In the previous June 30 post, the following comment was left by the atheist and former pastor, John Loftus, of the Debunking Christianity blog:
This caught me eye. You see, the whole question is silly from my perspective. Let me briefly explain.
If there is no Christian God then of course I was never saved...and neither are you. This is what I now maintain.
If the question is whether I believed in Christ and the gospel message, professed it, and spread it, then I did. I believed the message even if now I claim the message is false and delusionary.
The only kind of Christians we ever see are professing Christians. As far as I can tell you are professing Christians, and that's all you can say about yourselves, even if the Gospel is true.
So to say I was never a professing Christian is obviously false, because I was, just like you. To say I have not committed the unforgiven sin goes against any good interpretation of the relevant biblical texts. But to say that a professing Christian who's faith was not just to the bone, but to the very marrow, means your God rejected me when I believed in him and accepted with everything in me the gospel of grace. That, my friends, is a callous and indifferent God unworthy of nothing more than disgust from me.
My response to his comment from a Calvinist perspective:
Thanks for your visit.
But to say that a professing Christian who's faith was not just to the bone, but to the very marrow, means your God rejected me when I believed in him and accepted with everything in me the gospel of grace.
The contributors here are Calvinists. As such we do not believe in salvation as you describe it. Men through human decision do not accept the gospel of grace apart from God causing it through regeneration. Therefore, God does not reject those he effectually calls and gives the gift of faith. Your professed faith was not wrought by God the Holy Spirit and was a false faith. As you put yourself, it was a delusion. You have made a correct judgment about your faith being delusional and have assumed that everyone else with faith must also be delusional. Unless you are really an agnostic posing as an atheist, you have simply exchanged a faith in God for a faith in nonsense. To place your faith in an uncaused cause other than a supreme intelligent being is to embrace the ultimate in hocus pocus magic.
From an Arminian perspective a real problem is raised:
Arminianism asserts that faith precedes regeneration and once a sinner believes God, then He regenerates and causes them to be born again. This atheist is charging that God rejected him when he believed with everything in him. This is not a hypothetical situation. This is real and under the Arminian concept of salvation he has a valid complaint. He is basically saying that he did his part by believing and God failed to regenerate and change his heart.
I gave the Calvinist explanation to this real situation. The Zane Hodges theology answer is that he is saved even as an atheist.
Can anyone give me the Arminian answer to his objection? Anyone?