Robin Kim: A Desire to Explain (Legatus Christi Award Recipient)

Robin Kim is a founding student member and the first student Vice President of the Ratio Christi Rice University Chapter, having joined Ratio Christi because of his passion for sharing his faith with others. During the first meeting, he stated that he had recently encountered questions about the truth of Christianity that he wasn’t sure how to answer. While it didn’t raise serious doubts about his faith, he wanted to be able to explain why he believed Christianity is true, but in a winsome and loving manner.

Robin is a Ph.D. student and has been an active member and leader within the chapter, contributing both to the teaching, organization, and long-term success of the chapter. He attends West University Baptist Church.

“One of the things I enjoy most about Robin is his ability to engage at any level of intellectual conversation while bringing conversations back to practical sharing of the Gospel,” says Chapter Director Chuck McWhirter. “There have been times that discussions have gone into deep theological topics, and Robin simply asks, ‘So, how would we share this with someone we’re engaging with?’ I am thankful to have Robin as a dear friend and as an essential part of our Ratio Christi Rice University leadership team for many years to come.”

Robin currently serves as President for the Ratio Christi Rice University Chapter. He has provided instruction on Bayes Theorem in Response to David Hume’s Arguments Against Miracles and An Overview of Sam Harris’s Ethical Framework.

Q: When did you come to Christ as Lord and Savior, and how did that come about?   

I accepted Christ as my savior while at church camp during the summer of 6th grade.

Q: In your high school church youth group, how much did you learn about the Christian faith and reasons to believe?  

I wasn’t very involved in my youth group as a high schooler besides Sunday morning church and I didn’t have any friends in school that were professed Christians. Besides, at that time I had never heard of apologetics. Though I understood I was saved, I didn’t understand what it meant to have an intimate relationship with Jesus or what it meant to serve him. That is, until I reached college.

Q: How did you become interested in apologetics, and how did you get involved with Ratio Christi?  

I became interested in apologetics after I rededicated my life to Christ and got baptized in a summer mission following my freshman year of college. Every week we were tasked with sharing our faith with students on college campuses. It was the scariest and most anxiety-inducing part of the mission. I knew how to share my faith but didn’t know how to deal with objections. The resource that helped me the most was a book I had borrowed from my campus minister called More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell. It was the first Christian book that I had read that dealt with apologetics and was helpful for sharing my faith more confidently. Afterwards, I did my best to share my faith with students but always felt inadequate trying to answer hard questions; they challenged my faith. Years later, at church, there was talk of starting an apologetics club at Rice. I knew this was an opportunity from God to both learn and serve him and I accepted the offer to help start the chapter at Rice.

Q: What impact has the Ratio Christi College Prep ministry had on your walk with God and your personal ministry?  

Ratio Christi has had a huge impact on my walk with Christ by helping me love God, not only with my heart and my soul but also with my mind. Being involved with Ratio Christi has allowed me to step outside the STEM bubble, in which I am typically immersed as an electrical engineering PhD student, and learn about and appreciate the non-STEM disciplines, to include philosophy, of which I am most fond. I enjoy talking with my nonbeliever friends and am more enthusiastic about sharing my faith now that I am more equipped because of Ratio Christi.

Q: What is this RC chapter like?    

Despite the chapter’s young age, and having endured the pandemic, the chapter at Rice is flourishing. We have opted for an off-campus round table format during the past year and I think that has proven to be effective in fostering good conversations around apologetics topics. This has also proven beneficial in developing friendships among the members. I enjoy being surrounded by and learning from such intelligent and well-spoken students. I come out of every weekly meeting having learned something new and interesting!

Q: What were some of your favorite areas of involvement with your local RC chapter?  

My favorite areas of involvement have been teaching on specific topics and facilitating discussion in our Ratio Christi book club meetings. The most recent topic I had the privilege of teaching was a summary of Sam Harris’ view on objective morality via his book The Moral Landscape. This past semester in our book club meetings, I helped facilitate discussion around Greg Koukl’s Tactics, which I found to be practical, especially since we are now preparing our chapter for evangelism outreach during the upcoming school year.

Q: What does your Legatus Christi award mean to you?   

The Legatus Christi Award is an honor to receive. To me, this award represents God’s work in my life and on the Rice campus. I have been at Rice University for over 6 years as an undergraduate, and now as a graduate student, so I can confidently say that Ratio Christi is filling a role that Rice desperately needs. I thank God I can be a part of that.

Q: How do you envision taking the apologetics you have learned through Ratio Christi into your future endeavors?  

As an electrical engineering Ph.D. student specializing in neuroengineering, I have the opportunity, and now the confidence, to witness to my colleagues about the truth of Christianity and that the brain, the most complex system in the universe, did not arise by chance but by the design of the greatest engineer of all, Jesus Christ!

Q: What are your short and long-term career/ministry/mission plans?  

My short-term career goal is to get my masters and Ph.D. while serving the Lord as his witness in academia.

Q: Would you consider coming back to work with your RC chapter, starting one at another school, or working with RC in any other capacity?  

Of course!

Q: What would you say to other students who might be considering getting involved in Ratio Christi, whether they be skeptics, seekers, or believers?  

If you’re still unsure about Ratio Christi, just attend one meeting. I think you’ll be surprised and find that this is the best ministry equipped to answer your tough questions.

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