Losing it in School: Interview With Ratio Christi’s Blake Anderson
by Keri Williams
Ratio Christi, which means “The reason of Christ” in Latin, is a non-profit organization which is strategically placing apologetics clubs on secular university and college campuses. They do this with the goal of reestablishing a strong and reasoned presence of Christian thinking in academia. In our exclusive interview, Blake Anderson, Director of Administration for Ratio Christi, offers practical and insightful thoughts on the challenges Christian students face on secular campuses and how their faith can thrive in the midst of intellectual challenges to Christianity.
Keri Williams (KW): What are the key reasons Christian students are losing their faith in secular colleges and universities?
Blake Anderson (BA): There are many reasons for this and the problem shouldn’t be oversimplified. However, in the many studies that have been done there appears to be a current running underneath many of the factors that cause Christian youth to walk away from their faith. It’s not because religion isn’t significant to teenagers. Just the opposite is the case. However, young people don’t have settled convictions about their religious beliefs. A major study published by Oxford University Press, Soul Searching, indicates that students are exiting primarily because of “intellectual skepticism and doubt.” They don’t believe that Christianity is true the same way that the physical world around them is true. Due to intellectual influences after high school they come to believe that there is no real evidence for their former beliefs and that there are too many questions that can’t be answered by Christianity.
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(KW): What are some of the specific challenges to Christianity?
(BA): When someone with a Ph.D. behind their name suddenly confronts a student with supposed evidence that the New Testament books were forgeries and dismisses the historicity of the Christian narrative, if that student has not been well grounded in the evidence for the historical accuracy of the accounts of Jesus’ life the odds are heavily in favor of that student dismissing their parents’ and pastor’s faith as outdated. In philosophy class when the professor appears to eloquently demonstrate how Immanuel Kant showed two hundred years ago how we can’t really know anything unless it is of the physical world, what chance does a young adult have if all they have for equipping is some Sunday School Bible stories? And when the most articulate current defenders of neo-Darwinian evolution essentially mock anybody that doesn’t agree with them it will take much more than a good feeling in your heart to keep you from being demoralized and eventually giving up on a supernatural Creator.
The frustrating thing in all of this is that there are good answers to these assertions. The problem isn’t that there aren’t answers on the same academic level as those that are challenging Christianity; there are. The problem is that so few Christians are aware of where to go to get answers…
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