Missionary Examines the Why Behind His Beliefs

SES Real Stories #7

Jonathan and his wife spent nearly three years as missionaries in China. While there, they met once a week at a coffee shop to have conversations with locals who wanted to learn English.

“They were very interested in Christianity. They had lots of questions about God.”

Looking back, Jonathan sees how helpful apologetics would have been to “answer common objections I wasn’t prepared for at all.” Some conversations, he said, “didn’t go as well as I would have liked.”

Jonathan had spent four years at Bible college.

“I could rattle off what I believed fairly easily, but when people asked, ‘Why should I believe this?’ … I really struggled.”

Jonathan thought about getting his master’s for years, but didn’t know what to study—until he was introduced to apologetics.

“I basically just Googled top five places to study apologetics,” he said, and SES was near the top of the list. He researched the school and is working toward his Master’s in Apologetics online.

As a chapter director and missionary with Ratio Christi in South Africa, Jonathan loves that SES formats instruction to be practical and useful in everyday life. At the same time, it stretches him. Jonathan said he watches lectures sometimes with a dictionary in hand to better understand terminology.

“It’s been really great. The courses and the professors have been really well-structured,” he said.

While he can’t always watch live lectures due to the time difference, he can watch the recording, which is the flexibility he needs with a full-time job and three kids.

SES has also prepared him more in his role with Ratio Christi, specifically talking to high school students about Christianity.

“I always ask them why they believe, and not many of them have thought about it.”

Even in Christian circles, he said, people have plenty of questions—like, “If there’s a God, why would He allow COVID to happen?”

At a time when all it takes is pulling out your phone to access a world of information, it’s so important to know the why behind your beliefs, Jonathan said, and not be swayed by misinformation.

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