Ravi Zacharias Caught Lying About Credentials Again


In 2015, Ravi Zacharias was outed for manufacturing claims about his scholarship regarding being a visiting scholar at Cambridge University. This led to him acknowledging and then removing the claim from his website. This year, the same person who did the first investigation has done a second video demonstrating that Ravi has lied again, this time about studying quantum physics at Cambridge University:

Why does Ravi have the need to continuously pad his credentials? We all agree that lying is a sin, therefore as a leader of an international ministry, why doesn’t he seem to understand that making fraudulent claims about oneself is wrong? It’s simply unjustifiable. To call Ravi to be truthful in his actions and descriptions about himself, we are asking those who are interested in the truth to send Ravi an email at the following address: PR@RZIM.ORG

The subject line is as follows: Did Ravi Zacharias really study quantum physics at Cambridge?

The email body is as follows:

Dear Mr. Zacharias and Ms. Malhotra:

I write you in a spirit of inquiry, not challenge. Serious allegations, purporting to be carefully-researched and based on publicly available information, have been made that Mr. Zacharias has systematically exaggerated his academic credentials.

And while I have formed no conclusion as to the merits of these charges, I can see no harm in Mr. Zacharias publicly responding to them. Indeed, given the growing concern about these allegations, it seems that no legitimate purpose will be served by Mr. Zacharias continuing to remain silent.

In furtherance of the truth, might you kindly address the following questions?

Did Ravi Zacharias ever enroll in, or audit, a physics class taught by John Polkinghorne at Cambridge University?

Was Mr. Zacharias ever “a visiting scholar at Cambridge University”? If so, is there a reason that this claim was removed from his website after he was criticized for making it? How does Mr. Zacharias respond to the email statement allegedly made by the Cambridge Office of External Affairs that his attending classes at the University whilst on sabbatical at Ridley Hall would not have made him a visiting scholar at their University?

At page 205 of his autobiography, Mr. Zacharias writes about spending time at Cambridge University where, he says, “I was invited to be a visiting scholar.” Given that Mr. Zacharias’ sabbatical supervisor, Jeremy Begbie, has stated, in writing, that Mr. Zacharias was only a “visiting scholar” at Ridley Hall (which is not a constituent part of the University), might you kindly state who it was who invited Mr. Zacharias to be a visiting scholar at Cambridge University itself?

Mr. Zacharias has claimed to have been “a senior research fellow” at Oxford University. Is this claim true? Was the position in fact an honorary one? If so, is there a reason that in February of 2103 Mr. Zacharias said in an Apologetics315 interview “If I’m in an academic forum, then the fact that I’m a senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall Oxford University, that’s a credential with which I work in the academy”? Is there a reason the entire Senior Research Fellow claim has been removed from his website?

Mr. Zacharias’s bio and publicity materials refer to him as “Dr. Zacharias.” Does Mr. Zacharias have a PhD or other academic doctorate? If not, how might he reply to the concern that his routine use of the title “Dr.” is likely to create a false impression in significant numbers of people?

The jacket of Mr. Zacharias’s book New Birth or Rebirth? says “Zacharias holds three doctoral degrees.” His publisher bios at Random House and Penguin refer to him holding multiple doctoral degrees. These make no mention of such degrees being honorary. What responsibility does Mr. Zacharias have to ensure that those promoting the sales of his books make clear that his doctorates are exclusively honorary? (This question may, of course, be disregarded if Mr. Zacharias has in fact earned an academic doctorate.)

Thank you very much for your anticipated cooperation in shedding light on these important issues.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

More details to follow.

2 comments

  • From my understanding, when Ravi said he was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, he meant the first part (visiting scholar) in a generic sense and the latter part was an understandable misunderstanding about the relationship between Ridley Hall and the University (the kinds of distinctions you don’t get in the United States) since at the time one could study at Ridley Hall and receive a University of Cambridge Divinity degree (see for example Dr. Cyril Guerette who studied through Ridley to receive an MPhil in Theology from the University of Cambridge). So Ravi was able to attend lots of faculty lectures at the University through his formal arrangement with Ridley Hall, but his arrangement was with Ridley and not the University. So it is a kind of technical point that you can see might be confusing! Furthermore, he studied quantum physics whilst he was there with John Polkinghorne, one of the leading experts in that field, even if it wasn’t part of a quantum physics course!

    Concerning the Senior Research Fellow title, which was actually conferred on Ravi by Wycliffe Hall. It wasn’t a university position, but Wycliffe Hall is a Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford, so it’s quite common for people to clarify what it is by saying “Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University.” They stopped using the titles after a couple of years – partly to avoid confusion – so he no longer holds the title.

    I hope this helps,

    Nick Hill

  • Correction. My friend Dr. Cyril Guerette studied at St. Edmund’s College at the University of Cambridge. However, the famous theologian John Stott studied through Ridley to receive an MPhil in Theology from the University of Cambridge.

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