(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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org