When I was in high school, I decided I didn’t believe in God. I’m not sure why, looking back – I had no bad experiences at church (I was raised Catholic) – I just didn’t really feel anything. I just didn’t see the point.
This atheistic state of mind lasted through my college years, but there was a constant knocking at the door. I had a great friend with whom I talked about God, religion, and everything else. Before meeting him, I had a Catholic roommate for a year. A good friend from high school (the only one of these three that I’ve lost contact with) converted to Christianity in a fashion that I respected very much. He decided to look into it, was compelled by the evidence, and acted on it.
It was he that sent me an audio cassette containing a presentation by Ravi Zacharias, and it was that cassette that really started me on the road back. Ravi Zacharias is a Christian apologist who was able to make me see that a thinking person could be a Christian, which honestly was a bit of a revelation at the time. I’m not saying that I thought that Christians were not smart people – I knew way too many of them. I knew different. But I did feel that people that thought like me were generally not Christians. The science fiction I read, many of the people I hung out with – they weren’t Catholics. At least I didn’t think so then. Since I started paying attention again I’ve realized that a lot of the people I respect are religious people. A lot of them aren’t, but a lot of them are.
Back to Ravi Zacharias. The cassette I was sent contained a talk that Ravi gave during an event called “The Veritas Forum” to students at Harvard University. It’s available for purchase at his website: rzim.com (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries). Since I heard that all those years ago, he’s been busy building an organization that focuses on evangelization of skeptics and presentation of the faith to other traditions. He is from India, so he’s familiar with Eastern religions; that gives him a unique perspective that I enjoy very much. He’s a dynamic, intelligent speaker. Every time I hear him I come away with something important.
The current topic on the “Let My People Think” podcast is “Why I Am Not an Atheist”. Also, a dig through the archives of the “Just Thinking” podcast will reveal several live Q&A sessions, sometimes in front of audiences who do not agree with him – I particularly enjoy those.
I am Catholic. Ravi is not Catholic, but I have not found myself in conflict with him very often, because his topics are much broader than denominational differences. He’s a wonderful person to introduce to thoughtful skeptics.