Josh McDowell

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Joslin "Josh" McDowell is an evangelical Christian preacher and Christian apologetics writer of some regard. He has been associated with Campus Crusade for Christ since 1964.

Book and evidence[edit]

His best known book is Evidence That Demands a Verdict, which is an attempt at defending the historicity and deity of Jesus and the inerrancy of scripture. It has been a perennial best-seller on the Christian bookstore market since its 1972 publication. The verdict of those who aren't already inclined to accept Biblically inerrant Christianity is "what's the point?"

There is concern that McDowell's work may be less scholarly than it appears.

McDowell's book can be highly misleading to an unwary reader. He is a "compiler": He scans the literature and picks out quotes which support or seem to support the case he is trying to make, ignoring all contrary material. He is not above lifting quotes out of context and alleging they pertain to subjects they do not. He cites from individual sources selectively, omitting what doesn't support his position. He exaggerates the degree to which his sources support his claims. Presenting only supporting material to the reader prevents any nuanced discussion of controversial issues and gives the reader the misleading impression of scholarly unanimity in support of McDowell's assertions. It is only by following up on McDowell's citations and seeking out opposing scholarly literature that an unwary reader can discover McDowell's deceptiveness. Most readers have neither the time nor the inclination for such research, and many conservative Christians are glad to see apparent scholarly support for what they already "know" is true. Unfortunately for them and the unwary they seek to influence, that support is a mirage and a deception.[1]

Freethinkers have written extensively about how unreliable they think McDowell's supposed evidence is.[2][3][4]

The internet[edit]

Atheists and skeptics now have equal access to our children as we have, which is why the number of Christian youth who believe in the fundamentals of Christianity is decreasing and sexual immorality is growing, apologist Josh McDowell said.

McDowell believes ready access to Internet porn is corrupting young people. Further he knows easy access to the Internet means atheists and skeptics can reach teenagers as easily as Christians can. McDowell fears if Christian fundamentalists have not reached children by the age of 12 those children will be lost to the other side. [5]

The Torah scroll[edit]

McDowell is in possession of what he claims is a 16th-century Torah scroll from the Jewish community of Lodz, Poland. He regularly brings the scroll to his speaking events. McDowell has refused to allow anyone to verify the scroll's provenance, which some Jews say raises ethical questions as, if authentic, the Torah could have been the subject of looting during the Holocaust. Assuming it is real, concerns have also been raised over McDowell allowing people to touch the delicate parchment with their bare, oily fingers. Critics say this defiling of a Jewish sacred object is a form of "replacement theology," which has historically been the basis for Christian anti-Semitism and persecution of Jews. Tom Hennell says McDowell's handling of the Torah is "crass" and reflects how "the entire history of Jewish witness, scholarship, persecution and annihilation is appropriated into the back-story for the Christian Bible."[6]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]