" ...Phelps-Roper is a case study in this error....Obviously, this is a very extreme case of doctrinal abuse, but I wonder if the rest of us Calvinists ever sound this way, at least to some ears. After all, these are our doctrines she is perverting.
Do we teach that everyone deserves to suffer God's wrath? Yes, we do -- and must. But do we teach that in a context that presents God truly? Not if we extract it from other of God's attributes, such as mercy, love, long-suffering, and goodness.
Despite the shards of "truth" in Phelps-Roper's words, the God she presented looked essentially like the twisted killer who murdered those precious girls -- indeed, worse.
And do we teach that man is a totally depraved sinners, a "child of wrath" who deserves to suffer eternal torment? Yes, but that truth is not true without the context of man's dignity and glory as created in the image of God and without the incarnation of God the Son.
The Christian message is not "you are a worthless scum." Rather, it is "you are precious image-bearer of God, so valued by God and so tragically captured by sin that God sent his own Son to enter your race and provide for your redemption."