Where Do Babies Go When They Die?

For the longest time, I wrestled with the question regarding the eternal destiny of those who die in infancy. I had heard of an "age of accountability", but never with Biblical warrant. Later in life, I heard some Calvinists argue that all infants perish in hell, and others that only some infants are elected for heaven. Finally I have read what seems to me to be a biblically-sound and intellectually honest argument.

Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, offers such an argument in two articles that can be found here. The biblical loci of his arguments are in Deuteronomy 1:35, 39, 2 Corinthians 5:10, and Revelation 20:11-12. Essentially, he argues that the latter two passages teach that humans are not condemned by their state of original sin but by sins committed "in the body" (2 Cor. 5), that they are judged "according to their deeds" (Rev. 20) done in the context of one's "knowledge of good and evil". The Deuteronomy passage appears to give a positive example of this.

He also points out that this is not at odds with Reformed doctrine (to which he subscribes), pointing out that the Westminster Confession's statement that all elect infants are received into heaven does not predicate the condemnation of some. In fact, he argues, the Confession affirms the possibility that all infants are among the elect, the position to which he ultimately adheres.

Does anyone see strong evidence against this argument? Is this an inherently Reformed position, or do other theological traditions adequately provide for this understanding? Read the article and then let me hear your thoughts.

Popular Posts