A comment I just left at First Things: Evangel:
Let’s set the bar low with minimally orthodox theism. By this I mean, let us grant two things: (i) God knows the future; (ii) some human beings will spend eternity in hell.
One can, of course, deny either or both of these propositions. But, if so, your objections to Calvinism are hardly limited to Calvinism.
So how is it loving for God to create a human being in full knowledge that this sorry individual will spend eternity in hell?
Perhaps you’ll say it’s loving because God gave him a chance to be saved. Okay, but how is it loving to create this individual even though you know that he will refuse the opportunity?
Suppose my younger brother and I are planning to go on a hiking trip tomorrow. But the night before I have an infallible premonition that if we go hiking, my brother will be mauled by a bear. Not only will he be in excruciating pain, but as a result of the mauling he will be blind and bedridden for life.
I warn my younger brother. But suppose he fails to heed my warning. Indeed, suppose I know in advance that he will ignore my warning?
We then go ahead hiking, and my brother is mauled by the bear.
Was it loving for me to take my brother hiking? Sure, he ignored the warning. But how was it loving for me to take him hiking anyway? If he ignores the warning, wouldn’t the loving thing be for me to cancel our trip?
Indeed, if I foresaw that he was going to disregard my warning, then why would I plan to take him hiking that day in the first place? How is that a loving way to treat my brother?
Sure, maybe he’s a jerk to disregard the warning, but what’s the loving way to treat my jerk of a brother? To let him be mauled by the bear?
And this is trivial compared to hell. Didn’t Jesus indicate that it’s better to never be born than to wind up in hell? So how is it loving to the damned for God to create some people foreknowing that they will spend eternity in hell, even though they’d be better off if he never made them in the first place?
You may say he endowed them with libertarian freewill and gave them the chance to avoid hell. But even if we grant that assumption, how is it loving to them for God to make them when he knows that they will refuse opportunity to be saved? Even though he knows that they will blow their chance to be saved, and even though he knows that they’d be better off if he never made them, he makes them anyway.