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Deliver Us From Evil: Restoring the Soul in a Disintergrating Culture

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Social observer Ravi Zacharias shows how many of today's most popular ideas, seemingly innocent thoughts, and beliefs are vandalizing our culture. Social observer Ravi Zacharias shows how many of today's most popular ideas, seemingly innocent thoughts, and beliefs are vandalizing our culture.


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Social observer Ravi Zacharias shows how many of today's most popular ideas, seemingly innocent thoughts, and beliefs are vandalizing our culture. Social observer Ravi Zacharias shows how many of today's most popular ideas, seemingly innocent thoughts, and beliefs are vandalizing our culture.

30 review for Deliver Us From Evil: Restoring the Soul in a Disintergrating Culture

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie G

    Oh Ravi. I may have mentioned once or twice before that I am absolutely obsessed with Ravi Zacharias. And that he's brilliant. Any time I come up with anything even halfway insightful, Luke says "You heard that from Ravi, didn't you?". He knows me so well. Anyway, the first book I read and reviewed by Ravi after falling in love with his radio broadcast/podcast (Let My People Think) actually turned out to be edited rather than authored by Ravi. I liked it, but felt it was a bit simplistic. I was Oh Ravi. I may have mentioned once or twice before that I am absolutely obsessed with Ravi Zacharias. And that he's brilliant. Any time I come up with anything even halfway insightful, Luke says "You heard that from Ravi, didn't you?". He knows me so well. Anyway, the first book I read and reviewed by Ravi after falling in love with his radio broadcast/podcast (Let My People Think) actually turned out to be edited rather than authored by Ravi. I liked it, but felt it was a bit simplistic. I was hoping for something a bit deeper and more similar to his radio program and boy did I get it. This is one of the most difficult books I read in 2012. It is a moral, historical, philosophical, and, obviously, theological, look at the problem of evil in our culture. The book itself was written in 1996, so many of Ravi's references to example of evil in the culture are a bit dated. However, I think the message is so remarkably apt for today. I was finishing this book when the Newtown shootings occurred and I was blown away by how appropriate the analysis in the book was for the situation. Ravi's basic premise is that secularization has led to a loss of shame, pluralization has led to a loss of reason, and privatization and led to a loss of meaning. Those three factors combine to contribute to the modern state of evil. Writing One of the reasons I have so very much respect for Ravi (yes, I do call him by his first name because I feel like he would want me to. In my mind, we are MFEO) is that he is so very educated. Not only does he have an incredibly detailed and intricate knowledge of the Bible and church tradition and analysis of Scripture, but he is also culturally knowledgeable. He quotes the major literary figures, knows classical music well, has an amazing grasp of philosophy, and can analyze history like an expert. He knows his stuff. You may not agree with his interpretations, but man, you cannot claim that he doesn't know what he's talking about. Entertainment Value This is a difficult read, no bones about it. We're introduced to philosophical, historical, and theological ideas on an academic level. I found the book difficult enough that I needed to take notes as I read, especially since I couldn't sit down and read it through. I had to take it piece by piece and keep things outlined in order to follow the arguments. That said, it was absolutely fascinating. I feel like I grew both intellectually and spiritually from the experience. I recommend taking it by chapters as opposed to trying to read through the entire thing at once. I also recommend taking notes because it is complex. Overall If you aren't a Christian and you aren't interested in apologetics, theology, philosophy, or the place of religion in culture, this may not be for you. It's not fiction and it's not an easy read. But, if the topics interest you, if you're a Christian, or if you're open-minded and interested in an intellectual look at a Christian interpretation of society, this is an amazing read. I can't say enough good things about it and about the author.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    I like listening to Ravi Zacharias speak, but I am not so impressed with his books. I only finished this one (which was recommended as one of his best) because it was a church book club choice and it ended up that we were hosting. I read it with some skepticism and a feeling that this book reflects the time in which it was written, but for better or worse, we don`t live in that world anymore. If you are going to spend the time to educate yourself about the complex issues touched on here, there m I like listening to Ravi Zacharias speak, but I am not so impressed with his books. I only finished this one (which was recommended as one of his best) because it was a church book club choice and it ended up that we were hosting. I read it with some skepticism and a feeling that this book reflects the time in which it was written, but for better or worse, we don`t live in that world anymore. If you are going to spend the time to educate yourself about the complex issues touched on here, there must be more relevant sources. I also don’t like books that fear-monger and deal mainly with evil in its most grotesque forms. In our discussion we considered that many small actions that people easily justify are more likely to affect us in our daily lives and undermine the integrity of our society.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rod Innis

    I have just finished this book for a second time. It was written in 1997 but is as relevant to our day as it was when it was written. Some of the illustrations are dated but the truths shared are unchanged and unchanging. It not only shows us the errors of our disintegrating culture. It offers the only real solutions.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John

    Excellent book. Ravi Zacharias is a phenomenal apologist. In this book he breaks down the prevailing world view in the west today and reveals its deficiencies as well as presents the glorious alternative available in Christ.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Randy

    Ravi Zacharias looks at the West and sees a culture at risk. And he is not referring to the problems that most of us would grant - problems that, given the right combination of legislation at the national level, and enlightenment at the personal level, we can have confidence will eventually be overcome. He is talking about something far deeper, a crisis at the very heart of the West that despite our best efforts, is getting worse. It is causing a decay that, if unchecked, must eventually lead to Ravi Zacharias looks at the West and sees a culture at risk. And he is not referring to the problems that most of us would grant - problems that, given the right combination of legislation at the national level, and enlightenment at the personal level, we can have confidence will eventually be overcome. He is talking about something far deeper, a crisis at the very heart of the West that despite our best efforts, is getting worse. It is causing a decay that, if unchecked, must eventually lead to complete cultural disintegration. It will not do to merely list examples of evil: the Susan Smiths and Jeffrey Dahmers that make the nightly news do not get to the heart of the matter. For the problem of evil is not so much that it is "out there", but that it is "in here", in the heart of each one of us. Ravi describes several "moods of the present", philosophical commitments that we have bought in to, that not only make it impossible to diagnose and deal with the problem of evil, but actually cause us to create more wickedness and hence increase the stress upon a culture that will sooner or later have a breaking point. The first of these moods is secularization, a worldview that banishes religion or even any notion of transcendence from public life. Secularism asserts that rational discussion is confined to "this-worldly" matters, while any view that affirms the supernatural is considered irrelevant and irrational. This has the radical effect of removing any objective point of reference for morality. No longer is morality about what is right; now it is about what we say is right. But if in fact we are designed to be in tune with a standard that is outside of us, the denial of this standard is devastating. That part of us which is sensitive to the moral law and alerts us to its violation - our sense of shame - is amputed and ultimately eradicated. To hear that secularization results in the loss of a sense of shame could elicit the response "well, good riddance." But Ravi cautions that "shame is to the moral health of a society what pain is to the body." Neither is pleasant, but both serve as warnings that our health is in danger. Therefore, "to raise a child without shame is to raise one with no immune system against evil." When the only guide is the inner voice of reason (or unreason, for how would you tell the difference?) we are removing the brakes for the creation of a generation of sociopaths that have no conscience, with the multiplication of evil that this would bring. If this sounds incredible surely it is because the increasingly faint echoes of Christian teaching can still be heard in our culture. Secularization has been a slow process, but as it is more consistently applied, the outworking of its logical consequences are truly frightening. The horrors of Bosnia and Rwanda could become our own. Pluralization is another mood to which our culture has subscribed, compounding the effects of secularization. For people to live peaceably next to each other in a pluralistic society, there must be trans-cultural parameters to allow for rational discussion of the conflicts that opposing worldviews inevitably bring. The United States as a melting pot where immigrants do not have to abandon their cultural distinctives, but are asked to assume such culture-transcending parameters, can forge a unified national purpose, and it becomes meaningful to talk about what it is to be "American." However, what we find with pluralization is not just the availability of a number of competing worldviews, but the insistence, in the name of tolerance that any trans-cultural parameters be abandoned; they have been replaced by a relativism which asserts that all beliefs can be equally true. Thus "if the loss of shame is the child of secularization, the loss of reason is the child of pluralization." Now, rather than a melting pot, America can more properly be pictured as a boiling cauldron. The void left by the loss of rationality in our discussions has been filled by the strong emotion of anger. Our sense of safety, both as a nation and in our neighbourhoods, seems increasingly precarious. The Los Angeles riots sparked by the Rodney King incident demonstrate the low ignition point in our culture. Secularization and pluralization, with their denial of anything transcendent, have hamstrung our ability to deal with the problem of evil because they don't even allow it to be defined. We must abandon the radical skepticism that these moods have fostered, and allow for the possibility that there is a God and that he has spoken. The Bible claims to be God's self-disclosure, and it has much to say about his purposes for us. We learn that his law is not something to hate or to chafe under. God's moral law is a reflection of his character, and since we are made in his image, the law really is something to love because it is there to provide boundaries to keep us safe, to protect us from our habitual inclination toward evil. Of course, to simply assert that the Bible is the word of God does not make it so, and Ravi offers an appendix at the end of the book which, supplemented by a list of additional resources, give good reasons to believe that God has spoken to us in the pages of the Bible. Such an examination is a worthy undertaking because "if the Scriptures are tested and proven to be what they claim to be, then the soul thrills at the possibility of the grandest freedom of all - deliverance from evil and restoration to unblemished beauty." We discover not only a blueprint for living, but more importantly, forgiveness of our own evil, and changed hearts that can actually seek after good. Finally, the order and sense of safety that has so long eluded us can become a reality.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Williams

    Ravi does a great job telling stories and getting his point across using illustrations. I don't recommend this book if you don't consider yourself very intellectual. You'll just feel bored. This isn't a book for people who like books about "huntin', fightin' and monster trucks." This is a book for those of you who want good theology and apologetics, and a challenge to your Christian life. Or if you're a Christian who turns on the radio/t.v. and just shakes his head at what our society is becomin Ravi does a great job telling stories and getting his point across using illustrations. I don't recommend this book if you don't consider yourself very intellectual. You'll just feel bored. This isn't a book for people who like books about "huntin', fightin' and monster trucks." This is a book for those of you who want good theology and apologetics, and a challenge to your Christian life. Or if you're a Christian who turns on the radio/t.v. and just shakes his head at what our society is becoming. Very good book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robin Patchen

    This is an excellent look at why our nation--and the world--seems to be falling victim to increasingly heinous evil. It was written in the 90s, so many of Zacharias' predictions have now come true. If you're ready to face the truth--and be a part of the solution--you'll love this book. This is an excellent look at why our nation--and the world--seems to be falling victim to increasingly heinous evil. It was written in the 90s, so many of Zacharias' predictions have now come true. If you're ready to face the truth--and be a part of the solution--you'll love this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    Re-reading this after a couple of years....finding new nuggets of wisdom each time I go through.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    A lesson in worldviews...not for the faint of heart. Whew. and Wow. and Hmmmm.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: If there is an image that mirrors the mind of the West today, it is strikingly reflected in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Deliver Us From Evil by Ravi Zacharias is in large part about the secular ideas that shape modern society and culture. What ideas shape the culture? Are worldviews being shaped--created--intentionally or unintentionally? Is it even possible to be objective? What biases shape us and shape others? In light of this secularization and privatization of s First sentence: If there is an image that mirrors the mind of the West today, it is strikingly reflected in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Deliver Us From Evil by Ravi Zacharias is in large part about the secular ideas that shape modern society and culture. What ideas shape the culture? Are worldviews being shaped--created--intentionally or unintentionally? Is it even possible to be objective? What biases shape us and shape others? In light of this secularization and privatization of society how should Christians live? If the book urges anything--and it does--it is asking Christians to THINK, to be mindful, to be aware, to be awake. It is encouraging Christians to read and know the Word of God so that they have something to measure ideas by.Don't be so open-minded that you accept--shallow whole--any and everything you're told. In this world you will be surrounded by ideas by views that counter the truths of Scripture. The Word of God is the truth by which we should see the world--the lens we use to judge ourselves and the world. It should impact how we think and how we live. The book is divided into three parts: "The Moods of the Present," "The Voices of the Past," and "The Face of the Future." The book was first published in 1996. In some ways--many ways--it is as relevant today as it was when it was published. However, some of the examples are slightly dated. Overall, I found the book to be quite thought-provoking.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brian Meadows

    This is an excellent book that is scholarly and challenging to read but well worth it. Although written in 1997, it is fascinating how much of it applies to today's world! It is a good testimony that after 17 years, it is even more applicable that when it was written. It deals with the state we are in today. THere is less belief now than in the decades past. It has come to the point where an alarmingly high percentage of people in our world believe that there is no such a thing as absolute truth This is an excellent book that is scholarly and challenging to read but well worth it. Although written in 1997, it is fascinating how much of it applies to today's world! It is a good testimony that after 17 years, it is even more applicable that when it was written. It deals with the state we are in today. THere is less belief now than in the decades past. It has come to the point where an alarmingly high percentage of people in our world believe that there is no such a thing as absolute truth or a God who is the truth. We live in a world of situational ethics where all things are relative and nothing is held to be absolute. There is tolerance for lying until it has become the norm and skepticism results in polarization of beliefs to the point where nothing gets resolved. We see that in our newspapers as well as our own interactions with others daily. The end result is a world without accepted standards and chaos results. God is Truth and if we throw out God, truth goes with it. An impressive section in Appendix B is as follows: “Truth by definition is exclusive. If truth were all-inclusive, nothing would be false. And if nothing were false, what would be the meaning of truth? Furthermore, if nothing were false, would it be true to say that everything is false? It quickly becomes evident that nonsense would follow. In short, therefore, truth boils down to two tests: Statements must correspond to reality, and any system of thought that is developed as a result must be coherent. The correspondence and coherence tests are applied by all of us in matters that affect us. “Therefore, when Jesus said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No man comes to the father except through me,’ He was making a very reasonable statement by affirming truth’s exclusivity. The question one may legitimately ask is whether He demonstrated that claim rather than just stating it.” I highly recommend this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lysergius

    I picked this book up at a book swap. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was very readable and addressed a very real issue of the twenty-first century, namely the demise of the idea of truth and the the rise of postmodern relativism. One does not need to be a devout Christian to understand and feel the unease that Zacharias describes, one has only to listen to the lies and obfuscation that pour out of the mouths of our leaders, and the manipulators of public opinion, the media, to realise I picked this book up at a book swap. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was very readable and addressed a very real issue of the twenty-first century, namely the demise of the idea of truth and the the rise of postmodern relativism. One does not need to be a devout Christian to understand and feel the unease that Zacharias describes, one has only to listen to the lies and obfuscation that pour out of the mouths of our leaders, and the manipulators of public opinion, the media, to realise that what he is saying is true. There is a very real sense that truth, as an archetype needs to exists in order for there things to be true in our own lives. We cannot survive for long adrift on a sea of relativity, with no rock to tie ourselves to. We need some certainty in our lives, and this is the function that belief, that faith serves. Altogether a very convincing case for religious belief, exceedingly well written and illustrated with many and varied examples. This book is a must for the moral philosopher as well as the apologist.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dianne Oliver

    This was an enlightening read in regards to our culture and the current state of thought process in our culture. It began and ended especially well, with the appendix giving a nice overview of postmodernism- though I felt a bit of a drag in the center, it may just have been due to my interest level. There are some great quotes and arguments throughout-- I would like to own this one. I would refer back to it, it seems. An especially great poem in one of the early chapters on losing faith,(DEATH O This was an enlightening read in regards to our culture and the current state of thought process in our culture. It began and ended especially well, with the appendix giving a nice overview of postmodernism- though I felt a bit of a drag in the center, it may just have been due to my interest level. There are some great quotes and arguments throughout-- I would like to own this one. I would refer back to it, it seems. An especially great poem in one of the early chapters on losing faith,(DEATH OF ANOTHER SALESMAN) and how the church may be responsible for some secularization within.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Rios

    Quite a mixed bag. Obviously the need to address the secularization of the West is important, and Ravi is making noise about it (which is great), but I find (consistently) that there are two problems with his writing: 1) it is confusing, and 2) his conclusions don't always follow from his evidence, which contributes to the confusion. I suppose that if you feel that something is terribly wrong with the world (which there is), and you want a book that will tell you why things are wrong with the wo Quite a mixed bag. Obviously the need to address the secularization of the West is important, and Ravi is making noise about it (which is great), but I find (consistently) that there are two problems with his writing: 1) it is confusing, and 2) his conclusions don't always follow from his evidence, which contributes to the confusion. I suppose that if you feel that something is terribly wrong with the world (which there is), and you want a book that will tell you why things are wrong with the world, then this is not the worst place you could turn.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joel

    This book confronts a very real topic that few people take the time to examine but many people complain about: the deterioration of society because of a hypocritical view of morality. Ravi quickly opens the reader's eyes to the many problems facing a postmodern society, especially the desire for morals and right action in a society bereft of value. This book confronts a very real topic that few people take the time to examine but many people complain about: the deterioration of society because of a hypocritical view of morality. Ravi quickly opens the reader's eyes to the many problems facing a postmodern society, especially the desire for morals and right action in a society bereft of value.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    a good analysis of the problems that christianity faces in a post-modern world. Zacharias' method of drawing from stories is good reading and helps to see the heart of the issue more clearly. However, his writing style is hard to get used to: He uses a lot of adverbs and ambiguous words, which makes his thoughts, although compelling in content, difficult to really sink in. a good analysis of the problems that christianity faces in a post-modern world. Zacharias' method of drawing from stories is good reading and helps to see the heart of the issue more clearly. However, his writing style is hard to get used to: He uses a lot of adverbs and ambiguous words, which makes his thoughts, although compelling in content, difficult to really sink in.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Cline

    Ravi is awesome, so much to learn from any book he writes! He is a master at weaving in interesting stories with solid truth that will stand the test of time. This was a very interesting book that delved into why America is in the predicament it now is in. It answers the question Why is evil rampant? This is well worth the time taken to read it...truths every person needs to know.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    November 29th - This book has so many big words, it's hard to keep up, honestly. I find myself having to read paragraphs over and over again. I love the way Ravi thinks, though! He has really cool ways of putting things into better perspective and I love things like that. November 29th - This book has so many big words, it's hard to keep up, honestly. I find myself having to read paragraphs over and over again. I love the way Ravi thinks, though! He has really cool ways of putting things into better perspective and I love things like that.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Ellen

    The author is a gifted and brilliant speaker and this book is a fine translation of those gifts. However, it was published in 1997 and feels dated a dozen years later, yet the greater points endure. The stories that illustrate his points are always compelling.

  20. 5 out of 5

    G Clay Leonard

    I rarely give five stars. This book is excellent. Zacharias had his finger on the pulse, and he used the best bedside manner he could to point out the illnesses of the West and the source of those illnesses. Top-notch.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jesseca Wheaton

    Wow. I've been reading Ravi Zacharias' books during my devotions, and they never fail to make me think. This one was no exception. It's a deep and rather complicated book, and it took me a while to get though it, but it was so worth it! Wow. I've been reading Ravi Zacharias' books during my devotions, and they never fail to make me think. This one was no exception. It's a deep and rather complicated book, and it took me a while to get though it, but it was so worth it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    If you like apologetics, Ravi is excellent in this book. It is kind of a downer, so I don't recommend reading this book if you are reading Job in your quiet time. If you like apologetics, Ravi is excellent in this book. It is kind of a downer, so I don't recommend reading this book if you are reading Job in your quiet time.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tim Bancroft

    Interesting perspective on post modern thought. Zacharias has a unique style. He is very insightful and this book rings true in examining our culture.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    Amazing study of the current human condition from the Biblical perspective by my favorite apologist.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lara Lleverino

    This was the second book I ever read from Ravi Zacherias and it was great, but to me it was almost the same book as Can Man Live without God. I loved them both but they were very similar.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    probably my second favorite book by Ravi.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Donna Barnett

    He is so clearly expressing how mental laziness robs us of critical thinking. I also recommend Romans 1 from NT.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Devries

    Excellent assessment of the current state of the US / Western culture. Great insight and very thought provoking.

  29. 4 out of 5

    David Campton

    Good... But Zacharias is no Os Guinness or Francis Schaeffer

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wesley

    While not quite as compelling as "Can Man Live Without God", Ravi demonstrates that losing absolutes will create an inescapable erosion of morality within a society. While not quite as compelling as "Can Man Live Without God", Ravi demonstrates that losing absolutes will create an inescapable erosion of morality within a society.

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