This was the Original Post (OP) in a thread on the Internet Infidels Atheist discussion forum - I thought this was worth capturing.
Rational reasons to believe in Christianity by BadBadBad
I was hoping that in this thread we could capture any rational reasons for believing in the Christian religion. Angela2 prompted this thread. She criticized athiests for "espousing atheism" for emotional reasons. I corrected her that for me anyway it's not promoting atheism, but criticizing religion. I do that for emotional and rational reasons. Yet I have yet to hear a single rational reason for believing in Christianity. So, hopefully we'll be able to sort through the best ones here and sort out emotion from rationality.
Let's have the rational reasons for believing the Christian story as presented in the Bible.
I replied that experience was one reason.
The poster replied that this rationale could be used to support belief in Santa.
I replied that experience was one factor of several - including observation, reason and historicity.
Which led to another poster's reply to me:
Just by repeating "experience, observation, reason and historicity"? It makes for a good mantra, I suppose. I especially liked how you managed to rule out santa. You simply asserted the truth is revealed & santa isn't. You must find it easy to defend assertions by making more assertions.
my response -
hm - perhaps you did not understand how these factors would apply:
As a child I experienced both God and Santa.
God promised through Scripture the gifts of eternal life with Him through faith in Christ and the fruit of the Holy Spirit in this life.
Santa promised toys if I was a good boy.
As I matured, I began to realize through reason and observation that Santa was a myth developed over time - based on the works of the historical real person, St. Nicholas - and that the toys I was receiving were given by my parents - and my behavior did not really impact the receipt of toys - so my experience with Santa was shown as a childish fantasy.
On the other hand - as I matured, I began to realize that through reason and observation the Universe was not a product of chance and that Scripture was a consistent and reliable guide to faith and practice - that Christ was indeed a historical figure and that the witnesses and accounts of Christ were too near the time of his appearance on earth to be myth - and I more and more began to exhibit the characteristics of the fruits of the Spirit, despite the drive of my nature to the contrary.
All these things helped me understand the nature of my salvation, served as validation of my experience and my rationale supporting my belief in God.
I hope that is a little clearer.