Investigating Faith with Lee Strobel: Ratio Christi and the Apologetics Movement
Since starting in 2008, Ratio Christi has been expanding its apologetics ministry at colleges around the country – and beyond. Its goal: to regain the intellectual momentum in an environment where secularism often prevails. Here’s an interview with Ratio Christi president Rick Schenker about this new movement to defend the faith.
Q. Tell us about Ratio Christi.
Ratio Christi is a global movement that equips university students and faculty to give historical, philosophical and scientific reasons for following Jesus Christ. Ratio Christi is Latin for “The Reason of Christ,” and we are placing Christian apologetics clubs at universities. We are engaging in the battle for the mind of Christians and skeptics alike. We unashamedly defend the veracity of God, the Bible and Christ’s resurrection. Currently we have over 60 chapters and expect to have 500 chapters in the next five years.
Q. Why is it particularly important for youth and college students?
When confronted with intellectual challenges to Christianity, many Christian college students will abandon their faith. Secular thought dominates most educational institutions. Christian students are ridiculed and openly humiliated by fellow students, and sometimes even faculty, for believing in God, the Bible and Jesus Christ.
We don’t back down in the face of intellectual challenges to the faith, and we teach students and Christian faculty members that our faith can stand up to intellectual scrutiny and attack. We teach both students and faculty the logical, historical, philosophical and scientific reasons why Christianity and the Christian worldview are true. What is amazing about this is that these students become incredibly confident in their faith and become amazing witnesses for Christ.
Q. How are students reacting to Ratio Christi on campus?
We have lots of great testimonies, but let me share two:
“Ratio Christi has provided an open atmosphere in which I can bring my questions about Christianity. It has given me logical answers to those questions and has equipped me with arguments about issues I face as a Christian student on a secular campus. It is rare to find a place where religion can be discussed objectively and beliefs are supported by concrete evidence. I am thankful to have found one and am continually learning how important apologetics is as a witness.” –Jennifer (UNCC)
I love this second one though because it emphasizes the value of apologetics in helping people become confident witnesses for Christ. Bryan has already graduated from Ohio State, but here is what he said:
“Ratio Christ” taught me how to share my faith more effectively. Before Ratio Christi I found it difficult to witness to others about Christ. Well, with Ratio Christi, every week was an adventure on campus to witness to people. We saw God work and bless us with great conversations and even a few on-the-spot conversions.”
Q. But really, is another campus ministry needed?
Good question! We asked it ourselves before embarking upon this adventure. We quickly recognized the need for a ministry focused on apologetics and worldview development that would complement existing college campus ministries. Ratio Christi does not compete with other Christian ministries. We provide resources and local events that empower other Christian organizations to maximize their influence on campus. Being that we only focus on apologetics, we feel that we can be of service to other student clubs and fill a vital niche that is too often left empty in evangelism and the discipling of young Christians…
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