I want to admit right off the bat that when it comes to Christian apologetics, am struggling to reach even dilettante status. So the size and "formality" of Evidence That Demands A Verdict *is* intimidating. This book is huge - more than 750 pages, and heavy enough to generate its own gravity field. But, at the same time, is that not incredible? That there is *this* much support for the Christian faith?
Josh McDowell is something of a genius, I think, and there's not an iota of "talking down" to the readership in here. Even on paper, he's a little like a university lecturer who expects you to understand what he's talking about, and if you don't, he's not going to slow down just for your benefit. However, it's always those lecturers that are the most inspirational in many ways, as you know they genuinely are an expert in their field.
He starts off with his own testimony, so you are shown from page 1 (technically, page xxiii) that to be a Christian is in no way synonymous with eschewing your intellectual integrity. From there he provides historical and factual support for the Bible, for Christ as historical figure and for the Christian faith. Bear in mind I've just described 750 pages in 3 sentences. Some of the chapter headings are as follows:
~ Is the New Testament historically reliable? ~ Jesus, a man of hitory ~ The Presupposition of Anti-supernaturalism ~ Archaeology and Biblical Criticism ~ Development of the Documentary Hypothesis ~ Consequence of Radical Higher Criticism ~ Incongruities ~ Historical Skepticism ~ The Nature of Truth ~ Certainty vs. Certitude...
and a myriad others. This is a scholarly book, and one that will have you jotting down notes and facts you'll want to later research for yourself.
The Christian faith is precisely that - a faith. But knowing it is based so firmly and solidly on verifiable and historical evidence is hugely beneficial. ETDV is a valuable tool for Christians wanting to strengthen their own faith, for Christians wanting to defend the faith to others, and for anyone who is interested in learning why so many *follow* the faith.
Just don't expect to flick through this over a weekend. This is as indepth as any degree and masters rolled into one, and it's a challenge. But it's one I have found wholly satisfying and enjoyable.