Evidence That Demands A Verdict
I first read The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell in 2011 as a required reading in college. I recall being blown away at the vast amount of evidence discussed. Each topic was broken into bigger sections and that made the book both easy to follow and easy to skip to an appropriate section.
In the new update Evidence That Demands A Verdict: Life Changing Truth for a Skeptical World Josh teams up with his son Sean in an amazing father/son duo that brings a much needed update to the previous edition. The authors have kept to the original look and feel, but that’s about all that is the same. The new iteration is virtually a new book–more than 49% is new content and an additional 20% is considered substantially revised.
With so much new information, giving a full and honest evaluation is simple: go buy this book. Now!
A point of contention
This book became available on Oct 3, 2017. I’ve had access to the book for about a month prior as part of the launch team. During that month I’ve had the opportunity to send out quotes like these:
- “Even if not overtly admitted, the search for truth is nevertheless hauntingly present, propelled by the need for incontrovertible answers to for inescapable questions: those dealing with origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.”
- “Truth by definition is exclusive. If truth were all-inclusive, nothing would be false. And if nothing were false, what would be the meaning of true?… The denial of truth as an absolute either ends up by denying itself or else … not making any truthful assertion about truth.”
- “Christianity appeals to history. It appeals to facts of history that can be examined through the normal means of historicity.”
- “The cliché that ‘life is balanced on a knife-edge’ is a staggering understatement in this case: no knife in the universe could have an edge that fine.” – Paul Davies
Non-miraculous explanations of what happened at the empty tomb have to face a cruel choice: either they have to rewrite the evidence in order to suit themselves or they have to accept the fact that they are not consistent with the present evidence. The only hypothesis that fits the evidence is that Jesus was really resurrected. –Winfried Corduan
As these quotes went out, so did their nay-sayers. And that’s ok. You do not write a book like Evidence without rustling a few feathers. Here are a few of their comments:
These twitter responses raise the question: Who is Evidence written for? In my opinion, everyone. Evidence speaks to other theists (Muslim/Judaism), polytheists (Hindus/Buddhism), atheists and skeptics (and more). Ultimately, there is no good reason to refuse reading the evidence presented in the book. Despite all of this, it should be noted that the book is written with a key audience in mind: Christians.
Evidence is mostly written for Christians…
Christians, if you find yourself in a relationship (friend, spouse, acquaintance, or otherwise) with someone who is not a follower of Jesus Christ, this book is a must have. Evidence will give you a starting point into some contrary perspectives as well as provide a list for you to expand your understanding. Josh and Sean do a tremendous job of equipping Christians to ask the right questions, solidify foundations and strengthen the Christian worldview.
Christians, if you want to take your relationship with Jesus beyond a blind faith—beyond an attitude of: the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it, this book is for you!
Christians, if you care about those you witness to and you want to mimic Jesus by guiding unbelievers to the truth in a compelling and winsome manner, this book is for you.
I’ll say it again: While I do believe this book has much to offer folks from differing worldviews, I don’t think a lot of them are ready for what’s in store. Evidence is highly focused to Christians. Those with alternative views have, in most cases, a much deeper opposition than tends to be immune to the kind of sound arguments presented in Evidence. Only non-Christians with a truly open mind (and a yearning Spirit) will likely find Christ in this book. But then again, Josh and Sean McDowell never set out to replace the Bible. They’ve done a fantastic job supporting it with excellent evidence.