What Love is This?
"[Arminians] ... say that the Augustinian tradition subordinates the love of God to the will of God ... But this is not what distinguishes the Augustinian tradition from the Arminian tradition. The distinction is between intensive and extensive love, between an intensive love that saves its loved ones, and an extensive love that loves everyone in general and saves no one in particular. Or if you really wish to cast this in terms of willpower, it's the distinction between divine willpower and human willpower. Or, to put the two together, does God will the salvation of everyone with a weak-willed, ineffectual love, or does God love his loved ones with a resolute will that gets the job done? The God of Calvin is the good shepherd, who names and numbers his sheep, who saves the lost sheep and fends off the wolf. The God of Wesley is the hireling, who knows not the flock by name and number, who lets the sheep go astray and be eaten by the wolf. Which is more loving, I ask? - Steve Hays
An illustration that may further shed light on this is as follows:
Two parents see their child run out in the street. A car is coming. The first parent calls out to the child hoping he will get out of the way in time. In other words, he gives him a choice. The second parent on the other hand, due to his love for the child runs out at the risk of His own life, scoops up the child and MAKES CERTAIN his child is not run over.
Even on an earthly level we see that true parental love acts and gets the job done. This kind of intensive love does not stand on the sidelines worried about whether their child's will was violated or not. He cares too much for the child to make his will the deciding factor. Yes the child will believe and trust in his parent, but the parent loves the child first, not because of what he does (conditional acceptance) but because the parent loves the child. Therefore the Arminian tradition has a view of God whose love is conditional while those in the Augustinian tradition see HIs love for His people as unconditional.
To clarify the illustration so you can see how it explicitly explains the two positions:
First of all, both positions believe that Christ died for sinners .... but there are clear differences in what Christ's death actually accomplishes for His children:
1) The Arminian position believes that Christ does a great deal to bring salvation to His people, but His death does not actually secure that salvation. It is not sufficient of itself to save lost people. There is still a requirement that sinners themselves must meet if Christ's death is to be effectual ... in other words, what Christ does for sinners in the Arminian scheme is really conditioned upon man fulfilling another requirement that is in addition to Christ's death ... in this case, faith.
2) The Augustinian position, in contrast, believes that Christ's death and resurrection actually secures the salvation of His people. It is completely sufficient in itself to save sinners. God does require faith of His people but Christ's death even pays for the sin of our unbelief and thus He meets all the requirements necessary for our salvation ... requirements that we were morally impotent to meet ourselves. Thus, Jesus Christ gives His children everything necessary to secure salvation. This is an unconditional love ... salvation by grace alone in Christ alone. Christ pluys nothing. Salvation is not conditioned upon our prior faith but Christ actually secures our faith. The finished work of Christ guarantees that none of his children will be lost.