RaView: Summer 2017
Posted by Ravi Zacharias, on July 13, 2017
Topic: News Magazine
The first quarter of 2017 has been utterly remarkable. These days will go down as landmark moments for RZIM. Our university forums have been some of the best we have ever had. Teaming up with the younger apologists is such a privilege for me as I see the promise of the best for our years ahead. Anyone who is aware of what is going on at our campuses like Berkeley knows that the hostility and anger is palpable towards any conservative view, be it political or theological. Yet, as our team was on that very campus, they experienced an incredible warmth and receptivity. What is the difference? Dare I suggest that we do our best to not intimidate or attack but to win the hearts of people. We really cannot win them for the Lord if the audience is angry towards the messenger. And so we handle questions with dignity and respect, patiently giving the questioner a hearing. We will never win all, but we pray we will win many.
From Michigan State to Michigan to Indiana University to Temple, we have seen huge turnouts and amazing responses. We could be answering questions for hours if we lingered. There is a strange mix of anger and emptiness; anger because of the rebellion in the human heart, emptiness because the academic world has left their souls empty. That is the sad and harsh reality. So many in the intellectual world of education have jettisoned absolutes and pursued ultimate autonomy in their values. Somewhat like the French Revolution that wanted to strangle the church, the heavy-handed and often caustic rhetoric has emboldened young minds whose greatest skill is to fight. Armed with ideas of amoral reasoning, they wield weapons of ideological hate to silence the opponents. But—and here is an important caveat—when softened by gentler approaches of critical and courteous reasoning, they readily admit that their lives are bereft of meaning. This is a unique moment in cultural history. I have never seen anything like it. Hedonism and emptiness are related. The one breeds the other. It is a time to enter those arenas and win young hearts for the truth in ways that keep the beauty of the gospel intact.
RZIM moved into its new headquarters after thirty years in rented facilities. We now have the ability to truly reach the world from within that building. The Zacharias Institute is an incredible vision coming true. We send out our apologists; we train new apologists in the workplace. We are preparing pastors and youth pastors to address difficult issues while building bridges in this chaotic undertow of moral relativism. People from all walks of life are reached from this base. We use social media and the best capability in technology to make the gospel heard and seen. Our online program, the RZIM Academy, has already equipped thousands. I encourage you to get your churches taking some of those courses. There are numerous options and multiple tracks.
Most importantly, we see the younger team taking charge. This, to me, is the greatest expression of a calling fulfilled. If you heard them, you would be blessed. Please go on our website and see the strength of this young team. With that depth, our opportunities are multiplying, and our invitations are coming from the very arenas we wish to reach. It would be very easy for me to step aside now and let the team fulfill this vision. But as long as God gives me strength and opportunity, I intend to keep going.
That is why, more than ever, we need you. We need your prayers for wisdom, safety, our families, and for the choices we make on where to go and what spots to avoid. We need your support because this team is now large and the mission huge. We are on every continent with near fifty fulltime apologists and almost as many in adjunct and affiliated roles. Your generous hearts have made all this possible. Thank you for all you do. On behalf of the whole team may I say how grateful we are.
I hope some of you will have a chance to visit our new base. Still Point, our art gallery, alone is worth the trip. Our new thrust in apologetics and the arts will reach artists and use the arts to reach this culture. God bless you, dear friends, and thank you for standing with us. We are grateful.
One more thought. I will be in several countries in the next few weeks. Please pray for me as I deliver talks in a variety of settings. It means so much to me to know that I am backed by your prayers.