Ratio Christi Student Apologetics Alliance: Blake Anderson
Blake Anderson is Chief Operating Officer of Ratio Christi (“The Reason of Christ”), an international student ministry founded in 2008 to equip university students and faculty to give historical, philosophical, and scientific reasons for following Jesus Christ.
Anderson says Ratio Christi partners with other campus ministries as a kind of “special forces unit” that complements those groups’ discipleship and evangelism efforts by training students in apologetics—giving them the intellectual confidence to defend God’s existence, the reliability of the Bible, and the fact of Christ’s resurrection. The ministry has 120 chapters on campuses throughout the U.S., and is launching others in Africa, Europe, South America, and New Zealand.
“We give students basic training in how to have a conversation … introduce people to the available evidence … and witness the enormous confidence they gain from that to go out and share their faith with others,” Anderson says. “One of the most interesting things to come out of this is that we have developed deep relationships with some of the most anti-Christian groups on campus—Secular Student Alliance, atheist clubs. We have some really solid dialogues with those who are against God—a unique chance to intersect with them and discuss evidence for the faith.”
Their determination to speak up for the truth puts Ratio Christi on a collision course with school officials bent on silencing faith on campus. That, Anderson says, is where his group’s long partnership with Alliance Defending Freedom has proven crucial. The ministry’s attorneys assist Ratio Christi staff in drafting charters that can be reproduced with each new chapter, and train them in what to expect from administrators, “helping us shape language and responses that are direct but respectful, upholding our rights, not letting them push us around.
“Alliance Defending Freedom has been absolutely essential to getting us off the ground and growing like we have,” Anderson says. “We are not attorneys. We are Christian apologists, trying to defend the faith, and have a firm belief in our right to be able to share the Gospel. But when it comes down to the legal ins and outs—knowing these guys are behind us, to give us advice on little things and big things, has been a huge help. Plus, they’ve saved us tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees that, as a young ministry, we could never have afforded.
“They believe the need to defend our faith goes hand in hand with our legal right to do so,” he says. “Our ability to spread the Gospel is very much in line with our God-given right to express our religious and intellectual viewpoints.”