Listen: Josh McDowell on Hope Breakfast
When I first came to faith in Grade 9, it was largely thanks to a book someone gave me to read: More Than a Carpenter.
Written by the then-agnostic law student Josh McDowell, it tells the story of his quest to disprove Christianity once and for all, for a college assignment. Fortunately, his mission didn’t go well, and the young sceptic was instead compelled to become a follower of Jesus. That book was one of the most convincing reasons for me to start following Jesus myself.
Today, more than 40 years since More Than A Carpenter was first published, it has sold more than 27 million copies, and McDowell has authored or co-authored more than 151 books in 128 different languages. His book Evidence that Demands a Verdict is considered by many to be one of the most influential books of its time.
But life wasn’t always such a success story for McDowell. As a child he grew up in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic and violent father, and was sexually abused by a worker on his family farm. As a young man he thought of himself as an agnostic. He truly believed that Christianity was worthless. And yet, after embracing the Christian faith, his life began to change dramatically as he experienced the power of God’s love. Later in life, his story was adapted into a movie called Undaunted.
Now an international speaker and evangelist, Josh McDowell was due to come to Australia – before the COVID-19 travel bans came in. So, instead of interviewing him face to face, Sam and Duncan caught up with him over the phone. In our interview, he shares about how his faith has shifted and grown since first writing More than a Carpenter – most importantly, that he is more patient and willing to listen more.
McDowell is now a grandfather, and he talks about how his life plans are radically different to what they once were. In the past, he had dreams of becoming a US Senator; now he instead spends his time travelling and speaking as a Christian apologist.
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Find out more about Josh McDowell’s work at Josh.org.