Apologist Ravi Zacharias is known for meeting with college students around the world and answering their most difficult questions and challenges of Christianity. He says the only way he can do that is by being as interested in the person asking the question as he is the question itself.
At a recent address at Liberty University, he said everyone comes to understand life by answering questions about origin, morality and destiny. He called those the questions that will plague us until we die. And the answers change with the culture.
Zacharias said while those questions have plagued mankind throughout history, if you hope to effectively share the gospel, you have to put them into present context for the person asking the question. And he said on college campuses the question that attracts the most attention is that of meaning.
The Indian native said three factors are influencing how we answer those questions in today’s culture; the death of the God movement resulting in a rise of atheism, a plurality of worldviews coming to America, and the power of the visual, where video has made truth boring and evil tantalizing.
Zacharias argues to be truly relevant to today’s culture and influence its thinking, you must understand it. He provided three responses when interacting with a generation that questions the existence of God, is influenced by a multitude of worldviews, and listens with their eyes and thinks with their feelings.
First, he said they can’t just hear the gospel, they must see it.
Zacharias, who spends much of his time traveling in the Middle East, says almost every Muslim who comes to Christ will say it happened one of two ways; when God spoke to them in a dream using their own worldview or they saw the love of Christ in somebody.
But he argued, it’s not just Muslims, the entire world is longing to see the embodiment of the Christian experience.
Second, he said the gospel message should not just be argued, but felt.
Zacharias laments that so much of apologetics today is cerebral and so little is about a personal walk with Christ. He said when you deliver the gospel message, you must have a knowledge of Christ’s presence in your life.
And lastly, Zacharias said we need an approach that doesn’t just achieve a desired end, bringing people to Christ, but also the means by which we accomplish that objective, by rescuing the Word of God in the eyes of people.
He mentioned the recent ridicule of Vice President Mike Pence for saying God talks to him as an example of what the world thinks of the Bible.
Zacharias recounted a comment made at the recent funeral of colleague Nabeel Qureshi as a way to prove our love and confidence in God’s word. Jim Tour, a professor at Rice university, told the audience that Nabeel suggested giving an unbeliever the gospel of John, ask them to read it three times without prejudice and then watch the miracle take place.
Zacharias told the Liberty graduates, to fully understand those asking questions about life, they need to live the gospel, sense the gospel and be able to defend it.