Standing in the Gap: The Power of Pathos, Prayer, Proximity and Preparation - page 3




Standing in the Gap: The Power of Pathos,
Prayer, Proximity and Preparation

by Ravi Zacharias,
Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

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So we face the attack of the intellectual! The people like Dawkins and Dennett, write in such a prolific way, challenging what we believe.

But then there is also the religious challenge that comes from worldviews that challenge the perspective that framed this nation. I want you to think very carefully of the statement in the Declaration of Independence, that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that we’re all created equal and endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Here’s what I want to ask you: Do you know of any other worldview that would have generated that statement other than the Judeo-Christian worldview? I challenge you, there isn’t. It would not have come from pantheism. It would not have come from the other monotheistic religions, impossible to have come from them. Certainly it could not have come from naturalism. So the framing ideas that gave us the ethical foundation on which to pursue life, liberty, and personal fulfillment and happiness were framed because there was a belief that there are some truths that are indeed self-evident. And we have lost even the place of natural law. So that’s the headwind we face intellectually.

But there’s also the headwind of cultural disorientation. One of the greatest privileges of my life was to spend an afternoon with Malcolm Muggeridge. He was my great hero. I don’t know of any journalist, with a possible toss-up between him and Chesterton, to be branded the greatest journalist of the twentieth century. I spent that afternoon with Muggeridge, shared a talk with him; he was going to be writing the introduction to my first book, but he passed away before that year was over, in 1990. I talked to him about the time he left Edinburgh University where he was chaplain, and he told me what all had happened. Here’s a paragraph from his Farewell Address:

So dear Edinburgh students, this may well be the last time I address you, and this is what I want to say – and I don’t really care whether it means anything to you or not, whether you think there is anything in it or not. I want you to believe that this row I have had with your elected officials has nothing to do with any puritanical attitudes on my part. I have no belief in abstinence for abstinence’s own sake, no wish under any circumstances to check any fulfillment of your life and being. But I have to say to you this: that whatever life is or is not about, it is not to be expressed in terms of the drug stupefaction and casual sexual relations. However we may venture into the unknown it is not, I assure you, on the plastic wings of Playboy magazine or psychedelic fancies.


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