Christianity Today Podcast: John Stackhouse on Ravi Zacharias and Credential Inflation

This Christianity Today interview with Crandall University professor John Stackhouse is well worth the time. Mark Galli and Morgan Lee get to theRZIM logo heart of the matter of Ravi Zacharias’ inflation of credentials.

Stackhouse revealed that he raised the issue many years ago with two of Zacharias’ staffers only to have the concerns ignored.

Near the end of the interview, Lee asked Stackhouse a key question:

Lee:
John, what do you think with regards to character? So when someone does this and it is revealed that the information in their bio may be exaggerated or may be outright fabrication, is it okay to question their integrity overall?

Stackhouse:
Well, when your whole job is to tell the truth as accurately, carefully, rigorously as possible, when what you’re really asking people to do by setting forth your credentials – which literally comes from the same word as creed or credo – why I should be believed, then you really take on a tremendous burden to speak very circumspectly. And if right out of the gate your credentials are suspect, then what are people supposed to do in the audience when he makes certain claims? Are they all supposed to hit their phones, or tablets and start checking everything you say because the stuff they can check isn’t quite true. Isn’t quite true. And I think as soon as we get into the it’s not quite true phase, I think you’re done. I just don’t think you can continue as an apologist if you’re not going to be scrupulous about telling the truth in a way that you can predict your audience will understand. Otherwise, you’re in the wrong game.

This phrase is a keeper: “I think as soon as we get into the it’s not quite true phase, I think you’re done.”

The issue of credibility and trust is central to the entire problem. As a part of his talks, Ravi Zacharias makes fact claims. Some sound a little suspicious to me. Now that I know that some of his credentials claims are off, I am reluctant to fully trust much else.

Stackhouse’s critique is devastating because he is a Christian apologist in his own right. Although the fans of Zacharias are loyal, I hope Christians continue to bring this to RZIM’s attention and ask for accountability and correction.

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries: We Don't Call Ravi Doctor Except When We Do (UPDATED)

UPDATE: In the afternoon of December 6, RZIM removed the “Dr.” title from Ravi Zacharias name. To see it as it was earlier that day and before, click this link.
(Original post)
Public Relations 101
If you make a public statement, make sure you are complying with it when you make it.
On Sunday, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries said this about Ravi Zacharias use of the title Dr. The pertinent aspects are below:

The veracity of some of the educational credentials—specifically the use of the “doctorate” designation—of our Founder and President, Ravi Zacharias, have been called into question. While Ravi personally does not brandish his credentials and routinely asks not to be referred to as “Dr. Zacharias”—even by employees—our organization bears his name and, as such, we would like to take this opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding.
In earlier years, “Dr.” did appear before Ravi’s name in some of our materials, including on our website, which is an appropriate and acceptable practice with honorary doctorates. However, because this practice can be contentious in certain circles, we no longer use it.

Right now today, when you go to the International Board of Directors page of Ravi Zacharias’ webpage, here is what you will see.
Dr RZ IBM 12 5 17
Then go to this page and this page to see more examples of how this year the ministry has contradicted the statement they released on Sunday.

Why This Matters

This is about what reality you believe.
Reality: Ravi Zacharias and his ministry have improperly brandished the “Dr.” title for many years up to today on their own websites, have asked others to call him that, failed to correct others when it was used improperly. He also claimed honors and appointments he didn’t hold (e.g., “visiting scholar at Cambridge University”).
Reality RZIM is pushing: Ravi is humble and would never brandish the “Dr.” title (as if he has no control over what his ministry does). We (RZIM) used to do it but don’t anymore and we can’t control when other people do it.
Obviously, the ministry and Mr. Zacharias on Sunday weren’t doing what they claimed they had been doing all along. Ministry personnel from the top of the organization to those who create promotional material have referred to Zacharias as Dr. throughout the year up to the present. Those who have heard Zacharias speak at various churches have indicated that he is introduced as Dr. Zacharias repeatedly year after year. It would so refreshing for the ministry to simply admit that Ravi Zacharias’ credentials have been inflated for many years and that they are now committed to simply reporting the facts.

Prior posts on Ravi Zacharias’ credentials.

Is Dr. Zacharias in the House?
Was Ravi Zacharias a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University?
Speaker at Zacharias Institute Fined $44-Million and Barred from Securities Industry
Fact and Fiction in Ravi Zacharias’ Response to Multiple Allegations of Misconduct
 

Fact and Fiction in Ravi Zacharias' Responses to Allegations of Misconduct

Earlier today, Ravi Zacharias issued statements regarding the allegations of sexting with a Canadian woman and misrepresenting his academic credentials. Apparently, he gave Christianity Today notice of the statements since they published an article about the issue around the time the statements appeared.
I suspect his followers will be placated by these statements. However, there are problems with both of the statements. Let me begin with his statement regarding his biography. My comments are interspersed within his statement:

The veracity of some of the educational credentials—specifically the use of the “doctorate” designation—of our Founder and President, Ravi Zacharias, have been called into question. While Ravi personally does not brandish his credentials and routinely asks not to be referred to as “Dr. Zacharias”—even by employees—our organization bears his name and, as such, we would like to take this opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding.

Just last week I found numerous instance of his own websites referring to him as “Dr. Zacharias.” I have the screen caps of the websites to prove it. Here is just one from April 12, 2017 which I captured last week from the RZIM You Tube account.  I intend to pull together more.

RZIM Youtube rzDR

On the last line, RZIM refers to Zacharias as “Dr. Ravi Zacharias.”

Listen to the first few seconds of this video in April, 2017 at Temple University. Zacharias is introduced at this RZIM event as Dr. Zacharias.

Here is one of his senior staff Vince Vitale calling him Dr. Ravi Zacharias in his own institute in March.

Here is an ad put out by RZIM for his appearance at University of Michigan earlier this year. Watch to the end and you will see that this RZIM produced ad promoted Zacharias as Dr. Ravi Zacharias.

How many more of these will it take to demonstrate that this statement from RZIM isn’t correct?

For another one, click this link to see Zacharias’ complete bio from RZIM’s Academy referring to him as Dr. Zacharias taken 11/27/17.
RZIM academy 11 27 17

As of tonight, the RZIM Academy website has been scrubbed and revamped to cleanse it of all references to Dr. There is no misunderstanding. The organization has been busy covering up the evidence. Why can’t they just acknowledge that?

You can see it on the web still at the Canadian website.

Neither Ravi Zacharias nor Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) has ever knowingly misstated or misrepresented Ravi’s credentials. When it has been brought to our attention that something was stated incorrectly with regard to Ravi’s background, we have made every effort to correct it. Sometimes other entities—such as publishers or institutions where Ravi was speaking—have incorrectly presented aspects of his credentials. We were not aware of these errors when they were made; however, in some instances RZIM should have caught them and sought to have them corrected. We regret any and all errors, as well as any doubt or distraction they may have caused.

If that is true, then why go to such lengths to cover up the changes? It is very hard to take any of this seriously when it is obvious that Zacharias and his organization have brandished the title Dr. and are now denying it.

Currently, eleven RZIM team members have earned doctorates. Ravi is not one of them, nor has he ever claimed to have an earned doctorate. In fact, Ravi often states that he wishes he had done more formal studies, as he values and understands the importance of higher learning. Ravi has a Masters of Divinity from Trinity International University, and has also been conferred with ten honorary doctorates. Ravi is grateful for and humbled by where the Lord has taken him during his 45 years of ministry thus far.

In earlier years, “Dr.” did appear before Ravi’s name in some of our materials, including on our website, which is an appropriate and acceptable practice with honorary doctorates. However, because this practice can be contentious in certain circles, we no longer use it.

Actually, it appeared in numerous materials, not some, and no, it is not appropriate and acceptable. If it was, he wouldn’t be taking it down.

In addition, some confusion may have arisen from a difference in cultural norms, as we are a global organization with staff members based in sixteen countries. In Ravi’s homeland of India, for example, honorific titles are customary and are used frequently out of respect for elders, including by the RZIM India team when addressing Ravi. Still, it is Ravi’s custom to request for the inviting parties not to use “Dr.” with his name in conjunction with any speaking events. Despite this, on occasion it has been our experience that we arrive to find promotional banners and materials welcoming “Dr. Ravi Zacharias.” We will continue to do our best to ensure consistency; however, we recognize that certain aspects are sometimes beyond our control.

This is simply not credible, given the number of times his own organization has used and continues to use the title Dr. with Zacharias. If it is Ravi’s custom to request that inviting parties not use “Dr.”, why can’t his own social media team get the memo? Here is a tweet from RZIM India’s Twitter account on November 19. There are many like it.

The nature of our work at RZIM can evoke criticism, sometimes fair—in which case we address it—but sometimes completely unfounded and without merit. For example, recently a couple of inquirers claimed to have information that Ravi was facing discipline from his denomination. This is simply false and has never been the case, and it serves as an example of why we choose not to address certain accusations that come our way.

Given the spin being used in the statement above, I don’t accept this statement at face value. My sources have explained that he was investigated but is not now under discipline.

We will be more vigilant about editing and fact-checking at every stage. Our hope is that this will enable us to focus on our primary calling of helping people to encounter the claims and person of Jesus Christ, and will enable others to focus on the strength and merit of our message.

Ravi’s desire and our desire as an evangelistic ministry is to engage the honest skeptic, to take questions seriously, and to be as clear as possible in our communication. We therefore have restructured Ravi’s biography to better reflect his 45 years as an itinerant evangelist and apologist with a passion and a calling to reach those who shape the ideas of culture with the beauty and credibility of the gospel.

There is nothing in this statement about Zacharias’ claim to be a “visiting scholar at Cambridge University.” He clearly was not but didn’t address this false claim along with others in his bio. He simply removed all claims in the current bio.

While I am not a target of the kind of material Zacharias puts out, I have become a skeptic of his ministry. I had hoped he would truly face the distortions and exaggerations of his credentials. He did not do so in a way that would lead me to trust his work.

Ravi Zacharias Business Conference Speaker Fined $44-Million and Barred from Securities Trading by SEC

On December 1-2, Ravi Zacharias Institute will host a Business Leaders Conference in Alpharetta, GA. Participants can pay $1299 for a day and a half of talks by Zacharias, his Institute staff and invited business leaders. One of the speakers, Sungkook “Bill” Hwang runs a firm called Archegos Capital Management. However, before he founded that firm, Hwang was one of billionaire Julian Robertson’s proteges, or “tiger cubs” and founded Tiger Asia, a capital management firm specializing in Asian securities. It was there that Hwang ran afoul of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and agreed to pay $44-million in order to settle charges of insider trading. He was also barred from any involvement in trading or giving investment advice for at least five years, starting 1/22/13. Hwang’s FINRA profile can be viewed at the organization’s BrokerCheck website.

Hwang Finra
According to the SEC press release about the complaint, Hwang

committed insider trading by short selling three Chinese bank stocks based on confidential information they received in private placement offerings. Hwang and his advisory firms then covered the short positions with private placement shares purchased at a significant discount to the stocks’ market price.

They separately attempted to manipulate the prices of publicly traded Chinese bank stocks in which Hwang’s hedge funds had substantial short positions by placing losing trades in an attempt to lower the price of the stocks and increase the value of the short positions. This enabled Hwang and Tiger Asia Management to illicitly collect higher management fees from investors.

In addition, criminal charges were settled against the company.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey today announced criminal charges against Tiger Asia Management.

“Hwang today learned the painful lesson that illegal offshore trading is not off-limits from U.S. law enforcement, and tomorrow’s would-be securities law violators would be well-advised to heed this warning,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

Sanjay Wadhwa, Associate Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office and Deputy Chief of the Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit, added, “Hwang betrayed his duty of confidentiality by trading ahead of the private placements, and betrayed his fiduciary obligations when he defrauded his investors by collecting fees earned from his attempted manipulation scheme.”

As the result of these actions, Tiger Asia faced opposition to continued operations in Hong Kong and Japan. The transition to Archegos appears to be in response to the demise of Tiger Asia. However, one would not know that by reading Hwang’s bio at Zacharias Institute’s Business Leaders Conference website.

Bill is the founder and Chief Executive Officer at Archegos Capital Management. Bill founded and ran Tiger Asia from 2001 to 2012, before turning the firm into a family office and renaming it Archegos Capital Management in 2013. Bill previously worked as an equity analyst at Tiger Management, as well as an institutional equity salesperson at both Peregrine Securities and Hyundai Securities.

No doubt Mr. Hwang has turned over a new leaf and it isn’t my intention to cast stones. As a significant donor to Ravi Zacharias’ ministry, I can understand why Zacharias would want to feature him at the conference. However, shouldn’t participants who are asked to pay $1299 be informed of this? At a conference on business virtue and integrity, I feel that learning from mistakes could be a valuable session. However, if these things are glossed over, what is the lesson then? By not making this a part of the conference bio, it seems like yet another effort at embellishment which Mr. Zacharias knows a lot about. He is currently in the middle of trying to explain the embellishment of his own credentials.

Was Ravi Zacharias a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University?

The short answer is no.
I am fact checking claims about the academic credentials of Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias made by atheist Steve Baughman. Baughman first raised his concerns in 2015 and then again earlier this month. My first post checking into Zacharias’ credentials was yesterday when I examined his improper use of the title “Dr.” Today, I take up Zacharias’ claim about being a visiting scholar at Cambridge University. As far as I can tell, this claim first showed up in Intervarsity promotional material in 1993.
There are some facts mixed in with a misleading statement, so let’s examine the details.
Zacharias said he studied at the University of Cambridge in 1990. In his book, Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows, Zacharias wrote:
Ravi Z Cambridge U East West
He made the claim more succinctly in at least four other books. For instance in his 2004 book, Can Man Live Without God?, he wrote:
RZ Cambridge Can Man

Was Ravi Zacharias a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge?

He very specifically claims in his books that he was invited to be a visiting scholar at Cambridge University. No other school or institution is mentioned. There is more to this story that he doesn’t say. Read on for the rest of the story.
This description of Zacharias has spread widely. The Colson Center‘s author page says Zacharias was “a visiting scholar at Cambridge University.” Lee Strobel, James Dobson, the people who put on the Worldview Apologetics Conference, the folks at Moody Bible Institute, the Oklahoma Christian University community, the 2015 commencement audience at Oral Roberts University, and many others believe Zacharias was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University based on his word.
In response to my question to Ravi Zacharias International Ministry about the Cambridge claims, Mark DeMoss offered the following statement:

Regarding his studies at Cambridge, Professor Jeremy Begbie (Senior Member, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge; former Associated Principal, Ridley Hall, Cambridge) has provided the following written statement: “I can confirm that Ravi Zacharias was a visiting scholar at Ridley Hall Cambridge in 1990, under my supervision. His courses included guided research with Dr. Begbie, lectures from resident and visiting instructors in the Romantic writers, lectures at the University’s Divinity School from Don Cupitt, additional course in quantum physics with Dr. John Polkinghorne, and studies in world religions with Dr. Julious Lipner and others.

I wrote Dr. Begbie, who is now at Duke University and asked if this statement was accurate. He replied:

Yes – my statement is accurate (although Lipner’s name is misspelt – it should be Julius). RZ [Ravi Zacharias] was invited by Ridley Hall, not the University. Ridley Hall is not, and was not then, run by the University. The lower case “visiting scholar” was chosen to make it clear that to my memory he was not given a formal title – but he was exactly what the words say: a visiting scholar. Polkinghorne taught courses in theology and science for many years after relinquishing his University position in physics.

Let’s unpack this.

Zacharias Was Invited to Ridley Hall Not the University of Cambridge

Several colleges and universities exist in Cambridge. As in many large cities, the schools are very close together and have agreements to work together on projects while they maintain their distinctive missions. Ridley Hall is an school in the town of Cambridge which exists to prepare people for ministry, primary in the Church of England. The University of Cambridge is a world class university. Both are located in Cambridge, England. As Dr. Begbie said, Ridley Hall wasn’t then, nor is it now, run by the University of Cambridge. Ridley Hall has a visiting scholar program which Zacharias participated in, but this had nothing to do with the University. When Zacharias said he was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, he wasn’t being truthful. He was a visiting scholar at Ridley Hall, which is an educational institution in Cambridge, England.
As a consequence of being in Cambridge, Ridley Hall has cultivated relationships with the University of Cambridge. This allows Ridley Hall students to take classes and attend lectures at Cambridge University. As Dr. Begbie told me, Zacharias did that as a part of his sabbatical at Ridley Hall by taking these classes and lectures with people at Cambridge. However, he was never an invited visiting scholar at Cambridge and did his work under the supervision of Dr. Begbie who was at Ridley Hall.
After this was pointed out to Zacharias by Steve Baughman, Zacharias changed his bio to the following verbiage (from his academy bio):

Dr. Zacharias has been a visiting scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge (then affiliated with Cambridge University, now more recently allied with Cambridge and affiliated with Durham University) where he studied moralist philosophers and literature of the Romantic era.

This is still a bit of an embellishment. It appears he really wants people to know he spent a few months attending lectures in Cambridge, England. However, there is no meaningful connection between Ridley Hall and the University of Cambridge which is relevant to a bio.
 
Prior post in this series: Is Dr. Zacharias in the House? Did Ravi Zacharias Claim to Have Doctorates He Doesn’t Have?
 

Fact Checking Claims about Ravi Zacharias' Credentials: Is Dr. Zacharias in the House?

Last week, I posted a link to an article by Steve Baughman at Ordinary Times on Culture and Politics on the academic credentials of ChristianRZIM logo apologist Ravi Zacharias. In his article, Baughman summarized claims he first made two years ago. He said Zacharias falsely used the title “Dr.” and embellished his connections to Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Baughman also disclosed that Zacharias had recently brought a lawsuit against a Canadian couple. In that suit, Zacharias accused the couple of extorting money from him after first sending him sexually explicit photos. The couple claimed that Zacharias solicited those photos but Zacharias denied any wrongdoing. On November 9, Zacharias and the couple settled the suit out of court. The settlement is sealed and Zacharias handled the legal costs personally.
In a series of articles, I plan to evaluate the claims of academic fraud. This post takes up how Zacharias used the title “Dr.”

Is Dr. Zacharias in the House?

In a Patheos post from 2015, Baughman and two co-authors wrote:

The “Dr. Zacharias” Claim
Ravi Zacharias refers to himself in his official bio and in the videos released by his ministry as “Dr. Zacharias.” He frequently appears at academic institutions where the title “Dr.” is generally understood as indicating that the subject has completed a doctoral program.
Mr. Zacharias has no doctoral degree.  He has a Masters of Divinity degree and has done no doctoral work.  He has been awarded multiple honorary doctorates by Christian schools.
Prior to receiving a complaint from us, the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics, of which Mr. Zacharias is a founding member, claimed at its website that Mr. Zacharias “has been conferred a Doctor of Divinity degree from both Houghton College and Tyndale College and Seminary, Toronto, and a Doctor of Laws degree from Ashbury College (sic), Kentucky.”

Then in his more recent post from earlier this month, Baughman wrote:

Since the early 1980’s, Ravi Zacharias has assertively referred to himself as “Dr. Zacharias” and represented himself as holding multiple doctoral degrees.[vi] His major publishers have been fully on board. HarperCollins lists him as “Ravi Zacharias, PhD”[vii] at the contributor’s page of the 2017 The Jesus Bible, and his author bio at Penguin/Random House says “Zacharias holds three doctorate degrees.”[viii] The Christian publisher Wipf & Stock also refers to him as “Ravi Zacharias, PhD.”[ix]
But Ravi Zacharias has never so much as enrolled in a graduate level academic program, much less completed a doctoral program. He has a Bachelor’s degree and a non-academic Master of Divinity degree, both from obscure religious institutions,[x] and has racked up numerous “honorary doctorate degrees” over the years from supportive Christian schools. That’s it.  Furthermore, Ravi has routinely failed to disclose that his doctorates are merely honorary and has resisted calls to make his official bio clearer in this regard.[xi]

First, Zacharias’ Master of Divinity is a fine degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. TEDS is not an obscure religious institution within the evangelical world. The degree is rigorous and often takes 3 or more years to complete. There is no need to waste any time criticizing his education at TEDS.
However, regarding the use of the title Dr., Baughman is on firmer ground. It cannot be disputed that Zacharias has used and continues to use the title in reference to himself when, in fact, he has not earned a doctorate. To get comment from Zacharias’ ministry, I wrote Ravi Zacharias International Ministry to get a response to Baughman’s criticisms. On behalf of the ministry, Mark DeMoss wrote back with this answer on the doctorate claim:

Neither Ravi nor his ministry has ever claimed he had an earned doctorate—though he has received numerous honorary doctorates. (It’s true that occasional references to Ravi Zacharias in other contexts—such as publishers’ author pages—include “Dr.” in front of his name and Ravi’s staff has been notifying such sources as they become aware of them and asking that they be revised so as not to even give an impression he might have an earned doctorate.)

RZIM is correct. Using Dr. in front of a name does imply that a person has earned a doctoral level degree. What makes this admission so striking is that Zacharias’ ministry has used Dr. in front of Mr. Zacharias’ name frequently. In fact, the ministry continues to use Dr. in front of Zacharias’ name.
Although I can’t find any unambiguous claims of an earned doctorate, there are numerous uses of Dr. Ravi Zacharias on websites controlled by Zacharias prior to 2015 (see below) and there are also more than a few that I found today. If Ravi’s staff is notifying sources, they need to start with Zacharias’ own organizations in India, Canada, Turkey, YouTube, and his own online academy.
Here is a bio from 2014:
Ravi Z 2014 Dr screen
Note the wording regarding his honorary doctorates. A lay person could read that and assume he had earned those doctorates since he used the title Dr. and since the word “honorary” was not used. Zacharias has since corrected this on one of his current websites but not on others.
However, some of his current websites still refer to him as Dr. For instance, here is the same paragraph from his current bio at the website for his online academy viewed just today.
ravi z academy screen
This bio has not been changed. I am confused by RZIM’s claim that Ravi Zacharias has not given the impression that he has an earned doctorate since this impression was once widespread and continues today on websites owned by the organization. Furthermore, there doesn’t appear to be any effort to correct ongoing impressions with other organizations. For instance, Gateway Church has Zacharias speak every year at the church and he has been consistently referred to as Dr. Zacharias as he is at an upcoming conference in December.
For good measure, let’s look at a tweet by RZIM India from just over a week ago (check out the entire twitter account):


 
Using honorary doctorates in this manner is not considered appropriate. I suspect Ravi Zacharias knows this. I have a follow up set of questions in to the ministry and will report any additional information. It is good that he changed some of the wording in his bio but it is troubling that it was said that he didn’t claim to represent himself as having a doctorate. I do think the ministry should address these issues head on with a unambiguous statement.
UPDATE:
RZIM released a Facebook statement earlier this evening.

I think it is ironic that some of the commenters on this post refer to Zacharias as “Dr. Zacharias.”
ravi z fb dr
I was hoping for a more humble response from Zacharias but we will see where this goes.
Next up: Was Ravi Zacharias a “visiting scholar” at Cambridge?

Another False Credentials Claim: Ravi Zacharias (UPDATED)

Although I just became aware of it last night, Ravi Zachiarias has been fighting off claims of using false credentials since 2015. At one point, heRZIM logo claimed doctorate degrees he doesn’t have and appointments at Oxford and Cambridge he didn’t hold. Given the stature of Zacharias, I was very surprised I had not heard about this. However, I was not surprised that deception about academic credentials did not slow him down in the Christian world. Despite the fact that fraud can end careers in the real world, I haven’t seen fraudulent credentials cause much of a problem for Christian celebrities (e.g., David Barton, Robert Morris, Joyce Meyer).
Steve Baughman, writing at the League of Ordinary Gentleman, updated his 2015 work earlier this month by noting how protective of Zacharias the “Christian Industrial Complex” has been. Patrick Henry College had Zacharias as a commencement speaker even though they knew he had once embellished his credentials. In short, Baughman’s update resonates with what I have found over and over again. When deception among Christian leaders is exposed, the default position is to close ranks and deny there is any problem.
According to Baughman, Zacharias has quietly removed some of the claims since 2015. I did some checking via the Wayback Machine and sure enough before 2015, Zacharias bio referred to him as Dr. Zacharias and included some of the misleading wording. After the publication of facts by Baughman, gradually the bio was cleaned up. However, at least one false claim remains on Zacharias’ author page with Penguin/Random House. According to that page, Zacharias hold three doctorates.
penguin random auth page
In the most recent post, Baughman indicates there are other false claims which have yet to be cleaned up.
While I understand, appreciate and have experienced the Christian virtue of forgiveness (haven’t we all), there is a problem when obvious deliberate fraud is overlooked. When a Christian celebrity looks into the camera and tells a falsehood, we can not trust what is said afterwards. How can we trust the history of a David Barton when he says he has an earned doctorate he knows he doesn’t have? How can we trust the word of Ravi Zacharias about apologetics when he claims academic credentials he knows he doesn’t possess? When Christians self-righteously promote Nashville Statements but overlook these failings, we preach in vain.