Ryan Moore, “Resident Apologist on Campus,” makes inroads with Atheist Group
by Sheryl Young
Ryan Moore is serving as the chapter president for Ratio Christi at Tennessee Tech. Apparently, he lives, eats and breathes apologetics and evangelism – he’s a 2013 graduate of Dr. Frank Turek’s CrossExamined Instructor Academy, and went through the course “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” (based on the book of the same name by Turek and Norman Geisler) .
After starting at Tennessee Tech, Moore found out about Ratio Christi from our COO Blake Anderson at a conference from CrossExamined. The two talked about starting a chapter on campus, and, in just his freshman year, Moore became the student leader of the group.
“I like to help Christians articulate their faith well,” Moore states. “Book knowledge doesn’t automatically mean effectiveness in broadening the kingdom. Greg Koukl (founder of the Stand to Reason apologetics organization) says that the most intelligent people often make elementary mistakes when it comes to talking about Christianity. Common arguments like why does God allow evil – it’s a tough question, but it’s emotional and hard to answer. We need to show we care because a simple intellectual response can sound harsh.”
It’s only been a year, but Moore is already known as “the resident Christian apologist on campus.” While this is flattering, he wonders why people from other Christian organizations who’ve been there longer don’t hold this title.
“Not only at college, but at work and everywhere, people are asking deep questions about how science relates to Christianity. Apologetics really involves sharing your faith as well as stating facts. If we can’t give people a good answer and show them we are prepared, will they think we love them enough to share God with them?”
Q. You didn’t grow up in church. How did you get to this point?
A. My family life revolved around sports. The three or four times I went to church with a friend, we ate and played games. I took for granted that God existed. When my parents divorced I moved to Knoxville with my mom and siblings. I felt like I found the Lord in a church in seventh grade. But nothing changed in my life until I went to a conference in high school called The Resurrection Conference. The Spirit convicted me that I was broken. I got involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Bible Study. In my junior year of high school, I started teaching another Bible study on a different day at lunch hour, and it grew to 100 students.
But one day, a student poked his head into the door and yelled ‘The Bible is fiction!’ I started thinking, what could I say to this guy and the people who heard him? I went to the FCA leader at school and he’s the one who advised me to buy the Turek/Geisler book. After that I started picking up all sorts of books [on apologetics].”
Q. So let’s fast forward now – how, as just a college freshman, did you find yourself using your apologetics skills to speak about Christianity at an atheist meeting – and how did that go?
A. The Secular Student Alliance had a table at a fair on campus. I walked up and started talking to them and then began having lunch with their president. I attended their group meetings often to build relationships. Seemed like it was a support group for atheists, more than talking about why atheism is true. When Easter came around, I asked if I could talk to the group…
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