In Walking from East to West, Ravi Zacharias gives readers a glimpse into his life, focusing on his years growing up in India and what God used to ultimately shape him into a worldwide evangelist.
There is humble heartbreak expressed throughout the book, as Zacharias explains his tumultuous relationship with his father, who early on labeled him a failure. His sense of hopelessness and despair eventually led him to attempt suicide, and through that, the truth of God’s Word was able to penetrate his heart. Zacharias provides a balanced view of his childhood, never blaming his father for the abuse, instead carefully revealing insight into the family situation and how the Lord eventually changed Zacharias and later, his father. He describes God as being in the shadows of his life, never absent, but simply waiting on His perfect timing to bring Ravi into the family of God.
The book is broken into two major sections: his early years in India and re-establishing in Canada. There is a third part, which is more of an epilogue, where Ravi describes his trips back to his homeland and what it means to him looking back. The story that Zacharias weaves of his past is mesmerizing, threading together anecdotes, parables, and history into a fine narrative worth reading on its own. On top of that, he entwines his own grasp of Eastern thinking and culture, in a way that Westerners can understand. One example is how the framework of ancestors is critical to the identity of Indians, and how that affects their society today. Readers will also get a foretaste into Zacharias’ ability to reason with skeptics, and know that it comes from his own beginnings as a questioner of life. He also reveals the thinkers and theologians who influenced his faith, without going into the doctrines themselves.
This is not a typical leader-of-the-faith autobiography. Instead, Zacharias shows how the Lord uses the humble and weak to bring about His purposes. Even if readers know nothing about the man and his ministry, they will be uplifted and encouraged to pursue God with whole hearts. -- Anne Walker, Christian Book Previews.com
“Outside were stray animals and people, each about some pursuit. Sometimes it was a beggar at the door, sometimes a leprous hand reaching for a handout with a plea for compassion. Life with all its hurts and pains squinted at you, squatted before you, and stared you down daily. This was the street where I grew up.”
Ravi Zacharias has lived an extraordinary life. He has walked with great leaders, slept in the villages and homes of the poor, and crossed continents to bring the good news of the gospel to the world.
Already a man of two worlds by the time he was twenty, Ravi never dreamed that God would lead him from his birth home in India to Canada and the United States, and eventually to a platform on the world stage. For thirty-three years he has spoken all over the world. He has addressed writers of the peace accord in South Africa, the president’s cabinet and parliament in Peru, and military officers at the Lenin Military Academy and the Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow. He has given the keynote address at the National Day of Prayer in Washington, DC, and has spoken twice at the Annual Prayer Breakfast at the United Nations in New York.
Walking from East to West is Ravi’s life story, a deeply personal journey into his past. Dr. Zacharias invites you back to the southern India of his early childhood, and into his troubled youth in the sophisticated capital city of Delhi. He recalls the importance of a mother’s love and his difficult relationship with his father. He tells about his long search for truth in wrestling with Eastern thought and the newer ideas of Christianity, the cry for help in a dark moment when he tried to take his own life—and the dramatic turning point that led to a life lived for Christ. Zacharias recalls his early days as a new convert, what it was like to find a new life in the Western world, and the eventual birth and growth of a worldwide ministry.
This is a story about an amazing man. Yet it is also everyone’s story about belief—how it begins, how it grows, and the struggles associated with it. Walking from East to West is a heartfelt personal story of one man’s discovery that God is the author of our destinies, no matter how dark the shadows that hide the light.