Monday, July 7, 2014


Ravi Zacharias
Last evening Christine and I attended a public meeting at which renowned internationally recognized Christian apologist and author Ravi Zacharias spoke on the theme, 'Notions of Truth and Tensions in Society.' I was so glad to hear him in person once again. His daily radio program Let My People think, enable listeners to process views within popular culture that are steadily influenced by the New Age obsession with human potentiality and spirituality and also to properly appreciate the definitive person, work and teaching of Jesus Christ.
Smiths Falls Logo

At the conclusion of yesterday's meeting, I was able to shake his hand, mention "Smiths Falls Ontario 1972" and immediately his face registered recognition and we briefly chatted before his attention had to be given to the scores of others who wanted to meet him. Now I can tell you what he remembered with me.

Tyndale University and College
Ravi and I graduated a couple of years apart from Ontario Bible College (OBC) in Toronto, now Tyndale University and Seminary.

I was already aware of Ravi's giftedness as a communicator and his spirituality when in 1972 I invited him to be a keynote speaker for an eight day crusade in the town of Smiths Falls, Ontario where I was pastoring Calvary Bible Church. He was 26 years of age and I was 30. Mine was a small church of eighty people but in preparation for the crusade I trained spiritual counsellors there and in three other churches in the area.
Calvary Bible Church, Smiths Falls, Ontario 

Typical of crusades at the time, I had arranged for guest musicians for each of the eight dates in October. An entire college choir from OBC under the direction of Warren Adams drove from Toronto for the event. Advertisements reached surrounding communities and each evening at the local civic arena an audience from 500-700 people listened to Ravi's challenging messages that invited people to place their trust in Jesus Christ. Seventy two individuals were recorded as having committed their lives to God that week. God knows the lasting outcome of that work.

It was evident in those days that Ravi Zacharias was empowered by God with unique perceptions and oratorical skills. Not surprisingly Ravi became a global evangelist with an ability to intelligently communicate the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He began to receive invitations to universities to engage the minds of young adults and thirty years ago he founded RZIM, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Distinctive in its strong evangelistic and apologetic foundation, the ministry of RZIM is intended to touch both the heart and the intellect of the thinkers and influencers of society through the support of the visionary leadership of Ravi Zacharias.

He has authored 20 books in which Ravi has defended Christianity against atheism, Darwinism, Oscar Wilde, religious hypocrisy and world religions. In his book, Why Jesus? Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality (FaithWords, $21.99), he sets his sights on the New Spirituality/New Age movement and such prominent proponents as Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra.

I wrote a reflective blog piece in September 2009, called 'A Distant Greeting from a Former Resident,' the content of which I had sent to the town of Smiths Falls and an appreciation for the years I spent in the town gaining my footing as a young pastor, and referencing the special eight day crusade for which Ravi Zacharias was my invited speaker.

A Ligonier Institute Interview with Ravi

The Wikipedia account of Ravi Zachias


  1. Mr. Unruh: You are undoubtedly aware of the revelations that recently surfaced about Ravi Zacharias's academic C.V. fraud in which it was convincingly established that Mr. Zacharias was never "a visiting scholar at Cambridge University," that he never enrolled in an academic graduate program (much less earned an academic doctorate), that he was never an employee of the University of Oxford despite claiming to be "an official lecturer at Oxford," that he never chaired a "department" at Alliance Theological Seminary, etc. Sadly, the list goes on at some length. (Documentation based on direct contact with Oxford, Cambridge and Alliance may be viewed at ;

    I write now to inform you of the very troubling breaking news regarding the lawsuit Mr. Zacharias recently filed in federal court in the United States, in which he admits some wrongdoing and fails to deny a most explosive allegation that he threatened suicide in order to suppress an online affair he was having with a married Canadian woman.

    Mr. Zacharias's lawsuit has not been discussed in the Christian press despite the fact that court filings are a matter of public record.


    On July 31, of 2017, Mr. Zacharias filed a federal lawsuit in the US District Court in Atlanta against a Canadian woman with whom he had been having an online affair that involved him receiving numerous sexual photos from the woman. In paragraph 75 of his complaint (a public record) Mr. Zacharias admits to inappropriate behavior with Lori Anne Thompson.

    Most disturbingly, Ms. Thompson's lawyer has alleged that Mr. Zacharias threatened in writing to commit suicide if Ms. Thompson revealed the relationship to her husband. The attorney, Mark Bryant, claims to have a copy of this written communication.

    Significantly, Mr. Zacharias did not deny the suicide threat in his lengthy court filing in which he denied numerous other claims.

    Within days of filing this lawsuit Mr. Zacharias left the United States for the Middle East, leaving his speaking calendar blank for the whole month.

    It is of great concern that despite the seriousness of these revelations, the Christian press has given the story no attention whatsoever. It is also a matter of great concern that church leaders continue to give Mr. Zacharias a pulpit despite these very serious allegations to which he, as far as I have been able to ascertain, has not publicly responded.

    If you wish to review Mr. Zacharias's court filings against Ms. Thompson, you may find them at and at the federal courts PACER program.

    You may also simply Google "Ravi Zacharias online sex scandal."

    The lawsuit is discussed in some detail on YouTube, and you may access that by simply typing "Ravi Zacharias sex scandal" into the YouTube search field.

    I hope you will wish to thoroughly look into these matters. Mr. Zacharias can be reached personally at and through his public relations manager, Ruth Malhotra, at

    Please note that Mr. Zacharias's response to inquiries, at least those that have been forwarded to me, have been highly evasive and somewhat deceptive. You will note also that several of his false claims were removed from his website shortly after he was confronted with their falsity.

    Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information about this very important matter. I would be happy to speak with or meet you and share the information in my files.

    Steve Baughman
    Attorney at Law
    San Francisco, CA

    1. Hello Steve, you replied such a long time ago (October 2017). I am sorry that I didn’t see your letter until today (Jan 1, 2018). I have however, been apprised days ago of the same concerning revelations to which your note alludes. This surprised me and I am deeply saddened to learn about these matters, for Ravi’s sake, for the sakes of people who have relied upon his integrity, and for any whose personal lives or faith have been adversely affected by these. I have been seeking as much information as I can but I won’t dwell on the subject for long. Many of us have earned doctorates that are not PhDs and have always understood ourselves to be free to use the title Dr. I am sure that an honorary doctor has similarly been granted with the intention that Dr. can prefix that honouree’s name. As you would agree it is another matter entirely, to inflate other information to seem something more commanding and prestigious. I will stay on the subject our of personal interest to see how Ravi cleans this up. The situation with the woman’s claims and Ravi’s position is something that needs further information as well. I have no current relationship with Ravi Zacharias and have not for the past 4 decades. I will let Mr. Zacharias sort out his difficulties and trust that he can for the sake of the Gospel that is important to him. I want to thank you for being alert to this story and sharing what you have read.

  2. Hi Ron. Yes, the "Dr." issue has gray areas. That is the issue Ravi and his people focus on right now. It is trivial compared to the systematic credential exaggerations (some out and out lies) that he has been engaging in for nearly four decades. Did you see John Stackhouse's comment in Christianity Today about how evangelicals have known for twenty years about Ravi's credential exaggeration? And the Ministry Watch report?

    And then there is the suicide note that Ravi refuses to comment on (citing the nondisclosure agreement as he freely commments on other sensitive aspects of the case.) If that suicide threat is indeed his, and he did not deny it in his complaint, he has been lying about the extent of his relationship with Lori Anne Thompson.

    And despite all this he is scheduled to speak at Mac Brunson's Pastors' Conferencenin Jacksonville in a couple weeks!

    Makes me really wonder how seriously the God Biz takes integrity. Really.

    Thanks for being in touch. I wish you a wonderful new year.

  3. Damn! If I had known you were from B.C. I would've been way nicer to you. I've done a few music tours there (Sunshine Coast all the way south to the small city with the expensive hotel where people get tea and look at the harbor.). And Denman, Hornby etc. I love it up there.

    BTW, Ministry Watch report on Ravi not good. Concerned about his "character and judgment." I trust you also saw the Christianity Today article and read John Stackhouse (Canadian!!!) comment about how evangelicals have known for 20 years about Ravi's credential exaggerations. Google 'em or I can email you links when I get to a real computer.

    Despite all this, Mac Brunson and the brave male leaders at the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville Florida plan to have Ravi speak at their Pastors' Conference on Jan 28. Get this!!! They have given him the honored closing slot on Sunday night where he will speak on "How Shall We Then Pastor". You can't make this stuff up. I also think they are awarding him the Lindsay Award for lifetime Ministry but I cannot confirm. Wow! This is almost funny.

    As an atheist I don't expect Christian business men to be any more honest than the rest of us. But this shocks even me! 😲 Wow!