The Third Column and You
by Blake Anderson
Greg Koukl, in his latest Solid Ground newsletter, has written a masterful piece about the “Third Column.” If you are an apologist, you need to read it–it’s about you. Writing about the re-emergence of apologetics over the last fifty years, he notes the pioneering First Column–those that “established a beachhead” after years of intellectual neglect in Christianity. Koukl then talks about the Second Column, the leaders taking up the charge of the First Column, and how many individuals and organizations have been making a steady impact for the last twenty years. Then Koukl says,
“The first column was tiny. The second column is larger. The third column is massive, and you are part of it.”
Where are they?
They are small bands—“little platoons,”Edmund Burke called them—of ordinary people making a difference right where they live. They are not large organizations or huge institutions. Collectively, though, these platoons scattered around the country and, more and more, the world, growing into an army of clear-thinking Christians.
Who are they?
People like these—people like you—are the future of thoughtful Christianity. The next years do not belong to bestselling authors or popular speakers at big events,though we still need both. Rather, the future will be determined in relatively quiet corners of our Christian communities—small groups of committed disciples in the local church with warm hearts and sharp minds demonstrating that Christianity is worth thinking about. [emphasis added]
Getting very specific, the article mentions many great organizations and key individuals who are part of this Third Column and who are doing extraordinary work for the Kingdom. Ratio Christi is honored to be included in the list, though it was by no means exhaustive. It says,
Ratio Christi is a grassroots campaign for Christian worldview engagement specifically intended to help connect second-column speakers and organizations to third-column groups on campuses and in churches around the country. Their goal is to have clusters of thoughtful Christians in 500 universities and 1500 churches in the next five years, a task requiring 1000 new full-time apologetics mentors to lead those local groups.
I couldn’t have described Ratio Christi’s mission better myself. We want to facilitate this new wave in the apologetics movement. We are planting “boots on the ground” in order that every university and community has a champion of apologetics…
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