Ravi Zacharias at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Zurzeit lese ich das Buch Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows von Ravi Zacharias, in welchem er über seinen Lebensweg und seine Entwicklung berichtet.

Nach dem Abschluss eines Bible Colleges in Kanada entschloss sich Zacharias seine Studien an der Trinity Evangelical Divinity School fortzusetzen. Hier berichtet er von seinen Professoren, u.a. von John W. Montgery und Normal Geislar:

My biblical passion was fired by two Old Testament professors, Dr. Walter Kaiser and Dr. Thomas McComiskey. Both had earned their PhDs from Brandeis University, among the best schools in Old Testament studies, and they gave me a love for the Old Testament. But the two professors who would prove most influential in the direction my preaching would take were my mentors in philosophy and apologetics, Dr. John Warwick Montgomery and Dr. Norman Geisler.

[…]

I´ll never forget the first time I dared to ask him a question in class. All this apologetics stuff was quite new to me, and I asked, “Dr. Montgomery, would you please define ‘circular reasoning’ for me?”

He stared at me, and then witch a touch of sarcasm said, “My friend, circular reasoning is reasoning that goes in a circle. Does that help?”

“To be honest with you, sir, no,” I answered quickly. “The reason I´m asking you is because a critique I read of your apologetic method says you indulge constantly in circular reasoning. What I want to know is, what are they talking about?”

Again, he just stared. He might have been thinking, “Did this guy just get off the glass boat? Or does he just not know what not to ask in class?”

But after that exchange, Dr. Montgomery took a shine to me. He submitted to a scholarly journal a paper I cowrote with a classmate, and he later asked me to accompany him on a trip to East Germany for a two-week Reformation tour, to follow in the steps of Luther. […] I saw a different side to Dr. Montgomery on that trip. He was not only encyclopedic in his capacity, he had a tender spot to his one-on-one teaching approach. Many a time, I would see him sitting next to a member of the group, engaged in a casual teaching mode.

Dr. Norman Geisler was a hero to me from Day One. Studying existential philosophy and taking numerous other philosophy courses under him made a huge difference in my approach to argument. Dr. Geisler inspired me with the confidence to walk into any lions’ den and believe I would come away victorious for the gospel. His best gift to me was his twin loves, the Bible and philosophy. He loved the Word of God and never shied away from any attack on it.

As you might imagine, the study load at Trinity was so incredibly heavy that it kept me pinned to my desk for virtually every waking hour that I wasn´t in class. That was true of every semester, but especially the first term of year two, when I had to master two languages simultaneously, Greek and Hebrew. The biggest challenge was giving my marriage due time, let alone developing other friendships.

As it happened, two doors down from us in student housing lived William Lane Craig and his wife, Jan. Bill would go on to become a leading evangelical philosopher. In those days, he and I joked about what we called our “fellowship around the garbage dump.” Around nine thirty or ten every night, we would empty the trash in the dumpster behind our apartments, and that was about the only time we found to talk about to talk about our studies and its challenges.

aus: Ravi Zacharias: Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows, S.174-176

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