Calvinistic Problems

I've separated the following paragraphs from the previous post below in order to highlight specific problems for Calvinistic Christians.

Let me make a few brief comments about Calvinism, coming, as they do, from a former non-Calvinist. I'll make a brief argument against Calvinism. I’m sure my comments here will not convince Calvinists, but they convince me.

There is a huge divide among evangelicals themselves over this whole issue (this is the case in point for my previous post). If God is sovereign as Calvinists claim, then he can do pretty much anything he wants to with a complete and total disregard for decency and morality. I charge this kind of God as showing partiality by revealing himself to some people but not to others (even though he forbids us to show partiality--James 2). I think this kind of God is barbaric, since he lies to us (telling us he wants us to do one thing but secretly “causing” us to do something else); he doesn't abide by his own ethical obligations laid out in the Bible (whereby he can virtually violate all ten commandments and still demand worship as a holy God); and he condemns people to hell simply because it brings him more glory (if, however, he can control our free willed choices, then why didn't he make us all obey in the first place)?

Suffice it to say that if Calvinism is true, then God cannot be a good God because he decrees all of the evil we experience in human history. All of it. No belief in “God’s inscrutable ways” can absolve God of this guilt. And no alternative definition of human freedom can absolve God of this guilt, either.

Evangelical and Open Theist Clark Pinnock responded to such a theology with these words: “One need not wonder why people become atheists when faced with such a theology. A God like that has a great deal for which to answer.” [Predestination and Free Will, eds. Basinger & Basinger (IVP, 1986), p. 58].