Unlimited? The Challenge of Human Freedom

well good evening your evening in wealth well good evening and welcome to Hotlanta now I'm assuming many of the people are from the area so you're used to it but there will be some guests that might not be as used to our humidity but we're in the midst of our our summer and as we are here with our zi m we're having our summer school just in the facilities close by and been here for a number of days so it's great to be in Atlanta my name's Joe McAllister I'm the Regional Director for the Americas in RAIM and we're part of the team that travels and speaks and part of our international operations so it's great to be here tonight and our theme is going to be one I think of interest obviously we've come to look at this together the idea unlimited the challenge of human freedom everybody is interested in freedom and being as you can probably tell I don't have a pure Atlanta accent I was born in Glasgow in Scotland in my own country as you know whom I at least my original country has been fighting this question of freedom for some time when I first came to United States one part Scottish history that everybody knew was Braveheart so I was everybody asked me is that a true story and I when I go to speak people say can you see that bet I'll never take away our freedom so there you are I didn't so freedom input is is very important to us because it runs deep in our soul is a hunger for for freedom in fact one of my childhood experiences was growing up and being introduced to star trekt and james t kirk and you know cat's paw going out to the to boldly go where no man had gone before you know that my imagination was fired by the idea of going out to strange new worlds and new civilizations if he had followed the Star Trek universe over the decades of course she got there to deep space 9 and then you find out that every state were cluttered with species and aliens in Cardassians and what I mean it's crowded competitive and confused oh there are mean just nothing but aliens around every corner of course we send signals into the universe we can't seem to find any alone bitly Star Trek was always bumping into them but the idea of freedom of searching and looking for hope for answers is big in the human heart I lived for many years in Vienna Austria and what of for many years worked behind the what was called the Iron Curtain we worked helping the churches in Eastern Europe with bringing Bibles and materials and in 1989 I had been a part of a major outreach for Europe where we're trying to unite people together for a common thrust to do evangelism help with the gospel on the continent of Europe you can imagine the emotions and the experience I lived in Austria and fifty kilometers away from us was the literal Iron Curtain in Bratislava we had Hungary then Yugoslavia below us and we were surrounded with Soviet army battalions and missiles and the actual Iron Curtain so to see the curtain come up as people wanted freedom to see East Germans coming across with their true bands and their two-stroke cars running into it this vision of Hope was really something and then at the end of the years we actually saw the Berlin Wall being shattered which was symbolic of the visions that had lasted in Europe for about two hundred years all of different conceptions of life and reality and ultimately then a vision of freedom from those those things now if you're back in Europe today in 2015 you'll find many in the new Europe have found that all the glitters is not gold just that all the twitters is not gold as well by the way and so that freedom that came the initial economic freedom hasn't led led to the Utopia that many expect the questions of freedom we at the Arab Spring so-called are being many of the movements of freedom around the world don't look like freedom if the soul is bound up if the heart is in the dark place if the life itself is not free on the inside so what we mean by freedom is a big question and both of our speakers will address that this evening I was thinking reading a couple of books recently one cook by charles murray was talking about by the people trying on my american journey understanding the constraints of the American vision of freedom and where has come from and where it might be headed it wasn't a terribly optimistic book I would say but one other a Canadian writer was reading just of Lake John Gardner talks about a tan hero he says libertarian socialism like that at the personal level we need the unrestricted personal freedoms but at the government level we're finding that more of our freedoms are disappearing everything's up for grabs today and our speakers will I hope address some of this tonight our two speakers I think you know very well dr. Ross Geddes who is a senior fellow at the Oxford Centre for Christian apologetics is a well-known author a colleague and a friend and tonight we just managed to get delivery of his latest book Phil's talk recovering the art of Christian persuasion and that will be available the bookstore at the end and you can be there for book sighting and of course Ravi who's our colleague and friend and internationally known speaker and an author and has been traveling the globe for many years speaking on issues and all kinds of culture so they're both going to come and speak tonight one after the other oz will lead off Ravi will follow and then with the amount of time left we'll take a Q&A we'll have a microphone we'll give you instructions on how to deal with that if you are using social media you're interested the hashtag is ours AI m GT r zi m GT Gran Torino I have to pronounce that case I think it doesn't quite I fix things that's what I do know that sir and then after that the end will come up and concluded there'll be a book signing in the after the the whole outside but we thought before we begin tonight we've also seen an event of massive tragic proportions once again in the country and it shocks us to think of the families of Reverend Pinckney and his wife and two children's wife Jennifer two children Eliana and Malana and people in a church as a young man walks ed and sits with them for about an hour and then leaves nine people dead in the church it's a horrendous thing it's a part of our sadly a part of our to these days that we should not have to live with I mean to pray for peace this church has come out the Emanuel African Methodist Church there was established in 1816 it's a historic church in downtown Charleston and they're just reaching out with love and forgiveness already it's quite a story so let's pray for the families and as we come into this subject tonight we know the background of sorrow and suffering we bear that in mind as we come to talk about freedom from these kind of things in our own lives and from the things that destroy us so we join me in prayer and then I'll invite our first speaker up lord thank you that you are with us tonight and we can come to you and we pray Lord for the folks in Charleston we pray particularly for those suffering we pray for the families Lord of those who are bereaved pray for the recovery of the church for forgiveness for healing for hope and for help Lord you know we real in times of this with the ugliness of evil with the acts of violence and particularly when it's done in such a setting where such things should never happen know that there's any place where it should but father we cry out to you for mercy we cry out to you for your comfort on the church and we really pray Lord you manifest your glory we pray for justice we pray for your outcome and we pray that Lord even this great ugliness somehow in your mercy you will work so tonight as we gather here in this setting Lord we pray that you will help us in leaders and guide us and as we talk and share and as we consult may your will be done may your wisdom be done given to us and we just pray father that we will see something of the riches of the kingdom of God this evening in Jesus name I ask amen and just one more practical announcement you are given a little form here that if you fill it out if you want more information or you'd like to know anything about ours a.m. you can drop off with somebody as you leave and we'll make sure that you could sign up and get further information from the ministry so our first speaker where they further adue is dr. oz Guinness and I'm going to invite him to come would you welcome please us thank you there are times in human history when choice and history come together to put a stamp on a nation's history it was like that for Rome when Caesar cross the Rubicon it was like that for England when Sir Francis Drake sailed out to face the Armada it was like that for this country when the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord but there are also times when it's the gathered consequences of a generation or more that come to put their stamp on a nation for better or worse and that's the situation we're facing in America today and nowhere more than the crisis of freedom let my people go from the ringing words of Moses down the centuries think of the Greeks at Thermopylae and Salamis at marathon think of Brutus and his team that Sasson aided Julius Caesar running into the forum with their hands still dripping with blood crying out Liberty Liberty Liberty and you can see it's a recurring theme of our Western world the great cry for Liberty and of course someone so much loved in this city free at last free at last thank God Almighty we are free at last and yet we've got to face the crisis of American freedom one of the marks of the founders and the revolutionaries in the words one of the veterans of Lexington Concord was that they'd always been free and they intended to be free always and that is probably the most daring aspiration of the American Revolution to be free always when it had never been done but they knew what they were aiming at and they knew how they intended to do what had never been done and yet today we see the words freedom ringing out again in the game but people with no understanding of what freedom is let alone how you can hope to sustain it over the years when it's never been done let me set out before you just a number of things for you to think about that we may enter into this great national conversation at the moment with a clear and a substantive answer to the crisis first we need to clarify what freedom is the definition is simple freedom is the capacity for self-determination or if you like even more simply the capacity to do what you will now if you take a simple statement like that you can see freedom is not the end it's the means but the question of course is what sort of freedom we'll be thinking of and there are three questions which people have to answer first are we talking of personal freedom or political freedom or national freedom take the second two you can look at mighty Greece which glorified freedom but only for some people and certainly not for anyone else in its empire and you have the famous example of the brutal treatment of Milla's and they treated the millions in a way very different than they treated their own citizens freedom for them but not for anyone else or you can think of say two great powers today the United States and China at the national level both have freedom no one's going to mess with the u.s. no one's going to mess with China they're too big and too powerful but at the political level America gives freedom to drastically China doesn't national yes political no the second great question is freedom internal or external much American freedom is focused on the external freedom our actions in public life and so on whereas you can quickly think that most of the religions of the world and others have focused on internal freedom take say the Stoics who argued I think rightly that you could have someone who is a slave but internally free who can be more free than the rich man in his palace and you have American voices that have said the same Herman Melville the question is not who rules the state but rather who rules me or Thoreau famously saying that the northerners could free the southern slaves and still be bound by prejudice and many other vices themselves and they really were not free because he rightly put it at the internal level not only the external level the third great question is freedom negative or positive that idea goes back strongly to the great Jewish philosopher Isaiah Berlin whom I remember talking to at Oxford well negative freedom is freedom from freedom from everything that constrains you whether it's colonialism or whether its alcoholic addiction or whether it's bullying freedom starts with a negative freedom freedom from but the limb would argue for many people that's the only freedom but that's only the beginning and the half of freedom so today you have libertarian freedom freedom from the government over our bodies or over our taxes or whatever that's purely a negative freedom don't tread on me but positive freedom is the other side of freedom not freedom from but freedom for freedom to be and to know what you're for and to be you have to know the truth of who you are and you can see today that part of the crisis of American freedom it's all freedom from and hardly any freedom for and freedom from is literally unsustainable so we ourselves and we have to challenge others to really think through what freedom really is secondly we have to face up to the grand paradox of freedom we know many of the challenges of freedom on the Korean War Memorial in Washington freedom is not free you know that one but many people miss the great paradox of freedom that freedom is the greatest enemy of freedom and the three parts to that conundrum the first is historical if you condense all the years of civilization into one our free society has only come in in the last five minutes and they're fleeting and transient and brief why well you can see how freedom very easily becomes permissiveness and becomes license and undermines freedom or freedom loving people so love freedom that they want to be safe and they want to be secure and they surround themselves with so much security they're not free one nation under surveillance or again not funny because you're doing it today or freedom loving people soul of freedom they'll do anything to defend it whatever it takes including things that undermine freedom think a GU Abu Ghraib and many examples like that and all those three things have been seen in America in the last 20 years the second part of the conundrum is political as great philosophers of freedom like Montesquieu or Alexei de Tocqueville pointed out freedom has two parts but everyone concentrates on one not the other in Montesquieu's word freedom depends on the structures of freedom such as the Constitution and law but that doesn't keep freedom they may last a long time but by itself it doesn't keep freedom to keep freedom sustained you need not only the structures of freedom but the spirit of freedom and that may only last a generation or two unless it's cultivated and his great disciple Tocqueville put it very since simply we need the law but we also need the habits of the heart from parents to children from teachers to students through civic education but if the habits of the heart are not cultivated and sustained freedom will go and the third part of the conundrum is the deepest the moral freedom requires some restraint it's freedom within a form or a framework but the only form framework or restraint that's appropriate to freedom is self-restraint but self-restraint is precisely what's undermined when freedom perishes and you're back to the way its undermine freedom becomes permissiveness becomes license and the net effect is the freedom is the greatest enemy of freedom and it never lasts unto a third point we need to understand clearly the tasks that are required and assumed in establishing lasting freedom if we look at America politically they're very simple but you can equally look at the spiritual parallels to each of these the first task in political terms is winning freedom the revolution 1776 but of course many countries have done that the French 1789 the Russians 1917 the Chinese 1949 I witnessed it as a boy they all won their freedom threw off some ancien régime and obviously Christianly the first task is not winning freedom like that but salvation and conversion the second task ordering freedom giving it a political and constitutional framework in which you can prove solid now the French didn't do it the Russians didn't do it the Chinese didn't do it they failed at the level of ordering freedom and their revolutions spiraled down to demonic disorder and tyrannies that were worse than the ones they replaced the Americans to their credit did it and of course for us spiritually conversion leads to the framework of living the way of Jesus and walking in the way of Jesus the third task is the hardest one which is sustaining freedom the Constitution came a number of years out the Revolution but the idea of sustaining freedom or what the frame is called perpetuating our institutions is the work none of a few years or a few decades but the running centuries and the framers gave immense thought to that in my 30 years in Washington I've never seen anyone address that at all at the very moment it needs addressing now the irony is that today the notion of sustainability is a buzzword everywhere sustainable capitalism sustainable environment sustainable development you name it but no one talks of sustainable freedom at the very moment is profoundly needed now if freedom does undermine itself in that way we need to assess the different ways people have tried to overcome it and provide antidotes to the decline of freedom so that they can really trust in some sustainable freedom now if you raise that question hardly anyone in the world has tackled it as self consciously and deliberately and carefully as the American founders they didn't give a name to what they were about Tocqueville calls it the cultivation of the habits of the heart my own term for it is the golden triangle of freedom because although the famous different discs differed in terms of their faith or their views of religion and public life and many things on this issue they were almost all unanimous and just as a triangle has three legs you can see three things that recur again and again and again in their speeches and in their books the first leg of the triangle freedom requires virtue virtue is a dirty word today kind of goody-goody notion or people viewing it as imposed on other people but for them of course it was rooted in the understanding of courage but it included all sorts of things honesty loyalty many other things but all of this expressed in character and you can see how far we've come from that take the infamous letter of the scholars to the New York Times when President Clinton was impeached and they argued simply today you don't need a president with character what matters is competence the second leg of the triangle freedom requires virtue virtue requires faith of some sort there were no established religion but it was clearly understood that atheism as they saw it couldn't supply the grounds of virtue where did you have the inspiration to be virtuous where do you have the content that told you what virtue was and where did you have sanctions for people who are virtuous as they rightly understood it was primarily rooted in faith and of course for most of them that was the Christian faith not established but just the faith voluntarily of the great majority of the citizens the third leg of the triangle freedom requires virtue virtue requires faith of some sort and faith of any sort requires freedom and the most daring part of the First Amendment is that break with 1,500 years of the European practices making religion voluntary and disestablishing any formal official established religion the Golden Triangle in my reading and experience I don't know any other nation that has tried so brilliantly to do it and yet today most Americans couldn't even describe it such as the neglect and we have many of our leads who don't agree with it and are openly opposed to it and because of the framers failures in things like slavery or the treatment of the Native Americans or the treatment of women they throw the baby out with the bathwater and ignore the best of the framers understanding particularly about freedom one last point to think through we need to challenge people to really think through which faith it is the grounds and God's freedom for individuals and freedom publicly and politically – I've been arguing the Summer Institute this week that on many of the grand issues we have we can run them through the framework of the major families of faiths faiths which are families because they share a common family resemblance as the Philosopher's put it in other words they come from the same sense of the ultimate source of reality and seen that way the big three of these the eastern family Hinduism Buddhism the New Age movement all of which go back to an impersonal ground of being or the secularist family of faced atheists agnostics Naturalist materialists differences between them but all of them going back to an ultimate sense of chance or Bertrand Russell called a chance collocation of atoms and the third family certainly in the West we can leave out Islam for for the Western purposes the Jewish and Christian faith the biblical faiths which go back to a personal infinite God and everything flows from that and just as you can run by suffering or human dignity so you can run by freedom take say the East Hinduism and Buddhism both prized freedom but what does it mean for the Hindus moksha or freedom is not freedom to be an individual it's freedom from individuality because thinking of ourselves individually shows that we're caught in this world of Maya or illusion and the goal is to escape that and achieve union with the ground of being so the just as salt merges in water and the river runs into the sea so the individual caught in that world of vision can go back illusion can go back to the ground of being losing individuality and there is no vision of a restored liberated human person let alone a society of justice and freedom the same is true in a different way of Buddhism although freedom here is the attainment of the not-self through the fourfold path and the noble the way to it and so on so in Buddha was liberate he didn't say I am liberated he said it is liberated and even called his own son rahula ball-and-chain the family impediments to his individual quest for enlightenment and again you don't have any high ultimate view of the human individual person nor of a society of restored justice and freedom how about the secularists you see at the birth of the Renaissance incredible statements by Pico della Mirandola or later thinkers like Karl Marx very much in line with modern social constructivist that there are no Givens in reality so there are no rules in reality and there are no limits to what we can do as human beings making ourselves the people we want to be but the great majority of 20th century secularists had a very different view Bertrand Russell whom I listened to as a student his idea of each of us carrying the world of our own meaning on our own shoulders and he called it the unwearying appleís but his view as he said was built on the firm foundations of unyielding despair for kammo it was the myth of Sisyphus condemned to roll that Boulder up the hill and down it comes up again Daniken's IRA bail he says therefore we exist or Sartre his contemporary we are condemned to freedom or the new atheist today Sam Harris's book freedom is an illusion you will not find a high view of either human dignity or human freedom in the secularist vision of life what about ourselves if we look in the scripture you see first freedom is a gift freedom is the gift through which we most resemble our Great Creator but it's a gift always exercised in relationship the word individual goes back to the most indivisible unit that's not the Christian vision the Christian vision is the human person a person who's only a person in relationship with others and of course it's not only a gift and a relational gift for Christians and Jews it's grounded in truth there's the framework whereby we move from negative freedom freedom from to positive freedom we need to know the truth of who we are we need to know the truth of were to be in order to become it now Lord says if we follow his way then we will know the truth and the truth will set us free and there is nothing like the Christian faith for his deep and rich grounding and fulfillment of human freedom have you ever been in Rome and looked out from the Palatine Hill you can see in one glance the ruins of a long-gone kingdoms and not far away the remnants of a short brief but glorious republic and very close to it still the great stone bones of an empire which for hundreds of years was like a colossus that strode the world you can just look at it and see how times arrow flies and nothing lasts forever and then you go to Washington where I'm living now and you look around you look at the statues you look at the sayings and the quotations it's all power and permanence and you hear politicians in convention speeches saying the best is yet to be the present crisis of freedom in America goes to the core of this country Augustine says you understand a nation by what it loves supremely and there's no question the freedom is America's great love and if it's so at the moment you are squandering your heritage and we as followers of Jesus need to go out today because we care for freedom we care for justice and we care for human dignity and make powerful arguments to our contemporaries which eventually will come back to our Lord you will know the truth and the truth will set you free as you may know that is the most common University motto in the world but while the words adorn the world walls the idea no longer animates the mind and this is the crisis of our time [Applause] Thank You hours and we all feel very deeply and thank you for that great oversight we'd like to join me now in welcoming dr. Ravi Zacharias you know asked to be teaming up with those Guinness it's like asking me if I'd like to play doubles with the Roger Federer as my partner and the wonderful thing about having Roger Federer's your partner is if if you win you can always say we won and if you lose you can say Roger was not having a very good day that day was having lunch with us yesterday and after I got into my car I had to chuckle that we both have a lot of snow on the roof and with the global warming that's going on even that is diminishing right now but that's where our resemblance ends and I feel sort of inversely capable of dealing with this subject in fact when I was told what the subject matter was and to team up with oz I said you know us can do this all by himself or get somebody else but strangely they did not give me the freedom to say no so here I am hmm and I have to deal with this right now I'm just warming up my vocal cords here because I've been traveling so much and about a few weeks ago I completely lost my voice totally could not whisper could not even clear my throat it's barely coming back now and I hope in a few weeks it will be back to normal but just to speak for a few moments at least gets it lubricated or warmed up a bit so thank you for allowing me that privilege in talking about this whole subject matter of freedom I will approach it sort of linking it to what was has already said the irony of the fact that so many universities have this as their motto that if the truth shall set you free you shall be free indeed I know University of Texas is one of them I think Johns Hopkins is another I remember being at one of those universities and asking students if they knew what proceeded did that statement and I didn't get a single person who answered that some even didn't know it had come from the Scriptures what it really says is if you abide in my word you are my disciples then you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free so it was really not truth hanging with it's sort of at its feet planted firmly in midair it was the truth that had already been revealed propositional E and on that basis the Incarnation and so on as Pilate stood in front of Jesus and said what is truth and never waited for the answer I want to give you a picture in the beginning here as I go to what I really want to address and it is this if you look at a nation like ours every now and then you will hear some politician utter this statement we are a nation of laws stru but almost every nation would say that the question is whose laws and what laws are we really talking about but if you were to talk to an average person the idea that we are a nation of laws and due process and all sin shrined in our rights the fact is we look at the laws as the roots in the structure the trunk of the tree then becomes the political structure with which we function the laws provide the political structure and then the branches become the outworking within culture of how those laws are being implemented and either giving us liberty or constraints so the roots are the laws the trunk is the political system and the branches become the culture and our expression but I have a question on that every time I think about it and that is this what holds the roots together what is it that keeps the roots intact and the fascinating thing is that nobody really thinks of an answer to that question the roots can only be held if something solid is gripping those roots and I believe it was Chesterton who said nothing good comes out of me real pure reason nor out of pure art there has to be a moral sense that underlies both art and reasoning and in the last few days maybe if I give you the exact words in the way he said it you'll see how beautiful he says nothing sublimely artistic has ever arisen out of mere art any more than anything essentially reasonable has ever arisen out of pure reason there must always be a rich moral soil for any great aesthetic growth that rich moral soil that holds the laws together that then grows into the trunk and the political structure and outwardly into the out workings within our framework that's what I want to talk about a little tonight what is that moral soil how do we find it in the last few days and actually weeks I've been reading a couple of books one is Gertrude Himmelfarb book which is called roads to modernity that was written somewhere around 2004 the great historian who's written so much on this subject but then if you go back about 40 years Russell Kirk penned that massive volume called roots of American order ironically 40 years apart they are both really saying the same thing but coming at it from different angles what Gertrude Himmelfarb actually does is go back to the framers the writers and the critics of the early days and points out something very critical in the three different Enlightenment's the French enlightenment the English enlightenment and the American enlightenment the French answer unfortunately sort of a day of the term enlightenment always seems to be just coupled with their thinkers but the fact of the matter is there was an Enlightenment in in in England there was an Enlightenment in the United States and she goes to great trouble to point out what the difference really is I'm going to put a series of quotations together from her from Russell Kirk and from Alexis de Tocqueville and show you the point they are driving at and then hopefully I can sustain it with the judeo-christian worldview but here's what she says in the beginning in the usual litany of traits associated with the Enlightenment reason rights nature liberty equality tolerance science and progress these are the terms that come reason invariably heads the list what is conspicuously absent is the term virtue yet it was virtue rather than reason that took precedence for the British not personal virtue but social virtues compassion benevolence sympathy which the British philosophers believed naturally instinctively habitually bound people to each other they did not deny reason they were by no means a rationalist but they gave reason a secondary instrumental role rather than the primary determinant one that the philosophy a vit for the French the rebellion was against the papers Church and an authoritarian monarchy theirs was a reformation against religion it was a fight for sheer reason it was in the name of reason that Voltaire declared his war against the church and that Diderot proposed quote to strangle the last king with the entrails of the last priest but then she goes on the driving force of the British enlightenment was not reason but social virtues or social affections in America it was also different and the driving force was political Liberty but both in England and in America for both of them religion was not seen as the enemy rather religion was interwoven into the culture this is a keeper for the French the authoritarianism of the pay of the papers Church and the sort of the bullying that came from there monarchic history and so on both of them were thrown off was what was a Dickon said something splendour rode hard on the bony shoulders of squalor as they tightened the screws and tighten the screws and tighten the screws when the lid was push thrown open both the church and the monarchy were just sort of tossed away from their thinking and reason became supreme the philosophic that was key to them but now she goes on to quote Tocqueville in the early years of America's Founding I think that some brilliant comments he makes that I want to bring to your attention Europeans exaggerate the influence of geography on the lasting powers of democratic institutions too much importance is attached to laws and too little to mores unquestionably these are the three great influences which regulate and direct American democracy but if they are to be classed in order here's what Tocqueville is saying I should say that the contribution of physical causes is less than that of the laws and that of the laws less than mores the importance of mores is a universal truth to which study and experience continuously bring us back I find it occupies the central position now in my thoughts all ideas come ball my ideas come back to it in the end for the Americans the ideas of Christianity and Liberty are so completely mingled that it is almost impossible to get them to conceive of one without the other it is not a question with Americans of sterile beliefs bequeathed by the past and vegetating rather it is the living within them in the very depths of their soul the irony is this is a Frenchman along with one other Frenchman professor Halevi who wrote on the fact that for the American mind religion was inextricably bound with their laws and so when he's talking about mores he's talking about exactly what Oz was talking about the habits of the heart and the moral framework but today this loss of the absolute is so pronounced and the ushering of relativism and the trumpeting of an anti a anti absolutist position is a given in our Academy so the overthrow of the past the Cultural Revolution what it is actually doing is breaking us away from shared meanings of the past you must have shared meanings of the past and the shared meanings of pass involved as Tocqueville has reminded us in this conjoining of freedom with religion listen to what he says further freedom season religion the companion of its struggles and its triumphs the cradle of its infancy the divine source of its rights it considers religion as the safeguard of mores and mores as the guarantee of laws and the pledge of its own duration at the same time that the law permits the American people to do everything religion prevents them from conceiving everything and forbids them to dare everything despotism can do without faith but freedom cannot how could society fail to perish if while the political bond is relaxed the moral bond were not also tightened and what makes a people master of itself it if it has not submitted to God finally he says this I do not know of all Americans have faith in their religion for who can read the bottom of their hearts but I am sure that they believe it necessary to the maintenance of Republican institutions this opinion does not belong only to one class of citizens or to one party but to the entire nation one finds it in all ranks this is an amazing an amazing set of ideas that he's put together for us now I want to draw just to conclude illusions before moving to how I think this can only theoretically be sustained it is this the two conclusions I draw is that if morality is at the heart of what you and I must believe then truth and meaning become the result of that and truth and meaning bring that into focus you see for a nation like Russia where God was evicted and the last act of Stalin was ass clench fist towards the heavens it is fascinating how little truth actually matters to them you may remember years ago in that tragic downing of the Korean airliner oh oh seven I remember the very number of that flight because my wife herself had taken that same flight many times and as that plane had supposedly strayed into other space that it wasn't supposed to be at the Russians sent in their fighters and blew it out of midair and all the Korean families waiting for their loved ones to come we're waiting at the airport stunned and shocked to find out that a nation like Russia rather than commandeering the plane and bringing it down if they had suspicion just blew it out of midair I'll never forget the conversation between William Safire and Vladimir Posner of Pravda what happened after that and in this live discussion that's going on Posner looks at sapphire and says Mr sapphire you know very well what was going on there because their lights were not on sapphire says that is not correct the lights of the aircraft were ordered to be turned on and they were on Posner says no they were not and finally sapphire says to him just before the trigger was pulled did you not have one of your pilots commenting that the lights were on and he said huh but he meant the other Russian pilot on the other side of the KL flight he his lights were on sapphire says mr. Poe may I read to you from the script it said this targets lights are on Vladimir Posner was a reporter for Pravda which means truth the two leading newspapers as vests tear which means news and Pravda which means truth many Russian friends have said to me there's no his vest eeeh in Pravda and there's no Pravda in his vest ear there's no new to news and the truth and there's no truth in the news 40 years ago Russel cook roots of American order traces America's Founding actually to force cities he goes through them Athens Rome Jerusalem and London he describes what exactly that meant and he bemoaned the fact that Jerusalem's bequest was the moral law moral reasoning the very person of God and he said Rome still exists in America Athens still exists London still does but Jerusalem is gradually gradually being expelled and the moral law is no longer there and so I just say this to you in bringing this to a conclusion what did the moral law serve in the founding of this nation as it did even in the Old Testament Scriptures when you go back to the beginning of time there was only one law don't eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because of the day you eat of it you will surely die very clear prescription what did it mean don't play God don't become the definers of good and evil very simple don't play God because the day you do it you're going to die Satan twisted the whole thing and said look the reason he's told you not to do this is because when you eat of it you will be as God knowing good and evil that's exactly what's happened in our nation today every one of us is playing God and denying that a transcendent moral in uncaused being actually exists we have deified ourselves in the process as precisely what has happened eating of the tree you know when you look at the health-care law one of the marvelous laws which was read after it was passed and in that in that law thousands of pages in the thousands of pages why is it we need so many laws to govern us because we violated that one law every law now dies the death of a thousand qualifications and so the moral law of God was just one prohibition none the second stage of it was Abraham the man of the tent and the man of the altar that was the law by which he lived the law of faith that this world is a world in which we are pilgrims there's a transitoriness to this but wherever he went he built an altar because life at its core was sacred lot did not do that and so from the moral law we moved to Abraham's example the man of the tent and the man of the altar and then we come to the third stage this is critical the Decalogue thou shalt have no other gods before me what preceded that I am the Lord your God that brought you out of the land of Egypt therefore you shall have no other gods before me the primary condition to which you and I are called is the condition of salvation and redemption we cannot be a righteous nation until we are redeemed nation the salvific process was indispensable to the Decalogue the moral law came after the heart could recognize that it needed to be transformed the transformation of the human heart leads them to righteousness and ultimately to worship that is the logical and the chronological sequence of redemption righteousness and worship and so I say this to you why is that redemption necessary because first there was a deep description of sin nobody likes to hear this so I say alright let's call it violation of purpose so 21 year old man walks into a room and kills people two to three times his age and sits there for an hour watching them and I say to myself what is going on in the mind of this young man beholding people who came to pray to read God's Word who knows at this stage in life what struggles and pains were already etched into their consciousness and now to be gunned down by a man like this all's often says in in our discussion that catastrophic evil like this forces us to define the very term what we mean by evil the first line ever published in North America the first line ever printed in the New England primer said this in Adams fall we sinned all that was the first line and Muggeridge used to say the depravity of man is at once the most intelligent electorally resisted fact at the same time that it is the most imperative era file it's a fact number two the condition number from number one the condition number two the answer there is no other world view there is no other world view that takes you to a hill called Calvary and on the two pieces of timber where a savior is dying for his creation the Savior and what is happening there is grace and truth our centerpiece has revealed to us the grace of God in His forgiveness and the truth of God that sin is a destructive thing and you and I desperately need a Savior ladies and gentlemen here's what I want to say to you watch discourse today and we face this some of the hostile letters we get and the angry letters sometimes I put them down on my desk and I say who is this person why is there so much hate in this heart where is the grace where is the courtesy where is the kindness grace is gone it is ironic that in the early 1800s Alexander Duma and Victor Hugo were penning two books Duma wrote the book on The Count of Monte Cristo and Victor Hugo on lay miserable and the entire narrative in lemaise and Hugo was unpopular for that book in the beginning because he had a bishop playing the part of extending grace to a criminal the story of grace the story of courtesy why can't we disagree today without being so disagreeable why do we have to mount such bitterness such language that cuts people down why can't we sit down across tables and talk it to me the cross not only gives me the story of grace but it asks me to extend grace even to people who disagree and lastly is the centerpiece of all of this life beyond the grave you know john locke with all of his skepticism when locke was spinning down what are the five most guiding things in his life he began with the need for being healthy and he went on to talk of law and so on but the final climactic thought in john locke's writing was this he believed in an afterlife he said otherwise this life doesn't make any sense for me and so you take the gospel story you take the place of the law and you put this all together and say true freedom cannot exist unless it is rooted in morality morality cannot exist unless it is based on transcendent truth and the transcendent truth of the judeo-christian worldview even Gertrude Gertrude him–as fogg mentioned mentions that as this russell Kerr gives a whole chapter on the beauty and the glories of the Christian message I close with one simple illustration and that is this just this week the founder of Freedom From Religion Foundation and Nicole Geller passed away at the age of 88 and you know she did what she wanted to do and there's a list of all of her accomplishments some of them quite astounding and she asked her daughter not to have a memorial service of any kind and also that she had no hope in the future life she caught her Bertrand Russell my body is going to rot one son done away with but then she added this qualify that's what makes life precious Wow not true not true a life proved that all life was not precious to her what she really meant was time was precious or her life was precious unless we recognized the intrinsic worth of every life we cannot make this statement that life is actually precious life is precious because it is the gift of God and life does not end with these threescore years and ten August and lay dying in his 70s people were coming to his bedside to have him pray for them two great books by Augustine confessions and the City of God he brought his own soul for cleansing and the City of God that he looked forward to who was builder was God himself if we look to an eternal City and if we want to build our cities with truth liberty and righteousness we will need the transcendent perspective of what the law can do and what the law cannot do what the heart needs desperately his regeneration and the hope beyond the grave ultimately brings complete justice as well liberty is a precious gift because life is precious given to us by God himself those are my thoughts for you tonight thank you [Applause] Thank You Ravi and thank you eyes and we were going to move now to a time of some Q&A we'll take some questions just a word of apology in advance we can obviously only get through a few and we will try to do that there will be a microphone in the center where you can come down and ask your question there and what you do ask that if you do come and ask a question please no speeches no long 3-point sermons and please don't ask Ravi o rose tonight are we absolutely free or are we predestined that's not on the agenda tonight although I did say to always the beginning the two of you been traveling the world so long I know you've got this figured out and everybody liked it all but we won't go there today so please pass on that one if you would keep it relevant to this topic so that we can have just some questions oh and that's we do want to think about freedom and maybe if you just come and line up and while we're doing that I'm going to ask a question of our both gentlemen tonight just to begin as off so if you get a question and you want to come down and line up we can so we can get maximize the time but ours and Ravi and both your respective ways that we've when we think of people coming with sense of hope they look at times changing times and culture we've all seen the world change rapidly around us but we also know from history what should we actually be doing I mean many people we get the ideas at times we see around us we think of Germany during the Bonhoeffer years to think of Christians living under communism even things today where life seems can constrained what would you say to us or what would you like to see practically that people could go out of here today in their churches or in their individual lives what should they practically be doing to break make a difference into the day's kind of climate and breaking it as agents of hope in a sense Oh as the don't you want to take the first shot and then get Ravi a second to place is it possible to turn up the lights I'd love to see the earlier being asked if we can turn up the lights so we can see the audience a little bit there we go one of the questions I get asked a lot is how on earth could the German Christians have caved in to National Socialism and if you ever looked to that period the answer is actually very simple if you understand the temper of the times you can see the roots of cowardice why they're caved in and if you look at much of the Christian Church in America today you have a similar temptation to cowardice and I would say Stuart this is a time like Eartha nation's contra mundum against the world where he was exiled five times by the Emperor but kept coming back standing for the faith or Bonhoeffer the barmen declaration this is a time for Christians with convictions they know who they believe they know what they believe why they believe but they have courage and we've got a practice away of Jesus with gentleness compassion grace but courage that's what I would say Thank You Ravi say this to you Oz feels that very very deeply we've talked a lot about this and he keeps coming back to this it's really this is a Bonhoeffer moment for the church it's the moment where our sacred beliefs are being threatened in so many different very ways I think he's absolutely right we have to have the courage in the courtesy to engage I would say just to pull that push that a little further in our families and in our homes it is vitally important we engage our children on issues like this because they just are at a loss they don't know how to deal with this and that's just not the young ones even our children who are in universities they just don't know how to engage the opposition or engage the intelligence here of their time what do we say how do we respond I had a student from the University of Toronto was in a speech D program who phoned me one day and he said the professor began his course by saying my goal in this course is to not God out of you because I'm laying it before you so not God out of you if you don't like listening to this you can don't have to attend and I will be glad to sort of give you a passing grade or give you some other assignment but I really think so seriously about what I want to talk about here that this is precisely the goal that I have in my student phones man he said what am I going to do with this I thought really I mean I lived in I lived in Toronto for many years my wife's from there my wife's Canadian and I thought my goodness in us his city like that a historic university like that that's the goal how do we raise our children how do we talk to them how do we engage them to show them what the challenges are how to graciously come to this and it's not always just giving answers it's asking questions as well and we as a team go into some of the most hostile settings there are and I find it very ironic at the oldest Islamic University I think in Malaysia where there were mullahs and all seated it was a very very fearsome environment for which in which for me to speak about the defence of the Christian faith they were kinder and more courteous in giving me a hearing there sometimes in the West that is not always being accorded I'm just shocked at the changing ways in which people are responding and now even just recently in Romania speaking to members of the Senate and be just about two weeks ago when I was there he said this is the first time God has been mentioned in these chambers this surface time prayer has been prayed in these chambers many political leaders came up and spoke and said we want you guys to come back we want you to come back and minister to us those who evicted God find out the cost of what it meant for their cultures we've had the presence and the freedom of this and now we are evicting him and we are not thinking of the consequences of what all of this means so standing on the shoulders of what oz is saying your courage for this hour and I'll say carry it into your families to teach them what the Christian faith is all about widest coherent and how to answer the questions that they're being challenged with Thank You Robby all right young man it looks like you're the first person at the microphone please go ahead first thank you both for blessing us this evening and coming to speaking with us thank you for coming tonight and blessing us with your words of wisdom that you have for us I'm looking out onto this crowd of young people I would like for you to give us some type of idea if you were my age or younger in in in our shoes how would you take the information that we received tonight and take it to our smaller communities and make impacts there like for me I come from a place called Murphy's borough about twenty-two thousand twenty-five thousand college kids in a very small area and so how do we take the idea of freedom and what is freedom and change maybe the mentality they have or try to share that with them I just want to know what oz or Robbie would do if you were my age and had this information thank you first I would break with the notion of generational ISM it's one of the problems of the younger generation it's a generational thing you wouldn't understand but there's something very profound bye it's the new relativism it's the new mistrust of authority it's the new corrosion of tradition we've got to get that generation to really pass on the face and actually what we want to pass on is the same old thing people need to know the Lord they need to have deep theology they need to have a thought through Christian worldview they need to have a sense of individual calling they need to have brothers and sisters who'll stand around them for a lifetime not networking but a real fellowship group to hold them accountable means these are actually the same things every generation needs and so and then you have to identify the problems of this generation the abandonment of evangelism for social justice the rise of a cynicism rather than a confidence in the gospel there are all sorts of obvious things analyze the generation break with the worst of it and teach again and pass on the simple things of the faith like bolded to Timothy and so on I don't think it's actually rocket science had to two footnotes to that to the means to which young people engage today is sometimes very different out here I'm a reader I'm not a viewer or a watcher I really don't I hardly watch anything I just read there's a good t-shirt I saw in Thailand I don't even know he understood what it meant but the guy who's walking on the street and it said at the back don't judge a book by it's movie and I think it's very important to be able to find the means to which you gain their attention Hollywood is very sharp in this they know how to propagandize and how to impart ideas in the subtle form of a story the existentialists were brilliant in this in the way they wrote plays and the way they wrote stories so maybe in your group it would be great to find the kind of narrative in a story form and then open it up for discussion it will get much more anchored within their their own thinking I think for the young who prefer to go through the iGate that would certainly be one way in which you can have that impartation to them the second thing I would say is in dealing with the young is the more you ask questions the more you open them up within their own assumptions and it is the assumptions oftentimes that are flawed and I think those assumptions are the ones that you can interact and but it has to be one drop at a time it doesn't really come wholesale I know as a family man that it is easier for me to talk was easier for me to talk to my son while we were watching a baseball game when everything we talked about seemed incidental to what was going on out there and it was easier for him to absorb that then in a purely didactic setting saying now I want you to listen to me here's what I want to say about such-and-such if you find the setting in which there's a greater degree of being disarmed they are more likely to listen and apply that these are just some practical clues but first and most importantly I want to commend you for having that desire to carry that on and find that contagious spirit that is what is we have for the hope of the future well one other thing I was just going to say and that has triggered with what Oz was saying here when I travel overseas I find young people are really taken up by social causes of justice and need and so on and when you take them into those settings to see the world of need then point out that oftentimes the exploitation of those people at the hands of very corrupt hearts so the heart has to change somewhere along the way that's what Matthew Parris said in the soil his own article that all of these NGOs Matthew Paris's is an atheist he says that I'm challenging my own assumptions he says the change of heart seems to be indispensable if benevolence and charity is going to make a difference in people's lives take them into practical settings appeal to that sense which they already have justice mercy compassion and show how the change of heart is needed these are just some practical ways in which you can work it into their thinking I I think as the univer come back come back oh yeah we're on a roll here yeah okay one PS since you're all here probably very interested in apologetics I would just add a passion of mine we need to understand the modern world not only in terms of ideas apologists are great on philosophies and ideas they're not so good on the impact of modernity in other words everything produced by the Industrial Revolution right to rubber you said you're a reader but you have a blackberry and all the studies show that everyone lives fifty percent of a day before the triple screen as it's called the television the laptop or the smart device and the impact on our thinking is very very profound as you know and we're supposed to discern test the spirits we need to have a much greater understanding of modernity not just modernism a Norton post-modernism we need to go beyond ideas to see how we're being shaped so be transformed by the removal of our minds he's not sure on that one that's okay go ahead yell man gentlemen as our culture feels the tension between desire for freedom and desire for security how can we best articulate the need for freedom of conscience that is currently the burning issue if you just think in 20 years the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the early 90s passed with only three people in the Senate and the house hundreds of people only three dissenters Universal approval now a total fracturing of the understanding of religious freedom and freedom of conscience why because of the LGBT revolution and the way they are playing what they call a zero-sum game so that anything that contradicts their freedom should be overruled the tragedy with that is these are former liberals who are now highly in liberal because if one human right the new fashionable one overrides the accepted traditional understanding of a deep human right conscience and religious freedom what you're saying is the rights are only a matter of power and you're in a kind of Nietzschean power game that is destructive of all human rights it's just another example how many of our seculars friends can no longer give a foundation for human dignity and now increasingly they can't give a foundation for freedom and many of their ways of stressing it are undermining freedom so not a matter of defending ourselves we want to defend a right that is precious for all human beings and if you go back to the history of religious freedom the first mention was by Christian to tallien who argues that worship of God must be uncoerced and free and you can see that running down the century sadly contradicted by the Catholic centuries but when it was rediscovered in the 17th century Roger Williams the founder of Rhode Island and so on that was the point of it this is a pressure human right of course we may face persecution and death like our brothers and sisters under the Islamic state so freedom of conscience is not on the level of the gospel we are faithful to the gospel but it is a precious right that gives us and every one of freedom and it's in danger this very year and anyone who followed the Indiana case knows the very troubling responses to this issue so be active be involved be well we've all got our limited areas but wherever you are understand the issue and be a persuader in public in the circles that you move and above all when we come to the national level pray young man you're ready to go this question may be a bit off topic but I'm wondering something as he you know religion is a really touchy subject this modern day so if you have your modern-day politician a pastor is going to ask him what would you say on the subject of a new church say downtown and then he goes build your church I want your votes he's thinking the I want your votes thing but and then an atheist starts glaring at him and then he quickly adds but don't overdo it so how do you think they managed to balance out the beliefs of Christians and other people who believe in God and atheists how do you think they managed to do it and still manage to get elected thank ya essentially the young man is asking about the freedom to believe in not to believe in someone gets elected giving maybe favors to a church but then how do we balance these conflicting voices as bike the religious liberty question of the person who doesn't believe aggressively and the person who doesn't his politics just a sort of a neutral art of throwing dogs tailbone great question very very quickly or boys that argue what very very quickly will why we've got two massive problems state oppression and sectarian violence now in countries like the United States where they had a pretty good system until recently you can see two competing visions that I think are becoming extreme one is those who argue for a sacred public square in this country it's many people who want to impose Christian things everywhere like school prayer you have California schools with 90 religions in one school what on earth does Christian school prayer have in that sort of situation but you've got proponents of the so-called sacred public square and then on the other side this is what you're referring to proponents of the so-called naked public square who are driving the whole business out and what they're doing is closing the public square and under smiling freedom yet again and we should be fighters for people in quotes we should be proponents of a civil public square where everyone based on freedom of conscience has their religious freedom not just us I remember Jewish journalists said to me in the 1980s I know about evangelicals he said they took justice but what they really mean is just us and we've got to be seen to be fighting for the common good everyone's freedom to enter the public square and that's a huge issue that's a tiny brief answer which is the very thing we're battling with in the country the present right the idea for it is the common good and can we find a shared future together Ravi did you have anything to add on that well I think one of the things that at least up to this point in these countries there was the freedom to believe or to disbelieve where's the young man's are you homeschooled no well you sure sound like one so articulate in that I remember being in one major country I go to so many countries so one name it and I was sitting with their minister of religion across the aisle from me and he was asking me why I was coming there and I said yah who's been invited by the universities and they were of that faith predominant faith and the 80 to 90 percent of them were of that worldview he said oh are you coming there I said yeah and so he started talking and then he made the fact you know he said how how much will he be discussing your own belief and so on and so forth I could see was getting a bit nervous about this I said how can I ask you something you talk about the freedom that you do have in your country do you really have the freedom to disbelieve as well that's sort of stumped him pardon the cricketing term but that's like being picked off on first base stepping you didn't quite make it to the base he was stumped for a moment they really are not given the freedom to disbelieve they are compelled and so sometimes in some worldviews for example people will say Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and I've spoken many of their countries it's not true is the fastest growing and forced religion in the world because many of their countries they are not given permission to disbelieve it's changing quite rapidly in some of these countries because they are fed up some of the young people are fed up of what they are seeing happening by the extremism within their worldview so I say we should be able to have a situation in which you're free to believe and or disbelieve and in the dialogue establish which position is true and why we were given this privilege for a long time but now you're really anathematized if you believe you're put into a margin you're said you know you're really not not in the inner circle disbelief and unbelief is popular now than for somebody to say I have a genuine faith in God it is interesting even the Jefferson had so many conflicting views on this matter when he was seen going to church with his prayer book in his hand somebody looked at him and said mister J said you're you don't really believe all of this why you going there and he said you know as the chief magistrate in this country I have to set the example because without a moral basis for our law our country will not survive that was on sand there are George Washington's farewell speech that religion was indispensable to morality so we ought to be given the freedom to believe and those freedom to disbelieve and in cordiality we can have our differences this country was unique in that it is gradually looking at an equation but those who believe are considered on the wrong end of the stick now we've good time well we really were getting day to the wire and we'll get one one last question we could maybe add that as a final word I'll give you a closing word each please do this this will have to be the last question I'm afraid sorry but go ahead sir then it better be a good one I guess that's all right we have gold stars that they should we revoke Donald Trump's freedom to run for president oh just kidding uh my question is his Amon this sort of ties with both odds Guinness your politics understanding with liberty rights and then Robbie or your understanding of philosophy I was once taught that freedom is innate in human nature but is this possible outside the realm of metaphysics in the image of God complex is it outside the possible of metaphysics in the image of God complex very quickly no that's why I was saying the worldviews at the end read Sam Harris freedom is an illusion within it's naturalistic framework as I say the eastern understanding of freedom is very very different and the biblical idea is that made in the image of God freedom is a gift as I say the Lord is the only purely free one he does what he's wills perfectly we don't when we do what we will befallen sometimes good sometimes evil but gift as I said is that gift of God through which we most resemble our Creator that's why it's precious so the answer is no Ravi did you want to add her okay well there's a German before we wind up I just lays a gentleman would you like right cause he's Steven yes and I was going to give that to you also please right I just had one thing to the previous question again and I'm involved in two projects now on religious freedom freedom of conscience in Washington there are lots of good things being suggested in the country the missing factor everytime is leadership you've got political leaders no statesmen and we need to pray that God will raise up a leader when my book on free people suicide came out I was invited to the Congress by a veteran had been there 30 years he said I really like your book but the reason I'm not as hopeful as you are is there are no leaders and having been here 30 years all you have is partisan bickering there is no leadership there's no Lincoln there's no FDR there's no Winston Churchill we should pray the Lord will raise up a leader I think to my way of thinking this tragedy is so far global right now even in the world you know as you and I travel so much and I remember being in Amman Jordan and I had just come from Damascus Syria some of you may have heard me tell this story my colleagues have it was about four or five years ago I was speaker every time I arrived in Damascus they would invite me to the chief of intelligences office he'd be flanked by all the generals and for what it was what they'd have some baklava in the front to give you the sweet it was a very intimidating situation nobody ate there always just being questioned and he would look at me always and then say Zacharias he said thank you for coming here don't get involved in the politics of the region and he'd give me a very stern look and I said to him you know me sir I don't he said yes and you are very welcome here I said I have a question for you what do you think is happening in this part of the world or what do you think this part of the world looks like this was before any of the turmoil had begun with Isis and Mubarak and Qadhafi and the others and so on all that overthrow had before that he looked at me and he said I give this part of the world no more than five years and the whole place is going to blow up I said you mean that he said yes and that's all he said I went straight from there to unmanned I think I don't know Stewart was with us there's a group of us in the car my wife three or four others we got off and we were called into the palace we were not probably dressed they said this the only time they had they want her to scum there I thought we were in trouble so we went and Prince rod who is that was the cousin to King Hussein of Jordan and the last heir to the throne in Iraq in the royal family he was entertaining us and I looked at him and I said your excellency what is the greatest need in our world today I was just trying to make conversation actually and he looked at me and said youth and leadership he said our young are looking for models of leadership and they are not seeing it anywhere at all we need leaders that our young people can draw examples from one of the first people to be assassinated was the chief of intelligence in Damascus he was wiped out when Isis stormed in there that era has gone now and I think of what Prince rod said so since us talked about leadership let me talk a little bit about the youth the world of temptation is around you to trip you up it'll assault your imagination in every possible way till half of your life you will be spending in a rescue operation trying to salvage what it is you have lost and so I say to you draw the lines in the right places soon and don't cross them as tough as it is pleasure always comes at a cost for the right kind of pleasure you paid the price before you enter it into it for the wrong kind of pleasure you pay the price after you have enjoyed so I say to the youth especially the young and looking at that young man so great grateful that he is here a young man and our young women are under assault from the media intentionally or otherwise if you're a young man or a young woman draw the lines in the right places so that your life can be spent in a proper investment not trying to recover what has been lost in the years gone by between youth and leadership thank you to both our speakers dr. Guinness and dr. Zacharias and thank you for coming there will be a book signing in a few minutes at the back we want to get some literature and we'll try and get some of the book sign again if you have a form to fill it so we can stay in touch with you or send you further information thank you ladies and gentlemen for being here and pray for the country pray for our future and good night to you thank you

21 thoughts on “Unlimited? The Challenge of Human Freedom

  • Ravi is correct that Christianity is dying in the northern hemisphere. It is definitely on the way out and he is right about this. For the first time in history Protestants are now a minority in the USA. The old British man is presuming to lecture Americans on how to stop the decline of Christianity in the United States when his own nation has gone much further in abandoning the Christian religion. Why doesn't he put his own advise into practise in his own country where Christians may already be a minority? I would tell the tattooed man with the pigtail that if he wants college students to take him seriously he should loose the ratty beard.

  • The Scottish man keeps saying the "actual iron curtain" the "literal iron curtain", but that was just a figure of speech. There never was any "literal" or "actual" iron curtain. That expression "iron curtain" was coined by the Nazi minister of propaganda. Isn't it ironic that after the fall of the Berlin Wall Christianity has only declined in eastern Europe matching the trends in the West.

  • "My goal in this course is to knock God out of you." I could have sworn the last time I heard Ravi tells this anecdote he said the student was a girl and she was in the audience. This time around it's a guy. Is the story even true?

  • the moment i heard the accent i knew i would lose interests once he spoke about american freedom. Leave it to a Brit to have a problem with our freedoms.

  • This is an excellent look at the world, and secured by Gods word and wisdom. I notice a lack of character assassination and a willingness to talk and search. We have certainly lost our moral compass, everything is OK to do,but not everything is profitable.

  • Sigh, more preaching in disguise of sound philosophical works. I really expected far more solid philosophical reasoning, but after first speaker I was so fed up of Christian propaganda that I could not watch further.

    I know, for the audience, it will eat it up and ask more, but I demand more. Heck, I even laughed then that fool connected freedom and truth to Christianity. That was some serious twisting! A religion which promotes dogma and blind obiedience to your master has very little to do with freedom in religion, but I guess, religions who refused to update with times are even worse and now we can arrogantly laugh at their faces.

  • I'm just a shift manager at a KFC in Canada and we have teens coming into our midst all  the time beginning their lives in the work world….I see a great responsibility to teach them hard work by holding them accountable to do their jobs to the best of their ability….I don't want to take all fun out of the work atmosphere but our work ethics is something that follows us. Is it right to go over my boss's head to a higher boss when I try to stand up for truth and my boss does not want to listen?

  • 18 dislikes? I have 2 comments….

    I am actually surprised it is so small a number in this world today.

    And for those 18 people, this truly shows how great the fall of people since everything Ravi and Oz said was the Truth AND since that is the case, I cannot imagine their complaint with this since he isn't "yelling or offending" them by his choice of words.

  • Setting up a Bible study so we can start teaching the Discipline of Apologetic's to the People of God. Thank you for all you have done in supplying the necessary tools to do Spiritual Warfare at the Intellectual Level! God Bless You Guys And All at RZIM!!

  • Greater freedom comes with greater responsibilities.
    Most people do not understand that, and think of freedom as a release from responsibilities.
    IF a man has greater freedom, he owes to himself and to others around him a more responsible attitude.

  • Freedom is falling into the streets. The majority does not know God, & therefore, lives in the delusion that freedom can exist apart from a foundation in Him. Freedom of religion & freedom of conscience gives way to freedom from religion. We were told this would happen. Yet, still, we fight for Truth. And, we must lead.

  • What a smart, brave, zealous kid. A boy steps in the realm of philosophers with great ideas. That kid is exactly why I practice apologetics.

  • Thanks for posting, Ravi Zacharias is the man.  Just saw him in Toronto Canada and he was fantastic, I'd highly recommend going to hear him speak.

  • As I was watching both speakers, I kept thinking "What great ideas, but what do we do with them practically, in real life?" I really regretted not being able to make it even though I'm a GT student, but I'm so glad Stuart asked that first question. It was literally the very thing I would have tried to ask had I been there.

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