#Christianity #RaviZacharias #Scam #Fraud
By a “PhD Candidate in New Testament, Duke University”
At one point, I idolized him. I thought he was the kind of person I wanted to be.
So, I started doing the sort of things he said people should do in order to be like him: I read the books and got up to speed on the issues in most of the relevant disciplines.
It turned out, he wasn’t the person he wanted people to think he was. He hadn’t done the reading himself. He didn’t know the issues.
He was a talented speaker, but barely understood the positions he advocated. He couldn’t help but badly caricature positions his opponents.
He never really engaged “the other side” on any issue because he simply didn’t know the literature. He generated soundbites, witty remarks, and presented a (largely fraudulent) aura of erudition.
The day I saw him in person was something of a watershed for me.
I was part of the way through a triple major in philosophy, classics, and religion so I could grow up to be like him. I attended his lecture because I thought I was still a fan; I thought I still wanted to be him.
I realized during his lecture that he would flunk out of the relevant classes. Not for holding the positions he held, but bcs he didn’t understand the issues, history, or literature. I realized he wasn’t engaging the issues, he was just making us feel good for thinking like him.
At that point, I was on his side for most of the issues. I came to hear a learned defense of the views we shared but instead got an uncharitable harangue about how dumb other people were and how bright he was.
I wouldn’t learn about his fabricated credentials until years later.
So I’m thankful for him too. He was one of the first people to point me toward where I am now.
But, folks, don’t be like him. Do the reading. Seek understanding, not soundbites. Talk to smart people you don’t agree with. Be the kind of person he wanted you to think he was.