Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Highlights- Walking from East to West:God in the Shadows by Ravi Zacharias

Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows is the written memoirs of Christianity's most well-known international apologist, Dr. Ravi Zacharias.

This book is enjoyable to read from start to finish and reminded me of the need for the apologist to lean on God through prayer.

Some of the highlights I took from the book were:

Ravi's sharing his early vision for ministry and his view on apologetics and the church:

I shared how we envisioned a ministry that would communicate the gospel effectively within the context of the prevailing skepticism. It would seek to reach the thinker and to clear all obstacles in his path so that he or she could see the cross, clearly and unhindered.

"The presuppositions of the majority of this world aren't the same as Christians' presuppositions," I pointed out, "and many of their questions are honest ones." I told them I wanted to address those struggling people-the Thomases of the world-who saw life as not making sense. If the church didn't place true value on a a person's questioning, then we were effectively absolving ourselves of any responsibility to that person. At the same time, if the skeptic's questions weren't honest, we had to address them in ways that exposed his or her dishonesty. Apologetics had to be about much more than answering questions-it had to focus on questioning the questions and clarifying truth claims." [p. 198]

Ravi after sharing a message with a group at the Lenin Military Academy in Moscow:

As soon as I finished the officer shot to his feet and demanded, "All your talk is about God, God, God. What on earth is this you're talking about?"

My response to him was simple. "Sir, are you an atheist?"

"I am"

"If you don't know what it is I'm talking about, then how can you deny it?"

"What do you mean?" [Atheists say that the term "God" is meaningless, yet they don't bother to know what it is they're denying.]

"It doesn't make sense to say you are an atheist," I pointed out, "if you do not know what you are denying."

From there a fascinating discussion ensued, with one young officer standing before the gathering and giving a courageous defense of his faith. "I know Jesus Christ," he stated, "and I know what this man is talking about." He was the lone officer to do so. [p.200]

Ravi meeting one of his heros, Malcolm Muggeridge:

In 1989, as I was speaking in England at a conference, I mentioned that Malcolm Muggeridge was one of my heros and that his books were among my favorites. A man in the audience came to me afterward and said that Muggeridge lived just fifteen miles up the road from where we were. Unable to pass up the opportunity, I got Muggeridge's telephone number and phoned him-and the next day, I was at lunch with Malcolm and Kitty Muggeridge! We spent about three hours together, hours I have treasured since then. What stories he had-from Gandhi to Stalin to the great figures of the mid-twentieth century. That afternoon was a gift from God to my heart. Muggeridge agreed to write the introduction to my book The Real Face of Atheism, but to my great regret, he passed away be my manuscript was complete. He and I exchanged notes on the tragedy of the West as it flirts with atheism but also celebrated the reality that truth has a long reach and will triumph in the end. His encouragement to me was momentous. Meeting him was another reminder that God was at work, putting everything together for me over the years.

Ravi on success:

People sometimes have the illusion that success is the tangible result from a plan or effort put to work, or some material gain accomplished through genius or expertise. I would answer that those things should bring the right kind of enjoyment, but only if you are undergirded in life itself by what is true and of ultimate value. Otherwise, if you are merely a pragmatist, success and possessions bring only the wrong kind of enjoyment.

Ravi on what is ultimately important:

Through all of the visitations of life-successes and failures-it is not how well you are know or not known. It is not how big your organization is or isn't. It is not even how many sermons one has preached or books one has written or millions of dollars one has accumulated. It is how well do you know Jesus? That's it. That is what shapes how you view everything else. Successes are hollow if you do not know the author of life and His purpose. To me, with each passing year, Jesus has only become more beautiful.

Courage and Godspeed,

Note to Readers: Ravi Zacharias has released a new book entitled Why Jesus?.

To learn more, go here.


Ten Minas Ministries said...

Is this book still in print? I have a copy myself that I purchased about a year or two ago, but it was very difficult to come by as most stores and online sellers were out of stock as it was not being printed at that time.

Chad said...

Ten Minas,

Thank you for stopping by the blog! I actually found my copy of this book at a local outlet store. If you would like, email me your mailing address at and I will be happy to send you my copy. It is highlighted in some places, but other than that, it's in great shape. I'd be happy to pass it on to you as I am done with it. It's a great read!