I am listening to the audiobook of Michael Phillips's biography of George Macdonald (1824-1905).
Having wished to explore this great influencer of The Inklings (especially CS Lewis), I yet found myself unable to engage with any of Macdonald's actual writings - I can't attune to his wavelength... and reading/ listening-to a biography is a tactic I sometimes use in trying to 'get-into' an author.
At present Macdonald is a student at King's College, Aberdeen University; and in a long process of defining and rejecting the un-Christian aspects of the Calvinism of his upbringing - with its (substantially) un-loving God.
My understanding is that McD could not accept (what he had been taught) that a loving God would create a person who was certain to be damned and eternally tormented. I agree that this is unacceptable, to a Christian - and, of course, it destroys the value of free will.
I believe McD then determined upon a universalism of salvation (I haven't reached this point of the biography yet; but I have read that this was McD's mature view); which of course denies human agency/ free will. So hat' won't really do
Any-way... it struck me, for the nth time, how much trouble Christians make for themselves by their determination about infinities and absolutes... That God must be Perfect in all happiness, goodness etc, Omni-potent, -scient and so on and so forth - such that Men have nothing to do other than to obey, to conform to God's will.
And yet it seems pointless for a God of perfection to make creatures only to have them choose only to assimilate wholly to his nature. Obedience seems (by this account) the only valid use of human agency - the correct choice is single and predetermined, even when the outcome of choice is not.
As so often, it is traditional, classical, metaphysical and Not Christian assumptions that are the problem - and which compel Christians to choose between incoherent alternatives.
Those early church Fathers (what actually happened is mostly unknown), who insisted that the only real Christianity must accept their metaphysical (but non-Gospel) prejudices regarding the nature of deity, certainly have a lot to answer for!