Note: This post makes mention of Ravi Zacharias. It is with a heavy heart that I must acknowledge a tragic independent report concerning evidence of sexual abuse and predatory behavior on the part of Ravi Zacharias. This man was a huge inspiration to me, as is evident from reading my blog, and the news was more than heart shattering. Some ministries leaders have come to the conclusion that removing articles about and references to Ravi is the right move; I have come to a different conclusion, and here is why:
- Though I cannot begin go to imagine the grief or pain of those Ravi hurt and the emotional toll of his behavior, it is also the case that to discredit a piece of information due to the character of the source of such behavior is to commit the genetic fallacy. If I quote or mention Ravi, it is because I believe those items to contain truth value on their own merit.
- To go back and change previously written information without a careful disclaimer is, I believe, a form of revisionist history. If a disclaimer must be offered anyway, I believe there is value in keeping the material accessible. So while I know it is a difficult ask to say, “Just trust the ideas and disregard his personal character,” I must ask that of you as a careful thinker.
- I have seen a lot of comparisons by Christians to not removing Ravi’s work because biblical characters like King David and others had fallen into terrible sin, and they have obviously been given to us as a gift to learn from (Romans 15:4). Why “cancel” Ravi if we’re not “cancelling” the Bible? It does seem to me, though, that there are two problems with this line of thinking: (1) These books are inspired by God and thus we can trust his revelation to us. They were examples given for a purpose. (2) These characters also seemed to show true biblical repentance of their wicked actions. Ravi remained unrepentant until his dying day. Therefore, I do not think these are 1-and-1 comparisons. This behavior reflects SERIOUS error and dangerous behavior on the part of Ravi and, to an unknown degree, RZIM as a whole, and that must not be taken lightly or swept under the rug.
I do not expect you to agree completely with this decision. I do ask that you respect the thought, prayer, and seeking of counsel in which I engaged regarding it.
Yesterday, I was catching up on some episodes from the Stand to Reason podcast…
It’s been awhile since I listened, so I downloaded the last 5-10 episodes (somewhere in that range) and began listening… The one I started with was, unfortunately, a somber note.
Greg was discussing the death of conservative writer, teacher, and champion for the faith, Mike Adams. Mike was a professor at a school in my neck of the woods (UNC). While death is never really ideal (I mean, who wants to die?), the circumstances surrounding his death were…particularly…troubling.
It’s always interesting to me though how Greg can so masterfully take a situation—even a troubling one—and turn it into a positive, forward-looking message. The thing I took away from it the most was “enduring in the work”… Why?
Well, the point he made was very clear, and very poignant: The “old guard”—they’re dying off. In just the past couple of years, we’ve lost:
- Mike Adams
- Ravi Zacharias
- Norm Geisler
- J.I. Packer
- R.C. Sproul
- And others…
Friends, that’s a heavy hitting list! And it just reiterated to me the importance of enduring in the work—at any level—no matter what.
The baton is passing to a new generation of scholars, apologists, theologians, bible teachers, writers, and other needed leaders on the front lines of cultural engagement. Personally, I’ve worked for the last three years or so to do my small part—and while I’ve had seasons of needing to shift my focus (I’m in the middle of one right now), I’ve always felt it to be VERY important to communicate that…I’m in this fight with you for the long haul.
Technology makes “publishing” easier than ever, and being someone whose work involves being on the forefront of technology, I try to use it to its fullest extent to make a difference—no matter how big or small—in my own little sphere of influence.
…That’s you guys, by the way.
So a couple things based on what I’ve said so far: First, for my podcast listeners—The Bible Nerd Podcast is on hiatus at this moment, but is alive and well.
We are getting lots of new listeners even daily! Which is so exciting. And as I mentioned in a recent podcast update, in the midst of this hiatus, I am trying to sprinkle in content from some recent talks I’ve done, etc…so go subscribe if you haven’t yet! Second, I am going to start writing more, but—sparing you the nerdy details—in a way that allows me to actually show up more often but fits so well into my regular routine that it will be easier than ever to do. Third, this writing will have a few distinct characteristics:
- Each one will be a blog post on my main website (steveschramm.com)…each of these blogs will be loosely branded under, The Bible Nerd Blog. (You don’t do anything different to access); in fact…
- Each blog will be posted as an email. Yes, this very email is the same thing that will be published to the blog. This means…
- 1) you don’t have to visit the blog to catch the latest thoughts on my current research, topics of interest, etc…
- 2) the emails will be of varying length depending on the subject matter, and will aim to be “infotaining”—that is, an email you actually want to read.
- 3) they will often contain a link to the more in-depth writing I have done (i.e., books) to go deeper on topics where warranted. I put a lot into my writing to make it the most helpful I can for you! So I will often simply point out a resource I’ve created to help you go deeper with the topic.
- 4 – last one, promise) they will be much more frequent than you are used to hearing from me. I completely understand that you may not want that, and if that is the case, I would urge you to unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this email right now. But know that if you stick around, I will do my best to make these emails useful, informative….and also a bit fun 😉
Okay! So, there’s your update. ”Steve, how often are you going to do this?” That, friends, is a great question.
The answer: I have no idea—could be 3x a week…could be daily…idk. But I am a writer. I love to write. I now have new tools that make it easier than ever.
I have more ideas in my head than you could possibly care to know… And most of all—I just want to endure in the work. If the baton is passing—and it is—I want to be there to grab it and be sure I am doing my very best for the Lord. So, there you have it, friends. God bless you for your faithfulness to this point.