Every once in a while I take an opportunity to listen to the Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias. I can’t do it very often…it hurts my brain. But when I do take on the challenge, I’m always glad I did.
God is the author of intellect and he has blessed many men like Ravi with a unique ability to communicate a higher disciplined Christian thought to an audience whose brains are tuned to receive it. Or maybe just tuned-in enough to be able to hear it. There is a difference.
Whenever questions about theology or God get too deep or too complicated for me, I run to “Because God said it.” That’s my default rationale, my bedrock. It works for me. I can get to that absolute without having to tackle any of the bigger picture stuff that stumbles the real thinkers. I don’t dismiss the hard stuff like election or omniscience, or eschatology…but I rarely wade into those waters with people. Mostly because it’s a great place to get bushwhacked…to pick an argument with us “shallow thinkers” who can be easily overwhelmed with partial truth that is (often aggressively) presented as fact.
My younger brother is a pastor of a small local community church. He went into the pastorate later in life after a successful business career. It took him 5 years to get through the education he needed. It was a long hard road…but he made it though. All during that time and still today, I benefit from his education too. Our monthly lunches are often a source of theological discussion, education and sometimes correction. That lunch-table education helps me to at least appreciate some of the diverse thought around the academics of theology.
But at the end of the all-too-often self-righteous, complex arguments and debates surrounding theology… is the simple truth of the gospel. A truth that even a child can understand and believe. The truth that God loves us with a love bigger than we can comprehend…and that he wants to be known by us and have a relationship with us. I don’t fully understand that…I know I don’t deserve that kind of love or the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross for me. But by faith I have made that truth my own and it has changed me internally and eternally.
I’m very thankful there are those like Ravi who can discuss, debate and even persuade the thinkers of the world to consider the concepts and claims of the Bible on a much higher level than I will ever be able to.
But I’m also very thankful to be able to understand, receive and live out the simple truth of the gospel that still changes lives for all of us. Those who live in the heady clouds of academia as well as those of us down here in the trenches.