[quote=justcatholic]Both John Calvin and St Augustine held to the position that unbaptized infants do not enter heaven at all.
Calvin did not believe this. See Institutes 4.15.22 (the very end of the section). He believed that the children of believers were saved whether or not they had actually been baptized.
[quote=justcatholic]Others have said that all infants are covered by the blood of Christ in his atonement. Others believe as I do, the scriptures simply do not say.
If you don’t know, then you can’t say what you said in your earlier post: “Whether the individual is an adult or a child, one needs to have a basic understanding of the gospel and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.”
Look at how your argument works. You say that infants shouldn’t be baptized because they have not been instructed in the Faith and have not believed in Christ. Then you say that only those who have been instructed and have believed can be saved. That means that infants cannot be saved, period. If infants who have not understood or (actively, explicitly) believed the Gospel may possibly be saved–if you admit that Scripture doesn’t say one way or the other–then you must also admit that Scripture doesn’t positively say that only those who understand and receive the Gospel are saved. If Scripture said that, your dilemma would be resolved and you would have to believe that all infants are damned.
But if you say that this only applies to adults, or if you say that in some way infants can believe (as Luther speculated and Calvin came very close to suggesting as well), then your argument against infant baptism falls.
I don’t see, logically, how you can maintain both: that Scripture does not clearly teach that infants are damned and that Scripture does clearly teach that infants should not be baptized.
But the main issue between you and I is not the fate of un baptized infants, but rather, do the scriptures reveal that infants were baptized at all?
Of course that’s not the issue. We both know that Scripture doesn’t say anything clearly about the subject one way or the other. Given that we don’t know if the jailer’s “household” in Acts 16 included infants (it’s highly probable that it did, but Scripture doesn’t say), or if they were also baptized (it’s possible that “they were all baptized” refers implicitly to the adults; I have to grant you that because I think this is true of many of the general passages to which you appeal), neither of us can appeal to the explicit teaching of Scripture. That’s where the consensus of Christian tradition and the analogy of faith come into play. The issue here is what do you do when Scripture is silent?
One thing the household baptism does teach us, and that is that conversion to Christianity was often a communal rather than an individual matter. That alone, I think, seriously weakens your argument.
The clear answer is no. Baptism was only administered to those who received the word of the gospel.
But given that this clearly did happen in groups at times, we simply have no way of knowing whether or not infants were included among those who “received the word of the Gospel.” You assume that they weren’t, but that’s due to your cultural prejudices and is not in the text.