Ravi Zacharias, Academic Credentials, RZIM
I am not done dealing with the issue of Ravi Zacharias and the way his honorary doctorate degrees were used freely, and in my opinion, recklessly, in order to present an image of academic excellence. In the public statement released at the RZIM website, there are a few statements that are concerning. The words say one thing, but the evidence shows the contrary.
Neither Ravi Zacharias nor Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) has ever knowingly misstated or misrepresented Ravi’s credentials. When it has been brought to our attention that something was stated incorrectly with regard to Ravi’s background, we have made every effort to correct it. RZIM Statement
Here are a few tweets I found yesterday of people who currently found videos online where “Dr.” is used. It seems as if they “have made every effort to correct it,” they would notice their own YouTube page and make the necessary corrections by now. They have not:
I really have difficulty with this statement. Look at how they present it as if they tried to fix things to the best of their ability.
When it has been brought to our attention that something was stated incorrectly with regard to Ravi’s background, we have made every effort to correct it.
Really? They made every effort? I’m calling B.O.L.O.G.N.A. on this. We know from looking at attorney Steve Baughman’s YouTube videos (user name FriendlyBanjoAtheist), that Mr. Baughman has been addressing this issue for nearly 2-1/2 years. They’ve had 2-1/2 yrs, and we are still seeing evidence of “Dr.” all over the place? I’m not buying it.
It then occurred to me to think about Ravi Zacharias and his apologetics ministry. What is apologetics?
Jack Wellman wrote this about apologetics:
Apologetics is basically a branch of Christianity that deals with the defense and establishment of the Christian faith and the elemental doctrines of the Bible which include the creation, God as the Creator, Jesus’ historicity, and evidence for the resurrection among other things. It is basically a rational defense of what you believe and giving good reason for why you believe in God as Creator and Redeemer. The word apologetics is from the Greek word “apologia” which means “to give a reason or defense.” All believers should have a basic understanding of not only what they believe but why they believe it.
If Mr. Zacharias takes his ministry seriously, wouldn’t he welcome a connection with an atheist, especially a critical atheist? Wouldn’t it behoove him to make a special note of Mr. Baughman’s concerns, and make a good-faith effort to address them? Mr. Baughman said he originally was looking up Mr. Zacharias because of his interest in the book of Daniel, and when he read his credentials, he assumed that they were real academic credentials. He was greatly disappointed that Mr. Zacharias used his honorary doctorates to make it appear that he had done the work to earn an academic doctorate.
Think about it. Mr. Zacharias was protecting his own interests over Mr. Baughman’s legitimate and important questions. Mr. Zacharias had an atheist right in his lap — coming to him with questions — and he missed that opportunity. What kind of apologist does that? Do they care about the souls of people or not? Is Mr. Ravi Zacharias a true apologist or not?
Look at this in the most recent statement about his biography/doctorates:
Ravi’s desire and our desire as an evangelistic ministry is to engage the honest skeptic, to take questions seriously, and to be as clear as possible in our communication. RZIM Statement
HE FAILED 2-1/2 YEARS AGO! AND HIS (AND HIS MINISTRY’S) ACTIONS DO NOT MATCH UP WITH HIS WORDS!
Ravi Zacharias and RZIM need to come clean on this. And they certainly owe Mr. Baughman an apology. And we wonder why atheists shake their heads at Christians … ugh!