Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The Ravi imbroglio

Some off-the-cuff impressions of the Ravi imbroglio. 

From what I've read, he's probably guilty of resume inflation. The whole tradition of honorary doctorates is a scam. 

As for the alleged sex scandal, I haven't seen enough details to have an informed opinion on that. And it really doesn't interest me. I'm not responsible for his conduct. It's not my problem. I'm not donor to his ministry.

He's not a lawmaker or public policymaker. So it's not incumbent on me to conduct the kind of examination I might in the case of, say, a presidential candidate. Unless we have a good reason to investigate claims like this, it's like reading a salacious gossip column. 

There are Christian institutions that do have that responsibility. 

It's sad. Because he from the Third World, Ravi can reach people-groups that a white evangelist/apologist can't. They're more receptive to the message from him.

I haven't read much of his stuff. He's a popularizer rather than a great thinker or scholar. I generally read people I hope to learn something from. That's not Ravi. 

In terms of cultural apologetics, Os Guinness is probably more erudite. 

Ravi's out-of-court settlement is counterproductive in the sense that it doesn't lay suspicions to rest since, being confidential, outsider observers don't know which side admitted to wrongdoing. 

Out-of-courts settlements are hard to assess. On the one hand, the accuser might fold because they can't back up their allegations, and they risk a defamation suit. On the other hand, the accused might settle to avoid having embarrassing details come out in court. 

It's hard to believe Ravi is quite such a babe-in-the-woods. He's 71. He's a man of the world. He hasn't led a cloistered life. 


  1. If Zacharias were innocent, he should have placed a high priority on getting the emails out to the public, providing detailed explanations of what happened, etc. Instead, he's now saying that he can't discuss certain significant issues for legal reasons, and he and his ministry have yet to address some of the most substantial charges.

    We have good evidence that Zacharias threatened to commit suicide in his emails with Lori Anne Thompson. Apparently, at least a few people saw at least some of the emails, and portions of them have been posted on the web. If the emails were fake or Zacharias had some good justification for writing them, you'd think he would have come out with that information long ago. In another one of the emails, he asks Thompson to meet with him, which apparently contradicts what Zacharias says in his recent statement about avoiding being alone with women other than his wife and daughters.

    People keep discussing issues like Zacharias' academic credentials and whether he was romantically involved with Thompson, but his emails to Thompson raise other issues that should be getting more attention. For a Christian to threaten to commit suicide is a big problem, regardless of what it was he was trying to cover up with that threat. Similarly, his request to meet with Thompson is problematic. It looks like Zacharias has been acting significantly unethically on a lot of levels.

    If he has some sort of convincing justification for all of these things, he ought to come out with it. The fact that he and his ministry haven't done so yet suggests that there is no justification, and it raises doubts about any potential justification they'll offer in the future.

  2. Regarding the allegations of a romantic relationship with Thompson, watch the video here and pause it when the letter from the Thompsons' lawyer is shown on the screen. In that letter, the lawyer claims to have seen emails proving the relationship between Thompson and Zacharias and refers to other evidence supporting the Thompsons' claims. If that evidence didn't exist (there were no such emails, the emails were faked, etc.), why would the Thompsons and their lawyer use it to try to convince Zacharias to give them the money they wanted? The letter is meant to be persuasive to Zacharias, and it wouldn't be persuasive to him if he knew that the evidence they claimed to have didn't exist. If Zacharias were as innocent as he's been making himself out to be, not only would he have no reason to pay the money, but he'd probably even gain a lot of sympathy, additional support for his ministry, etc. by going public about the false charges. Instead, he's been acting like somebody who doesn't want the emails and other evidence in question made public.

    1. I agree that it's fishy. My point is that I'm not obligated to have an informed opinion on this issue.

    2. We call always discuss these cases hypothetically. If Ravi did x, then he's innocent, or what he did was excusable, but if he did y, then he should retire from public ministry.

  3. Haven't followed the story, but this practice of honorary doctorates has to end.