Evidence That Demands A Verdict: Life-Changing Truth For A Skeptical World is an accessible treatment of key issues that come up in conversations about the Christian faith. The introduction orients the reader to the importance of apologetics, the place of evidence in the Christian worldview, and highlights misconceptions about the faith. For example, that Christianity is false because of challenges from science or the sinful acts of certain Christians. I liked the opening section on why apologetics gets a bad rap. I tend to agree that one of the liabilities of apologetics is that is tends to attract some people who are in it for the wrong reasons; i.e. to show people how smart they are or to humiliate others. I appreciate their emphasis on being relational, gentle, and respectful. Also their encouragement to read the scholarly sources they cite and study both sides of the issues. The prologue sets the stage for the conversation by discussing worldview issues, the challenge of naturalism, and introducing key arguments for the existence of God. Their presentation is approachable while not watering-down the arguments.
This book has 3 major sections. Part 1 works through tough questions about the Bible, its uniqueness, reliability, its relation to non-biblical texts like allegedly "lost gospels."
Part 2 works through tough questions about Jesus, his claims, and an investigation of his deity and resurrection. I’m especially excited about the new additions to Josh’s classic work. One of them is an excellent chapter on the martyrdom of the apostles (Chapter 13), summarizing key findings from Sean’s doctoral dissertation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His academic work, The Fate of the Apostles, assessed numerous claims and traditions about the martyrdom of the apostles and I’m happy to see his findings presented for a popular audience here. The martyrdom of the apostles has been an overlooked, but important area in apologetics. Especially since many apologists, myself included, often make a case for the historicity of the resurrection using an argument based on the disciples’ belief that they saw the risen Jesus.
Part 3 works through tough questions about the Old Testament, including the historicity of key events like the Exodus. It also includes authorship issues and a discussion of alleged contradictions.
While Chapter 13 on the Martyrdom of the Apostles is probably my favorite addition, it is just one example of the many well-researched, evidence-packed chapters in this massive book. Evidence That Demands A Verdict: Life-Changing Truth For A Skeptical World is an 880 page reference work that can help you be more confident in the Scriptures. Over half of this revised and expanded edition is brand-new content engaging with some of today’s most difficult objections to Christianity. If you’re looking for a go-to resource for good answers to a broad spectrum of tough questions and challenges to the faith, you really need to check this out.
Note: I was given a PDF pre-release copy of the book as a member of the launch team. I was not required to write a positive review. My views are my own.