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by Don Brooks, Ratio Christi’s Upper Midwest Regional Director
Earlier this summer, I was able to attend New Hope Lutheran’s Vacation Bible School program, led by Pastor David Rufner, in my area of Michigan. "VBS" as it is known by most is a summer ministry for elementary age children. New Hope’s VBS was held over the course of four evenings. As a former pastor, I love watching other pastors take the time to prioritize their kids by leading VBS.
In my experience, the most common VBS content involves Bible characters, theology proper or character building. All of these have a gospel focus woven into the materials. But what caught my attention at New Hope’s VBS was the unique apologetics emphasis!
This year’s VBS was themed “Is the Bible Reliable?” During my visit Pastor Rufner had put together a courtroom drama that included most of the children and some church volunteers. What was on trial? A published report on the resurrection of Jesus! Pastor Rufner presided over the trial in an Einstein-like white wig and what looked like a choir robe (see photo below article). Very cool for the kids.
The trial was great fun and the students were able to learn some basic principles of historical reliability and good evidence. They not only had a great time, they were introduced to a topic that will soon gain new relevance in their own lives as they enter high school and college.
Last year Pastor Rufner utilized Biblical archaeology as an apologetic. On his church property he dug a 6 x 4 x 3 foot hole…
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