Dr. James A., PhD
It is well known that James White is a Calvinist. As a Calvinist, he has rejected compatibilism on numerous occasions, and affirmed it in others, which leaves really only a hard determinist view which is what compatibilism ultimately boils down to anyway. When White had a conversation with George Bryson and Hank Hanegraaf*, he admitted that rape of children occurs because God ordains it and has a purpose for it. That’s not soft determinism (compatibilism). Calvinists often vacillate between compatibilism and hard determinism, but both sides are normally quick to affirm that man has no free will. His only “freedom” is determined by the nature in which he has, and since God determined that very nature in the first place….well, you get the point. All of your actions are determined whether you are a hard or soft determinist, and only the Calvinist’s conflicting view of “permission” and “secondary causation” attempts to make a distinction.**
According to White, all of our human actions are not free. Following in the footsteps of Pink, Clark, and many other Calvinists who bite the bullet on free will, White concedes that man’s every thought and action is determined. To consider otherwise, in White’s opinion, makes you either a Molinist or an Open Theist.
However, White isn’t so consistent in this view when it comes to the transmission of the Bible. In White’s book, Scripture Alone, he dedicates a chapter discussion on the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, and on Article VIII writes,
Without going into great detail on the intricacies of the dictation theory of transmission, in a nutshell, it is the view that God controlled everything that the writers penned as Scripture (although it does NOT hold that God did not use the writer’s individuality as wrongfully implied by White). White REJECTS this view.
Now here’s the MAJOR inconsistency between White’s view of inerrancy and his Calvinism. The Dictation Theory of transmission OUGHT to be every determinist’s creed when it comes to transmission because it is the one time even non determinists accept that there are at least some things that God determines (Shhhhh…Most Calvinists believe us Non Calvinists do not believe that God ever determines anything at all!!!). Yet White deviates from his view within Calvinism that says man has absolutely no free will, to a complete capitulation of free will when it comes to the transmission of the Bible.
This reveals an ENORMOUS inconsistency in White’s Calvinist view of free will that simply can not be explained away with his normal obfuscation and equivocating rhetoric. However, it is convenient for White to reject human free will in the transmission of the Bible because his rejection of the Majority Text, Textus Receptus, and King James Bible, depends on human error. Thus, White has stuck himself in a conundrum on both his Calvinism and his view of Bible transmission.
**Ironically, when James White attempts to appeal to compatibilism, he refers to it as a “mystery”, something that he vehemently ridiculed Leighton Flowers for.
Simply because it is a mystery though, doesn’t mean Reformed people don’t have any Biblical information to prove their view. The Bible repeatedly shows us that God decreed all things [IT DOES? REFERENCE PLEASE], and that people are still held accountable for their actions, especially their sinful actions.Theologians refers to this as compatibilism: God’s decree is compatible with a person’s will. They don’t contradict each other.” LINK (Emphasis added)