Thinking Out Loud

May 20, 2020

Remembering Ravi Zacharias

Filed under: apologetics, Christianity — Tags: , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 10:35 am

Then I shall end my sad complaints
And weary sinful days,
And join with the triumphant saints
That sing my Savior’s praise.
-Richard Baxter*

It’s difficult to add anything to what other voices have been sharing in the past 24 hours, but it also strikes me that silence isn’t appropriate. This, the passing of Ravi Zacharias, is probably the most significant passing of a Christian statesman since the death of Billy Graham. (For a full biography, click here.) The outpouring of tributes online has been nearly overwhelming.

Having recently reviewed a book Ravi co-wrote, his voice is fresh in my mind. (One comment on Twitter yesterday noted that he is so well known, one need just say Ravi, without the necessity of a last name.) His approach to apologetics was far more pastoral than most you see writing and speaking in this genre. He searched for ‘the question behind the question’ and it was most often there, hidden in the background.

I also think of him as a type of Renaissance man, frequently quoting hymns, classical poetry and pop songs which illustrate the human soul searching for God. His recall of history, facts, philosophers, scientists, etc., was astounding.

He would often close his eyes when delivering an address or answering a question in the many Q&A events he hosted at major colleges and universities; those closed eyes allowing him to formulate a deeper revelation of an appropriate answer.

From my perspective, no memory of Ravi is complete without thinking of the other apologists his ministry, RZIM International has brought to the foreground including some which have impacted my own life: Abdu Murray, the late Nabeel Qureshi, Michael Ramsden, Vince Vitale, Logan Gates, John Lennox, and others.

Though the last several years brought some distractions, I am confident history will remember him as one of the great Christian people of the last century. In some respects he wrote his own biography several times in his various books, but his life leaves no doubt his life story will be included in the collections of great Christian biographies.


photo image: 100 Huntley Street

*from a poem Ravi recited in January; remembered by daughter Sarah Davis in this tribute.

2 Comments »

  1. Such a great apologist. His death is the birth of many more.

    Comment by gilian — May 20, 2020 @ 10:47 am

  2. You are so right. I remember listening to his radio program as part of a class in college. Every week we would all get quiet and listen and just absorb the deep truths he shared in such an understandable and relatable way. I have never been disappointed in either his speeches or his writings. I believe his impact will carry for years to come.

    Comment by PreacherMan80 — May 20, 2020 @ 3:09 pm


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