She told me that many of the students were particularly interested in what the atheist had to say and not the theist's argument. After the debate, the theist was left standing alone and the majority of the students crowded around the atheist and hung onto every word that he spoke .
A question she left me with was what would happen if all those students had a passion for God and was receptive to the arguments they were hearing instead of using a debate as a simple "my argument is better than yours so mine is true."
In reality, the lack of support from one's contemporaries where beliefs are involved often leaves one feeling discouraged. My question is this: what is the evangelical response when one's beliefs are challenged and the answers are seen as insufficient.
I asked my professor what she thought, since I knew that she had expertise in handling academic situations where her peers weren't sympathetic to her background. The answer she came up with was that the only practical way is to pray and develop personal relationships, but to be prepared for frustrating times to happen again and again. My prof said a lot more, but that was the gist of it.
Although a seemingly trite answer, it does offer me some comfort that there is hope. I'm sure this will take a lifetime of wrestling and coping.
Anyways, thank you, my friend, for reminding me what life is like on the other side. Sometimes it's easy to forget.