http://freethought.tamu.edu/criticism/mcdowell/etdav/ (Under Construction) The Jury Is In:

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http://freethought.tamu.edu/criticism/mcdowell/etdav/ (Under Construction) The Jury Is In: The Ruling on Josh McDowell's "Evidence" The Jury Is In - The Ruling on Josh McDowell's "Evidence" This directory is still actively under construction. Written in 1972, Evidence That Demands a Verdict was immediately hailed as "an unparalleled defense of Christianity." William Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, wrote in the Foreword to Evidence that "I personally have never heard a single individual - who has honestly considered the evidence - deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of men. The evidence confirming the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is overwhelmingly conclusive to any honest, objective seeker after truth." Many Christians seem to agree. Even today, many Christians offer Josh McDowell's Evidence as evidence for the Christian faith, in print, in debates, and even on computer bulletin boards. Not only is Evidence supposed to contain historical evidences which support Christianity, but many times Evidence is offered as evidence in and of itself. The purpose of Jury is to provide that systematic response and critique of Evidence that has been sorely lacking for so long. We felt it was necessary to produce a response to McDowell's Evidence for several reasons. First, no one else has done so. I am aware of a 32-page critique of McDowell's works that appeared in a 1982 issue of The American Rationalist , but this is not widely known or available, and because it was only 32 pages long, it did not answer many of McDowell's arguments. Many Christians interpret the lack of a systematic response to McDowell as a tacit admission of the veracity of McDowell's arguments. Second, the nature of the material contained within Evidence That Demands a Verdict demands a systematic, thoroughly researched response. We know from personal experience that Christians will often loan or give a copy of Josh McDowell's book when they witness to non-Christians, or will paraphrase McDowell's arguments in speeches, letters, and even on electronic forums. They attempt to overwhelm the non-Christian by challenging the non-Christian to read McDowell's Evidence and then respond to it. The material contained in Josh McDowell's Evidence is often so esoteric and uninteresting to the average person that few individuals have the energy and the desire to do the kind of research necessary to refute McDowell on their own. Our hope is that Jury will be a convenient way to find answers to most of McDowell's major arguments. Finally, Evidence seems to be one of the more popular apologetic works. Over thirty-five printings and one million copies later, Evidence continues to be a best-seller in Christian bookstores. Christians often single out Evidence as a strong case for Christianity; it is therefore also worth singling it out for refutation. With that said, a few disclaimers are in order. First, Jury is not intended to be a refutation of Christianity and the Bible. It is only a refutation of Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict . Indeed, one could be a Christian and agree with many of the criticisms of McDowell made in Jury . Second, since none of the contributors to Jury are Biblical scholars, Jury is unscholarly by definition. However, since Evidence That Demands a Verdict is unscholarly (most Christians will admit that McDowell is not a scholar), this should not be a major issue. Moreover, we have attempted to support our arguments with references, as did McDowell. Finally, Jury is not an exhaustive refutation. Just because something is not addressed here does not mean that the authors believe that McDowell is correct. The entire text contains numerous errors, both logical and factual, more than can be addressed here. Since McDowell organized his book according to his own unique outline format, we have tried to preserve follow his organization as much as possible. In general, we try to give an overview of each chapter, a concise summary of McDowell's arguments, and then our response. If nothing else, we hope that Jury will demonstrate that there are solid, factual, historical grounds on which to dispute Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict . You may not agree with our position, but you will at least have to admit that our position is reasonable and rational. JEFF LOWDER jlowder@spu.edu

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