God’s sovereign grace (1)

In 1991 James White’s God’s Sovereign Grace was published. Chapter four is entitled, The Grace of God in Salvation. After citing 2 Timothy 1:8-12, James White writes:

“In encouraging Timothy, Paul speaks of the God who saved us, and who called us to a holy life. Why did God do this? Certainly not for anything we did! Instead, the basis of God’s saving work is ‘his own purpose and grace.’ No election based upon our actions to be found here! Paul speaks of God’s grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the very beginning of time itself! Before creation, God set His love and mercy upon us in Christ Jesus. Before we had done anything — before creation even came into existence — God chose us, and granted to us grace in His Son Jesus Christ. And we must not miss the importance of what Paul says in verse 11, for having just presented the sovereign grace of God in eternity past, he says, ‘And of this gospel I was appointed a herald….’ The truth of God’s grace is the gospel, the gospel for which Paul was willing to suffer! This is not some side-issue that can be dismissed as a ‘non-essential’! It involves the very definition of the gospel message itself.” (James White, God’s Sovereign Grace, pp. 55-56; emphasis White’s)

Of course, for James White (and all tolerant Calvinists) the gospel of the sovereign grace of God IS a side-issue, a non-essential doctrine over which they can disagree with their Arminian brothers in Satan: