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Two points: First,
accurate Christian theology agrees with Vitsmun that God does not damn
people for not knowing who Jesus “is.” Her statement lacks understanding
of prevenient grace. This is God’s grace that goes before awareness of
Jesus. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were
still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Second,
all religions are not worshiping the same thing. Mohammad is not Jesus.
Jesus is not Allah. Atheism is not theism neutered. Further, striving
for good leaves “good” undefined. Good is subjective. Striving for good
is salvation (if I may use that word with an atheist) by works, but “it
is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from
yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can
boast”

(Ephesians 2:8-10). I have great respect for
honest atheists. They question and respond to incorrect theology with
honest contempt. I believe many of them would have great respect for
Christianity if they were exposed to biblical Christianity rather than
folk theology.

— Bethany

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