RE: [asa] Ravi Z. delivers

From: Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
Date: Wed Mar 04 2009 - 16:48:45 EST

"His statement about not trying to prove God probably reveals a lot of wisdom."

I'm sure he would if he could.

...Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of john_walley@yahoo.com
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 1:45 AM
To: Merv Bitikofer
Cc: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: RE: [asa] Ravi Z. delivers

That's great news about Ravi. His statement about not trying to prove God probably reveals a lot of wisdom. I'm sure he struggles with all the implications that science apologetics can surface for the faith like do we all so for what he is called to do it is probably best to just avoid it. If he left the audience thinking that they can be intellectually fulfilled Christians and didn't say anything that the atheists could disprove and give them fodder to criticize him scientifically, then that is a major victory. I think that is probably the best we can do because drudging up all the TE stuff and mytholizing Genesis and defending Darwin in a popular Christian audience is probably not going to leave people with the same effect and get you invited back.

I have said many times that RTB could share inand be effective in this ministry of "intellectually fulfilling Christianity" like Ravi if they would just remain neutral on evolution and not bash it. People are hungry for what to believe about their faith at the intersection of science thanks to the recent popularity of I D and they are getting tired of the YEC stuff. I have seen several hundreds of people turn out to hear Dr. Ross and Fuz before and that is even at a YEC church. It is a tremendous opportunity now for popular ministries like Ravi and RTB to heal the church of its anti-science prejudice and remove that wedge but they just need to learn how to navigate that tricky landscape. Sounds like Ravi has made a lot of progress on this front and is a contender in this challenge. Thanks for the great report Merv. That was very inspiring.

John

Merv Bitikofer wrote:
> Ravi Zacharias did not disappoint his audience in Manhattan, KS, tonight in a K-State ballroom (& with overflow areas also full watching it on screen). He was entertaining ---nay, captivating. But more importantly I think he connected with this university audience with what I would call a robust unapologetically Christian world view. He made it clear that he wasn't there to fight, and he didn't belabor any attempted "proof of God" apologetics. His message heavily majored on the moral argument quoting heavily from Nietzsche and other more contemporary atheists who Zacharias used to press home the point that you cannot get meaningful moral basis from reason alone. And Ravi seemingly admired Nietzsche for facing this fact head-on, noting & quoting how Nietzsche seemed to bemoan rather than celebrate the "death of God". Zacharias didn't, however, pretend that we will be backing anyone into a corner with a knock-down proof. He instead gave
 powerful personal testimony for how Christ had transformed his own life. He gave a defense of Pascal's wager (one of the minor things I would have had fun dickering with him about, given the chance. --But such quibbles are easily overlooked at the periphery of his central message.) The only mention Darwin got was in being lumped together with Freud and Marx as a trio representing ideas that people of modern times have sought out to replace God. I stayed until the Q&A looked to be nearly over afterwards, but since it was still going, I could have missed it if Zacharias or his "co-answerer" were pressed in any areas of science.
> One intriguing "aside" comment as near as I can remember it: "If Jesus had been out to dupe his followers regarding the coming resurrection, he could/would have told them he will be /spiritually /resurrected --which would make it conveniently non-falsifiable for all ages. Instead we get/got the bold claim of a bodily resurrection.
> Most questioners were obviously Christian & affirming & one who seemed to be in a "seeker" category was very courteous. I was impressed with how they handled one question of how could a gracious, forgiving, and loving God plan eternal punishment for most of humankind. Even though they couldn't (& said they couldn't) give a complete or satisfactory answer in the time at hand, they did do well with what they said, I thought.
> I was impressed. R.Z. is obviously highly aware of what all the high-profile new-atheists are saying these days, and he is engaging those topics (although not so much in science --at least not this evening.)
> I should not have been surprised if some in attendance came or will come to Christ as a result. & yet I also wonder what percentage of attenders actually were atheists. Most that I glanced around at were probably like me --there because we were curious. And in that environment of applause and laughter in all the right places (which is so easily taken as mockery to the lonely and silent dissenter in its midst), any atheists present would certainly have felt their minority status keenly. It would have taken a lot of chutzpah to show any belligerence at the question microphones. Nevertheless, if non-believers did not feel welcome, it was not because of Zacharias' talk which was gracious and inviting. At least from one university podium this night, our faith was well and articulately represented.
> Thank you to those of you who urged me not to miss this.
> --Merv
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Received on Wed Mar 4 16:49:30 2009

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