James White insists that most of the Arminians who he knows are inconsistent. He has never bothered to explain just precisely what they are inconsistent about, but he does insist they are inconsistent. In fact, he insists that most Christians are inconsistent about some things they believe. By inconsistent, I suppose he means unbiblical, as in, most Christians believe some things that are unbiblical. Perhaps he is right, or perhaps he is wrong. Regardless, he uses his argument about inconsistency to make a most fantastical leap in logic. He surmises that if you disagree with his assessment that an “inconsistent Arminian” is a brother, then you must be advocating for faith in perfect knowledge. This is absurd. Who said anything about perfect knowledge?
Must our knowledge of the truths about Christ be complete and/or perfect in order to have assurance? No, because not all propositions concerning the truths about Christ relate specifically to the atonement’s effectual nature.
However, must the truths about Christ that we do know about and do believe be consistent with Scripture’s propositions concerning the atonement’s effectual nature? YES! MOST ABSOLUTELY, YES!
Arminians are inconsistent about the effectual nature of the atonement What’s more, Dr. White admits this! He admits it! Consider his radio broadcast from January 21, 2014.
On the January 21, 2014 broadcast of his radio show, The Dividing Line, Dr. White stated the following, beginning at the 47:52 mark:
“From a human perspective, if atonement is simply something that makes salvation possible, and it’s something that we have to then work, it becomes a condition that has been fulfilled for us and that we couldn’t fulfill for ourselves, but now there’s other things to do. That’s not how the Bible presents the atoning work of Christ. To address the issue of the extent is to address the issue of intention. If it is a Divine act, if it truly is first and foremost the act of Father, Son and Spirit – a Triune act, then what the Trinity is attempting to accomplish in that act will be definitional as to its extent and it’s application. Extent and application become subsidiary issues to the primary issue of the intention of the Triune God. And if you see the atonement for what it is, it is the extension of Divine power. It is a powerful act. And so we have to ask the question, what did God intend to accomplish? And one side is, He intended to accomplish a hypothetical redemption that is up to us as to whether it’s going to have fulfillment or not. And of course we say that the intention of the Son and the Father and the Spirit is all perfectly unified, and as the Father has given a specific people to the Son, the Son dies for that specific people, the Spirit comes and applies that work to them at that point in time that the Father has ordained from eternity past. It is a Triune work. The gospel is Triune, and the atonement is Triune . . .”
Following this statement, Dr. White then makes his profession concerning inconsistency, and insists that “almost every single Arminian” he knows is an inconsistent Arminian.
What does Dr. White mean by inconsistent? Does he mean that most Arminians believe on one hand that Jesus died for everyone, and yet on the other hand believe that Jesus’ death really saves? If so, then Dr. White is a liar.
The problem is that this is not what any Arminian believes, consistent or otherwise. No Arminian on this planet does now or ever has believed that Jesus’ death really saves. What they believe is that Jesus’ death really saves IF YOU ADD YOUR FAITH TO THE DEATH! This is what Dr. White is ignoring.
Dr. White is begging the question. His fallacy lies in the fact that he is assuming the answer to his question. He thinks that because an Arminian claims people are saved by grace through faith, therefore, even though they claim Jesus died for everyone, what they also mean is that Jesus’ death really saves, because they claim salvation is by grace through faith. The assumption lies in the notion that when an Arminian says salvation by grace through faith, he means the same thing Dr. White means. He doesn’t. He means Jesus death alone really does save AFTER THEY HAVE ADDED THEIR FAITH TO IT!
In assuming this nonsense, Dr. White also assumes that when God converts a person, He sometimes leaves them bewildered and confused, their profession dumb and full of ignorance, because . . . well, Dr. White never gets around to explaining this either. I suppose he thinks that leaving a person confused and dumb concerning Christ’s death somehow glorifies God.
Regardless, it is absolutely idiotic to assert that to disagree with Dr. White’s question begging automatically infers a Hyper-Calvinist attitude or a belief that salvation is by perfect knowledge. Salvation is by grace through faith. To assert that faith has a real object, a real object that must be believed, is not the same as saying the object must be perfectly known. Dr. White is misdirecting Arminians away from the truth about God, while also attempting to wed God’s people to an idol. He must called to repentance.