Prominent apologist and author Ravi Zacharias has been accused by an atheist of making false claims about his academic background and credentials.
In an article posted on Ordinary Times, Steve Baughman, who describes himself as an attorney and a philosophy graduate student, asserted that the famous apologist has made misleading claims about his accomplishments and that he is being protected by the "Christian Industrial Complex" in several ways.
Baughman, who also has a YouTube channel called "Friendly Banjo Atheist," said that he came upon a video lecture by Zacharias while he was searching the internet for Christian apologists who "might ruffle" his atheist worldview. Footnotes in his article indicated that he had been investigating Zacharias for several years.
He noted that Zacharias' resume and memoirs list the apologist as a scholar with multiple doctoral degrees.
The atheist, however, argued that Zacharias is not a scholar with credentials from an elite academic institution. He asserted that the apologist had never enrolled in a graduate-level academic program and his Bachelor's degree and non-academic master of Divinity degree both came from "obscure" religious institutions.
Baughman further contended that Zacharias had also failed to disclose that his doctorate degrees were merely honorary and has refused to clarify the issue in his official biography.
The atheist indicated that he had hired a private investigator to find out whether Zacharias had served as the chairman of the Department of Evangelism and Contemporary Thought at Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS).
He said that the investigator, as well as two professors, had said that no such department had existed at the seminary in the 1980s.
According to Baughman, Zacharias had been the chair of the "Center for Evangelism and Contemporary Thought" at ATS, and the position was a non-academic one.
Dennis Hollinger, a former ATS professor who is now the president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, had said the center was "not a center in terms of a think tank," but rather an opportunity for students to work with Zacharias.
The website of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) stated that Zacharias had authored or edited over 25 books, including "Why Suffering?" and "Can Man Live Without God."
On Monday, RZIM issued a statement on Facebook noting that there has been a number of false assertions that are being circulated online in recent days about the apologist's character, actions, and accomplishments.
"It grieves our team to see how the egregious claims and destructive slander of a few individuals have been amplified by wider networks, particularly on social media," the post read.
"As Ravi Zacharias is currently traveling and many of our team members are still to return from the Thanksgiving holiday, we will respond in greater detail to the false accusations as soon as possible. Thank you for praying for us and standing with RZIM as we commend the gospel message in the public square around the world," it added.