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Don't Check Your Brains at the Door: A Book of Christian Evidences (Know What You Believe and Why) Paperback – February 19, 1992

4.3 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Josh McDowell is an internationally known speaker and author.  He is a traveling representative of Campus Crusade for Christ speaking to more than ten million young people.  Josh has authored or coauthored more than 120 books.  Josh and his wife, Dottie, have four grown children.



Bob Hostetler is a writer, editor, pastor, and speaker.  His books, which include the award-winning Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door (co-authored with Josh McDowell) and the novel, The Bone Box, have sold over three million copies.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Word Publishing; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (February 19, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849932343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849932342
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #996,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has been around a little while and the updated/revised edition states that more than 250,000 copies have been sold. Josh McDowell is a fairly well known apologist (one who defends their faith), so I expected this book to run in that vein, yet tailored for teenagers. Therefore the book tackles a wide variety of topics such as Myths About God, Myths About Jesus, and Myths About the Bible to name a few. The format is more devotional in nature - each sub-chapter is about three pages in length with an application activity at the end.

I do think this book would be best marketed toward younger teens. It also does not seem to have been written with the unchurched person in mind and therefore argues more from a purely Scriptural perspective. No doubt this will leave some disappointed, however, for the young Christian teenager, this book can be a useful tool in confirming and strengthening what they have been taught.

My impressions of this book then are truly mixed. If you are expecting a strong apologetical book that you could pass on to a co-worker, then I would direct you toward "The Case for Christ." But if you are looking to help your young Christian teenager develop an ownership of their faith, then this book can help you do that.

In an attempt to provide full disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
McDowell hits home with youth by presenting apologetic ideas in an easy-to-understand mini-devotional. I have recommended this book to my high school students for five years now, and many have really enjoyed it. (Those who didn't enjoy it said it was too simple, so I merely recommended that they read Strobel's The Case for Christ/The Case for Faith--student editions. For the hard core who feel these are still too easy, I recommend Lewis' Mere Christianity.) I just gave the book to my fourth-grade daughter, and in a month she has completed half of it with comprehension, meaning that it probably will not work too well with a post-teen audience. But for those teens who do want to know more about their faith, this is a great place to start.
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Format: Paperback
This book can be used for personal growth, and the questions/references at the end of each chapter make it a useful tool for youth groups. Great general knowledge about false religions, cults, and other lame arguments that can (and will) be thrown at you during your Christian walk. Recommended for non-Christians and Christians alike.
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Format: Paperback
Being a Sunday School teacher working primarily with preteens, this book seemed like a promising one. The introduction is still very promising, and so is the table of contents. It covers an array of topics and does try to answer it.

Each chapter starts with a story and explains how the world perceives things in the view of the topic being discussed. It then says that the world's view is wrong, and gives the Christian view. Classically apologetic. The chapter is then closed with a set of questions for further explorations.

My complaint? Some of the examples used are old and might not apply to today's younger generation, and some of the explanations are way to simplicistic to satisfy someone who is really thinking about his/her faith.

I would recommend using it as back-up material to start a presentation/curriculum for kids rather than give the book to a kid to read.
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Format: Paperback
You know me. I'm always on the lookout for good material to instruct my kids in the faith. When I saw that Josh McDowell's classic, Don't Check Your Brains at the Door: Know What You Believe and Why, had recently been updated from the 1992 version, I was intrigued. I've read and own McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict and have a lot of respect for him as an apologist. I thought this might be an interesting read for the Dancer (13). A couple of years ago she read the kid's versions of Case for Christ and Case for Faith and she's definitely ready for meatier material.

The format is nice. It's clearly laid out and divided into sections about God, Jesus, the Bible, the Resurrection, religion and Christianity, and life and happiness. Each section has several chapters addressing common myths or misconceptions about that particular subject. For example, in the section on God, one chapter explores what it calls the "impersonal force myth", and in the section on the resurrection, the "stolen body myth" is tackled. Each chapter ends with a short section called "Brain Food" with questions and Scripture readings for further thought and discussion.

The chapters are short and humorous. I think the writing style is definitely appealing for young teens, but I found the content pretty basic. I think many older teens and kids who are somewhat familiar with some of the concepts will be ready for something a bit meatier. Still, this is a good, solid introduction to apologetics for youth. It's definitely a valuable tool for parents and youth workers. It would work well in a group situation to spur discussion. Don't Check Your Brains at the Door is a worthwhile effort, just don't expect the same hard-hitting material you may have seen in some of McDowell's other work.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a review copy of the book.
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