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Tom Gilson was on staff with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) for over 30 years and has wide ranging experience as a ministry strategist, writer, teacher, HR leader, blogger, and apologist. He has a Masters degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida. He has served as a ministry strategist and writer for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, also known as BreakPoint; and has done strategic and organizational consulting work for Josh McDowell Ministry, the JESUS Film Project, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and other ministries as well as local churches. His “Worldview and You” column appears monthly at BreakPoint Online, and his 100-plus published articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Discipleship Journal, Touchstone Magazine, Areopagus Journal, and Salvo magazine, among others. Tom is the principal editor of the book, True Reason: Christian Responses to the Challenges of Atheism. He and his wife, Sara, moved to Lebanon, Ohio from Yorktown, Virginia, along with their two college-age children, Jonathan and Lisa.
I grew up as the youngest of five in a strong, loving family in a small town in Michigan. Our parents took us to church regularly, and I decided early on that I ought to be a Christian. Unfortunately that wasn't quite the right decision, because day after day, no matter how hard I tried to do the "Christian" thing, I kept falling short. Eventually I gave up in frustration. I got interested in the occult, although never very deeply involved in it.
As a freshman at Michigan State, I knew I had freedoms I'd never had before, and I wondered what boundaries there were on them. Obviously one boundary had to do with what I might or might not want to, and another was what could get away with. It was disturbing to me to realize, as I reasoned it through, that if there was no God, then there probably couldn't be any other real boundaries on my choices. Ethics came down to what I wanted and could get away with. That seemed wrong.
Meanwhile I was getting to know a pair of fellow musicians on my dorm floor who were Christians, and actually seemed to enjoy it. I thought I'd proved that to be impossible, so I asked them about it. They loaned me a copy of Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict, which I found persuasive. So I said to my friends, "I believe it's true, but I still don't know how to make it 'take.' I've tried before and it's never worked." They explained to me how to trust Christ, and that's what finally made the difference. I knew immediately there was new life in me.
Did it last? Well, that was early in 1975. I decided to give my life to helping other people understand what I learned then. I joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru) as a musician, and since then I've continued in a large and eclectic variety of service, until mid 2013 when God called me to Ratio Christi, where I'm continuing to help others understand what I came to know in 1975: the great, good, and life-giving truth of God in Jesus Christ.