Last week, 10 students and leaders from Activate joined with the Apologetics Ministry to go on the UC Berkeley Apologetics Missions Trip. We were in Berkeley, CA from March 30th through April 3rd, where we learned how to both deepen and defend our faith. We built and strengthened friendships while site-seeing in San Francisco and we had lots of laughs as we came up with crazy puppet performances late at night. But apart from all of the fun and fellowship, our trip consisted of two primary objectives: education and evangelism.
The Apologetics Mission Trips are unique because they provide a lot of opportunity to learn and grow in our understanding of both our faith and in the faith of others. On our trip, we invited two well-known atheists to come and present their position to us. Their topics were, “Goodness without God” and “Why I Became an Atheist.” After their presentations, we were then able to dialogue with them through a time of Q&A, which turned out to be very beneficial and thought-provoking. We were able to ask questions that got them thinking, which brought to light the various weak points in their arguments.
In addition to having people come to us, we also visited several places to learn. First, we visited a Hare Krishna temple, where we toured the temple and heard a basic presentation of their beliefs, and then had a time for Q&A. Next, we visited a Unitarian Universalist church, which accepts all religions as being equally valid and true, and we were able to ask questions about their beliefs in comparison to Christianity. And finally, we had the great privilege of going to the home of Dr. Phillip Johnson, a former UC Berkeley law professor and author, who is considered the father of the Intelligent Design movement. He encouraged us to stand firm in our biblical conviction of a Creator, and to stand against the deceit of Darwinism.
The educational aspect of the mission trip was not just about acquiring knowledge, but about applying that knowledge through evangelism. We were able to take the arguments and tactics that we learned through apologetic training sessions and use them to talk with students from UC Berkeley. We had many fruitful conversations that challenged students to think about truth, morality, religion, and God. After discussing their views and beliefs, we were able to share about our faith and the gospel. Even though we were at a very prestigious and intellectual school, many students admitted that they had never given serious thought to these big issues in life. By God’s grace, we were able to get them to start thinking about these important topics, and to consider the claims of Christ.
Overall, we had a great time. We learned a lot, laughed a lot, and we strengthened our faith and our friendships. If you want to join us next time, be on the lookout for the next Apologetics Mission Trip! CLICK HERE to see the pictures from our trip!