Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Remembering Dr. Ravi Zacharias

In March 2020, it was revealed that world-renowned Christian apologist and evangelist Ravi Zacharias had been diagnosed with a malignant and rare cancer within his spine. With sadness, he succumbed this morning to this cancer that crept into his life a few months ago. He was 74 years old.

I can't say I knew Ravi personally, but I did take two courses of his while I was a student in Charlotte, North Carolina. One course was on World Religions and the other was an Introduction to Christian Apologetics. Pretty much the entire school took those two classes, being a popular and celebrity name, so it was almost impossible to interact with him during that time, though we did meet and I even have a few photos with him somewhere. If there is one thing I remember about meeting him, is that he was a very gentle and humble man, always with a smile on his face. In the classroom, he taught from a level of deep knowledge and personal experience, and you left every class not only better informed on a particular subject, but even inspired since he couldn't help but teach without his words invading your heart as well as your mind.

Prior to taking these courses, I was introduced to Ravi in high school through his radio program and through cassette tapes of his lectures, and eventually his books. They were a tremendous aid to me during some very difficult years. When I heard in 1998 that he would be one of the many prominent professors at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, and as I was looking for a different challenge in my life, he was one of the main reasons I signed up for three years of study there. Besides the classes I took there that he taught, I also had a few opportunities to go down to Atlanta with fellow classmates to hear him debate some prominent atheists and skeptics, and though his intellect greatly exceeded theirs, he was always humble and cordial and you could tell that he always had a deep respect and friendliness with those he engaged in debate.

This pretty much covers my experiences with Ravi Zacharias, and I'm saddened he is gone. He is a great loss to Christian evangelism. May his soul find peace and rest in the Lord.

Below I'm including a video from this morning by Dr. Frank Turek that I just had an opportunity to listen to. We were classmates together at S.E.S., I think he was one or two years my senior, and he had a much deeper and richer relationship with Dr. Zacharias, so I will let him speak for what my personal experience lacks.