Preamble

Ratio Christi’s (RC) faith statement affirms those areas of doctrinal agreement considered to be the historic Christian faith(1). There are additional components of our faith statement that are important to Christian apologetics. Freedom of conviction is allowed on other doctrinal matters, provided that no such interpretation hinders our ministry. Christians who dissent from a significant portion of our faith statement, as well as those of no or alternative religious faith, may participate in non-leadership capacities. A university faculty or university staff member may serve as an advisor or assistant to a RC chapter if the RC chapter directors determine that they affirm virtually all of our faith statement and would be a good fit for RC (such decisions can be overruled by the RC CEO or board of directors). Student officers are to be selected and approved in the same manner. RC chapter directors and all other RC leadership beyond the independent agents specified above must affirm the entire RC faith statement. The various levels of faith statement affirmation specified above must also come with attitudes and actions consistent with those doctrinal affirmations. Discussion of doctrinal differences is encouraged within RC chapters to facilitate understanding Christian diversity. However, clubs will focus on defending basic (mere) Christianity as needed for gospel proclamation.

Scripture

We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament Scripture alone to be inspired in all its very words(2) by God and inerrant(3) in the text of the original manuscripts (autographs), and that they alone are the final authority in faith and life.

God

We believe in one God who is Creator of heaven and earth, who is infinite Spirit, eter-nal, almighty, infallible, including His omniscience and knowledge of all future events; that He is unchangeable in His essence, all wise, just, and holy; and that the triune God eternally exists in one essence and three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God intervenes in the universe, and miracles (including predictive prophecy) are possible.

Creation

We believe in the ex-nihilo special creation of the universe and in the supernatural creation of many diverse biological categories. We also believe in the historicity of the biblical record, including the special creation of Adam and Eve (the first human male and female) as the literal progenitors of all humans.(4)

Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Eternal Word manifested in the flesh. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and He is fully God and fully man, having two distinct natures co-joined in one Person. Jesus died as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of every human and offers salvation by grace alone. He arose from the dead in the same physical body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died, and His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which will be given to each believer. Christ ascended into heaven, showing the perfection of His redemptive work. He will literally and bodily return to earth to finalize the divine plan for humanity.(5)

Humanity

We believe that humans were created in God’s image, and that in a discrete historical event Adam and Eve fell from their good relationship with God through sin. As a consequence of his sin, there is a divine curse on “the whole creation” (Romans 8:18-25 ESV) and all descendants of Adam became spiritually dead through having inherited a corrupt nature, Christ being the exception.

Human Sexuality

We believe that marriage is a conjugal, covenantal and non-incestual union, ordained by God from the creation of humanity, of one adult biologically born male and one adult biologically born female, and historically understood by the Church, to be the most basic societal institution and the exclusive institution appointed by God for sexual intimacy.(6)

Sanctity of Human Life

We believe that all human life is created by God in His image, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to protect and value all human life.

Salvation

We believe that only those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone, apart from good works, are justified before God, have become God’s children, and inherit eternal life with God.

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit, being the Third Person of the Godhead, convicts men of sin, regenerates, indwells, baptizes, seals, and sets believers apart to a holy life; that He keeps and empowers believers.

The Final State

We believe in the eternal and everlasting blessedness of the saved, being in direct communion with God, and the eternal conscious punishment of the lost who are separated from God.

The Church

We believe that the universal Church of Jesus Christ is composed of those who have been redeemed and washed in His blood, regenerated and sealed by the Holy Spirit, and that they are saved to worship and to serve; that it is the responsibility and privilege of all who are saved to seek to win others to Christ and live a holy life.

Satan

We believe there is a personal devil who, in conjunction with other fallen angels, can exert vast power, but only as God permits. Satan and his demons will be punished in hell forever.

Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct

The RC Faith Statement does not exhaust the extent of our Christian belief. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God, is the authoritative source of Christian doctrine. With respect to faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, the board of directors is the final arbiter on the Bible’s application for the purposes of RC as an organization.

Apologetic Methodology

While not a doctrinal issue, our ministry is eclectic in its methodology of apologetics and evangelism. Christianity can be supported in many ways, including classical and presuppositional apologetic methods (exclusive reliance on one approach is unwise). Humans, though corrupted by sin, can acquire important, but limited, knowledge from nature that points to God. Accordingly, we affirm the use of both natural revelation (nature) and special revelation (Scripture) to reason toward Christianity.

Notes

(1) The Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Chalcedonian Creed, and Athanasian Creed.

(2) “In all its very words” means the same as “verbal plenary.” That is, the inspiration is in the specific words and for the full extent of the text (as originally written). “Verbal” does not mean God audibly spoke each word to the human author.

(3) For details on biblical inerrancy see the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. We recognize that this doctrine is not necessary either for salvation or for use in many approaches to apologetics. Rather, it is the final result of the apologetics enterprise in recognizing Jesus as God and His view of the complete accuracy of the Bible. Biblical inerrancy was assumed by the early Christian Creeds, and for a good reason, because it is necessary as a foundation for all other Christian doctrine.

(4) We do not take a position on the age of the universe and acknowledge this as an appropriate discussion within Christian circles. Like the rest of the Bible, Genesis is to be interpreted in an accurate historical-grammatical-literary manner, but the time frames and sequence of origins are still debatable within this context. We deny theistic evolution (TE), yet acknowledge some Christians hold this position. Problems with TE include a naturalistic bent in philosophy of science and a faulty biblical hermeneutic. We welcome TE advocates to take on non-leadership roles within RC. This facilitates dialog and partnership with TE adherents while acknowledging our differences. As TE is understood in many ways, we are disagreeing herein with any version that fails to affirm all of the following:

God created the universe ex-nihilo. The Bible is to be interpreted in a historical-grammatical-literary manner. Common biological ancestry of all organisms from one original organism is not true. God did — and continues to — intervene miraculously in nature. Adam and Eve did not evolve from animal precursors. They were literal historical figures who are the sole ancestors of all humans. Human sinfulness, such as selfishness, traces back to the historic fall of Adam and is not the result of evolution.

(5) RC allows eschatological diversity. While eschatology is important, it is not a RC priority.

(6) See here for more information on biblical human sexuality.

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Ratio Christi is a global movement that equips university students and faculty to give historical, philosophical, and scientific reasons for following Jesus Christ.

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Thoughtful Christianity—Transforming Lives on Campus Today, Changing Culture Tomorrow.