Shopping for a Belief System? Here’s help to know which religion is true.
We’re off to visit RZIM.org – hop in, if you like!
Founded by Ravi Zacharias, RZIM’s one of the very best places to find out how Christianity stacks up against other religions.
Got questions? Ravi has answers!
Ravi Zacharias’ resume’s off the charts – and he’s spent 42 years traveling the globe answering people’s questions about God and belief. But the thing that impresses me most about him is that, after all this time, he is still patiently answering the same questions over and over. (See the end of this post for how to do the same: answer your skeptical friends without shutting them down.)
Repeat after me: “Origin, Meaning, Morality, Destiny.”
Inside RZIM, you’ll almost certainly hear those four words. They’re shorthand for the four fundamental questions that everyone asks:
Where did I come from?
What is life’s meaning?
How do I define right from wrong?
What happens to me when I die?
“Most Coherent” wins!
Ravi teaches that we can evaluate any belief system based on how it answers life’s (four) basic questions. What we’re looking for is something professional philosophers call “coherence.”
There are three tests a religion or philosophy must pass to get a “coherent worldview” rating; if it fails any of the tests, it goes on the junk pile while we look for a belief system that’s worth something.
The 3 belief system tests:
Test #1: Is it logically consistent?
Or does it contradict itself, saying something is both “true” and “not true?” or that two opposite things are both true? (See below for an example of a belief system that fails this test.)
Here’s one of my favorite examples of how to expose a logical inconsistency in a belief system. It’s vintage Ravi:
“When a person says there’s too much evil in this world, they’re assuming there’s such a thing as “good.” When they assume there’s such a thing as good, they must assume there’s such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But when they posit such a thing as a moral law, they must posit a moral lawgiver, but that’s whom the skeptic is often trying to disprove and not prove, because if there’s no moral lawgiver, there’s no moral law. If there’s no moral law, there is no good. If there is no good, there is no evil. What becomes of the question?” (See more of this transcribed CBN.com interview with Ravi here.)
“Correspondence (to reality)”: another way to win the Worldview wars
One thing I should mention on our way out today is that there is a criterion other than “coherence” that trained philosophers use to test worldviews – the test of “correspondence.” We don’t have time to go into that today (I see you yawning already, so maybe next time) – the short version is that Christianity wins “best correspondence to reality,” too.
Well, now it’s really getting late, but let’s check one last thing: does Ravi have any advice for dealing with the skeptics in our neighborhoods?
How to talk to Angry Young Skeptics, Awkward World Leaders & even American Senators
Ravi was born in India; he’s an international expert on comparative religions, cults, and philosophy, and can talk comfortably to almost anyone. It doesn’t matter if he’s addressing the UN Prayer Breakfast, US senators, Oxford and Cambridge academics, controversial world leaders, or the latest angry young skeptic on an Ivy League campus. He just knows how to listen, show respect, and explain the truth logically. (See below for some of his tips on how to do this.)
“With gentleness and respect…”
Even when Ravi’s answering the most hostile skeptics, he exemplifies the Apologist’s ideal of always being prepared to give an answer for the Christian hope that is in him, and always treating people with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
Effective Apologetics, RZIM-style is not just about how to address ideas, but ”how to engage people, understand their beliefs, and facilitate fruitful dialogue that points to the person of Christ.”
I definitely want to be able to do all that – we’ll have to come back soon!
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