Apologist Ravi Zacharias passed into glorious victory earlier this week. He has made an indelible impact on modern Christianity, but also on Calvary Chapel. We are praying for his family, friends and community at RZIM. Below CGN Leaders each share a dedication to Ravi's life and legacy.
"Ravi so very much enjoyed the times I brought him to Philly,
and he would tell me, 'Aaron, what God has you doing here is incredible... You surely are on the front lines here in so many ways!' I’d feel so encouraged when he’d say that, because when serving in the big city with so many needs, you can so easily just focus on the person you couldn’t help, or couldn’t get to in time, or the drama you couldn’t stop... To hear him love Antioch so deeply was the ultimate encouragement, coming from a man who saw even global leadership in virtually every human capacity, and the global church in so many countless countries.
Lastly, Ravi loved when I took him through the worst hoods of Philly, and he’d just watch and share his heart as we cruised by the hottest drug corners, and you knew he was contrasting it with cities and hoods he’d seen all around the world over the decades... Lastly, pictures you can view here are backstage right after our Temple/Liacouras event, when I introduced Ravi to one of West Philly’s most feared menaces at that time... Ravi met this Muslim young man and stopped everything for the moment; he engaged him intensely and yet with love (as if there weren’t even thousands of people just outside the backstage curtain)... And to this day, Malik, is now a solid believer and me and my wife’s spiritual son, who even lived in our home with us last year. 'Uncle,' I miss you a lot."
- Aaron Campbell, Lead Pastor, Antioch Christian Fellowship, CGN Executive Leadership Team
"Whenever I read, listened to, or watched Ravi, I was always deeply moved.
I was deeply moved by his tremendous intellect and his ability to give such a powerful and coherent defense of the Gospel. But it was more than that — so much more. I always felt that I was seeing and hearing what John wrote in the prologue of his gospel concerning Jesus: “full of grace and truth.” Ravi was such an amazing ambassador of his King. Never condescending, yet never compromising. Always leaving the questioner aware of the love of Jesus.
But I am also forever grateful for Ravi on a very personal level. About six years ago, our youngest son was in his senior year of high school. He went through a very, very dark season to the point of not wanting to live. His depression was accompanied by a great existential question. He began listening to Harris and Dawkins, et al. But he would listen to Ravi. On a long drive to southern California with him, he had his mother and me listen to Ravi debating. When our dear son was slipping off the cliff, Ravi’s mind and heart grabbed him. Thank You, Jesus, for Ravi."
– Richard Cimino, Lead Pastor, Metro Calvary, CGN Executive Leadership Team
"I am so thankful for this man's life, ministry and influence on my own life.
As a younger man, his books both inspired and informed me, they challenged and inspired me. I looked up to him as one of the great communicators of our time. Even the Washington Post admits that the 20th century had C.S. Lewis and the 21st century had Ravi. And while most would find it hard to pin that title on any single person's chest, with Ravi, it fits. He was a man for this generation, able to spar apologetically with both University students and atheist giants alike. His reach was broad, and his scope was wide. His influence great, and his humility matching.
Personally, my interaction with him started only five years ago, when we combined on several events, and I was blessed to host sessions, teach and also present the gospel with him and his team. After that, I did a couple of other ministry-related events with RZIM and Ravi; and it was a true delight. At the last conference, they asked me to speak on 'Humor and the Gospel'. I’m so blown away by God’s timing in all this, for it was at that conference some of the finest speakers of our day encouraged me to put these ideas in a book, and 'JUST YESTERDAY', that book got sent to the printers.
As Christians, we mourn the Bible says, but not without hope! Why is that? Because we know that Jesus conquered sin and death on the cross, and as Job wrote... ‘in our flesh we will see God’! If you’ve never read a Ravi Zacharias book, you’ll love his depth and clarity as well as the way he articulates. If you’re not a believer, then try Jesus Among Other Gods! or Can We Live Without God? If you are a believer, try The End of Reason or one of my favs, Walking From East to West, where he explains his journey. I have a chapter in my book called, “Ravi Notes,” which details where our own lives intersected and the impact it had on me as well as the inspiration for the book. The forward is also written by Andy Bannister, the great apologist who ministered alongside Ravi in that season. These are but small ways to acknowledge how much one life can influence so many."
– Joel Turner, Lead Pastor, Mountain Springs Calvary Chapel, CGN Executive Leadership Team