Christianity presents itself as a choice between two doors. And everyone must choose whether to walk through the Jesus door or the other door. What Christians gloss over, and yet what’s painfully obvious to those outside, is that the existence of the doors themselves must be taken on faith.
To put it another way: Christians act as though there is a single, simple choice for each person to make: the choice between accepting Jesus as savior and lord, on the one hand, versus trusting that we are worthy of salvation based on our own goodness, on the other. Yet to arrive at this particular choice, a person must have accepted a number of other very specific, very Christian claims. For a person who cares about clear, rational, evidence-based thinking, these preliminary claims require larger leaps of faith than does choosing Jesus. After all, if you’ve already accepted the Christian narrative about historical events and spiritual realities, Jesus should be a more or less obvious choice.
My point, here at least, is not to criticize faith. It is to suggest that Christians have a duty to be aware of and to “own” the leaps of faith they have taken to arrive at the point of being a Christian. And if you have skipped over these steps because you’ve had a personal, spiritual experience, then own that, while acknowledging that those who have not had the same experience may be reasonable in not joining you in faith.