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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