In theology, we should be as logically consistent as Scripture, but no more so.
Sometimes, we have to accept that a pair of revealed truths are both true precisely because they have both been revealed, not because we can fully reconcile them in our own minds.
Such pairs of truths would include:-
Trinity – God is three and God is one
Incarnation – Jesus is both human and divine
Sovereignty – God is sovereign, and humans are responsible
I have a hunch that something similar has to be said about the extent of the atonement:-
Not only: God in Christ has made provision for the salvation of everyone; but also: God in Christ elects a certain number to eternal life
Robert Lightner puts it like this:-
Lightner, R. P. (1998). The death Christ died: a biblical case for unlimited atonement (p. 99). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
I don’t think this means that we must abort all efforts to understand how these truths relate to one another. But it does mean that we might arrive – sooner than some people think – at the end of our ability to do that.
In other words: that Scripture teaches that Christ died for the whole world, and that he died specifically for the elect are two truths that we cannot fully reconcile in this life. But both (I believe) are taught in Scripture, and therefore both are to be believed.
Let’s not seek to be wise, nor systematic, beyond what is written. Let the Bible speak for itself, and let its Author worry about what happens about any loose ends.