I like the Christian concept of forgiveness. And every year I am moved by the aesthetics and the pathos of the Greek Easter, a powerful story of fall and rise.
But I think these are the only things I find attractive in Christianity.
It is just that I always felt that the metaphysical assumptions about the existence of god, heaven and hell, demons and angels etc. just don’t make sense, were too big and arbitrary and counterintuitive to swallow. Not to mention the contrast, aesthetical and logical between the Old and the New Testament, or the internal inconsistencies in the stories etc. Since I was 15 I was convinced that Christianity is fiction -of a low aesthetical quality.
However, after the DaVinci Code movie, I observed that many people were actually shocked with the new idea that Jesus was mortal; it was like a revelation to them. Personally, I was shocked that they were shocked, who are these people that never even thought of that? Or, maybe the right question is how they choose their religion.
The critical factor is the good old “peer pressure”: as it happends with believers in other religions, 99% of the time, Christians are raised in a Christian family. Unavoidably there is a strong emotional pressure to preserve the tradition and Christians just inherit the religion of their families.
However, many times, this emotional pressure tends to be challenged by an opposing force: a skepticism caused by the inconsistencies of the whole Christian tale itself. I would say that the conditions for the success of this offsetting “skeptical pressure” are:
-a minimum level of education, and
-decently high analytical skills
The first condition can easily reach a limit -a high portion of the population getting the necessary education. Thus, is pretty much static.
That leaves us with the analytical skills of the individuals as the only dynamic factor that can increase the "skeptical resistance" to the peer pressure. I say dynamic because it has been observed that every generation is significantly smarter than the previous one, a well-substantiated finding in psychology called the Flynn effect.
Now, I guess you see where this is going: The Flynn Effect is a long-term existential threat to Christianity.
The policy implications? Maybe the church should shift its resoruces and focus on banning IQ enhancers like computer games; or even more boldly, start some extensive malnutrirition programs, free junk food for the masses.