Reflections On Doing Apologetics On A Major College Campus
By Eric Chabot
In 2004, I started going down to the Ohio State University and engaging students for the truth claims of Christianity. I did hundreds of surveys with students and certainly begin to see some of the objections people had to the Christian faith. It was 2009 when we planted a Ratio Christi chapter on the campus. This was done out of the necessity for a stronger apologetics presence on the campus. Since we planted the chapter we have had some very well-known speakers come such as William Lane Craig, Frank Turek, Bart Ehrman and Michael Brown, and Paul Nelson. We have also had some student debates with the skeptic group on the campus. Anyway, I wanted to go ahead and share some of the trends and objections that I have seen on the campus over the last several years. Keep in mind Ohio State is a very large campus (60,000) students. Therefore, I do not mean to stereotype anyone or act like I speak as an authority for the entire campus. There are plenty of other campus ministries and people who might share different experiences that they have seen on the campus.
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What About Skepticism?
Sure, skepticism has always been an issue on college campuses. The skepticism has gotten worse over the last few years. But what kind of skepticism do I see? All kinds of skepticism! But as you will see in the objections below, I also see a lot of pragmatism and some post-modernism, mysticism, etc. But in general, when it comes to presenting any kind of religious claims such as the Christian faith, I tend to see the following objections. I will also provide some resources to the objections I have heard over the last several years:
Historical skepticism: Questions and comments:
“I am not sure if Jesus existed”
“ The New Testament authors are biased”
“ We can’t know much of anything in history”
“ History is always written by the winners”
“The New Testament story of Jesus was borrowed from paganism/mystery religions!
“ There are books that are supposed to be in the Bible that were kept out. Hence, we can’t trust the books we do have in the Bible.”
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