Saturday, November 19, 2011

#263: Joslin “Josh” McDowell

Josh McDowell is an evangelical preacher and Christian apologist – and one of the most famous ones at that. His book “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” tries to establish the historicity and divinity of Jesus and the inerrancy of scripture. To do that, he primarily uses Scripture (+ confirmation bias, selective use of (and mangling of) actual historical science). And he lies. A pretty extensive commentary on and rebuttal of his claims can be found here. The arguments are really, really, really bad. They belong either to the “Many people have died for their faith. Would they be prepared to do this for a lie? Therefore God exists” category, or the “Jesus Christ is either who he says he is, or he is the biggest con man history has ever known. But he cannot be the latter since he is the son of God, and no son of a perfectly good God could be a liar” category. And no, McDowell is no new Aquinas, even though certain other famous apologists may arguably make him look that way in comparison.

McDowell has been associated with Campus Crusade for Christ since 1964. He has also written “More Than a Carpenter”, “A Ready Defense”, “Right from Wrong”, “Why Wait?” (with Dick Day – a defense of abstinence) and a lot of other books. He’s very concerned about the Internet, however, since the Internet enables skeptics to share information with people who could otherwise have become good Christians.

Oh, and he is an ardent creationist. Little surprise there. He was in fact one of the adventurers who “found Noah’s Ark” with Bob Cornuke.

Diagnosis: No one begs the question quite like Josh McDowell; add to that the unerring reliance of selective use of evidence and pure confirmation bias, and you have a true loon. McDowell, the ur-godbotter, scores on all points, and his fame and influence should really be inexplicable.


  1. You may be interested to know that the guy who wrote the evolution section of McDowell's and Stewart's book Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity has long since repudiated what he wrote there.

    McDowell, Josh, Stewart, Don, (1981). Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity. Here's Life Publishers. San Bernardino Ca. Ghost wrote the Evolution section. (See page after Contents)

    Comment: I no longer support the ideas in that book. The arguments are typical young-earth arguments which I have totally rejected as being totally fallacious.

    His larger website where he deals with global flood and young earth is here.

  2. I know this is an old entry, but here are some replies to Lowder:

    Jeff Lowder and purpose of ETDAV

    Jeff Lowder ETDAV 2