Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Ravi Zacharias, fully  Frederick Antony Ravi Kumar Zacharias

Indian-born Canadian-American Evangelical Christian Apologist and Evangelist

"In his book Modern Times, the historian Paul Johnson referred to Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini as the three devils of the twentieth century. Interestingly, Nietzsean dogma influenced each of them."

"In its essence, faith is a confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in His power, so that even when His power does not serve my end, my confidence in Him remains because of who He is."

"In other words, truth is not only a matter of offense, in that it makes certain assertions. It is also a matter of defense in that it must be able to make a cogent and sensible response to the counterpoints that are raised."

"In naturalism, man is actually very insignificant, but arrogates to himself stupendous power. In Christianity, man is actually the apex of created significance, but is called to see it in abject humility."

"In some countries you love your neighbors, and in others you eat them."

"In the 1950s kids lost their innocence. In the 1960s, kids lost their authority. In the 1970s, kids lost their love. It was the decade of me-ism dominated by hyphenated words beginning with self. In the 1980s, kids lost their hope. In the 1990s kids lost their power to reason. Less and less were they taught the very basics of language, truth, and logic and they grew up with the irrationality of a postmodern world. In the new millennium, kids woke up and found out that somewhere in the midst of all this change, they had lost their imagination. Violence and perversion entertained them till none could talk of killing innocents since none was innocent anymore."

"In the gospel message, the beginning of change occurs in the heart of each individual. This heart change makes a difference in the home, then in the community, and ultimately in the nation-- and in turn it shapes the future of a cultural ethos."

"It was a decade of protest---church, state, and parents were all called into question and found wanting. Their authority was rejected, yet nothing ever replaced it."

"Love is a commitment that will be tested in the most vulnerable areas of spirituality, a commitment that will force you to make some very difficult choices. It is a commitment that demands that you deal with your lust, your greed, your pride, your power, your desire to control, your temper, your patience, and every area of temptation that the Bible clearly talks about. It demands the quality of commitment that Jesus demonstrates in His relationship to us."

"Love is as much a question of the will as it is of the emotion. And if you WILL to love somebody, you can."

"It is a mindless philosophy that assumes that one's private beliefs have nothing to do with public office. Does it make sense to entrust those who are immoral in private with the power to determine the nation's moral issues and, indeed, its destiny? .... The duplicitous soul of a leader can only make a nation more sophisticated in evil."

"It is easier to hide behind philosophical arguments, heavily footnoted for effect, than it is to admit our hurts, our confusions, our loves, and our passions in the marketplace of life's heartfelt transactions."

"My premise is that the popular aphorism that 'all religions are fundamentally the same and only superficially different' simply is not true. It is more correct to say that all religions are, at best, superficially similar but fundamentally different."

"My longings, my hopes, my dreams, and my every effort has been to live for Him who rescued me, to study for Him who gave me this mind, to serve Him who fashioned my will, and to speak for Him who gave me a voice."

"No matter how much we try to run away from this thirst for the answer to life, for the meaning of life, the intensity only gets stronger and stronger. We cannot escape these spiritual hungers."

"None of us like the concept of law because none of us like the restraints it puts on us. But when we understand that God has given us his law to aid us in guarding our souls, we see that the law is for our fulfillment, not for our limitation. The law reminds us that some things, some experiences, some relationships are sacred. When everything has been profaned, it is not just my freedom that has been lost-- the loss is everyone's. God gave us the law to remind us of the sacredness of life, and our created legal systems only serve to remind us of the profane judgments we make."

"Of all the religions in the world, there is none with the wealth of music that the Christian faith offers."

"Often we are not aware of how close we are to that which we need but we think we do not have. In His grace, God has placed some hidden gold somewhere in all of us that meets our need at a desperate moment."

"On every university campus I visit, somebody stands up and says that God is an evil God to allow all this evil into our world. This person typically says, ?A plane crashes: Thirty people die, and twenty people live. What kind of a God would arbitrarily choose some to live and some to die?? I continued, ?but when we play God and determine whether a child within a mother?s womb should live, we argue for that as a moral right. So when human beings are given the privilege of playing God, it?s called a moral right. When God plays God, we call it an immoral act. Can you justify this for me?? That was the end of the conversation."

"Only if you are willing to pray sincerely for God?s will to be done and are willing to live the life apportioned to you will you see the breathtaking view of God that he wants you to have, through the windows he has placed in your life. You cannot always live on the mountaintop, but when you walk through the valley, the memory of the view from the mountain will sustain you and give you the strength to carry you through."

"One does not get far in a conversation with a Hindu sage or an unsophisticated follower of Hinduism before one of them offers the familiar illustration of four blind people feeling an elephant in the dark and each one coming out with a different description of what it is he or she is feeling ? a rope, a tree or some other object, depending on the tail or leg or whatever is being clasped. This story seems to be the best escape hatch to do away with any interpretive burden that keeps with the facts. Yet the obvious seems to escape the one giving the illustration: that smuggled into the analogy is the idea that it is an elephant that is under discussion and not any of those errant pronouncements made by the ones devoid of light and sight."

"Our intellect is not intended to be an end in itself, but only a means to the very mind of God."

"Pleasure without God, without the sacred boundaries, will actually leave you emptier than before. And this is biblical truth, this is experiential truth. The loneliest people in the world are amongst the wealthiest and most famous who found no boundaries within which to live. That is a fact I've seen again and again."

"Only when holiness and worship meet can evil be conquered. For that, only the Christian message has the answer."

"Sacrilege is often defined as taking something that belongs to God and using it profanely. But there is a bigger sacrilege we commit all the time. That is to take something and give it to God when it means absolutely nothing to us."

"Philosophically, you can believe anything, so long as you do not claim it to be true. Morally, you can practice anything, so long as you do not claim that it is a better way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it. If a spiritual idea is eastern, it is granted critical immunity; if western, it is thoroughly criticized. Thus, a journalist can walk into a church and mock its carryings on, but he or she dare not do the same if the ceremony is from the eastern fold. Such is the mood at the end of the twentieth century."

"Sometimes in the shadows of one?s self lie the problems, and in the shadows of one?s shaping lie the answers."

"Sometimes the very presence of God is barred by our presuppositions and our intense and constant desire for triumph."

"Spirituality with an underpinning of pantheistic beliefs is portrayed as being serene, innocuous, all-embracing, mystical, and wonderful?The world is now being constructed on reclaimed land from the sea of faith in which we seek common values without finding common reasons from which those values stem. Yet the deeper one probes into the reasoning, the more one has to wonder whether this disjunction between values and reasons will sooner or later take away from us the water of life."

"Self-image, Self-esteem, Self-assertion....It made for a lonely world. Kids learned everything there was to know about sex and forgot everything there was to know about love, and no one had the nerve to tell them there was a difference."

"Starting at life's cryptogram, we either see His name unmistakably resplendent or we see the confusion of religions with no single message, just garbled beliefs that plague our existence, each justified by the voice of culture."

"Teaching at best beckons us to morality, but it is not in itself efficacious. Teaching is like a mirror. It can show you if your face is dirty, but it the mirror will not wash your face."

"Success is more difficult to handle than failure."

"Television has been the single greatest shaper of emptiness."

"Stripped of innocence, authority and love and plagued by the horror of a nuclear nightmare, large and growing numbers of this generation stopped believing in the future."

"The four absolutes we all have in our minds: love, justice, evil, and forgiveness."

"The grace of forgiveness, because God Himself has paid the price? stands splendidly against our hate-filled, unforgiving world. God's forgiveness gives us a fresh start."

"The loneliest moment in life is when you have just experienced that which you thought would deliver the ultimate, and it has just let you down."

"The loss of something that is never thought of, felt, or sought for when lost is not a loss at all."

"That truth, by the way, is why even the horror of hell is more the outcome of a heart that seeks to disown God and play God and live eternally with those who do the same than it is retribution against evil. C. S. Lewis once wrote that there are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ?Thy will be done,? and those to whom God says, in the end, ?Thy will be done.?46"

"The assurance of Heaven is never given to the person. And that's why at the core of the Christian faith is the grace of God. If there's one word I would grab from all of that, it's forgiveness - that you can be forgiven. I can be forgiven, and it is of the grace of God. But once you understand that, I think the ramifications are worldwide."

"The Bible reminds us to guard our doctrine and our conduct. Our youth know firsthand what the world has to offer. They need to be reached at a younger age because of the world of the Internet that ravages young minds sooner than ever before. Building their faith is not a prime strength in our churches today. We seem to think that we need to entertain them into the church. But what you win them with is often what you win them to. They can see through a hollow faith in a hurry. Their minds are hungry for coherence and meaning. They long to think things through. They long to know why the gospel is both true and exclusive. None of these issues are often addressed within their own reach. I believe this is the most serious crisis of our church-going youth today. Their faith is more a longing than a fulfillment. We have a special burden for the youth. We will keep at it as we try to reach them. It?s a tough world for the young."

"The Christian faith, simply stated, reminds us that our fundamental problem is not moral; rather, our fundamental problem is spiritual. It is not just that we are immoral, but that a moral life alone cannot bridge what separates us from God. Herein lies the cardinal difference between the moralizing religions and Jesus' offer to us. Jesus does not offer to make bad people good but to make dead people alive."

"The first and foremost reality is that suffering and death are not only enemies of life, but a means of reminding us of life's twin realities, love and hate."

"The Bible places supreme value in the thought life. ?As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,? Solomon wrote."

"The primary purpose of a home is to reflect and to distribute the love of Christ. Anything that usurps that is idolatrous."

"The more we see the unconscionable ends to which the human spirit can descend when it is determined to remain autonomous, the more our confidence in human methods diminishes."

"The New Atheists are not open or willing to go where the evidence leads, unless that evidence sustains their own naturalistic assumptions. They have covertly reduced all philosophical thought and deduction to-- ironically?faith!"

"The path of truth is leading us into a malaise here, and into the quicksand of violence and eroticism; where we are entitled to hate our own family members, where young children are slaughtering one another?the age of reason is not doing very well, is it?"

"The Samaritan woman grasped what He said with fervor that came from an awareness of her real need. The transaction was fascinating. She has come with a bucket. He sent her back with a spring of living water. She had come as a reject. He sent her back being accepted by God Himself. She came wounded. He sent her back whole. She came laden with questions. He sent her back as a source for answers. She came living a life of quiet desperation. She ran back overflowing with hope. The disciples missed it all. It was lunchtime for them."