February 23, 2020
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The Underlying Questions Behind Faith Based Questions / Ravi Zacharias



I'm at Tyndale University college at the ravi zacharias summer school and I'm so thrilled to have ravi zacharias himself with me today welcome Ravi Thank You Kari good to be with you it is great to be with you and I think like many many people I've heard a lot of your addresses read some of your books and apologetics and evangelism is such a big subject and I think for a lot of us we think I have to have all this knowledge and I don't think I'll ever measure up and I won't be able to defend my faith but where I want to start today is one of the things I've seen you do incredibly well is in your stories when you're speaking and in your writing you often talk about conversations you have with people and one of the things I've seen is is that often you know when you're walking out to your car one night after a talk when people start asking you questions you'll ask them questions back and you'll ask people of different religions questions back so you answer a question with a question is that something you do regularly and tell me why you do it yes I do I'm going back to your preamble Kari in terms of the intimidation of knowledge and all of that you know aw Tozer when he came to the church here in Toronto it was interesting his assistant used to be my first boss when I went into ministry mill Newell and bono told me when he was sitting next to aw Tozer with a high sophisticated group of people that were there the welcoming dinner said he looked around and he looked at dr. Tozer and he said you know dr. Tozer I really feel out of place here with all these highly qualified people and he said Tosa leaned over and said bill we're all ignorant only in different subjects I think that's the reality we can't all be specialists but we need to know where to go to search for answers especially if somebody is asking us those hard questions now as to the main part of your question questioning the questioner I didn't come up with this on my own I looked at how Jesus was dealing with this sub of the subject whenever any way anybody asked him a question good master what should I do to attain eternal life now you and I typically would say wow this is the question I've been waiting for from you for so long let's sit down in five minutes we draw some pictures and ask him which picture identifies his life and what the answer is Jesus looked at him and said what do you call me good there's none good but God and what Jesus are really doing is opening up this man within his assumptions and determining the entry point of the discussion those are two very critical facts in dialogue you got you've got to open the person up within their own assumptions that's why even CS Lewis talked about the fact that nothing is so self defeating as a question that has not been thought through before it has been fully posed so what Jesus saying to this man is are you calling me God are you sir or are you saying it's possible to be good without God and if you are calling me God are you going to listen to my answer and if you are saying it's possible to be good without God where did you arrive at that from so it brings the point of the question of very quickly into focus in what they assume so when people talk to me for example they say what's wrong with such-and-such I'll say you know it'll really help me if you can first tell me is anything wrong with anything is the moral is there a moral wrongness to anything in your life that then allows me to understand where they are coming from how they make their judgments and whether they are willing to give that prerogative to the other person as well that's the important thing so yes questioning the questioner that's the first reason but there's a second reason to this Gary and that is behind every question is a questioner if a person is raising the problem of pain and evil and I learned this early in the ministry I can still remember it vividly I was in Birmingham Alabama it was the late 70s I just started out and there was a couple that I was talking to and they were raising the question of the problem of pain and suffering I was about to go into my arms oh and I noticed and the Pew behind them was their baby and one look at that child and I knew there were serious deformities in that birth it suddenly gave me pause that I better recognize this question is no just a philosophical one it's a felt need so both in terms of the existential reality and in terms of the assumptions it's important to question the questioner mm-hmm that there's always a reason for the question and I think often in apologetics we would tend to think it's academic like the problem of suffering while you're asking me the theodicy nobody's been able to solve 2,000 years how am I gonna solve it but really the question might be why did this happen to my baby exactly and how do I cope with this what possible answer could God have for me in the midst of all of this and I always look at Mary herself standing in front of the cross you know watching Jesus being crucified I think it was Jeremiah Denton one of the former senators in the United States saying a face showed grief but not despair and even though she had questions she had faith despair and it go he goes on in that poetry to raise the struggle of what must have been going on in her heart I think the verse that Simeon gave to her when the baby was to be born woman a sword is going to pierce through your heart and I wonder if that came back so in the thick of pain and suffering even if you know there is one who has the answer it still is a journey one step at a time before you look at it from the other side of reality so I think one of the things so many of us myself included appreciate about your ministry is incredibly well thought-out arguments I mean that sometimes take really years to to to refine but for the average Christian who's sitting there going read one or two books I've listened to a couple of podcasts how can questions be a gateway into a conversation with their friends where would they start one of the great unfortunate realities of my own journey and faith is people think of me as an intellectual I'm really not okay I really am not Kerry you know I wish I were it would be nice to hide behind some sophisticated degrees and so on I just ask a lot of questions myself and when you're reading heavily you are listening to other responses to the same issues and like G K Chesterton outsi become a polyglot you're able to take different people's perspectives and put it together into a composite and ultimately I'm convinced that answers are not just theoretical answers are also relational let me give you an example a little baby or say a one-year-old going into a doctor's office and he's in the arms of his mother and says you know my mother wouldn't take me anywhere to inflict any pain so I don't know where it's displacer but I'm gonna go then all of a sudden he sees this big needle coming and he's gonna get jabbed what is his answer at that point his answer is I have no clue why this is being done to me all I know is I'm with my mother and even when she takes him back again he's gonna be even more mystified it takes many many years and he says now I have the answer to this a lot of our answers actually are born out of a relationship before they become propositional answers and I think that's a very important clue to our journey in faith and in truth so when I join it through these ideas myself and work them through today as I go across the globe we have packed audiences wherever we go and what is encouraging to me is they are trusting you as the speaker to be able to minister to them and bring the bridge between the head and the heart I don't take this privilege and lightly I take it very seriously and it's very intimidating and fearsome but it's a privilege God gives and has to be honored with your life and with your trust in him one of the privileges you have is to see what's happening around the world and you've also seen that over the course of really four decades of ministry now I think a lot of us I think all of us would probably agree that the culture in the West has shifted dramatically in North America what changes in evangelism and approaches to evangelism have you seen over the last four decades in our culture the cultures globally have changed carry that's what I see China India the Middle East but the interesting thing to me is those who have come from a backdrop of naturalism or secularism or antitheism like China or Romania where I was just a few weeks ago the audience that night was 10,000 strong you couldn't get him into the building and then the next day I was meeting at the at the what they called the people's house which was Josh eschews home to million square feet you know the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon and the Senators and oil was sitting there listening and one of them said when I finished this the first time God has been mentioned in this building here this the first time a prayer has been prayed such hostile antitheism took place but in the West what has happened is we've come from the bequest of the judeo-christian worldview the ethics that we followed whether we like it or not came from that worldview and we are jettisoning that worldview and think we can still hold on to ethics china wants american speakers to come because they recognize our North American I should say American Canadian for that matter English speakers because they know they are living off the capital of the judeo-christian framework and they want to see that ethic and in atheism they did not have it so those parts of the world are going to change then you go to the Middle East my colleague in Alexandria tells me for the first time atheism is on the rise in Egypt because they have seen what their religion has done to their young and they say if this is what it is all about we don't want it so the young are asking questions of the worldview that has preceded and I think the changes are taking place here we become very naturalistic and anti theistic and therefore the change is quite staggering in our time so it's almost a pendulum swing and opposite directions based on the previous generation and so you're seeing almost an inverse thing happening in the formerly communist countries or godless countries where people have a hunger for God and where God was actually a part of the culture people are rejecting it yes and I believe we will learn the hard way that this is a mistake in the West why was the West so successful why did we all come here I mean I came to Canada when I was twenty years old I got off the plane it used to be called Moulton that point you know it's Pearson Airport now rented a room near Eglinton and Jung know paid $8 a week my brother paid $8 a week we're $16 we were in one room sharing two beds so on starting off our ly young lives here it was a different world in Canada it was and when I came here I saw the ethic I saw the values what is going on in some parts of the East systemic corruption if you ask any Indian young man today what is India's greatest strength you'll say intellectual ability science engineering all this stuff you say what is the greatest weakness they'll say corruption all the corruption that goes on in Hindi said him they say magic and each a under the table the under the table deals that are done what happened to ethical systems of thought it didn't generate real ethics but when you have a personal relationship with God and you know there's accountability you have an ethical value or a norm that is part and parcel of society we're losing that here now but once upon a time it was very much here in North America so I think those are the those are the changes that we're going to start feeling down there down there down the journey as we go I think you get a lot of resonance with what you just said and I think there are many people who are almost despondent over what we see happening in the West so let me flip it a little bit as we wrap up is there anything in the West right now with these cultural changes that give you hope like do you see a little crack in the door with a bit of light coming through or does it feel more bleak than that to you you know the wheat and the tares are growing side by side if I were to listen to some of the academics and what they're instructing the young then I say to myself my word where are we going with all of this the total skepticism the relativism that is endemic in the academic world but then I look at young people who come to the meetings I remember one young gal in print in cornell saying to me she walked forward and she said to me to talk she said most of my life I am living with naturalistic assumptions and the scientific worldview you are here talking about a supernatural dimension to life and she started crying how do I make this paradigm shift what reasons can I find to make the paradigm shift I said why are you asking she said because the other road is a dead-end road she said I have no meaning I have no basis of value judgments she said I'm emptier than I've ever been before and so what I say to you carry no matter what University campus we go to or what business setting we are talking or what political arena we're in the place is packed so it gives me hope that people are searching and at any time the young are searching this hope for the future and not only are they 18 19 20 22 23 year olds the 14 and 15 year olds I get letters from 12 year olds when I go and speak in audiences there 12 13 14 year olds will bring one of my books and say can you sign this for me I'm so profoundly moved that so I think there is hope anytime you see a young audience that's eagerly listening it takes one person to change the world you know and it can be done and I have that kind of hope after all when we believe in God and know the Gospel story how can we be hopeless we know God is sovereign he's not caught by surprise and I he is the one who moves the hearts of the heart of a king and I believe it in time time things will change right now it looks pretty bleak that is ultimately encouraging because we bring the gospel and the fact that you'll have hundreds of people here tonight who want to hear you speak many of them very very young I think is very encouraging and I just hope it encourages those of us who are watching to not give up and what a privilege to be able to sit down with you for even a few moments and I want to thank you so much thank you so much real honor to be with you Kerry thanks for what you all do

Otis Rodgers

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Dan Piano Posted on July 3, 2019 at 3:17 am

    I don't know why but I usually tend to distrust or be very skeptical of people wearing huge rings 💍
    Maybe it's just very bas taste

    Reply
  2. Spencer Thomas Posted on July 3, 2019 at 3:17 am

    I really enjoyed this video. Thank you. The content was great, and also the audio!

    Reply
  3. Antonio Fiammelli Posted on July 3, 2019 at 3:17 am

    Amazing humble man high driven by the Holy Spirit , his vision is natural coming from God ,, will practice what he says he is my mentor ,,,,,,,,amen

    Reply
  4. JSVKK Posted on July 3, 2019 at 3:17 am

    Prayer is the most important thing.It is the parents responsibility to conduct family prayer in every family.

    Reply
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