How My Crisis Can Help You Find Meaning In Your Life | Ravi Zacharias | SPIRITUALITY | Rubin Report

Posted By on November 20, 2019

– The single greatest pursuit
of every young person today is the pursuit of meaning. – I’m Dave Rubin, and
before we get to it today, here’s my weekly reminder
to subscribe to our channel and click the bell so that
you actually see our videos. A crazy concept indeed. All right, joining me today
is the founder and president of the Ravi Zacharias
International Ministries, and the author of several
bestselling books on Christianity. Ravi Zacharias, welcome
to the Rubin Report. – David, thanks so much for having me. I’ve looked forward to this for a while. I’m honored to be with you. – It’s an honor to have you here. I’m looking forward to it as well. This is one of those that the internet sort of forced to happen, over the last– – [Ravi] Yes, that’s right. – Over the last two years,
you’ve been on the list of when people just start
assaulting me on Twitter. And I mean assault in the best sense. Sit down with Ravi, sit down with Ravi. So we finally were able to work it out. – Nice to hear that. So both of my friends
went to work, I guess. (laughs) – There you go, all right. So first, when I Google your name, it says that you’re a Christian Apologist. Now we all hear this phrase, and it sounds a little strange to me. Christian Apologist,
as if to do what you do you have to either
apologize for something, or feel guilty about it,
or something like that. Can you tell me about the
phrase, “Christian Apologist.” – It’s one of those
words that have evolved over the last few years, and contoured with different
meanings now, David. But it has a rich history
when it goes back to the likes of Justin Martyr and Augustine and so on. Apologetics was part of the
curriculum and the discipline of theological philosophical training. It comes from the Greek word,
actually, to give an answer. Apostle Peter says, for example, Set apart Christ in your hearts as Lord, and always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is within you and to do it with gentleness and respect. So this an ordinary
fisherman talking about how to answer people with
gentleness and respect. So the word really
means to give an answer. I think it has two senses,
making your truth claims clear, and giving the answer to
the legitimate questioner. But you know, it sounds like apologizing. And then it has taken on
negative connotations. If I hear you’re an
apologist for something, it’s immediately, oh wow. I’m gonna really be dumped on right here. So we ourselves are thinking whether that term is a good
description of what we do. Historically it was accurate, but in current usage I’m not
quite sure it’s the best word. – Do you have a better phrase then? So the next time I bring you
on I don’t have to say it. Because I do think that that connotation, there’s something that in
a modern sense it’s like, oh, he’s going to come here and explain his view on Christianity, but it will have a but that
will lead to something else. – Well, we pondered it. There’s not a catch phrase
that has come into our mind. But we as a team, I’ve got 93 speakers who
work with me in 15 countries. And so we’re thinking of, you know. Many of them are legitimate philosophers. I find that a bit of a
glorifying term for myself. I’m not a philosopher
in an academic sense, but I do some very serious thinking on matters that deal with culture
values, ethics, and so on. It’s probably, the best description is that of a Christian thinker, and a contextual representative of values and the substrata of culture,
so we’ll find a term. – Thinker, I mean that works. Christian thinker, that works for me. Okay, so before we get into the meat of what your ideas are
and things like that. I thought that because
so many people on Twitter were asking me to have this conversation. Are you amazed at the way
information and ideas, both good and bad, can travel so fast now? That you can get your ideas
out across the world, you know, with a click of a button. Where years ago, and you
know, 30 some odd years ago when you started doing
this, and before that even. That it could take a lifetime
to get those ideas across. – Well, I really am. In fact, when I was with our
mutual friend Ben Shapiro, he surprised me by saying, You’re the most requested guest to be brought on this program. That also quite shocked me. Flattering and encouraging. But yes, I think it– – [Dave] You don’t do a
Ben Shapiro impression? (laughs) – My brain doesn’t work as fast as his. I don’t know that. That guy is sort of a rap
artist and pros, you know. He just moves. I’ve watched your dialogue with him, it was brilliant by the way. Yeah, and you know David,
I’ll be honest with you. I’m wondering if time will tell whether this was a good
thing or a bad thing. And the reason is, good
is naturally attractive, but evil is naturally seducing, seductive. And whether the wrong side
of this will triumph someday, because all you’ve got to do
is get one idea out there, and you get a following for it. And destruction comes
easier than construction. So I, I sort of holding out on
whether this is good or bad. I love the fact that if I’m sitting in my hotel room in Delhi, away from my home in Atlanta, I can Google and find out information on almost anything
that’s going on out here. I love the fact that
I can call my children instantly, like that. But at the same time,
all the farcical stuff, all the hollow stuff,
all the negative stuff, all the destructive stuff that goes on. We’re building a culture of
hate, and that troubles me. – Do you think that
that concept right there is sort of everything
that a religious thinker, regardless of what religion,
is really dealing with? The sort of battle between, you know, a certain set of ideas, versus modernity. And you don’t know, like we’re
in the internet right now. We don’t know which way this is gonna go, because you can spread the bad just as, I would say more easily
you can spread the bad than to spread the good, so to speak. – I think sort of some,
rebellion finds it easier to find souls that have got nothing
else to do, you know. They’re sort of, Shakespeare
would talk of them. The rattle of a vacant soul. Someone who’s just not got
enough to keep them busy. The Tower of Babel is a
good example, you know. Why did God step down to
confuse the languages? Because unanimity and
destruction can wreak havoc. However, it’s here to stay. And this is only the beginning. You are an author, I’m an author. The value of having access to
information is a good thing. That’s why it is important what we do in training the souls and
the thinking of people. That’s what I’m committed to. – Okay, so now let’s talk
about your journey here, because it’s been an interesting one. You were born in India,
and you were an atheist until you were 17, is that right? – Again, sometimes these
terms became floated around in stronger ways than
I would like to have. I was indifferent to religious claims. India is probably he most
religion manufacturing culture on the face of the earth. Most of the major isms, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism. All of these isms were
spawned and raised in India. And India and Pakistan are not separated, they’re the biggest Islamic nation, too. So actually religion had
no attraction for me, that’s the best way to put it. I felt it was believing the incredible and it was creating more havoc. – Was that a strange position to hold as a young person in a place
that all those isms came from? – I think so, but you know,
we never, ever discussed it. I don’t, I played cricket
and I played tennis. So I was a sportsman in school. That’s where you really talk,
after a game or whatever. I don’t ever remember getting
into these discussions. It flows with the culture. But the notion of God as a real entity never entered my mind. Yeah, maybe during examinations. You know, God if you’re up
there, could you help me? And so on. I never took interest, certainly
not in the Christian faith. Even though my ancestors
came from the highest cast of the Hindu priesthood in the deep south. They were called (speaking
foreign language). Then somewhere along the
way there was a conversion that took place into the Christian faith. And that was lost. It became very nominal. So I was really raised, I didn’t have a single Christian friend. They were all either Hindu,
Muslims or Buddhists. So we never talked about these things. And then having had a crisis
experience in my life, that changed everything. – So, let’s talk about that. – Yes. India is a culture of academic excellence. If you’re not doing well
there, you’re in trouble. And it’s also a culture of shame when you’re not succeeding academically. So I did the horrific thing, it ’til this day embarrasses me, because I don’t like talking about it. It took me a long while to talk about it. I attempted suicide when I was 17. And it was not out of any
neurological disorder, it was not any biochemical thing. It was the fact that I
just didn’t have meaning. There was no purpose
in life for me, David. I was moving towards failure,
after failure, after failure, in contrast to my brothers
and sisters, and to my father. And so, tried to poison my system, I thought it was going to be successful. I just didn’t like the way life felt, and I wanted to kill that feeling. And to me, the only way
to do that was, you know, what they in Belgium now, there’s such a high rate of suicides, they don’t call it suicide anymore. They call it opting out of life. That would have been a
good description for me. But it was on that hospital
bed, a Bible was brought to me. My body was dehydrated,
I couldn’t hold it. But the man who brought it to me, and gave it to my mother. And Scripture passages were read to me. And you know, when you’re desperate, when you’re lying like that, words become very important to you. And when the words of
Jesus were read to me, “Because I live, you also shall live.” That lit up within my heart. – What passage is that again? – John chapter 14 and verse 19. Jesus told Thomas, of all things, because Thomas was the
apostle who went to India. And the irony of it, is
in that same passage, Jesus says, “I’m the way,
the truth and the life,” “No one comes to the
Father except through me.” It’s a very exclusive
claim, dramatic claim. And he went to a land
of 330 million deities, and he paid with his life to present the gospel message of Jesus. So that, that verse. Jesus said, “Because I
live, you also shall live.” I latched on the word live. I said, I don’t know
what this really means. But if God has a different
definition of this than I have, I want to know what that is. And in a simple prayer,
I began my pilgrimage to faith and Christ. – What was that shift like? I mean, if we were
writing a movie right now. So there’s the young man who,
you know, attempts suicide. The Bible comes to him
in the hospital bed, he has the wake up. I mean, it sounds like a movie, sort of. What was the next shift in that? Because it doesn’t all just
happen immediately, like. – Well, I appreciate you
asking these questions, because you know, they are pretty pointed and pretty real to me. The problem, we often think Jesus Christ came into this world to
make bad people good. That’s wrong. It’s not got anything to do
with making bad people good. He’s coming to the world
to make dead people live. I was dead to the claims
of God upon my life. I had no purpose. How do you find purpose without a transcendent moral first cause? You can only lift yourself up by your own existential bootstraps, and
assign your own meaning. The fact that I was created for a purpose. That I had an individual distinctiveness that nobody else had. That God had a purpose for me in life. These were strange concepts. Now of course, I’m looking in retrospect. When you go back, at that
point my biggest hope was like looking for a
lifeguard or a life jacket. But over the process, I found
out, and I say this, David. I travel, I’ve gone to about 70 countries. I speak hundreds of times a year. The single greatest pursuit
of every young person today is the pursuit of meaning. What does my life really mean? Even as I’m talking to you. I was talking to a young
man yesterday, 18 years old, who got hooked onto
pornography when he was eight. And he says, “And I’ve hated
everything that I have become.” “And now all I want to
do is make an exit.” You see, you take something and
warp it into something else. You empty it. So, you empty the reality
with something that’s hollow. So that’s what I’d done with life. So to me, the biggest change, and my father said this on his deathbed. Actually, before he went into
the hospital for a bypass and when he lost life. He said to me, What happened in your life, is the most incredible thing
I have watched happening. From being a failure, to the different hungers
and desires you have. So what Jesus, I believe, did for me, was change not only what I did, but changed what I wanted to do. I never left the top three
in the class after that. I always used to be in the bottom three. So my hunger has changed,
my desire has changed. And I think that is the biggest
transformation I noticed. – That’s an incredible statement
for your father to make right before passing. Did he have a similar awakening? Or once you had an awakening,
did it go across your family? – Actually, my brother and my
sister was amongst the first to latch onto this, and then me. You know, when Jesus talked to Nicodemus, he made a fascinating statement. He said, “You can’t change on your own.” “You have to experience the new birth.” Now, I know that takes on a
pejorative term in our ways. But the fact of the matter is, new desires, new hungers,
a new breathing, a new air. And when he watched my life
change, and what happened, yes, he followed it. Which is very unusual
in the Indian culture. There you all follow your parents. Very rare for a parent
to follow the children. But he asked me to take
him to the hospital, he was gonna have bypass. I’m talking about 1979, so you know, you’re talking about 40 years ago. It was relatively new. My dad was overweight, he was asthmatic, and things had gone wrong physically. But he elected to have surgery. But he had this premonition. He said, “I don’t think
I’m gonna make it.” He was closer to my older brother. I was number two, more like my
older brother in temperament. But he phoned me, I lived in
Niagara falls during that time, 90 miles away, 75 miles away. He asked me to come and
take him to the hospital. And on our drive to the hospital,
that was the conversation. And he said, “What God
has done in your life.” And he also had had that transformation through the work of God in his heart. – You said the phrase,
“Existential bootstraps.” Which I, I like that. That’s kind of interesting. Do you think some people
can do it by themselves? Do you think some people can
grab the existential bootstraps and not have a religious belief, or something beyond themselves, and still live a good
and moral life at all? And a meaningful life, let’s say. – I think so, I think they can. But it does not have ultimate grounding in a rationally compelling way. It has only that, an
existential transformation. So yes, of course they can. And I have many of my
friends who are like that. They are good people,
they are decent people. And I enjoy those friendships, because we have great conversations. But the question has to be, David, is what you believe ultimately true? Or only individualistically
true, for you and for me. And if that is the case, then
you cannot absolutize it. You can only recommend it as pragmatically workable for the now. And then how do you dissuade somebody who by their own existential bootstraps have come to the opposite conclusions? There’s no ontic referent. There’s no point of
reference to find a solution to what is true, and good, and beautiful. – So this has come up
with many of the people that I’ve had on the show. From a religious perspective,
from a atheist perspective, sort of this micro versus
macro argument, where every, all of the religious
people that I’ve on here have said what you said there. Which is that yes, of course
at the micro individual level you can have atheists. I’ve got plenty of their books right here, who are friends, who are
good, moral, decent people. But almost that you can’t
organize a society around that, which is sort of. Loosely, that’s the Jordan
Peterson perspective on this, which I think you probably prescribe to. – Yes. I think Jordan Peterson’s
conclusions are terrific. His foundation is weak. I think that, the edifice he has built on his presuppositions. I would love to get
together with him one day, because I love his– – I will see if I can make it happen. – Could you do that?
– That’d be my pleasure. It would be an honor, because I. I mean, the way he was treated
at Cambridge, you know, and his plan to go there
is totally unlikable. What exact, I mean an
educational institution to do that to a man of his
repute and his capability. – You know, just briefly. The saddest part about that is, you probably know, I was on
tour with him for the year. So I was with him when he
found out he was getting the fellowship at Cambridge. It was the happiest I’ve ever seen him. And the idea that, putting
aside why they did it. He has spread, the ideas that
you’re talking about here, even if you don’t agree
with his methods completely. He has done more to spread
these ideas across the world in the last two years than
anyone on earth, I would argue. And they decided no, no. You can’t stay– – And I think he’s outstanding, you know. I couldn’t stand up to
his intellectual prowess. He’s a man of incredible
ability and courage. And he’s from Toronto, you know. I’m from Toronto, actually. From Delhi, I moved to Toronto. My family’s all in Toronto. My wife’s from Toronto. I have a very great respect
for Jordan Peterson. But let me give you an illustration. In Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, there’s a building called the
Wexner Center for the Arts. Supposedly the first postmodern building. And I asked the person, “What
is a postmodern building?” I know what postmodern philosophy is, what’s a postmodern build? He said, “Well, the architect said if
life itself has no purpose,” “Why should our buildings
have any purpose?” And so he built it with no
particular purpose in mind. You know, there are
stairways that go nowhere. – (laughs) Where does the elevator go? – And so I say. He said, “What do you think of it?” I said, “I have one question.” “Did you do the same with the foundation?” You cannot fool with the foundation. You can fool with the infrastructure. And so to me, when Peterson
talks of absolutes, when Peterson talks of right and wrong, not so much right and
left, but right and wrong. His conclusions are very good, but the only reason I think
those conclusions stand. If there is an ultimate eternal
purpose for life itself, otherwise it’s just one
ideology against other. Especially, dare I suggest, because of a pluralistic
society in which we live. People start from different points in the beginning of the argument. And that to me is where I
think there is the weakness. But his conclusions and his arguments I find very persuasive and very likable. – If ultimately the conclusions
are right, let’s say. And you know, you can argue about the little methods to get there, do you think that can be
enough in and of itself? – Had you not used the word
enough, I would have said yes. Do you think that’s valuable? Do think that’s a good way
to at least have a culture? – I can see why you’re
not gonna go with enough, – Yeah.
– okay, I get. – But the foundation part of
it is to me, indispensable, because that’s what you
have built your theory on. However, for co-existence,
for a respectability, for civility, I think it’s good. And I think that’s why I enjoy talking with somebody like you. Even disagreement can be allowed provided you don’t get
disagreeable in the process. And I think Peterson is
very impressive that way. I’d love to talk to him on why he has not moved in that one step. See, Dennis Prager, for example. Dennis Prager and I have
had several dialogues. – You’re going through my
greatest hits over here. – Great man. Funny, articulate, intellectual. But we do agree on one
thing as a starting point, that the ultimate pursuit of
life for Prager and for me was communion with God. And the starting point is
that God has a moral law at work in this universe. When you start from that, even if you come up with
some divergent discussions on who this God this. You can have intelligent debate. But if you start purely from
an autocracy of good and bad, then you run into a problem
and pluralistic culture. – So you basically, you
can’t start from the position that we all can have our thoughts and that they’re all sort of equal, because the conversation can
sort of never get anywhere. Versus that there is some
moral authority beyond us, and then what you may
believe related to Jesus is obviously different than, say, what Dennis Prager believes. But you relish in that
conversation, basically. – Yeah, and you know, this
is really what I’d said. And that wonderful
conversation with Ben Shapiro whom I admire so much. A great, great thinker. And you know, I said to Ben, there’s a struggle going on right now. It’s between the two words,
egalitarianism and elitism. And I said to him, we are
meant to be equal as people, but not all ideas are equal. We have reversed it. We have made an elitism of people and an egalitarianism of ideas, and that is flawed as a starting point. So if I respect all of
my fellow human beings, regardless of what their view is and see them of intrinsic worth. Not worth given by the
government or state, but an intrinsic, valuable entity. We can converse and dialogue, and ultimately truth
will triumph in the end. And so I think it is
important to have civility which is lost in America. What is what America
is witnessing right now is the destruction of sensible dialogue. – Do you think that’s
happening across the west? It seems to me the amount of emails I get and what I’m reading, and from the countries I
visited in the last year. It’s not just the US, but it’s starting to happen
everywhere in different degrees. That the west is grappling with something. – I think so. But you know, it’s also
happening in the east. The only difference is, in the east, it squelched right from the beginning. There’s no free expression in China. I mean, China is making
huge strides in this world, I think in a demagogic way globally, while we’re trying to worry about each other’s tax returns out there. They are building a global empire, and we’re not taking note
of what it is their doing. It’s happening even in
my home land, in India. There’s a lot of trouble
beneath the surface in the invasion of the
private belief and so on. The thing is, in America,
America’s a commercial culture. Everything spreads faster,
so we notice it more here. And I’ve now lived here for many years, and I’m saddened to see what
we’re doing to ourselves. Because this is a great nation. This is a great foundation. So I came in here as a stranger, and God gave me the
blessing of coming here, and my raising my family
and enjoying success. I don’t think I’d have
enjoyed this back where I, from whence I came. But now what we’re doing is,
the vitriol, the invective, the poisonous barbs and statements. We can’t seem to disagree
without bringing the person down. Stay with the, you know
as a debater, you know. We don’t go with ad hominem arguments, that’s a sign of weakness. Anybody who attacks you personally, David, it’s telling me they can’t
deal with your argument, so they’re dealing with you. – So I actually wasn’t
planning on going here, but I think this is
pretty rich place to move. So what then do the people that are trying to do
what you’re trying to do, trying to do what I’m trying to do, that are trying to have conversations. What do you do in the midst of a world that is about ad hominem attacks, personal attacks, you know. What people now are calling cancel culture and mob outrage to silence everyone. What do you do? Because I sense that it may not just be enough to talk
about the right ideas. That at some point you hit
the end of the road with that. – You’re doing it well, David. You’re doing it well. You know, I commend you for it. You’re not a provocateur, you are not stirring
up people to be angry. – I’m a little worse on Twitter. (laughs) In this room I’m very good. (laughs) – But you are intelligently engaging, and that’s what we’re doing. You know, I’m 73 now. I’ve been in this work since I was 26. I’ve done it for nearly half a century, as long as I’ve been married. I’ve been on numerous campuses globally. Islamic campuses, Hindu
campuses, Buddhist campuses, atheistic campuses. And I was given an honorary doctorate from an Marxist university in Peru. You know.
– [David] Wow. – And the San Marcos, an
honorary doctorate was. I was shocked, and they. The first time one of my
colleagues went there, they blocked them. They didn’t wanna hear them,
and I said, “What happened?” “How come?” And they said, you know, you’re getting us thinking
noble thoughts, good thoughts. You’re getting us thinking in ways that we ought to be thinking. We’ve not reached there yet. So I believe ultimately,
God gave us a book. Which means the word is very important. And I just speaking nearby, the night before I’m speaking to you. The number of young kids, young kids, who said, “I’ve watched you on YouTube.” “I’ve listened to this,
I’ve listened to that.” I think our only hope without corrosion is to put the ideas out there and hope that hearts will change, and that truth and beauty
will win out in the end, rather than that which is
hideous, and that which is false. – Do you think part of this is that the secular world has sort of handed us so much meaningless crap? I mean you that, now there’s a sort of
renaissance in television But that so many of the movies. Everything seems to be infected with some sort of postmodern
view of the world. And that then causes a young person that maybe wouldn’t have listened to a 73 year old a couple of years ago, now go, “Well wait a minute,
I saw this on YouTube.” And that actually doesn’t
sound nearly as crazy as the stuff that Hollywood’s handed me. – You know, one of the nicest things. I don’t like to talk about what people say and their compliments. One of the nicest things
a young man said to me. He walked over to my
colleague and he said to him, “When I’m 73, I hope I can be like that.” You know, that tells me that when they look at what
is an ideal to them, they want to emulate, they
want to be in that way. But you’re right. Secularism lead us to
a bankruptcy of values. It lead us not only to
a bankruptcy of values, it lead us to an impoverished
way of conversing with each other. What do we see on the news? People fighting, people arguing. That’s not what the news is all about. Give me the news. I have the intelligence to
figure out what is true, and what is right, and what is wrong here. – So is that, though, purely
the result of secularism? Or is that the result of just a little bit of human nature, also? That isn’t just a secular thing, but just that people
click things that are. You see something bad, you click it. You see something good and it
just sort of, you let it go. That’s the battle between religion and
secularism constantly. – You’re right to point
that out, but I think. If we take the term secularism,
or secularization, okay? It’s a process by which
religious ideas, institutions and interpretations have lost
their social significance. That’s the classic
definition secularization. The very word “secular”
means “this worldly.” And so if I don’t respect
you as a fellow human being, I’m going to fight you to the bone. But if I said, this man has
every right to his belief and the integrity of his
belief and to defend it, then I’m not fighting you. I’m discussing ideas. But what happens, I think David,
is we put faces to beliefs. And if we don’t like that
face, we attack the person. You know, let me give you an illustration. I’m a great lover of hockey. Follow the NHL. In Canada, you have no choice. It’s hockey night in Canada, you know. – So that’s your other religion? (laughs) – Part so, yeah. Except I don’t give
any offerings in there. The thing is, what does
a sports writer do? He doesn’t just say, in the
days that I was watching it, you know, that Boston
Bruins are coming into town. It’s Bobby Orr and Johnny
McKenzie, and Phil Esposito. They make it a personal thing,
because we follow persons. As soon as you watch a sport, they like to identify an individual who would be the face
of that particular team. Because then you get the adrenalin going. If you’re just talking about two great hockey teams playing each other, the way I think it used to be. When the Montreal Canadians came to play the Toronto Maple Leaves,
it was hockey at its best. So I think the personification of an idea and the embodiment of an idea has created this spirit
of negativism, and so. Even in politics. – Yes, I was just gonna say, I mean. You’re talking about cult of personality, which is exactly what politics has become. – So they don’t tell you what so and so, what law has been passed. Who passed it? Who did this? Who said that? And the moment you show
the picture of the person, the anguish gets induced. So you’re gonna fight it whether
you like the idea or not. So I think this personal
attack in our culture, the day of personal assassination, that is what has happened
in the way we discuss ideas. And I’m not giving in to that. When I’m invited to places where they really want to get
into a fight, or something, I say no thank you, I’m the wrong person. I wanna have an intelligent conversation and trust the audience
to make up their minds. – So as someone who lives
in The United States now that originally from
India, went to Canada. A couple of things that
you’ve referenced here have sound very in line
with the constitution of The United States, and the declaration of the United States. That we have God given rights. And yet at the same
time, these were the men who were guaranteeing your
freedom from religion. That’s very much in line with what you’re talking about, actually. – Well, the freedom of religion, yeah. And yeah. And when you take that very statement, that we hold these truths
to be self-evident, what do we mean by that? There are no self-evident truths anymore in our postmodern mindset. Postmodernity ultimately does away with truth, meaning and certainty. So what do we talk about as self-evident, and then what are the self-evident truths that we are endowed by our creator with these unalienable
rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Here’s what I wanna say, David. No other worldview would have generated
a statement like that, except the Judeo-Christian worldview. Because you break it
down phrase by phrase, and so many worldviews would say, “No, I don’t agree with that.” I think the framers of the constitution, and the writers of the
Declaration of Independence. And said, you know, we put our
names with our sacred honor. The sacredness of life, and
the sacredness of your word. This had the potential
to be a great nation. But in the last 50 years, we are seeing this
dismantled and falling apart, just by the volume of words
that often times are incoherent. – So how do we reverse some of that? Because it’s very obvious that
people are waking up to this, people don’t want the chaos. It’s why people are paying attention to all of these things on YouTube. – I think so much has
changed globally, David. You know, it’s now as you said earlier, not just The United States. I could name four or five countries to you where there is more radical
type of politicization of ideas that have made the
people shocked and surprised with how the particular elections went. We don’t like what we have, so
we like to try something new. It’s not so much that the
politician produces the culture, as much as the culture
produces the politician. So where do we change? My own honest opinion in this, I think it’s going to get a lot more worse before it gets better. But if there is a change, it is gonna have to change
in the academic world. What we are teaching our students is bringing itself out into the open. Our faculty members have to learn to have intelligent
disagreement and dialogue. Not so program the students into thinking in one particular way. And I think the academy
has failed America. – Do you think it can come back? Because this is being
debated constantly now, that academia now is so rotten, that the systems and the
gatekeeping is so infected. There’s a lot of people that I think are making a sound argument that it basically just
all has to collapse. Of course, what can come on
the other side of a collapse could be a lot worse, and
that’s why we have to– – I don’t know you’ve read Paul Johnson’s book on intellectuals. It’s a very powerful book. The closing paragraph itself is. He’s a historian. And he talks about how intellectuals have so shaped and programmed culture, and very often their own private lives are in complete disarray and
falling apart, and imploding. I think the answer to your question is, is there hope? Is there gonna be change? I think so. Let me give you an illustration of this. I’m pretty sure this is correct, but I’ve not verified it. But a congressman wrote
to me, and he said, when Ronald Reagan was shot, Tip O’Neill went to the
hospital and sat by his bedside and prayed for him, for Ronald Reagan. They were opponents on a
platform of political debate, but when one of them was
wounded with a bullet, the other man came and sat by his bedside, and prayed for him. That would never happen today. What has changed? So my way of thinking, what did it take to change
the scourge of slavery? What did it take to move
the scourge of racism in a different direction? Often times it took a handful of people. It didn’t take mighty armies. You can just about name
the individuals, you know. Whether it was Wilberforce out there, or people like Doctor
Martin Luther King out here, and so on. They changed history. I look at my grandkids, and I hear statements
coming out of some of them which are amazing to me
at ages seven and eight. They’ll say things, and I’ll say, “Wow, where did that come from?” I’ll give you an example. My grandson on Good Friday had his teacher wash the feet of the
children, first graders. She washed their feet. So this little guy,
Jude, who is now eight. Was seven then. Asked her, “Can we wash your feet today?” So they brought a basin of
water, these little kids. Put her feet in the basin of
water, and watched her feet. And then he says. The teacher wrote this to my daughter. You’ll never believe what
your son, Jude, did today. They washed my feet. And then he looked at her and said, “Your feet are now clean, but
your heart is even purer.” “And our hearts are purer,
because we have met you.” When a little one. – Seven years old. – Yeah, can make a comment like that, the right time, the right person will rise and change the course of history. – Is there a way to make
that happen, sort of? On a global scale like, is there? Or do you think it also. That’s just basically your view, is that it’s a bottom-up
thing, ironically, right? – Yeah, I think so. – Is that an odd place for a religious perspective to come from? – That’s what I was gonna qualify that. I said it’s a bottom-up, and that it has to start
from the foundation. But it’s a top-down, it has to have, begin with the transcendent worldview of who we are in our essence. So, and that’s why I
think it’s consistent. God doesn’t just change what we do. He changes what we want to do. And so the transformation
will have to come from a transcendent, eternal purpose. But the transcendent purpose
changes us foundationally. So it’s a top-down, bottom-up,
and neither is excluded. – So if there was a,
say a healthy society, that was incorporating all of the ideas that you’re talking about. How would it deal with
the forces of modernity? How would it deal with stem cell research? And we don’t have to get
into a specific thing, but all of the things
that science brings us, and the good and the bad
that comes with the internet. How would it actually negotiate that modernity and secularism, really? – It’s a great question. Because our instruments are
getting more sophisticated as our capacity is
getting more multiplied. But if our character
doesn’t keep up with it, we will just have a more sophisticated way of self-immolation
and self-destruction. You know, I had a guy at, in Canada stand up in the audience. And he said to me, “I can’t buy in to this
kind of worldview.” He said, “I think empirical
science all the time.” “That’s my worldview,
the empirical sciences.” So I said to him, I agree with you that empirical science is a very vital discipline in our times. Whether it’s for health, whether it’s for understanding
the cosmos, all of these. I said, but let me ask you this way. The empirical scientist in the lab is working away at research. Why should he or she tell us the truth when the research is done? What of the empirical sciences
gives you that imperative to be honest, and tell you the truth? I said, “Now you’re into metaphysics.” So it’s not just physics. So I think the value structure and the character has to start, so. – Did he have a response to that? ‘Cause I assume his response
would be something like, well. His code, his internal code of ethics would force him to tell the truth. Even if it was against is premise or– – Actually, he just sat down. He said, “I have to
give that some thought.” (laughs) Because, you know, in a
cross-cultural setting, that doesn’t necessarily follow. For example, this great
thing of identifying a particular gene that they were removing in China, you know. I think you followed that.
– [Dave] Yeah. – And all of a sudden
the Chinese government is slapping this doctor
with all kinds of fines, because he never got permission for it. And now they’re finding out that the implications of manufacturing that kind of genetic code is fraught with all kinds of dangers. So, the old adage holds true. Knowledge is a deadly friend
when no one sets the rules, the fate of all mankind, I see, is in the hands of fools. The rock musicians told us that. And musicians are often more logical than those who just do
ordinary philosophy. So I think what it has to start with is, this bottom line question to me, David. What does it mean to be human? If we don’t answer that question, everything else is footnotes without a body of the substance. So to me, I often times
speak on that subject. What does it really mean to be human? Why do I have to respect
your essential worth? Regardless of our disagreements. Why am I sitting across you
if you’re actually thinking, I like this guy, he’s a good man, he’s a man who is thinking clearly. Even if we have our
fundamental disagreements, I have to respect your
right to your thinking. And hopefully in the end as we dialogue, the truth will have its way. – Yeah, you know it’s
funny, because I always say to Ben Shapiro who you referenced before, That whatever our political
disagreements are, I supposed if we can remain friends for another 50 years, then maybe one of us will concede a point here or there, which I think we’ve actually both done over just the course of a couple of years. But then at the end it’s like, well then. What’s the worst that happened? You know, we agree to disagree
when I’m 94 and he’s 87? – And the truth of the matter is, we can disagree on the law of gravity, but there is the law of gravity, you know? We can disagree on the human essence, but there’s only one explanation
of that human essence. So you know, fascinatingly, Jesus didn’t persuade
everybody whom He spoke to. There was some that walked away. And he looked at some of them and said, “Will you also leave Me at this point?” He looked at his disciples. The cost of truth is huge, but conviction with
compassion is indispensable. – So you mentioned Judeo-Christian values. And since we’ve talked about
Shapiro and Dennis Prager, who come at this, obviously,
from a Jewish perspective. And you can agree to
disagree on whatever those, those outside issues are. But when you walk away from a conversation with someone like the two of them, or someone from a different, from not a protestant
outlook on life, et cetera. Do you feel that they’re
missing something that is an invaluable point to your worldview? – Well, if truth by
definition is exclusive, and one disagrees with the other. There is still the necessity
of the truth, you know? Prager, I thought, had a wonderful answer when we were talking. And he’s very respectful
to me as I am of him. And Prager looked at me and said, “When Messiah comes, I will
have only one question for Him.” “Have You been here before?” And you know, I think that is. That tells me how the man is thinking. But let you give you another illustration. There’s a very great Hebrew
scholar in Jerusalem. I was writing a book on
comparative worldviews, and I spent some hours with him. Brilliant guy, Moshe Sharon. He has written more on the
inscriptions in the Middle East than anybody else, multiple volumes. If I’m not mistaken, 20 or 30 volumes. And he looked at me at one
point and he said this, he said, Mister Zacharias, you and
I may have our differences, but we have one very
essential thing in common. I said, “What is that, Sir?” He said, “Our goal in life is
to have communion with God.” I said, “I agree with you.” And then he went on to
say something fascinating about how he differed from
other religious worldviews on that matter, but not with
the Christian worldview. And that’s why I think the
Judeo-Christian worldivew. And Ben Shapiro said to me, you know, what was missing in the Old Testament? What was wrong? I said, no, it was not wrong. It was the gradual unfolding
of that relationship with God that we were offered, and that the grace that
is given to you and me, right from the beginning,
has hints of this. And the mirror of the law
told me my face was dirty. But the mirror couldn’t clean my face. I had to go to the faucet
to find that cleansing. I said, so it’s a
complimentary-ness and a completion. But to get to the heart
of your question, yes. I would go back and say, there’s one link here
that is not as strong. He may think the same of me. So the way I come at it is this. There are tests for truth, and there are objects of those tests. And I say it’s this. There are really four
questions of life, David. Origan, meaning, morality and destiny. That forms our worldview. Where did I come from? What does life actually mean? How do I differentiate good and evil? What happens to a human
being when he or she dies? And therefore, you put
the two tests of truth. Correspondence and coherence. Are my answers corresponding to reality? And when my answers are put together, is there a coherence to them? And to me in that
Judeo-Christian worldview, it meets the due tests of
coherence or correspondence with the four questions of life. – So then from there, without getting too lost
in the politics of the day. When I watch these debates or just sort of anything
that’s happening politically. I always am thinking, well
why would I want these people to have any power over my life? They don’t seem to be addressing anything that really matters, right? They’re not gonna really have an honest. You know, they’ll maybe ask
them a quick question on faith, and they give you some, some glib answer or something like that. But I think part of the issue
right now is that they feel. Politicians feel they can
solve all of man’s problems. But you would basically argue, these are not even for man
to solve in the first place, or something like that. – I think politics is a
necessary evil in our time. But a good politician is the
most difficult job in our time, and there are good people out there. I’ve met them, I know them. And they are the ones who grieve most as to what is happen. Somebody told me in, from
the State Department, “I’ve been here 30 years.” “I’ve never seen the mood
so toxic as it is now.” We need it, we need these structures. But I think we need examples to model it, not just to speak it. And most of the time, as I said. I’m very troubled about
what’s happening globally. I see it. I see two of the major
atheistic religions, or the atheistic countries of the world, demagogues in charge of that there, not giving their people
the freedom to believe or to disbelieve, while they are increasing
their footprint all over. America– – Wait, what’s this, you’re
talking about China and– – China and Russia.
– And Russia. – Yeah. And what are we doing out here? We are fighting each other, you know. There’s an old adage, how horses fight, and how donkeys fight. When horses fight, they face
each other, form a circle, and the attacker comes and
they kick against the attacker. When donkeys fight, they form a circle with their backs to each
other, and face the attacker. And what do they do? End up kicking each other to death. And so that’s the way are doing politics. Not all, by the way. There are good politicians there. But throwing the oil into the flames, one after another. Think of what the last two years have been spent by politicians. Doing peripheral stuff
while we’re fiddling, while Rome is burning. Here I am talking to you in Las Angeles. It grieved me this morning, to be sitting, having my
breakfast in a restaurant with a bowl of cereal, and looking at the number
of homeless walking by. It just crushed me, you know. What has brought all this about? Let’s sit down and find
a solution to this. Think of the number of people dying because of the opioid crisis. Think of our young people who are battling destruction in the family,
and the home, and all of this. We’re not addressing any of those things. Instead, what were your tax returns? It looks like we are only
following the money trail. We are not following
the trail of conscience and cultural wellbeing. – Well, we seem to be
following the shiny object that’s ever moving. – And it provokes those who
are with you on your side. You know, I’ve got to
punch that guy in the face. Really? And then what? My professor used to say, some people are better
at smelling rotten eggs than laying good ones. And that’s really what we’re doing. To go back, I think what we
need is a test of character. Not uniform in our beliefs, but a character that will hold integrity as a primary method of discourse. If you lose that, you lose the discourse. – Doesn’t it seem though, that that would be almost
impossible right now to break through the ether? Which is maybe why you said you think it’s gonna get worse
before it’s gonna get better? – And I think some great
tragedy will hit us, and then we will awaken. – Is that it? I mean that, I’ve said that once or twice, and I don’t like thinking it. You know what I mean? You don’t wanna think that. That something horrific
would have to happen so that it would be the
only way we could reset. Which of course, nobody wants to happen. And yet we find ourselves
in this weird thing. It’s like, what else? What else would do it? – That’s a good question, and
a worthy question, you know. I don’t think there’s a simplistic answer. But I just go with people
whom I know in my own heart. If everything is going well, okay, and then you start worrying
about your car, you know, that you bought a lemon, and
it’s not running properly. But all of a sudden you found out one of your children of grandchildren has just been hit in a car wreck. And their body is shattered. It changes everything of
importance right then. And I know people to whom it’s happened. They could be arguing, and
all of a sudden they found out they’ve got cancer of the
pancreas, or something. And the whole demeanor of life changes. So that’s the way, sometimes, our attention is brought
to what really matters. I’m hoping what happens individually, and relationally with our friends. It seems to be an intimation
of how we ultimately wake up to what’s happening. Think of the nuclear threat today. Who in their right mind would
want to see a nuclear war? You know, even just seeing pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and you say they’re hell on earth. But we’ve got regimes, but people who are willing
to do things like that. So, is it going to take
some awful cataclysmic event for us to say, “Stop,
everything has to stop.” “We have to sit down and talk.” I don’t know. The only other possibility,
David, is this. And that as a man who loves Christ, and loves the spiritual world as reality. Some great revival breaks out somewhere, and hearts get changed,
and we find a sympathy towards things that really matter. Not towards peripheral issues. That’s always a possibility. It’s happened in history. A dramatic change of
heart of an individual. I see it happening in prisons, I see it happening in arenas. And if that happens on a massive scale. Which is what a Christian
would call a revival, then that would be the only hope. – What do think the, this is a tough one. What do you think the sort of general state of happiness is? Say, across the world. In that, you know, we can look at. We constantly complain
about everything, and yes. Just in the six years that
I’ve lived in Las Angeles, are there way more homeless people there? Absolutely. And you know, they can talk about climate, and all of these things. And yet there’s so much counter to that. That infant mortality is
the lowest it’s ever been, that actually there’s more
green on earth than we can find. All of these different studies. We’ve eradicated most diseases, there’s less war right now
than at almost any time in human history. All of these things, not to
say there aren’t bad things. But is there a way to
sort of measure happiness across time? – Happiness is treated
as a thing to be pursued. To me it’s a byproduct. It is not. You know, there’s an old Hebrew parable. God is like the light. Happiness and prosperity
is like the shadow. If you walk towards the light,
a shadow will follow you. You turn your back upon the
light and chase the shadow, you will never, ever catch up to it. We have found means of administering temporary happiness that
have actually cost us more in the long run. And therefore, I think happiness
pursued is seldom attained. The good pursuit produces
the peaceful heart. It is really a question
of, “Are you at peace?” You know, Thomas Martin used to say, Man is not at peace with his fellow man, because he’s not at peace with himself. He’s not at peace with himself, because he’s not at peace with God. So let me take that middle part. If I am creating misery
for people around me, and I’m roughing people’s lives up. You know what that tells people? I am the one who’s messed up inside. It tells me more about myself
than about that person. That’s what I see in our world today. People are distributing
curses and displeasure, because they themselves have no peace within their own heart. If I’m at peace in my heart, David, I’m not gonna be coming and taking you out to spread some kind of
unhappiness, or whatever. You’ll see the overflow. We’ve got to get to
what it really matters. And that begins with our children. If we can impart to our
children a peaceful heart, a good and a decent
heart, think of what is. For example, a few weeks
ago I was speaking, at our own institute in Atlanta, okay? And there was a line. I had just had surgery
two days before that, so I was very uncomfortable. And I’d come off an incubation,
my voice was still raspy. But there was a lineup of people who wanted to say hello. And I knew I couldn’t stay any longer, I had already been on my feet for so long. So I looked down the line,
and I saw a young boy. And he looked very disconsolate. So I just waved him over. I said I’m leaving soon, but
you look like a troubled man. What’s going on, can I help you? He said, Mister Zacharias,
I’m 13 years old. In 11 days I’ll be 14. And in 11 days I have to go to court and choose between my
father and my mother. – [Dave] Wow. – Yeah. That’s exactly what I felt,
like a stab in my heart. And no wonder his face showed it. Now, that’s an issue, that’s a problem. But we don’t address
how to build safe places for our children to grow up, and feel un-intimidated
with their honest questions and their struggles. But if you’re falling apart
in your own relationships, how do you impart it to the children? So I just say, if we have nothing to give from within the peace in our own heart, we’re only distributing more
displeasure and unhappiness. Unhappiness is also not gained. It’s a symptom of what is going
on inside the person’s life. – I think that’s the
right way to end a chat. That felt right to me. Did that feel right to you? – Yes, sir. Provide we flip it and say, you can find happiness and peace by doing that which God
has called us to do. So rather than end on
the note of unhappiness, on the note of happiness,
that it can be gained, because the gift of God. But thanks so much. You’ve made me feel very comfortable here, and I hope we can do it again. – It was an absolute pleasure,
I would love to do it again. Maybe we’ll do it either
with Ben, or with Dennis, or we can get some of the atheists. We can maybe try Sam
Harris or Micheal Shermer. And have that conversation. – We’ll do it. – Yeah, and actually I’m gonna
be in Atlanta in October, so I’d love to come by and– – Can we do that, David?
– Yeah. – I think I’d like. Let us know the dates. If we’re in town, I’d be
honored to host you there, and even maybe speak to our
staff and our people there. It will be an honor. – It will be a pleasure. Well, thank you so much for coming in. We you see, internet. We made it happen, there you go. For more on Ravi, you can
follow him on Twitter. He’s got good branding. It’s @ravizacharias. If you’re looking for more honest and thoughtful
conversations about spirituality instead of non-stop yelling, check out our spirituality playlist. And if you wanna watch full interviews on a variety of topics, check out our full episode playlist. They’re all right over here. And to get notified of all future videos, be sure to subscribe and
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Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 100 comments

  1. TRUTH AND BEAUTY!!!! GOD WILL USE ALL EVIL FOR GOOD. This interview is a gift to the world! Thank you Dave and Ravi. Blessings to you and to all who have tuned in. I believe that we are at a key turning point in humanity. We can extinguish fires of hate with wisdsom.

  2. Wow! I'm surprised that Dave didn't even flinch when at 44:15, Ravi finished his point regarding tests for truth and correspondence and coherence. Ravi just unloaded what every person has to grapple with at some point in their lives, and basically says that faith in God answers those four questions. Dave just moved on to the next question. I hope he thinks about that at some point. The same with Ben. I guess it comes down to world view. If someone ascribes to one different than yours and are firmly committed to it then an answer like Ravi provided can be just so many words. Thank you, Dave, for hosting Mr. Zacharias and treating him so well.

  3. Amazing…just amazing. I think, across the board, this is a stand apart interview that ranks #1 in of all the interviews I have ever seen. 👏 Bravo. I will subscribe now in anticipation of Jordan and Ravi meeting…

  4. You lose the educational system and the news to agenda-driven collectivist thinkers and you lose it all. Pray folks because we need a miracle.

  5. Great interview David! Ravi is such a wise man! May God Bless Ravi with many more years so he may continue sharing his wisdom with the world! 💕

  6. Too bad that Christianity is a classic form of idol worship and the physicalizing of God. The Ten Commandments clearly state not to attribute any physicality to the Almighty. Christians totally ignore this clear commandment of God and instead have embraced idolatry. Hopefully they would come to their senses and throw down the idols of stone and wood and all forms and pictures and embrace the One and Only indivisible God of Israel who is the same God that created heaven and earth and the same God that redeemed the Jewish People from Egypt and the Same God that will bring back the exiles back to the land of Israel with the rebuilding of the Third Temple.

  7. Please do not abandon "apologist"! As with many words surrounding Christianity (e.g., look in modern dictionaries to see what has been done to "faith"), dare I say, Satan has succeeded in skewing the meanings in ways that weaken their power. Rather than succumb to those attacks (and they clearly are just that), push back–"Faith is the substance/assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," as opposed to "firm belief in something for which there is no proof" (MW Dictionary). Please don't assume that modern people can't understand what is meant by "apologist" or "Christian apologetics." If you give up on this, what is next?

  8. Paul was not "an ordinary fisherman" – He was a spoiled rich kid who grew up to get endowed with power by the ruling Roman government, had "Roman citizenship" a card he pulled out often, etc. He went to what was THE best "college" of his time — Yale, Harvard and Oxford all rolled into one. He had such a command of languages that he could preach in many countries in their language. Unfortunately, because he was an egghead, people found him to be confusing– because he over-explained — and, a bit tiresome.

  9. Thank you for this. I loved it so much and watch your interviews all the time. PLEASE PLEASE get Ravi and Jordan Peterson together!!!

  10. Wow! So glad I found this discussion. A true gem. And yes to Peterson and Zacharias together. Even Prager, too.

    Sam Harris would also be good, but I've never liked Michael Shermer; he uses too many logical fallacies and makes bald, baseless claims without ever backing them up with facts — too many appeals to the stone.

    One thing I love about Rubin is his cordial desire to find truth — even relative truths. Bravo!

  11. You miss the point. I don't say that atheists can't figure out right or wrong. Only, that at an objective level, right and wrong don't make sense on an atheist worldview. There is no absolute justification for the concepts of right and wrong on atheism.
    Read your own posts, the only justification you can offer is utilitarianism. Being kind is good "if" your goal is human flourishing.
    Murder is bad "if" your goal is human flourishing.
    But on what grounds do you argue that human flourishing it self is a good thing as opposed to human extinction?
    Why is human success objectively and ultimately more valuable than just having more lifeless space?
    On atheism, humans have no more value, meaning or purpose than rocks.
    Yes atheists can figure out what's right and wrong in many circumstances. The only problem is that it's incoherent with atheism.

  12. I can Prove God exists & disprove Atheism:
    Q: Define God?
    A: God is a Spirit
    Q: Define Spirit
    A: Spirit is a non-physical part of the body, responsible for all that happens both in the body & away.
    Q: what is the proof of the existence of Spirit.
    A: why do we waste time on Spirit instead take mind or conciousness which you can't deny its existence, right?
    Q: Oh yeah, mind & conciousness exists.
    A: That's good, my friend.
    Q: What's that do with existence of God.
    A: God of the Holy Bible can remove mind or conciousness from the brain that's passed on from your Parents & instead Replace His own mind or conciousness into the brain in a fraction of time. This's called Spirit or mind or conciousness Transplant.
    Q: What is the evidence that it happened?
    A: If that happens to anyone then he becomes immune from anything that's deadly, even bullets can't destroy or harm.
    Q: This's not possible I can't accept.
    A: If you accept or not accept but this is testable & verifiable. So why don't you test & verify?
    Q: How to test?
    A: It's easy to test in this gun culture world.
    Q: ???!!!.

  13. I don't subscribe to his religion in particular, but I want to write down a lot of what Mr. Zacharias said and reflect often. Those gold nuggets are above religion, they are the truth. Some people find the truth via religion, some find the truth without a particular religion.

  14. Scroll these comments gives me hope for the world. All good. Not the usual bashing and trolling. Ironic this is what they begin the talk about

  15. 47:59 "I think some great tragedy will hit us. And then we will awaken". Unfortunately, I agree with him. I hope he's wrong.

  16. I LOVE that you brought Ravi Zacharias on! Thank you! And I don't care what I am doing, the day I see Ravi Zacharias meets Jordan Peterson, I am dropping everything and watching it to its entirety.

  17. My Buddhist Japanese wife did the same thing, after watching Jesus transform her husband from depression, suicidal thoughts into a new creation she seeked on her own and the truth was revealed to her.

  18. Dave Rubin, a gay man; Ben Shapiro, Jewish; the Apostate Prophet, atheist (ex-Muslim); Jordan Peterson, deist but not Christian. What do they all have in common? They have Christian friends. This is what Christianity is about, we love all

  19. Man, this interview really hits me hard.

    When I became a Christian 5 years ago, Ravi was one of the first people to introduce me to apologetics. I became a deeper thinker because of him. I learned to react to situations logically, and began to question the philosophical ideas on meaning and morality.

    I became agnostic a year ago and seeing Ravi with one of my favorite interviewers brought back what seems like ancient memories. I genuinely miss having faith now. Life made so much more sense.

  20. I’m glad he brought up the egalitarianism and elitism idea. I heard him say it about ten years ago and have mulled it over many times since then.
    I believe he had said, “Egalitarianism of people leads to elitism of ideas. Elitism of people leads to egalitarianism of ideas.”

  21. I have not watched many episodes with Dave but am acquainted with his guests. I must say that as a Bible scholar, a formally educated philosopher, and an amateur linguist, I am disappointed Dave merely "Googled" the term "Apologetics" as if Google has replaced the Oxford Dictionary, and even more bothered that Ravi would consider capitulating to a generation of lazy thinkers because "that word's hard!" (Don't you just cringe at the sound that grates in your head?)
    Here's another big word for you to add, Dave: hermeneutics.

  22. Is there something missing? Uh, yeah. Christ. Without Jesus and the cross, there is no eternal hope. Ben and Dennis also agree that Christ is the essential First Cause; they just don't agree that Jesus is the Christ.

  23. When will Ravi be held responsible for his academic misrepresentation and online affair with Lori Anne Thompson? Does celebrity status, legal resources and influential connections matter more than TRUTH?

    The academic issues are as follows:

    1. Ravi claiming to be a "visiting scholar at Cambridge University" when he was on sabbatical for 3 months at Ridley Hall (a Church of England training center) in the city of Cambridge. Cambridge University has explicitly denied in an official letter that they ever invited him as a visiting scholar. What he really did was to sit in on one or two courses at the university due to close proximity.

    2. Ravi saying that he is lecturer at Oxford University when the university has also denied in an official letter that he was never a lecturer or a professor there at any time.

    3. Ravi claiming on his website that he has been conferred with "8 doctoral degrees" without disclosing that they were honorary. A number of his books (in the backcover) state that he was "educated at Cambridge University." As mentioned earlier, he never studied nor was he ever a visiting scholar at Cambridge University.

    4. Ravi repeatedly saying (you can check various youtube videos) that he studied "quantum physics" under John Polkinghorne at Cambridge University in 1990 when Dr. Polkinghorne stopped teaching Physics in 1979. Additionally, Ravi was never a student or visiting scholar at Cambridge University to begin with.

    5. Ravi declaring that he lectures at universities like Harvard and Yale when all these events were organized by Christian groups and local churches which would rent an auditorium on the university campus to hold the meetings. For instance, one of the organizers for the Harvard event was the Chinese Holy Ghost Fellowship.

    6. Ravi saying that he was the Chair of a Department that did not exist at the institution where he taught in the 80's.

    7. Ravi stating that he won a prestigious international "All Asian Preaching Award" when what he actually participated in was a local preaching contest organized by Youth For Christ (YFC) in India. Steve Baughman spoke to all three judges who were at the competition and they have confirmed that Ravi's claims are false.

    8. Ravi states that his first book was based on lectures delivered at the Bell Labs in New Jersey but they have absolutely no record of him.

    9. Why did Ravi and RZIM completely change the content on their website after all the misrepresentations became public? Obviously, because they were marketing lies!

    Secondly, the online affair issue boils down to the following:

    1. Why did Ravi threaten suicide in his email to Lori Anne Thompson?

    2. Why does he accuse Lori of betraying him in the email?

    3. Why does Ravi ask Lori to meet with him before disclosing his name to her husband?

    4. Why does Ravi ask Lori if she was going to reveal his name to her husband and plead with her to meet him in person before doing anything?

    5. Why did he not report to the RZIM board when he started receiving the nude picture from Lori? Why did he continue to engage Lori for quite sometime (as he himself admits) till the demand for 5 million?

    6. Why has he nor RZIM denied anything from the emails?

    Much of the evidence, including letters from institutions, emails etc. can be found on ​

  24. Russia is not an atheistic country nowdays, it has returned to christian Orthodoxy, and Putin goes to church (or at least pretends to). I don't know why RZ has that opinion, yet I really like his words!

  25. You want the meaning of life? Help yourself so that you can maximize your ability to help others, for all anyone has left at their deathbed is how they've been treated and how they've treated others.

  26. Oh , what an excellent dialog – brilliant! Dave – open & accommodating different views with respect
    Ravi – representative of true Christianity, not arrogant but humble .
    Both honorable fellow human beings that we all can learn from.

  27. Given the evidence which I have seen: I am lead to believe that the bible is the best explanation for the creation of the world and the best example for how we ought to live.

  28. I normally try to refrain from commenting based on titles of videos or even introductions, but I have to make an exception here in this case, because Ravi's declaration in the intro is false:

    "The single greatest pursuit of every young person today is the pursuit of meaning."

    False; Truth is the primary substance of everything, and, indeed, anything and everything that exists is Truth. Whatever meaning is found, whatever answers are found, they will be made of Truth. Some people say things like, "All you need is Love," but statements like that are also false, because Love presupposes Truth at an existential level; the object of affection, the affection itself, and even the subject feeling the Love are all Truth. To correct the statement, all one needs to do is acknowledge that all we need is Love of Truth.

    Truth is primary; meaning is Truth, so the pursuit of meaning is the pursuit of Truth first and foremost. This might seem like nitpicking on technicalities to some people, but these aren't trivial matters.

    "Truth does not pay homage to any society, ancient or modern. Society has to pay homage to Truth or die."
    – Swami Vivekananda

  29. I too hope that Truth and Beauty will win out in the end, and I have a revelation about Beauty which is related to Awareness, Truth, and Love: Beauty is Love of Truth in Awareness.

    Awareness and Truth are existentially bound by Love. Awareness without Truth is lost in darkness, chaos, and confusion. Truth provides Awareness with something Real, like a foundation, and that means so much to Awareness. Conversely, Truth without Awareness is useless and pointless; it's like all that would be Beautiful if only there was an Eye of a Beholder to deem it so.

    I found this by meditating on the concepts of Perception and Reality as divorced from one another. What good is Perception if there is no Reality to Perceive? What good is Reality if there is no Perception of it? At the time, I didn't realize what I had discovered through deep thought, which is the identity of the three aspects of the Trinity of God: Awareness the Father, Truth the only begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit of Love. For me to say, "Awareness Loves Truth," it is essentially the same as me saying, "God."

    The Father is invisible, All-Seeing, All-Knowing; that is Awareness. Truth – the Logos – is the only thing that was begotten by God, and everything which came into existence came by and through the Logos, which is defined as "the Word of God, or principle of divine reason and creative order, identified in the Gospel of John with the second person of the Trinity incarnate in Jesus Christ." It's something like the Source Code which underlies the structure of Reality; it's the metaphysical structure which determines the physical structure of the Cosmos. The Holy Spirit, to the best of my ability to pin it down with identification, is the Causal principle of Expression and Movement. Truth is the only thing that exists and Love is the only reason why. It provides the Animation, the Breath of Life, and it's the very essence of Meaning and Purpose in Existence. There is something rather than nothing because something is better than nothing; because to be is greater than not to be, no question.

    Love of Truth in Awareness is everything; that is the heart of the Universe, and that is Beauty. Awareness plus Truth plus Love equals God. This is the Center of Existence, this place I'm describing. I may not be able to travel physically to the Center of the Universe, but I pretty much live here internally, and nothing seems to remove me from this place now that I'm here. There is no Truth that I can encounter with my Awareness which would diminish the value or importance of Awareness of Truth; the more Truth I encounter, the more Love I feel.

    This world is full of people who want nothing more than to challenge this, but it is unbreakable. All opposition to Truth is simply the creation of more Truth. If I were to hide in a dark corner from Truth, then my hiding in a dark corner would be the Truth. There is no escape. Resistance is futile; resistance to Truth is only more Truth to accept or resist.

    I have found the Meaning of Existence; I have found Truth; I have found God.

  30. Humanity needs two things simultaneously: a common goal and a common enemy. If we make the goal Awareness of Truth, and make the enemy its opposite – blindness and deception – then that will be a great start, I think. We really need to see Truth as the primary object of valuation. As I mentioned in my previous comment, the Center that is Light is Awareness, Truth, and Love (which provides Meaning, Purpose, Expression, Movement, etc.), and its opposition becomes clear as representative of the darkness: blindness, deception, and nihilism. Blindness is the opposition to God the Father; deception is the opposition to God the Son; and nihilism is the opposition to God the Holy Spirit.

    The goal is Light.

    The enemy is darkness.

    Maybe this isn't so obvious to other people, but it's obvious to me. This is the war we must fight. The way to change the collective is to change the individuals which comprise the collective, one by one.


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