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Inventor of the laser printer shares his Christian testimony

BENYOLA: At this time, had you been convicted of the Doctrines of Grace?

STARKWEATHER: Absolutely. I had been instructed that the Bible was the Word of God, and therefore, if you’re going to open it up, read all of it and interpret all of it in the context of the whole thing. You can’t take a piece and say, “This is my religion right here.” You can’t do that. And so, this fellow was very much liberal, antagonistic toward religion. So he was kind of caricaturizing Romans. I didn’t let him alone for that. Part of the reason I could do that is because I was so well-instructed. And to this day, it is a burning desire in my soul — and we don’t have the classrooms here [Saint Andrew’s], and I talk to Burk [Parsons, the co-pastor] about this all the time: “We need to educate our young people and give them core depth,” so that, for example, I call it instrument flight rules on an airplane. You’re flying in a cloud and you know what to do. You know how to read your horizontal indicator and know that you’re not upside-down. Because when they get to the colleges, there’s a lot of people out there who are going to try to turn their minds around, and they don’t know what they’re talking about.

BENYOLA: Have you ever heard of Ratio Christi? There’s an organization called Ratio Christi, and it’s only been around about 10 years the way it is right now. I heard about it through a friend of mine who’s an apologist who went to Liberty University for Master’s in Apologetics. This organization is a Christian apologetics alliance that tries to organize chapters on every college campus. Ratio Christi is Latin for “the reason of Christ.” It’s sort of like an Intervarsity or a Cru on a college campus, except it’s really focused for apologetics. The mission is to combat the secularism that young Christians are facing on college campuses. I’m in early conversations with them about organizing at least a chapter on some campus in Orlando. It’s apologetics-focused to help equip the Christians and provide answers for the non-Christians who would be interested in going.

STARKWEATHER: I really enjoy things like that, because some of this stuff is four-wheel drive. You don’t read it like a novel, okay? You’ve got to dig in and think with some of these things. I like that. I love Ravi Zacharias … “Let my people think.” Not just sit there and absorb like sponges. God gave us melons and expects us to use them. Most people don’t.

BENYOLA: Well, most non-Christians, especially in the secular universities, believe that Christians are backward, uninformed, uh, dogmatic, and ignorant to science and philosophy. So we, as Christians, believe that our faith is rational. So we want to provide an educated reason to answer their questions of a scientific and historical and archaeological nature, so they find that we do have a rational foundation for what we believe, so that once we demonstrate that we’re not ignorant to the world, then we can provide a case for Christ.

STARKWEATHER: … I want to have a system whereby people realize we believe in Jesus Christ not because we have nothing else to do, or that I was scared of my eternity, but because I have a reason to believe — and that reason is every bit as rational as the weight of a brick … So when I grew up and became a physicist and I worked with these people, Microsoft was a real challenge because it’s a very liberal area. They’d say, “Well, the earth wasn’t created in six days.” I said, “Who told you it was created in six days? You may have heard someone say that, but you’re not hearing me say that.” So we’d often talk about that and I’d say, “You can believe the world came into existence by chance, and I believe that an omnipotent God raised His Son from the dead. Who do you think has more faith, me or you?” [laughs] And they’d have to admit it. So the point is, “Don’t look at me as a faith and you’re a rationalist.”

BENYOLA: Everyone has faith. It’s just a matter of how much faith you have and where you put it.

STARKWEATHER: I said, “Use Occam’s Razor as an analysis. Come here in the morning and look to see if there’s going to be an appearance of a transformer sitting there. You can come here for a trillion years, and [without outside influence] there will be no transformer sitting there. Yet, you claim that something came out of existence from nothing. So what’s the problem?” So try to get them off the feeling that they’ve got their philosophy sewed up. I want to show them that there’s a big hole over here and it’s leaking. Let’s look at that leak.

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