Book Review: “Deliver Us from Evil” by Ravi Zacharias (1996)

“Restoring the Soul in a Disintegrating Culture”

I have appreciated Ravi Zacharias’ apologetic mind for quite some time, though for a while, I had never actually read any of his books. Instead, I had listened to his program “Let My People Think” and had also found random question-answer times  that had been recorded during his speeches at American universities made available online. That being said, I could not help but read this book with an accent. It is kind of nice.

In Deliver Us From Evil, Zacharias develops the origin and growth of evil, specifically in the most recent generations, as it is evidenced by the ever-changing philosophies of our times. I would not be infringing on the integrity of his book by stating that his major conclusions reside in the following ideas: that with secularization, humanity has experienced a loss of shame; with pluralization, humanity has experienced a loss of reason; and with privatization, humanity has experienced a loss of meaning. To develop these more, perhaps, would be overstepping my bounds as a reviewer, so I will simply state that the logic and historical integrity with which Zacharias approaches these three main issues is well worth the time it would take you to read (while perhaps keeping a dictionary close at hand) and understand them and their implications.

I was a little disheartened at first by how little this Christian apologetic spoke of Christ, the cross, and the resurrection, but as I continued to read, I began to understand his reasoning in saving the good news for later. Zacharias spends a good portion of the beginning of his book establishing a foundation of the realities of evil, and he really does not include very much Christian thought at all. In fact, were you to stop reading early, you may think that the text you just “finished” was a secular philosophy by an agnostic thinker, albeit a highly pessimistic one. But as you continue through the text, Zacharias’ main thrust comes to the fore: that while this entire world is wrought with evil and looking as if it is hopelessly stuck in a downward spiral toward anarchy, the cross of Jesus Christ is this world’s only hope of rescue. And this was certainly something I could appreciate.

I would recommend this book to thinkers, Christian and especially non-Christian, or to those who are in the process of becoming thinkers. If you have never had a taste of Ravi Zacharias before, this may not be his best book to start with, so I would suggest instead that you try to listen to some of his audio clips made available at the link provided above.

©2012 E.T.

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