My introduction to Ravi Zacharias came in audio format in which a man with a strange accept defended the Christian faith so astutely that I was drawn to hear more. The apologetic gusto of this man is that which could draw in a multitude if they would only take the time to listen. His speaking engagements most often occur on campuses of higher learning, because that, certainly, is the crowd to whom he is best suited. Like the rationalists of the Reformation, he is a man who seeks to prove the truths of Scripture and the needs of humanity through reason and logic and other such working of the mind. Much like C.S. Lewis—who once described Jesus as either Lord, Lunatic or Liar—he seeks to draw men to the faith by convincing them that there truly is no alternative. And while I believe that faith is far more important than reason, I also desire to understand just how reasonable my faith can be. And so I have been drawn again and again to the teachings of Ravi Zacharias.
My most recent venture into the land of reasonable apologetics came in the form of Zacharias’ 1994 book, Can Man Live Without God. Zacharias has broken his discussion down into three parts: “Atheism is Alive—and Deadly,” “What Gives Life Meaning?” and “Who is Jesus (and Why Does it Matter?)?” These parts dissect the world of Atheistic thought to such a point that I could probably point out an atheist on the street merely by looking at him! But Zacharias plays his part of apologist well, for, while knowing and understanding the thoughts and philosophies that under gird this false religion of atheism, he shows true love for the atheist, respecting that person’s right (and responsibility) to search for meaning himself, ultimately guiding him on a level of equality rather than condemning him from a pedestal of superiority.
Too many preachers, it seems, talk down to their congregations, regulars and new-comers. They understand not the concept of “know your audience” and “respect your audience.” Like street-corner preachers, they scream their messages of damnation from bullhorns without realizing that they turn off more than they attract, and without ever trying to mirror the compassion Christ Himself showed for the multitudes. I am a Ravi Zacharias fan, for the time being. He shows courage and conviction, but mingles it with respect and compassion. And when all this is backed up by loads and loads of doctorate-level research—from both sacred vantage points and secular—well, who could turn down and author-speaker like that?
I suggest this book for the skeptics who doubt the existence of God, for the Agnostics who think it really doesn’t matter, and for the Christian who mingles with any of these groups on a day-to-day basis.