I've stayed out of this thread until now because I tend to very deliberately turn a blind eye to threads like this on here; personally I don't think they should be allowed because they *always* run away with themselves until we have one group sticking up for Christianity and the other slating it. Often full of arguments on both sides that are either insubstantial, make no sense or just fundamentally flawed.
It's the same as the whole "why do Macs do x" series of threads, always ends up going the same way with no positive outcome for anyone.
Examples? Just looking at the current page here, but comments like this:
actual logical thinking is unfortunately a trait almost completely confined to the non-religious
Examples? Proof to back this up? Studies being shown? This is one of the biggest cases of irony I've seen! You're making a sweeping, generalising statement with no backing claiming that other people that make such statements are ignorant. Taking religious belief out the question here, how is that argument not fundamentally flawed? If I stated that "actual logical thinking is unfortunately a trait almost completely confined to white people" or, God forbid, "actual logical thinking is unfortunately a trait almost completely confined to Christians" you'd probably get rather angry (and rightly so, it's a stupid statement to make.) So please, think of such things before you type.
To believe in something you have never witnessed, never seen with your own eyes and have only been told about, is in my eyes a symbol of near madness.
Once again, have you been up in space and seen the earth is spherical? I'm betting you've never seen that, you've "just been told about it" yet you believe in it. I'm not arguing from a religious perspective here, just a logical one as to why this statement like many others in this thread is without any basis from a logical perspective.
Yes, I am a Christian. No, I can't write you a mathematical formula to prove this is the case. No, I don't agree with many of the things "the church" (in many denominations) have done and in some cases continue to do. I don't agree with the typical "cheesy Christian" perspective of "just convert lots of people and follow these rules and you'll have a happy life and better one to come." (among many reasons, I don't believe it's biblical.)
But besides from all the negative examples of Christianity here, let me throw a positive one in the mix.
My model of evangelism is to be loving to people and if they ask questions, give honest answers. "Tea and toast" for instance was a regular session held at our uni where anyone could come along and help themselves to some tea, or toast, in order to help them sober up a bit if they felt they'd had too much to drink or just fancied some. We provided food and talked about random things with them, if they didn't bring anything up religion related then we were just happy to help them, whatever background they're from, gay, straight, Christian, atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, whatever. If they did ask questions then we were happy to talk, though if they weren't in a fit state to have a serious conversation then we'd deliberately break away from that kind of thing since it's not really helpful to anyone. If they wanted to talk about Christianity, enter into debates or answer questions then they were more than welcome to do so. If not then we were equally as happy to provide for them.
So far I haven't met anyone making a serious case against what we're doing with that, and it's had positive feedback from many, many students.
Now *that* is the sort of thing I believe the bible teaches, not the "shove it in your face" attitude mentioned here a lot. While there have clearly been cases of this going on, I don't believe it's what Jesus would have wanted, I don't believe it's what he would have done (when do you ever see him doing anything remotely similar in the bible?) and I don't believe it's what Christians should be doing.
I have had many debates of this nature over the years, and probably will have many more. But they only work if people on both sides are prepared to put their points across clearly, quoting appropriate sources where necessary and making sure they're well backed up. One thing I really like about academia (yes, that's right, I'm a Christian studying for a PhD in a subject built around logic) is the fact that no-one would even bother reading an article or paper that wasn't clearly written backed up by appropriate sources - and for good reason.