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Augustie and Infant Baptism


Submitted By charleshbell
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Dear Charles,
Here's a possible rewrite of your thesis: "This paper will examine Augustine's teachings about 'conferred faith' upon infant during baptism. My claim is that Paul misrepresented Paul's teachings on the family's effect upon the holiness of the child." You'll find the "claim" in chapters 1-14 of Turabian's Manual, which is something that our rubric doesn't bring up, but I think it's a good technique.
I notice that you have Greek written in Times New Roman font. I have seen other students do this. I have never been able to figure out how this is done. I notice that when I try to add a letter than it comes out in Latin script. These are quotations that you've pasted. This is amazing. I don't know how they do this! Let me know if you can help me!
The only defect in this paper that I want to point out is that much of your paper is not really about Augustine's teaching on infant baptism. All subsequent developments of his teachings really have nothing to do with what happened in Augustine's head. Let's take Pannenberg as an example. He may have followers up there in Lutheran country where you minister. His ideas are influenced by Augustine, but Augustine was not a Lutheran. Some seem to think he was a Lutheran or a Calvinist, but they deceive themselves. You must, of course, take Paul into account because Augustine worked with Paul's writings. Paul was a source that Augustine used—or better, abused or misused, as you and argue.
Students find it impossible to focus on one historical person, such as Augustine, without bringing in later persons who claim Augustinian authority. So I'd like for you to think about this as you move on to CHHI 525.
It's been a pleasant having you in class.
John Landers

Research Paper: Submission Rubric Element | Criteria | Points Earned | Points Possible | Comments from Instructor | Introduction | •&νβσπ;Is there a clear thesis statement? What is the topic you address? 18•&νβσπ;Does the introduction provide a clear overview of the paper’s contents? 17 | | 35 | | Structure | •&νβσπ;Are the transitions between paragraphs and sections clear? 8•&νβσπ;Is there a table of contents? 9•&νβσπ;Are proper headings used? 9•&νβσπ;Is the treatment of the topic logically oriented? 9 | | 35 | | Content | •&νβσπ;Are the issues raised in the topic properly treated? 35•&νβσπ;Are differing viewpoints considered, analyzed and treated? 35•&νβσπ;Is the analysis thorough? 35 | | 105 | | Conclusion | •&νβσπ;Does the conclusion offer a good summary of issues treated in the paper? 17•&νβσπ;Does the conclusion offer suggestions for further study? 18 | | 35 | | Materials/Sources | •&νβσπ;Does the bibliography contain at least 6 scholarly sources? 14•&νβσπ;Are materials properly cited and quoted? 14•&νβσπ;Is there a balance of primary and secondary sources? 14•&νβσπ;Are quotes relevant to the study at hand? 14•&νβσπ;Is current scholarship used? 14 | | 70 | | Style | •&νβσπ;Does the paper properly use Turabian? 14•&νβσπ;Is the paper properly formatted? 14•&νβσπ;Are footnotes and bibliography properly formatted? 14•&νβσπ;Does the paper reflect a graduate level of vocabulary? 14•&νβσπ;Is the paper without spelling and grammatical errors? 14 | | 70 | | Total | 350 | 350 | |


Charles H. Bell
History of Christianity I
May 5, 2012



Section 1. Doctrine of Infant Baptism 2

Section 2. Whose Faith Brings Salvation 4

Section 3. Partial Salvation 6


Section 4. Reasoning by Scripture 8

Section 5. Justification by Faith 10

Section 6. Old Versus New Baptism 11

Section 7. Paul’s Holy Child 13



One of the greatest unending questions within theological communities through today is the subject of infant and childhood mortality and their entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Can an infant, only days old upon its death, enter into the Kingdom of Heaven without ever hearing the gospel? The answers theological implication upon millions of families and their understanding of baptismal regeneration cannot be over stated. This delicate subject has been argued by academics and theologians for centuries, leading to the inevitable inquiry for the scriptural authority for baptizing infants or not. If yes, then does the parent’s sanctification cover the child or can the salvation of others or the universal church bestow redemption's grace redemptions grace upon children. Augustine believed he had the answer for the church, writing defensively against Pelagianism and their denial of original sin.
The thesis of this research paper is the discussion of Augustine’s misrepresentation of “conferred faith” upon infants during baptism and its infringement of apostolic teaching, particularly Paul’s instruction of the family’s effect upon the holiness of the child. The objective is to focus on the unviability of infant baptism within the church articulated by Augustine and his misrepresentation of apostolic instruction. Accompanied with his misrepresentation of children’s holiness presented in 1st Corinthians 7:14; in his supporting church doctrine concerning baptisms spiritual regeneration.
Defense against Pelagianism
During the time of Augustine’s response to the Pelagian “assertion that man can be without sin and can easily observe the commandments of God if he has the will to do so.” Augustine defends and entrenches a strong reasoning for infant baptism countering heretical Pelagianism and their denial of original sin. Additionally, the role of infant mortality (400 per 1000 births) played significantly in Augustine’s justifying his doctrine of infantile damnation. This is something I've never thought about. Thank you! Augustine’s course of reasoning continued to require the urgency of baptism for infants as soon as possible after birth.
Augustine came into the Church during significant developments in church history and for that matter, world history. The Roman Empire was being invaded by the Visigoths in AD 410. While within the Church, heresies and schisms began to split the Church apart. With the pillars of the secular government trembling, Augustine became the primary defender against the Donatist schism and then Pelagianism. Mervin Deems notes, “Arianism persisted in Gaul, Montanism and Manichaeism were rife in North Africa. Puritanic Donatism laid claim to being genuine Christianity, a claim which the doughty Bishop of Hippo could not countenance.” Yes, but he did accept their baptism, though not its validity. Just as a personal opinion, I think the Donatists were not more off track than were Augustine. Maybe I need to study them more.
Although Pelagianism accepted the practice of infant baptism as a tradition of the church, they found no necessity or viability for the child’s soul. But it was not the dominant practice in his day. He was doing everything possible to make infant baptism the dominant practice. Since no original sin is within the body the need for salvation comes later in life. Thus all of humanity has the ability to live a holy life on their merit alone, for “the whole race does not die because of the sin of Adam and Eve or rise because of the resurrection of Christ.”
Doctrine of Infant Baptism
The primal question in the development of infant baptism belongs to infant mortality. With the estimated infant mortality rates in the fourth and fifth centuries as high as forty percent, the prospect of losing a child invariably caused great suffering upon the parents. The parents understanding of Christian doctrines damnation if not being in Christ and properly baptized, for in “thy sight none is pure from sin, not even the infant whose life is but a day upon the earth.” Sharing this understanding of their newborn; a forty percent chance of dying; being condemned by God and hence eternity in Hell. There became a sincere wanting to know if their newborn was purified, and demanding for their child’s baptism.
The Church had instituted levels of condemnation (Hell and Purgatory), for infants. Augustine writes, “It may therefore be correctly affirmed, that such infants as quit the body without being baptized will be involved in the mildest condemnation of all.” The doctrine of purgatory is different from believing in degrees of punishment. All souls in purgatory are heavenbound. They are just being purged. So goes the theory. While W. J. Sparrow-Simpson comments, “He asserts that there will be degrees of future penalty; basing this statement on the New Testament principle that it shall be more tolerable for one city than for another in the final account.” The limbus infantium is the penthouse of hell in Dante's Inferno, while Pontius Pilate and Judas Iscariot are in the basement. Unbaptized children are there forever, but it's not that bad.
Here the development of Augustinian reasoning for infant baptism begins with Paul’s instruction concerning the transmission of sin from Adam: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Ro. 5:12, ESV). Likewise Augustine explains:
The body could be mortal (capable of dying), although not destined to die (moriturus); just as our body in its present state can, so to speak, be capable of sickness, although not destined to be sick. For whose is the flesh which is incapable of sickness, even if from some accident it die before it ever is sick? In like manner was man’s body then mortal; and this mortality was to have been superseded by an eternal incorruption, if man had persevered in righteousness, that is to say, obedience: but even what was mortal (mortale) was not made dead (mortuum), except on account of sin.

Highlighting the importance of baptism: “so in infants who die baptized, we must believe that the same grace of the Almighty supplies the want, that, not from perversity of will, but from insufficiency of age, they can neither believe with the heart unto righteousness, nor make confession with the mouth unto salvation,” so declaring “this is why each one of them must be born again, so that he may thereby be absolved of whatever sin was in him at the time of birth … and to such a degree that one born of even a lawful wedlock said, "I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother nourish me in her womb."
Whose Faith Brings Salvation
Understanding original sin and parental fear for their children dying into condemnation, the formula for baptism must be addressed as infants are unable to communicate their faith. First recognizing Augustine affirming salvation is by faith professed by the individual for “it is faith in the word of promise, to which baptism is added.” And Peter cries “Repent and be baptized” (Acts 2:38), for regeneration by the Holy Spirit comes only by hearing the Word, faith in its truth, repenting of sins, and then baptism. We find the paradoxical position Augustine places himself and the universal church.
Writing The Sacrament of Baptism, Augustine reveals a contradictory analysis of scripture:
Now, the first thing in baptism to be considered is the divine promise, which says: "He that believes and is baptised shall be saved." This promise must be set far above all the glitter of works, vows, religious orders, and whatever man has added to it. For on it all our salvation depends. We must consider this promise, exercise our faith in it and never doubt that we are saved when we are baptised. For unless this faith be present or be conferred in baptism, we gain nothing from baptism.

We realize here the departure of the one declaring their faith to someone else speaking for the individual. “For unless this faith be present or be conferred in baptism, we gain nothing from baptism.” With infant baptism, one pivotal fact emerges concerning the practice. Since the infant is only days old, how can the child know about Christ’s propitiation of humanity’s sins, or how can the infant declare its belief; it cannot do either.
Augustine expresses the need of baptism by the conferral of another’s faith: “For unless this faith … be conferred in baptism, we gain nothing from baptism.” And:
This is the firm tradition of the universal Church, in respect of the baptism of infants, who certainly are as yet unable "with the heart to believe unto righteousness, and with the mouth to make confession unto salvation,"as the thief could do; nay, who even, by crying and moaning when the mystery is performed upon them, raise their voices in opposition to the mysterious words, and yet no Christian will say that they are baptized to no purpose. … Therefore, when others take the vows for them, that the celebration of the sacrament may be complete in their behalf, it is unquestionably of avail for their dedication to God, because they cannot answer for themselves.

Adding, “even a godless adult might be changed, in any of the sacraments, if the same Church prayed and presented him.” Concluding:
The infant receives the redemption of baptism from the Church if no member is present for the child. Furthermore, if the child was capable of fighting against this baptism, the church’s prayers would overcome and still place the salvational attributes of regeneration upon the infant. The facts of some of those baptized, “are engaged in no efforts and no works, but are free in every way, secure and saved only through the glory of their baptism.
Partial Salvation
If baptism has salvational powers upon the soul of the infant and the infant is now cleansed of original sin. Why does Augustine submit: “By all these considerations it is proved that the sacrament of baptism is one thing, the conversion of the heart another; but that man's salvation is made complete through the two together.” Contradictions concerning infant baptism's baptisms salvation, Wolfhart Pannenberg comments about the separation of the infant baptism’s sign and a later regeneration of the soul.
The baptism of children not yet of age is always referred in a special way to the later independent appropriation of its significance by adult faith. In all circumstances this appropriation by the baptized is part of baptism. The sacramental sign of baptism and the lasting effect that rests on it aim at the personal faith of the baptized. Only then do the regeneration and justification that take place in the event of baptism come to full actualization.

In his book, On the Baptism of Infants, Augustine teaches emphatically how much salvation actually occurs within an infant’s soul:
In infants it is certain that, by the grace of God, through His baptism who came in the likeness of sinful flesh, it is brought to pass that the sinful flesh is done away. This result, however, is so effected, that the concupiscence which is diffused over and innate in the living flesh itself is not removed all at once, so as to exist in it no longer; but only that that might not be injurious to a man at his death, which was inherent at his birth.

Therefore an infant does not receive full regeneration, but receives “Partial Regeneration” thus only “Partial Salvation” can occur. Although this partial salvation may have occurred, Augustine asserts those baptized as infants, if they die before receiving the Lord’s Supper, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Pannenberg solidifies this notion well:
In favor of infant baptism … one may say that in the lives of those baptized as infants the summons of God’s grace in Jesus Christ and his claim on their lives precede all their own experience and efforts. Even those who become aware of this only later and consciously take up their baptism can find it to be a blessing that prior to all their own ways and mistaken ways in life God determined and accepted their lives as a whole, and from the very first, for fellowship with himself in his Son.

This becomes a critical flaw within the justification of infant baptism and its regenerative quality. Paul instructs the Ephesians “one Lord, one Faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:5) and to the Corinthians “for in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free---and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1Cor 12:13). If infant baptism provides the same justification through Christ as believer’s baptism why does the Scriptures remain so emphatically still, never mentioning one instance specifically. This is not to dispute infants may have been baptized after the late First or second “Patristic” century, but we do not hear anything from the apostolic era. Augustine attempts to ground his authority and interpretation of Scripture for the people and church on this very point.
Covenant of Circumcision
We may now turn our attention to Augustine’s argument for just such occasions. Origen writing in the third century that "according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants," with, Augustine’s validation, "The custom of our Mother Church in the matter of infant baptism is by no means to be scorned . . . nor to be believed except on the ground that it is a tradition from the apostles." He believed as did most of our church fathers after the second century that infant baptism was not only for the dispensation of original sin as the Apostles performed infant baptism, pointing to scripture (mentioned below) to authenticate his defense. However, once again it must be presented, there is no specific mention in the Scriptures and the first mentioning of any event is within the Didache.
Reasoning by Scripture
We could discuss Lydia’s Conversion: “After she and her household were baptized … “ (Acts 16:15); The Jailer when “he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds. Right away he and his whole family were baptized.” (16:33); Paul acknowledging “I did, in fact, baptize the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t know if I baptized anyone else.” (1Cor 1:16). However, Augustine makes another argument for infant baptism requiring this limited space.
Augustine brings baptism alongside the Old Testament signs. Pointing to many signs, such as Abel’s unworthy sacrifice, or “the sign of Gideon's fleece, Manoah's sacrifice, or the sign which Isaiah offered to Ahaz, in Isaiah 7.” However he focuses upon Abraham’s circumcision, as Paul writes to the Colossians:
Ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead (Col 2:11-12).

Conveying his understanding of baptism sharing the same powers as circumcision, Augustine writes, “Circumcision … administered once for all, and yet was administered to each person separately and individually. Just as therefore it was necessary in the time of that ancient sacrament for the son of a circumcised man to be himself circumcised, so now the son of one who has been baptized must himself also receive baptism.” All generations circumcised since Abraham, each generation of Christians need the spiritual sacrament of baptism.
Upon the surface this interpretation of a new circumcision sounds confident. When looking into the scriptures and Jewish tradition we find questions that must be answered. What did Augustine understand? Augustine writes concerning the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist being a new version of Old Testament circumcision with equal benefits.
“If the sacraments of the New Law merely "signified," it would not be apparent in what respect they surpassed the sacraments of the Old Law. … For it is an error to hold that the sacraments of the New Law differ from those of the Old Law in the effectiveness of their "signifying." The "signifying" of both is equally effective. The same God Who now saves me by baptism saved Abel by his sacrifice, Noah by the rainbow, Abraham by circumcision, and all the others by their respective signs.”
Augustine, understanding someone may attempt to cloud this issue, recognizes there are two different laws; the Law of the Father and the laws instituted by Moses.
There is a vast difference between “signs” and “types” which is described as the law instituted by Moses. Finding within the signs of the Old Law “words of promise requiring faith,” where types are only works requiring nothing for its justification, “their whole power and nature consisted in works, not in faith, and he that observed them fulfilled them, even if he did it without faith.” Here we see again there must be faith involved “and they cannot be fulfilled by any other work.”
Justification by Faith
Circumcision in a sign separating the Hebrew nation from the world and in like manner, baptism is the outward sign of a Christian being removed from the world. However, there is one contradiction within the above comparison. Although baptism described in the New Testament required each new convert to speak and demonstrate their faith, circumcision requires no such demonstration except in the initial command and promise from the Father to Abraham.
Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him (Gen 17:23-27).

Abraham and his justification by faith in the Father and his demonstration of receiving the sign with his own circumcision “and all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him” (Gen 17:.27). Circumcision was a permanent sign of the covenant identifying Yahweh as Abraham’s and his offspring throughout their generations only God and His promise to give them land of Canaan (Gen 17:7-8). An identification of God’s chosen people, however this sign included those who were not of Abraham's Abrahams family, but those whom he bought from a foreigner (Gen 17:27).
All male offspring of Hebrew families were circumcised by force or “cut off from his people, he has broken my covenant” (Gen17:14). Looking back towards “Isaac, who was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth, the seal of this righteousness of faith was given first, and afterwards, as he imitated the faith of his father, the righteousness itself followed as he grew up, of which the seal had been given before when he was an infant.” Circumcision was the price to become part of God’s chosen people, whether they obeyed or not, and only that. Otherwise Isaac would have been cut off as an infant and died, as we see in the expulsion of Ishmael and Hagar. Finally, foreigners were allowed to join with the people so long as they became circumcised, washed (baptized), offered a sacrifice and followed the law.
Old versus New Baptism
Some may question the possibility of baptism for Jewish converts however, Tertullian remarks “We enter, then, the font once: once are sins washed away, because they ought never to be repeated. But the Jewish Israel bathes daily, because he is daily being defiled: and, for fear that defilement should be practised among us also, therefore was the definition touching the one bathing made.” Geoffrey W. Bromiley commenting on the importance of circumcision and the proselyte: “In rabbinic literature the gēr tôšāḇ was a Gentile who observed the Noachian commandments but was not considered a convert to Judaism because he did not agree to circumcision.“
In Jewish conversion we see the same ceremonial progression for the early church. New Gentile converts had to submit to circumcision. What about the Jewish convert? Here we begin to see the question unfold. Circumcision is God’s covenant in making His people holy and gathered unto Himself. Christian baptism was established to bring humanity back to the Father through his Son. Ephesians 4:5 declares “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” The baptism of Jewish converts happened in the desert at Mount Sinai. Yahweh “said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments and be ready for the third day” (Ex 19:10-11). The Father also declares “for I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. …” Lev 11:44).
As Greene places the situation in perspective: “The first baptism was held by the Jewish Rabbis to have taken place at the foot of Mount Sinai, when the entire body of the Israelites who had quitted Egypt were baptized.” Explaining, “this general baptism which took place in the wilderness was held to operate once for all, not only on the individuals submitted to it, but on their descendants to the latest posterity. They by this act ‘inter alia’ entered into the covenant and became Jehovah's people, and no further baptism was necessary for their children.”
Paul continues this instruction that Christ came as a “servant to the circumcised … to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs …” (Ro 15:8) of which Abraham was one. Demonstrating the comparison of circumcision’s process to baptism brings questions of does the father’s baptism then cover the rest of his generations as baptism does for Israel?
What about Augustine’s theological usage of Paul’s instruction to the Corinthian family’s? Greene comments “St. Augustine, with more frankness than the others, admits that the word “holy" must mean baptized, but insists that the actual ceremony of baptism was performed.” ”For now the children were Christians, who were sanctified at the instance of one of the parents, or with the consent of both …” With Augustine’s reasoning the use of Paul’s testimony, the Scriptures become important in justifying infant baptism.
Augustine himself implores, “who can fail to be aware that the sacred canon of Scripture, both of the Old and New Testament, is confined within its own limits, and that it stands so absolutely in a superior position to all later letters of the bishops, that about it we can hold no manner of doubt or disputation whether what is confessedly contained in it is right and true…” or “whoever takes another meaning out of Scripture than the writer intended, goes astray, but not through any falsehood in Scripture.”
We see Augustine’s reliance upon the Scriptures acknowledging their “authority over all other expressions of truth,” even over his own thoughts. With his strongest illustration in responding to Jerome concerning the issue of Paul telling a lie within the Scriptures: “For I regard it as absolutely disastrous to believe that there is a lie in any of the holy books, that is, that those men who gave us and put into writing that Scripture lied in their books.”
Paul’s Holy Child
Paul’s discourse of 1 Corinthians 7: 14, concerning mixed marriages of Christian and Pagan, clearly sum up the issue of their children and if the Christian divorced the pagan, the children would become unclean. Augustine renders the Greek “hagiásō,” as sanctified. Although Augustine is correct in his rendering, the joining of baptism is not found within Paul’s instruction.
Paul’s use of “sanctification” (Hagiásō) “should not be construed to mean salvation. The unbelieving partner is set apart on account of the believing partner. The unbeliever comes under a special and direct spiritual influence and benefits from divine favor in the life of the believer. As long as there is contact, there is hope that the unbeliever will turn to faith in Jesus Christ. The point of the passage is that in such a marriage the believer is not defiled by the unbeliever, rather the unbeliever is sanctified by the believer.”

Additionally, ”ἁγιάζωb (hagiásō) denotes the causing of a quality of holiness in contrast with ἁγιάζωa (53.44) which means the dedication of someone to the service of or loyalty to deity.”
Therefore, Paul’s usage of “holy” or “sanctified” cannot find a relationship with the action of baptism and can only be seen with the association of being within the spiritual influence of either one or both Christian parents. Accordingly, the child did not receive baptism nor can this portion of Scripture demonstrate proof that children were always baptized, even if one of the parents is Christian.
The questions of why would Augustine knowingly change the meaning of Scripture when he held its authority so high? The answer could very well be found within his own writings. Writing about doctrine: “If … a man draws a meaning from them that may be used for the building up of love, even though he does not happen upon the precise meaning which the author whom he reads intended to express in that place, his error is not pernicious, and he is wholly clear from the charge of deception.”
Augustine may have taken an opportunity, knowingly or unknowingly, to find support for the protection of the mother he held so close to his heart. Isaac Hinton eloquently comments: “One of the most touching arguments for infant baptism is, that it is the duty of Christian parents solemnly to devote their children to God; and there is something plausible in the plea, that the parent is bound by his own act in thus consecrating his child to God in that holy ordinance.”
The thesis of this paper was the discussion of Augustine’s misrepresentation of “conferred faith” within the tradition of infant baptism. His neglect for apostolic wisdom within scripture and his misconstruction of Paul’s teaching in 1st Corinthians 7:14. Building upon the church’s tradition of infant baptism, Augustine gained ownership of the brutally high rate of infant mortality, and focused on constructing church doctrine in support of the conferral of faith from a Christian to a non-Christian, enclosing the doctrine of original sin.
The investigation discovered two crucial obstacles. The requirement of openly confessed individual repentance and faith, never conferred by another; as Peter declares “Repent and be baptized” (Acts 2:38).
Secondly, if conferral of faith is possible, Augustine acknowledges only partial salvation can occur as “the sacrament of baptism is one thing, the conversion of the heart another … salvation is … the two together.” Showing the unviability of infant baptism within the church and its contradiction to apostolic instruction; being useless in any salvational objective regarding the infant’s soul.
Third, Augustine’s use of Paul’s instruction upon the holiness of children, pointed to the Greek “hagiásō.” Through observation we found “the point of the passage is that in such a marriage the believer is not defiled by the unbeliever, rather the unbeliever is sanctified by the believer.”
Therefore the conclusion presented; Augustine in his fight to defend the church enveloped the practice of infant baptism in accepting the unscriptural practice of another speaking for the child. However acknowledging the sacramental process requires the participation of the Lord’s Supper. Therefore, rebirth is not complete and at best only partial salvation could occur. The Father “eyes are to pure to look on evil, and [He] cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Hb 1:13), and a drop of sin within the soul forbids entrance into “Abrahams arms” (Lk 16:22).
Augustine created doctrine, saving the Orthodox Church from falling into heresy. However, his misrepresentation of scriptural instructions to support unscriptural church practices concerning infant baptisms spiritual regeneration, cannot be overlooked. The Catholic argument for infant baptism is compelling, nevertheless unreliable in its proof.
For further study of this issue I suggest the following reading and study:
Aland, Kurt, Did the Church Baptize Infants? Eugene, OR: Wipfand Stock Publishing, 2004.

Armstrond, John H. and Engle, Paul E. Understanding Four Views on Baptism, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 2007.

Atkins, E.M. and R.J. Dodaro, Augustine Political Writings, Cambridge: NY, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Jeremias, Joachim, The Origins of Infant Baptism: A further study in reply to Kurt Aland, Eugene, OR: Wipfand Stock Publishing, 2004.

Augustine, Confessions.

________ A Treatise on the Merits and Forgiveness of Sins, and on the Baptism of Infants.
________ On Baptism.
________ On Baptism, Against the Donatists.
________ On the Baptism of Infants.
________ On Faith, Hope, and Love.
________ Letter 28.
________ Literal Interpretation of Genesis.
________ The Sacrament of Baptism.
Augustine of Hippo, "Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount", trans. William Findlay and David Schley Schaff In , in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series, Volume VI: Saint Augustin: Sermon on the Mount, Harmony of the Gospels, Homilies on the Gospels, ed. Philip Schaff (New York: Christian Literature Company, (1888).

Bromiley, Geoffrey W., vol. 3, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised, Wm. B. Eerdmans, (1988; 2002).

Deems, Mervin Monroe, Augustine’s Use of Scripture, Church History, vol. 14, num. 3 (sep., 1945), (accessed on 13 April 2012).

Ferguson, Everett, Church History Volume 1: From Christ to Pre-Reformation, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, (2005).

Green, J. Baker, On Certain Points of Analogy between Jewish and Christian Baptism in the
Apostolic Age, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, vol. 10, (1882), (accessed on 12 April 2012).

Hinton, Isaac Taylor, A History of Baptism, from Inspired and Uninspired Writings, Roger
Williams Heritage Archives, (1846; 2003).

Louw, Johannes P. and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996).

Langner, G., Estimation of infant mortality and life expectancy in the time of the Roman Empire: a methodological examination, Hist Soz Forsch, 1998;23(1-2). German. PubMed PMID: 12178163,, (accessed April 24, 2012).

Pannenberg, Wolfhart, vol. 3, Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, (1991-1998).

Origen, Holilies on Leviticus.
Sparrow-Simpson, W. J., The Letters Of St. Augustine, New York, The Macmillan Company, (1919).

Schlatter, Fredric W., The Pelagianism of the "Opus Imperfectum in Matthaeum," Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 41, No. 3 (Sep., 1987),, (accessed April 4 2012).

Tertullian, On Modesty.
Zodhiates, Spiros, The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament, electronic ed. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, (2000).

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[ 3 ]. Mervin Monroe Deems, Augustine’s Use of Scripture, Church History, vol. 14, num. 3 (sep.,
1945), (accessed on 13 April 2012), 188.
[ 4 ]. Everett Ferguson, Church History Volume 1: From Christ to Pre-Reformation, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), 280.
[ 5 ]. Augustine Confessions 7.
[ 6 ]. Augustine A Treatise on the Merits and Forgiveness of Sins, and on the Baptism of Infants 1.21.
[ 7 ]. W. J. Sparrow-Simpson, The Letters Of St. Augustine, (New York, The Macmillan Company, 1919). 154-155.
[ 8 ]. Augustine A Treatise 1.5.
[ 9 ]. Augustine On Baptistm Against the Donatists 4.24.
[ 10 ]. Augustine On Faith, Hope, and Love 8.46; “Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise” Ps 51:50 HCSB.
[ 11 ]. Augustine The Sacrament of Baptism 3.19
[ 12 ]. Augustine Sacrament of Baptism 3.4.
[ 13 ]. Ibid.
[ 14 ]. Ibid.
[ 15 ]. Ibid, 3.23, 24.
[ 16 ]. Ibid, 3.33.
[ 17 ]. Ibid, 3.32.
[ 18 ]. Against the Donatists 4.25.
[ 19 ]. Wolfhart Pannenberg, vol. 3, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1991-1998), 264-65.
[ 20 ]. Augustine Baptism of Infants 1.70.
[ 21 ]. Pannenberg, Systematic Theology, 264.
[ 22 ]. Origen Holilies on Leviticus 8.3.11.
[ 23 ]. Augustine Literal Interpretation of Genesis 10.23.39.
[ 24 ]. Augustine Sacrament of Baptism 3.17.
[ 25 ]. Augustine Baptism of Infants 2.40.
[ 26 ]. Augustine Sacrament of Baptism 3.16.17.
[ 27 ]. Ibid, 3.18.
[ 28 ]. Ibid.
[ 29 ]. Ibid.
[ 30 ]. “When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept” (Gen 21:15-16).
[ 31 ]. Tertullian On Modesty 1.16.
[ 32 ]. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, vol. 3, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1988; 2002), 1010.
[ 33 ]. J. Baker Greene, On Certain Points of Analogy between Jewish and Christian Baptism in the
Apostolic Age, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, vol. 10, (1882), (accessed on 12 April 2012), 249.
[ 34 ]. Ibid.
[ 35 ]. Ibid, 261.
[ 36 ]. Augustine of Hippo, "Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount", trans. William Findlay and David Schley Schaff In , in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series, Volume VI: Saint Augustin: Sermon on the Mount, Harmony of the Gospels, Homilies on the Gospels, ed. Philip Schaff (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1888), 20.
[ 37 ]. Augustine Baptism 2.3.4.
[ 38 ]. Augustine Doctrine 41.
[ 39 ]. Augustine Letter 28 3.3.
[ 40 ]. Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament, electronic ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).
[ 41 ]. Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996).
[ 42 ]. Augustine Doctrine 40.
[ 43 ]. Isaac Taylor Hinton, A History of Baptism, from Inspired and Uninspired Writings (Roger Williams Heritage Archives, 1846; 2003), 148.
[ 44 ]. Augustine Against the Donatists 4.25.
[ 45 ]. Zodhiates, Word Study.

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