Customer Reviews: Evidence That Demands a Verdict, 2
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on January 31, 2008
My faith tradition is evangelical, but my formal theological training took place in a secular university and a mainline theological seminary. Even as recently as the last decade, the documentary hypothesis (for the Old Testament) and the two-source hypothesis (for the Gospels) are being taught as infallible fact, the only conclusion to be drawn from serious academic study. I was not aware that there are informed academic arguments to support the evangelical understanding of the Scripture until I read McDowell's book; what a pleasant surprise! I recommend this book to those of an evangelical faith who are engaged in the academic study of theology in institutions that perpetuate the rationalistic arguments of Scripture authorship; very useful to engage one's professors and fellow students in conversation, and not be coerced into "selling out" one's faith for a rationalistic, lifeless doctrine.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon September 3, 2013
Joslin "Josh" McDowell (born 1939) is a Christian author best known for his many works of apologetics; he has been affiliated with Campus Crusade for Christ (now "Cru") since 1964. His many books include Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Historical Evidences for the Christian Faith,Daniel in the Critics' Den,More Than a Carpenter,The Islam Debate,The Resurrection Factor,Jesus: A Biblical Defense of His Diety,He Walked Among Us,Josh McDowell Answers Five Tough Questions, etc. His life story was told in Joe Musser's book Josh: Excitement of the Unexpected and also in the DVD Undaunted.

This 1975 book (revised edition, 1981) is very different from the broad presentation in Volume I; this book targets "radical critics" of the Bible. He says in the Preface, "I will probably be accused of being unfair or lopsided in the presentation of the material in this volume. It will more than likely be said that more space was given to the answers to radical criticism than to its assumptions and their support. I am of the opinion that the university textbooks are abounding with explanations of the assumptions of radical criticism. However, there seem to be few answers in textbooks (if any, in the majority of them)."

He also clarifies, "I have included long quotes so that individuals using the material can better understand the context... Another criticism is that many quotes are very similar and therefore unnecessary. Again my purpose here is to give the person using the material ample sources so that he can choose what he thinks is relevant... Others will criticize that I didn't deal with Source Criticism, Historical Criticism, the New Quest... the Q document or the Synoptic Problem... etc. The purpose of this book is to clarify the issues and give some practical answers to the questions that students have asked me over the last three years. It is not to give the pros and cons of the multitudes of problems, questions and schools of criticism."

He begins the book with a long critique of the "anti-supernaturalism" of the critics (e.g. "We live in a closed system... There is no supernatural... Miracles are not possible..."; pg. 5), arguing that "The anti-supernaturalist... rejects evidence indicating the supernatural no matter how convincing." (Pg. 16) [While he makes some valid points, one could also wonder whether this is not "ad hominem" argumentation.]

The second section of the book looks critically at the JEPD documentary hypothesis of Pentateuch (i.e., five books of Moses). This widely used yet admittedly speculative theory is examined in detail, and many of its flaws and unsupported assumptions are pointed out; although, at times, Josh seems mostly to counteract the assertion of a "radical critic" with some assertions by "conservative" scholars, without really refuting the critic.

The section on the New Testament is only about half as long as the section on the Pentateuch. He makes many telling points against the assumptions of scholars such as Bultmann. Unfortunately, he does not deal in any real detailed way with the divergencies between the various gospels; the issue of the historicity of the fourth gospel; the authorship of the most disputed New Testament documents (e.g., Jude; 2 Peter, etc.).

Overall, the critique of the JEPD theory is effective, but the remainder of the book is much less effective. This book is not one a Christian would normally hand to a non-Christian for evangelistic purposes, as the non-Christian would probably get lost in a forest of quotations. (Josh's other, later books are much better in this regard.) This book makes an excellent reference work for Christians, however.
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on January 14, 2013
This book has a lot of interesting and factual information for the person who either questions whether God exists OR doesn't know how to tell others about the reason why they believe God exists.
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on October 25, 2015
You have to be a lawyer to read this. The information is great, but not an easy read.
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on November 1, 2014
I know this book, which is why I ordered it. It is , in my opinion, the most comprehensive reference for studying the reason for, and the plan of, Salvation. The newer version, The New Evidence is easier to read.
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on April 14, 2010
Josh McDowell is a master of deception.
Let me copy his style:
If Obama was God you would expect him to be:
1. Mild mannered
2. Try his best to help people have the health care they need
3. Make an effort to improve education
4. Have a friendly manner to all people of all races and religious beliefs
5. Be eager to protect the earth's environment
6. Wanting to wrestle money away from the greedy, overpaid, wealthy
7. Having a good sense of humor
8. Enjoy playing basketball

Now I can write a book proving that Obama is all of these things so he must be God!~
What a phoney! What is really sad is there are so many easily brainwashed people that will believe it all!
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