The Pen

Right Vs. Almost Right

I have noticed a tendency common among my fellow Reformed and Calvinistic brethren to let down our guard when it comes to those who believe in predestination. We often tend to give them a free pass and withhold discernment if they have a correct understanding of the Doctrines of Grace. Instead of testing all things against Scripture, we let certain essentials of the faith slide because they get certain non-essential doctrines correct. This should not be.

While this tendency is applied, it usually isn’t applied in a self-aware way, nor is it applied consistently. For example, no solid, bible-believing Christian would ever give Westboro Baptist a free pass–and rightly so. They neglect to preach the Gospel and teach a works righteousness (source), and it’s all done in an unchristlike manner.

Another good example of this would be in the case of famous twentieth-century theologian, Karl Barth. While I have seen some people defend Barth, most Christians who know about his theology would agree that Barth was unsound, as he was a proponent of Neo-Orthodoxy. According to Theopedia, Neo-Orthodoxy believes,

the Bible is said to contain within it an inspired witness, but it is a mistake to directly identify Scripture as the Word of God; Jesus, the person, is the Word of God. The Bible can become the Word of God only when God chooses to use it to reveal himself. Therefore, the actual text and words of Scripture are not identified as the Word of God.

Despite these cases and ones like them, people who believe in predestination still have a tendency to ignore the issues that arise with some in their own soteriological camp. People like Russell Moore, Thabiti Anyabwile, and Tim Keller all seem to get free passes for being “on our side”. This is wrong. We can’t give somebody a free pass for being almost right. As Charles Spurgeon said,

Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.

[Contributed by Brandon Hines]

Brandon Hines

Brandon is a young writer and polemicist. He contributes to Pulpit & Pen as well as runs his own website at