Like most people, I sometimes fall behind on reading some of my favorite blogs. For example, I just read Bruce Gerencser's (The Way Forward) March 1 post, Liberal Christian John Shore Says People Like Me Never Were Christians. Bruce quote's Shore's reasoning:
As for Christians who renounced Christ, who are no longer Christian? Two things: 1. If they don’t care (and they can’t, since they no longer believe that Christ is any more real than the tooth fairy), then the question of what their new relationship is to Christ is the ultimate moot point; and: 2. As much ire as I know this will bring me [and it did: see below], my vote is that such a person was never really a Christian in the first place — by which I mean that their Christianity was always immature. And that’s certainly no crime.
As Bruce points out, Shore is advancing two explanations that, though Shore treats them as one, are two separate arguments. In Shore's opinion, individuals who have deconverted from the Christian faith either were never true Christians to begin with OR their faith was of an immature variety.
Here's what I want to know: Would Shore apply these same principles in the opposite direction?
Let's say there is a famous atheist who has led a very hedonistic AND public life. At some point, this atheist has an epiphany and becomes a Christian. Would someone like John Shore accuse this person of being an illegitimate atheist? Would someone like John Shore say this individual was never REALLY an atheist to begin with? If so, then all those hedonistic acts would have been the acts of a god-fearing Christian and all the criticism of a hedonistic atheist lifestyle would have to pulled back!
Then again, maybe it was just a sign that this real Christian merely was behaving like an immature atheist because we all "know" how those immature atheists act!