In August 2017 I read Does God Love Everyone? The Heart of What is Wrong with Calvinism (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2016) by Jerry L. Walls and wrote a book review on it for the Denver Jouranl (vol. 20, 2017).
For many years now I have been on a slow but steady and deliberate journey out of Calvinist theology and into Arminian-Wesleyanism. Walls himself is an Arminian, and in this book he goes straight to what we both believe is the central issue at stake in the debates between these two theological camps: the nature and extent of God’s love. I think Walls (along with others like Roger Olson) are right to focus their attention on God’s love instead of his sovereignty, and by this approach to show how misguided—and even unbiblical—certain strands of Calvinism can be. A sample from my review and link to the full review is below.
Walls’s book is short, and pulls no punches. The title gives away Walls’s main contention: despite the endless rounds of debates between Calvinists and Arminians regarding the nature and extent of God’s sovereignty, his omnipotence, and his purposes in salvation, the heart of what’s wrong with Calvinism is that, when consistently followed to its logical end, it teaches that God does not truly love everyone. This is deeply problematic from both a theological and biblical standpoint, as a perfect divine being must love everyone without fail (or by definition he would not be God) and as revealed Scripture avers that love is so integral to God’s character that it can be described as part of his essence (“God is love” in 1 John 4:8, 16)…
Ben is a graduate of Denver Seminary, having completed a double MA in New Testament Biblical Studies and Christian Apologetics and Ethics. He will be pursuing a PhD in politics starting in fall 2019. He loves reading, drinking coffee, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. His academic interests include biblical languages and exegesis, theology, philosophy, politics, and economics.