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Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World Hardcover – October 3, 2017
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"Here's a treasure trove of apologetic gems! This is an indispensable book that all Christians should keep within reach. Countless people benefitted from the original version, but this updated and expanded edition makes this volume even more valuable and timely. Thank you, Josh and Sean -- this classic resource has my very highest recommendation!" - Lee Strobel, Best-Selling Author of The Case for Christ and In Defense of Jesus
"When I was a college student full of questions about the authenticity of my faith, I usedEvidence That Demands a Verdict as my go-to reference book. I'm grateful to Josh for this updated release for my two sons." - Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family
"It is not without reason that Evidence That Demands a Verdict has stood the test of time with readers around the world for nearly four decades. Josh McDowell has not only been a pioneer in the field of apologetics and worldviews but a friend and encourager to many, including me. I am thrilled that he has partnered with his son, Sean, to update his classic book and know it will challenge and inspire you." - Ravi Zacharias, Author and Speaker
"My friend Josh McDowell and his son Sean have given us an updated and relevant 21st Century tool to encourage faith and trust in the reliability of Scripture. For those who want to understand how to defend the veracity of the Christian faith, Evidence That Demands a Verdict is the book for you." - Dr. Tony Evans, Senior Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and President of The Urban Alternative
"In 1972, shortly after the accident in which I became paralyzed, I picked up a book that helped solidify my belief in God and faith in Christ. Still struggling to accept my wheelchair, I needed rock-solid evidence that there was a personal God who genuinely cared about my plight. Evidence That Demands a Verdict was that remarkable book, and I'm so happy that this timeless classic is now updated and being released to a whole new generation of readers! Can't recommend it enough!" - Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder/CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
"Significant. Timely. Life-Changing. For decades, Evidence That Demands a Verdict has met believers, seekers and skeptics at the intersection of faith and fact, laying a foundation of unshakeable, time-proven truth for us to stand on through ages of skepticism, mysticism and so-called tolerance. I am thrilled for the updated and expanded edition of this landmark resource to reach the hearts and minds of a rising generation, and I trust it will have the same impact in their lives as it did in mine. I'm grateful for Josh and Sean McDowell's relentless passion to equip and empower God's people to confidently and boldly stand for truth. You'll want to keep this book close at hand!" - Louie Giglio, Pastor of Passion City Church, Founder of Passion Conferences, Author of Goliath Must Fall
"This book changed my life. It showed me the staggering welter of evidence for the historicity of the bible -- and convinced me that having faith in the biblical God is infinitely more rational than not having such faith. Any agnostic or atheist reluctant to become a Christian must take every precaution available to avoid this book." - Eric Metaxas, author of Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World and host of the nationally-syndicated Eric Metaxas Show.
About the Author
As a young man, Josh McDowell considered himself an agnostic. He truly believed that Christianity was worthless. However, when challenged to intellectually examine the claims of Christianity, Josh discovered compelling and overwhelming evidence for the reliability of the Christian faith. After trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, Josh’s life changed dramatically as he experienced the power of God’s love. After his conversion, Josh committed his life to telling a doubting world about the truth of Jesus Christ. After studying at Kellogg College, Josh completed his college degree at Wheaton College and then attended Talbot Theological Seminary, graduating magna cum laude with a Masters of Divinity. Working with Campus Crusade for Christ and founding the youth outreach, Josh McDowell Ministry, Josh has shared the gospel with more than 25 million people in 125 countries. He is the author or co-authored of 147 books.
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But perhaps there's not supposed to be. The authors make it very clear that this book is intended for those who are predisposed to believe and just want to know more. It's meant for the babe in Christ, not the unbeliever. If this is truly the approach taken, then it's not really apologetics, but Bible study.
And this raises really the heart of the question - what is the nature of apologetics in the 21st century? Is it enough to have a rational presentation of a logical progression of discussion on some interesting factoid trivia about the nature of the Bible? I think we're living in a world that demands more than to know that the Bible is a pretty neat book. We're living in a world that wants a living encounter with Jesus; this book won't provide it. We're living in a world that wants an active faith; this book doesn't point to one. We're living in a world that, more than anything, wants to know if God is real; the focus of this book is whether the Bible is true. Those are some very different questions.
Please don't get me wrong - for what it is, the book is okay. But I'm not convinced that it is what it claims to be or that it is as relevant to the contemporary world as it was when it first came out 40-some years ago. No longer can we depend on these sorts of evidences, and certainly not when we are unwilling to even show them (but only talk about them). The world has changed, and so must our apologetic. This book, I think, is more of a sales pitch for the Bible than anything else, which really misses the heart of a world that's longing for God.
Disclaimer: I received a free PDF text of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This version of Evidence That Demands A Verdict has been revised for a new generation with some of the same of old questions as well as some new ones. As the culture changes, so does some of the doubts of the Christian faith while others questions remain intact. The version is also an expanded edition meaning there is more content than the previous editions. This version also has Josh's son, Sean, as co-author who happens to be a professor of Christian apologetics.
This book begins with evidence for the Bible which includes the reliability of the New Testament as well as how the Bible is unique among all other religious books. Then we see the evidence for Jesus and what the Bible truly says about Christ. Next we see the evidence of the Old Testament which is a big chuck of the book. Lets face it, the Old Testament seems to be under a lot of doubt of skeptics than the New Testament, which is based on my observation. The book closes with more general questions such as how to answer skeptics and postmodernists, and answering one of the oldest questions of all, can miracles really happen?
I was grateful to get this classic book that seems to be always on a Christians to read list because of the impact it has made on so many people, Christians and non-believers. However, as I continue to go through this book, I have noticed that for a book that defends the faith, it sure doesn't have many quotes from the Bible. McDowell wrote this in the preface of the book:
Our motivation in using this research is to glorify and magnify Jesus Christ. Evidence (the book) is not for proving the Word of God, but rather for providing a reasoned basis for faith.
First, every time we speak to someone about Christianity should always give honor to God especially in our words to unbelievers. Second, when McDowell said this book was not to prove the Bible, I scratched my head because how can we not defend the Bible. More importantly how can we not use the Bible. It is almost as if McDowell is saying the Bible is not enough. Finally, we want to present a reasoned basis for faith. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing from the word of Christ." Yes, McDowell give compelling evidence for the Christian faith, however, we should not put the Bible aside when it comes to sharing our faith. Thankfully, he wrote this a few sentences down:
The presentation of evidence (apologetics) should never be used as a substitute for sharing the Word of God.
I felt a little better after seeing that sentence and McDowell is correct. We should let apologetics take the Bible's place in sharing the gospel message. While this book presents compelling proof of the claims of Christianity, one does not come to faith by hearing apologetics, although it could open a door, one comes to faith by hearing the gospel message.