I think the fear so many feel from even looking at this subject with any sort of objectiveness is real and should be respected. I myself have read all the books about both sides (well, lots of them), been a christian for 40 yrs, gone to bible college, had the full gamut of teaching from every corner of christendom, and I can't escape a few glaring facts that refuse to go away no matter how much theology I throw at them.
The biggest one (which I posted on Facebook the other day) in a nutshell, is something along the lines of: why would God create billions of precious people in his very image, out of his heart of love, knowing full well that most of them would end up in unbearable, horrific torture for eternity with no hope of reconciliation? It not only makes no sense but makes God out to be a tyrant more cruel than any human could possibly be, let alone want to be! He has put his heart of love in each of us - we know what love is, he describes his own character in 1Cor 13. So its not only impossible to think that God would just say "oh well, you lost your chance - off to hell with you and no chance of redemption", it is incomprehensible, and loathsome on any level. We to easily fob it off by saying His ways are higher than ours and other stuff about his justice being pure etc, but how come our standards are higher than His?
So where does that leave us? I have wrestled with this for years, and my passion for Jesus has only grown as I discover more and more of his grace. As I let more of His love fill me this question becomes a bigger issue, something I can't just cover up with a bunch inconsistent scriptures. I'm not afraid to be wrong! But God gave me a brain and a heart, that I have used with as much integrity as I can muster. Something is wrong with this picture - and I think its time we stopped burying our heads in dogma and had sensible discussions knowing that we can trust Holy Spirit in each other!