Who says God has to love everybody equally? (Sentimental Arminians, that’s who.)
“Au contraire mon frere” says the Calvinist. There is nothing wrong with God having a general love for all humanity even as he has a special love for his elect. And why shouldn’t it be so? After all, as Linda asks,
“Is it right for a man to love his wife differently than the way he loves other women? Is it not right for God to love people differently?”
I say a hearty yes to the first question. Yes, a man should love his wife differently than other women. I’m no advocate of polyamory. But what about the second question? Does the special love a husband has for his wife support the conclusion that God ought to have a special love for his elect?
First a word of caution about these types of analogies. Consider the following:
“Is it wise for a man to be fearful of the harm that can be inflicted by a full grown jungle cat? Is it not wise for a man to be fearful of the neighbor’s full grown tabby cat?”
I hope the problem here is obvious. You should be fearful of the harm to be inflicted by a tiger cat. But it doesn’t follow that you should therefore be fearful of the harm to be inflicted by a tabby cat. (Picture your bewildered neighbor as you attempt to explain your tiger/tabby reasoning while cowered under his porch.)
Just as not every kind of cat is dangerous so not every kind of love is exclusive. The reason a man’s love for his wife is exclusive is because it is romantic love. Eros is of its nature exclusive. But God’s love for us is not eros. It is agape. Part of the glory of marriage is that a husband “foresakes all others” for his beloved. Do Calvinists really think that part of the glory of God’s love for them is his withholding of love to others?
Isn’t that like a child on Christmas morning whose satisfaction at finding a toy under her tree is intensified once she discovers that her friend across the tracks received nothing?