Comments # 353 to 362
Addendum: there is more after # 362 and more after this one below.
As I wrote before at Beggar’s All, and quoted Anthony Lane, the problem with infant baptism that is ex opere operato in Roman Catholicism: “the teaching on grace is pushed back to a forgotten infancy” Anthony Lane, see below. Psychologically, infant baptism, especially the ex opere operato type of Roman Catholicism, tends to lead to a kind of semi-pelagianism in history from the council of Orange in 529 AD to the time of Luther and then dogmatized in the Council of Trent. Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, Calvin, etc. were recognizing the eclipsing of the doctrine of justification by faith alone in accordance with grace alone. In RC circles, if a baby was already baptized, then their whole life teaching that they are getting is assuming they are already in a state of grace (because they were baptized and it regenerated them), and that tends to short-circuit the need for teaching on the essense of the gospel in evangelism. (that they are sinners, condemned to hell, and need to repent and trust Christ, and that justification is by faith alone in Christ alone – not prayers to Mary or good deeds, etc.)
“Another problem with the Council of Orange was that it said that grace comes to the soul in water baptism and begins regeneration and heals the will so that one can choose. (ex opere operato) And most everyone by that time in the western culture was baptized as a baby, so, the need to understand sin, repentance and faith for the first time in one’s life was hidden and non-discernable; and people began to trust in their water baptism as a baby – that it saved them. Sad.
As Tony Lane wrote in his analysis of Orange in the section on the Council of Orange of 529 AD:
“The canons affirm our need for grace, but this grace is tied to the sacraments. Free-will is healed by the grace of baptism. With the grace of baptism and the aid and co-operation of Jesus Christ, we have the power to do all that is necessary for salvation, if we so desire. By this time infant baptism was universal, so the teaching on grace is pushed back to a forgotten infancy.” (Exploring Christian Thought, page 81)”Earlier comment on Semi-Pelagianism and the quote from Anthony Lane.