Ratio Christi Student Grant Willey: Critical Thinking about “Traditional” vs. “New”
by Sheryl Young
Grant Willey was the first student to help form the Ratio Christi chapter at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in 2010, along with its first Chapter Director, Patrick Collins. Collins recently departed for seminary training, and student Willey will now be the co-director under Billie Goodson.
Before leaving, Collins praised this new leadership team in a “farewell interview,” and presented Willey with a Legatus Christi certificate* as a student demonstrating outstanding application of our apologetics training.
Willey’s learned some valuable lessons he’d like to share with younger students:
“Many students tend to turn their back on “traditional” views in favor of what seems “new” without thinking critically of the validity traditional views might have. My advice is to not just doubt your beliefs, but doubt your doubts. There is a time in our lives when we audit our values and decide what to make our own. Spend as much time trying to prove a point as you do to disprove it. Pay special attention to the values you don’t want to hold on to, because those are often the ones the enemy is trying to take away without you realizing.”
Former Director Collins says this of his founding partner:
“Grant has shown faithfulness to both God and our ministry through his dedication, service, and heart for others. He has shown growth in a number of areas, including a strong desire for Biblical fidelity and putting others’ needs before his own. We’ve had many skeptics and atheists attend our meetings. Grant has been quick to befriend them, treat them with respect, and invest in them for the Gospel’s sake. He’s a model member of the group and a great friend.”
We went on to ask Willey some questions.
Q: You were baptized as a child, but often felt like you “weren’t a Christian anymore.” When did you solidify your real relationship with Christ?
A: I was baptized at seven, but I’ve found it to be a constant journey of growth and realizing that Christ is my Savior, putting that into practice and leaning on Him. There were times that I was saying the sinner’s prayer whenever I felt like I might not be a Christian. I was in my early teens when I really stopped taking my salvation for granted and the Holy Spirit convicted me to figure this salvation thing out. It wasn’t until college, at a Campus Crusade meeting, that God used a speaker to open my eyes to think of it as a relationship between me and another person, and to treat it as such; going to prayer, repentance and accepting correction when I sensed tension in the relationship. This really sealed it for me in asking for forgiveness and drawing closer to Christ.
Q: What was your high school church youth group experience like?
A: My youth group when I grew up in Florida concentrated on study of the Bible, presupposing that we accepted it as truth. I don’t fault them for that; especially since I remember our studies being thorough and full of cultural context. My youth pastor, Mike Quinn, did a great job of encouraging us to study the Bible and work on our relationship with Christ. My church provided occasional resources towards strengthening our reasons to believe, such as bringing in a speaker that used examples of design in nature to give evidence of creation.
But it was my parents who did the most in exposing me to material on why to believe…
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