Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Apologist Ravi Zacharias

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.

 

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9 Comments

  1. Barb Haley

    Prayers for Ravi’s wife and family. When I think of the sadness I’m dealing with, I realize it’s nothing compared to the Ravi-shaped hole in their hearts. Thanks, Ava, for a beautiful tribute and the call fervently study God’s Word.

  2. Ava Pennington

    Yes, I know what you mean about the sadness of loss. So grateful his family shared him with the world!

  3. Jill

    Beautiful, Ava! Ravi’s influence is deep and wide. Thank you for your thoughts.

  4. Karen Friday

    Ava, love your title and agree, Ravi eclipsed those statements made about Christians. Love his works. God used him to touch millions of lives. Currently reading his book, set up as a study, one per week for the year. “The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind.” It’s fantastic.

  5. Jessica Brodie

    What a remarkable man of God and an inspiration. I’m so thankful for him and others who make it crystal-clear why Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Praise God for Ravi.

  6. Melissa Henderson

    Years ago, during a women’s Bible study, a friend shared about Ravi. I am so glad she shared with the group. What a very special man! Ravi touched the hearts and souls of many people.

  7. Yvonne Morgan

    He will be greatly missed. He was an anointed man of God. Thanks for sharing your memories of him and his impact.

  8. Candice Brown

    Ravi was an apologist marked by grace and humility. As a former atheist, I appreciate how his works never seemed intent on tearing down non-believers but always seemed written with strokes of love. Well done, good and faithful servant.

  9. Stephen Lewis

    Such a Mighty Man of God, very loving and Christ-like. Will be watching more of his Youtube videos in the future. We can learn so much from him and his walk with the Lord. The amazing part is he has finished his race very well and is with the Lord! God Bless You Sister great message!

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