I have several good people who comment here at DC. Take Russ for instance, who makes several interesting points in debate with Rob R.
[N]o two people calling themselves Christians view Christianity the same way. Being Catholic he's likely not even reading the same Bible you read. In fact, he may not read it at all. Many Catholics chuck the entire OT, except of course for hating homosexuals and original sin. Without a doubt, given your doctrinal differences each of you is heaven-bound by your own lights, and each of you has reserved a ticket for the other on the bus to hell. You do not accept each other's dogma, so his choice for apologetics will be different than yours. Get it through your thick skull: you do not represent all things Christian and to suggest that you do is intellectually dishonest. You do not even speak for a large fraction of Christians.
Americans in general are reading less and less. Some interesting numbers in that regard:
1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
(Source: Jerold Jenkins, www.JenkinsGroupInc.com)
Americans don't do much reading and those who do don't read the Bible or religiously related material. Americans read more of psychic Sylvia Brown and New Agey Deepak Chopra than they do Christian-themed books. Americans embrace all kinds of superstitions, not just religious superstitions. They spend far more time watching TV shows about mediums, psychics, and non-religious supernatural entities than they spend in all their religious activities. They read astrology columns far more faithfully than they engage Christianity. To ignore, deny, or reject this is to be out of touch with what's called Christianity in America.From the website [http://www.theologicalstudies.org/page/page/1572910.htm].
According to the Barna Research Group, those who read the Bible regularly spend about 52 minutes a week in the scriptures. (Barna, "The Bible," 1997.
It's even less now in 2009. Those who do care about it, don't care much.
Each day in the U.S., people spend 4 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines. (Source: Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment banker)
American Christians intentionally give many things far greater priority than they give their religion. More to the point, that they don't read much of anything also means they do not read books on Christian apologetics.
Here's a link to a wonderful article that underscores the lack of concern Americans have for Christianity. [http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/06/18/america-s-real-literacy-crisis-it-s-the-bible-stupid/]
Please read it and think it through. The numbers cited in it are supported independently elsewhere.
12 percent of Americans believe Noah's wife was Joan of Arc.
Only 50 percent can name even one gospel.
Only 37 percent could name all four.
Most do not know that someone named Jesus delivered the sermon on the mount.
More than half do not know that the first book in the Bible is Genesis.
Christians are so poor at articulating a clear message that half of high school seniors in one survey thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were married, and a 2000 survey showed 60 percent of evangelicals thought Jesus was born in Jerusalem instead of Bethlehem. "Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem" seems never to have sunk in.
Think about this when you fall into using the word "Christian." Is this your Christianity? Can you name the four gospels? Most other American Christians can't.
On this site, [http://www.centerforbibleengagement.org/index.php?Itemid=7&id=23&option=com_content&task=view], we read,The Christian community in the United States is in a major crisis and for the most part is unaware. Our research indicates that if current trends of Biblical disengagement among youth and men, especially, continue, within the next 30 years the Bible will be a “thing of the past” for most people who claim to be Christ-followers.andMost Christ-followers do not engage (read or hear) from God (the Bible) on a daily basis because it simply is not important to them-thus, establishing a habit of Bible reading is not (statistically) a probability using current methodologies.Wow! Statistics and probabilities!
Your fellow American Christians don't read much at all, and, again, that includes Bibles and books on Christian apologetics. Your fellow American Christians don't look at Christianity the same way you do and they do not care about Christianity the way you appear to. So, it is intellectually dishonest to contend that you speak for them.
The numbers also provide insights when we look at the site Religious Tolerance. [http://www.religioustolerance.org/rel_rate.htm]. The article at this link is "How many North Americans attend religious services (and how many lie about going)?"
As the article points out, Christians lie a lot when it comes to their religious practices. The polling data says 40 percent go to church, but actual counts show only about half that attend church services. Barna showed that while 17% say they tithe, only about 3% actually do. If they lie about church attendance, and they lie about how much they give to their churches, we certainly have good reasons to question their self-assessments in other areas.
Looking at the rest of the world, we see many cultures that have no religion and many that have had it and subsequently rejected it. Your religious views offer these people, these cultures, nothing. The Amazonian Piraha and the Tanzanian Hadza people have no religion and no gods. They are completely self-reliant and need nothing at all from modern civilization, especially Christianity.
Telling these people they are inherently afflicted with original sin by your religion due to errors by others in ancient times does no one any good. Their languages don't have words for times too far past or future. They remain unimpressed by human sacrifice since it's such a stupid thing for a father to do. Here's a link to a lecture about one man's experience with the Piraha, [http://fora.tv/2009/03/20/Daniel_Everett_Endangered_Languages_and_Lost_Knowledge]
It's called, "Daniel Everett: Endangered Languages and Lost Knowledge." He also authored a book called, "Don't Sleep: There Are Snakes."
For cultures like the Scandanavian ones, neither they nor those their generosity and compassion aids stand to gain from Christianity's yarns and tall tales. Read the United Nations Human Development Reports. They're online. You can discount them all you like, but the numbers should put anyone back on their heels who thinks that Christianity is a panacea - it's not, or that Christianity makes people better than their fellow man - it doesn't. That's only a Christian delusion.
Christians, including clergy, are provably liars. Christians lie about science. Christians lie about the natural world. Christians lie about answered prayers. Christians lie about their own church attendance. Christians lie about their giving to their own church. Christians lie about miracles. Christians lie about atheists and other non-Christians. Christians lie to the poor and destitute. Simply put, Christians lie, and, so should not be trusted.
Today's fast reacting information systems promise a well-spring of troubles for Christianity. Any group or person unable to demonstrate that their claims lead to observable benefit for mankind will be held to account by observers. Those same information systems will fell the protective barriers behind which the absurd and profoundly stupid like Pat Robertson, and the profane and vulgar like the current pope and his legion of rapists find safe haven.
[You'll see more of his comments by clicking on this link].