By: Scott Halliwell, Sports Management Major, Winthrop University

Today, the college campus is where many young people are faced with attacks on the reliability of Christian thought. Believers are faced with attacks in every way from the angle of science, philosophy, and even the nature of the truth. College ministries and churches alike are teaching us what we should (rightfully so) believe. In today’s environment; however, Christians must understand what they think, how they should apply those values in everyday life, and respond to the fundamental questions of what they believe. The last step is creating a defense of our faith, which is why apologetics is critical to answering these issues.

In the Bible, in 1 Peter 3:15, it states, “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” This shows the biblical definition of what apologetics is. With apologetics, we can make a defense by using the same things that the world does to try to disprove our Faith.

 Another thing that apologetics does is it encourages us to critically think about the claims that are in the Bible. Romans 12:2 says, in the verse the phrase “by testing you may discern which is the will of God.” This comes from the Greek word "domimazo" which means “to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, and deem worthy.” This definition is requiring us to critically think about the claims in the Bible to help us form an authentic Faith.

So why do we need apologetics in the first place? In many ways, some in secular colleges and universities are trying to destroy individuals' belief in God. They are trying to show Christian students through claims of science, history, philosophy, etc. that the Bible is wrong.  When we go to college ministries and even in most churches, most of those questions unfortunately are not even addressed and are left unanswered.

Apologetics is equipping students to respond to these issues and that is why Ratio Christi is so different than other ministries. It allows believers and non-believers alike to ask questions about the Faith. It provides an avenue for us to ask questions that would not be addressed or answered in a typical college ministry or even in a church setting.

The irony is this-- what college campuses are challenging students to do is to think about claims and to think critically about them. Universities love this because it allows for the student to "find" him or herself. So if the Bible is clear in requiring us to think critically about God, His nature and the truth of Scripture, then why are we afraid to ask these questions?  If we do ask these questions, then we realize that God is the answer to all of the world’s problems.

If we do engage in this type of thinking and constant renewal of our mind in Christ, then in response to this, we will find ways to defend the Faith by seeking the one Truth. Because of this, Ratio Christi is needed on colleges around the world because it allows for engagement with believers and non-believers that might not happen in a regular church setting.