"More light. Less heat." I first heard that phrase from Ruth, a member of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries' team (RZIM), as we were preparing to launch our interview series with them last year. 

More light. Less heat. 

Ruth told me that Ravi would sometime use this particular phrase to describe the way in which Christians should deliver the Gospel to those in search of truth. 

And, boy, was he right. 

Too many times, when we are discussing important issues like religion and politics, a person will become so focused on being right that they end up delivering the truth in a way that isn't right.

Ravi obviously thought it was important to share the truth, but he also knew the way in which we deliver it is incredibly important, too.

What a man. What a loss. What a mighty God he serves. 

The world will deeply miss Ravi Zacharias, who died of cancer earlier today. 

Ravi was an incredibly brilliant man who had an enormous heart for people. In my mind, he was the modern equivalent of C.S. Lewis. 

Profound thinker.

Engaging speaker.

Phenomenal communicator. 

If you haven't done so already, it would be well worth some time to do a Google search on Ravi Zacharias. Watch his debates. His interactions with those who held different beliefs than he held.

Watch his patience. His love. His grace. 

If Ravi were here today, I'm confident he would tell us that all of those qualities are the result of the Spirit of God working in his life and heart. He would tell us he couldn't muster up these noble traits on his own. None of us can. 

He was a truly remarkable man, and he will be deeply missed.

The Lost Art of Persuasion

If you stop and think about it, Ravi's approach of "more light, less heat" should be something more commonly embraced.

Why do we take such offense when someone doesn't agree with us? 

And even if we are offended and dismayed that they do not agree with us, do we really think that treating them poorly or raising our voices is going to actually lead someone to change his or her mind? 

Surely not. 

Do we respond like that? 

Probably not. 

And even if we do, it's only because we're trying to 'keep the peace' with someone or end a fight. It's not because we've been genuinely convinced.

The truth is, we all need to shine more light - in conjunction with less heat.

And if we do, we may become incredibly effective, graceful persuaders like Ravi Zacharias himself.