Review of the james white vs. Jason breda debate





Debate Text Review



Kevin Reviews the Text of the Debate





The debate content below below is in black text. Kevin's remarks are in blue text below the debate content. The debate transcript was auto-generated and AI was employed to put it in paragraph form. Deviations from the original are not intentional.



Dr. James White's Opening statement





Time Stamp: 6:49



[JAMES WHITE] Well, good afternoon. It is great to be with you this afternoon. I am going to have to sort of whisper to you this afternoon. I hope that doesn't impact you too much. But the stuff that I've been fighting for seven or eight weeks decided to come back with vengeance today, so we will just deal with it as best we can. Our topic this afternoon is, I think, an extremely important one. There might be a few reformed folks out there who are hesitant to stand before an audience and affirm particular redemption or limited atonement. I am not one of them. I believe, and my thesis statement for this debate is, I believe that a consistent understanding of what Scripture teaches about the role of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in bringing about the self-glorification of the Trinity in the salvation of God's elect people requires and demands consistently an understanding that the atonement is in perfect harmony with the electing purpose of God the Father and the application of the Holy Spirit of God. You cannot have the Divine persons working at odds against one another.



"Scripture Teaches" is an oft used ploy to detract attention away from what scripture SAYS.



///"the role of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit"/// this invocation of the Trinity is a subtle implication that denial of what James is about to say constitutes a denial of the trinity. This is non-epistemic moral pressure to cave in to what he says following.



///"bringing about the self-glorification of the Trinity"/// - this is another subtle moralistic implication that rejection of what he says next will constitute a rejection of the trinity and rejection of the virtue of glorifying God. This is non-epistemic framing of the content that follows.



///"the salvation of God's elect people"/// - God's elect people are not always the beneficiaries of salvation. We see in Romans 11:28 that "the election" is a description of a people who are enemies of the gospel.


Romans 11:28 (KJV)
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.





///"the atonement is in perfect harmony with the electing purpose of God the Father"/// - The Atonement and the concept of election are never linked in scripture. The sprinkling of Christ's blood is linked to followers commitment to service (Exodus 24:1-8) in 1 Peter 1:1-2, But the death of Christ is Never linked to Augustinian/Manichaean-style election.



///"application of the Holy Spirit of God"/// - The Holy Spirit only seals those who believe:
Ephesians 1:13 (KJV)

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,


The Holy Spirit, thus, only places people "in Christ" after they believe:


1 Corinthians 12:13 (KJV)

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.


...and the saving action of God through the Spirit,


Titus 3:5 (KJV)

5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost


...is only applied to those who believe:


1 Corinthians 1:21 (KJV)

21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.



8:05 [JAMES WHITE] So, when we go to Scripture, we don't go to passages that are just in passing making a reference here or there that are not about salvation itself. When we go to Scripture and ask what it teaches about God's purpose in salvation, about soteriology specifically, and about the impact and effect of the atonement, we see that the New Testament gives us a consistent testimony on these particular subjects. We don't have a lot of time, so I want to just simply lay out for you the fact that one of the most important realities about the Christian doctrine of atonement in the New Testament is that Jesus, as our high priest, is both the one who is offered upon the cross as well as the one who then presents that offering before the Father as high priest. That's what the high priest did. Look at Leviticus chapter 16, on that Yom Kippurim, the day of atonements. He would take the blood of that sacrifice which had been offered, and he would go into the holy place, and he would sprinkle the Mercy Seat with that blood. Those were all pictures of the coming work of Jesus Christ. So, what that means is we have to bring together and keep together the Biblical teaching of what the high priest did. So it's not just the offering itself but then the intercession, the fact that the Son appears in the presence of the Father in our place and intercedes for us. What is He presenting? What is He doing? Is that some extra work beyond the cross? No, it is the presentation of that finished work. And that means we can look at what the New Testament teaches about intercession, and intercession is very clearly made for a specific people for one real reason: it always works. Anyone for whom the Son intercedes will be saved. And therefore, that intercessory, that intercessory work as part of the work of the high priest, once again shows the specificity of the work of atonement.



///"God's purpose in salvation"/// - the words "purpose" and "salvation" never appear in the same context in scripture. James White is conflaiting "purpose...of election" with the concept of salvation. The phrase "that the purpose of God according to election might stand" occurs in Romans 9:11, but that is a reference to the SERVICE of Jacob, as opposed to that of Esau. We cover in two videos that election in scripture is to service, not to conversion or being placed into Christ.







///"the impact and effect of the atonement"/// - See the BTF video: "Atonement MasterClass" (Click Here) for info on how the Bible actually presents these issues.



///"doctrine of atonement"/// - there Is no "doctrine of the atonement" in scripture. The Greek words καταλλάσσω (verb - to reconcile) and καταλλαγή (noun - reconciliation/atonement) are used repeatedly in reference to the reconciliation of "the world" (2 Cor. 5:18-20) to God. But there Is no "atonement" of a limited subset of humans. It behooves the reader to understand that atonement ≠ salvation.





///"Jesus, as our high priest"/// - Jesus, as high priest, goes back to the order of Melchizedek, and is not patterned after the Levitical Priesthood.


Hebrews 6:20 (KJV)

20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.


Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-2) hundreds of years before there was any Jewish Priest system established (Genesis 14:18-20).

Jesus isn't continuing what the Levitical priests did. He is superseding it by returning to something more fundamental (Hebrews 7:1-28).



///"presents that offering before the Father"/// - This is in accordance with a presumption of a transactional, legal concept of sacrifice. John Calvin was trained as a humanist lawyer, and these transactional legalistic presumptions come from the depraved, warped and murderous mind who first published his Institutes of the Christian Religion at the ripe old age of 27.


When considering who it was that NEEDED these sacrifices, look at the attitude of God the Father clearly revealed in Hebrews 10:


Hebrews 10:5–9 (KJV)

5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein which are offered by the law

9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.


It's much more likely that Rene Girard's insights are closer to the Biblical target with the concept of sacrifice. God is not some demanding ogre who needs to be satiated with sacrifices. Instead, these sacrifices were concessions to the warped and depraved nature of man whose attention could only finally be captured by the sacrifice of an innocent scapegoat. Christ did not die to change God's mind about us. Christ died to change our minds about God.


The Holy of Holies is more likely a representation of the inner self that cannot sin (Romans 7:17, 20 1 John 3:9) and is in union with God, more so than some overlording, demanding being who is completely unaccessible. This is why the death of Christ, which is analogous to the death of one's carnal self (Galatians 2:20) rent the veil of the Holy of Holies top to bottom (Matthew 27:51).



///"So it's not just the offering itself but then the intercession, the fact that the Son appears in the presence of the Father in our place and intercedes for us."/// - Here begins the erroneous conflation of the ideas of Atonement and Intercession. James White, who is historically quick to point out when he thinks two things are not "coextensive" here makes a huge conflation blunder with a presumption that the atonement and Christ's intercession are coextensive in their applications. This is very clearly not the case.


Atonement and intercession are two different words used in two different contexts. They sound different (In Greek and English). They are spelled differently, and they have different definitions. The Atonement is one thing. Intercession is another thing. It couldn't be any simpler if James White stayed up all night with a simpling machine.
The Atonement (as we pointed out in our Atonement MasterClass video linked above) is a referenced to the reconciliation of all things in the Cosmos to God (Colossians 1:20 2 Corinthians 5:18-20).


Another conflation problem that Calvinists (and unfortunately, many non-Calvinists) perpetuate is the idea that at salvation. It does not. As demonstrated in the above referenced video, the atonement is about Christ securing the title deed to the Cosmos. It's about Christ securing the kingdoms with which satan tempted him in Luke 4:5-8.


This is the reason that Christ can gather all things to himself (Ephesians 1:10) and it's why every knee will bow to Him and Every tongue will confess to him (Philippians 2:8-11).


As the only Lord and Potentate (1 Timothy 6:15) over the Cosmos, Christ is free to administer salvation (or not) in accordance with whatever parameters he sets. It is his prerogative. Calvinists seem to think that if God is in control then scripture is a misrepresentation of his administration. We, on the other hand, think that God being in control means the complete opposite. It means that God was not some blithering illiterate imbecile when he inspired scripture and that we can trust what it says because it's true.


With regard to the below passages, Calvinists think that God being in control necessarily means that the alterations of scripture in the right hand column must be the case. But we think that God being in control means that scripture is true as it stands. Calvinism is just clever post hoc rationalizations for why scripture isn't true.





Intercession is made by the Holy Spirit for the saints in Romans 8:26-27. Intercession is made by Christ after dying and rising again and sitting at the right hand of God in Romans 8:34.


So, to answer James White's question about intercession, ///"Is that some extra work beyond the cross?"/// The reverberating Y-E-S! cannot be answered loudly enough.


Calvinists often say that Christ secured the salvation of the elect on the cross. How could he have done that when he had not yet even risen again?


1 Corinthians 15:17 (KJV)

17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain ye are yet in your sins.

And how could their salvation be "secured" when no intercession had been done for them? Because that intercession of Romans 8:34 doesn't occur until after Christ is risen again and seated at the right hand of God. Christ's death and intercession are two very different actions that accomplish very different things.


Hebrews 7:25 (KJV)

25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.


I was very surprised that James White was the first one to bring up Hebrews 7:25, as this verse clearly destroys Calvinism. I was also surprised that Jason didn't pounce on this softball pitch that James so gently tossed in his direction. Later in the debate, I was bringing up Hebrews 7:25 on my phone and ribbing the people beside me that Jason needs to jump on this passage and use it to demonstrate the error of James White's position. But then James brought it up first, which shocked me like we were in some kind of upside down world, which is very often the case when dealing with ideologues, children, and people with cluster B personality disorders such as Narcissism.


Here's the screen shot from my phone from that afternoon:





It is crystal clear here that Christ saves those who come to him, not the other way around. It is clear that coming unto God by Christ is a prerequisite for Christ to save them and to intercede for them. It couldn't be any clearer if someone stayed up all night with a clearing machine.



///"it is the presentation of that finished work"/// - This is another of may places where Calvinists say phrases that sound good but are not in the Bible.


Many phrases such as...

- "Cleanliness is next to godliness"

- "God helps those who help themselves"

- "God will never give a person for than they can handle"

- "God hates the sin, not the sinner"


...are oft repeated by people, but are never found in scripture. This is not to say that just because a phrase doesn't appear verbatim in scripture means that it has no scriptural support. But many such phrases do not. Over time, these kinds of phrases build up and we wind up with an entire generation of cultural Churchianty built on the sandy foundation of pious sounding phrases that appear no where in scripture.


Calvinists, and many non-calvinists often repeat this phrase in church, "Place your faith and trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross."


This sounds great because Christ words on the cross, "It is finished" (John 19:30). However, it's highly debated exactly what Christ had in mind when he said this. After all, he wasn't even dead yet (by definition, speaking people typically aren't dead), and the "Gospel" of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 very clearly says, "Christ DIED for our sins according to the scriptures." It goes on to say that he was buried and that he rose again the third day, none of which had happened yet. Not to mention, the intercession which occurs at the right hand of God (Romans 8:34) could not start until Christ ascended back to heaven 40 days after the resurrection (Acts 1:9-11).

Christ hadn't even died yet, much less had he risen again. He had not ascended to the Father. He was not glorified and the Holy Ghost was not yet given (John 7:39). Pentecost hadn't happened. The apostle to the gentiles (Paul, Romans 11:13) was not even converted yet. Peter didn't know Gentiles could be saved if they weren't proselytes (Acts 10). The apostles were still going to the temple (Acts 3:1) where sacrificial offerings were still occurring (Acts 21:26). Jesus had not spoken to Peter yet (Acts 10:13), nor had he spoken to Paul yet (Acts 9:4), and he certainly hadn't revealed anything to Paul yet (Galatians 1:12). Christ still hasn't come back and made his enemies his footstool. None of the gentle church-era saints have been glorified. Christ hasn't gathered all things back to himself yet (Ephesians 1:10).

It's quite clear that Christ still had quite a bit left on his to-do list when he said "It is Finished," and much of that work is necessary for the salvation of people in the current era (March 2, 2024).


The only time "finished" and "work" appear in the same verse is in John 17:4 in Christ's prayer before his betrayal and crucifixion.


John 17:4 (KJV)

4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

And when he said this, there were even more things still on his to-do list. He still hadn't been betrayed officially. He still hadn't healed the man's ear the Peter cut of. He hadn't been whipped, scourged, crucified, etc...

We need to pay a lot more attention to the words and phrases we use and the words or phrases in scripture.

A moralistic manipulator can quickly make a person feel downright immoral or even stupid for questioning exactly what Jesus meant when he said "It is finished" (John 19:30), or when he said in his prayer that he had finished the word which God the Father gave him to do. But the truth is, asking these questions is part of exegesis and it's part of basic due diligence in reading and understanding scripture. Never let a gas-lighting spiritually abusive narcissist employ sanctimony and moralistic framing to make you question yourself when all you want to do is exercise thorough exegetical processes. The Calvinist will be standing there with a big STOP sign every time, because they don't want you to see what you will find at as a result of that process. They'd rather you just take their word for it. Toe the line to Brother Melms and check your brain at the door. You won't need it under Calvinistic guidance.



///"Anyone for whom the Son intercedes will be saved."/// - This is typical calvinist inversion of who, why, and the order. Hebrews 7:25 very clearly shows that coming to Christ is prerequisite to saving and intercession.


Hebrews 7:25 (KJV)

25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.


So, James' statement is inverted. A more correct statement would be, "Those who come to God by Christ will be saved and have Christ interceding for them."



10:17 [JAMES WHITE] Let's look to the Scriptures because my argument this evening is very much a scriptural argument. Turn with me to Romans chapter 8. You know Romans chapter 8, the Golden Chain of Redemption that is found in verses 28 and following. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew," active verb, that's something God does, it's not just taking in knowledge, "He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined, He also called, and those whom He called, He also justified, and those whom He justified, He also glorified."



///"Golden Chain of Redemption"/// - Yet another vomit inducing phrase from the kiddies in the sandbox who always talk about scripture but can't seem to say anything that aligns with it.


The words "golden" and "chain" never appear in the entire book of Romans.


The word "redemption" only appears once in Romans 8 and it's in verse 23 (Romans 8:23). Ironically, but predictably, this verse contradicts one of Calvinism's most central doctrines: Predestination.

Ephesians 1:5 clearly states that those who are already "saints" and "faithful in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 1:1) are predestinated to the adoption of children. This is not adoption to become a child of God. That's presumptive American eisegesis. If one were reading their Bible in order, they would have already seen in Romans 8:23 that the adoption is a future event for which those in Christ are waiting. It is the redemption of the Body. Calvinists (and many ignorant non-calvinists) think that adoption occurs at conversion. But that's not what scripture says. That's man-centered thinking. Romans 8:15-17 (same chapter, by the way) is clear that believers get the SPIRIT of adoption once they believe. But the actual adoption is the redemption of the body, something for which believers are waiting. Our western American evangelical doctrine is so convoluted people look at me like I'm the crazy person when I'm simply pointing out what the text says. So James White can moralistically bloviate against me all he wants and it won't bother me enough to even need a baby aspirin.


Getting into God's family is by the new birth - See John 1:12-13, and be sure to check the chart above. Adoption in scripture is something that those who are children by birth get later, similar to a coming of age, when one becomes and adult, receives their inheritance, a new toga, and the authority of their portion of the Father's domain or dominion. Galatians 4:1-7 shows that those in Christ are sons and are therefore heirs of the adoption which is future.


So, the one time that the word "redemption" does appear in Romans 8, it's in a verse that they completely don't believe. I can't help but laugh at this stuff, and it makes me wonder where the adults were when people were formulating this nonsense.







11:00 [JAMES WHITE] Why take the time to read this? Because it's the context of the legal court scene that is presented to us immediately thereafter, and it defines for us who the "us" in the verses that follow are. It's those who have been foreknown, predestined, called, justified, glorified. These are the elect of God. These are the ones in the preceding verses, "the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." This is a very specific group. "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?" Who can say these words? Can those who abide under the wrath of God today? Can those who are right now undergoing suffering, the punishment of their sins? This is before the final day, so we're talking about in a place called Hades. Are those who are separated from God, are they able to say, "If God is for me, who can be against me?" Who is this "us"? "He who indeed did not spare His own Son but delivered Him over for us all," if you're going to believe in a general, non-specific, impersonal atonement, you're going to have a hard time explaining "but delivered Him over for us all" because that's specific, that's speaking of a specific group. "How will He not also with Him graciously, or freely, give us all things?" And then verse 33 identifies us. We're talking about, "Who will bring a charge against God's elect?" There is the "us." It's God's elect. "God is for God's elect. Who can be against God's elect? He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him over for God's elect." This is the message being presented to us.



///"Because it's the context of the legal court scene"/// - This is a legalistic transactional view of the Atonement that views God as a courtroom official standing in judgment over his creatures. The original "Ransom Theory" of the atonement was held by early Christians such as Origen and Augustine. In this framework, the ransom was actually paid to Satan to free mankind from the guilt of sin. Later, the prevailing view became that God, not Satan was the entity demanding this payment. This is legalistic and transactional view of atonement held in immature theological frameworks. it is attractive to legalistic retributive people who are low in empathy and se others categorically rather than charitably. This view can serve as a mechanism of control over groups of people. James goes on to continue this legalistic and transactional view of the atonement in his comments below.


BTF recommends the work of Rene Girard on the Scapegoat theory of atonement which is in keeping with the concept that God is the source of agapic love in the cosmos, not transactional interactions.



///"It's those who have been foreknown, predestined, called, justified, glorified. These are the elect of God."/// - This is one of those times where we have to stoop down to the level of pointing out that simple reading comprehension can clear up a lot of (or really all of) Calvinism.


If James would keep reading just a few chapters he would see that "the election" is a biblical label for a group of people who are enemies of the gospel.


Romans 11:28 (KJV)

28 As concerning the gospel, they [Israel] are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
The word "elect" (ἐκλεκτός) appears in Romans 8:33.


Romans 8:33 (KJV)

33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect (ἐκλεκτός)? It is God that justifieth.


But it also appears later in the book:


Romans 16:13 (KJV)

13 Salute Rufus chosen (ἐκλεκτός) in the Lord, and his mother and mine.


If scripture isn't talking about Christ (Isaiah 42:1 Matthew 12:18 Philippians 2:7) or Israel (Romans 11:28) there is a CONDITION of being elect, and that condition is being "In Christ, in Him" or as it is said in this passage above, "in the Lord." When Calvinists conversationally reference Ephesians 1:4, they very often leave out the "in Him" from that passage. That simple little phrase creates all sorts of little problems for their fragile theological house of cards, especially considering Ephesians 2:12, which if Augustine would have continued to read, perhaps we wouldn't be having to waste so much time on this issue today.

Furthermore, ἐκλεκτός is not synonymous with salvation, as is clear from Romans 11:28, cited above. From the studies that we've shown on the YouTube channel for years, ἐκλεκτός is about service, not salvation.





///""the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." This is a very specific group."/// - Where are focusing on the implications of James' statement that "this is a very specific group." Calvinists are very bad about looking for placed to commit the negative inference fallacy. Later in the debate, Jason Breda appropriately mentions this fact several times.

Negative Inference Fallacy:
It is a syllogism error caused when taking positive arguments to erroneously infer a logically disconnected negative conclusion.


James is quoting Romans 8:26. The intercession of the Holy Spirit is a fringe benefit for those who are in Christ. This does not mean that there is an imaginary exclusionary barrier against people being placed into Christ. The whole sentient construct is a complete non sequitur.

The GMC dealership offers OnStar to those who buy their vehicles, and not to those who do not buy their vehicles. This does not mean that they have a pre-determined list of people who are not permitted to purchase GMC vehicles.

The way James White ties concepts together when he is talking to imply support for completely unrelated topics is pure obfuscation and creates technical debt.







///"If God is for us, who is against us?" Who can say these words? Can those who abide under the wrath of God today?"/// - ​Everyone was under the wrath of God at one point:

Ephesians 2:3 (KJV)

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.


John 3:36 (KJV)

36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him.


This does not work out so well for those who steak their view of ἐκλεκτός is equivalent to salvation and has all the saved "in him before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4).


Does James White think that no one else can get saved from this point forward? If not, what that means is that people who are under wrath right now will be "in Christ" later. James is making this exclusivist-sounding statement that make absolutely no sense. There is not reason why people cannot go from wrath to Christ. For logic of James' implication to be applied consistently, it would mean that no body else can go from wrath to Christ that isn't already there now. Again, the fact that these comments are even stated in public is embarrassing to Christendom.


As it turns out from Scripture, God is actually FOR quite a broad array of people:See the following:1 Timothy 2:4-6 John 12:32 Romans 5:18 Romans 11:32 2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 2:1 John 1:7 John 1:9 Hebrews 2:9 1 John 2:2 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 John 1:29 1 John 4:14 John 17:21



///"Are those who are separated from God, are they able to say, "If God is for me, who can be against me?"/// - Yup!

Ephesians 2:12–13 (KJV)

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.



///"He who indeed did not spare His own Son but delivered Him over for us all," if you're going to believe in a general, non-specific, impersonal atonement, you're going to have a hard time explaining "but delivered Him over for us all" because that's specific, that's speaking of a specific group."/// - This is the negative inference fallacy again. See the above explanation for that. See also the link provided above for more info on the Negative inference fallacy.


The atonement was for the cosmos (Colossians 1:20) and is not equivalent to salvation. The salvation God executes on those who believe (1 Corinthians 1:21) is just a small subset of what the atonement included. This is also covered in above comments.





///"There is the "us." It's God's elect."/// - Romans 8 is conveying benefits to those who are in Christ. It's a complete non sequitur to presume that this means there are unscriptural preventative measures stopping people from trusting Christ.



13:09 [JAMES WHITE] "Who will bring a charge against God's elect?" Here is the courtroom scene. God the Father is the judge. God is the one who brings down the gavel and says, "Righteous, just in my sight." Well, how can He do that? We know that we are sinners. How can He do that? Well, because, "While God is the one who justifies, who is the one who condemns? Who brings the charge against God's elect? Who can possibly succeed in doing so?" Because Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. So here's the intercessor. Here's the one who intercedes for those for whom these charges are being brought against them. It's Christ Jesus. And since He has died, then any penalty has been fulfilled in Him, and He has been raised, He is at the right hand of God the Father, and He intercedes for us because of His finished work in our place.



///"While God is the one who justifies"/// - God Justifies those who believe. He doesn't cause belief in those he justifies. Faith is counted for righteousness, which means there is nothing to be counted as righteousness if the faith isn't there as a pre-condition.

Luke 7:50 (KJV)
50
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee go in peace. (See Matthew 8:10 and Luke 7:9)


Romans 3:28 (KJV)
28
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


Romans 4:5 (KJV)
5
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.



///"who is the one who condemns?"///


John 3:17 (KJV)

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.


People are not condemned because of unforgiven sin. The are condemned because faith is the point of access to grace.


Romans 5:2 (KJV)
2
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


See the below videos for more information on these topics.











///"And since He has died, then any penalty has been fulfilled in Him"///

No. That's John Owen's double Jeopardy Argument, not scripture.



14:12 [JAMES WHITE] Anybody who says, "Jesus died for me," is borrowing Reformed theology to say that. If you know anything about church history, there have been lots of theories about the atonement. You have the ransom theory, and the recapitulation theory, and the moral government theory, and all these other things. But if you actually say, "Jesus died for me," you're talking about substitutionary atonement. And if that's substitutionary, then it must be personal, and it must correspond exactly with who the Father has elected unto salvation, and those who the Spirit brings unto salvation. There has to be perfect unity between Father, Son, and Spirit.



///""Jesus died for me," is borrowing Reformed theology to say that."/// - This is the most gas lighting thing that a Calvinist can say. Calvinists are PRECISELY the only group of Christians who cannot possibly know that Christ died for them.


The only way an anyone can know from scripture that Jesus died for them is if they believe the passages that clearly state Christ died for all.



1 Timothy 2:4-6 (KJV)

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.


John 12:32 (KJV)

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.


Romans 5:18 (KJV)

18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.


Romans 11:32 (KJV)

32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.


2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)

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.


2 Peter 2:1 (KJV)

1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.


John 1:7 (KJV)

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.


John 1:9 (KJV)

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Hebrews 2:9 (KJV)

9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.


1 John 2:2 (KJV)

2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.


2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (KJV)

14 For the love of Christ constraineth us because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.


John 1:29 (KJV)

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.


1 John 4:14 (KJV)

14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.


John 17:21 (KJV)

21 That they all may be one as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.



What do all these passage have in common? It's very simple. Calvinists do not believe any of them.

The only way a person can know that Jesus died for them is if they believe the passages that say Christ died for all and that he tasted death for every man (See the above references). The only way a person can know that Jesus died for them is if he died for ALL! That is the only way they have scriptural authority that Christ died for them. If scripture is wrong and Christ did not die for all, then there is no way that a person can know authoritatively that they are in the subset of people for whom Jesus did die, as opposed to the ones for whom Jesus did not die.

So, let's correct James White's error here. The only way that someone can say, "Jesus died for me" is precisely IF THE DO NOT BELIEVE REFORMED THEOLOGY. Nobody who affirms reformed theology can know from scripture that Jesus died for them. They can wish it. They can hope it. But at the end of the day they cannot know it from scripture, because they don't believe where scripture says "died for all" (1 Cor. 5:14-15), so there is no way they can know whether Jesus died for them. Thus, they have to look to their works or experience to validate their election for them. At the end of the day, they are like R.C. Sproul who said that one ultimately could not know for sure that they are elect until they die, since one's experience of "election" could just be evanescent grace.


The one way a person can say with scriptural confidence that Jesus died for them is fi they believe the scriptures that state Jesus died for all. Calvinists cannot know this.


The only way that James White's comments would be valid is if he said them on Opposite Day. Calvinists cannot know that Jesus died for them, and one would have to depart from Calvinism to have any assurance whatsoever that Christ died for them.



///"Jesus died for me," you're talking about substitutionary atonement"///
Of all the atonement theories James mentioned, he failed to mention the Scapegoat theory of atonement. Atonement ≠ salvation. Jesus died for all, but that doesn't mean that all people receive him (John 1:11 cf. Matthew 1:21 cf. Matthew 2:6.


Even with substitutionary atonement, there is no reason that the death of Jesus cannot be provisional for all people, as our Provisionist friends have so keenly pointed out.


If Calvinism were true, the only way one could know that Christ died for them is to know that they are one of the elect. When Calvinists are asked about this, they resort to their works and experience for how they know they are elect. And none of their answers account for why people like Derek Webb, Paul Maxwell, Josh Harris, Megan Phelps (all former Calvinists who left Christianity) are not among the elect, despite previously embracing reformed theology.


For those who just desire to have something "limited," it's more logical that glorification is limited and not atonement. Atonement is to all, but not everyone receives it (Rom. 5:11).
By the way, "received" in Romans 5:11 is active voice. What that means grammatically is that the receiver is doing the receiving. It is not passive as Calvinist ideology requires.


​There is no reason from scripture that the atonement is limited in anyway. Salvation is limited to those who believe. But the scope of the atonement is the entire cosmos (Col. 1:20). There is no scriptural support for any kind of limited atonement.



///"the Father has elected unto salvation"///
The father never elected (ἐκλεκτός) anyone to salvation. As we've shown over and over again in our YouTube videos, election (ἐκλεκτός) is to service, never to salvation.


There is never any place in scripture where any lost people are elected (ἐκλεκτός)

for salvation.


See our video linked above: Election: It's Nothing Like You were Told.


When we bring this up, some ignorant Calvinist will always mention 2 Thessalonians 2:13. This verse actually refutes Calvinism. See our video linked below for more information on that verse.





///"Spirit brings unto salvation"///

Not sure what scripture this is referring to. My guess would have to be John 6:44 since A. W. Pink says "It Is the Spirit that Draws." This idea is perpetuated in Calvinism. However, in John 6:44, it is the Father that draws, not the spirit. In John 12:32 it is the Son that draws. The "Holy Spirit" is the only member of the trinity that never draws anyone. The Spirit does the actions of John 16:7-11 to everyone (not irresistibly), but does not bring anyone to salvation in scripture.



///"There has to be perfect unity between Father, Son, and Spirit"///

As assessed by whom? James?

This comment is not an epistemically sound comment. Not to mention, Jesus (member of the trinity) prays to the father (another member of the trinity) not my will but thine.

The trinity is considered such a core doctrine, that it's easily to frame some in terms of the trinity with the implication that a person is morally inferior if they reject this doctrine because it's been tied to the trinity.

This is what Doug Gustafson has explained on our channel as "borrowing power" and later expanded into "borrowing attributes." With this phrase, James White is borrowing power from the trinity to back up his position which is an indication that his position is not scripturally sound.

He's trying to frame things in such a way as to imply that anyone who disagrees with him is denying either the trinity or the unity of the trinity. Thus, people are incentivized against conducting their own sense making to see how unsound his comments are. This is abusive, manipulative and narcissistic.







14:57 [JAMES WHITE] And so we have this one who intercedes for us, and as a result of the perfection of His work in our place, we then have the words, "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will affliction, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" Verse 37, "But in all these things, we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us." There is a specific redeeming, redemptive love that is seen in the courtroom scene that is the very foundation upon which the Gospel itself stands.



///"Perfection of His work in our place"///

Didn't James say earlier that Christ's work was already finished at the cross? James has been the only speaker so far, and he's done nothing but contradict himself.



///"There is a specific redeeming, redemptive love that is seen in the courtroom"///

There is so much wrong with every presumptive thing that James White says that it's tedious to unravel it all.

Do a search in your Bible app for "redemptive love" and see what it turns up. Love does not need a modifier. It doesn't have on tin scripture. Calvinists add modifiers to concepts when they don't believe the Bible.



///"the Gospel itself stands"///





15:32 [JAMES WHITE] So, keeping that in mind, turn with me to the book of Hebrews. And in the book of Hebrews, we have chapter after chapter after chapter arguing for the supremacy of Christ. The main message of the book of Hebrews is there's nothing to go back to. There's nothing to go back to, even though the Temple's still standing at this time. I think this is written before AD 70. There's nothing to go back to. Why? Because everything was pointing to Christ.



16:00 [JAMES WHITE] And so he begins to talk about the priesthood of Christ, verse 23 of chapter 7, after he has said in verse 22, "So much the more Jesus also has become the guarantee of a better covenant." The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing. But Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Without successor, the term refers to something that's not going to be passed on to someone else. He holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore, because of that, He is able—notice who has the ability, the power, the capacity—He is able to do what? To save completely those who draw near to God through Him. This refers back to who was it under the old covenant when the offerings were being made. The people had to come into the presence of the Lord. They became the congregation of the Lord when those offerings were made. They weren't made for the Amorites. They weren't made for the Babylonians. They weren't made for the Egyptians. They were specific under the old covenant. Therefore, He is able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, and only Him. Why? How does He have this capacity? How does He have this power? "Since He always lives to make intercession for them."



///"He is able to do what? To save completely those who draw near to God through Him."///

As we pointed out clearly, drawing near to God through Christ is a prerequisite to being saved by Christ.


I’m just overwhelmed by how James White just blankly says things that have absolutely no basis whatsoever. But he is very clever with his tone and posture, because even thought this doesn’t compute logically, the person hearing him gets the feeling that they have to disprove what he says in order to make a counter point. In other words, he shifts the burden of proof, not so much with words, but with tone, to make everyone feel in their body that his view is authoritative and has to be considered the default view until it is proven wrong. When, exactly the opposite is the case. James has to assert the validity of his own point and as soon as it’s shown that his statements aren’t backed by any text of scripture, he’s just wrong. No counter point needed. Hebrews 7:25 is a flat contradiction of Calvinism. Calvinism is an inversion of Hebrews 7:25.





///"They weren't made for the Amorites. They weren't made for the Babylonians. They weren't made for the Egyptians. They were specific under the old covenant."///


Genesis 12:3 (KJV)

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.


Jonah 3:5 (KJV)

5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
This is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Pointing out that coming near the sacrifice was a prerequisite for the application of the sacrifice is against Calvinistic doctrine, in which being elected would be the prerequisite.

And there is this make-believe emphasis on exclusivity here. It's always been a curious matter to me why Calvinists love exclusion so much and seem to get some kind of jollies from emphasizing it. But anyone from Rahab to Ruth to Naaman to the Ninevites to Nebuchadnezzar to the foreign proselytes in Acts 2 all fly in the face of Calvinistic exclusivity.


John 17:21 (KJV)

21 That they all may be one as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.


John 12:32 (KJV)

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.


John 6:33 (KJV)

33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.



17:45 [JAMES WHITE] Now, the high priest made intercession, but he always had to do so with what? The blood of the sacrifice. But what did we see in Romans chapter 8? And I believe Paul preached Hebrews in Hebrew, and Luke wrote it in Greek. That answers pretty much all the questions for me, as far as that is concerned. So, I think this is the same theology, but it's all from the Holy Spirit anyway. "Since He always lives to make intercession for them." The work of intercession is specifically for a specific people, and it results in their salvation. It does not provide a means it doesn't just simply make men savable. Notice the result is, "He always lives to make intercession for them," and that's the ground upon which He has the capacity and the power to save completely.



18:45 [JAMES WHITE] That's the perfection of the work of our high priest. And the author continues on. He then quotes from Jeremiah 31, the long section on the nature of the new covenant. This is a new covenant that will result in what? It will result in their forgiveness of sins. He will write His law upon their hearts. "I will be their God they will be my people. They will have forgiveness of sins, from the least to the greatest of them. They will know me." This is the new covenant, and He is the mediator of that new covenant.



19:21 [JAMES WHITE] So, who is in that new covenant? Then we have a continued discussion in chapter 9 about the new covenant. Verse 11, "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." Not having made it possible, He actually obtained it by His work. "For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" This is why He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the trespasses that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.



20:37 [JAMES WHITE] This is the argumentation of the book of Hebrews. It goes on. I can't read all of it. The time is very, very short. But it goes on to say in verse 23, "Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these." For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, mere copies of the true ones, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Who "peri hon"? Substitution, representation for us.



21:15 [JAMES WHITE] Nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to have suffered often since the foundation of the world. But now, once at the consummation of the ages, He has been manifested to do what? To put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. His sacrifice accomplishes the putting away of sin. And what's the result of this? Well, we see in chapter 10, instead of the ongoing, repetitious sacrifices of the old covenant, every year the high priest going in and doing the same thing, we have the singular one sacrifice. The old repetitive sacrifices reminded us of sin. The one sacrifice reminds us of the sin-bearer who takes our sin away.



22:12 [JAMES WHITE] The result, then, is when you have the citation from the Old Testament, "I have come to do Your will," verse 9. He takes away the first, the first will, in order to establish the second. "By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." We keep seeing the "we" and the "us" and a specific group. The Trinitarian nature of these things, the harmony of the Father and the Son in His perfect work, and then the application by the Spirit. It is plainly presented to us over and over again.



22:54 [JAMES WHITE] And then, verse 12, "But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified."



23:15 [JAMES WHITE] So let's make application. There are so many passages we could go to that talk about Christ's death for His people. When the angel announces, "He will save His people from their sins," and Christ's death for the church, people will come back and say, "Well, just because it's for them doesn't mean it's not for others." The issue of the subject of the atonement must always be, "What does it accomplish?" Because then we have a consistent answer for whom it has been offered. And when we look at what the Scriptures teach us on that subject, we have the electing grace of God the Father, the Son submitting Himself to the will of the Father on behalf of His people. Their sins are imputed to Him. His righteousness is imputed to them. That's how we have peace with God.



24:21 [JAMES WHITE] This is what the primary issues between us and Rome—Rome doesn't have a substitutionary atonement. The death of Christ merits grace from Rome's perspective, but there is no righteousness that is imputed to us, that is a perfect righteousness. And then, at the time that the Father has determined, the Spirit comes and makes real in our experience, by raising us from spiritual death, even though we're enemies of God at that point in time. And everyone in here, probably everyone in here, remembers when that was in your own experience. The Spirit of God raises us to spiritual life, and we come to understand what has been done for us long before we took our first breath. Even when God the Father knew us intimately and knew what our sins would be, the mountain of them, they were placed upon Christ in our place.



25:23 [JAMES WHITE] And so, Trinitarian harmony in the Gospel: the Father elects a specific people, the Son dies in their place, bears their sins in His body upon the cross, makes available to them perfect salvation through their union with Him, and the Spirit at that right time comes and takes that rebel sinner, that person in rebellion against God, and because of what Christ has been done, has done for us in our place, raises us to spiritual life. This is the testimony of the New Testament. This is the consistency of the teaching of the New Testament. It's glorious. And as the thesis says, the Reformed doctrine of the atonement is true and important. It's important because, since it's the work of the Triune God, it precludes any boasting on our part whatsoever. "Let he who boasts, boast in the Lord." That's the truth of the atonement. Thank you for your attention.



End of James White's Opening Statement





Jason Breda's Opening Statement



27:02 [Jason Breda] All right. Martin Luther, when he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517, began his thesis with these words: "Out of love for the truth and the desire to elucidate it," which means to make clear. And this is the same reason why we are gathered here today, as those who seek to know Him and make Him known. I want to thank Doug Wilson for moderating this debate today, and I want a special thank you to Jeffrey Rice, wherever he's at, for his hospitality and kindness. And welcome, brothers and sisters. It's good to be here with you, and I hope that you'll be edified by what we do. And thank you also to Dr. White for the opportunity to have this discussion. It's an honor, and I'm humbled to be given my understanding of the atonement. At the end of the day, what we're here for is to glorify God.



27:57 [Jason Breda] Well, in the spirit of respectful discourse, I wish to ensure everyone here that this debate is not about questioning the sincerity of anyone's faith. We're here to examine a doctrine and its validity regarding it being a Biblical position or not. My goal is for the Bible to have the final word. Now, the title of this debate, "The Reformed Doctrine of the Atonement is Biblical and Important," I think is slightly an unfortunate title because it does suggest that there is only one Reformed position of the atonement, which is not true.



28:29 [Jason Breda] It also presents itself with the position that a Calvinist, Dr. White, is holding to, that limited atonement is the correct position, and for someone like myself, a former Calvinist holding to an unlimited atonement, is not biblical nor important, or even a reformed position at all. However, did you know that scholars say that the first-generation reformers held to a universal atonement and, in fact, not just held to it but rejected limited atonement?



29:00 [Jason Breda] Many respected theologians and historians, such as Richard Muller, affirm first-generation reformers such as Luther and Calvin held to a universal atonement. Limited atonement wasn't a part of any reformer's theological framework until Theodore Beza, 23 years after Calvin died. And prior to Beza, most theologians, except for the exception of Gottschalk, a 9th-century monk, supported universal atonement.



29:27 [Jason Breda] When Gottschalk presented limited atonement, it was rejected by three French councils. So, I actually feel confident in telling you that the first-generation reformed doctrine of the atonement is biblical and important because it emphasized what the early church held on to and even what the early reformers held on to, which was an unlimited atonement.



29:47 [Jason Breda] I think it's insightful that the debate has continued to go on. A quarter of the Council of Dort rejected limited atonement a third of the Westminster divines rejected limited atonement. And I would admonish you to go into church history and catalog all of the Calvinists that have not held on to limited atonement. There, I think you'd be quite amazed at how many there actually are.



30:11 [Jason Breda] So, why are we here debating the atonement today if the church held to a universal atonement until the end of the 16th century? What's the whole weight of the limited atonement position? Well, several high Calvinistic theologians and writers like John Owen, Gary Long, and there are definitely others, support limited atonement. They have influenced the theory of it using philosophy and theological concepts which seem to present some strong arguments.



30:42 [Jason Breda] Dr. White supports and echoes ideas that are in works such as "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ" and "Definite Atonement," and of course, there are others for consideration as well. The main reason I think that limited atonement holds so strongly to men like Dr. White is the fact that it is the greatest theological position that supports Calvinism's highest theological position, and that is unconditional election.



31:09 [Jason Breda] All Calvinists agree on unconditional election, and I think limited atonement is just the newest theological theory to support the greatest doctrine for Calvinism, which is election, hence why I believe it has the credibility that it does. I've got two main points:


The first point is:


1. Limited atonement is logical, it's theological, but it's not biblical.



31:33 [Jason Breda] Limited atonement is a concept that aligns logically within the systematic of Calvinism, and while it holds significant in discussions, it's crucial to remember that any position, no matter how logical or theological it can be, needs to be discarded if it's not biblical. Our shared goal should be to interpret the text and let the word of God be the ultimate authority.



31:56 [Jason Breda] What truly matters is drawing understanding from the scriptures, not imposing our own interpretations onto it. Much of the arguments that support limited atonement stem back to Owen's book, and he presents theological and logical arguments, but they're not biblical.



32:13 [Jason Breda] Literally, every argument that Owen brings up in his book starts with a general principle that determines the outcome of his presentation before he takes you to the scriptures to support it. So, Owen uses a deductive approach to interpretation, not an inductive approach, and a lot of eisegesis.



32:32 [Jason Breda] A few primary examples are the Covenant of Redemption. This suggests that God the Father and the Son made an agreement before time began to elect where the Father committed to provide salvation only to the elect based on the Son's atonement. Despite the fact that this doctrine has theological language such as covenant and redemption, there's no direct mention of this language or this agreement in the scriptures.



33:00 [Jason Breda] Critics of Owen's work, not only non-Calvinists but also Calvinists like Swiss reform theologian Karl Barth, criticized Owen's theory, labeling it as Christian mythology. Owen also argued that universal atonement would imply Christ's failure as a savior since he intends to save all, but not all are saved. Thus, Owen concluded one of two options must be true: universalism or limited atonement.



33:28 [Jason Breda] But both positions are wrong. You've heard Dr. White discuss the Trinitarian harmony argument. Trinitarian harmony, as he mentioned, emphasizes the unity within the Trinity concerning redemption and how Christ's intercessory work only applies to the elect. I do see this as a smokescreen to support limited atonement. And we all believe that there's harmony within the Trinity. I mean, I think we all at least agree on that, that there is no disunity within the Trinity.



33:53 [Jason Breda] But my disagreement lies in the interpretation behind how White and Owen view God as working in redemption, how they are unified in redemption. Owen, the originator of this Trinitarian harmony theory, uses Romans 8:32 through 34 to support its findings.



34:12 [Jason Breda] I acknowledge the fact that Dr. White follows a similar approach to Owen. For Dr. White said in a podcast, "If you have a universal atonement, you must have universal intercession because if God knew from eternity who was going to be saved, and Jesus is interceding for all people, yet only the blood is applied to some, what is the purpose of that intercession for those who do not believe?" end quote. Now we, I know we already went through it,



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34:38 [Jason Breda] but, let's go through Romans 8:32-34 together again. "He who did not spare his own Son but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us." Which portion of this text that we just read displays the application of the atonement?



35:09 [Jason Breda] I don't see it. Do you see a pretemporal pact between the Trinity before time began? I don't. You must confess that this argument does involve the use of the negative inference fallacy, which is when someone draws a conclusion based on the absence of evidence. There's no evidence for the Trinitarian Harmony Theory suggesting the application of the atonement is here where it is not explicitly stated is a misstep for any biblical scholar.



The trinitarian harmony theory...the image is of a person falling in a pit, and on the way down, they are grasping on to anything they can hold onto to slow the fall.


The Trinity is a concept held in very high regard in Christianity. Thus, it's easy and tempting to borrow power from it to support any other doctrine one would like to put forth. This is equivalent to "pork-barrel" legislation in U.S. legislation. That is, a good and valid bill for something good will also contain funding for something objectionable. So when the bill is voted down because of the objections pork portion, they will be accused of being against the good thing that was the major portion of the bill. Accusations such as "you're against racial equality you're against women's rights You're against supporting veterans etc..." will doublessly ensue.


Here, the "Trinity" is the payload of the bill, and limited atonement is stowing away as a free rider. When the Bible believer rejects limited atonement on grounds of it being false, the Calvinist will then accuse the Bible believer of rejecting the Trinity since they've tried to secure "limited atonement" to the Trinity's coat tails.


That is the only reason this exists. There has never been a non-Calvinist who never heard of Calvinism and realized through the trinity that limited atonement must be correct. I literally NEVER happens that way. ​


It is always someone who is presupposing "limited atonement" who is looking for weightier, revered doctrines to which they can make it "stick." It's a child's endeavor.



35:38 [Jason Breda] We cannot allow Old Testament typology to trump New Testament statements of Christ's atonement and all the passages that support a universal extent. Charles Hodge, a Presbyterian theologian, rightly understood that the atonement unapplied saves no one. There needs to be an application, and there is a difference between the intent of the atonement, the extent of the atonement, and the application of the atonement.



36:05 [Jason Breda] Nowhere in scripture does it tell us that the atonement achieved equals the atonement applied. That concept is read into the Bible by those who adhere to limited atonement.


My second point is that:


2. Limited atonement is false because it misunderstands the biblical and
historical context of numerous passages and books of the Bible.



36:26 [Jason Breda] I have the time to draw out one example. There are these moments in the scriptures that I now refer to as "the dividing line of redemptive history," and I admit this is going to be pretty shocking for some of you because it was shocking for me as well.



36:40 [Jason Breda] Continuing though to look at Romans chapter 8:32-34, I want to show you that the biggest reason why the Trinitarian harmony theory fails is because it overlooks the broader context of the entire book of Romans and the specific audience Paul is writing to in chapter 8. Now, Just back up.



36:58 [Jason Breda] Paul's practice was to visit local synagogues and preach to the Jews first. This is the pattern laid out and recorded in Acts. Nine times in Romans, we see Paul repeat this phrase "to the Jew first and also to the Greek or the Gentiles." The Roman Church at this time transitioned from predominantly a Jewish church to a mainly Gentile church after the dispersion of the Jews in 41-53 AD.



37:30 [Jason Breda] So when Paul wrote this, most scholars agreed 57 to 59 AD is when he wrote it. And so the church would actually be primarily Gentile, with a minority of Jews coming back. Paul's letter to the Romans is much more than just a great theological book with gospel truths that we can glean from and apply. It is actually a letter of reconciliation between the Jew and the Gentile believers. It's also a theme we see all throughout the New Testament, and it's really beautiful once you see this.



37:57 [Jason Breda] And as I mentioned, there is a dividing line in the book "to the Jew first" and also "to the Greek." Romans 8 is not speaking to Jew and Gentile and every believer in general, as the Trinitarian harmony would suggest. Paul is actually speaking directly to his Jewish audience here in chapter 8, but not just chapter 8.



38:16 [Jason Breda] Actually, from chapter one all the way back. So not only if this is true, not only does this go against the Trinitarian harmony theory, it actually goes against the golden chain of redemption and who the elect are. So I tell you this is massively big. Let me show you why and how. If you turn back to Romans chapter 1, we see in verse 13 that there is an ambiguous antecedent.



38:39 [Jason Breda] Chapter 1:13, it says, "I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often planned to come to you and have been prevented so far, so that I may have some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles." Now, you must affirm that there is an ambiguous antecedent in verse 13. And this happens—when this happens, context defines who the audience is, and obviously, this is crucial for biblical interpretation.



39:11 [Jason Breda] Many scholars, as well as Calvin in his commentary, skip past or missed the ambiguous antecedent. And I do think this is how a flawed interpretation gets passed on to others, and they get popularized and then they get assumed on as the truth. Paul expresses in Ephesians and Colossians and also at the end of Romans his desire for all to understand the mystery of the Gospel, that the Gentiles are being grafted in.



39:33 [Jason Breda] If you go to chapter 16 of Romans, verse 25 and 26, in a paraphrase, it says, "the revelation of the mystery has been made known to all the Gentiles." Going back to chapter 1—sorry for the flipping around—verse 5 says, "Through whom we received grace and apostleship for the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name."



39:56 [Jason Breda] Now, it's interesting who's Paul talking to. Normally, Paul's letters open up with "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ," and someone else. Romans doesn't do that. He starts, "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ," includes no one else. But in verse 5, he says, "we have received apostleship to preach the gospel to the Gentiles." Who is the "we"? I don't think any apostle was part of his ministry to the Roman church.



40:18 [Jason Breda] He's obviously not talking about the Jewish Christians, he's not talking about the Gentile Christians in the Roman church, he's talking about him and the other apostles. Verse 6, "Among whom you also are the called." Interesting. Think about that when we go to chapter 8, who also are the called. Again, verse 5 states his apostleship, and then in six, he mentions "whom you also are the called," referring to the Jewish Christians who are also the called of Jesus Christ. This distinction is crucial.



40:50 [Jason Breda] If we go then to chapter 8, or before we do, sorry, if you look at the pronouns, every pronoun that Paul is referencing the Jews in the first eight chapters, every single one is in the first person, and usually, it's either directed directly to the Jews, or it is Paul including himself along with the Jews. Just 23 of chapter 8 is an example: "Not only this, but we ourselves also, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly awaiting our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body."



41:27 [Jason Breda] You see the "we" and the "our" language. Paul includes himself who had the first fruits of the spirit. The Gentiles? No, the Jews. The exegetical mistake made by many is assuming the inclusive nature of "we," "our," and "brethren" in chapter 8 applies to all believers, but 1:13 and the context indicates Paul is addressing his Jewish audience, the assumed minority in the church at the time.



41:54 [Jason Breda] So in chapters 1 through 8, there are 22 direct verses where Paul speaks directly to the Jews in the first person, and then he includes himself in that as well. But then chapter 9-16, interestingly, Paul's audience shifts. Look at verse three of chapter 9, "For I wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites."



42:19 [Jason Breda] To whom belong the adoption as sons, that's calling us back to chapter 8, and the covenant, and the glory, and the giving of the law, and the temple services, and the promises, who are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.



42:37 [Jason Breda] Do you see how Paul shifts from using "we" and "our" to now "his brothers," "his kinsmen according to the flesh"? There's a notable difference in how you see he's now talking directly to the Gentiles. He's teaching them what took place. Go to chapter 10, verse 1, "Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved."



42:57 [Jason Breda] Paul just ended chapter 9 by explaining why so many Jews are not following Jesus. Obviously, I think a very prevalent thought for the Gentile believers, it's because they did not seek it by faith, like we see in 9:32, they stumbled at the stumbling stone. They did not believe by faith, like Abraham, like Paul brought out in chapters 4 and 5. And so now he's communicating to the Gentiles whose desire and prayer is for God to save Israel. Go to 11:11, "I ask, did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, through their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious."



It seems that AI is filling in the scripture quotations with a version of its choice when it detects a passage being quote. I'll note that here, but will not take the time to correct or reword all the scripture quotations.



43:36 [Jason Breda] Now, the "there" and "them" represent the Israelites, validating Paul is not writing to the Jews in the first person anymore he's speaking and teaching Gentiles. Verse 13 of chapter 11, "I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry." Verse 28, "As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs."



44:04 [Jason Breda] Paul's message in Romans 8 is directed at the foreknown, predestined, and called Jewish Christians, assuring them of God's presence and desire for their salvation despite their possible wavering and doubts of God's love for them when so many Jews were not following after Jesus.



44:22 [Jason Breda] And so, understanding the Biblical and the historical context is crucial. Chapters 9-11, there are at least 15 verses where Paul speaks directly to the Gentiles in first person. The Jewish Christians needed to hear what Paul said in the first eight chapters, and the Christian Gentiles needed to hear what Paul said in the second half of the chapters.



44:45 [Jason Breda] And I think this revelation is phenomenal, but my goal is to just put a pebble in your shoe and now have you go back to the scriptures and verify for yourself. And so may we all study to show ourselves approved. Thank you for your time.



End of Jason Breda's Opening Statement





James White's Rebuttal



45:44 [James White] Okay, thank you very much, Jason, for that presentation, but I will have to confess I have never heard that perspective ever before in my life. I have never heard Romans chopped up into pieces like that ever before in my life. I don't know anybody in church history—it's funny, all of church history had this position, and you've got a different position—but I'm going to give you a presentation that's different than all of church history, seems to be an inconsistent position to take.



46:11 [James White] It seemed at the beginning I was hearing David Allen speaking. Much of the discussion about people I had never quoted. I didn't quote Calvin, I didn't quote Owen, I didn't quote any of these individuals. I gave a Biblical presentation. They're interesting to talk about I teach church history, so we do, but I gave a Biblical presentation.



46:29 [James White] It was said that the church held to Universal atonement, but the reality is anybody who knows church history knows that the early theories were things like the ransom to Satan theory, the recapitulation theory of Irenaeus, Christus Victor theory, and that the first full-length book on the atonement didn't appear until the 4th century. Those are the realities of church history. By the way, he said Karl Barth called it Christian mythology. I want to be called a Christian holding Christian mythology if I'm going to be called that by Karl Barth.



46:59 [James White] I went to Fuller, and oh, I got sick of Karl Barth, I truly did. We are told that Trinitarian Harmony is a smokescreen, you know, okay, um, but why? What was the fundamental argumentation? We heard nothing about Hebrews at all. I'm going to be really interested to find out how you chop Hebrews up into things that are for one group and one group. It seems this is the new thing by those who are trying to oppose reformed theology.



47:23 [James White] There's a guy out there who's saying Ephesians chapter 1 is only about the apostles up to verse 14, and all the rest of this kind of stuff, and now we're being told that the first eight chapters of Romans are addressed to the Jews, so the intercessory work of the Spirit of God for the believer is only for Jewish believers?



47:45 [James White] There is no way to even begin to try to make that a consistent methodology of exegesis. It is eisegesis on steroids. Think about what is being said here. When you look at Romans chapter 1, we were told that Romans chapter 1 verse 13 uses...and I don't know what Jason believes this means, but he made the assertion, and during cross examination, obviously, we'll get right into it, but I think what he said is an indefinite pronoun about, but I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren.



48:33 [James White] As if this is somehow indicating to us that when Paul's writing to the church at Rome, and that's what he identifies in verse 7, he says he's writing to all of those who are in Rome, beloved of God, called saints, and the whole point of Romans is that there's only one church.



48:59 [James White] The big emphasis he has, for example, Romans 3:23—we all know it, right? You all know Romans 3:23, don't tell me you don't know Romans 3:23—"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," right? If you look at it in context, what he's saying is "all" as in Jews and Gentiles together.



49:19 [James White] His whole point in Romans 3, see in Romans 1, he talked about sin. Romans 2, he applied it to the Jews. Romans 3, he then brings them all together. He uses a bunch of passages from the Old Testament to demonstrate that everyone, Jew and Gentile, is under the condemnation of sin.



49:37 [James White] And only then, halfway through chapter 3, can he then say being justified freely—who? Jews and Gentiles, everyone. He's writing this epistle to Rome because he knows just as he wrote to Ephesus, that you're going to have a church there where that word is going to go out. He knows the church at Rome is going to be most important in getting these things out to the whole world.



50:02 [James White] And therefore, they need to have a clear explication of the gospel. And so in chapter 3, he brings everyone to the point of being condemned for their sin. Their head is down, their mouths are closed, and now they are able to hear the message of justification by faith.



50:22 [James White] And so the rest of chapter 3, everyone, Jew and Gentile, justified by faith in the same way. Chapter 4, prove it from Abraham because Abraham was justified by faith before circumcision. And so faith has always been the way for Jews or Gentiles.



50:44 [James White] Application, Romans 5:1, therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Is that only Jewish believers? I hope that's not what's being said tonight, right? I don't think anyone's ever believed that. That's all of us. This is what the gospel is about. And so all the way through, you have Paul emphasizing what he doesn't want happening is what happened in Galatians in Antioch, where when the people come from James in Jerusalem, there's a split, and Peter won't sit with the Gentiles anymore, and he opposes him to his face.



51:23 [James White] And accuses him of not orthopodo, walking straight in accordance with the truth of the Gospel. That's his great concern, is that there's going to be a split, and you're going to have a Jewish Christian church and a Gentile Christian church. And that's why he says there is no distinction. And so everything that is said about the federal headship of Adam in Romans chapter 5, chapter 6, the application of how it is that you walk in grace as a result of being a Christian, how does that happen, how does that work out? It works out for Jew and Gentile the same because we're all indwelt by the same Spirit.



52:03 [James White] Chapter 7, the indwelling presence of sin—that same for Jews and Gentiles. And we get into chapter 8, the whole point is this is the capstone. This is the summing up of everything God has done in Jesus Christ. And to say that this is somehow for one specific group, who has ever believed that? I don't know of anyone who has ever believed that. I honestly have never heard that argument before in my entire adult life.



52:30 [James White] And I just ask you to apply that concept to the things that you are said. How it was said, for example, chapter 8, "However, you are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you." Is that only Jewish believers, or is that true of Gentile believers? That's all. Once you make the fundamental concern I have here is that the very thing that Paul was so concerned about is now being presented to us as a means of trying to keep Romans chapter 8 from informing us as to the audience of the redeeming work of Christ.



53:11 [James White] And I truly am amazed that that is what is being said. I don't know what else to say about it other than to point out that even if that were the case, which it is not, and there's absolutely nothing in the text that even begins to suggest such a radical interpretation, even if that were the case, that in no way deals with the actual thesis that we're dealing with.



53:39 [James White] Because if you're saying well, Romans chapter 8 is being written to Jews, and this is what God has done for them, are we saying that Jews stand before God on a different foundation and basis than we do? Isn't the New Testament teaching, doesn't Paul say to the Philippians we are the true circumcision who worship God in Christ Jesus? This Jew-Gentile division has been healed. That's what Ephesians is about. There is one body, there is one body of Christ. Don't divide it up.



54:16 [James White] You said, well, but he does address the Jews in Romans 2. Yeah, he does. He does address Jewish objections at that particular point in time. He does. But his application in chapter 3 is to both Jews and Gentiles. The idea of dividing this up and saying well that's not really relevant here, that's not really relevant there, is some of the most dangerous eisegesis I can think of.



54:42 [James White] Because you make this, you try to make this work outside of our little context here. You try to go out and apply this to Roman Catholicism and things like that, it all falls apart really quickly. You have to be consistent in your analysis of these things.



55:00 [James White] So what do we need to hear from Jason? Well, we need a whole lot more than what was asserted. I need to know when verse 13 says, "I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I often have planned to come to you." Okay, what about that? What is it that Jason thinks this is somehow dividing our audience up? So we're going to need to know more about that. Hopefully, we're certainly going to get into it in cross-examination, but hopefully in the rebuttal period, I'd like to hear more about that.



55:33 [James White] Secondly, in the rebuttal period that is going to be provided to him here in just in 5 minutes. We need to hear, what about Hebrews? What about the consistency of the message that we saw in Romans 8? And we find we can go to Ephesians, we can go to Colossians, we go to—there are all places, all sorts of places we can go. But what about the consistency of the presentation from Romans 8 with what is found in the book of Hebrews?



56:04 [James White] Now, Hebrews is written to Hebrew Christians, that's true, but all of the application is for everyone because it's talking about what God has done in Christ Jesus. To by that one sacrifice, how is it that Christ can save to the uttermost, παντελής, because He ever lives to make intercession?



56:29 [James White] Is there any distinction whatsoever in the intercessory work of Jesus Christ in regards to Jew or Gentile? I hope that the first thing Jason's going to say when he gets up here is, "No, there is no distinction whatsoever. I didn't mean to even begin to communicate that. How can you be so stupid? Why would you think that?" I hope that's what we hear because if it's not what we hear, what we're hearing is direct heresy.



57:00 [James White] It's direct heresy. It's fundamentally dangerous. We have to have a consistent message of the New Testament as to how it is we can have peace with God, and that is through the finished work of Jesus Christ in our place. And when you start dividing it up in that way, I don't even know what to say in response to something like that.



57:24 [James White] So back to the beginning, how do we determine the thesis of this debate? Well, it's been said, well, there's not just one Reformed view. This again goes back to David Allen got this stuff from the Amyraldian view. We could respond to it, we could talk about Roger Nicole's article about Calvin's view of atonement, we can get into all that stuff, but we don't have time to do that today, and that's not what the thesis was about.


57:50 [James White] The position I'm holding is the position that is defended and defined in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the London Baptist Confession of Faith. And that's what we need to be looking at today: what did Jesus Christ accomplish, and for whom? What is the result of His offering of Himself upon the cross of Calvary? For whom does He offer Himself, and how is that related to His intercessory work?



///"how is that related to His intercessory work?"///
When did this become part of the scope? He hasn't established from scripture how the relation to the intercessory word is relevant.



58:17 [James White] ​So we're going to need to hear from Jason, what does Jesus's intercessory work accomplish, and for whom does He intercede? If He's in the presence of the Father, what's He doing up there? Why is His presence before the Father? Why does that give Him the capacity to save forever and completely a particular people? What is it about that that makes that such an important accomplishment?



///"So we're going to need to hear from Jason"///
Stating what needs to be heard from the opposing side is standard debate tactics. It's not necessarily evil (as if there's any lack of that in the rest of JW's tactics), but it's a tactic that was not exploited enough by Jason, putting the ball (and the burden of proof) back in James' court.



58:49 [James White] That's what we need to hear for this to be something that will be perfectly relevant to all of us as we think upon this particular subject. And I thank you for your time.





Jason Breda's Rebuttal



59:51 [Jason Breda] Thank you, Dr. White. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. God is not a respecter of persons, and yes, Jew and Gentile alike. I think one of the things that gets missed here is that the emphasis I see through the first eight chapters is that Paul's main audience is directly to the Jews.



1:00:15 [Jason Breda] That does not mean that there's no applicable application for anyone who is not a Jew. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, yes, that is true. That's not just Paul talking to the Jews. You have to understand that there's a general message that can be given and applied to us.



1:00:34 [Jason Breda] We don't read the Old Testament this way. When we look at it as believers in the New Covenant, we don't read the Old Testament and say, "Well, that specifically applies to me." Not all of it does. It was directed for a particular people, but there are some applications that we draw from it, and what does God want me to do to honor and obey His word?



1:00:55 [Jason Breda] Dr. White brought up, where has this whole concept even come from before? There are several people, Romano Penna—I don't know how to pronounce the name—has a book called "The Paul the Apostle: Jew and Gentile alike." There is a Jewish scholar in biblical studies in Denver, Colorado, Professor Eisenbaum—I'm butchering their names, I'm sure—but they hold to this view amongst others as well.



1:01:33 [Jason Breda] Yes, is it the fan favorite? No, it's not. But is it something for an examination and a worthy look at? Yes, at the end of the day, that's what we're called to do, is to examine the text for what it says.



1:01:46 [Jason Breda] And the point is very clear that there is a first-person focus to the Jews for the first eight chapters, and it's not first person to the Gentiles until chapter 9. So that is evident right there. But if you go to chapter 7, verse 1 of chapter 7 says, "Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who are of the law—that the law is master over that person as long as he lives?"



1:02:14 [Jason Breda] So from 7:1 and on, the audience never changes. Paul tells us that he's speaking directly to the Jews right there. Those are who are under the law. Who's under the law? It's the Jews it would not be the Gentiles. And so the audience never changes until chapter 9.


1:02:33 [Jason Breda] ​Even if you want to say that you don't want to go all the way back to chapter 1, I would be okay with that, but I think the context is clear, 7:1 on, until 9:3, there's a direct connection to the Jews.



1:02:48 [Jason Breda] Phil Johnson, a good friend of Dr. White, said in his sermon titled "The Nature of the Atonement," that Kurt Daniel's book "The History and Theology of Calvinism" is the single greatest historical work on Calvinism. Even Kurt Daniels acknowledges that many that call themselves Calvinists take different positions to explain the universal and the particular aspects of the atonement.



1:03:12 [Jason Breda] Kurt confirms that Gottschalk was the first person to bring out limited atonement in the 9th century, and Phil says in his message, "Calvin himself had a view of the extent of the atonement that was far more broad and far more extensive than the average Calvinist today would care to recognize." At one point, Phil references a particular verse that has six different reformed positions. Just one verse has six different reformed positions.



1:03:37 [Jason Breda] So there's not just one position of the reformed doctrine of the atonement. And so I think that's pretty clear. And I know Dr. White believes in having a consistent theology you've heard that, and I've heard it throughout the years with him. And I think we should have a consistent theology, no doubt.


1:03:57 [Jason Breda] But if there is something that is very inconsistent, it is the reformed position of the atonement. There's just not consistency there amongst the reformed crowd. So which position is correct? I think there is a correct position within the reformed camp of the atonement.



1:04:14 [Jason Breda] But I would appeal that a universal atonement is the correct position. If you take out the philosophical arguments, you take away the theological bias, and you take away the need to fill in the gaps of Calvinism, I think what you are left with, in every text that tries to support limited atonement, is eisegesis, a negative inference fallacy. 1:04:36



1:04:36 [Jason Breda] I'll bring up something else in the remaining time, which is another thing that I see is very important for us to understand regarding the atonement, and that is the Old Covenant and then the New Covenant aspect. And there is another dividing line that I see here in John 3. Calvin said in his commentary on John 3:16, "Faith in Christ brings life to all," and that "Christ brought life because the heavenly Father loves the human race and wishes that they should not perish." You could read that directly from his commentary.



1:05:11 [Jason Breda] I bring up John 3 because I think there is significant importance. And again, just going with the theme of, I'm not doing this because I want to do this, I'm doing this because I see it in the text. John's gospel, 71 times, uses the word 'Ioudaios,' and I know I'm probably butchering that, but, you know, I'm not the Greek scholar like James is. But I see 71 times in the Gospel of John, chapter 1:11, there's an expression to the Jews, "Jesus came to his own, but his own did not receive him." Who are his own? That is the Jews. Calvin affirms this, "God was manifested in the flesh to the Jews."



1:05:51 [Jason Breda] And if you go to chapter 1, verse 12, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." We see in John 4:22 that "salvation is of the Jews." So there is a massive Jewish theme in John's gospel that I think we cannot deny.



1:06:12 [Jason Breda] But the dividing line is, where is this in redemptive history? Jesus's ministry and incarnation, we're still in Old Covenant. The New Covenant is not established until His resurrection. And so I see the dividing line in John 3:14-15, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."



1:06:41 [Jason Breda] We know the context of John chapter 3 Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, and He reminds Nicodemus about the serpent in the wilderness from Numbers 21:9, which says, "Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a standard, and it came about that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived." The provision was made to those who look to the serpent, and Jesus says just as Moses lifted up the serpent, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.


1:07:11 [Jason Breda] That's not the dividing line, just so you know. That just proves that the provision is provided to those who look to Christ that's the parallel. But God's provision has always been conditional. Just as the Israelites only had the death angel pass over them, there is a difference between the lamb being slaughtered and the blood being applied to the door. The provision didn't take place unless the blood was applied to the door.


1:07:35 [Jason Breda] Notice what Jesus says to Nicodemus, or what He doesn't say, I should say, is that Jesus does not tell him, "Repent and believe, Nicodemus." Why does He not do that? Because we, in John's gospel, He's telling Nicodemus, "You are the teacher of the law, and you don't understand these things. Don't you know that there's a promised New Covenant going back to Jeremiah 31:31? Don't you know that the Holy Spirit is promised? There are so many things that Jesus could have drawn out there maybe He did it's not recorded, but there's so many things that He could draw out to Nicodemus. He was speaking his language Nicodemus would have known these things."


1:08:12 [Jason Breda] And in John 4:23, Jesus also professes that the true worshipers of the Father will worship the Father in spirit and truth, and later says that those who would follow Jesus were true worshipers of the Father and that they would follow Jesus because they knew that He came from the Father.



1:08:31 [Jason Breda] This is the Jewish audience. The dividing line I see is in verse 14 and 15, where it says the Son of Man must be lifted up so that—conjunction—whosoever believes—condition—will have eternal life—provision. This is a future promise that the New Covenant is coming, salvation is coming to whosoever believes.



1:08:57 [Jason Breda] And you have to think, what is going on in Nicodemus's mind? How could God be stretching out His arms to the whole world? I thought He was here making the Covenant with just us, the Jews. 1:09:9



1:09:09 [Jason Breda] Hebrews 9:16 validates this when it says where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. Jesus had to die for the New Covenant to be established. And remember the first fruits in Romans 8:23, Paul is referencing the Jews. Jews were the first to receive the Gospel and salvation, but not all of them, only those that looked to God's provision, the lamb who takes away the sin of the world.



1:09:36 [Jason Breda] Remember Nicodemus, when he asked the question, "How can these things be? How can one be born again?" Jesus explains to Nicodemus that the Son of Man must first be lifted up so that whoever believes can be saved.



1:09:54 [Jason Breda] There's one verse that contains every aspect of the atonement, John 3:16, "For God so loved the world," the intent of the atonement, "that He gave His only begotten Son," that whoever, extent of the atonement, "believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life," application of the atonement. Intent, extent, and application, all in one verse.



1:10:17 [Jason Breda] And then look at verse 17, "The world," Cosmos might be the word, the phrase might be aorist passive subjunctive, which means an action taken without indicating its completion, "that they might be saved" is crucial to know because that shows us that God is not determining certain people to be saved, or else it would be communicated with an actual language, not potential language.



1:10:42 [Jason Breda] There is potential for people to be saved and have the blood applied to them if they follow God's provision. What is His provision? Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you follow in faith in Jesus, if you believe in the Lord Jesus, you will be saved. Faith is not a work it's nothing that we're earning. It is something that every man has the ability to do.


1:11:05 [Jason Breda] And if limited atonement is true, God wants people to worship Him in spirit and in truth. God cannot lie. Then why wouldn't He just tell us that the only ones who will believe are the ones that Christ atoned for? Why are there no verses that tell us that God's eternal decree is to elect certain people and that Christ only atoned for those people?



1:11:27 [Jason Breda] Even D.A. Carson would acknowledge that never in all of scripture does the word 'world' mean 'elect.' You have to change the definitions of words in order to make this fit, and I see that as a tragedy.



1:11:40 [Jason Breda] Fascinating that Martin Luther wrote a book called "On the Jews and Their Lies" when he was criticized for this for it being hateful rhetoric and anti-Semitic. Not only Luther but his hero Augustine wrote a book called "Against the Jews," and their disposition against the Jews and the great influence that both of these men had changed the course of Christian teaching and the way that people interpret the Bible.



1:12:10 [Jason Breda] I think that very much yes, so. I see the potential for someone to discredit the Jewish nature that we see that I've tried to bring out in the New Testament and reinterpreting John and Romans from a very individualistic perspective. It's very easy to read ourselves into the text.



1:12:30 [Jason Breda] In his opening, Dr. White talked about the verses that talk about Christ dying for the sheep, dying for his church, dying for his friends. The same use that Owen used to say a few select verses tell us that Jesus is dying for his church, people, sheep, etc., is the negative inference fallacy.



1:13:03 [Jason Breda] This would be like saying that all Orthodox Jews believe in Moses. Mr. Smith here is not an Orthodox Jew, so therefore, Smith doesn't believe in Moses. That's the same logic to say that Jesus died for the church is only the people of the church, those who are professing believers in Christ.



1:13:23 [Jason Breda] Same thing with sheep, same thing with friends. In fact, John 10:15 does not have an atonement context where He died for His sheep, especially not a context that speaks to the extent of the atonement. This is another example of starting with the premise and finding a text that you can make it fit. And this is the same case with every single passage that is used to support "limited atonement" which is why I don't hold to it.



1:13:40 [Jason Breda] Matthew 1:21 says that Jesus died for His people is not a reference to the elect in the sense that God predetermined people. Every time the Bible uses 'God's people,' it is a reference to the nation of Israel. Knowing Matthew had a very Jewish audience, this would make sense. The whole book starts out proving that Jesus is the Messiah to the Jews.



1:14:12 [Jason Breda] And so this is where I think I'll end my time. Thank you.



cross examination





James White Cross Examines Jason Breda:



1:15:22 [James White] Okay, Jason, do you have your opening notes with you?
[Jason Breda] yes.
JW: What did you specifically say about verse 13 of Romans chapter 1? It seemed to be absolutely central to your thesis. Um, could you... you said something about... I thought you said an indefinite pro... what did you say?
JB: Oh, Ambiguous? Ambiguous Antecedent.
JW: Okay, okay. So what... please explain to me. Romans 13 is central to your rebuttal of my position, and I do not understand why. Can you please explain why?
1:16:00JB: Okay, so um, if you look at the 22 verses that are from chapter 1 to the end of chapter 8, every time that Paul references the Jews, he's speaking to them in the first person. And so it starts with, um, who the audience is. Yes, he does open the letter like he does very much in a general sense, and this is not to say that the rest of, uh, anywhere in between Romans 1-8 is there not still a general sense because, as I mentioned, chapter 3:23, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Um, you, all of that, is still applicable to all people. Uh, but I think the major emphasis is that he's specifically talking to the Jews. And I think there's a principle from the way Paul practiced ministry. That is, he always went to the synagogue first. He always went to the Jew first.
JW: Okay, what... let's look at verse 13 (Romans 1:13). Um, and I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that often I have planned to come to you and have been prevented so far, so that I may have some fruit among you even as among the rest of the Gentiles. So the you is the Jews or the Gentiles? Or is it just the church at Rome?
1:17:15JB:I see that as, uh, the Jews. He's specifically talking to the Jews right there.
JW: That I may have some fruit among you also even as among the rest of the Gentiles. So he's actually... he's the Apostle of Gentiles, so he's saying even as among the rest of the Gentiles, that's how he's addressing them. How do you get Jews? The term "Jews" doesn't appear, right?
JB: Yeah. That's why it's ambiguous.
JW: And so the am... when you say ambiguous antecedent, antecedent of what? The "You"?
1:17:47JB: Yeah, so like if you go back to verse 5 (Romans 1:5), through whom we receive Grace and apostleship for The Obedience of Faith among all the Gentiles, for the sake of his name, verse 6, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ. Now he just gets done talking about specifically the Gentiles, his focus is to the Gentiles, he's a minister to the Gentiles, but among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ. So who are the "you also" when he just referenced the Gentiles? I think that's His Jewish audience. And, Just knowing Paul, he's got this idea of it to get the message to the Jews first. And knowing the they're coming back from the dispersion, and it's predominantly a Gentile church, and we know the contentions within Jew and Gentile, and wanting to have reconciliation between the two.
1:18:38JW: Okay, so it says through whom we received Grace and apostleship for The Obedience of Faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ. So you're making a distinction, and verse six then is about Jews as well?
JB: uh, yes. um hm.
1:18:56JW: Okay, um, alright. So what does any of this have to do with Romans chapter 8? If you admit that there's that it's not this kind of sharp distinction, then who is it um that Jesus intercedes for uh in verse 34 of chapter 8?
JB: um hm. And that's another thing too. Like, does Jesus only intercede for the for the Jews as my position would probably hold to? No, that's not the case. But who is his main audience, and who he's talking about here, who are the elect of God? I see that as the Jews contextually. And if you go back to chapter 7, as I mentioned In my rebuttal time, (quotes Romans 7:1) and so, the audience never changes.
1:19:51JW: Okay, so you believe that in Romans 8:33, who will bring a charge against God's elect, is to be understood who will bring a charge against Jewish Christians?
JB: Correct.
1:20:04JW: And when it says God is the one who justifies, then does God justify Jewish Christians differently than Gentile Christians?
JB: No, he doesn't do that differently, but it's just saying that he's trying to give encouragement, and we see that all through the rest of chapter 8. He's giving encouragement to the Jewish believers because, you gotta think that the gentiles now are the ones that are following Christ. Most of the Jews aren't following Jesus. And so, the contention and the idea is like, think about what the Gentiles are thinking. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah who is now saving the whole world, and how come most of the Jews are rejecting him? And with the persecution that's happening, we see that at the end of chapter 8, this is the context that I see...
1:20:54JW: Okay. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for Jews, who is against Jews?
JB: Yes, but you see, that's a statement where it is specific to his audience, but you can also apply it to the Gentile Believers as well.
JW: So you can apply it to the Gentile Believers. So who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who is the US?
JB: Well, I think he's specifically talking to the Jews. Does that mean that Jesus doesn't intercede for Gentiles? No, that doesn't mean that, but I think his main audience is the Jews.
1:21:33JW: What does intercession result in when Christ intercedes for someone? What is the result of that?

JB: Uh, I and this is this would be a good point to just make this statement just because I don't want there to be anything missed with anyone that listens now or or after when it's recorded is that you know we both work off of a different foundation of a of our theological premise.
Where I know that you would hold to God's Eternal decree for God the Father to elect a certain people and then Christ to atone for those people where my position is that Christ um that has provided the provision God's Eternal decree is that the gospel is the power of God into salvation and that the condition is on faith.
And Faith when it is applied, anyone that can and anyone that does apply Faith through Christ on Christ can be saved. That provision is what I just want to make sure that so people don't think that we're talking past each other.

1:22:25JW: Well, we seem to be talking past each other because I haven't heard what does the intercession of Christ at the right hand of the father actually accomplish?
JB: The intercession is applied to those who are in Christ. There's no Bible text that says Jesus is interceding for unbelievers. So I don't want to make that type of connection when the Bible doesn't explicitly tell us.
1:22:50JW: On what basis does Christ intercede for us?
JB: On the condition of faith. Those who have placed their faith in Christ are now redeemed they're now bought with the blood of Christ, now Jesus is applying the intercession. It's the same thing as...(interrupted)
1:23:08JW: Does the word faith appear in Romans 8:31 and following?

JB: No, but you have to interpret scripture and take the whole counsel of God.
JW: So when it says that he intercedes for us, the immediate context is his death and resurrection and exaltation, right? That's the preceding part of that very sentence, right?
JB: Yep. Yeah.
JW: Why wouldn't that be the basis of his intercession? Why would human Faith be the basis of how his intercession succeeds?
JB: Could you say that in a different way?
1:23:44Since verse 34 says Christ Jesus is he who died, yes rather who was raised who's at the right hand of God who also intercedes for us, that's all one action on the part of Christ.

JB: Um hm.
JW: So, where do you find a place to put in human faith that becomes the operational determiner of whether intercession actually accomplishes full salvation?
JB: Well, I don't know if I understand the question to well. You go back to verse one in chapter 8: there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He's obviously talking to, at least in a general sense, believers. That's true. That's applied to both. Now, again, I think he's specifically talking to the Jews, but that doesn't mean that that doesn't apply to any gentile believer as well. So when he get's to verse 34 (Romans 8:34), So who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is he who died, yes rather who was raised who is at the right hand of God who also intercedes for us. He's talking to Christians. He's talking to those who have already placed their faith and trust in Christ. And so, I don't see that Faith was purchased at the cross or the intercession was purchased at the cross. Or anything like that. I see that that is the condition...once faith is through the condition on the Lord Jesus Christ, then they are now saved. That is when the Intercession begins.
1:25:11JW: In Hebrews chapter 7, um, did I miss while I was taking notes something, did I miss your response to Hebrews Seven 8 nine and 10, or did you choose not to address it?
JB: No, I didn't. It's not that I didn't choose to address it, but I think that if you, if I'm coming from the position that the inter-, the intercessory work is not... I understand the logic and the consistency that you want to have within the systematic and which you hold to, and so I do like you know want to say like that's good that you want to be consistent in the theology in which you have, but I don't see uh, but we're working off of a different foundation.So if Jesus from eternity past, if God did decree that there is a condition that needs to be met, and that condition is Faith, and he's given us the ability of the will to then exercise faith on Christ, which is not a work, then we then through Christ are now redeemed because we have met that condition. And so...

JW: Hebrews..
JB: The whole argument...
JW: YOu're going on and on and on and on. Please just answer my questions. Hebrews 7:25 says therefore he is able to save forever those who draw near to God through him since he always lives to make intercession for them. Do you see a connection between the giving of intercession and the accomplishment of saving, παντελής, to the uttermost or forever?
JB: Uh, the way that you're connecting it, no,

1:26:46JW: No? Then please look at Hebrews 7:25 and uh, exegete that verse for me. Tell me how, why the first part of the sentence is not connected to the last part of the sentence.
JB: Yeah, well, I don't think I would be able to do the proper justice like today to do that. But what I'd love to do is to return to that at a later point in time and do a proper exegesis. I'd be glad to do that. So, I don't wanna...(interrupted)

JW: So, you're saying you will not exegete a verse? A verse that is specifically on the subject of our debate this evening?
JB: Well, Exegeting one single verse is going to be difficult because you need to properly understand the context, and the context truly matters. So, I'd rather have more study to do that first and then provide that kind of response. I'd hate to do a throwaway statement. I'm not trying to win an argument. I'm going to submit to whatever the text says, but I don't want to do that. I would rather give a proper response and do a proper exegesis.


It is not Jason's burden to demonstrate how things are NOT connected. It is James' burden to prove that they ARE connected, since that connection is the basis of his argument. This is called shifting the burden of proof. Being asked to prove a negative is a clear sign that someone is shifting the burden of proof, and it's alarming that someone with as much debate experience as James White would make such an amateurish mistake, and it's nearly equally as frustrating that is was not caught and called out on the spot.


Being asked to exegete a passage on the spot is a debate parlor trick. Proper exegesis takes hours. And it's the wrong verb. Exegesis is the study one undergoes to read an interpretation of a passage. Exposition is the verbal delivery and pedagogy of those findings to others. So it would have been good if Jason would have fired back with, "Do you mean 'exposition' since I will be verbally delivering the meaning of the text? Do you know the difference between exegesis and exposition? Or are you intentionally trying to ask an inappropriate question for the sake of debate optics?

​All that being said, the phrase in the middle of Hebrews 7:25, "that come unto God by Him," is a grand slam Calvinism killer. It was also a little frustrating that Jason didn't jump on that and exploit this glaring weakness in Calvinism.



1:27:55

JW: One last thing...two last things then. John 3:17...You made a claim about it, I hadn't brought it up but you you made a claim about John 3:17 in your rebuttal period and you made the assertion that there is something uncertain at the at the end of verse 17. Do do you remember what you said? When it says in order that the world might be saved through him. Do you know what a hina clause is Sir?


JB: Yeah, what's a hina clause...okay...well, I'm not going to give you a good definition that's probably going to be accurate, but I know of it, so..


JW: But you don't know what it is?


JB: I couldn't give you a good proper definition for it right now.



128:33

JW: Okay, last question, You mentioned, and I don't know why...you mentioned Luther's anti-jewish book that he wrote toward the end of his life correct?


JB: Correct.


JW: Were you attempting to say that that book somehow influenced some reformed dismissal of a focus upon Jews in Romans or somewhere else? Why did you bring that up?


JB: I think it could play a role. I mean the way that we understand the Bible and the way that we understand culture and things influences the way that we can read. I mean I don't know all the ins and outs of what was going on with Martin Luther or Augustine and so you can draw, like, why did he write the book? That obviously was something that was heavy and pressing in his perception of the Jews, and did that influence...(interrupted)



JW: Do you know that Luther held two very different positions on the Jews during his life?


JB: No. JW: You're not familiar with the pre-1525 Luther or the after-1525 Luther? How about Johann Eck? Do you know who Johann Eck was?


JB: I know I've heard of him but...(interrupted)


JW: you know...okay... all right thank you.





Jason Breda Cross Examine's James White:



1:30:01

JB: Do you believe that the atonement achieved equals the atonement applied?


JW: Not temporally, Obviously there is a difference between when the atonement was achieved and then when it is applied to individuals in regeneration. But the achievement does determine the application and the fact that it will be applied. There will be no failure of that achievement.


JB: So if one cannot suffer for the consequences of sin once the sins have been paid for, then how were the elect ever under the wrath of God at any point in time time after the cross?


JW: Once again, that’s actually an objection to the very idea that there could be a union of the people of God with Christ in his death. This involves again, and this is very common in certain philosophical and theological systems today: a rejection of the fact that the Bible tells us eternal things in one aspect, and temporal things in others. So we are told that we are seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus right now. But I’ve been watching some of you here eating food and I know you are not in heaven right now, especially by your eating. So, there is the now and the not yet. There is the eternal and there is the temporal. So how could we receive the damage of sin in our life? Because we are living in this world. And the forgiveness of that sin is what allows the Spirit of God to dwell in us. You see, the question also ignores something fundamental to the gospel: Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to us. Our sins imputed to him, His righteousness imputed to us. That’s why we have peace with God.



1:32:03

JB: So if people are rejecting the gospel, aren't they rejecting the God who first rejected them?


JW: I have no idea what that has to do with my presentation. I know exactly where all these questions are coming from. But, if people reject the gospel, are they not simply rejecting the God who rejected them? Again, this is coming from a source that refuses to hear the entire counsel of God, no matter how hard you try. And that is Romans chapter 5 says that we are in Adam. And you are either in Adam and hence receive from Adam what only Adam could give you which is death, or you’re in Christ. There’s two humanities: in Adam and in Christ. So the idea of Christ rejecting someone is just biblical blather. It is sin that results in just judgement upon all of humanity. And grace is the free act of God, where he saves individuals who deserve not to be saved. It’s not a matter of rejection. It’s a matter of acceptance of those for which there is no reason for acceptance outside of Jesus Christ.



133:15

JB: So if God's eternal decree was to elect a certain group of people to be saved and Jesus's atonement, isn't Jesus's atonement just the means to accomplish that end?


JW: Jesus’ atonement is central to the fulfillment of the decree of the Father and the application of the Spirit. So, I wouldn’t say “just” a means to an end, because it’s also the demonstration (with the second person of the trinity entering human flesh) of the tremendous love and condescension of God.



133:47

JB: Do you believe that the apostles properly understood the atonement? JW: Of course.


JB: OK, if the apostles did, how come it wasn't until the end of the 16th century that limited atonement became the position that was held to?


JW: Let me point out again have you read Irenaeus or...interrupted…


MOD: You are not allowed to ask questions.


JW: OK, alright. Thank you very much Pete, I will get you later for that...laughter...I can’t ask the question. So, if you have ever read or Irenaeus or Athanasius or Justin Martyr or any others, then you would know that there were numerous theories that were extremely unbiblical in the early church. I would simply say the apostles gave us Hebrews 7:25 which you can't tell us what it means but the apostles gave it to us and it remains true.


JB: I can tell you what it means is I would just rather...interrupted… JW: That's not a question is it? All right, see how that works both ways?


JB: If Christ paid only for the elect, did he truly abolish sin and death at the cross?


JW: Not only did he abolish sin and death at the cross, but he did so for people who are undeserving. If you're saying that he would have to do that in a universal fashion then you're missing the point. How is death and sin abolished in the unregenerate, in those who are not elect? That will be abolished in that great day of judgment when the books are opened and the judgment is placed upon them that is just for them. So no one gets injustice. You either get mercy in Christ or you get justice in Adam and in all of these situations, judgment will be done, death and sin will be done away with, everything will be summed up in Jesus Christ and in only one of those ways does God have freedom to actually act in his will.



1:35:52

JB: So, can you show me a verse that says Jesus only defeated death and sin for the elect or that he only died for the elect?


JW: In that terminology of course not, because what the Bible teaches is his ability to save to the uttermost those drawn to God by him because he ever lives to make intercession for them so that is the biblical utilization of terminology that teaches the conclusion that you're now asking about one of many places but that's one of them.



1:36:23

JB: Does limited atonement diminish faith to a commodity that can be bought?


JW: No.


JB: If that is correct understanding of language, doesn't the Bible, do you believe that the Bible uses that type of language metaphorically or literally?


JW: What type of language are you referring to?


JB: Faith, bought, ransomed... is it...interrupted..


JW: Depends on what the context is. Give me a text and I'll tell you whether it's being used metaphorically or not, But can bought be used metaphorically? Yes. It can be. For example, when Peter talks about false teachers being bought, the issue is bought with a price or not bought with a price. is it metaphorically in regards to God's sovereignty and using them, or is it a redemptive thing? You have to look at each context to to know what is being referred to.



1:37:17

JB: Do you affirm that there's a condition to the atonement’s benefits?


JW: A condition to what?


JB: The atonement’s benefits.


JW: Benefits? The atonement is one aspect of the entire work of the Triune God that brings about his self-glorification, the salvation of his people. And with us, that includes our regeneration our redemption, our adoption, faith, forgiveness, all of these things. They're all aspects of what God accomplishes in time in our lives that are based upon one act in history.


JB: so do you you affirm that Faith was purchased at the cross for the elect?



1:38:05

JW: The ability...again, faith is definitely a gift given to the elect...saving faith. That’s why it abides. When you say, “purchased,” in the broad sense that you have to deal with...a lot of people don’t think about this, but how is it that the Holy Spirit of God can even dwell with us who have abiding sin within us? The only way that can happen is if the atonement provides the basis upon which that can take place. So, you could say, in a sense, that it’s purchased in the sense that the barriers to the presence of the spirit in our lives are taken away. Because our sins are imputed to Christ, His righteousness is imputed to us.



1:37:56


JB: Charles Hodge stated that there is no grace in accepting a pecuniary satisfaction. That it can’t be refused. The moment the debt is paid, the debtor is free and without any condition. Does that not undermine grace and a genuine offer?


JW: I would have to look at what Hodge is talking about, what was the topic, what he was addressing. There’s no context there for me to work on. I can guarantee you one thing: the effectiveness, and sufficiency and perfection of the work of Christ is the very essence of grace. Not something that undercuts it.



1:39:18

JB: Do you adhere to the double payment theory that if universal atonement is true, that there presents itself a double payment as [-----] adhere to?


JW: I’ll go ahead and answer the question even though I would just point out my presentation is not really being dealt with, even in the cross examination questions. But do I believe that is an an appropriate observation to say that if Christ, if the wrath of God due to sin X has fallen upon Christ so that he has suffered and borne it in its totality, then to take that punishment and place it upon the person who committed it and upon Christ both, would involve a fundamental injustice on God’s part. That wasn’t my argument, but if you want to go there…


JB: No, I was just curious. So you affirm it, or no, if that is true.


JW: Well, like I..I think I affirm it. I don’t what terminology you’re using, I don’t know where you’re getting this stuff, and I just simply say that...There’s a certain professor that used to be at Southwestern Baptists Theological Seminary that I refuted many times on my program, and the categories that are used in that material are frequently erroneous.


JB: OK. That’s what I got.





James White Closing Statements



1:42:46 [James White] Thank you for your attention this afternoon to this very important subject. I simply have to summarize by saying that my argument has been utterly ignored. There was no exegesis offered. Instead, an overarching, highly unusual, utterly indefensible theory was presented as if that's enough to undo the teaching of Romans 8 or Hebrews 7-9 and the other passages that I could have gone to. But I wanted to make this a biblical argument, You didn't hear me quoting Calvin. You didn't hear me quoting Hodge. We can debate those things, we can read read Roger Nicole's article and stuff like that, and I can guarantee you I have read far more on this than my opponent and those who have been giving him information. I can assure you of that, but that's not why we're here this evening. That's not what this debate was supposed to be about. This debate was supposed to be about what the scripture says, and during the cross examination I brought us to the very text of the word of God and I said, “what is this saying.” It it is clearly, without a question, one of the most important verses on this topic. It's specifically on atonement, it's specifically on intercession, it's specifically on the audience that is in view from the biblical perspective. I was told I'll do it later, we'll do it at some other time. I do not understand that. I do not understand why you would take a position on a subject when one of the key texts of the scripture on that very subject you refuse to touch. I will be very honest. The debate ended at that point from any meaningful perspective. It really did and you may say well you you should just leave that to everybody else.



1:44:40 [James White] Listen to me the concept of Christ's atonement is not just something that should be subject of debate it is central to the definition of the Gospel. I have said for years that most people's understanding of the cross, they derived from hymns, not from the Bible. They're emotional, they're not biblical. And the result is a degradation of our worship and a degradation of our theology. Only a matter of days ago I stood in front of an even larger audience than this and debated a very sharp Roman Catholic apologist in the subject of purgatory. Let me tell you something. The fundamental assertions I have made about the sufficiency of Christ's work as Sin Bearer so that his righteousness, not just the taking away of my sins, but his positive righteousness his fulfillment of the law can be imputed to me as the grounds of my peace with God. That is the issue with Rome, and the perspective presented tonight makes hash out of how you respond to Rome.



1:46:01 [James White] I hope this is not presented to a sharp Roman Catholic. They would have a heyday with it. You say, “you sound pretty serious.” Yes, because I don't believe these debates are about what we do for a couple hours in an afternoon at a conference. I've seen people come out of the Roman Catholic system because of the debates we've done over the past 30-plus years because we have consistently presented the sufficiency of the work of Christ and no one can make heads or tails out of the idea that, well, you know the first eight chapters are about the Jews and then you divide this up there and then you know I've got this this guy on YouTube who's saying Ephesians chapter 1 was just about the apostles and you're just left going, “do you all realize the results of what you're saying?”



1:46:55 [James White] In Romans chapter 8, we were literally told that Romans 8:23 is about the Jews: “and not only this, but also we ourselves having the first fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves grown within ourselves eagerly waiting for the adoption as Sons, the Redemption of our body.” Let me tell you something. That ain't just for Jews that's not primarily addressed to Jews. Romans is addressed to the Saints at Rome, which included Jews and Gentiles. And if you try to start dividing that up, it's because you don't believe what Paul wrote to the Romans. That's why. Think about the cost. But we also ourselves having the first fruits of the spirit, we're talking about the spirit's work in the Primitive Church. Do you, as a Believer, have the spirit working within you when we pray that the church will come to understand God's truth and stand firm on it in the midst of a world that, because of its secularism, is challenging everything that Christianity stands for? What Foundation are you going to be standing on? You have to believe that we all have the first fruits of the spirit if you're even going to pray that God would work in his church in this way. Even we ourselves grown within ourselves, isn't that all of us eagerly waiting for our adoption as Sons, the Redemption of our body? That's language addressed to us all. It's astonishing to me. You go to John 6, you go to Ephesians 1, you go to Romans 8. Wow. I wonder why it is that people come up with ideas that this really isn't about us all. It is about us all, and the promises are ours. And I am so thankful that they are.


1:48:51 [James White] I want to say to Jason, I admire your bravery coming to a Why Calvinism conference to debate this subject, I truly do. But I just simply have to say that the theology presented to us this evening, I just have to, and as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that theology is not biblical, it is incoherent, and it's indefensible. And it will fundamentally the ability of anybody who holds to it to provide a meaningful defense of the faith. And I'm sort of focused on the fact that we need to be able to provide a defense of the faith. I said in my opening statement and I gave the biblical Foundation: God the Father elected a particular people in Jesus Christ, the atonement is not some impersonal thing, the elect is not some impersonal group that we decide whether we're going to get in or out of it, we were chosen in him before the foundation of the world, predestined to be conformed to His Image. That's God the father's right. He has a people, he gives them to the son, and he says to the son save them perfectly. And how does the son do that? Incarnation, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, enthronement. The grace flows from the father. It's accomplished in the awesome work of the son and then, aren't you glad that God and His patience didn't wrap things up 20 years after the cross? That's what Peter's talking about when he talks about God's patience is that the elect are still being brought in. And yet that beautiful hymn says it right. My name was written on his hand when he died.



1:50:57 [James White] He knew, he knew me, he knew my sin, and he knew he was bearing my sin in his body upon the tree. Can you imagine that? Without that, you have an impersonal atonement. Without that, you have the Roman system, you have sacraments, you have work salvation, you have all sorts of things that man has come up with because man doesn't want to have to go—it's all of God and none of me. The only thing I contribute to my salvation is what? What's the famous saying? My sin, my sin. That is absolutely destructive, destructive of human pride and arrogance. And so, man works hard to create systems. The message of Scripture is that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together have brought about the perfect redemption of God's people. This was not merely a provision this was an accomplishment. And that was the dividing line, even at the time of the Reformation. It's the dividing line between grace and non-grace. The scriptures have been clear. What are we going to do with what their testimony is, is what I have to ask each one of us. I personally glorify God and I'm thankful that Jesus Christ accomplishes perfect Redemption on the cross of Calvary for each one of us. God bless you, thank you.




Jason Breda Closing Statements



1:52:55 [Jason Breda] Well, thank you, Dr. White. I do want to acknowledge the fact that James is very well versed in the form of debate, and I can clearly see where I lack in some of those things, but that's not why we're here. We're here to defend what the Bible says. And I think it's funny that he mentioned defending the faith when anyone that's not a Believer can't do that if God doesn't give them faith. They can't actually defend anything if God doesn't give it to them to defend. I do have to acknowledge the fact that if there's anything that I say that is contrary to Dr. White, that it's not biblical. So, it's just the nature of the way things are, and I get that.



1:53:51 [Jason Breda] I want to talk to you really quick about Paul in his writing to the Corinthian Church chapter 2, he makes the following Proclamation and says this, "And when I came to you Brothers, I did not come with superiority of word or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the witness of God, for I am determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." When Paul preached, he preached as if all could receive the Gospel, all could have the blood applied to them. He persuaded people, he pleaded with people to turn to Christ and believe on the finished work of Jesus on the cross and that it is accomplished for them. Think about for a moment what it means to preach a gospel that no one knows if it is efficient or effective at all. And I do have to say that this is how I see Calvinism presenting the gospel because if you're honest, this is how you have to preach it. You can't tell someone that Jesus died for them. You can't tell somebody that he was buried and raised for them. You can't tell somebody that he defeated sin and death for them and that Jesus is the propitiation for them, offering hope, a genuine offer of Hope in the gospel on the Lord Jesus Christ. If the position of limited atonement and I should add unconditional election is true, you can't share the gospel this way because it puts you in a position of potentially lying to someone who is going to spend all eternity in hell because Jesus didn't atone for them and the father didn't elect them.



[Jason Breda] There is no genuine offer that can be given. You CAN preach a message that says God MAY save you you MAY have the wrath of God satisfied for you if He has predestined you. You MAY have the blood applied to you, and you MAY have Jesus interceding for you if God preordains that to happen. You can preach a message like this, and I think that would be consistent in the systematic. I see this as, if that is the truth, this makes salvation based, not on the finished work of Jesus on the cross and his perfect sacrifice for us, but it’s based on God’s eternal, predetermined election. Which, again, as I stated already, makes Jesus just the means to accomplish the end for which anyone is actually saved in Calvinism, which is election. Jesus Christ is not the life, election is.


1:56:22 [Jason Breda] Paul did not go around and proclaim to people, “I’m determined to know nothing among you except of God has preordained you from eternity past. And neither should we. We should say, “I am determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. That’s the message that we preach. The message of reconciliation, the message of genuine hope in the gospel. The message of "whosoever believes." Will you trust the Savior today he will change your life, he will give you a new heart and new affections, he will give you the Holy Spirit, he will never leave you or forsake you. Today is the day of salvation. If you repent and believe, the genuine offer is there and you can do that in the gospel message.


[Jason Breda] I want to share really quick the theme of jurisdiction and what actually Christ did at the cross. We see in Hebrews 5:7-8, contemplate for a moment the concept of Jesus appealing to his father who heard his son's prayers and supplications even with fervent loud crying and tears, despite having the power and the ability to intervene and save Jesus from impending death on the cross. The father chose not to and this shows the profound obedience of Christ through enduring immense suffering. Why did Jesus have to die? Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, so death spread to all men because all sinned." And upon reading this verse, what captures your mind and attention the most? I think for many of us it would be sin, however, I am more inclined now to think of it being the word death. For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Jesus our Lord. A theologian and historian named Bruce DeMooris said in his work, "The Cross and Salvation," the following words: many patristic and church authorities before the time of Anselm interpret the atonement as a cosmic victory over death. This dramatic or Ransom Theory which depicts God triumphing over enslaving spiritual forces was the dominant view of the church for the first thousand years. The emphasis was not on Christ bearing sinners' penalty, AKA substitutionary atonement, or the propitiating God's wrath, both are true I fully affirm, but upon his act of delivering believers from enslaving powers and his victory over death. Christ is the Victor. Jesus had to die and rise again to take back the jurisdiction of death's power. Just very briefly, look at how this theme runs through the Bible. God, in the beginning, Adam was bestowed upon him dominion and jurisdiction over the entire earth, particularly the garden, but regrettably, Adam's transgression resulted in death for all. God forewarned Adam that consuming the forbidden fruit and the disobedience of it would lead to death. Fast forward, when God instructed Pharaoh to release his people, they only departed once Pharaoh complied. And think about that, that's very interesting. God warned Israel not to form alliances with any nation in the promised land of Canaan, but despite this, Israel was deceived by the Gibeonites into making a covenant, which God made Israel honor, and even though it was not his intention. However, 400 years later, when Saul broke the covenant, God held Israel accountable. David was anointed 10 years for king of Israel prior to him actually taking the position of King over Israel. So the concept of jurisdiction is a reoccurring theme all throughout the Bible, and I think it's important to see that.



2:00:19 [Jason Breda] Hosea 13:14 says, "Shall I ransom them from the power of the grave? Shall I redeem them from death? Oh death, where are your thorns? Oh death, where is your sting? He will swallow up death for all time. The Lord Yahweh will wipe away tears from all faces. When Jesus rose from the grave, he defeated death and the power of it in our lives. 1 Corinthians 15:21, Paul says, "For since by man came death and by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. Then comes the end when he hands over the kingdom to the God and Father when he has established all rule and all authority and power, for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. And the last enemy to be abolished is death. The Bible uses languages that sin and death are conquered at the cross. It is never used in anything that is contextually or grammatically assumes that sin and death are accomplished for the elect. In Revelation 1:18, Jesus says, “I am the first and the last and the living one. I was dead and, behold, I am alive forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and Hades. If Jesus truly did defeat death and sin only for the elect, my question to you is, did he truly abolish sin and death? Did he really do that, or is there a limit to him abolishing sin and death?



2:01:53 [Jason Breda] I’ll leave you with this. Hebrews 2:9 but we do see him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, Jesus, because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God he might taste death..for what?...for who?...for everyone. Everyone, brothers and sisters.



[Jason Breda] Now my biggest appeal to you is to do what every Christian should strive to do. Listen to the arguments that were presented, but to go and do your own work in the scriptures and to learn what the text says. Be a good Berean and you’re going to learn and you’re going to grow. And the positions that you hold to right now may not be the positions as you continue and press through the scriptures. And so my admonishment to you is to go and be a good Berean and to stand firm in the truth and to walk faithful to King Jesus. Thank you so much.





Audience Questions and Answers



2:03:04 MODERATOR: We're now going to move in our time into our time for questions from the audience and I have uh I've gone through the questions and I have separated them into three categories those that are directed to each debater and there are more are directed to you, Jason, I think that's just the nature of the audience, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a few for Dr White so we'll try to probably just even them out…



A minute to answer, 30 seconds for the other side.



Question for Jason Breda:

Jason could Jesus have died for the entire world and yet no one was saved because no one came to Christ and endured to the end of their own volition?



2:04:43

JB: I think there's that's the question in itself is problematic and I do understand that you you're coming from the position and most likely the understanding that total depravity is true. I don't hold to total depravity or a total inability which means that we can't believe unless God imparts that regeneration first and then applies faith from what Christ did at the cross, so I think it starts off with if, you understand, if you're working through that system that you believe that total depravity is true, then you must then ask questions like that which you know I think it's just it's just a faulty question. No offense. It's just I think that uh you're trying to be consistent within your systematic of understanding but if you understand my position I think that's where you would go I think.


JW: No answer was given and I think it's fairly obvious why. I mean, aside from the fact scripture says there is none who seeks after God, read Romans 3 for yourself, the reality is if Christ died for all people and yet it's not the effective work of the holy spirit that brings them to faith in Jesus Christ, then yes, not only could no one have been saved but you have to also answer if he dies for all, and they are not all saved and there are many people... and I'm out of time...



Question for James White:

2:06:21 MOD: Dr White, why does God create people who he intends to never be atoned for?



JW: ...never be atoned for...well, why did God create at all? This is what a Universalist asks. Universalists believe that all people will be saved and if anyone is damned then that's a problem for them. The problem is, there is only one way in which God's freedom can be demonstrated. If everyone's saved, God has no freedom. If no one's saved, God has no freedom, if some people are saved and some people are not God has freedom to do what? To demonstrate his wrath and his judgment and his Holiness and his love and his mercy and his goodness. There's only one way in which that can be done in its fullness and God has chosen to do that in Jesus Christ. Now remember I believe that the number of the elect are as the sand of the sea, and I believe that that's what's going to end up happening. But the freedom of God must be our first our first priority. Thank you.


JB: I have a hard...I think that's hard to to grasp in the sense that that's a theological concept and it's using philosophical ideas that God needs to perfectly provide his wrath and his love in equal amounts, but I don't see a specific or explicit text that then defines that. And so that we're creating an argument that is I think pious, and we want to attribute and give God glory, and we all do want that to to take place, but I don't see that as an explicit text that defines that's who God is and what he's doing.



Question for Jason Breda:
​2:08:10 MOD: Thank you. All right Jason, this is directed to you. If Romans 1 to 9, I think you actually said 1 to 8, so if Romans 1 to 8 is directed toward the Jews, how do you know if or when a text is also relevant to Gentiles?



JB: Well, I mean the scriptures have a variety of genres and literary ways of of how it's written and so Romans 1 through 8 has specific ...you just have to look at who Paul is talking to...he's talking to. For 22 verses he's directly speaking to the Jews in first person and then from 9 on till the end of 16 he never talks to the Jew in first person ever past that point. But he talks to the Gentiles in first person from 9-16. He switches it so you have to at least acknowledge the fact that why is that there? Is there a specific sense in which Paul says, yes, there's general information and revelation for all to know all of this, but I want to emphasize this particularly to a particular audience. That's a big thing. That’s a big thing when we come to biblical hermeneutics. We need to know who is the audience and it's not easy to do that. I want to acknowledge that first off. It's not easy to do that.


MOD: Time


JB: Thank you.


JW: The audience is directly expressed to us in Romans chapter 1 at the beginning, it's to all those who are called in Christ Jesus in Rome. It is a completely artificial mechanism to try to place this upon the text and I have not seen any meaningful argumentation provided to substantiate the assertion.



Question for James White:
​2:10:02 MOD: Dr White what other verses besides Romans 8 and Hebrews 8 and 9 show limited atonement?



JW: Well, again, I made reference to other passages we could look at and I and my assertion was misunderstood or just not heard, because when I talk about Christ's death for his sheep, he makes that very specific in John chapter 10 when I talk about Christ's death of the church. When you read that in the context of what the Bible teaches the effect of Christ's death is, then very clearly these are passages that are relative to limited atonement. It’s not what David Allen...David Allen has one response to these things. And by the way, I would love to have David Allen sitting there. I’ve challenged him for years. He will not debate me, and there’s a reason for it. But this idea, well you’re just using a logical argument here...No! If you understand what Christ’s death accomplishes and how it forms the church, then you can understand why those passages would, then, teach particular or limited atonement.


JB: What I think I heard James say is that you need to interpret Hebrews 7-9, and then go to John 10, and Matthew 1, and then understand how that context should be communicated, which I don’t think is proper exegesis.


JW: That’s not what I said, either.



Question for Jason Breda:
​2:11:36

MOD: Jason, I'm going to read it as written. It says brother Breda made the analogy of the blood of the passover lamb being painted to illustrate the conditional or provisional nature of God's offer of salvation. If this application represents the actions of the individual believer, what role in this economy of salvation is left for Christ's intercessory work and the work of the Holy Spirit?



JB: Okay so I might need you to repeat it again if I... just repeat it again just to make sure…


MOD: It's a long question so I'll do it again brother Breda made the analogy of the blood of the passover lamb being painted to illustrate the conditional or provisional nature of God's offer of salvation. They're saying in your in your presentation you said that was a provisional thing.


JB: Sure...just...okay


MOD: If this application represents the actions of the individual believer, what role in this economy of salvation is left for Christ's intercessory work and the work of the Holy Spirit?


JB: Okay, so I think it's...whoever asked that question is assuming that if man has the ability to choose through the provision God has given, that would be in the New Testament Covenant, the faith on Christ, it sounds like that what role does the Holy Spirit play in this and then what role does Jesus’ intercessory work play in this. I think that's the question that's being asked. So forgive me if that's not correct. Faith is not a work, and so no one's working to put their faith in anything. If you look at Romans chapter 10 verse 14 “how then will they call on him who they've never believed, how will they then believe on him who they’ve never heard, how will they hear without a preacher, how will they then preach unless they are sent. However, they did not heed the good news for Isaiah says the Lord who has believed our people so faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.” So we preach the gospel and if someone exercises faith on the Lord Jesus Christ, they then can be saved. The regeneration work is from the spirit and Jesus is interceding for all who believe.


MOD: Brother, we're out of time.


JW: I'd like to have half that time. The intercessory work of Christ is a part of the New Covenant and Jesus is the guarantee of a better Covenant because he's a better mediator. The fact of the matter is one side, the synergistic side, has to say that the intercessory work of Christ is limited in its fundamental capacity. That's why we couldn't end up dealing with Hebrews in depth because of what it actually says as to its power and efficacy.



Question for James White:

2:14:40 MOD: Dr White setting aside all the biblical passages that speak of the offer of salvation to all if Christ only died…



JW: Sor... I'm sorry the author? What?


MOD: Offer


JW: Okay


MOD: I'll read it again. Setting aside all the biblical passages that speak of the offer of Salvation to all if Christ only died for the elect and reprobated all others, predestinating them to sin and death through his divine determinism, then doesn’t that make God to be a moral monster, who punishes people for their actions when they could do no other?


JW: Of course not. And this is a fundamental rebellion against biblical Revelation. It is the very spirit of the man that Paul refers to in Romans 9, “who are you oh man who answers back to God...” That is the very essence of that. And the whole way in which the question is phrased is avoiding not only the culpability of man, it's like, oh, man's being forced to do bad things and God's a big moral monster and that we're opening the same pages of scripture where God is longsuffering and dealing with people and he is providing a way of salvation to people who don't want anything to do with him? How do we get to such a perverted understanding? Who are you man who answers back to God? I don't understand it. It requires ripping everything the Bible teaches about God's longsuffering out of the text of scripture. I don't do it.


MOD: All right brother…


JB: Soif God determines all things then he determines the sin that we commit. You can't have both and I think 1 Corinthians 10:13 is a huge defense against that that system no temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the Temptation will make a way of Escape so that you will be able to endure it. If God is determining things, then that verse is not true.



Question for Jason Breda:

2:17:05 MOD: Okay, we are going to have one more for each. Is that fair? Okay. Jason if everyone has the ability of faith, then why does scripture say faith is a gift?



JB: Yeah faith is a gift. I affirm that faith is a gift. Life is a gift, breath is a gift, the fact that we're here together and we get to fellowship with one another that's a gift. Everything is from God. Everything is a gift, but it's a matter of when is the gift applied? Is faith only then arbitrarily selected to a group of people that God has ordained from eternity past, or is it applied to everyone through the provision of the gospel message that we go and preach to every creature, and it's just as I read in Romans 10 that if once they hear, then they can have that faith to choose if they believe on the Lord Jesus. That's not a work, that is the provision God has provided in the New Covenant as we saw in John chapter 3 and elsewhere.


JW: Next week I'm teaching Baptist Church History at the seminary and one of the things we're covering are the early missionaries to India and places like that and the beautiful thing is those people who went, they were Calvinists and they believed faith is a gift and they prayed earnestly that God would grant it and give it, and God did and I'm so thankful that they went.



Question for James White:

2:18:36

MOD: Dr White did you sing Jesus loves me to your children or any songs about his love? Did you tell your children that they may or not be elect?



JW: Well, thankfully, I don't know who the elect are, and I right now listening to...my wife just sent me an audio of my little one-year-old grandson singing with his daddy... and they are catechized and they are taught and they're taught the law of God and they're taught the word of God and they're called to have faith in Christ and I've had the glorious privilege of baptizing three of my grandchildren so far who have professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am so thankful that I can trust a true and loving God to save his elect people and to keep them, and I don't have to trust their little hearts and their little lives as if they are the ones who are in charge of all of these things. I don't know who the elect are. I pray that God will draw them to himself, but I can trust him not mankind on that fundamental issue.


JB: I would say that I trust God in his provision to have a genuine offer where we see in Romans 10:21 that he has extended his hands all day long for a disobedient people. There is a genuine offer in the gospel, To say that I God is extending his arms but yet he's only going to secretly share salvation with those he's pre-ordained doesn't it...there's not a revealed and a secret will of God. So I hold to the fact that all can come to faith in Christ. Most won't, because they love darkness rather than light, but we have the ability to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.



///END OF DEBATE///