Thank You, Ravi Zacharias

Photo Cred: (1) | Updated: 5/19/2020

Dear Ravi Zacharias,

Today you crossed from the shadows of the here and now on Earth to the light of the latter end of your eternity. As you have seen from a brand new perspective, many are sharing how they knew and remember you. Whether that be personal interactions or published works like books, radio, speaking engagements, or even YouTube. For me, I knew you from a selection of published works you released over the years.

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Elementary Years | 2000’s

It all began with my Dad reading to me sections of your book, The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha, when I was in elementary school. He did so because my interest in these sorts of questions began to riddle my mind. Jump forward a bit to when I was entering high school and my life began to take more shape as I slowly was discovering what I was meant to do with my life.

It was within a period of time where I was regularly babysitting 3 kids after school at night, so that my friend Ben could go to a singles ministry once a week and have a night off. As a single dad, Ben was raising his kids essentially by himself. Taking care of his kids was just something that multiple people in the church would do to help him, so that he could have a break from time-to-time.

Anyways, on one of those nights when he returned from being out of the house, we talked first about how the movie was and then the conversation shifted to my developing interest in apologetics. If I remember correctly, he was watching Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows in theaters with a friend. Either way he came back and I asked about the movie, which if you know Ben then questions always will lead to lengthy conversations.

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Entering High School | 2011

So during that hours-long late night conversation, he interrupted my ambitions about apologetics with a strong suggestion. If I really wanted to pursue apologetics and be that leader in my high school, then I needed to read this book that he read years ago. He got up and immediately went to his bookshelf in his room to find it before coming back downstairs. The book he gave me was Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias.

One last story and this one was during my college days at the Colorado Film School. Within this period of my life in 2016, I was wrestling with purpose once again. I was quickly realizing that I didn’t feel called to be in the film industry as a director/writer anymore, yet was unsure of myself because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do next.

But God was directing my steps because there was another huge change happening in my life, which was this slow burn call to find a new church home and with that came a long period of investigating different aspects of church like denominations or where churches stood on certain issues. In addition to that, a few peers from school were asking me more complex questions about existence and God.

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College Years | 2016

So in response to these changes in my life and trying to navigate the grey, I began some extensive research for both situations. In all honesty, I have never read so many books or done so much research ever in my life. Of the many resources I poured over for answers, one of those critical books was Why Suffering? by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale.

Not only did these three books deeply impact me during three unique phases in my life, but your lectures and interviews as well. The amount of time I spent studying your work throughout all these years and applying it to both my own situation and eventually to help others has been immense to say the least.

With that said, none of those published works compare to what I’ve appreciated the most about your life. In fact, the reason I and millions of other people have admired you all these years was because of the genuine care you had for the person engaging in ideas with you. The compassion that was evident when you would hear a person’s inquires and walk with them to what always appeared to be an inevitable conclusion. In the same respect, you seemed to arrive to said answer in a way that felt respectful of the person standing before you as an imager of God.

Thank you not just for the knowledge I acquired in my head learning from your material, but most importantly the heart that you had after God. Thank you for helping the thinker believe and the believer think. With that, Godspeed and Jesus bless.

Footnotes

  1. RZIM at Passion City Church (June 26th, 2017)

Who Is Chris Cribari?

Updated: 5/27/2019

For those of you that are new to this blog, I figured it might be time to reintroduce myself. I grew up in Southern California for the first ten years of my life and then my family moved to Colorado in July of 2007 for my Dad’s job where I have lived ever since. I was raised by my parents in the Calvary Chapel Movement, along with my four siblings (Rachel, John, Corban; Nathan). My parents grew up in very broken homes, which directly influenced their strong emphasis on a family established on Christ first and foremost.

I came to faith in Christ when I was nine in the summer of 2006 and have been a Christian since then. My parents strong belief in Christianity had a great impact on my path towards the Christian faith, but the decision was all my own. I privately accepted Christ walking home from my friend David’s house where we were watching Playboy DVD’s after school. I publicly came to Christ at Calvary Chapel Oxnard’s Summer VBS a few weeks later when my group leader explained the Gospel to me after I questioned him as to whether or not it was true.

I am and always have been an avid storyteller, along with an active listener to people’s stories. I started writing my first stories in either second or third grade and continue to write to this day. At home, I have stacks of partially-written novels, poems, sermon ideas, and short stories either on flash-drives or busting out of years-old binders. Writing allows my soul to speak truthfully, even when my high-spectrum autism disorder gets in the way.

Because I love stories, I also love watching movies! When Blockbuster was still a thing, my siblings and I would watch our VHS movie collection to death as we rewatched our favorites all the time growing up. This collection that we had as kids contained the original Star Wars trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Wallace & Gromit series, a pair of Jurassic Park movies, a few Val Kilmer movies from the 90s, and a few dozen other films.

When we got a little older, we boys got the privilege of watching my Dad’s infamous movie collection that holds some of the best films I’ve ever seen. This collection consisted of mostly war movies like Braveheart, Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot (2000), and We Were Soldiers. It also had other genre movies like A Beautiful Mind, Bandits, Equilibrium, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, The Matrix, The Passion of the Christ, and the Phantom of the Opera. It might just be a box of DVD’s, but it holds some of my favorite memories with my Dad.

When I have time to train, I occasionally compete in Strongman too. I was introduced to the sport by my mentor Andrew Morrison and still loved it! I have competed four times and I am preparing for future competitions as well. Through my time training, I’ve met some of the world’s strongest men like Brian Shaw, Mike Burke, Robert Oberst, and Stan Caradine. My favorite Strongman lifts are Atlas Stones, Deadlift, and Log Press.
My theological stance is Molinist, while my preference on church function leans heavily towards Anabaptist. I currently am a member and serve at LifeGate Denver as a youth pastor.

My favorite apologists are John Lennox, Ravi Zacharias, and William Lane Craig. Although some honorable influences also include Alvin Plantinga, C.S. Lewis, Hugh Ross, James White, Michael L. Brown, Nabeel Qureshi, Norman Geisler, Paul Copan, Peter Kreeft, R. C. Sproul, and Voddie Baucham. My parents taught me the basics of Christianity when I was young and from there I have continued to develop my own systematic theology as I mature in the faith.

I attended the Colorado Film School and have an education in screenwriting, along with directing for the screen. I’m in the process of writing two books. The first book is a fictional novel that focuses on a married couple grieving a stillborn birth and the problem of suffering. The other book is like Mere Christianity, but for the modern world. My goal is to publish the latter book by the end of 2020.

I started this blog because it gave me the opportunity to speak freely about whatever is on my mind. People have also asked and encouraged me to write, so that inspired me as well. Most importantly, I believe God put me on this planet to write for Him and I will continue that pursuit in showing people what it means to know God.

This blog started in June of 2015 and will continue to go on as long as God wills. I’m Chris Cribari and this is just a frame of my life. With that, Godspeed and Jesus bless!