Saturday, July 7, 2012

What is Ratio Christi? How You Might Assist Us at UMW

This posting has a two fold purpose.  First an interview with the Director of Administration for Ratio Christi, Blake Anderson.  Secondly may a take a few moments of your time to let you know about Ratio Christi at University of Mary Washington in Fredericskburg, VA.

What is Ratio Christi? What is the big deal about needing apologetics clubs in universities? Here is an interview by Keri Williams (Good News, Florida Blog) with Blake Anderson, Director of Administration for Ratio Christi. . .

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.  To read more click here

Check out the Promotional Video from Ratio Christi

Quick Thoughts from Rob. . .

As the Chapter Director of Ratio Christi at University of Mary Washington (RCUMW), I am excited on seeing what the Lord is going to work out in our club starting this Fall.  I have been visiting with Christians in looking for support for this club, and I am getting the question, "Is Mary Washington open?", meaning do you think that UMW will allow a club like Ratio Christi in?

My response is that right now Intervarsity is present, as well as the BCM (Baptist Campus Ministries).  CRU (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ) was told when they tried that they were "too evangelical."  Ratio Christi is different.  If you would like to see how Ratio Christi is different click here.

I would ask that you begin praying for the starting of this RC Club at UMW.  Ratio Christi UMW will be about training, educating, and equipping Christian college students to give answers and stand firm in their faith.  We will also provide time and events to give answer to  anyone who is seeking the true truth of the Christian faith.  The University of Mary Washington is no picnic as far as getting a club into the university.  In fact it prides itself in free thought and skepticism toward evangelical Christianity.

Resources we have and need are coming in and being researched.  I already have a contact in the folks at the Baptist Campus Ministries, and soon Intervarsity.  They are excited about the possibility of working along side  RCUMW in the building up and discipling of students with reasons for their faith. Another resource is a list of believing faculty for potential  club sponsor(s).

The prayer request we have is for a core group of students that would be interested in Ratio Christi.  Pray for our contact with the churches, that we will have some of the churches catch the vision of RCUMW and adopt our club with sponsorship.  Pray for my contact with these churches and pray that the Lord will open their hearts for the passion we have to equip our coming students to grow in their faith.

With all the secular student alliances and atheist clubs cropping up on campuses (we have yet to see if anything like this has started at UMW), it would be nice to have a club that would provide a reasonable response to the rhetorical skepticism trying to grip the culture.

If you are a Christian and you would like to know more about RCUMW, you can go to our Facebook page and click "Like" to stay in the know about the goings ons and the needs.  If you will do one, two or maybe three things for us, what I would like you to do is the following:

1.  Pray.  Just like Jenna in the video said.  We cannot do this without prayer.  Will pray that the Lord will allow the club to have presence that it "seasoned with salt" and provide a presence giving answers with "gentleness and respect" for the glory of God?  (Colossians 4:5, 6; 1 Peter 3:15-17)   Will you pray for students to become hungry for knowing why their faith is try and that as they come to school this year, they will not feel fearful of the professors trying to rip their faith to shreds.  Please pray for me as the Lord leads you, that I might the be ambassador to the churches, the families, the students and the clubs that are present; that we might work as a servant to these clubs and work alongside them, while maintaining our clubs statement of faith and constitution (soon to be formed).

2.  Inform.  What I mean by inform is this.  Will you become informed about Ratio Christi and inform others about the start of a Ratio Christi club at University of Mary Washington?  If you need information about Ratio Christ, please click on this link to learn more about this national movement bringing Christian thought back on to the university campuses.  If you would like to keep up on the information about Ratio Christi at the University of Mary Washington, please click here.

3.  Donate.  This third item is important but not as important as your prayers.  Our President, Rick Schenker, as myself has a great passion for students and discipleship and evangelism.  Ratio Christi is more than an organization.  It is a movement of God that could lead to one of most significant evangelistic efforts of this century should the Lord tarry His coming.  Please review the following links to learn more about this appeal for how you can be involved.

First off allow me to invite you to read Rick Schenker's "Apologetics Misunderstood:  It is All About Evangelism."  The task of Christian apologetics is very misunderstood in our churches today.  Some have thought it to be irrelevant to the gospel message.  But be reminded that the Early Christian church was all about apologetics incorporated into the sharing of the risen Jesus even in the first century.  Apologetics is necessary to the task of evangelism on the university campus.

Secondly, some may be asking, "why do you need a club like Ratio Christi when there are other clubs to build the faith and encourage students.  Ratio Christi is not a competitive club but is interested in serving the other clubs on campus.  To learn more about Ratio Christ, again let me invite you to read Rick Schenker's Ratio Christi Misunderstood: It is All About Evangelism

My friends, this start up of a Ratio Christi club at the University of Mary Washington takes time.  For me, the idea and passion to target this university started over a year ago.  We just committed to this task to work with Ratio Christi this past March and we have seen some doors open and hints of excitement for this start.

There are many ways you can assist us. Sure you can pray, and you can be informed and inform others.  But this undertaking takes not just manpower, but also money.  If after reading the linked essays and learning more about Ratio Christi, you sense the Lord's leading to make a one time or monthly tax deductible donation, please note that we would be very grateful.  I will never ask for your to redirect giving to your church, but if you would please pray and be obedient to the Lord's leadership, know that we would love you to serve with us in this capacity.   If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, please click on this link.

Thank you for reading this posting and thank you for serving in His Kingdom purpose for the defense of the faith once for all delivered to the saints.  Lastly, thank you for making an investment in the lives of professing Christian students seeking to have their faith strengthened and build up so that they might win others with a reasoned defense of the faith.

Rob Lundberg, Chapter Director/Apologist
Ratio Christi at the University of Mary Washington

No comments: