That being said, I became aware of Dr. White a few years ago, when someone sent me an email pointing me to one of his critiques of a sermon of my favorite preacher, Dr. Adrian Rogers. Brother White is a 5 star, full blooded Calvinist, and Adrian Rogers was not.
With the recent press, I revisited Bro. White’s critique of one of Adrian Rogers messages on Romans 8 and 9, and found myself wishing that I had a transcript of his broadcast. I don’t do “links” (out of lazy ignorance) but I listened to it again on some “reformers” blog. Lane someone.
I will readily admit and give full credit to Dr. White as an obviously intelligent man, of who my own intellect could not match. He is very well studied, and seems to be as well mannered when it comes to presenting is opposing view points. One thing that I do appreciate about him is that, at least when it came to Dr. Rogers, he was very cautious about not attacking, or critiquing the man, but merely the message.
Which is a good thing. Attacking Adrian Rogers is to me like trying to remove the Hog from the Helmet of the Arkansas Razorbacks. As the old timers used to say, “them there’s fighten words.” There are some things that you just don’t do in life. You never spit into the wind, you never unmask the Lone Ranger, you never tug on Superman’s cape, you never mess with the hog on the helmet, and you never, no never attack Adrian Rogers. I don’t know if Dr. White has ever spit in the wind, but I do know that he was careful not to attack the good Doctor during his program.
Now that being the case, he did critique his sermon, and that is the purpose of my article. If I had the transcript, then I could be much more articulate concerning my points. Since I don’t, and since I didn’t take notes, I will go by memory.
In Romans 8:29 the Bible says plainly “For whom he did foreknow he did predestinate . . .”
In Dr. Rogers message he points out the fact, and underscores it with other scripture that God’s predetermining is based completely upon his foreknowledge. Peter explains that we are “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God.” In other words, as I explain to the people I preach to, “God chose those He knew would chose Him.”
God looked down the corridors of time, and saw every person that would freely choose His Son, and so God then chose them before the foundation of the world. According to our understanding of this scripture, His choice in eternity past was based upon His knowledge of our choice in eternity present. That is a simple thing to understand, and it does in fact bear up under exegetical scrutiny.
Now Dr. White takes great issue and goes to great lengths to explain that “proginosko”, (the Greek word for foreknowledge) is a verb and not a noun as it was used in the language of Dr. Roger’s sermon. In fact after making his point, if I understood him correctly, then the rest of Dr. Roger’s teachings in the passage would fall like a house of cards, because his apparent misuse of this word, served as the flaw in the foundation of everything.
Dr. White goes quickly to the point that as a verb this word is used to mean that God “foreknows us” but not our actions.
Which is where I will draw the dividing line.
I do not dispute the language use of the verb “proginosko”, but I do dispute the logic behind his reasoning. To say that God “foreknew me” but did not “foreknow my actions” is 1.) scripturally baseless, and 2.) practically impossible. I cannot say that Dr. White believes that God does not know our future actions, but he came awfully close in his dissection of the comments.
The reality is that noun or verb, God’s ability at foreknowing me, logically encompasses God’s ability to know my future actions. Whether he means to or not, Dr. White is cutting the logical application short of it’s full meaning.
The second issue that I want to take up, but will have to do some more studying on, is his continued phrase “the decree.” Primarily as I understand it, Dr. White believes that nothing exists outside of “the decree” and therefore God “decreed” all of man’s actions and ultimate results. “The Decree” is obviously an imperative doctrine for anyone who believes that God chooses who will be saved, and who will not be.
I will say this here and close. Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind, and whosoever will may come. His invitation is to “the world.” Not every man appropriates by faith Christ’s saving work; but those who do fully discover that it is a change worth making.