One thing that strikes me as interesting when non Calvinists talk about Calvinism is how rarely they represent what we actually believe as Calvinists. I had a prof in one of my classes a while back explain what Calvinists believe about election (at least this is what he thinks).
"It's like God is in a boat and there are people drowning all around Him and He chooses to save a few of them and let the rest of them drowned."
I didn't keep my mouth shut at that point.... I know imagine that. What a horrid straw man of what the reformed faith actually believes about God's free choice to save. Think with me for a moment about what this example above leaves out of the equation.
Mankind has profaned, rejected and blasphemed God. They are not innocent people drowning, they are people intentionally breathing in the water because it is what they want to do. God didn't throw them in the water, they gave God the proverbial "finger" as they jumped off the boat, cursing Him all the way down to the water. Each of them deserves to drowned and the last thing they deserve is for God in the boat to pull their worthless souls out of the water.
I take horrid offense to an example of election that makes God a divine bully. It is purely the graciousness of God that anyone receives salvation since no one deserves anything but death and Hell.
Another caricature I hear all to often is that election means that even if you live your whole life believing in and loving Jesus, serving Him and sharing Him with others, if you're not elect your going to hell. As if you could truly do those things if you weren't regenerate. This is clearly false because the Scripture teaches that our works are proof of our justification, this is what James 2 talks about.
It would be nice for just once if someone wanted to take issue with what Calvinism believes that they would actually take issue with what Calvinism believes. It seems to me that building straw men arguments against Calvinism is about all that the Arminian position can effectively offer, because the real deal is so entrenched in Scripture it's inarguable.
These caricatures have been very effective, I'll admit, in keeping people from accepting the doctrines of grace because they have been taught that what Calvinist's believe is unscriptural, and the pictures that they paint like the ones above, are unscriptural.
So come on people, you want to argue Calvinism, argue Calvinism.