Victor Reppert did a post entitled “Arminianism and tough love”:
“There are three central claims that have to be emphasized. First, God's love will not be satisfied with man's sinful condition and it is that very love that will get in our faces so long as we rebel.”
That’s not Arminianism. That’s universalism, or at the very least postmortem salvation.
“Read The Problem of Pain by Lewis and ask yourself if the God protrayed there is…”
But why should we be getting our theology from Lewis? Lewis was not a prophet or apostle.
Lewis can sometimes be a useful apologist for Christianity, but he is not the source of Christian theology. Christianity is either a revealed religion or it’s not. If so, then you have to go to the source (Scripture). If not, then Lewis doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
“Second, you can't have love unless the one who loves prefers reformation to continued punishment, and aims that punishment at the reformation of transformation of persons. If all I want for some person is for them to be punished, I don't love that person.”
Actually, I agree with that statement.
“It's just that, if it were up to God, God would bring it about that the person repent.”
Why should we believe that statement? What think that is what God is like? What is Reppert’s source of information?
The Bible has quite a lot to say about retributive punishment, both in terms of historical judgments and eschatological judgments.
In order for Reppert to jettison retributive punishment in favor of remedial judgment, he must summarily discount major portions of the Biblical witness to the nature of divine justice. And he must also rewrite the atonement since the Biblical doctrine of the atonement is framed in terms of penal substitution. In Scripture, there’s a forensic framework to redemption and punishment alike.
If, however, the Bible is not a reliable source of information regarding the nature of God or the nature of the afterlife, then what is Reppert’s alternative source of information?
The problem with Reppert’s theology is that he’s like a cult leader who simply makes things up as he goes along based on whatever he wants to believe. It’s a syncretistic and idiosyncratic belief-system with the same credibility as Ramtha, Emanuel Swedenborg, Joseph Smith, Bhagwan Rajneesh, Claude Vorilhon, and Sun Myung Moon.
Yet Reppert is pinning his immortal hopes on this optimistic mishmash of open theism, universalism, make-believe, and wishful thinking.
“Third, God's love is directed toward all persons. If ‘God loves the world’ doesn't mean God loves every person, it means God loves every lost person. The reduction of ‘all’ or ‘the world’ to the elect seems simply contrary to intent of Scripture.”
And where do other passages of Scripture fit into his belief-system, such as:
“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2).
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (Mt 25:41,46).
“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thes 1:5-9).
"If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name" (Rev 14:9-11).