More Than a Carpenter

More Than a Carpenter

by Josh McDowell

In "More Than a Carpenter" Josh focuses upon the person who changed his life - Jesus Christ. It is a hard-headed book for people who are skeptical about Jesus' deity, his resurrection, his claims on their lives.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Christian
  • Rating: 4.21
  • Pages: 128
  • Publish Date: May 12th 1980 by Tyndale House Publishers
  • Isbn10: 0842345523
  • Isbn13: 9780842345521

Read the Book "More Than a Carpenter" Online

Over the coming weeks I found myself drawn to this book. This book presents evidence in a clear straightforward and intellectually honest way, albeit confrontationally.

This is one of those books I read with a highlighter handy. "It amazes me to hear so many people say that Jesus was simply a good moral teacher.

As an overall comment, I think the value of this book is comprised solely of the fact that it is a quick, easy read which presents some of the basic arguments for Christianity. You'll read a chapter and rather than McDowell making his own points, you'll find that often times he punts to other historians and apologists to let them explain in a paragraph-length quote the point that is being made. Some other passages are offered as well, but not as many, suggesting that Jesus claimed he was God in the other Gospels. The major problem with this chapter is that McDowell just assumes that if the Gospels record Jesus as having said something, then the actual historical Jesus (if there ever was one) said those things. No attempt is made to show that what the Gospels record Jesus as saying is probably, in fact, what Jesus said. This carries on into the next chapter, which builds upon the previous conclusion that Jesus claimed to be God. McDowell takes a page from famed Christian apologist C.S. Lewis: If Jesus claimed to be God, then there are only three possibilities. If you're wondering what convincing evidence there is that Jesus was not a liar, or that he was not a lunatic, you'd be hard pressed to find that evidence in this book. Most people who claim to be God are either liars or lunatics, so the general trend counts against Jesus, if he indeed claimed such a thing in the first place. Most of the time in the present chapter McDowell is simply quoting historians who have come to the conclusion that the NT documents are reliable. In chapter five he asks: "who would die for a lie?" The implication is that if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then the disciples knew it was a lie. It is more reasonable, says the apologist, to conclude that Jesus really was raised from the dead. First, McDowell presents no reliable historical evidence that any of the disciples died for their belief in Jesus' resurrection. In chapter six McDowell argues that Jews were expecting a messiah who would be a great military and political ruler, not some guy who would suffer and die at the hands of unjust leaders. The fact is, there are prophecies in the Old Testament that suggest that the messiah would have to suffer a humiliating death and be vindicated by God. This is argued in detail in one of the early chapters of "Not the Impossible Faith," mentioned earlier. McDowell himself claims that Jesus uniquely fulfilled the prophecies from the Old Testament. It looks like apologists want to claim that Jews universally expected a certain kind of messiah, apparently not paying attention to the prophecies that he would be killed unjustly, yet as it turned out Jesus' death confirmed the prophecies nobody ever thought about, which serves as even more confirmation for Christianity. (Just read his account of the crucifixion and resurrection and compare what he says to what everybody else says.) McDowell also trots out the old argument that if Jesus' tomb wasn't really empty, then his body would have been wheeled out by the authorities and dragged around town to prove that he was still dead. And after less than a week sitting in a tomb and decomposing, the body would have already been beyond recognition, so that Christians could always claim that any body that was brought out to prove that Jesus was still dead was somebody else's body! The last main argumentative chapter suggests that there are so many fulfilled prophecies in the life of Jesus that it is extremely improbable that he isn't the true messiah. Sam Harris, in "Letter to a Christian Nation", summarizes the counter-argument rather nicely: "It is often said that it is reasonable to believe that the Bible is the word of God because many of the events recounted in the New Testament confirm Old Testament prophecy. But ask yourself, how difficult would it have been for the Gospel writers to tell the story of Jesus' life so as to make it conform to Old Testament prophecy? Wouldn't it have been within the power of any mortal to write a book that confirms the predictions of a previous book?" And so dies the argument from McDowell's chapter, since he never seems to consider this obvious possibility.

Here are my thoughts on this text, which seems to be written with the goal of giving a person intellectual/logical reasons to believe in Christ. 2.I see some flaws and weaknesses in some of Josh McDowells arguments. 4.Ironically, for a text that makes an intellectual argument for Christ, I found chapter 5 (Who Would Die for a Lie?) and chapter 11 (He Changed My Life) to be the most persuasive aspects of the book. Josh McDowell is polite and practical in his approach, and I would think one would be hard put to be offended by this text if they end up disagreeing with him.

Then read the book and ask yourself the same question throughout.

This book is the most inspiring thing Ive read in decades.

This book is very powerful and it speaks the truth and I believe it has changed many readers to where they have given there lives to Jesus.

When arguing against counter-apologetics, McDowell provides an underwhelming and often inaccurate summary of the non-christian argument, and then proceeds to simply assert that god is a better explanation...just because. I suppose if one is unfamiliar with the common Christian apologetics and was already a believer, this book offers a brief, yet inadequate introduction on the topic.

Either accept Him as the sole way to God, or leave Him out of the argument altogether because it just doesn't fit with His very own teachings.

Since beginning ministry in 1961, Josh has given more than 24,000 talks to over 10 million young people in 118 countries.