Why do Christian philosophers of religion believe?

Helen De Cruz writes (via Justin Schieber on Facebook):

For several authors in Clark’s edited collection* (including Plantinga), the reasons for belief can be surmised as something like this “I’ve been brought up religiously. I’ve always liked religion. I like going to church, and the bible inspires me. I’ve had mentors who were Christian philosophers that were very influential in my formative years and that made me think the position is philosophically defensible. And when I walk in nature I do sometimes have the sense that something like the God I was brought up to believe in exists. To make this all philosophically work, I do find I contort myself with all sorts of weird analogies and intuitions that nobody finds remotely plausible, unless they are more committed to theism than to atheism. There are some arguments I think are strong, like the cosmological argument, but they seem to wither in the face of the formidable problem of evil. Now, I can’t respond to this problem without sounding very insensitive to those who suffer, but I’ll do it anyway, by treating suffering mainly as a philosophical puzzle.”

In my experience, this describes virtually all theistic philosophers of religion. There are exceptions, like Peter van Inwagen—if only van Inwagen’s arguments didn’t suck.

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