1. This fallacy involves a time division of the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation where there ought to be none. While there is a logical order that can be attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit in effectual calling, regeneration, conversion, justification, adoption and the beginning of sanctification, there is actually no time difference. The division made in these matters is never a time related one, it is a logical one to help our understanding.
This work of the Holy Spirit cannot in this circumstance be separated by a period of time, long or short. Once a sinner is effectually called and regenerated, that new life immediately expresses itself in faith and repentance, which brings about justification, adoption and the beginnings of sanctification. It is not possible for new life to be in the soul of a sinner, by virtue of regeneration, and that new life not express itself in faith and repentance. These are the first acts of a newborn soul. They follow on immediately from regeneration.
This division of time impacts upon what is known as the 'Order of Salvation' or 'Ordo salutis', which describes in logical order and outlines the inter-relationship between the various movements of the Holy Spirit in the application of Redemption. While dividing them into a logical order we must never forget the unitary nature of the work of redemption. There are parts which allow no time division.
Yet those who hold to this form of covenant succession believe that a child can be regenerated in the womb, or in infancy, and yet not come to faith and repentance until a time much later in life, maybe even years later. For them there is a time delay. Regeneration can have taken place, according to them, but faith and repentance does not take place to much later. This is not in keeping with the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul of a sinner.
2. If faith and repentance do not take place in the womb, then neither can regeneration take place in the womb. Faith and repentance are gifts from God, that are conveyed by the Holy Spirit to a sinner, through the preaching of the Word of God, Romans 10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Westminster divines acknowledged two other exceptions in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Chapter 10 on Effectual Calling, section 3 reads: Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth: so also, are all other elect persons who are uncapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
4. This fallacy undermines the place of preaching that God has ordained. The primary means of enlarging the kingdom of God is through the saving of the children of God's people. It is the children of believers, more than any other, who are under the influence of the Word of God. It would be no surprise that this is therefore the case. Furthermore, the chief means by which God saves souls generally is by the foolishness of preaching. Again this much is obvious from the Scriptures.
Therefore, if the kingdom of God is extended primarily from among the children of God's people; and according to this fallacy, these same children don't need the foolishness of preaching to save them; then the foolishness of preaching is not the chief means that God employs to save souls. The foolishness of preaching is a lesser means only to be employed in the presentation of the gospel to the heathen. Can this be right?