"When we see our hearts as God sees them, we find His strength, not only to understand good and evil, but to act on it. The one who resists this truth has nowhere to turn." (p. 184)
Ravi Zacharias is a native of India, but got Saved and converted to Christianity as a young man. He is most famous as a public speaker for explaining and defending Christian concepts in an intellectually thoughtful context, mostly by debunking the faulty viewpoints of the opposition. Where other radio preachers and book authors are heavy on emotionally expounding upon Scripture, Ravi's unique approach focuses on intellectual discourse. He talks and reasons his way as to why Christianity and Bible teachings are correct, without necessarily using Scripture as the sole evidence, but rather by using logic and focused thinking. He teaches Bible truths and values using observations about society, history, and culture.
I personally find that Ravi is most concise and focused on the radio, not in his books, nevertheless, in his autobiography, WALKING FROM EAST TO WEST, Ravi says that DELIVER US FROM EVIL and THE REAL FACE OF ATHEISM are his bestselling books. I have read both, and I think this book, DELIVER US FROM EVIL, is his strongest work.
"It was not the Code of Hammurabi that touched America's conscience. Nor was it the intent or content of the Koran. By no stretch of imagination was it the pantheistic framework of Eastern mysticism. America's soul was indubitably formed in keeping with the basic assumptions and injunctions of this, the moral law of the Hebrews, which gave her a vision of history's linear thrust whereby she was to reconcile liberty with law." (p. 154)
In DELIVER US FROM EVIL, Ravi writes about the state of Western culture, which has largely abandoned Bible-based morality and thus also suffered the consequences which we must now try to redeem. "Freedom can be destroyed, not just by its retraction, but also by its abuse." (p. 86)
The popular concept that there are no absolute truths, and thus anything goes, morally speaking, is at the basis of today's sorry state of affairs, culturally speaking. "An ABSOLUTE is basically an unchanging point of reference by which all other changes are measured...RELATIVISM is, therefore, only another word for ANARCHY, and that is why truth itself becomes elusive when there is no longer a point of reference." (p. 219)
The danger is that without a commonly accepted standard of morality, our culture is constantly under attack from within, by people with unhappy, desperate hearts which know no peace, and who wish to enforce an absence of morality. "Rebellion that sees no sanctity in life's essence is a constant state of mind bespeaking a heart that will never be satisfied." (p. 136)
This can only be done by trying to build a consensus that there is no God, the Bible is not real, and all that exists and may be considered is the material world--ripped away from any spiritual meaning or purpose. "...secularization assumes that this world--the material world-- is all we have...secularism is the philosophy of choice for American intellectual and political life." (p. 23)
In the USA, where the the 1st Amendment has been perverted by religion haters to mean freedom FROM religion, the problem is one that we are living with everyday, and not for the betterment of society, but to its detriment. "Not only has secularization brought us a silent universe with no voice from without, it has also brought us a silence from within as it has redefined the whole role of conscience." (p. 56)
Have you ever been self-righteously confronted by someone defending morally reprehensible things, while condemning the concept of morality itself? "In an unbelievable and shocking turn of events we have moved from speaking out against certain moral choices to being pressured by political enforcement and the so-called tolerant cultural elite not only to accept what was once disapproved of, but to celebrate it. Allowance for people to determine their own moral destinies has been supplanted by the demand that even that which may be repugnant or offensive to one's moral sensitivities must be acclaimed and glorified." (p. 133)
The anti-Christian spirit of this age has increasingly, and secretively, turned to the power of a secular judicial system of government to try to enforce immorality and condemn morality. "...the power to create and enforce moral relativism has been placed into the hands of government. Political power is a strange place to entrust morality because proverbially politics is not synonymous with moral uprightness. The very institution that is distrusted most has now become the shaper of the soul." (p. 78)
These days, we are pretty far along the wrong path in our Western culture, and the good guys are very late in catching onto the game plan of the bad guys, to wit, the public school system has been taken over by secularist believers who get to teach their secular view of life while condemning a Christian worldview because it opposes their immoral behavior. "The whole point of state controlled education is that it gives to the government the power to shape the souls and write on the fresh slates of young hearts... to assume that they accept that responsibility from a posture of neutrality is to live under the most destructive illusion." (p. 138)
By the time I finished this book, I thought that Ravi explained how things got so bad in our culture, and that knowing that much, we are better equipped to understand and deal with the situation, which will basically require an act of God to straighten out, of course, but God will win in the end. Christians know how the Bible ends and the true believing Christians end up in Heaven, while what do the secularist have to look forward to in the end? Nothing, by their own perspective, and worse, eternal damnation from a Biblical viewpoint. You can't beat God in the end. "Throughout history the Word of God has remained firm; it rises up to outlive its pallbearers." (p. 190)
Amen that, Ravi, amen that.