Ravi Zacharias Scandals

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Are there any books or tapes of his that you do recommend? Just curious.

If you've heard one tape, then you've heard every single message. His "Lotus Meets the Cross" type books are interesting in showing how dialogue is done. I can't technically recommend them for obvious reasons.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Sophomore
The wife might be guilty if she knew what was happening and turned a blind eye and lived off the proceeds of his fame.
From what I understand the family is utterly devastated. Let's not jump to hurtful speculation.
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
From what I understand the family is utterly devastated. Let's not jump to hurtful speculation.
The point of culpability is well-taken, though.

From what I understand, this pattern of behavior stretched back possibly 30 years or more.

Nobody's that discreet.

Somebody(s) knew something. And said nothing.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Sophomore
I just read Ravi's sons response. It's obvious he's shattered and devastated. It may be true some people knew something. That doesn't mean his family did. They're in enough pain already. They should be able to at least be devastated in peace without people accusing them of things.
 
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Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
I just read Ravi's sons response. It's obvious he's shattered and devastated. It may be true some people knew something. That doesn't mean his family did. They're in enough pain already. They should be able to at least be devastated in peace without people accusing them of things.
I have no doubt you are correct.

Bear in mind, however, that the evangelical world has just discovered it's been taken for a ride by one of its biggest apologetic stars. A man who sounded so kind, so passionate, so sincere.

Maybe we should all work on being a little more discerning and not accepting so quickly the "sincerity" of those who seem sincere, based solely on our personal impressions of them or their words.

"There's no art / To find the mind's construction in the face." - King Duncan, Macbeth
 
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VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Maybe we should all work on being a little more discerning and not accepting so quickly the "sincerity" of those who seem sincere, based solely on our personal impressions of them or their words.
My takeaway is a bit more local. As in I am reminded yet again to examine my own heart lest my own "sincerity" is just a sham.
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
My takeaway is a bit more local. As in I am reminded yet again to examine my own heart lest my own "sincerity" is just a sham.
The two in fact are not completely disconnected....

Given the nature and scope of the sin, however, I'm inclined to take the relevant, Biblical lesson as more "beware of ravening wolves" than "beware of becoming a wolf."
 
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Abeard

Puritan Board Freshman
I found this article by Michael L Brown very helpful.

I am reminded by Robert Murray M'Cheyne... “The seed of every sin known to man is in my heart."
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
I can't imagine what was going on in Ravi's head. Here he is a #1 apologist and yet, evidently, an atheist. He can't possibly have engaged in this kind of behavior if he believed in the existence of a just God before whom he would have to give account. He knew he was dying before he died. Yet with eternal destiny of his own personal close horizon, he evidently didn't believe a word of what he taught. Or did he think his alternative life was automatically forgiven for some reason?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
He was a #1 marketed apologist. He wasn't actually that profound. He was the Ben Shapiro of apologetics. Excellent at taking down uppity college socialists but you wouldn't actually go to him to develop what you believed in.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
When people tell me they want to be an apologist (and they are always really young guys--hey, I made this mistake, too), and ask me for advice, this is what I tell them:

1) Don't do apologetics for at least two years. You don't know anything. That sounds mean, but it is true.
2) Spend the next ten years reading as much of the church fathers, medievals, scholastics as you can. This will keep you from sounding shallow and offering sound bytes.
3) Learn the Socratic dialogue. I've read through almost all of Plato's dialogues. Your goal isn't to one-up an argument, but to cultivate virtue and lead people to the truth.
4) Learn what your local church needs in apologetics, if anything. Submit 100% to their oversight, unless it is a creepy cultic church.
5) Cultivate intellectual virtue by avoiding the quick, easy answer. This might mean you might not get the answer for a couple months. You might have to forgo the next hot book off the Reformed conference media and spend more money on an academic work. That's good. It will teach you patience and humility (and you will learn FAR more).
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
When people tell me they want to be an apologist (and they are always really young guys--hey, I made this mistake, too), and ask me for advice, this is what I tell them:

1) Don't do apologetics for at least two years. You don't know anything. That sounds mean, but it is true.
2) Spend the next ten years reading as much of the church fathers, medievals, scholastics as you can. This will keep you from sounding shallow and offering sound bytes.
3) Learn the Socratic dialogue. I've read through almost all of Plato's dialogues. Your goal isn't to one-up an argument, but to cultivate virtue and lead people to the truth.
4) Learn what your local church needs in apologetics, if anything. Submit 100% to their oversight, unless it is a creepy cultic church.
5) Cultivate intellectual virtue by avoiding the quick, easy answer. This might mean you might not get the answer for a couple months. You might have to forgo the next hot book off the Reformed conference media and spend more money on an academic work. That's good. It will teach you patience and humility (and you will learn FAR more).
I thik one other thing I would add is make sure your arguments are coming from scripture and not philosophy as the base (or rather make sure you know the Bible). One thing I have repeatedly heard said of Ravi and I have seen myself, is he almost never quoted scripture or even employed scripture. He would almost always appeal to some expert or philosophical argument (completely detached from scripture).
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I thik one other thing I would add is make sure your arguments are coming from scripture and not philosophy as the base (or rather make sure you know the Bible). One thing I have repeatedly heard said of Ravi and I have seen myself, is he almost never quoted scripture or even employed scripture. He would almost always appeal to some expert or philosophical argument (completely detached from scripture).

That's true to an extent, but everyone, most especially Christian dogma, trades in philosophical categories like essence, substance, motion, and hypostasis. We can say our arguments need to be biblical, but no one denies that otherwise. My Roman Catholic friends find proof texts for what they do, so "being biblical" needs to be glossed, and it will usually be glossed with extra-biblical categories. That's just how the world is.
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I have never really liked apologetics. I don't think many people are argued into the kingdom. Apologetics usually helps those who already believe but who want supporting evidence. Kindness and praying with the sick by simple Christians is much more powerful than crafty arguments. It seems there is a tendency for apologetics to cultivate human pride in their own cleverness and I've seen these apologetics guys (who often love to film themselves) look like real smug jerks to others (Sye Bruggencate and others). We can thus train the mind to argue without training the heart towards holiness.

I grieve (and maybe I am a little jealous) that these big name guys can get millions in donations and I am constantly weary and worried about supporting my small little efforts of 2 schools and a dorm/orphanage that I am constantly in debt trying to help. It doesn't seem fair that the most faithful 3rd world Christians I know often die young and in poverty while the church is Big Business in America. But God does not calculate success like man does.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Sophomore
I grieve (and maybe I am a little jealous) that these big name guys can get millions in donations and I am constantly weary and worried about supporting my small little efforts of 2 schools and a dorm/orphanage that I am constantly in debt trying to help. It doesn't seem fair that the most faithful 3rd world Christians I know often die young and in poverty while the church is Big Business in America. But God does not calculate success like man does.
I hear you, Pergster. I think it helps to remind us that God's way is the J curve. Glory comes later.
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
When people tell me they want to be an apologist (and they are always really young guys--hey, I made this mistake, too), and ask me for advice, this is what I tell them:
I agree budding Apologists need some wise advice, but I do believe they first need to learn some important Biblical priorities. For instance see 1 Cor 2:1-5:
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

I believe this is where Ravi failed.
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
Following on from my previous post I like how Martyn Lloyd-Jones handles this. Here is one of his classic apologetics sermons "The irrationality of unbelief"
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
With respect to the last few posts in this thread, in the Christian life, often the answer is both/and and not either/or.

Here are some thoughtful words by Doug Groothuis. HT: Triablogue

Groothuis is right with his ethos/pathos/logos angle.

And to the larger thread: I wasn't saying in my earlier posts that we should study philosophy at the expense of biblical revelation. My point was that we should cultivate virtue, which takes years and is painful. Anyone can say that "they are biblical." That means nothing to me. It's a cliche. I only know one "devotion/spiritual exercise" book that deals with virtue. JP Moreland. Not surprisingly, his book is the best.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Groothuis is right with his ethos/pathos/logos angle.

And to the larger thread: I wasn't saying in my earlier posts that we should study philosophy at the expense of biblical revelation. My point was that we should cultivate virtue, which takes years and is painful. Anyone can say that "they are biblical." That means nothing to me. It's a cliche. I only know one "devotion/spiritual exercise" book that deals with virtue. JP Moreland. Not surprisingly, his book is the best.
At least JPM is the only modern and Protestant author I'm guessing you mean or least one philosophically astute? Works by Kent Hughes or Donald Whitney would be a different genre in this case? I don't think you mean to promote a Francis de Sales, Jesuitical, type of program. :) Rather, virtue requires training ie. Pilgrim's Progress.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
At least JPM is the only modern and Protestant author I'm guessing you mean or least one philosophically astute? Works by Kent Hughes or Donald Whitney would be a different genre in this case? I don't think you mean to promote a Francis de Sales, Jesuitical, type of program. :) Rather, virtue requires training ie. Pilgrim's Progress.

I am not familiar with Hughes. Whitney is good on getting people to engage in spiritual disciplines, but I there isn't a systematic integration on how to pursue virtue.
 

LilyG

Puritan Board Freshman
I also thought David Wood's commentary on the scandal was very good: the danger of relaxing into normalcy with sin and justifying it "without ever reaching out", and the destructive nature of pride. And especially last third, where he talks a bit about his personal "double life" as a diagnosed psychopath.

 
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arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Groothuis is right with his ethos/pathos/logos angle.

And to the larger thread: I wasn't saying in my earlier posts that we should study philosophy at the expense of biblical revelation. My point was that we should cultivate virtue, which takes years and is painful. Anyone can say that "they are biblical." That means nothing to me. It's a cliche. I only know one "devotion/spiritual exercise" book that deals with virtue. JP Moreland. Not surprisingly, his book is the best.
What is it called?
 
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