Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Echoes of Deep Faith: A Week of Questions with Michael Ramsden

Story by Rachel Bell ’12

Feb. 6 - 8, Gordon College hosted Michael Ramsden, European Director of RZIM Zacharias Trust, as the guest speaker for a spiritual emphasis week entitled “Deep Faith: Loving God with Hearts and Minds.” This week of spiritual renewal was a collaborative effort between President D. Michael Lindsey and the Chapel Office.

Dean of Chapel Dr. Greg Carmer met Ramsden last summer at a conference in Oxford, where Ramsden is a lecturer in Christian apologetics at Wycliffe Hall. Though he grew up in the Middle East in a non-Christian family, Ramsden now lives in Oxford with his wife and three children. “His person and his approach are appealing,” said Dr. Camer, “because he is both professional and pastoral.”

In five separate talks, Ramsden covered topics such as “obstacles to the Christian walk” and “moral objections to the church and to God.” In a chapel service on Wednesday morning he encouraged students not to be afraid of their doubts about the Christian faith. “The god of the gaps is not the God of the Bible,” he said. “The basis for encountering God is not what you do not know, it’s what you know.”

Ramsden’s approach was popular with many students. “He was an incredible speaker who was able to combine intellectual pursuit and doubt, which is very relevant on a college campus,” said Kristin Beebe ’13, a linguistics and Spanish double major. Beebe appreciated that the week focused on questions posed to the Christian faith. “No matter what, when we leave the confines of the "Gordon bubble," we will have to face these questions,” she said, “coming either from our friends and coworkers or from within ourselves, when we're not surrounded by other believers.”

During the Deep Faith week, Ramsden asked students to bring up the most challenging questions they could think of concerning Christianity. “We can’t bury the questions about God,” he said. “The question is: are we prepared to follow the truth?”

View videos from Ramsden’s week of messages to the Gordon College community.

Photo: Michael Ramsden speaks on Christian apologetics in the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel during Deep Faith week.

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