Ravi Zacharias the well known and loved Christian author, academic and apologist has died aged 74.
A prolific writer, Ravi was also a broadcaster, podcaster and founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics as well as humanitarian organisation Wellspring International.
He passed away after a short battle with sarcoma – an aggressive form of cancer that was discovered in March when he underwent spinal surgery.
Dan Paterson is a Brisbane based pastor and evangelist, and a former speaker with RZIM. He was a close friend of Ravi and told 96five that behind the scenes, Ravi was exactly who you would think he is.
“I first met Ravi in 2012 while studying in Oxford at the Centre for Christian Apologetics and had a great year of getting to meet him on a number of occasions. One of the things that was so remarkable was that Ravi was who you perceived him to be, whether you saw him preaching on a stage or speaking with him privatley. There was that love for Jesus, and a real humble love and concern for people and that was really encouraging.”
In an era of ‘gotcha’ moments and adversarial academic debate, Dan said that Ravi stood out for his manner and the way that he conducted himself.
“Ravi was far more focused on the gentleness and tone, the Christian accent that goes along with the truth. I really appreciated that influence, that it’s not just the Christian truth we can bank on, but also a Christian accent.”
Ravi leaves a huge legacy, but Dan says his humble nature would have him say his legacy is the people involved in the ministries instead of his books or the number of speaking engagements he’s been involved in.
“His legacy is the huge family of 100 or so evangelists in the RZIM team, and many thousands of others who have been trained or impacted by his unique DNA in how to carry the gospel with the kindness and generosity of God’s heart. At Billy Graham’s funeral he said that ‘we always stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before us’. Ravi would earnestly long for the team to flourish and go further than he ever could, and for many more people hear the message of Jesus.”
Ravi Zacharias is survived by his wife of 48 years, Margie; his daughters, Sarah and Naomi; a son, Nathan; and five grandchildren.