Ravi Zacharias interviewed in Baltimore: ‘We are being trapped in the quicksand of the absence of objective truth’

Ravi Zacharias was interviewed by the Baltimore Post-Examiner, as part of the news site’s ongoing series about “the places and people that make up the rich history and diverse nature of spirituality, belief and observance in Baltimore and beyond,” according to the article (May 24, 2015).

See the interview below, or as published in the Baltimore Post-Examiner entitled “Ravi Zacharias: Christian apologist proclaims a reasonable faith.

Ravi Zacharias interviewed by Anthony C. Hayes with the Baltimore Post-Examiner May 24, 2015.

“In every generation there is a unique voice of reason concisely arguing the verity of the Christian faith. For more than 43 years, Ravi Zacharias has been this generation’s distinctive voice; ‘rightly dividing the Word‘ while inspiring the modern apologetics movement. The Baltimore Post-Examiner recently sat down with Ravi – the founder of RZIM – to talk about his work and the challenge of dealing, both logically and lovingly, with life’s toughest questions.

BPE: You are an apologist for the Christian faith and an ardent proponent of the Christian world view. Apologetics is a term which is unfamiliar to the average layman, and yet it is an area many Christians must wade through on an almost daily basis. How do you define apologetics, and what is its relevance to the Christian believer?

Ravi: Actually, even until recent times, most Christians did not know what the meaning of the term was, unless they were involved in academia in some way. The word apologetics actually is a transliteration from the Greek, where the word is apologia. The apostle Peter says to always be ready to give a reason, an apologia, for the hope that is within you. And to do that with gentleness and respect.

The asking of questions is common to humanity. The Christian apologist’s task is twofold: first, to be able to answer those questions with gentleness and respect; and second, to clarify truth claims. Truth is often ambiguous or unclear, and people don’t understand the terms anymore, so the task of Christian apologetics in our times is very needed. C. S. Lewis used to say the question is not, as a Christian whether you do apologetics or not, but the question is whether you do it well or not. So everybody is an apologist, knowledgeably or unwittingly. Our whole ministry is geared to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, undergirded by apologetics. Apologetics is not the substance of what we do; it is the means through which we give the substance of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we do this all over the globe, in hundreds of venues a year. We have a team of about 40 some apologists, positioned in 11 countries, and we are as busy as ever.

BPE: When you say undergirding, I think about Norman Geisler using the term pre-evangelism.

Ravi: Yes, I was a student of Dr. Geisler; I studied under him in the 70’s. In fact, even as I’m speaking to you, I was with him last week. We were together as part of a program in Seattle, Washington. Yes, pre-evangelism is sort of – the Australians like to put it something like this: Bush clearing, clearing the obstacles so the listener can take a direct look at the cross of Jesus Christ. In a pluralistic society – a secularized society – in an almost hostile environment now towards things sacred, it is important how we do this and where we do this. That is what RZIM is all about.

BPE: Would you tell us about your calling into the field of Christian apologetics?

Ravi: I was born and raised in India. My ancestry goes back to the highest caste of the Hindu priesthood, the Nambudiri, which is from the deep South in Kerala. But several generations ago, evidently one of them was converted to the Christian faith. And since then, my parents became very nominally Christian; it would be better to say what they were not, rather than what they were. There was no clear understanding of what the teaching of Jesus Christ was all about…

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Ravi Zacharias interview: ‘We are being trapped in the quicksand of the absence of objective truth’