May 19, 2020

My Gateway Drug

My Gateway Drug

Ravi Zacharias was my gateway drug to a vast apologetics universe. I have never personally met Ravi Zacharias; I only know him through his ministry and his books. I “met” him, got to know him through his book, “Why Suffering?” shortly after my adult daughter was killed in a car wreck in 2014. 

If you did not know, Ravi is one of the great Christian apologists of our time. He introduced me to other great thinkers and writers: here is a shortlist, G.K. Chesterton, Malcolm Muggeridge, Norman Geisler, and John Lennox. He has also introduced me to those who would deny the faith like Bertrand Russell. 

Our Thinking

Moreover, our own thinking entices many of us, and we think we have sound thinking on scripture. Ravi made me re-evaluate my thinking. He confronted me with the distortions and contradictions within my thinking. How did he do this? He brought me into a confrontation with scripture.

Consequently, I was especially moved by a sermon where he talked about the Pharisees’ attempt to trap Jesus in regards to paying taxes. Christians are familiar with this encounter; 

But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

“Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” (Matthew 22:18-21 NLT)

In other words, Ravi pointed out that the Pharisees departed and did not ask a follow-up question, “What belongs to God?’ If they had, Jesus would’ve likely asked of them, “Whose image is on you?”

Different Ways

Thank you, Ravi, for showing me different ways of looking as scripture. Thank you for giving my generation answers to the tough questions. You showed us how to argue, debate, and to remember there is a questioner behind the question.

My daughter’s death taught me, amongst many things, that the other prisoners are listening (Acts 16:25). Ravi always remembered in his debates that the “other prisoners were listening,” too. He helped me to give a ready answer for the joy that is within me. May we all have such a legacy after we have departed.

In the end, for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, we will meet him for the first time; for others, they will see him again. I am glad I “met” Ravi and I am proud to say he was my gateway drug to a deeper understanding of my Lord and Savior. I look forward to dining with him at the Wedding Feast of the Bride of Christ.


Jon-Roy Sloan
Director of Communications


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