I suggest reading the original in its entirety first to get the full impact. I want to emphasize that when I was writing this, I wasn't deviously planning logical fallacies or calculating how to be deceitful, I was just starting with what I believe to be true and trying to work towards proving Christianity.
Anyway, here goes:
First, there seems to be no plausible explanation for true free will without the supernatural.
I begin by finding a troubling implication of science, which is religion's main competitor. Nobody wants to believe we don't have free will, yet it's difficult to see how we could have it without invoking supernatural explanations.
Although it's therefore tempting to argue that there is no free will, it's obvious from everyday experience that there is.
I then appeal to "common sense," a technique often used by the unsophisticated to argue against counter-intuitive realities. To be precise, when we say "it's obvious that there is free will," what we're really saying is that it "feels" like we have free will. Science has repeatedly demonstrated that what feels true isn't always so.
If there is a supernatural being behind every human, it stands to reason that there is an even greater supernatural being of which the smaller beings are a part, or are split off of somehow.
A little sleight-of-hand. I say "it stands to reason," but I merely make an unexplained logical jump.
This is exactly what Christianity teaches. What is Christ if not part of the Greater Spirit (God) combined with a human one?
In fact, it's not "exactly what Christianity teaches." I'm also using the phrase "Greater Spirit" dishonestly, to make it sound like God is the same thing as a soul, only bigger.
In fact, the very notion of the Trinity reflects the metaphysics which makes most sense based on simple observation.
Another appeal to "common sense."
God, or the Spirit, is united but at the same time has different manifestations. God is God the Father, the Creator, while at the same time the Son, the human. There is also the pervasive Holy Spirit which fills all of Creation.
Here I'm shoehorning complicated Christian theology into the metaphysics I argued for based simply on the apparent existence of free will. This has strong emotional impact because it takes one of the most difficult aspects of Christian theology -- Trinity-based monotheism -- and turns it on its head. This will really hit the pleasure centers of a believer's brain. ("Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones." The Political Brain.)
It's clear that the Old Testament began with a people who were prepared only for a tribal Deity, not the real Monotheism of later Christianity. In the Old testament, God acts like a polytheistic God - angry, jealous, loving, vengeful... in other words, human, but bigger. He is a nation's God, rather than the only God. He says, "worship no other Gods before me," not "I am the only God who exists."
Throwing a bone to the skeptics, saying, "See, I'm reasonable. You can trust me." "Arguing against interest" is a time-tested way to build credibility.
Judaism paved the way for Christ's message. Jesus was himself both God and Jew, and so formed a new covenant, this time not with one nation, but with anyone willing to accept Him. At this point, the people had been weaned off of primitive, pagan-like sacrifices and ritual laws of kashrut and the like were no longer necessary. Christ showed people how to interact directly with God without needing such primitive intermediaries.
Neatly doing away with the most foreign bits of the Old Testament as well as sucking in those who are disaffected with their Judaism and those uncomfortable with the idea of "the chosen people."
Some claim that Jesus did not exist. This is almost certainly untrue. He is a recent enough figure and he shows up not just in the four gospels, but in extra-Biblical documents like Josephus and the Talmud.
Straw man. I find a weak claim made by some non-believers and trounce it. Even so, I make it sound like the issue's more settled than it is. The Talmud refers to the Jesus who is worshipped, not the actual man, and Josephus may have been hearsay.
Some point out that the gospels contradict each other in places, for example with the details in the story of His resurrection. I agree that there are contradictions, but that this is to be expected when hearing a story from four different sources. I don't believe that the NT (or the OT) were dictated from God...
Another bone for the skeptics. "See, I'm reasonable!" A non-literal understanding of the Bible also allows me the freedom to interpret it as necessary to fit with my pre-existing beliefs in the present as well as the confidence that I'll be able to continue to "update my understanding" of it as science finds more results in the future which contradict a literal understanding.
...but it's clear they were inspired from the comfort they give to millions.
Non-sequitor. Medicine, movies, and Harry Potter novels give comfort to millions, but nobody claims they were "inspired."
The OT paved the way for Jesus Christ. There are many prophets before Jesus, but the OT also speaks of the Messiah.
Disingenuously implying that the OT's predictions lend credibility to Christianity. Simply because the OT prophesizes a Messiah doesn't mean that any particular person claimed to be the Messiah is.
If the Old Testament has any truth to it, there's no way the Second Temple could have been destroyed with no Messiah coming for over two thousand years. Even when the nation of Israel was being punished, it was only for four hundred years! It's clear from the OT that the Messiah would be coming sooner rather than later.
Taking an argument against Judaism and turning it on it's head. Also disingenuously confusing the issue of the original Resurrection with the Second Coming.
Arguments against the Old Testament from science are irrelevant. The Old Testament was never supposed to be a literal history of the Universe. It was an introduction to God for a people who did not yet know Him. He spoke in their language, according to what they could accept at that time. Later, in Jesus's time, he updated the teachings to include the rest of humanity.
Big, tasty bone for the skeptics as well as those uncomfortable with the concept of "the chosen people." Also plays on the fact that the New Testament was indeed written for a more recent audience than the OT.
Did evolution happen? Of course it did. Is the universe billions of years old and unimaginably vast? Of course.
Mmmmmmmmmmm. Skeptic bones.
These things only prove God's existence all the more so! Evolution is far too intricate to lead to a being as astounding as the human without being guided somehow.
Deliberately vague and misleading. Even atheists agree that evolution was "guided somehow" -- by natural selection!
A 4-billion year old Earth with a long, winding path towards the human reveals an incomprehensibly powerful God.
Assuming facts not in evidence. There's no evidence that the human is the goal of evolution, let alone the purpose of the Earth. If we manage to kill ourselves in the next few hundred thousand years, we may even be one of the shorter-lived species to have arisen. Note that I'm also turning a knock on religion -- that the history of the world is much more complex than imagined by the author(s) of the Creation story -- into a plus.
And what of Christ's teachings? Can anyone deny that his words carry immense wisdom?
And I quote the verses that liberals love. Moreover, that Jesus (the person or the character) had some wisdom is not under debate. The overwhelming majority of wise men are not God.
Were not these teachings shown to be wise by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.? Who among modern figures are more revered than those two who so closely followed Jesus's teachings.
Continue appealing to the liberals. Ignoring the 99.9% of other people who interpreted Jesus's teachings a little... differently. Moreover, Gandhi wasn't even a Christian.
Oh, you will say, so much harm has been done in Jesus's name. This is true, I agree, but those so-called followers of Christ aren't doing any following.
No True Scotsman fallacy. Moreover, some of them are very much following the New Testament, which isn't exactly modern in its opinions on homosexuality, women, or non-believers.
Christ predicted such hypocrisy and gave us the only test we need for discovering who the real Christians are. He said, "By their fruits you shall know them."
A line I've always admired.
In other words, if one praises Jesus but steals from the poor, he's not a Christian. If one praises Jesus but agitates for war, he's not a Christian. If one praises Jesus but bilks the faithful out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, he's not a Christian.
Bones for the liberals. Note that according to this statement, the majority of Americans who call themselves Christian are not in fact Christian.
Mankind is flawed, and Jesus came to rescue us from ourselves.
Who can argue that we're flawed? Who doesn't sometimes wish someone would rescue us?
His sacrifice mirrors the primitive use of the (literal) scapegoat in the old testament, but reinvents it for a more enlightened humanity.
Implying that the parallelism is evidence.
Even to the gravest suffering, stand up for what's right, is his message. In the OT, the faithful kill the scapegoat. In the NT, the most faithful one IS the scapegoat. Don't strike, but turn the other cheek.
More liberal bones. Is that really the message of the crucifixion?
When we all follow Jesus, there will be no war.
Or when we all follow Buddha or Gandhi or Ralph Nader.
And what of our sins? What does it mean to say Jesus died to save us?
Very good question. This really doesn't make much sense.
By his death he teaches that living isn't the most important thing, how you live is. He modeled for us even as he was dying the perfect behavior.
Very simplistic interpretation. If this were really the moral to the story, Jesus should have died by saving drowning children or something.
"Forgive them Father," he says, referring to his murderers, "they know not what they do." Christ died teaches us the alternative to hatred.
Of course, I left out "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
To sum up:
1) I found an emotionally unsatisfying implication of scientific materialism, which I argue that Christianity solves.
2) I disarmed the skeptics by admitting evolution and a non-literal interpretation of both the OT and the NT.
3) I created a satisfying metaphysics, based loosely on Buddhism, which I shoehorned into Christianity.
4) I disarmed the liberals by focusing on Jesus's liberal teachings.
5) I dismissed a straw man argument to make skeptics look weaker.
6) I used the No True Scotsman fallacy to get around the horrible things done in Christianity's name.
7) I reinterpreted the meaning of the crucifixion as if it were the moral of an after-school special.
8) I made it sound like Christianity is the solution to war.
9) I ignored all parts of Christianity which actually contradict science or contemporary morality.