Ask Vince and Jo (October 7-11, 2019)

Exciting news as we have not just one, but two RZIM speakers tag-teaming the Q&A this week. That’s right…we have the Doctors Vitale in the house! :partying_face: It’s like Ask Away, but for a whole week.

So whether it’s philosophy, theology, faith, life, sport or anything in between, do take this opportunity to get a thoughtful answer from two of the most thoughtful and clear thinkers I know. :thinking:

EDIT: Each Q&A with Vince and Jo is now in its own topic in order to make finding these resources easier.

About Vince…
Dr. Vince Vitale is a speaker and author who serves as RZIM’s Regional Director for the Americas and Director of the Zacharias Institute. He was educated at Princeton University and the University of Oxford, and he taught philosophy of religion and served as a faculty member at both universities. It was during his undergraduate studies in philosophy at Princeton that Vince was challenged to read the Bible and took an unexpected journey from skeptic to evangelist. He then completed master’s and PhD studies at Oxford, receiving a Daniel M. Sachs Graduating Scholarship (at the time awarded annually to one graduating Princetonian) and a Clarendon Scholarship (supported by Oxford University Press).

While researching at Oxford, Vince developed a new response to the problem of evil. This response is discussed in Vince’s Philosophia Christi article, “Non-Identity Theodicy,” and in Vince’s and Ravi Zacharias’s book, Why Suffering?: Finding Meaning and Comfort When Life Doesn’t Make Sense . In 2017, Vince and Ravi released a second co-authored book , Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Countercultural Claims of Christ . For his work on Søren Kierkegaard, Inter-Varsity Press and Tyndale House awarded Vince the title IVP Young Philosopher of Religion of the Year 2013.

Vince has commended the Christian faith on the campuses of many universities including Yale, Columbia, UC Berkeley, West Point, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, and Oxford. He also has had the privilege of speaking at Google Headquarters, Amazon Headquarters, The Brooklyn Tabernacle, and Passion City Church, and he was the keynote speaker at the 54th National Prayer Breakfast of Canada.

In addition to his focus on biblical and philosophical questions, Vince has strong interests in the topics of leadership, contemporary culture, theology of work, and reconciliation, as well as in the intersection of faith and sport. He played varsity soccer at Princeton, was a “double Blue” at Oxford (competing for the university in soccer and boxing), and has traveled with Athletes in Action mission teams to four continents. While teaching at Princeton, Vince served as Faculty Director of the Athletes in Action ministry on campus.

About Jo…
Dr. Jo Vitale is Dean of Studies at the Zacharias Institute and an itinerant speaker for RZIM. Prior to joining the US team, Jo was a speaker for RZIM Europe, where she also served in teaching and pastoral roles at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.

During her time in Oxford, Jo graduated with a theology MA, an MSt in Biblical interpretation, and a DPhil (PhD) in theology, each from the University of Oxford. Interested in the questions surrounding sexism and the Bible, Jo wrote her doctoral dissertation on the topic of how female beauty is depicted in the Old Testament.

Since joining RZIM, Jo has spoken internationally in a variety of contexts, including universities, businesses, churches, schools, conferences, and radio programs. She has also led several weeklong outreach events at universities in the US and the UK. Although a UK national (:uk: :coffee: :cake:), Jo is also based at the Zacharias Institute in Atlanta, GA.


2 posts were split to a new topic: If God forgave me why do I still experience shame for past sin?

2 posts were split to a new topic: I would like to know how many people are a part of this community? And how long has RZIM Connect been around?

3 posts were split to a new topic: If God is the ultimate satisfaction of our deepest desires, why do so many Christians struggle to be content with God?

2 posts were split to a new topic: Should I be forcing myself to try to like music?

Thank you all so much!

The people in my life spend a lot of time following current events – what happened yesterday is tomorrow’s conversation around the coffee pot. The recent tragic situation in Dallas has certainly brought to head many complex issues. I feel like I don’t have a good grasp on the interaction between justice, grace, and forgiveness in my Christian walk myself, and I’d really welcome any suggestions and wisdom you all could share for those conversations.


2 posts were split to a new topic: Can you share with us your experience with doubt and dealing with difficult questions about Christianity?

3 posts were split to a new topic: How do we communicate the importance of Christianity to those who are apathetic towards faith?

Hello Mr&Mrs Vitale
I admire you and your work as well. It’s an honor for me to get answered by you.
I would like to pose my questions
This is for @Vince_Vitale . This is one of most common questions. My question is, when God knows that sin is going to takes place why he has created us in the first place? Though love is supreme ethic why he needs to create when there is possibity of sin.
This question is for @Jo_Vitale
Mam I have heard that your studies are in old Testament. My question is why God seems so angry in old testament and loving and caring God in New testament?
Thank you:)


2 posts were split to a new topic: Does walking with God mean we get delivered from whatever situation we are in?

Hi Vince & Jo,
First - thank you for your time! My question is in reference to Jeremiah 31:31-34. Is this “new covenant” the 1st coming of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit? I’m wondering because of vs. 34 where it says “no more shall every man teach his neighbor…saying ‘know the Lord’ for they all shall know me…” Thanks.


2 posts were split to a new topic: How, if at all, has becoming parents changed your understandings of God’s love for each of us as his sons and daughters?

2 posts were split to a new topic: Does God have to give us faith in order to believe in Him? If so, how can He judge those who don’t believe in Him if He hasn’t given them faith to do so?

2 posts were split to a new topic: If GOD created everything, who created GOD?

Good Afternoon,

I am so thankful for your time and consideration of the these questions! My question is on how you approach the gospel when in relationship with an atheist? Do you have any doors that you test when seeking to discern how to bring the conversation towards Christ?
I am regularly meeting with elderly Jewish (cultural - not religious) gentleman who likely only has a few months left to live. He has had a full life as an artist and model builder, veteran and firefighter. He shared that he believes life just stops when you die, and has no belief in God or an afterlife. Our conversations have centered on his interesting life and family, but I am hoping you might have some insight/experience on possible paths to fruitful conversation.

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration!


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Hello! Vince I am very much excited to ask questions… I saw many church so called Revival Church and perform prophecies miracles… But it hard to trust for me… We saw even in televengelist ministry who perform miracles, immediate healing in public, exorcism and claim prophet mostly in Africa country … Can such uniqueness power be posses in our time? Or How can we respond in such issue.

In The Brothers Karamazov, Ivan says that a loving God would not allow children to suffer for no reason. As children do suffer, either no God exists or if He does, he is neither just or good, because He allows for the suffering of little children. He says it would be better for people to have comfort and ease than the suffering and difficulty that Christ asks us to take. In the book, Ivan’s christian brother Alyosha has no deep verbal answer to this. Does Vince have an answer, other than to read his book?

Hi Vince and Jo, I have been an RZIM supporter for almost 15 years - all 8 of my kids (ages 15- 30 - my oldest passed away unexpectedly in March, He and I were actually discussing Andy Banister’s debate with Peter Singer in our very last conversation before he left for Kenya) have grown up on so many of the RZIM speakers - including the both of you as we often listen to the Ask Away podcast in the car. Being in the midst of raising kids in this generation, I wish I could sit down and have dinner with you both! Jo - to you the question I have is what are the best resources in regards to women in the bible. I believe you were on the Jude 3 podcast (And with Juli Slattery was on yours). I have 4 daughters - some who have a real problem with certain verses - I am sure you know them. I feel sometimes there is a “double speak” when we try to nuance what is said on certain scripture verses related to woman - such as “I suffer not a woman to teach, but to keep silent”- to broaden the scope where that no longer applies , but yet when speaking about something like homosexuality - Romans 1 - and others want to broaden it - it is not allowed. To be clear I am orthodox in my view on both of these. I know it is probably not possible but I would love to hear your comments on last part of this Jude 3 episode:
To Vince, are you aware of the premise of David Bentley Hart’s new book on hell and human destiny - "That all shall be saved’? If so, your thoughts? If not, perhaps it is something for the next Ask Away podcast. :wink: Look forward to hearing from you both!

HERMANEUTICS: Christians reach contrary and often contradictory conclusions. Is there a methodology I can use to know whether my understanding of a passage is correct or not?

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Could you describe your most successful attempt to share the gospel with an unbeliever and your biggest failure at this? And what have you learned in that process?