Ratio Christi Canada recently had the privilege of hosting Dr. Corey Miller, President/CEO of Ratio Christi (U.S.), at our largest campus chapter in the country.
The host chapter was Ratio Christi at Crandall University. The school is a Christian liberal arts university in Moncton, New Brunswick, and is the second largest Christian university in Canada. While visiting, Dr. Miller had the opportunities to tour the campus, meet the university President, lead one of the weekly Ratio Christi chapter meetings, and deliver a public lecture attended by students, staff, faculty, and others from outside the Crandall community.
Cody Guitard, Chapter Director for Ratio Christi at Crandall University, says that it was a pleasure to have Dr. Miller visit the Ratio Christi students and staff in the Canadian Maritimes. “We all very much enjoyed learning from Dr. Miller during his short time with us, and we do hope we’ll be able to get him up here again someday.”
Unfortunately, Dr. Miller’s visit to the Great White North wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Cancelled in Canada
In actuality, Dr. Miller was originally scheduled to deliver another public lecture at a major public university in the province on the day prior to his lecture at Crandall. This was to be part of a lecture series put on by the university’s philosophy department and was to be based in part of one of Dr. Miller’s booklets, Is Christianity Good or Bad for the World?
However, even after Dr. Miller had been vetted month’s prior and the lecture title was changed to “Religious Belief: Axiological Reflections on Western Civilization” to reflect a broader and less distinctly apologetic approach to the topic, the lecture was cancelled just a week prior to the scheduled event.
Because one student learned of some of Dr. Miller’s Christian convictions that aren’t all that popular in today’s Western society and, even though the lecture material said nothing of these convictions, that one student raised concerns to the philosophy department that got the lecture cancelled.
To be fair to the university’s philosophy faculty, the department did still wish to have Dr. Miller speak. However, out of concern for the future of the still young lecture series, they chose to avoid potential controversy. We can certainly appreciate these concerns, but unfortunately, cancelling could only be done at the expense of freedom of thought and speech. Such is the recurring trend of cancel culture on our college and university campuses.
Thankfully, however, Dr. Miller’s lecture material didn’t go to waste.
A Discussion Worth Having
Since he would no longer be lecturing at the public university, this freed Dr. Miller up to lead the Ratio Christi student discussion scheduled for that same evening. And he had the freedom to make the topic as explicitly apologetic as he wanted: “Is Christianity Good or Bad for the World?”
Against revisionist retellings of history, Dr. Miller argued that the greatest mark on human history and the greatest contribution to human flourishing were made not by reason, science, or humanism alone but, rather, it was underwritten by the world’s most influential religion: Christianity.
He further showed that the net good of Christianity’s influence throughout history makes its truth more plausible, especially where the reasons for its goodness connect directly to its truth claims. To do so, he explored some widely affirmed values or goods whose most prominent manifestations are best explained by Christianity’s positive influence on the world.
The Ratio Christi students (and staff) were very engaged in the discussion and grateful to Dr. Miller for taking the time to share the material with them that they otherwise would have missed had he been delivering it elsewhere that evening.
The Lecture That Wasn’t Cancelled
Dr. Miller also got to deliver his public lecture at Crandall University the following evening. (You know, the lecture that wasn’t cancelled.) It targeted a general audience and was titled “Comparing Worldviews: Is Jesus Genuinely Unique to Basic Morality?”
The lecture surveyed the many variations throughout time and across continents of one of the most well-known and fundamental ethical principles: the Golden Rule, which says, “Do to others what you would want others to do to you.” Dr. Miller pointed out that while the Golden Rule has been variously represented across cultures and worldviews for millennia, not all worldviews can equally explain or account for it.
In the end, the argument was persuasively made that the Christian worldview alone offers the best explanation or account for this timeless ethical principle, which in turn points to the truth of Christianity.
Dr. Miller’s lecture, like the discussion he led the night before, was well-received and generated some thoughtful dialogue following the presentation. So, while his visit to Canada didn’t quite go exactly as planned and required some significant last-minute changes to the itinerary, the trip was still a win in numerous respects, and we would be happy to have him again.
Thank you, Dr. Miller!