1. God's laws regarding the purpose and duration of punishment (Lam. 3:32-33; Heb. 2:11; Deut. 25:3; Psalm 103:14)
2. His promises (Phil. 2:10; Eph. 1:10; Rom. 5:18, 1 Cor. 15:22)
3. His revealed character in Christ (Luke 6:35; Mt. 18:22)
4. Reason and Conscience (Luke 11:13)
5. The biblically affirmed fact that God is the father of all men (Is. 64:8; Mal. 2:10)?
If God predestined most people to perdition before they were born, then is sin the cause of death? Or is life the cause of death? The bible says: "By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Should it also read: "By life you are damned through sin, and that not of yourselves; it is the curse of God"? And shouldn't Romans 6:23 read "The wages of life is death"?
Calvinists employ a few verses to suggest that God made us for wrath. These verses, however, may be interpreted in other ways. On the other hand, we have verses like Ezekiel 33:11, in which God swears that he does not delight in the death of the wicked, or 2 Peter 3:9, in which God declares that he wishes for none to perish. Isn't it strange that if God made us for this very purpose, he should not only never declare it in an unambiguous form, but also swear to the precise opposite intent?
If God made us to torture us forever in hell, how do you account for Psalm 103:14: "For He knows our frame; he remembers that we are but dust"? Or Lamentations 3:32-33: "For the Lord will not cast off forever: But though he cause grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men" (Lam. 3:32-33)?
Is the following an accurate assessment of your theology?
1. From eternity past, God intended that the most vivid and profound display of his glory would come in the form of his work on the cross of Christ.
2. God then made man to punish him.
3. He made him perfect, and thus unlikely to ever need punishing or, for that matter, a savior.
4. By a happy coincidence, and against all the odds, this perfect man sinned, thus allowing God to fulfill his purposes for both man and Christ.
5. When man sinned, God, who is suddenly confronted with the prospect of being able to fulfill all of his original plans, becomes furious.
Do you believe that hell is the default position of man? If so, how can this be? How can the default position of any creature that proceeds from infinite goodness be infinitely bad? Isn't this a logical impossibility?
Do you affirm, like most Calvinists, that we aren't sinners because we sin; we sin because we're sinners, and then, when the subject turns to Adam, turn around and say he didn't sin because he was a sinner; he became a sinner because he sinned? If so, are you a Calvinist or an Arminian?
Do you believe that man is born with an inherently negative value? How is this possible?
Is the following an accurate assessment of your position on the worth of man: Who we are in God, in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28) is not the real us; who we are outside of God is the real us?
If God conceived us in hatred, then why did he create us in his own image and pronounce us very good?
If God made man for wrath, then he also made him for sin. But doesn't James 1:13 imply that this is not so?
Would you render Romans 8:20 this way: "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same, in order to torment them forever in hell"? If you answer that man was not made subject to vanity, then please tell me: How can God make man for wrath without also subjecting him to imperfection and vanity?
Why does the Calvinist God get so angry at sin? Why does he have a great wrath that needs appeasing? Who gets angry over an occurrence that they themselves desire and bring about in order to facilitate a goal which they have set? Shouldn't your God be thanking us for sin?
Is the idea of a God who regards the inhabitants of the world as grasshoppers, and who exercises complete sovereignty over all affairs, including the motions of the human will, really compatible with a God who becomes so incensed at sin that he had to have his wrath appeased by the vicarious suffering of his Son?
If sin is ultimately employed to good effect, and God is the source of all good, then is it not a fact that he must have arranged the introduction of sin into the world? If so, then isn't it also a fact that things are as they have to be, and might not have been otherwise? How do you reconcile this with eternal torment?
If God hides the truth, and the Calvinist version of truth just happens to look exactly like a lie, then how do you know you have found the truth?
Why should we believe God's hidden will is what you say it is rather than what the bible says it is? "Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth . . . " (Eph. 1:8-10)
You say that God's hateful disposition toward his own creation is a mystery beyond the comprehension of man. But where does the bible say such a thing? Where does the bible mention God's "mysteriousness" in connection with a hatred of his own creation--a hatred which constitutes the very identity of God in the highest sense?
Would it be accurate to say that the best man God ever made deserved eternal damnation the instant he was finished?
Given that life is a curse for most people, should they be grateful for it? Should we thank God for our lives?
You believe that God's highest prerogative is to maximally display his glory. Hence, he had to create vessels of glory in which to show his love and vessels of wrath in which to show his hate. Under this model, both aspects of the divine personality are maximally displayed. Hell, therefore, exists so that God's glory might be shown to his creation. Now, let us suppose for a moment, just for the sake of argument, that God never planned to send a single soul to hell. Let us also suppose that He still wished to maximally display all of his attributes. Would he have still had to allow sin to exist? Are there not in fact many glorious things that would never have been displayed had sin never existed? Would not many of the pages of history which best amplify God's glory have been left blank had man been made perfect from the start? Including the page which records Christ's sacrificial love for the world? And every page that records instances of his character being wrought out in the lives of men? If the answer to this question is yes, then you have a dilemma on your hands. God, in order to maximally display his glory, had to make man imperfect even if he never planned to send a single soul to hell. And yet you have decided that God must have made man imperfect in order to punish him forever. Why, when a good motive for making man imperfect exists in the very nature of things, would you want to ascribe to him such an awful motive? Indeed the very same motive you employ to suggest God made us for hell--the need to maximally display his attributes--is the same thing that makes it certain that God would have created us imperfect even if he never planned to send a single soul to hell. Do you see that the very foundation of your thought system entails a positively stupefying travesty of logic?