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Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows Paperback – July 10, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (July 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310324963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310324966
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A frank, endearing story of a respected apologist and evangelical statesman's life….[It] starkly contrasts the real implications of rejecting or accepting the lordship of Jesus. Nothing short of meaning in life is at stake, and Walking from East to West exposes the silliness of much popular religious pluralism by underscoring the gravity of worldview selection….This is storytelling in the fashion of C. S. Lewis: rational argumentation expressed in narrative." — Christianity Today

(Christianity Today ) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

“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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Reading about Ravi's life story is compelling and interesting.
A credit to God's amazing grace, the marvelous way He works in the life of this one man, and the divine hope He gives to all of us who believe in Him.
Mama Tama
It definitely reinforces our Christian beliefs...how God is with us all the way.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
While the Donald Millers of the world have brought new vitality and honesty to writings on the Christian life, others, such as Philip Yancey and Ravi Zacharias, continue to dig deep into the intellectual side of the modern Christian's struggle. This depth makes their writings less accessible, yet so vital for many who are searching for answers.

In this gracious autobiography, Zacharias gives us doses of his trademark apologetics and wisdom, while providing a chronological view of his journey from suicidal teen to world-renowned evangelist. He offers glimpses into his cultural roots in India, along with helpful understanding of the eastern mindset. He shows restraint in his accounts of his family's issues, but he still manages to be honest with faults. He challenges his readers to move beyond their own search for fulfillment into a greater comprehension of who they are created to be.

As a missionary kid, I spent six months in India, experiencing some of the sights that Zacharias grew up around. I savored his anecdotes. This is a thoughtful, inspiring account of what God can do through those who are willing to "live, because he lives." Be patient, soak in the philosophical and theological musings, and see if you aren't nudged by the content of these pages.
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I really enjoy hearing Ravi Zacharias on his weekly radio show. He is probably the most intellectual of any of the radio preachers that I hear broadcast on Christian radio in my area. Ravi is from India, but he converted to Christianity as a teenager in India, and his missionary career consists of intellectually applying logic to support Biblical concepts, to audiences across the globe. That's my explanation of what he does, at least. So when I heard he had an autobiography out, I was curious enough to check it out.

It is pretty interesting to read the details of his growing up in India. It is very different from growing up in the USA, in many aspects, yet the human condition and human plight of us all is shown to have just as much in common whether growing up in India or the USA, or anywhere else in the world.

WALKING FROM EAST TO WEST: GOD IN THE SHADOWS is about 240 pages long. He writes about the exotic Indian neighborhood where he grew up, and how he ended up being the black sheep of the family, the one child whom his father found the most frustration and irritation with. He could never really please his father with anything he did, which is very important to be able to do, especially within the culture in which he grew up.

Ravi was bored with school, but he excelled in sports, especially playing cricket. His dad wanted the opposite from Ravi, and his father did not care about his sports abilities. Ravi talks about skipping school regularly, until the day that his father found out and gave Ravi the beating of his life for it! Then Ravi talks about his emerging plan to commit suicide over his despair and depression. This takes us up to about page 85.

After his failed suicide attempt, he gets Saved, with the help of some Christian missionaries.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Christian Book Previews on May 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By FaithfulReader.com on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Christian apologist and international speaker Ravi Zacharias wins hearts wherever he goes. In this memoir of his life thus far, Zacharias discloses the hardships and struggles of his youth in India. Readers will instinctively feel his deep commitment to speaking truth presented in the gentlest terms possible. Clearly, this world-renowned lecturer's reputation for humility and kindness will be evidenced throughout this respectful rendition of his life, country of origin, family, friends and early associates.

Zacharias describes India as a country of magnificent contradictions, a land where some of the greatest minds derive and then contribute to society's advances in medicine, philosophy and technology --- though its inhabitants long for a better economic way of life. So it's no surprise that, on more recent visits to his homeland, Zacharias sees the stark contradictions of this harsh reality and compares it to a person's longing for more than mere economic stability. He notes that "...we can convince ourselves that the answer to everything lies in economic well-being. But it does not ultimately solve the deepest questions that haunt you. That is where religion is supposed to help. To offer answers."

During his youth, one of Zacharias's first introductions to Western religion by way of Jehovah's Witnesses did not serve to meet this inner restlessness. After consideration of the sect's beliefs, he began asking more pointed spiritual questions. Living with a harsh, abusive father, he was subjected to verbal and physical ill treatment that lasted for years. Unable to please his father, he did find respite in his relationship with his loving mother who also suffered abuse from her spouse.
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