Friday, June 13, 2008

Walking from East to West

Most people, including myself, enjoy reading biographies. I'm not sure why this is, but I think it's because God has programmed us to like stories. Jesus certainly taught many great truths using parables, which are basically stories with a significant meaning.

I would probably rather read a biography than anything else. I just completed an autobiography that was well worth the read. Walking from East to West is the story of Ravi Zacharias' life from his humble beginnings in India to his current status as one of the leading evangelical apologists in the world.

This book had an attraction for me for two reasons. First, since we lived in India for four months, we have a heart for the people and culture there. In this book, Zacharias talks much about what it was like to grow up in Chennai (Madras) and then move to Delhi. He describes exactly what we saw - a country full of contradictions. India is at the same time moving forward as a technological power and stumbling along with many of its people in poverty.

The second reason I wanted to read this text is that Ravi is an amazing thinker. He is not afraid to ask and answer difficult questions for Christians. In this book, he discusses the way God took him from an unbeliever to a young preacher to a leading apologist. It is an amazing story of the sovereign hand of God over the life of a simple Indian man.

In my opinion, the best part about this book is that although Zacharias is world-renowned, he writes as if he is constantly amazed that God has used him as He has. This is not a show, but seems to be authentic humility. Ravi spends the first half of the book discussing his life in India prior to the family's move to Toronto. It is inspiring to read about how God used various circumstances to draw Ravi to Himself.

The second half focuses on the transition to life in North America, his rise as a preacher, his travels around the world, and his current ministry (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries). On the way, Zacharias has run in to many interesting people who have given their lives (some literally) completely to the service of the Lord.

Reading this book was both exciting and challenging. It was exciting to see how God is willing to take someone from nowhere and use him greatly for His kingdom. It was challenging because the book shows people who were willing to obey God no matter what the cost and no matter whether or not it made sense to them at the time.

I recommend this book because it is enjoyable to read, it is edifying for those who have faith in Christ Jesus, and because it causes the reader to ask himself whether or not he has given himself completely to God.

No comments: