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Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2005 12:00 am

Theologian Ravi Zacharias discussed the role of God in society last night.

Theologian Ravi Zacharias spoke about the dangers of a society without God to a packed audience last night in Eisenhower Auditorium.

"The West is on the verge of collapse because it has lost its power to reason," he said. "Why is it that in the West today we have lost our way?"

Zacharias is an internationally known author and lecturer on the defense of Christian faith, and also hosts a weekly radio program, Let My People Think .

Problems in the Western world, Zacharias said, are due to the diminishing role of God in society.

"Something is awry when a group of people who build a culture say there is no such thing as an absolute," he said. "Secularism ... leaves us as a society devoid of a sense of shame ... flooded with Hell."

Pornography and media images that degrade women are a result of a secular society, Zacharias said.

"In Hollywood today the objective is to assault the imagination, not to entertain the imagination," he said. "There are taboos only against taboos."

Zacharias also warned the audience about the dangers of privatization, or practicing religion on one's own.

"It's like saying to your wife: I'll only love you privately, not publicly, even though you're the most important thing in my life," he said. "Privatization will ultimately lead to the loss of meaning."

But perhaps the speaker's most startling admonishment was the imminent loss of Christianity as the dominant religion in the Western world.

"If Christianity is evicted ... something will be brought in to take its place," he said, adding it would likely be Islam.

After speaking for about 45 minutes, Zacharias allowed students to ask questions.

Kim Sinclair (sophomore-education) said Zacharias' honesty and knowledge inspired students to ask difficult questions.

"Ravi's blessing of wisdom and his ability to speak the truth drew students to the microphone to ask questions that bore their soul ... and challenge the doctrine of Christianity," she said.

Paul Kazanjian (sophomore-biology) said he was impressed that people with different beliefs attended the event.

"It's really cool for those who aren't Christians to hear that point of view," he said. "It's very reassuring as a Christian."

Deborah Shin (senior-English) said she was impressed by Zacharias' knowledge and speaking style.

"There was power to everything he said. All of his eloquence ... was based on God's word," she said.

Shin added that Zacharias quoted famous theologians and biblical passages to support his ideas.

"He's done his homework," Kazanjian said.

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