: A Biblical-Historical Survey and Systematic Proposal + Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine + Christian Theology
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608998444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608998449
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,519,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Actually made a good grade on the review.
Jacob Moore
Harwood does a thorough job collating a large amount of information into a small readable volume.
Theron Mathis
This book, though written by a professor, exudes with the tone and heart of a pastor.
William Birch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bought this book to read for a book review. The only thing was that my professor is the author of this book. Actually made a good grade on the review. Not to mention how wonderful the book is. Lots of evidence found within.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By pahouseholder on August 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So thankful for Dr. Harwood's thorough, biblical work on this sensitive issue. As a pastor with members who lost a child--all of us seeking solid answers from Scripture--we were so assured. If that is you, then you'll be encouraged & blessed by this book too.
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