Monday, August 11, 2008

Another Deconversion

On December 6, 2006, I responded to comments Charles had made responding to a particular person who was responding to a post Steve had written. My response included the following:

I have more reason to believe he is an atheist pretending to be a Christian. He spouts atheist arguments on every single issue, and thus far has demonstrated no ability to grasp basic Christian concepts.Sorry if I don't buy the whole: If it looks like a goat, sounds like a goat, eats trash like a goat, but says it's a sheep, then we must believe it's a sheep. So until [this person] can show me evidence that he actually believes the Gospel (a good way to start demonstrating this would be if he stopped attacking it), I'm going to label him as a non-Christian.
Nor was my judgment unique. Indeed, even before I penned the above, Steve had written of this person (November 22, 2006):

You’re a professing Christian on Sundays, but an honorary atheist on Mondays.
Who is this individual? Why, none other than Touchstone.

So imagine my shock when Jason Engwer informed me that the latest contributor to Debunking Christianity was…you guessed it: Touchstone.

Apparently, we at Triablogue knew Touchstone was an atheist almost two years before he did. Assuming we believe everything in Touchstone’s deconversion story. (Given his loose handling of the truth when he was commenting over here, my bias is to not believe anything he says.)

It is ironic that now Touchstone wishes to make it sound like he was a very strong Christian before defecting. Now he states:

In cases like mine, inevitably, there are questions raised and suspicions launched about the actuality or sincerity of my faith in the first place. For what it's worth, I claim to be an atheist who was a deeply committed, "sold out" believer for decades.

… I was an avid student of theology, a circumstance which had faith-building and faith-destroying ramifications for me over the years. In any case, I was not a "lukewarm Christian", one of those who slowly drifted out of the faith. My faith did not fade away, it came crashing down, quite unexpectedly, and frankly not of my own choosing (at least at the start). I was a cradle Evangelical fully immersed, well-read and fully on board. As a poster on a forum for (Christian) homeschoolers commented recent in a large "discussion" over my atheism: it's the "worst case scenario". Such is the dissonance for many who have known me, a good share of them have decided I've just been lying or faking it all these years, or I somehow just was never saved, never a Christian that "took".
For those interested, in August of 2007 I wrote The Case Against Touchstone which goes into more detail as to why I never believed Touchstone’s profession of faith. Apparently, this “sold out” believer was so transparent that we had no problems spotting exactly who he really was, and we knew it for two years.

Perhaps Touchstone’s psychology is such that he really thought he was a Christian until recently…but I don’t buy it. You simply don’t make the arguments that T-Stone made, you don’t support the atheist argument in every discussion, you don’t actively attack Christians and promote atheist views if you’re a Christian. The signs were there for years. There’s nothing “recent” about his deconversion, except for his admission of it.


  1. Touchstone's probably not lying. The simplest explanation for his past behavior is that he's just a pompous wind bag, with a habit of being really, really condescending.

  2. He had already accepted every materialist presupposition in the book along with a strong belief in scientific realism. Becoming an atheist was simply taking his beliefs to their logical conclusion.

  3. Boy, from the sound of it no one can fool you guys a bit! Next time I wonder whether a person is truly a Christian or not, I'll just ask you. Care to make any other predictions about any other Christians here or there?

    Maybe your motto should be "Perfect predictions every time!" Or, "We can spot apostates before they are apostates." Maybe there's a market for this?

    Want to make any predictions that he'll return to the fold before he dies? Care to predict his name before he reveals it?


  4. Pathetic, Loftus.
    Maybe you missed the entire post, where the longstanding and elaborate description of T-stone's behavior and worldview was described.
    Maybe you should point to another so-called believer around here who's gotten the same treatment.

    But one can certainly appreciate your willingness to defend a brother in arms. Now that you're on the same path to Hell together, it's bros, Christians.

  5. I don't have perfect predictions. Although I did predict a Loftus rant and you didn't disappoint...

    The point of the matter, Lofty, is that in this case Touchstone (and BTW, I already know what his name is so there's no need for me to predict it) is making a big deal about the abruptness of his conversion when there is documented proof that Steve and I have mentioned his atheistic tendencies for TWO YEARS.

    T-Stone has always acted as an atheist on this site. It's not a "prediction" at all for me to say he's an atheist; it's called being observant.

    Something you might want to try some time.

  6. I think it's worth noting that Touchstone's first post at Debunking Christianity after his deconversion story, his post about Francis Xavier, is essentially a variation of an argument used by Bill Curry of Debunking Christianity, and refuted by us, two years ago. Curry didn't use Francis Xavier as an example, but the argumentation is similar.

  7. For what it's worth, I claim to be an atheist who was a deeply committed, "sold out" believer for decades.

    Such is the dissonance for many who have known me, a good share of them have decided I've just been lying or faking it all these years, or I somehow just was never saved, never a Christian that "took".

    Of course this is exactly what the Bible says.Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

    They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

    But, no, Tstone said he was a true believer. Uh-huh...whom do I believe, Tstone or the Bible?