RC at Ohio State U takes the Great Commission to Neighboring Community College
Ohio State University is considered the largest residential university in the United States, with over 60,000 students. The collegiate demographic is a melting pot of American and international students representing a panorama of various ethnic groups, religions, cultures, and diverse worldviews among them.
Ratio Christi's chapter at OSU, under the seasoned and experienced leadership of Chapter Director Eric Chabot (at left in photo), is one of our longest-running active chapters. He consistently leads a strong group of students in investigating the truths of Christ from creation through the resurrection in their apologetics-themed meetings.
Chabot explains how he got involved at Ohio State:
"In 2004, I started going to Ohio State University to engage students on the truth claims of the biblical worldview. I did hundreds of surveys with students and certainly begin to see some of the objections people had to the Christian faith. Around 2006 I moved away from doing surveys and started using a variety of approaches to reach out to the students here. It was 2009 when myself along with some students planted a Ratio Christi chapter at OSU. This was done out of the necessity for a stronger apologetics presence on campus."
Since then, the OSU chapter has hosted many well-known apologetics speakers, and debates with the school's skeptics group, and even received an endorsement from Cold Case Christianity's J. Warner Wallace:
“Eric Chabot and the team at The Ohio State University is doing amazing work. If you are interested in becoming a good Christian Case Maker, I highly recommend joining Eric and the entire team at the Ohio State campus.”
Chabot recently took the RC chapter members on mission to the neighboring Columbus State Community College (CSCC), where there are roughly 30,000 students. Community college students generally live in the area and go home at night, so they filter out into the community on a regular basis. He gives us a quick but exciting account of their outreach experience, with some great photos.
"Ohio State students had their final exams the last week of April. Then, for two weeks in May, our RC chapter spent time on the campus at Columbus State Community College (CSCC). It was a very productive time of outreach and spiritual discussions.
"I have been asking for prayer for a Jewish student named Zachary. I ran into him again! Please continue to pray for his salvation. He attends a nearby Jewish synagogue. I also had a chance to talk with Zoe, a Universalist Unitarian who thinks all roads lead to God. In the photo you will see (photos below), I was asking him if he was aware how contradictory all the different faiths are and why he needed to consider whether they all can be true.
"The city of Columbus has the second highest Somali population in the country, and CSCC has hundreds of Muslims students. On one particular day, a Muslim student talked with our RC chapter member Carla Brown. He proceeded to pull out a pad with a bunch of Bible verses. He said he could show us all the ‘contradictions' in the Bible. But when I looked at his pad and the verses, I noticed all of them were out of context. I told the student if he ignores the immediate context of the passages as well as the larger context, it is kind of a useless discussion.
In all honestly, the largest problem I run into is that students and all kinds of people from various religious backgrounds have no experience with the basics of Bible interpretation."
(Eric has written about this topic in his Thinkapologetics.com article, "What is the biggest challenge in talking to skeptics and people from other faiths about the Bible?)
People always ask me about the results of doing campus ministry. They tend to think if you show up, share the Good News, in five minutes the person understands it and comes to faith. Those days are long gone! Outreach is a process and, in many cases, (especially on a college campus) it takes multiple discussions. Also, God is much more interested in faithfulness than results. In the beginning of the book of Ezekiel, God tells Ezekiel his audience won’t listen to him. But he wants Ezekiel to take the message to the people. Most of us would say to God “Well, what’s the point?” But it shows God is much more interested in our obedience. In an American culture that wants instant results, this is foreign to us. We also don’t get to go where the soil isn’t hard (see the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:1-9)."
"One of our RC students, Steven Turner, is an Islamic study major at Ohio State. He can speak Arabic and does a great job."
Steven says this about his RC experience:
“Being a part of Ratio Christi at Ohio State has been one of the highlights of my college careers. I've learned a tremendous amount from Eric and other guest speakers, which been such an encouragement and edification for defending and proclaiming my faith in Jesus Christ. God has been able to use Ratio Christi in my life to help advance my ministry amongst Muslims and other students at Ohio State in a great way. I'm eager to help and get more involved with the ministry at RC in my final semester at Ohio State."
You may be nowhere near OSU, but you can check out some RC chapter meetings by seeing some clips on their YouTube page, or stay up-to-date with them at Facebook. To support the OSU chapter in the midst of their worldwide sea of students, please donate here.
Eric Chabot will be a breakout speaker at the July 11-13, 2018 Xenos Conference at Xenos Christian Fellowship in Columbus. His session will be called “Jesus: Just Another Messianic Pretender or the True Messiah?” The headline speakers will be J. Warner Wallace and Sean McDowell. Students can sign up for only $20.00. See the breakout schedule online.
Content in blogs does not necessarily represent Ratio Christi’s views. Details