Oct 6, 2008

Various Birth Models

1. Begotten by the Spirit without the word (regeneration), which produces a "womb" experience (conviction), which finally produces, mediately through the word, a "birth" or "deliverance" (conversion).

2. Begotten by the word in conversion but born in water baptism.

3. Begotten in time in the experience of salvation but birthed in the resurrection.

4. Begotten and birthing ("bringing forth") are equated in scripture.

I believe #4 and believe this is the view of scripture and the predominant view of historic Baptists.

"William C. Long in April 1893, wrote in the Advocate: 'We are begotten of God; we are born of the Spirit. These two events do not occur at the same time. We are begotten at conversion; we are born at the resurrection.'"

"It should come as no surprise therefore, that the Church of God (Seventh Day) based at Salem, West Virginia, still teaches a future birth at the resurrection. Their general belief is birth in three stages: 1. the natural birth at the time we enter this world; 2. birth at the time of water baptism; 3. the third birth at the time of the resurrection (see their booklet The Three Births)."


1 comment:

Ian D. Elsasser said...


I share your conviction that #4 is the Biblical teaching on the new birth. It seems to me that those seeking to explain the new birth upon the stages of birth (conception, gestation, birth) are pressing the biblical teaching beyond what is intended.

I also do not understand the position which speaks of initial regeneration giving way to the new birth (where the word plays a part in conversion) since the passages where gennao and its variants occur do not hint of such a division. The passages speak only of a birth (again, anew, from above, etc.) as a whole without any distinction in it. Regeneration is the new birth.