Sunday, July 08, 2007

Not So Innocent After All

Every so often we hear or read a hardcore (or unthinking) Arminian or a Nullifidian make remarks about "innocent babies." Well, it seems that babies aren't so innocent after all, and its not just those of who believe in original sin saying it.

Original sin makes the news!

Notice the opening paragraph:

Whether lying about raiding the biscuit tin or denying they broke a toy, all children try to mislead their parents at some time. Yet it now appears that babies learn to deceive from a far younger age than anyone previously suspected.
Then a bit later:

Until now, psychologists had thought the developing brains were not capable of the difficult art of lying until four years old.
How sad it is to read this from the nation that produced the Westminster Standards.

Here's a sample from the WSC:

I. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptations of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin, God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory.

II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion, with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body.

III. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed; and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.

IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.

V. This corruption of nature, during this life, does remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be, through Christ, pardoned, and mortified; yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.

VI. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, does in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death,[17] with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal.

I hate to break it to Richard Gray, the writer of the article, but the WSC recognized this about babies several hundred years ago.

In fact, the Bible itself addresses this directly:

Psalm 58:3: The wicked are estranged from the womb;
These who speak lies go astray from birth.

HT: Jonathan Moorhead


  1. FYI: My response to Steve Hays' reply to Rob Koons:

  2. > The wicked are estranged from the womb ...

    This proof-text makes its claim about a segment of the human race called "the wicked." You, on the other hand, apply it to the entire human race itself.

  3. I anticipate one of the atheist trolls will get in with this soon, so I'll pre-empt it: What does this say about abortion? If the Alien Womb Invader Parasites are not "innocent" after all, wouldn't this make abortion justifiable as a sort of pre-emptive death penalty, a` la "Freakonomics"?

    I suppose a Christian could make several arguments in reply, eg:

    (a) the death penalty is used only for crimes and life-endangering ones), not sins (eg, no one today in the West is put to death for worshipping idols, and if Genesis 9:6 is one's prooftext, then it seems the Supreme Court was right in Coker v Georgia to forbid DP for non-lethal crimes)

    (b) if everyone is sinful, then everyone deserves death equally, and no one alive is fit to be the executioner. Whereas DP involves, at least in principle, a non-murderer executing a murderer (that's defining "murder" as "unprovoked killing of a non-aggressor" as opposed to "state-sanctioned killing of some guy who shot some other guy because he had a really, really bad childhood").

  4. > The wicked are estranged from the womb ...

    This proof-text makes its claim about a segment of the human race called "the wicked." You, on the other hand, apply it to the entire human race itself.

    Wow, stunning response. Let's put it to the test.

    Actually, we have here a parallel statement. "The wicked" are defined here by "those who speak lies." Who has not lied?

    The righteous here are shown as those vindicated by the judgment of God Himself, not the "gods" eg. the judges of men. They are depicted in an eschatological context, where God has judged between the righteous and the wicked. Their righteousness is thus not of their own intrinsic doing or character, but a product of God's mercy.

    Scripture additionally teaches that no one is righteous no, not one, all have turned astray

    There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does what is right and never sins


    to break one point of the law is to break the whole


    ...the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil, and insanity is in their hearts


    there is no man who does not sin.

    and Proverbs 20:9 asks "Who can say 'I have kept my heart pure I am clean and without sin?'" Will you seriously argue that somebody can say "Yes" to this?

    And Romans 3 indexes this text here to Psalm 5 and Psalm 140, and Psalm 53. Psalm 140 and Ps. 53 stand in relation by the images of venom and snakes. Pauline theology interprets these as statements of the universality of sin, the wickedness of all men without exception.