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The Spiritual Condition of Infants: A Biblical-Historical Survey and Systematic Proposal Paperback – March 15, 2011
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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).Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is an excellent read and it challenges a person to draw their own conclusion on the spiritual condition of children at the time of their death.Published 6 months ago by Harvey Galloway
Dr. Hardwood presents a classic Arminian defense of Death not being a Judgement by God. Skillfully evading the many Biblical texts which prove that The Judge of all the earth not... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer