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by Kimmy Miller
The summer before my freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to attend an apologetics-based leadership camp called Summit Ministries. Though I had previously had very little exposure to apologetics outside of reading C.S. Lewis’s books defending various aspects of our faith, going to Summit awoke a hunger in me to learn more. It showed me how to handle myself with the confidence of conviction in conversations where I had previously been paralyzed into silence because I felt inadequate and stupid, with no rational response to offer in the face of cutting criticisms of my most core beliefs.
But as wonderful as those two weeks on Colorado were, it barely covered the tip of the iceberg. I knew when I got home that there was much more learning to do.
Shortly thereafter, I was reading through the book of Philippians and stumbled across this phrase in the first chapter: “the defense and establishment of the Gospel.” When I found it, this phrase jumped out from the page as though bold and highlighted. I knew without a doubt that God was bringing it to my attention.
1 Peter 3:15 expresses a similar sentiment of the believer needing to be ready with an answer to give to support WHY we have the hope that we do. And yet, so many people, believers and unbelievers alike, tend to act as if reason and faith are mutually exclusive. This is simply not true.
One of my favorite verses in the book of Isaiah is God telling the people of Israel, “Come, let us reason together” (1:18). Here we have God Himself inviting discussion and reminding us that He is God of the mind, as well as the God of the heart. The word “faith” in the original Latin specifically means “to trust” – and trust is based on a track record. You don’t just trust the deepest part of your heart with strangers out on the street, do you? Of course not! You know that the ones who are going to be worthy of being entrusted with your soul are those with whom you have an ongoing relationship where they have demonstrated themselves worthy of trust. Praise the Lord, our relationship with Him is no different – He wants us to trust Him because He has already proved Himself worthy of earning our trust by the work He did on the cross, not because we just blindly decided “to believe.”
One organization working to help believers defend their faith is Ratio Christi. Latin for “the reason of Christ,” Ratio Christi is based in small chapters on college campuses, as well as having an online collection of resources for studying apologetics. I recently had the opportunity to interview Julie Miller, a Ratio Christi Chapter Director and Chaplain at Rutgers University…
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