But the concept of “double predestination” does not exist in Reformed doctrine. It is merely a caricature of the Reformed position.
The editors of Herman Bavinck’s “Reformed Dogmatics” summarize:
The term “double predestination” encompasses both reprobation and election. While Scripture seldom speaks of reprobation as an eternal decree, it does see even in the negative events of history—suffering, hardening, inexplicable disasters—the active sovereign will of God. Believers do not claim to comprehend all this; they do believe that the alternative—pessimism as the fruit of acknowledging the blind will of a chaotic deity—is impossible. Believers are willing to look at the disturbing reality of life; they do not scatter flowers over graves, turn death into an angel, regard sin as mere weakness, or consider this the best of possible worlds. Calvinism has no use for such drivel. It refuses to be hoodwinked. It takes full account of the seriousness of life, champions the rights of the Lord of lords, and humbly bows in adoration before the inexplicable sovereign will of God. This almighty God is also, we believe, our merciful Father. This is not a “solution” but an invitation to rest in God.
Reprobation is, however, not a part of predestination in the same sense and manner as election. We may not consider God’s power as “absolute” in the sense of capricious, separated from his justice. Though sin is not outside the scope of God’s will, it is definitely against it. The decree of reprobation, grounded in God’s will, must be distinguished from its execution, which is realized through human culpability. It is a mistake to consider the decree of reprobation by itself, alongside other decrees; God’s decree is as broad as reality itself and in a single conception encompasses the goal of his glory and the means to reach it. In real life, sin and grace, punishment and blessing, justice and mercy, do not exist side by side but are the common experience of all people. Thus, whereas election and reprobation may culminate in final and total separation, on earth they continually crisscross each other. Neither is the final goal or cause; both are means to the attainment of God’s glory. But whereas God is removed from all wickedness and does not will sin and punishment as such for its own sake, he does delight in the election and redemption of his own.
Predestination finally culminates, therefore, in election. Chosenness exists everywhere in life; the world is not ordered according to the Pharisaic law of work and reward. While Scripture and Reformed theology recognize the significance of secondary causes, these are not the final and most fundamental causes. The many “why?” questions cannot be answered by mortals; we can only rest in God’s sovereign good pleasure. Even in election, it is not correct, strictly speaking, of Christ as its “cause.” With his church Christ is better seen as the object of the Father’s electing love. The salvation of human beings is firmly established in the gracious and omnipotent good pleasure of God. To be elect “in Christ” is to be organically united to his body, the church. Christ was foreordained to be head of the church. Election is the divine “idea,” the blueprint of the temple that God builds in the course of the ages and of which he is the supreme builder and architect. Creation and fall, preservation and governance, sin and grace, Adam and Christ—all contribute to the construction of this divine edifice, and this building itself is built to the honor and glorification of God (Vol 2, pgs 340–341).