"What a Gift Apologetics has Been for Me!"
Julia Sant, a Ratio Christi alumna, recalled her introduction to apologetics by saying, “Apologetics was an eye-opener for me.” She played an active role in the Ratio Christi chapter at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo where she served as the group's treasurer. She subsequently was awarded our Legatus Christi recognition for outstanding students. Here she shares her experience as a group member and her future plans.
Chapter directors Daniel Moore and Jon Meyer weigh in on why they selected Julia to receive the Legatus Christi designation:
"Julia's heart for the Lord and dedication to truth are an example to all, whether students or professors, and even RC staff. She possesses a sensitivity to spiritual things that exceeds most of her peers, and is courageous in making others aware of it's reality. The position of Treasurer for our RSO is the most demanding of all the positions due to the accounting of Student Activity Funds used for our primary outreach event; her dedication to these duties was instrumental in hosting a successful event with Dr. Gary Habermas at a cost of almost $6,000. Julia's growth in knowledge and wisdom over the past 20 months has been conspicuous and inspiring. We are confident that she will continue to grow and be an encouragement for others to do likewise as an Ambassador of Christ and faithful representative of Jesus."
Now let's hear from Julia:
Q. When did you find Christ as your Savior?
A. I would say I became a follower of Christ when I was in sixth grade. I was in a group called Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and had an influential sister as a good role model. I only recently dedicated my life to Christ again (baptized in April 2015) and have since really grown in my relationship with Him. I attribute this first and foremost to the work of the Lord and Holy Spirit, and then also to my move away from home, my church here in Kalamazoo, and life experiences.
Q. If you were in a high school church youth group, how much did you learn there about the Christian faith and reasons to believe?
A. I was actually quite passive in my relationship with Christ during high school, which is why I re-dedicated my life to Christ in college --where a true, two-way relationship with Christ began for me.
Q. How did you get interested in apologetics, and then how did you get involved with RC?
A. I was in a community group through my church when I brought up interest in being involved in a group on campus that was serious about their faith and could help me grow in mine. I had also always desired to know what evidence there was for Christianity and why I should believe, not knowing there was a whole area of study dedicated to that! A friend in this community group told me about Ratio Christi, and so my journey with RC began.
Q. Describe a little bit about your chapter for us.
A. The two years I was a part of the WMU RC chapter, attendance ranged from about five to twenty-five. All topics are pre-planned to some extent, but after each lesson there is a question and answer time.
Q. How did you feel about receiving the Legatus Christi certificate?
A. I feel very honored to receive the Legatus Christi as I remember how much the story of Jordan Slusher (the first Legatus Christi recipient) touched me when I heard it at a Ratio Christi conference. I also feel inspired to continue growing in my knowledge of apologetics and sharing what I learn with others I know.
Q. In what ways has apologetics enriched your life, your own faith, and your witness to others?
A. Apologetics was an eye-opener for me. I didn't know it existed before Ratio Christi, and so I was always hesitant to dive fully into Christianity. Growing up, I thought there was no way I'd ever be like my sister in her zeal for Christ because I was more logical and science-driven than her. The Lord miraculously and intentionally drove me closer to him without the knowledge of apologetics first, but then met me in a really neat way when I was introduced to the Ratio Christi chapter at WMU. Apologetics has increased my 'awe' of our Lord and helped me to see him and the Word in a new and exciting way. I've been able to talk to others about apologetics and inspire other people to dig into the factual evidence we have for believing in Christ. What a gift apologetics has been for me!
Q. Do you think you will “carry the torch” of the apologetics you’ve learned into your future endeavors?
A. I would love to help more youth and young adults know the importance and gift of apologetics. After completing my school work, I hope to engage in my church community in new ways that will allow me to explain apologetics and/or get more people involved in it. God has given me a passion for apologetics, and I would love to share that with others as my own endeavors in apologetics continue.
Q. What is your understanding of the “Exponential Evangelism” component of why you received Legatus Christi?
A. I look forward to sharing with others the apologetics I have learned and will learn. My chapter directors did explain the 'charge' that this honor comes with. I hope to fulfill this in my life here in this world.
(Editor's note: Our students are challenged to share what they've learned with others, thereby exponentially increasing the number of apologetics-savvy ambassadors for Christ.)
Q. Are you graduating now, or will you be back in RC next year?
A. I have graduated with my undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Health Studies and will be doing clinicals soon in order to finish out my masters degree in Occupational Therapy and graduate in December 2017 so I will not be back to RC in the fall.
Q. What are your short and/or long-term career/ministry/mission plans?
A. I hope to use my apologetics in conversations I have as an occupational therapist. I also hope to be involved in my church in ways that allow me to share my knowledge on apologetics and inspire others to dive into it.
Q. Tell us anything else you’d like our readers to know:
A. I think too many Christians under-emphasize the importance of knowing the Word really well and knowing a 'defense for their faith.' Apologists need to be intentional on reaching those Christians who haven't heard about apologetics in addition to sharing with unbelievers. We can't let people miss out on the depths of knowledge God has given us that help us understand his creation and will.
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