Zach Thompson is a recent recipient of the Legatus Christi award. He attends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln chapter. The following are his answers to the events that brought him to be a part of our mission to share the reason of Christ with universities across the world.
- When did you come to Christ as Lord and Savior, and how did that come about?
I was raised in a Christian home, and I accepted Christ when I was six years old. I honestly don’t remember it. As I grew up, I gradually started taking it more seriously. I remember one point in particular when I decided to make my faith a priority. My family was watching a series about a guy who traveled to the archeological sites of places where Biblical events occurred. At the end of one episode, he challenged viewers to run in their faith. I don’t know why that inspired me, but that night I memorized the Beatitudes. Since then, I’ve been trying to make my faith my main priority, though I certainly don’t always succeed.
- In your high school church youth group, how much did you learn about the Christian faith and reasons to believe?
I regularly attended my church’s youth group during high school. I remember that we went through several different books of the bible, and I did learn more about my faith. As for reasons to believe, there were some presented, but apologetics wasn’t typically the focus.
- What impact has the Ratio Christi ministry had on your walk with God and your personal ministry?
It’s served as a constant reminder of what is truly important. The RC staff have challenged me to grow in ways I probably wouldn’t have considered otherwise. One of the biggest impacts was the evangelism training we did. I never thought that I would have the courage to go up to someone and share the gospel. Then I did it. That certainly wouldn’t have happened without RC and the support and leadership of the great people in it.
- What is this RC chapter like?
We meet every Wednesday evening. We have a speaker – a staff member, student, professor, or even nationally-known philosopher – give a lecture. There are several breaks for discussions, which continue long after the lecture is over. These discussions are fun, challenging, and thought-provoking. There are atheists and agnostics who come and challenge the ideas presented in the lecture. Remarkably, these discussions stay respectful and considerate. I haven’t found anywhere else where people can disagree about important or controversial topics with a desire to understand rather than attack.
- What were some of your favorite areas of involvement with your local RCCP chapter?
It’s hard to pick. We set up a table in the student union and have fantastic conversations with people who come up to us. We have social events where we get to know each other personally and have tons of fun at the same time. Of course, we have our weekly meeting
s, where we can learn about deep issues and have great conversations with people who disagree with us. They are all great experiences.
- What does the Legatus Christi award mean to you?
Honestly, it’s quite humbling. I didn’t expect to win it. It did make me think about how RC had helped me grow in my faith, which was encouraging. At the same time, I can see how far I have yet to go (not that I’ll ever get there this side of heaven), and it’s humbling.
- How do you envision taking the apologetics you have learned through Ratio Christi into your future endeavors?
I don’t yet how I envision my future endeavors, let alone how anything with fit into them. I do know that apologetics is something that I want to continue to learn and think about. I hope that it has prepared me to give an answer for the hope that I have.
- Would you consider coming back to work with your RC chapter, starting one at another school, or working with RC in any other capacity?
I would consider it. I would like to stay involved in my RC chapter. I don’t think I would want to do it as a job. I suppose that could change, though.
- 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 are considering getting involved, I would encourage you to go to Ratio Christi. Regardless of your beliefs about Christianity, it’s a great opportunity to learn about philosophy, history, science, and Christianity. It’s a great opportunity to debate and disagree with people who are going to seek to understand you rather than get angry with you. You can meet other people who are out to seek truth, not to score points. As I look at the world, I appreciate more and more how rare that is.