> 2. I posed objection two as a difficulty in squaring the whole idea of
> imputation with how we typically understand justice. My argument was that
> we normally don't work things like that in our everyday holdings of people
> morally responsible. I mean how often do we allow a deal people made
> thousands of years ago to affect our moral standing with another party? How
> often do we allow it that the good or bad merit of others can be made over
> to ourselves? How often do we allow an innocent to be executed for the
> guilty? These are extremely counterintuitive and go directly against almost
> all of our moral practices, yet they stand at the heart of the Reformed
> understanding of the Gospel.
I reject that imputation and inheritance are foreign to our normal experience and practice. Actually, it is quite common in the parent-child relationship, so it should not be at all surprising in the Adam-mankind and Jesus-adopted children relationships.
Just some examples:
1. Children who are born to rich parents are born rich; children who are born to poor parents are born poor.
2. Children who are born to mortal parents will be mortal.
3. Children often inherit the genetic diseases of their parents. Children of parents with healthy genes inherit those genes.
4. The children of terrorist parents are more subject to have their house (along with themselves) blown up. (What is it like to be born the child of an Al Qaeda leader? Does the US military really have to wait until the wife and children are out before destroying the house in which a terrorist leader is residing? Do you think that the US military waits until everyone is out except the terrorist leader?)
5. Rich parents buy their children presents which the children never worked for; penniless parents can buy their children nothing.
6. Rich parents often open up a bank account for their children and put money in it for the children (a form of imputation), even though the children never earned it. Penniless parents do not do the same.
7. When a rich couple walks through an orphanage and selects a child, upon adoption that child is immediately rich, even though the child did no more to earn it than the next child that never gets adopted.
8. Parents are under no moral requirement to lay up money to the children of other parents, but they should lay up for their own children, "for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children." But their own children did not do some special work to receive this blessing.
Imputation and inheritance are alive and well in the real world we live and act in. We are very familiar with it in our moral practices. But some people try to suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
- J. Parnell McCarter