No Apologies for Apologist Ravi Zacharias
My heart is aching. The world lost a gifted communicator and an intellectual giant this week.
Before I delve into who that man is and why he was so amazing, allow me to explain why his death is especially personal for me.
I’ve always found it sad when those who don’t follow Christ make statements such as:
- You have to check your brain at the door to be a Christian.
- The Bible contradicts science.
- There’s no evidence God exists.
Apologists have come and gone over the decades to dispute the validity of these statements. I would submit that Ravi Zacharias eclipsed them all.
Christian apologists use systematic argumentation and discourse to defend Christianity against critics. This is not the argumentation we see and hear today. Much of the argumentation that goes on today is neither systematic nor civil discourse.
And then came Ravi Zacharias. His ministry, RZIM, was founded on the mission of “helping the thinker believe and the believer think.” One of my favorite iconic examples of Ravi’s gifted reasoning is the following:
“A common objection to the existence of God goes something like this: “There cannot be a God, because there is too much evil in this world.” Here’s the problem with that objection. When you say there’s too much evil in this world you assume there’s good. When you assume there’s good, you assume there’s such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But if you assume a moral law, you must posit a moral Law Giver, but that’s Who you’re trying to disprove and not prove. Because if there’s no moral Law Giver, there’s no moral law. If there’s no moral law, there’s no good. If there’s no good, there’s no evil.”
As I said to a friend when we shared our grief, my heart aches for our loss. But I also know this week a wonderful reunion occurred as Ravi Zacharias and Nabeel Qureshi, a beloved speaker with RZIM, were reunited before God’s throne and their Savior.
I’m grateful to say I’m forever changed because of Ravi’s influence. But I also know I can’t say I want to follow Ravi’s example, then take shortcuts to the kind of studying necessary to be equipped to, in the words of the apostle Peter,
“In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15 ESV).
May that be said of each of us as we honor the life and ministry of Ravi Zacharias by lifting up the name of Jesus, not belligerently as some do, but with a calm, loving, well-reasoned, and quiet certainty that Christ is the only answer for a world struggling with the questions.