In exclusions most radical form, humans can exclude themselves from God and other so categorically that they can gain a sense -- again only a sense-- that God no longer exists. We call this 'atheism.' But, humans can't really be atheists. Instead, they become individualists; their absorption with an All-consuming Self drowns out their Eikonic sense of God, and, before long, they begin to tell themselves that there is no God and that they are atheists. What they really are is individualists.
--Scot McKnight Embracing Grace, page 132