James White vs James White on the Atonement

Below is Dr. Flowers’ latest broadcast where he addresses recent comments Dr. James White made during a debate that seems to affirm provisional atonement.

TL;DW? No problem, here is a brief outline of the broadcast.

  1. Overview of provisional atonement
  2. Plays clip of James White explaining provisional atonement
    1. “If you end up under the wrath of God it is because you’ve rejected His provision for you and you’re justly punished for your sins”
  3. Flowers acknowledges that Dr. White probably misspoke
  4. Shows a Twitter exchange where Dr. White defends himself
    1. Points out that Dr. White regularly critiques other well-known Christians for what they say
  5. Plays a clip of James White explaining Limited Atonement which is the direct opposite of his quote in the debate
  6. Plays a recent clip of Dr. White addressing Dr. Flowers’ tweet
    1. When Dr. White has a good argument, he uses it. When he does not, he marginalizes.
  7. Critiques Dr. White’s boogie man fallacy.
  8. Critiques Dr. White’s red herring fallacies
  9. Brings the conversation back to the original quote in question which Dr. White does not address

456 thoughts on “James White vs James White on the Atonement

  1. rhutchin said:Let’s rephrase the question, “Did God, knowing those He would give to Christ, send Christ to die on the cross for those that God knew He would not give to Christ?”
    Richard replies: I’ll let you answer the question in light of these verses that put Limited Alonement to rest….1 Co 7:23  Ye are BOUGHT with a price; 2 Pet 2:1…even denying the Lord that BOUGHT them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

    rhutchin said:Don’t all Christian religions each have a set of beliefs that came long after the Canon of Scripture was closed? Calvinism is not unique in doing this, is it?
    Richard replies: No, surely not. The stakes and gibbets of church history cry out against the lack of Berean oversight. (Acts 17:11) Calvin is not known for a legacy of tolerance.

    rhutchin said: So, Richard appeals to mystery and says, I don’t know. That’s fine. So, why complain about the Calvinists when they drill down and try to resolve a mystery.

    Richard replies: Because Paul told us….2Ti_3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. We don’t need additional Calvinism’s gnostic teachings which contradict Scripture. We are thoroughly equipped long before TULIP came along….2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 
    2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. We don’t want to force a solution to mystery at the expense of conflicting Scripture.

    1. Richard citing two verses, “1 Co 7:23 Ye are BOUGHT with a price; 2 Pet 2:1…even denying the Lord that BOUGHT them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

      ! Corinthians 7 refers to God having bought the believing Corinthians, especially those who are slaves, “he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men…. ” It is God who bought the believers at the price of Christ’s death on the cross. They were called to become slaves of Christ. This verse restricts those who are bought by God to the believers, so no putting of L to rest here.

      2 Peter 2, has, “…there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them,….” Here false teachers infiltrate the believing community. They teach heresy to the believers. One of the heresies is that of denying the Lord who bought them. That the false teachers teach heresy demonstrates that they are not saved. It is while masquerading as believers that they teach the heresy that denies the Lord who bought them. Do the false teachers really believe that the Lord bought them? Of course not – they teach the heresy as they portray themselves as believers whom God has bought. They are not unbelievers denying that God has bought them but falsely portraying themselves as believers and then denying that God has bought them. I don’t see a problem for L in this situation.

      1. To rhutchin: We’ve obviously reached an impasse. I do have to commend you though on your novel interpretation as one of the finest ad hoc verbal gymnastics routines I’ve ever witnessed just to preserve a private theology.

      2. Glad you can see that now Richard. I think some of us did tell you that some Calvinist here will ignore most of Scripture and go round-and-round on a few verses that seems to be the filter for everything.

        For instance Jeremiah 18 not only crushes determinism and shows that God can change His mind, but it also renders non-biblical the Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9….

        “5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.”

        Same Potter example in Romans 9 where God tells the Jews that He can do a He wants (have mercy on who He wants) and allow the Gentiles in.

        But….. no….. none of the hundreds and hundreds of passages we bring up mean a thing to our Calvinist friends…. Just finish off every post with the Calvinist interpretation of John 6:44 and declare you are the only ones who get it!

    2. rhutchin: “Don’t all Christian religions each have a set of beliefs that came long after the Canon of Scripture was closed? Calvinism is not unique in doing this, is it?”
      Richard: “No, surely not.”

      OK. Could you name a Christian religion that does not have a set of beliefs that came long after the Canon of Scripture was closed?

      1. rhutchin said: OK. Could you name a Christian religion that does not have a set of beliefs that came long after the Canon of Scripture was closed?

        Richard replies: You’re missing the issue. It’s not only that beliefs came after the Canon was closed. It’s the quality of those beliefs. Do they pass the Berean test? Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. TULIP has failed the test as I have just demonstrated. Perhaps another Scripture could clarify the issue which renders Limited Atonement null and void. 1Ti 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ALL men, specially of those that believe. It can’t be any clearer than that.

      2. rhutchin: “Don’t all Christian religions each have a set of beliefs that came long after the Canon of Scripture was closed? ”
        Richard: “No, surely not.”
        rhutchin: “OK. Could you name a Christian religion that does not have a set of beliefs that came long after the Canon of Scripture was closed?”
        Richard: “You’re missing the issue. It’s not only that beliefs came after the Canon was closed. It’s the quality of those beliefs.”

        LOL! Then Richard asks, “Do they pass the Berean test?” Then, “TULIP has failed the test as I have just demonstrated.” Richard is a comedian.

        Then, “Perhaps another Scripture could clarify the issue which renders Limited Atonement null and void. 1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ALL men, specially of those that believe. It can’t be any clearer than that.”

        So, who does Richard think is the savior of “ALL men” if not God?? Of course, God is the savior of ALL men. However, Paul does not mean that is an Universalist who intent was to save ALL men. Them we have the phrase at the end, “…specially of those that believe.” That seems clear – God is the savior of ALL men but He will only save those who believe. That is Limited Atonement. It can’t be any clearer than that.

        Why does Paul add, “…specially of those that believe.” because of his statement in v1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”

        I don’t see that Richard has demonstrated anything substantive.

  2. I had thought we were at an impasse until a reread your comments
    jhutchin said: That seems clear – God is the savior of ALL men but He will only save those who believe.
    Richard’s response: You do realize that you have just admitted to unlimited atonement. So you can remove the L from TULIP. In addition you’ve admitted the false charge of universalism by Sproul et al doesn’t apply if Jesus is the Savior of ALL(Your emphasis)…but…he will only save those who believe. And the icing on the cake is that you’ve admitted salvation is CONDITIONAL…he saves only those who believe. So that means you can remove the U….hold on, we’re getting there….and while we’re at it you may as well remove the I, since grace can be resisted..Heb_10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. You can’t draw back if you weren’t first drawn forward. So that leaves you with TP, you’re a TP believer. That’s definitely an improvement.

  3. I had thought we were at an impasse, but then I reread the comments and can’t believe I missed it.

    rhutchin said: God is the savior of ALL men…but…He will only save those who believe.

    Richard replies: You have just described unlimited atonement. This erases the L, limited atonement form TULIP. This also renders the false charge of Universalism by Sproul et al void since only those who believe are saved. Additionaly, this eliminates the U, unconditional election since by your own admission, the condition of believing is required. On top of that , the I, irresistible grace is revoked because you can draw back from it. You can’t draw back unless you were first drawn toward…Heb 10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 
    Heb 10:39  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. So TULIP has been reduced to TP, a definite improvement.

    1. I agree Richard. And the T is dead (pun intended) illustrated by my reading this morning in Romans 8.

      Paul spends a lot of time telling us we are “dead” to sin and “alive to the things of the Spirit.”

      Calvinists tell us “dead” means incapable…. (but only before salvation. “Dead” to sin after salvation obviously does not mean dead-incapable).

      They tell us that the things of the Spirit are only visible and understandable if a person is regenerated.

      Paul says this in Romans 8:

      4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

      5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

      9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.​”

      [This passage talks about what I mentioned above. Then Paul goes on to say….]

      ​12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

      ​[If “brothers and sisters” live according to the flesh…..they will die? How does that fit Calvinism? It does not fit the T (dead cannot mean what they think!) or it does not fit the P (a “brother” can revert to the flesh and “die”.). The verse just does not fit Calvinism.

      Furthermore, this passages lays a condition that we need to “put to death the misdeeds of the body to live.”

      This whole passage is a Calvinism-buster.]

      1. FOH writes, “Calvinists tell us “dead” means incapable…. (but only before salvation. “Dead” to sin after salvation obviously does not mean dead-incapable). ”

        You miss the distinction between “Dead in sin,” and “Dead to sin.”

        Then, “​[If “brothers and sisters” live according to the flesh…..they will die? How does that fit Calvinism?”

        The distinction Paul makes is between those who live in the flesh and those who live in the Spirit. Earlier, Paul said, “​You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” Paul is speaking to people who are new converts and the influence of the flesh is still great. Elsewhere, Paul says, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” and “Flee sexual immorality,” and “flee from idolatry,” If a person thinks he is saved but finds that he still wants to live according to the flesh rejecting Paul’s instruction, then he will die because he has not been saved. So, John, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

    2. rhutchin “God is the savior of ALL men…but…He will only save those who believe.”
      Richard: “You have just described unlimited atonement.”

      Two aspects of the Atonement are described. God is the savior of all me – this denotes the extent of the atonement, God can save anyone He wants. God saves those who believe – this denotes God’s intent for the atonement. God does not intend to save all men but only those who believe. God knew who would be saved and not saved when He created the universe. I do not understand how you conclude “This erases the L, limited atonement from TULIP,” as God’s decision to save only those who believe (as you agree when you say, ” only those who believe are saved”) limits that which the atonement will accomplish and was always intended to accomplish..

      Then, “Additionally, this eliminates the U, unconditional election since by your own admission, the condition of believing is required.”

      The condition that one believe describes those whom God saves. To believe requires that one hear the gospel and receive faith, so Ephesians 1, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation;” Prior to that we know form John 6, “All that the Father gives Me will come to (i.e., believe in) Me,…” You are ignoring the totality of Scripture to get the conclusion you want.

      Then, “On top of that , the I, irresistible grace is revoked because you can draw back from it. You can’t draw back unless you were first drawn toward…”

      As John wrote, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” This relies on Jesus’ guarantee in John 6, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” Again, you are relying on tunnel vision to get the conclusion you want.

      It is your eisegeitical methodology that enables you to say, “So TULIP has been reduced to TP, a definite improvement.” Your dependence on eisegesis renders your conclusion void.

    3. rhutchin
      God is the savior of ALL men…but…He will only save those who believe.

      Richard
      You have just described unlimited atonement.

      br.d
      Please be advised part of Calvinism is the crafting of MISLEADING language.
      rhutchin here does not define the word “ALL” the way you are thinking.

      The Calvinist needs to somehow not contradict 1 Timothy 2:4 “God desires ALL men to be saved”

      Their doctrine is contradicted by this verse unless they can change the meaning of a word in the verse
      In this case they manipulate the meaning of the word ALL. to mean SOME with the caveat that those SOME men whom Calvin’s god desires to save are ALL comprised of Jews and Gentiles.

      So for the Calvinist the word ALL in this verse refers to ALL TYPES (i.e. Jews and Gentiles) of men – not ALL MEN per-say.

      That is how the Calvinist gets round this verse – and how rhutchin can make the statement above.

      Of course he’s not going to alert you to the fact that that is what he is doing.

      The Calvinist doesn’t care if you are mislead by his language – just as long as it works for him.

      Here is wisdom:
      Always remember Calvinist language is not a truth-telling language.
      It is a COSMETIC language designed to make Calvinism APPEAR acceptable.

    1. rhutchin: “God does not intend to save all men”
      Richard: “Please post the verse that says this.”

      Jesus said, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

      When Jesus says, “I never knew you:” the use of “never” precludes Jesus ever knowing them as we read in Romans 8, “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined…” By saying, “never,” Jesus precludes Jesus/God ever foreknowing them at any time in the Romans 8 context.

      1. TO rhutchin: Nowhere in your response does it say “God does not intend to save all men”. Please post the verse that does.

      2. Richard writes, “TO rhutchin: Nowhere in your response does it say “God does not intend to save all men”. Please post the verse that does.”

        LOL!! No, those precise words are not in the Scripture. I guess you don’t hold to things like the trinity or the rapture either because those precise words are not in the Scripture.

      3. rhutchin
        LOL!! No, those precise words are not in the Scripture. I guess you don’t hold to things like the trinity or the rapture either because those precise words are not in the Scripture.

        br.d
        Yes and immaculate conception, and transubstantiation.
        And don’t forget the golden plates translated from the original “reformed Egyptian” language. :-]

  4. rhutchin said: LOL!! No, those precise words are not in the Scripture. I guess you don’t hold to things like the trinity or the rapture either because those precise words are not in the Scripture.
    Richard responds: You answered correctly… Not only are the words (God does not intend to save all men) not in Scripture, but quite the opposite statement is….Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. In regard to the Trinity, that is found at Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Trinity is just a summary word for the triune Godhead. As to the word rapture, it is found in Koine Greek at 1 Thes 4:17 in its verbal passive form….ἁρπαγησόμεθα (harpageisometha) It transfers over to the Latin Vulgate as Rapiemur and is translated in the KJV as…shall be caught up….retaining the future tense. When people refer to the Rapture they are talking about its noun form, a specific event described in 1 Thes 4:17, and 1 Cor 15:52.

    1. Richard writes, “Not only are the words (God does not intend to save all men) not in Scripture, but quite the opposite statement is…….Trinity is just a summary word for the triune Godhead….When people refer to the Rapture they are talking about its noun form, a specific event described in 1 Thes 4:17, and 1 Cor 15:52.”

      Matthew 7: ““Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Since we are talking about words, what is the take away from Jesus’ use of ,”…never…”?

      We have, “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved….” and “I will declare to [some in the world], ‘I never knew you;” Do you want to take a stab at harmonizing these two verses?

      1. rhutchin said: We have, “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved….” and “I will declare to [some in the world], ‘I never knew you;” Do you want to take a stab at harmonizing these two verses?

        Richard replies: John 3:17 echoes God’s desire expressed elsewhere in Scripture….Luk 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. The question is asked, how does this harmonize with “I never knew you” from Mat 7:23. We need to be like the Bereans, which means our answer will come from the Scriptures…Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Mat 7:23 needs to be read in context with 7:21,22. The scene is the Judgment of who will enter his Kingdom. Praising the Lord must be evidenced by doing the Father’s will. Jesus’ message to those who instead practice iniquity is…I never knew you. That’s Jesus’ way of saying I didn’t buy your false profession of faith.
        The lesson is so simple, even a child can understand…Psa 19:7  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. Enter the Calvinist 1500 years later to answer the same question. He/she sees Act 17:11 differently….Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Synod of Dort daily, whether those things were so. Suddenly, “I never knew you” turns into “God does not intend to save all men”. A decision made before creation. The problem is there is no Scripture that says this. In addition, it turns God into a robot engineer, and contradicts a dozen other Scriptures. So, the lesson is let Scripture be the final court of decision. Defend God’s word in the Bible. Make Calvinism pass the Berean test.

      2. Richard writes, “Jesus’ message to those who instead practice iniquity is…I never knew you. That’s Jesus’ way of saying I didn’t buy your false profession of faith….Suddenly, “I never knew you” turns into “God does not intend to save all men”. A decision made before creation. The problem is there is no Scripture that says this. In addition, it turns God into a robot engineer, and contradicts a dozen other Scriptures.”

        Richard says “,,,I never knew you,,,” means “…I [never bought] your false profession of faith…” (Richard wants to water it down so I ramped it back up to reflect what Jesus said.) In saying “…never knew…” Jesus is saying that He did not know them even before they did any works – His assessment of the person was made before he did any works, So how does Jesus know that it was a false profession of faith without evidence (You shall know them by their fruits). No matter what age the person was when he made a profession of faith, Jesus says, “…I never knew you…” If Jesus knows that a person makes a false profession of faith when that profession is first made, then Jesus certainly knew that the person would make a false profession of faith all along. Thus, even from conception, Jesus never knew the person as Jesus would say to any unsaved person, “I never knew you.”.

        When Jesus says of the unsaved (the people in Matthew 7) that “I never knew you,” He reveals that God would not make any effort to bring the person to salvation (or at least, not any serious effort), and that tells us that it was not God’s intent to save the person at all. From Romans 8, we know that the person was not even called.

  5. rhutchin said: and that tells us that it was not God’s intent to save the person at all.
    Richard responds: Nowhere in Scripture are we told that God’s intent is not to save a person at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. So not only is God’s word added to, which we are explicitly warned against, Pro 30:6, but numerous Scripture verses are contradicted….Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me….2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Calvinists cannot have it both ways. They have to choose between God’s word or novel teachings of Calvin et al. 1Tim 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; not a hint of reporting Jesus saying…my intent is not to save some persons at all….zero.

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