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It evoked thought of Paul at the Areopagus— Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias preached November 14 at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah. Zacharias was the first major evangelical to preach there since D. L. Moody did so in 1899.

Thousands of Mormons and evangelicals packed the immense edifice in Temple Square to hear Zacharias preach on "Defending Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Zacharias argued that Jesus understood the depths of human depravity, that his atonement provides full redemption through grace, and that his resurrection is mankind's only hope. Zacharias also affirmed the doctrine of the Trinity.

Zacharias, a native of India, told CT, "I am absolutely grateful to the Lord for the opportunity and the courtesy extended to give me a hearing on such eternal matters. I still marvel that it came."

It almost didn't. Last summer Zacharias called off his visit after fellow Christian apologetics expert Greg Johnson told the Mormon press that Zacharias had merely loaned his name as general editor to Walter Martin's Kingdom of the Cults, the classic work that includes a chapter on Mormonism. Johnson later apologized for mischaraterizing Zacharias's involvement. Richard Mouw, Fuller Seminary president, and other evangelical leaders convinced Zacharias to reconsider.

Standing Together, a coalition of evangelical churches and ministries, and Robert Millet, a leading Mormon scholar, organized the event. The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) approved Zacharias's appearance at the Tabernacle.

Johnson, president of Standing Together, and Millet, a professor at Brigham Young University, invited Zacharias to come to Utah for a three-part speaking engagement, ...

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In the Magazine

January 2005

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