Why care about Christianity?
1. Christianity is a central part of 1,500 years of Western Civilization. If you don’t understand Christianity – understand it not just on an intellectual level but also ‘from the inside’, understanding the content of the concepts and not just the abstract symbols – then you can’t understand most of Western Civilization’s history. You cannot understand a significant amount of the motivations, emotions, world views, and so on, of most of the painters, musicians, politicians, philosophers, scientists, writers, and so on.
2. The humanities haven’t undergone similar progress as the sciences. The painting, music, literature, sculpture, architecture, and so on, if anything has gotten worse in the last two hundred years, say, not better.
Since Christianity largely is in the realm of the humanities, there might be much of use – much beauty, goodness, practical psychology, and so on.
This applies not just to Christianity, which to a large extent is based on the Gospels, written approximately 2,000 years ago, but also works by or about Cicero, Epictetus, Siddhartha Guatama, Confucius, and so on.
Much of what these works deal with contains psychological or sociological insights or interesting leads, even though written long ago. In some cases, they might contain a lot of these.
3. Having said that, we can now approach these things with new knowledge, and see how we can improve on them. Positive psychology, for example – a branch of academic psychology that actually gets results – uses lab tests and more rigorous testing that sometimes corroborate or give further insight into what people were saying in various places, albeit hundreds or thousands of years ago.