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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It Will Comfort the Mourning, Though Disappointing, November 4, 2007
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This review is from: When a Baby Dies (Paperback)
It is common experience among Christians to wonder about questions upon which the Bible doesn't directly speak such as "Who did Cain marry?" or "Will there be animals in Heaven." One of the more profound questions concerns the eternal disposition of those who for one reason or another, cannot comprehend God's salvific provision though Jesus Christ before they die - namely, infants and the mentally incompetent.

Ronald Nash's "When a Baby Dies" is an attempt to answer this crucial question. In an easy-to-read style, Dr. Nash addresses this question by first refuting four heresies upon which infant salvation has previously been based: Pelagianism, Universalism, Salvation after Death (the opportunity to receive Christ after dying) and Baptismal Regeneration. He then presents his own argument supporting infant salvation.

The book could begin and end with his initial argument for infant salvation. It is clear, logically consistent, and most of all, biblical. Its elegance lies in the fact that it is an exception to both the Calvinistic and Arminian understanding of salvation. Therefore, it can be claimed equally under both belief systems. Unfortunately, Nash spends the rest of the book trying to deny his own initial argument to Arminianism - effectively refuting it, and relying on purely Calvinistic arguments for infant salvation.

I have read a few other books by Nash, but I have never seen him with his Calvinistic fangs bared as aggressively against Arminianism as he does in this book. And it's all completely unnecessary. Fortunately, the opaque walls he attempts to use to box out Arminianism from a coherent doctrine of infant salvation are not as solid as he thinks them to be and can be easily parried away - if by nothing else than his own initial argument in Chapter Five.

Those approaching this book looking for comfort will find it. Those simply curious about this issue will also be satisfied. But, one need only read the first five chapters. After that, the book descends into a near-irrational, and needless, apology for Calvinism.
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