Paulson talked about the apologetic project of modern theology regarding the love of God. The modern emphasis on God's love is an apologetic strategy. It's goal is to make us see God as something attractive so that we will use our free will to accept him. This never works, because of course, God in reality isn't attractive to sinful humans. Read Exodus 20 or Isaiah 6. Fear and terror at God's omnicasuality is the first reaction of sinful human beings to God. The fact that we live under his almighty power and are sinful makes us incapable of accepting God. We see the fatedness of reality around us and it seems unfair to us. It does not accord well with a God who is nothing but a ball of love and therefore we cease to believe in God in order to protect ourselves from his omnipotence.
I personally think that this is the best response to Rob Bell's Love Wins clap-trap. The problem with modern theology is that it works with a God that is pure love. What is meant by love is a God who is affirming and fulfills our needs. It is also means that God is always fair by our standards. But according to human standards, God simply isn't fair. God is identical in a strange sense with what the ancients called fate, as Elert rightly emphasizes. There's no getting around it. When we look at how human goods are distributed in our world, it seems unfair. Why should I have had a better life than a child growing up in Pakistan? Why should I not have suffered horribly like others? Most of all, why should I have been brought up in a Christian family, whereas some Aztec somewhere wasn't able to hear the gospel?
Bell's approach is a continuation of the old Vatican II and Arminian approach. It says: Well, God is of course not unfair and so he will give everyone the opportunity to use their free will and get the same stuff in the end. But this doesn't make a bit of sense. If that's really the case, why not let free will determine our fake from the beginning in the form of Karma? Why not say with Origen (whom Bell I believe actually invokes), that everyone had it equal in the beginning, and then fell into unequal fates determined by free will?
The problem with Bell's approach is that it must ultimately think of God's love as an abstract quality. When the world doesn't reflect that quality (much like saying a desert is wet), then it cannot be something real. Hence, the apologetic argument that it would be real if humans just used their free will. It's not God's fault that humans don't use their free-will. But then, doesn't this bring us back to the law? How indeed can the law be gracious? In the end, if we are really self-determining the way Bell says, then we are God and not God. If we follow him, it's only a matter of time before we do away with God. He ultimately will get in the way of our autonomy and our self-justification with his word of law and gospel.
In fact, the Bible says something very different than Bell, namely, that we are the clay and he is the potter and so God doesn't need to justify himself before us, rather we before him. Our situatedness in creation and God's ability to choose this (his electing will) is simply part of his being God and us being creatures.
God's real love isn't a general love that let's everyone have a fair shot to use their free will. That's just more law and the law isn't love. God's real love is the electing love of Jesus Christ. When we say that God is love (as he most certainly is!) we do not mean it as an abstract quality that can be falsified by seeing its effects or non-effects. Rather, it is a person and an action. God's love is Jesus Christ. God's love is an electing love that chooses to be him and only him. It is also the electing love that sends to me, in my particularity, a preacher to elect me. Freed by his love, I do not need to sit around and ask the question "Why did God send me a preacher and not another?" On the one hand, as a creature, I recognize that that is God's business as God. On the other hand, I listen to God's own commission to preach that same Word to "every living creature." By preaching that Word, I dispel God's terrible power of fate in wrath, hiddenness, and law, and establish his gracious, electing will "pro te." This alone establishes a loving God, and not a lot of clap-trap about free will and an imaginary second chance in Hell.