I think you’ll find a lot of sympathetic ears here. The Forum in particular tends to attract quite a diverse group of participants. We have a small group of atheists that interact regularly here, some former atheists, and nearly every stripe of Christian you can think of (with the exception of the Amish! ). While there are heated debates over atheist-Christian topics, I think they are usually respectful, though honestly I don’t always read those threads.
In principle, Christians should have no problem “finding something of value” in the beliefs of others, because we all as humans have some reflection, albeit sin-tarnished, of the image of God in us. So long as this does not mean capitulating that all faiths (and non-faiths) are equally valid or that other books are divinely inspired and authoritative over our lives, there is nothing heterodox in appreciating someone else’s beliefs.
As far as “respecting each other’s choice in the matter,” of course we must respect others’ choices to believe as they do. It should be self-evident that we cannot force people to believe differently than they do. We can make a winsome case, of course, and it will be all the more winsome if we are respectful as we do so, but at the end of the day if the case fails to convince, we are compelled to love and embrace the person, including respecting the fact that they have chosen to believe as they do.
If you look around here (as it seems you’ve done a bit of already!), I think you’ll find that there are plenty of discussions here that are only tangentially related to the core mission of BioLogos, and within certain bounds, the moderators have deemed that that’s okay. If it wanders off into politics or hot-button topics, they will usually rein it in (rightly so). But I think the community here sees value particularly in discussing issues at the nexus of atheism, Christianity, scripture, faith and reason.
I imagine this is because some people who gravitate toward the Forum are genuinely wrestling with these issues and trying to find their way to what they see as an intellectually satisfying faith, and there is a pastoral desire to see these people through as best we all can, within reason.
And it’s good to have atheists with us here for such topics in this place of gracious dialogue, because they can offer gentle pushback and different perspective when needed, and help keep us from falling into the trap of caricaturing the “other.” Several times, when visitors have said something about what unbelievers or atheists would think of such and such, I say, well, instead of guessing what they think, why don’t we just ask them, since they’re here? And I tag our atheist regulars in my response. I think we all appreciate this aspect of not being in a hermetically sealed echo chamber here.
Anyway, here I am making another far-too-long response here. Did you have any other comments on the substance of my previous response?