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A New Kind of Philosophical Missions Trip (to Berkeley)
With so many young people leaving the faith in their high school and college years, it's time for a new kind of missions trip. We designed the Berkeley Experience with Brett Kunkle from Stand to Reason. This video records the first time a trip of this nature was ever conducted (You can learn more about taking these trips with Brett at www.STRPlace.com). The goal of the trip was simply to put young people in a place where they could interact with people who hold a secular or non-Christian worldview and (1) learn what those worldviews have to offer while (2) reasoning through the cohesive details of the Christian Worldview. We began by taking to the campus of UC Berkeley and talking to individual students and student groups (like Fiat Lux -the UC Berkeley enlightenment group, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and I.D.E.A.) about their beliefs related to spiritual matters. We then invited local atheists (Richard Carrier, Mark Thomas, Larry Hicok, and David Fitzgerald), to come and present their views to our students, allowing for a Q and A period following each talk. We also visited other groups (such as the local Unitarian Universalist church), and we visited with apologists for the Christian faith like Philip Johnson and Mark Porter. The culmination of the trip was a presentation exercise in which the students were required to present their defense for a particular aspect of the Christian worldview in a group setting (video recorded for later critique). This type of demanding and challenging trip encourages young people to examine what they believe and test these beliefs with those who hold differing views. The result is a group of young Christians who are far more confident of their Christian Worldview and far better prepared to defend it in the college setting.