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
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
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
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
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.