my post detailing how George McDonald left the theology of his childhood and came to believe in universal reconciliation, several Arminians wrote me, quite upset that I could believe in God's distinguishing and effectual love for His people. I always learn from people, particularly those who disagree with me, and I thought one particular exchange with Kristen helps clarify what seems to be some misperception about the power of God's love for His people - whether His people belong to a select group of innumerable individuals from every nation, tribe, kindred, tongue and family (i.e. "the world") as I believe, or every single individual of the entire human race, as George McDonald believed. My Arminian friends, like Kristen, have trouble seeing how God's love can always be effectual without taking away human freedom. For example:
Kristen: "As an Arminian I believe that God must put the desire to be rescued in the human heart. The difference is that I don't believe God makes the desire so overwhelmingly strong that humans have no power to refuse."
Wade: "I think you are misunderstanding what I believe, Kristen. I have never believed, have never taught, and have never written that any human being does not have the power to refuse.
I have always believed, taught, and written that God makes His love is so captivating, so alluring, so charming, so dazzling, so enthralling, so mesmerizing, so spellbinding (gospel comes from "good spell"), so magnetizing, so enrapturing, so gripping, so compelling, so hypnotizing, and so absolutely "sweep me off my feet" enamoring that I cannot, will not, and must not refuse, though I have the power to do so.
Have you ever been loved like that? I have! By Him"
Why is it important to see that God's love for us is not drawn out by our loveliness nor diminished by our ugliness? Because it is only the comprehension of the incomparable love of God that leads to change in our lives (see Ephesians 3). Or to summarize, allow me to put in modern language a saying by a wonderful divine of old:
"Real faith is coming to God in the absolute absence of any positive feelings or spiritual desires, without any healthy glow or good aspirations, weighted down with low thoughts, failure, neglect and wondering forgetfulness, and yet being able to say to Him, 'You are my Refuge.'