Remembering Ravi Zacharias

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

–Phil 4:8, ESV

Ravi Zacharias passed away this morning after a short battle with cancer.

I first encountered Ravi as a lecturer in a college course on Christian Apologetics.  Apologetics has nothing to do with apologizing for Christianity; it is about using reason in understanding and defending the Christian faith.  I was immediately impressed by Ravi’s staggering intellect, combined with his gentle, loving spirit, and would go on to read many of his books and articles.  Ravi was committed to overcoming the notion that having faith requires suspending reason.  In his lectures and speeches, he would weave reason, philosophy, life experience and poetic verse into seamless tapestries revealing Jesus to his audiences.

His ministry began during the Vietnam War in 1971, and went on to include shepherding heads of state, sport, film and music stars, authoring many books and articles, establishing Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and much more.  He confidently invited all comers with all questions into his public forums, and he took those forums into secular and religious institutions worldwide.

The internet and media outlets are filled today with biographies, testimonials and commentary on Ravi Zacharias’ life and work.  Rather than doing a poor job rehashing those, I would like to share just a few choice quotes with you.  

In this way, we can let him write his own epitaph:

“Beginning well is a momentary thing; finishing well is a lifelong thing.”

“Love is hard work. It is the hardest work I know of, work from which you are never entitled to take a vacation.”

“A man rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the scarcity of evidence. A man rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit his need for God.”

“There is no greater discovery than seeing God as the author of your destiny.”

“When you come to religion, you come to a place.  When you come to Jesus Christ, you come to a person.”

Thank you, Lord, for Ravi Zacharias’ dedication to the pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praiseworthy, and for always pointing to You as the author of all these things.

Pete Celano – Campus Shepherd

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