Thankful to God and Ratio Christi, with a Focus on Jesus
RC’s chapter director Greg Walker currently leads the founding chapter of Ratio Christi – our chapter at Appalachian State University (ASU). Since 2008, the chapter has had several re-inventions but has always been a model for the growth of RC, consistently producing outstanding apologetics students.
Walker happily tells us about Caleb Itterly - the latest Legatus Christi recipient -- our recognition to students who are themselves examples of how to employ apologetics and the winsome presentation of Christian evidence to other people.
“When I came to ASU to re-launch the chapter, Caleb was the only student that I had to help me get the club up and running,” Walker says. “Caleb believed in the mission and vision of Ratio Christi, and he was praying for ASU Ratio Christi well before he knew that the Walker family was heading up to help! Even though Caleb was working and going to school full-time, he went out of his way to pray, organize, plan, and deal with the sometimes tough politics at ASU. He helped us to get a feel for campus policy and logistics.
What is most amazing to me is Caleb’s consistent desire to cover our every move in prayer and to make sure that we are honoring Christ in every way. He is a good example of Christ, witnessing to his fellow students in the Philosophy and Religion Department and regularly inviting students to our meetings and Ratio Christi events.
Thanks to Caleb’s contribution though hard work, prayer, and witness, we now have an active chapter with an average of thirty-five students in weekly attendance. He loves the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that he will not only continue his Christ-like witness and defense of the Christian faith here at App State, but he will do so beyond his studies at the university.”
We talked with Caleb, who was the RC club president in the Fall 2016 school term.
Q. How did you get interested in apologetics, and then how did you get involved with RC?
A: I accepted the Lord when I was three-and-a-half years old and was raised in a Christian household that encouraged asking questions and seeking answers for reasons to believe - not to just take what I was told as given.
When I began my studies at Appalachian State University, I searched “Appalachian State Apologetics” and Ratio Christi’s chapter was the first returned entry. I contacted Greg Walker and became a member shortly thereafter.
Q: What is RC at ASU like - how does it function?
A: The chapter has developed a model providing both pre-planned topics and student-led discussions, sometimes both at the same meeting. The last portion of the meeting is opened up for questions. This allows us to focus in on areas of interest, and those areas generally lead to other questions of a related nature.
The chapter meetings are open to everyone. There is a genuine desire to invite friends to our meetings. As a campus ministry we commonly have guests come to visit. They might be genuinely interested in a topic we cover or might have just heard about us. I have found this is a good way to meet people in general.
The goal is to engage everyone and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone has pre-conceived concepts of God and often have questions seeking answers. Sometimes the questioner might be a Christian, at other times a skeptic. I try to be responsible and respectful of hearing the questioner. As Ravi Zacharias has said, responding to them as an equal man or woman made in the image of God, not just answering a question.
The Appalachian State chapter has grown this last year. It is great to be surrounded by students who take their studies seriously. I have benefited from their examples.
Q: How did you feel about receiving the Legatus Christi certificate?
A: I am humbled to receive the recognition. In reality, every Christian is an ambassador for Jesus Christ. God has blessed me with a great club to be a part of and to serve in for His glory. This is marvelous! I am thankful to God and to the club that they sought to honor me in this way, but the focus is Jesus.
Q: In what ways has apologetics enriched your life, your own faith, and your witness to others?
A: As I share my faith with others, I want to engage them where they are. Apologetics can be used as a tool to engage the other person in a respectful way. Different specific apologetic topics open up new areas of learning, helping me be God’s hands and feet to the person with whom I get the opportunity to talk.
Q: Can you describe how you might carry the apologetics you’ve learned into your future endeavors?
A: Apologetics will be a part of my life into the foreseeable future. I am unsure what that future will entail, but God knows.
Q: Are you graduating now, or will you be back in RC next year?
A: I have one year of college ahead of me. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy with a minor in economics and look forward to having Ratio Christi be a core piece of my final year at Appalachian State.
Q: Would you consider coming back to work with your RC chapter or start one at another school, or work with RC in any capacity?
A: Yes, of course, if that is where God leads me to serve. I hope to share the Gospel wherever my travels lead me. If I could help Ratio Christi in some way that would be wonderful.
Q: Please tell us anything else you’d like our readers to know!
A: It is very valuable for the Christian to have some training in apologetics. Believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ is a serious and lifelong endeavor. “We walk by faith, not by sight.” As a Christian I am called to testify of the truth, that Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 18:28-38).
Christian Apologetics equips the believer with a range of information that touches many academic disciplines, always with the focus on Christ. Whether someone is a young person or young in the faith, he or she will develop questions about the Christian faith. These questions in many cases are not totally new to the church, although to the questioner they are new.
Apologetics is also helpful for parents giving biblical answers to questions their children will ask. It helps both the one who asks a question and the one who answers to find truth in ways that allow both to grow in their faith.
(Photo at top: Gregg Walker left, Caleb Itterly right. See a photo below of the group presentation). To contribute to the work of RC at Caleb’s chapter, please click here.
Content in blogs does not necessarily represent Ratio Christi’s views. Details