One way to tell whether a theory is in crisis to to observe how many versions of that theory have been proposed. When it comes to how the death of Jesus supposedly atones for sins there have been a lot of versions proposed by Christians who, for good reasons, have disputed the others.
Loftus is suggesting that Christians have varied and different viewpoints on how Jesus atones for those who put their faith in Him.
So let's recap. The earliest proposals were The Ransom Theory and the The Recapitulation Theory. Then came a host of them afterward, like Anslem's Satisfaction Theory, The Penal Substitutionary Theory, The Governmental Theory, The Moral Influence Theory, and recently The Relationship Theory. There are others: The Acceptance Theory. The Declaratory Theory. The Mystical Theory. The Guaranty Theory. The Vicarious Repentance Theory. The Christus Victor Theory. The Healing Theory. The Penal Non-Substitution Theory. The Kaleidoscope Theory. The Participatory Model. The Scapegoating Theory.
Loftus posts a laundry list of theologies regarding the atonement. The faceplant is that many of them are not contradictory of mutually exclusive at all. For example there is no conflict between Penal Substitution and the Scapgoating theory. Hear that? That is the sound of a face slamming concrete - our propitiation. If you wanna know how Jesus atones for our sin and what does it mean for Him to be our sin offering, read Hebrews and the rest of the New Testament.
Check some of them out! See also this book of four views, and watch as Christians trash the other views! You see, there is nothing left for me to do. Christians do it to themselves. All I need to do is point it out.
So not all Christians agree with each other. So what? Not all atheists agree with John Loftus, does not mean Atheism is wrong? Atheism is wrong, but not for the reason that Loftus is wrong or that other Atheists disagree with him.
Given nearly two millennia I’d venture to say with good reason that there will never be a cogent, well-argued version that can ever pass muster in the future either.
Oh, I get it: In his mind there are no cogent or well-argued understanding of how the Atonement works. .
I think the whole idea of Jesus dying for my sins to restore me to God is built upon the beliefs of a superstitious ancient world, where gods and goddesses were pleased with sacrifices, whether they were human or animal ones.
John Loftus is entitled to his opinion no matter how wrong it is. Loftus doesn't offer any evidence for that conclusion in this post, but that's what a faceplant looks like.
This ancient world is long gone now, so it’s time to give up believing in an incarnate God who offered a sacrifice for us on the cross to atone for our sins.
Here is the problem: what are you going to do about your sins? If Jesus is not your propitiation then who is? Yourself? Problem is no one can pay for their own sin. Loftus is one of those who decry the existence of evil and suffering. He believes that if there really was a God, He would get rid of such things if God was good. But I'm shocked that people don't stop to think "What happens to me, if God did exist and decided to get rid of all the evil in existence?" To most of us "evil" is the person over there doing things to other people that I would never do. That's not it. We have all sinned. None of us live up to the standards we set for ourselves about what is moral - right and wrong - completely and consistently every day. Why would anyone think that we should get away with that. We all agree that the one who rapes and murders a little child should be punished. Some even think they should be put to death - especially if it's their child. But what about when we lie on someone. Or steal an idea from someone as if it's our own? Bootleg a movie or a song? Cheat on taxes? Lust on a person who is not your spouse? Speeding when you aren't supposed to? These are wrong too and demand punishment. And some of these don't even seem like they should be an offense to us. That is why we have the Bible, it reveals sin to us that we don't already know about through our consciences. How do you pay what you owe to God because of your inability to live up to the standard of which he has set? News Flash: you can't.
When you stand before God to give an account for your life, how are you going to explain - given your obvious wretchedness - why God should not send you to the hell you have chosen to go? Waiting. Take your time.
Debunking Christianity: When Christians Criticize Each Other I Think They're All Right