Friday, August 6, 2021

More Than A Carpenter, by Josh Mcdowell

More Than a Carpenter by Josh Mcdowell. This is an older book, copyright 1977, but I often enjoy reading, or rereading, and learning from older books


Josh Mcdowell was a writer and speaker I heard of when I was in college in the early 1980s. Teachers at my church said he spoke on apologetics, which they said did not mean he apologized for his faith. The definition I found for apologetics is: reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.


More Than a Carpenter is a book which discusses evidence for believing Jesus is God.


Mcdowell mentions many verses from my favorite book of the Bible, the Gospel of John, as well as other New Testament books, to show that Jesus did claim to be God.


If he claimed this, then, Mcdowell says, we have to decide if he was a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord.


Many people claim that Jesus was a good teacher, a moral man, but not God. However, if he claims to be God and is not, he is certainly not moral or a good teacher.


Why not a lunatic? Descriptions of his actions and words are not those of a lunatic. And, although some who claim to follow Jesus have done horrific deeds in history, many of his followers have performed much kindness and built up services of care to people throughout the world.


Mcdowell discusses evidence for Christ and the Bible from legal and historic verifications.


The Bible has much more evidence from the number of its documents which remain, and how close they are to the actual time of Jesus’ life, than any other ancient document. People do not argue whether these other documents are true, such as the writings of Aristotle and Caesar.


Mcdowell discusses writings by others from the time of the early church, outside the Bible, which talk about Jesus. Archaeology confirms the historical accuracy of the bible.


People have been willing to die for a lie. But would that be true of the disciples? They did not expect Jesus to die. The Jews believed their Messiah would set up an earthly kingdom, save them from the oppression of the Romans.


When Jesus was arrested, most of the disciples ran away from him. After he died, they were discouraged, scared, and hid. But, shortly afterward, they turned bold and, even when arrested and beaten, they kept on teaching about his resurrection bravely. A legend which was not true would have taken a long time to develop, but they started doing this immediately after he died.


Can we trust the disciples? They were seen as moral people. They were so dramatically changed from what they had expected the Messiah to be, and from the cowards they were after he died. They were willing to stand up boldly, even though they were arrested, beaten, and most were killed, for their faith.


Scientifically, we cannot prove that Napoleon or George Washington lived. We cannot perform an experiment and prove it right before our eyes. We believe it because of the testimony of those in history.


This book discussed the Old Testament prophesies and predictions about the Messiah, hundreds of years before Jesus was born, which he fulfilled.


Mcdowell described his own story of becoming a Christian and the changes that happened in his life.


We have faith in Christ, not blind faith, but intelligent faith. 


  1. I remember this book, Cathy! Thank you for such a complete summary of McDowell’s arguments. I’ve heard many people use them even though they haven’t read the book. It’s an example of how our writing can have an impact in a circle wider than our readers.

  2. Thanks for this, Kathy!

    It's so relaxing to sit with you.

    I heard of Josh McDowell but never had the privilege of reading his work or listening to him speak.

    Your summary today reminded me of a book I have read a few times over the years: The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
    by F.F. Bruce

    Best of blessings all over you today.

  3. Kathy, I have never read this book, but as someone else mentioned, have heard quotes from it. Although fiction, I have read and still have on my bookshelf Tell No Man by Adela Rogers St Johns. I've read it a few times, but it has been several years since the last reading. Thank you for sharing with us today!

    1. Thank you, Patti. I'm a firm believer in reading books you like multiple times.:)

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