|Greg Koukl and Greg West (I'm the Greg on the right. Photo by Derrick Sisney)|
While manning the Ratio Christi info table with the help of my friend and future Ratio Christi chapter director, Gary Mundt (an MA student in BIOLA's apologetics program), I was able to reconnect with friends I'd previously met from the area (Luke Nix, Caleb Steele, & Jim Burkett among others), make some new friends, and put some faces on a few people I'd only previously known via social media. Quite a few folks made it a point to let me know that they were followers of The Poached Egg and what a valuable resource it is to them. Yep, that always makes my day- but most importantly, I had the opportunity to talk to people about Ratio Christi.
If you're in the dark about what exactly Ratio Christi is and does, please stay tuned as I'll get to that momentarily. First I'd like to tell you a little more about the conference itself.
In the a.m., Frank Turek of Cross Examined lectured on arguments from his book (co-authored with Norman Geisler), I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, with a special focus on the moral, cosmological, and teleological arguments for the existence of God. Frank is not only a great teacher who presents these arguments laymen's terms, but he's very funny and entertaining as well. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend going to see Frank Turek present if he's ever at an event in your area.
And the same could be said for Stand to Reason's Greg Koukl, author of one of the best books (if not the best) out there on how to effectively argue the truth claims of Christianity, Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions. After the lunch break Greg lectured on some of the highlights of this book, with the main focus being on what he calls the Columbo Tactic- and if you ever see Greg don a trench coat, pull out a (plastic) cigar and do his hilarious Detective Columbo impression, you won't soon forget it! The 'game plan' Greg spoke on takes away the fear of engaging in discussions on spiritual matters that can open doors to sharing the Gospel.
On of the things that struck me in particular was that many, if not the majority, of the 400 or so people in attendance seemed to be new to apologetics, and I noticed that many of those were purchasing copies of both Koukl's and Turek's fore-mentioned books which got me pretty stoked! All in all it was a great day of fellowship, fun, and learning for everyone who came.
At the conclusion of the event, Gary and I took up our post back at the Ratio Christi information table and continued to talk to people and answer their questions. Some people asked if we had chapters or would be starting them in their area, and some shared stories of their children or other young people they knew who had walked away from the faith after having been raised in church and in a Christian home...
This is why the campus ministry of Ratio Christi is so vital today- forming student apologetics clubs on college campuses around the world, which in Western culture is one of the most hostile environments towards Christianity. RC places trained apologists as chapter directors of these student clubs to help them learn how to defend and commend the truth claims of Christianity- RC is even beginning to reach out to high school students, with our recently launched College Prep Program. And RC is not just about helping students keep their faith intact, it's also about equipping them to be better equipped evangelists. A Christian who is confident in their faith is more likely to be enthusiastic about sharing that faith. I know that from my own personal experience.
In the last few years, RC has experienced nearly exponential growth, from having chapters on just ten campuses to over 130 today. The demand for new chapters on more campuses has outgrown our current infrastructure's ability to keep up. Although we are slowly growing our staff, and more and more regular donors are getting on board, we are still desperately short of where we need to be in manpower and funding. If you can help by partnering with us financially, you can do so through my donation page via The Poached Egg here. If you are unable to participate with us financially, there are many other ways in which you can help. Simply visit the Ratio Christi website for more information.
Now in my late 40's, I myself was raised in the church and in a Christian home and yet walked away from the faith and became an agnostic in my early twenties. Sadly, my story is even more common today among young people than it was then, but with your help we can turn the tide!