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The Future of Western Values

The Foundation of Western Values with Dr Ravi Zacharias

You can view a recording of the event here:

The Foundation of Western Values

Examining Christian Values in the Public Square

with international speaker Dr Ravi Zacharias

A cultural revolution is underway across the western world – and our shared meanings and values are being shaken apart with titanic force. Yet God in His wisdom has set foundations on which our lives are to be built, shaping both our public and private values. In this presentation Ravi examines and responds to the challenges facing these foundations within modern culture.


Ravi ZachariasRavi Zacharias has spoken for 44 years in universities and in public forums all over the world – from the opening of the United Nations General Assembly to the White House, and has spoken to the seats of government in England, Canada and the U.S.  He has authored or edited over twenty books and his weekly radio program airs on 2337 outlets worldwide.

For a full bio – including a list of his books – visit RZIM here.


Mark Powell The evening will be introduced with a TED-style talk by Mark Powell, who will speak on The impact of Faith on Business and Leadership.  He will unpack how we all have a faith from which we get our values – and how such faith links to modern business and leadership in more ways than you might think.

A popular New Zealand business leader with more than 30 years executive experience, Mark is best known for his role as CEO of the Warehouse Group, an iconic New Zealand retailer.


John Peachy The evening will be MC’ed by popular Christian radio talk-back personality, motivational speaker and leadership coach John Peachy.

 

 

 

 

Ravi is a dynamic and fascinating speaker who Thinking Matters is hosting for this once-only Auckland event you won’t want to miss.  Please let others know!

WHEN: Friday 3rd March 2017
TIME: 7:30pm – 9:30pm
WHERE: Harbourside Church, 48 Esmonde Road, Takapuna
COST: $5 Individual – $10 Family (cash at door)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: We have very limited seating for this event.  Please see details here.

SIDE NOTE: Ravi will also be conducting a series of events in Dunedin from Sunday 26th February until Thursday 2nd March. You can check out details of his Dunedin events here.

reading

Four Gardens – Ravi Zacharias

RZIM has recently re-released a video about Easter:

In this classic message, Ravi Zacharias shares thoughts from the perspective of Easter as he delves into four gardens: the text, the context, the contest, and the conquest.
Ravi inspires with truths surrounding creation, the word, the cross, and the resurrection in presentations excerpted from the Jesus Among Other Gods group study. This presentation is a beautiful and thought-provoking reminder of all that Easter celebrates.

Have a safe and blessed weekend as you remember and celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:6-11

Ravi Zacharias on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The theme at the Ligonier National Conference conference this year was standing for the truth of God’s Word. At the conference, Ravi Zacharias gave a message on the resurrection, discussing it’s context, why it matters, and what it means for us today. You can listen or view the rest of the conference talks at Ligonier.org.

New Books Defending Christianity

A Shot of Faith (to the Head): Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists by Mitch Stokes (Thomas Nelson, 2012). 272 pages.

“. . . A Shot of Faith to the Head takes the best tools of top-notch apologetics and philosophy and puts them in the hands of every believer. Even better, it’s easy and fun to read, winsome, witty, filled with sharp thinking, and well-researched. As a professor and pastor, I’ll be assigning this book in my apologetics courses and would recommend it to every Christian. It displays strategic answers to questions and objections every Christian has encountered.” – Justin Holcomb, pastor, Mars Hill Church and adjunct professor of theology, Reformed Theological Seminary.

Inerrancy and Worldview: Answering Modern Challenges to the Bible by Vern Poythress (Crossway, 2012). 272 pages.

“To our shame, the response of Christians to challenges to our faith can often be dismissive, shallow, defensive, or disrespectful. On the other hand, we can err too much on the side of tolerance for error when truth is under siege. In Inerrancy and Worldview, Vern Poythress shows us how to be neither fools nor cowards. Through intelligent, informed, insightful, and respectful engagement, key foundational faith defeaters taught in many disciplines at every secular university are explained and critiqued from a biblical perspective. Poythress challenges the challenges to biblical belief at the root of their assumptions. We are left with a solid basis and defense of the Christian way of thinking. Inerrancy and Worldview should be required reading for all who want to think more deeply about their faith and defend it within a skeptical culture.” – Erik Thoennes, Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University; Pastor, Grace Evangelical Free Church, La Mirada, California

Atheism’s New Clothes: Exloring and Exposing the Claims of the New Atheists by David H. Glass (InterVarsity Press, 2012). 336 pages.

(Visit the author’s blog here).

“The New Atheists are certainly vocal, but are they also reasonable? In this remarkably accessible book, David Glass exposes their frequent failure to understand what they attack, meticulously assesses their arguments, and then goes beyond critique to present a many-sided positive case – scientific, historical, and philosophical – for Christian theism. No other work on this subject combines such wide scope with such consistently high quality.’  – Timothy McGrew, Professor of Philosophy, Western Michigan University; Director, The Library of Historical Apologetics

Why Jesus?: Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality by Ravi Zacharias (FaithWords, 2012). 304 pages.

In Why Jesus?, the popular apologist examines humanity’s deep spiritual hungers and the common solutions presented by mass-marketed leaders of pop spirituality (Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, and so on). Ravi Zacharias exposes the empty promises of those who peddle spiritual advice at the expense of careful thinking and experiential wisdom. The book shows why issues of exclusivity, authority, and relevance are always pertinent to conversations about spirituality, and ends with a plea for people to understand Jesus as Truth. – Trevin Wax,  Managing Editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources and author of Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope.

 

Q&A Videos with William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, and John Stackhouse

100 Huntley Street is a daily talk show in Canada that regularly hosts Christian leaders and thinkers from around the world. Some of their guests have included Philip Yancey, N. T. Wright, Craig Evans, and Sean McDowell. Many of these interviews are available on their website and YouTube channel and I’ve posted some good ones below. The clips are at least six months old, but they provide a useful introduction to a host of issues in apologetics, philosophy, and cultural engagement.

William Lane Craig

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What is the Best Argument for Belief in God?

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Is God a Logical Necessity?

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The ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’ and The Evidence For God

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Who Designed The Designer? A response to Dawkins’ The God Delusion

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New Book: Has Christianity Failed You?

Chesterton famously wrote that “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” Has Christianity Failed You? is a new book by evangelical thinker and apologist, Ravi Zacharias, written to address the struggles that many experience in trying to follow Jesus Christ. In a culture that is post-Christian, there will be many people who end up rejecting Christianity for different reasons – personal loss or suffering, false expectations shaped by broken relationships, traumatic church experiences, and often because of intellectual struggles. Ravi explores the nature of disappointment with God and the difficult questions that often arise from those who have feel betrayed intellectually and spiritually by the church or by their Christian experience. Some of the specific questions addressed in the book:

  • Have you stumbled and fallen in your faith?
  • Do you have intellectual questions that are unanswered?
  • Is Christianity not what you thought it was?
  • Have you been affected by hypocrisy in the church?
  • Are you swayed by the challenges to the Holy Scriptures?
  • Has science tested your Christian belief?

Ravi is a gifted writer and I have benefited greatly from his discussion of logical and existential questions (Can Man Live Without God, Cries of the Heart and Deliver Us From Evil are excellent works). This new book by him looks to again balance out both the practical and philosophical considerations involved when God seems distant or when the Christian life seems harder than we expected it to be. Let’s face it, religious people and institutions can often be the biggest obstacle to belief in God (movements like the emergent church prove this pretty well). Hopefully this book will be helpful for many who find themselves in this position.

Has Christianity Failed You? becomes available on Amazon this month.

Here are two questions from an interview Ravi did with Danielle DuRant about the book (the full interview can be found on the RZIM site):

What do you say to the person who cognitively believes God is good and wants to trust him but, based on a past heartache or a present situation, still struggles to experience him as compassionate and trustworthy?

RZ: These are what I call the rub questions. They are not easy to answer. And these situations are more often the rule than the exception in our experience. I think about this a lot, and I wonder how much we have been wrongly taught in these matters? Have our expectations for life as a Christian been wrong? In our efforts to be relevant, we have forgotten that some things are going to be irrelevant and unexplainable for us, and it is we who need to become relevant to the truth, not the other way around. We are not God. Imagine trying to force a square peg into a round hole—all you accomplish in the end is to damage the edges of the peg. Sometimes we try to force God to fit our mold for him, to fit our idea of how he should act, and then when he doesn’t meet these expectations, we blame him for not meeting our expectations.

I have concluded that the greatest of loves comes at the greatest cost. The greatest of loves will never come cheaply. It takes everything you have to honor that love and everything you have to honor that trust. And the greatest love that any of us could have is our relationship with God.

Look at any athletes who have succeeded. Discipline is an indispensable part of their lives— unless, of course, they cheat. And when you’ve got the discipline, you’ve got the marks on your body to demonstrate it. But we sit down Sunday after Sunday, in the West particularly, to a delicious buffet of programming. Then when the first temptation comes, we are walloped; we are thrashed, and we wonder where God is. God is exactly where we have left him—way behind, reshaped into our image.

Something I heard from a Muslim doctor I met in Pakistan who had come to know Christ comes to my mind often. He told me about the two sentences he heard from a preacher that changed his life: “In surrendering, you win. In dying, you live.” This is the counterperspective. So when you say, “I don’t feel God here. I’m afraid to trust him here,” realize that there are many days when you don’t feel the love you want to feel from your spouse, your children, your family. But you have to be big enough to surrender your own needs and keep loving and “kicking against the goads,” as it were. I believe when it is over, you will discover that perseverance was what it was all about.

You’ve raised many significant points today—that we must carefully examine our expectations of God and our disappointments, not denying them but bringing them to God and asking him to show us where we may be thinking improperly, and that we must come to him in prayer rather than turn our backs on our relationship, asking him to show us more of himself and his love for us.

RZ: There are two important implications, Danielle. Blaming our poor relationship with our heavenly Father on our poor relationships with our earthly fathers is similar to saying that Christianity has failed us because of what we see or experience in the church. This is a false extrapolation. Yes, the church is flawed; yes, it is broken. But if you think of the twelve men whom Jesus chose—my word! Certainly an insightful Divine Being could have picked better disciples than he did. And out of these less-than-perfect disciples, he took perhaps the least promising— Peter—and gave him the key spot. Then he took a terrorist—Paul— and made him the penman for one-third of the New Testament. So I think we take a great risk if we base our decision about ultimate matters only on what we can see.

Second and very important, one of the chapters in this book is a response to Robert Price and his view of the irrationality and untenability of the Christian faith. This is not a face-value response, but I want the reader to understand this: Examine any other worldview, and you’ll find an important difference between it and the Christian faith. In the Christian faith, we may ask the questions, in fact, encourage questions, and while we may not always have comprehensive answers, we have very meaningful answers. In any other worldview, not only do they not have meaningful answers, they cannot even justify their questions. This is not to say that Christianity is the best of some horrible options. No! I think the questions of morality, meaning, love, destiny, values, sexuality, marriage, friendship, and word over feeling are most meaningfully answered in the Judeo-Christian worldview. I am more convinced of this than I was at the moment I first committed my life to Christ. So examine Christianity against all other alternatives, and I believe with my whole heart that you will find that Christianity has not failed you.

The mystery of the cross

Into this kind of self-centered, earthly kingdom, Jesus brought a different and dramatic – albeit radical – response to pain and suffering. His answer was a stumbling block then, and it is a stumbling block now. But only if it is properly and seriously understood can its beauty be seen amidst its obvious pain and hatred. I refer to the cross of Christ. The cross stands as a mystery because it is foreign to everything we exalt – self over principle, power over meekness, the quick fix over the long haul, cover-up over confession, escapism over confrontation, comfort over sacrifice, feeling over commitment, legality over justice, the body over the spirit, anger over forgiveness, man over God.

[I]n the cross alone, pain and evil meet in consummate conflict. In the cross alone are integrated love and justice, the twin foundations upon which we may build our moral and spiritual home, individually and nationally. It is theoretically and practically impossible to build any community apart from love and justice. If only one of these two is focused upon, an inevitable extremism and perversion follow. Throughout history, mankind has shouted its ideals of liberty, equality, and justice; yet the ideologies that have risen, supposedly in the pursuit of human progress, have left in their wake some very dastardly experiments that echo with the whimpering sounds of man, like a trapped animal. Rising above the cry of liberty, equality and justice is the more rending plea for that sense of belonging we call love. And love unbounded by any sense of right or wrong is not love but self-centeredness and autocracy. In the cross of Jesus Christ, the demands of the law were satisfied and the generosity of love was love was expressed.

Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God, Word Publishing (1994), pages 171-172.