Review: Beyond Opinion By Ravi Zacharias

Kenny Jahng —  2011/01/22 — 1 Comment

Ravi Zacharias can be found on the bookshelves and airwaves across the country.  There’s good reason —  Zacharias is an associate professor at Oxford University.  His audiences have included the White House, the Pentagon, the British Parliament, writers of the peace accord in South Africa, the president’s cabinet and parliament in Peru, the Lenin Military Academy and the Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow.  Zacharias has authored /edited twenty books, including Walking from East to West:(Zondervan, 2006), The Grand Weaver (Zondervan, 2007), Can Man Live without God (Word, 1994), was also awarded the Gold Medallion for best book in the category of doctrine and theology.  So his reputation certainly precedes him when picking up this book.

This time, he has pulled together an apologetics book for the masses.  The first third of the book taps six influential peers like Allister McGrath and John Lennox to address some of the questions that are relevant in today’s culture.  Topics of atheism, Islam, Eastern Religions and Natural Sciences are addressed.

In the second portion of the book, Zacharias assembled four chapters that deal with different facets of the apologetics discipline itself — such as cultural and philosophical challenges to the Christian faith.

The last section deals with spiritually grounding the discipline of apologetics for the lay person.  Here the reader is reminded: “We need to recognize the fact that there is one aspect of apologestics that involves presentation of truth, taking into account philosophy, history, science, arts and so on.  But there is another aspect of apologetics — the expression of love within the Christian community — that is the final proof that we are the disciples of the Lord Jesus (John 13:34-35; 15:9)”  pg. 249

Many people will pick up this book because they are familiar with the clarity of Zacharias’ preaching.  However, it must be noted that he authors only two chapters in the entire book.  The upside is that the reader is introduced to a variety of Zacharias’ peers that are equally skillful with the word.

In general, the tone of writing is a much more conversational one than some other apologetics resources.  In a way, this book can be used to firm up one’s faith and confidence vs. preparing to win opponents over through arguments or artful dialogue.

This book would be of value to most Christian readers, largely because most laity don’t usually encounter thoughtful discussion on the topics covered in the book.  It will help readers become better informed on general themes and responses that the Christian faith has for each circumstance.  However, it is questionable whether this particular resource would actually lend itself to preparing someone “defend” the faith they are living as the cover points to.

Here’s a video clip to give you a sense of the force behind Zacharias’ engagement with these subjects:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as a review copy. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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One response to Review: Beyond Opinion By Ravi Zacharias

  1. Ravi lied for years about being a “professor at oxford.” This week he was finally caught and had to apologize.

    https://www.wthrockmorton.com/2018/08/22/exclusive-ravi-zacharias-apologizes-for-false-claims-about-oxford-and-cambridge/

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