As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
A Christian Maths student is interviewed about her faith on the back cover of a secular Spanish national newspaper.
An interview with a Christian Maths student appeared on the back cover of a national newspaper in Spain after a journalist found out about the boldness she and other Christians had in sharing their faith on campus.
On Wednesday 4th May, the El Periódico newspaper (168,000 daily copies) dedicated the main space of its back cover to an interview with Marta Salguero, one of the student leaders of the GBU (IFES) student association in the Central Campus of the University of Barcelona.
The boldness of a dozen students who challenged their peers to “interrogate” (grill) them with questions about God in a week of activities called “Do not let others think for you” attracted the attention of the journalist.
This is the full interview (translated from Spanish).
GEMMA TRAMULLAS / EL PERIÓDICO. She is studying her 4th year in Maths at the University of Barcelona (UB) and the only external sign of her way of thinking and feeling is a key-ring with a baby shoe which alludes to her position against abortion.
Marta belongs to the 2.5% of the population in Catalonia which is Protestant and she coordinates the “University Bible Group” in the Central campus of the University of Barcelona. Last week she talked about her beliefs openly in the Grill a Christian conferences.
Question. You are part of a minority and you swim against the flow, but you still invite people to ask you questions about your faith. To expose yourself like that is brave.
Answer. We want to explain what we believe and live first hand, not what others may say about Christianity. We want to have the opportunity to share opinions, because we want to be coherent people with good foundations.
Q. What differenciates you from a Catholic?
A. Summarising it a lot, we want to go back to the roots of Christianity, to the historical documents and to Jesus as the most important historical person. The Bible is our only source of teaching.
Q. You are a mathematician. Is it not said that science and the belief in God do not get along well?
A. Someone said that a little bit of science moves you away from God, but a lot of science brings you closer to Him. As a mathematician, I search for the scientific truth, and it has precisely been the scientific evidence which has brought me nearer to God.
Q. What is that evidence?
A. I am not saying that it is 100 per cent scientifically demonstrable, because there is nothing that is 100 per cent demonstrable. But it is known that the possibility of complex life in the Earth is 10 raised to the power of -123.
Q. Too many zeros for someone who studied Liberal Arts.
A. It is a zero, a dot and 122 zeros, followed by a 1. This, and nothing, are almost the same thing. Faced with this reality, there are two options. We either believe we appeared from nothing, or we believe that an intelligent mind designed this universe so that we could live in it.
Q. And you believe in the latter.
A. The Christian faith is the most coherent explanation of the existence of the human being and of our problems. The human being has left God’s original design, we are faulty, we are broken inside and we need God to restore us.
Q. Were your parents believers?
A. My mother is a Baptist and my father is not a believer. But the Christian faith is a personal relationship with God. I spent some years away from God, but I understood I had to come back to Him.
Q. What happened?
A. I went to Secondary School and there was a lot of pressure: peers who do not think like you do, you leave home, you see other options…. I used to have other ‘gods’.
Q. What gods?
A. Tennis was a big god, music, my studies. I tried to everything on my own, to find the strength in myself to solve the problems, but in my first year of university these gods crashed down.
A. I was searching for a deeper meaning in my life. I had a professor (he was a Catholic, by the way) who impacted me because of his calmness. ‘I want to have what this man has’, I thought. And I went back to the roots, to the Bible, to search for God personally. And I found him. I used to try to resolve things in my way and I could not, now it is God who tells me what I can and should do.
Q. Give me an example of divine intervention.
A. [Thinks] This interview.
A. We wanted to share about our faith and you appeared here, by chance.
Q. Do you mean God sent me?
A. I would say so.