In the book Reforming or Conforming? Post-Conservative Evangelicals and the Emerging Church (Wheaton, IL, USA: Crossway Books, 2008), Phil Johnson has written something especially pertinent for our times, in his chapter, of the idea of confidence in God's Word and the idea of humility. In this post-modern world, it is sadly the case that "humility" is defined in the context of a "chastened epistemology" whereby one cannot proclaim anything for sure as being absolutely true. Being confident of the truth of your position in this post-modern age is to be "arrogant", while "humility" is defined as the willingness to accept another's position as being right and one's possibility of being wrong.
It is to this post-modern Zeitgeist that Johnson wrote the following:
In biblical terms it is anything but humble to imply that God's Word is not sufficiently clear — as if we can't possibly know for sure what the Bible means and as if we should never be so "arrogant" as to defend its truths against the enemy's relentless attempts to twist and subvert what God has said. ...
No one would argue that everything in the Bible is crystal clear. ... We're not to imagine, however, that most of the Bible is sheer mystery — so lacking in clarity that every interpretation and every opinion about every doctrine deserves equal (or automatic) respect.
In a footnote on the following page (p. 219, note 17), Johnson raised the issue of Open Theism (a theory which denies that God is sovereign and knows the future) as an example of how the post-modern mindset and doctrinal indifference works:
After lengthy debates about the issue [Open Theism], the Evangelical Theological Society issued a statement in 2002 disavowing Open Theism. Yet three years later the Society declined to remove [Clark H.] Pinnock and [John] Sanders [both Open Theists] from membership, in effect embracing theologians who deny the foreknowledge of God and who regard inspired prophecy as merely "probabilistic." ... The evangelical movement's leading periodical quickly heralded the development as a triumph for "grace and truth" See David Neff, "Open to Healing: Anxieties and Attack Turn to Grace and Truth at ETS Meting" (Christianity Today, January 2004, 21-22). The title and tenor of that article reflect contemporary evangelicalism's deep-seated discomfort with the thought of any polemical defense of the faith (p. 219, n. 17)
"Humility" and "grace" are sadly terms that the New Evangelical movement and her descendants have taken over and redefined. Biblical humility is defined by submission to God and His Word. If the Bible is clear on a certain topic, then is supremely humble to proclaim that truth with boldness, while pride is to question God's Word and to hold the truths of Scripture lightly.
In interaction with others therefore, we must align ourselves with the biblical standards. To insist somebody is wrong and you are right is not arrogance per se, if you are indeed right according to the Scriptures and the necessary consequences derived from it. As for grace, is it really "gracious" not to prosecute heretics and thus endanger the flock? Is it gracious to assume the salvation of Roman Catholics for example when the official teachings of Rome runs contrary to the Gospel? I think not!