Friday, June 7, 2013

The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell

When I first came to Japan, ok before I moved here, I faced this huge huge problem - which books should I bring? And apparently, 'all of them' was not an answer. Well, after a painstaking collection, I reduced the choices to under 40kg and well, the rest is history. One of those books that made the cut would be this one - The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict.

This book is hefty and intimidating. I bought it because I'm a strange girl and because I've always had an interest in apologetics. To me, this is one of the best books you can have as a reference guide.

Kind of like Frank Morison's "Who Moved The Stone?", The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict is aimed at well, showing how logical Christianity is. But with a lot more detail. This book is broken up into four parts: The Case For The Bible, The Case For Jesus, The Case For and Against Christianity and Truth or Consequences. These are all really broad topics, and they cover things from whether the Bible is historically reliable, allege contradictions in the Bible, whether Jesus existed, Documentary Hypothesis (it's a theory that says that The Pentateuch, the books that Moses wrote, was actually written by a bunch of people who lived long after Moses died), the knowability of truth (this was very useful for IB), defending miracles, the list goes on an on.

And for a book this thick, some of the chapters can be rather short. They're all broken down to one point per section, and some sections, like introductions and conclusions, are basically summaries and so are very short. Other sections last much much longer.

My favourite part is actually Part Four: Truth or Consequences. Perhaps because it's the easiest to understand (I find Form Criticism and the Documentary Hypothesis extremely difficult to understand), but it's a section that I used over and over again in IB.

I really recommend buying this book, reading through it at least once (this is my second time reading through it), and then using it as a reference.

Unrelated note: This book was re-read for the A Cup of Tea Reading Challenge. This challenge is one where you have to read books that are longer than 650 pages. For the record, this book is 687 pages. And well, if you're wondering why I'm so slow on this challenge, don't worry, I have a plan.

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