Ratio Christi is pleased to award RC’s Legatus Christi certificate to Luke Bassett!
Luke was kind enough to answer some questions for us as he reflected on his time as an RC student and his reception of the Legatus Christi certificate.
When did you find Christ as your Savior, and how did that come about?
I found Christ through my family at a very young age! I’ve always been in a church, from infanthood until now. I asked Jesus to be my savior when I was about 4. However, this commitment didn’t have meaning until later in Middle School. My grandparents took my cousins, brother, and I to a Missionary camp called Brown City Camp every year (one of the most exciting things I did every year!). It was here that I heard messages that finally stirred my heart, and the first time I experienced God’s presence in a genuine way.
If you were in a high school church youth group, how much did you learn there about the Christian faith and reasons to believe?
Most of my High School experience was geared towards typical sermon-style messages. Faith, trust, praise, love and all of the other essential topics that churches need to cover. That wasn’t to say intellectual questions or reasons to believe were discouraged from being asked, but I don’t ever remember having an “apologetics” topic message.
How did you get interested in apologetics, and then how did you get involved with RC?
Both of these questions go hand in hand. I was first invited to Ratio Christi due to me attending the church of our chapter’s direction (Tim Arndt!). Since I loved the church, and wanted to know more about what apologetics covered, I attended a meeting and got hooked. Apologetics was a completely different way to look at my faith that I had ever seen before, and I enjoyed the intellectual aspects of looking into the evidence for God outside of the Biblical view.
What is this RC chapter like?
This chapter of RC is wonderful in its organization. We have about 15 people on average every week – some of which are talkers, others who like to sit and listen. Meetings usually last around an hour and a half but depending on conversation can extend to more than 2 hours. Tim helps us plan for a topic every week that typically has a 20-minute presentation. Either Tim, Marin, the president, or the vice president of the chapter will do the presentation and lead a discussion after. The discussion usually focuses on the presented topic for part of the discussion; however, we are always open to any question and make it a point every meeting to bring that up. Some people have brought small notebooks with several questions written beforehand that Tim and Marin expertly handle in answering. The meeting usually ends when people need to get school work done or it gets too late.
The attendees are largely people who have heard about RC by word of mouth from current members. We will have visitors from time to time, or people who see our flyers from Campus Life Night (a huge gathering of all campus clubs at the start of semesters at GVSU). We haven’t had any issues with discrimination or conflict with other secular or religious groups on campus, and even we had a debate with the atheist club a few years ago. RC has strived to be a place where visitors are welcome, and any question is okay to ask.
If you were an officer in the RC chapter, which office did you hold?
I was Vice President two years ago, and I was President this past year for the chapter.
What does receiving the Legatus Christi certificate mean to you?
I feel incredibly honored. Not only did this come from Ratio Christi, which in itself is an organization I hold great respect towards, but it came from a friend and mentor through Tim which made it all the more impactful. Tim has a vast experience with apologetics and receiving such a recognition from him is an encouragement that I have grown and have been spreading the knowledge of Christ in a clear and honest way. This recognition is also a responsibility for me to continue to grow in this way. It will serve as a reminder that I matured in my faith, and that I continue to have more space to mature to be able to defend and teach the Word of God.
In what ways has apologetics enriched your life, your own faith and your witness to others?
It’s been a strengthening aspect to my faith in my own personal walk with God. To know that my faith is reasonable helped me to strengthen my own convictions towards my faith and how I see God in different ways. Though, apologetics has hurt me financially – I’ve purchased several wonderful books from authors like Frank Turek for focused details on different topics. I’ve been able to use a few of these books as reference for others – sometimes citing certain chapters or sections for them to read in regard to questions they have. In conversation, I’ve been able to use Apologetics to address several questions of fellow believers in college and a few non-believers through topics like historical accuracy of the scriptures, Biblical view of homosexuality, and topics surrounding evolution.
Do you think you will “carry the torch” of the apologetics you’ve learned into your future endeavors, and please describe how you imagine doing so.
I would very much love to. I listed earlier that in high school I didn’t have much experience with apologetics. I wish I had more exposure to even simple defenses for historical accuracy of the Bible I would like to change that for the next generation that is emerging! Whatever church I become part of, I would like to let this generation know that their faith is a reasonable one. Society has become more argument-focused than ever – and especially while middle schoolers and high schoolers are with their peers in an environment where peer and social pressures and change attitudes so easily, I want to help give them a firm foundation for their faith so that they aren’t shaken as easily when science and friends stand against them.
Define in your own words the “Exponential Evangelism” component of why you received Legatus Christi.
Exponential Evangelism I would define with one of the goals of my home church: “making disciples who make disciples”. Every Christian needs to develop a strong foundation in their faith, so that they remain unwavering when trials come, but also so that they can help other, new Christians develop their foundations. I believe apologetics, even at a basic level, can help develop certainty in a new or already developed foundation for any believer. I seek to be one now who can help develop other disciples of God – ones that know Him, love Him, and choose to serve Him with full certainty of what they believe.
Are you graduating now, or will you be back in RC next year?
Sadly, I am graduating and won’t be part of the student body whenever I am able to attend RC! I would love to continue to support them in whatever ways I can!
What is your major, what is your degree and are you going on to more education?
I graduated with a degree in Computer Science with a minor in mathematics. I am on the fence about pursing a Masters degree. I currently am focused on developing a new relationship with my fiancée and we look forward to being married June 27th!
What are your short and long-term career/ministry/mission plans?
Slightly addressed earlier, but I want to be involved with my local youth – strengthening them to be able to defend their faith in a scientific-centric world. I would like to first focus on my local youth group – wherever that ends up being. From there, raising my children to help them grow in their faith will be one of my central goals, too.
Would you consider coming back to work with your RC chapter or start one at another school, or work with RC in any capacity?
I would definitely prayerfully consider it! It was a large part of my spiritual growth in college and I would be greatly honored to continue to be involved in RC in some way. It would be great to eventually start one at another college, but I don’t currently feel like that is something I can feasibly do in the near future while starting a new family. If there is any way I can continue to help out with at GVSU’s chapter I would be glad to do any presentation, errand, or behind the scenes work they need!
Tell us anything else you’d like our readers to know:
Apologetics is quickly becoming a must for Christians to know. In a political climate, Christians are quickly labelled as pro-choice and homophobic, and for these subjects specifically we need to be able to defend our views and point back to Christ with our answers. Youth, elders, parents, and every other age are pressured in different ways to defend a belief that some consider to be “intellectual suicide”. I’m so blessed to have wonderful teachers like Tim and Marin to answer my questions and help me discover a deeper level of my faith to defend common objections of our age. Whether it’s through videos, books, podcasts, or amazing mentors like mine, I think it’s important to have some knowledge of apologetics, for those both wanting to grow their faith or those who desire to share it.