Christian Theologian Examines the Concept of the Age of Accountability

The Bible’s stance on the age of accountability and whether children are saved is debatable, according to a Southern Baptist theologian.

Stephen J. Wellum, professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and editor of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, argued in an article for The Gospel Coalition on Monday that an examination of the question may open the door to the possibility that “exceptional” cases of salvation are possible.

Still, Wellum, who is also an author, insisted that debating such cases should not push Christians away preaching the “normal” path of salvation.

“Most Christian traditions teach that children enter the world fallen due to Adam’s sin, but some argue children are not guilty before God until they knowingly disobey God’s commands. If the child dies before reaching that age, he or she receives salvation based on Christ’s finished work,” he noted.

“Once the child knowingly sins, however, they become accountable for their actions and have reached the age of accountability. At that point, salvation comes through conscious, active repentance and faith in Christ.”

When looking at questions relating to children’s salvation, along with the salvation of people who have lost their mental capabilities by no fault of their own, Wellum examined five specific points in the Bible.

First, he pointed out that humans are not only judged for their individual sin, but also as a result of Adam’s original sin of disobeying God.

“On the final day, no person will be able to say they were unjustly condemned or will be able to blame Adam for their guilt. All humans are under God’s righteous judgment due to Adam’s sin and ours,” he wrote.

Next, he argued that although God demands “obedience and devotion from each of his image-bearers,” those with more revelation will be “more accountable.”

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Source: Christian Post