More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell & Sean McDowell

As a practicing Christian, I like to read Christian literature to help with the growth of my faith and I am very lucky that my church has it’s own book club to help me with this. After a break due to the ill-health in the family of the group’s leader, we returned to meeting with More Than A Carpenter by, new-to-me authors, Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, in May.

This 2011 updated version of Josh McDowell’s 1977 inspirational Christian classic, challenges readers to ask the question, ‘Who is Jesus?’; with some added chapters and insights from his son, Sean McDowell to continue making this as relevant as possible for today’s readers. The main inspiration to write this book came from Josh’s questions on why God is widely accepted and yet the name of Jesus can often cause such irritation and even anger?

‘Why don’t the names of Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius offend people? The reason is that these others didn’t claim to be God, but Jesus did.’

And so Josh wrote this book, as a sceptic turned believer himself, to address the commonly raised questions, objections and evidence about Jesus. He succinctly shares with us the detailed research he did into the scientific and historical evidence for Jesus; the validity of the Bible; and the proofs of the resurrection, with the aim to help readers come to an informed and intelligent decision about whether Jesus was a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord.

While I don’t think I learnt anything drastically new from this book – apart from the son Sean’s chapter on the challenges of ‘New Atheism’, which was eye opening – it is sometimes good to have your own thoughts and beliefs backed up by an eloquent and extremely knowledgeable author, speaker and minister like Josh is. It also made for a good discussion for our church’s book club’s rescheduled May Zoom meeting, in the first week of June. In fact, many of the other members enjoyed it even more than me and it was suggested it would be a very good evangelism tool.

All in all, I thought More Than a Carpenter, was a quick, short and concise book, that I think would work well as a reference point if your faith is ever challenged, by yourself or others. Or, as my book club suggested, as a book to pass to friends and family with questions. I have already popped it on my dad’s to-be-read pile. 😉 Good read.


Now I’d love to hear from you: What do you think? Have you read this? Or have you read any of Josh McDowell’s other books?

10 thoughts on “More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell & Sean McDowell

  1. I have this book (or a much older copy of it) sitting in front of me, waiting to be read during August. I’m kind of sorry I don’t have your updated copy since it sounds like it has some interesting additions. Even if I get nothing new from it, it never hurts to reinforce our beliefs. 🙂

  2. No, I have not read this. But Josh McDowall is famous from back in the 70s. Especially for 2 earlier books: 1. Evidence that Demands a Verdict (about Jesus and his Resurrection) and 2. MORE Evidence that Demands a Verdict.

    I confess, I have not read these. I *have* read “Mere Christianity” by C.S.Lewis and, well, it got me thinking for awhile. While i DO feel it is very good for people to know why they believe what they believe, I also see a problem/difficulty, at least for me, which I will explain in a minute. But first—

    Two more books that “defend the Faith” are:
    1. KNOW WHY YOU BELIEVE by Paul Little
    2. CHRISTIANITY FOR THE TOUGH-MINDED by John Warwick Montgomery.
    Those, are “Pro-Christian”.

    Now here’s what I see as a problem. Because, at least for me, it leads me to a: “Wellll? NOW what?” That happens because……(more below)

    1. Josh McDowall writes a book defending the Faith, and then—Jeffrey Jay Lowder writes about all the things wrong in Evidence that demands a Verdict. I dont know which one is right.
    2. CS Lewis wrote Mere Christianity but then another author, last name “Beverslius” or Beversluis, writes a book countering Lewis’s book.
    For some years, there seemed to be sort of a lull or pause in this kind of stuff and then…along comes LEE STROBEL with his Case For a Creator and also The Case For Christ. These were very popular and likely sold “a ton” of copies. Now, not too long ago, we had Robert M. Price write The Case Against the Case For Christ. Countering Strobel’s book. And thats the thing—it seems as soon as some christian writes something “FOR” its only a few years later that someone writes a book to “undo” that book. What now? Do we simply not expose ourself to the unfavorable book? If what we have is Truth, I would think it should be able to stand up, despite the critique.

    While I find it all quite interesting and I am curious, i have not read completely, anything of McDowall, or Strobel, or Price. I *have* read all of Lewis’s Mere Christianity. But Lewis sometimes appears to insert his own opinions into things. I feel I should read more, but there seems to be ssoooo many books out there….sigh.

    I do not want to be responsible for ruining anyone’s faith. I may mention things pro, or con, and ask questions, but whatever anyone decides on, is their own doing. (more)…

    It’s bad enough with the Books. But actual Churches can be a problem to. In my opinion, I cannot accept “Calvinism” (see Wikipedia). I also cannot accept the idea of “once saved, always saved.” Didn’t Jesus himself say If ye CONTINUE IN MY WORD…something like that? Think about it—if you cant lose your salvation, then this would make “Backsliding” and “Apostasy” impossible, but they ARE possible. People say: But Jesus paid it all. To me, its like, when you “get saved”, all of your sins are forgiven UP-TO-THAT-POINT. Thats important. Its as if the blackboard has been erased and you have a NEW start and a
    “New Life in Christ”—-but—-NOW, it’s a “daily Walk”. We dont just cruise into Heaven on auto-pilot. You have free will. People can “fall away”. Or they can seek to do the will of God. It isnt automatic. Its a choice. The apostle James talked about being DO-er’s of the Word and not hearers only. I could go on. There is so much more. I feel like there;s never enough time, but thats just me.

    1. Owl, I think faith is a very personal thing and is something you have to choose to do each and everyday. I highly recommend reading more books that are for and against faith if you wish, as well as exploring your faith through prayer and experience so you can make up your own mind. This is the same for churches. I can’t say I know anything about Calvinism, but if you find it problematic there are many churches and denominations. I go to a local Church of England/Anglican church, because I find it to be friendly, welcoming and a relaxed place, where I feel I can be me and explore my faith without judgement. I hope this is something you will be able to find for yourself too. 🙏

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