I hope that our theist pals are getting a sense of the bewilderment that I would say most atheists experience when they see where the Christian god commands us to love him.
I've always thought it was pretty strange, and can totally understand what humanguy is saying. However, I also thought that as with many strange things, perhaps it's just complex, and that if you think about it, you might get some interesting concepts. Of course, the atheists might cry "justification!" (in the non-biblical sense ) and they could be right. But here's the thing - if I hear about my husband doing something strange, then because of my relationship with him and knowledge of him, I decide that it's probably just complex, and will make sense if I find out more. It's the same thing with God; because of my relationship with him and my knowledge of him, when I find something strange in the Bible, I can trust that it's probably just something complex. So I'd like to pass on the "justification!" option (or if the atheists really want to say it, then they can say it and then leave because they will have nothing left to say ) (or they can say it once if they really feel they have to say it, and then try to assume that it's NOT justification and join in in the discussion).
SO - why would God command us to love him?