Ravi Zacharias, RIP

Ravi Zacharias speaks at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay

Zacharias speaking at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, September 17, 2013 (Wikimedia Commoms)

I must admit that I have not read much of Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. I have a few of his books, but for whatever reason I have not opened them. Nevertheless, I realize that he was an important thinker for millions of American evangelicals. Here is Sarah Pulliam Bailey at The Washington Post:

Ravi Zacharias, an Indian-born preacher who rose to prominence in a predominantly white evangelical subculture and who wrote popular books and lectured widely at colleges to make an intellectual defense of the Christian faith, died May 19 at his home in Atlanta. He was 74.

The cause was complications from an aggressive form of bone cancer, according to a statement from Zacharias International Ministries, the evangelical organization he founded in 1984 and is based in the Atlanta suburbs.

The Rev. Zacharias published and edited more than 25 books, and he was a frequent presence in university lecture halls. His international travels as well as his radio and television show “Let My People Think” extended his reach globally.

He did not get involved in political campaigns but befriended leaders in politics, particularly conservative Republicans. He mentored the son of Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations. Before his death, President Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, lauded him for reinforcing her faith. He also was close to baseball player Tim Tebow.

“His fan base included leaders in many in high-profile places, yes, but he’s one of those rare evangelical leaders from his generation who is actually known for being an evangelical who evangelized, rather than an evangelical who did politics,” said Michael Wear, who worked in faith-outreach for President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

Rev. Zacharias, ordained by the Christian and Missionary Alliance in 1980, came to wide attention three year later, at age 37, when he preached at the invitation of evangelist Billy Graham at a conference in Amsterdam.

He soon became one of the most sought-after evangelists to promote apologetics, or the defense of Christianity, and began building a ministry based what he called intellectual arguments for evangelical belief rather than direct appeals to faith.

Read the rest here. Rest in Peace.