For Those Living in a “Post-Truth” Society: A New Book Co-Authored by Ravi Zacharias

Jesus Among Secular Gods, by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale.

Jesus Among Secular Gods, by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale. Addresses issues that were missed in Zacharias’ earlier work, and geared towards today’s college student.

(December 8, 2017): PLEASE READ THE VARIOUS UPDATES ON the ENTIRE POST BELOW. Thank you….

When I first read Ravi Zacharias’ book, Jesus Among Other Gods, published in 2000, others and I were encouraged by what we considered to be a very readable exploration into why Jesus Christ is so fundamentally different, in a society that is constantly exposed to conflicting and competing truth-claims. So impressive was the book, that our church made a united effort to bring Ravi Zacharias to our church, and the campus of the College of William and Mary, for a weekend of messages, followed by dynamic public question and answer sessions.

Though I still highly recommend Jesus Among Other Gods, I personally felt that the book lacked something important. Zacharias was great at showing the contradictions between various religious worldviews, but he did not adequately address the question of how one is to live in a world, where such conflicting truth-claims exist in the first place. It is one thing to consider the particular truth-claims of different religions. But why even chose any particular worldview at all? Why not just accept them all?

Jesus Among Other Gods, by Ravi Zacharias, 2000.

Jesus Among Other Gods, by Ravi Zacharias, 2000.

For example, so many Christians enter into a relationship with someone who is a professing Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu, with the idea that the other person is “Evil Incarnate.” However, these Christians are often confused when they soon realize that their new Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu friend, is often really a nice person. Are then all religions somehow “true?” An informed response is needed to this question.

Oxford Dictionaries named the term “post-truth” as the 2016 word of the year. So, it is absolutely crucial that Christians begin to more clearly think through the relationship between “truth” and the Gospel, and start having better conversations with our neighbors about these issues.

That is why I am really excited by a new book co-authored by Ravi Zacharias, and fellow associate apologist, Vince Vitale, Jesus Among Secular Gods. With chapter titles such as “Atheism,” “Scientism,” “Pluralism,” “Humanism,” “Relativism,” “Hedonism,” and “Love the Truth,” Jesus Among Secular Gods has great potential to be a great discussion starter among our neighbors.

Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale travel the world, speaking before audiences, sharing their faith and answering objections to the Gospel of Christ, through Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.  Zacharias is featured on a weekly syndicated radio program, Let My People Think. Below is a 12-minute discussion about the new book. I have not read the book yet, but if you have, please share your review in the comments section below!

UPDATE: December 7, 2017. I am sorry to say that I did not adequately review the video below, before posting. For if I did, I would have caught the fact that Vince Vitale introduces his fellow co-auther as “Dr. Ravi Zacharias.” This is most unfortunate, as I knew that Ravi Zacharias, though clearly a gifted speaker and writer, and a most intelligent, Christ-loving man, has never earned the doctoral equivalent of a PhD, in any field. Ravi has received Honorary Doctorates, but this does not qualify anyone to be called a “Doctor,” especially when one’s ministry field is to students and professors in higher education. I would hope that this was simply an oversight, an honest mistake, on both Dr. Vince Vitale’s (who truly is a “Doctor”) and Mr. Ravi Zacharias’ part. I still have not read the book, but given what I have read before from Ravi, I still think it would be most helpful. Nevertheless, I regret the error on my part. For more information, please read this more recent blog article about this issue.

UPDATE: December 8, 2017. For those who have been following this, as someone who values the work of RZIM, I have had trouble sleeping, and I thought it best to try to reach out to someone at RZIM (this is the biblical way to do it). So, I contacted Vince Vitale directly and expressed my concerns, as this whole episode has been terribly frustrating to me. Thankfully and graciously, Dr. Vince Vitale took the time out of his day, and called me from Oxford (how many times does that happen?). We had a great conversation and I was thoroughly impressed by his integrity.

Vince deeply loves Ravi, and greatly respects him, so it was only natural to address him, in a manner, that would befit showing such respect, to a fine Christian leader.  However, Vince also told me that RZIM recognizes that using “Doctor” in this way is contentious in some circles, especially in academia, and that they desire to aim for complete clarity. From our conversation, it appears that he, and RZIM as a whole, are taking steps, in good-faith, to hear the concerns of me and others and to make sure that the way they speak about credentials is both accurate and unambiguous.

Admittedly, people outside of academia might not care one bit about stuff like this, but when you are trying to minister to faculty and students, like we have in our local community, in a college town, it is important for ministers of the Gospel, to stand above reproach. So, I am very, very glad Vince Vitale personally is taking the right steps forward, and that he has been so generous with me. That is a mark of great character. Thank you, Vince!!!

About Clarke Morledge

Clarke Morledge -- Computer Network Engineer, College of William and Mary... I hiked the Mount of the Holy Cross, one of the famous Colorado Fourteeners, with some friends in July, 2012. My buddy, Mike Scott, snapped this photo of me on the summit. View all posts by Clarke Morledge

3 responses to “For Those Living in a “Post-Truth” Society: A New Book Co-Authored by Ravi Zacharias

  • Steve Baughman

    I appreciate your concern for integrity in Ministry. Thank you for that.

    I worry, however, that you are missing the big picture. Ravi’s improper use of “Dr.” is a trivial compared to his false “official lecturer at Oxford” claim, his bogus “visiting scholar at Cambridge” claim and many other false or misleading claims he makes (documented at my http://www.RaciWatch.com and elsewhere.). Christian apologist John Stackhouse told Christianity Today that he has worries for 20 years about Ravi’s exaggerated credential claims.

    Ravi’s ministry has tried to get us to focus on the “Dr.” matter. But please do not fall for that.

    Did you ask Vince Vitale about these other serious issues? How about Ravi’s written suicide threat? (posted at http://www.RaviWatch.com)

    Thank you for caring. I hope you remain vigilant.

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      Hi, Steve. Thank you for dropping by the Veracity blog, and commenting.

      You have done a good service by calling for accountability, with respect to Ravi Zacharias’ ministry. Yes, I have been deeply concerned, as integrity in ministry is vitally important, and yes, I do intend to remain vigilant.

      Christians do fall short at times, just as you probably do, too, and my main concern with RZIM for talking with them was their failure (in my view) of not addressing the credentials issue more promptly. They should have dealt with this fully in 2015, when you first contacted them. But in my conversation with RZIM, I do get the sense that they intend to stay on top of this. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

      As I have followed your writings and videos, in particular, the thread at Ordinary Times, I do get the sense that you simply do not trust Ravi, the man. I fully understand that there are unanswered questions out there, particularly about the sexting controversy.

      But as a Christian, I know that my faith does not depend on Ravi Zacharias. My faith is in Jesus. My hope and prayer for you is that in your quest to find the truth about Ravi, that it does not deter you in getting at the truth as to who Jesus really is. Getting the answers about Ravi are nothing in comparison to knowing the truth about Jesus. Concerns about people like Ravi will come and go, but the truth claims about Jesus have eternal consequences.

      Have you had an opportunity to check out the Michael Heiser video about the Book of Daniel yet, as mentioned at Ordinary Times?

      I understand that you and I are at different places on this at the present time. But let us keep the flow of communication going.

      By the way, I am a banjo player, too, but not nearly at your level. I worked at it a few years ago, but I haven’t done much with developing right hand technique in quite awhile. I do appreciate your posting of your banjo lessons. They are wonderful. The banjo is truly a great instrument. Keep up the good work!

      I have much more to say, but I am out of town visiting family for Christmas, and I need to get back to them.

      My prayers are with you in your Search for Truth,

      Clarke

      Like

    • Steve Baughman

      Sheesh! Banjo player? Now I just want to talk about that and forget about Ravi 🙂

      Clawhammer or fingerpicking?

      OK, more on that later, but back to business right now.

      I am curious why you think RZIM is sincere about staying on top of things and raisinf tjeor standards when they have simply not addressed the Oxford, Cambridge, Alliance, allegations:, nor any of the other areas where it sure seems that Mr. Zacharias has been deceiving the public. RZIM promised a vigorous response to these “slanderous” and “egregious” accusations. But when they delivered their response on December 3, they completely avoided mentioning these issues, drawing our focus instead to the relatively trivial “Dr. Z” issue. I just do not know how that demonstrates good faith.

      My suspicions are compounded by the fact that Mr. Zacharias suggested in his December 3 press release that he comminicated with Ms. Thompson thru an email that she shared with her husband. But this is simply false. In his federal complaint he expressly says that he gave her his private BlackBerry contact information. Why the misleading press release?

      So, the evidence is mounting that, far from a humble recognition of wrongdoing, there is a strategy of deception at work here. I would be very curious to hear you address that. Of course, you’re with your family and it is Christmas time, so I’m not going to stare at my computer screen waiting for your reply 😎

      But I’m very glad that you share my concern about this matter. For me this is not about Ravi Zacharias. This is about integrity in business. If evangelicals want to compete in the marketplace of ideas they need to do it without faking their credentials. That is unfair competition, it is sleazy, and it annoys me greatly.

      The best thing that has come of this Ravi stuff is that the Evangelical community seems to be waking up to the issues. It bothers me that it took them so long. Kind of like the Catholic Church with the child molest problems. Deny deny deny, and only admit when you can’t keep denying.

      But improvement is improvement regardless. Thank you for being in touch. I really appreciate your taking the time to respond to my thoughts.

      I wish you a very Merry remaining Christmas season. I look forward to more dialogue in the new year. Or before.

      Like

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