Josh McDowell was the son of a “town drunk”. Due to his father’s abuse and alcoholism, young Josh was bitter towards life and had a very low self esteem. He hated his father, who beat his mother and gave Josh no love or attention. He felt Christianity was worthless. Yet, at last count, since 1960 Josh McDowell has written or co-authored over 142 books in over 100 languages supporting Christianity. This is Josh’s story.
When Josh entered Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan, he intended to pursue a legal career. He claimed he was an avowed agnostic. He ridiculed Christians and thought little of their beliefs, which he considered completely unbelievable.
A professor and fellow classmates in one of his classes challenged him to try and disprove Christianity. He took on the challenge and set out to prove that Christ's claims of His deity were false and that the historical authenticity of the Bible could not be relied upon nor confirmed as accurate. He intended to use research to discredit the claims of Jesus Christ. He planned to put in writing the facts that would, once and for all, prove that Christianity was a fraud.
But, the more he studied, the more he couldn’t ignore the facts he discovered. He found indisputable evidence that the claims and beliefs of Christians were true. He realized that the Bible was the most historically reliable document of all antiquity, and that Christ's claim that he was God was for real.
One night Josh was not able to sleep. He couldn’t keep from thinking about Jesus. Finally he knelt to pray and asked Jesus to come into his heart and accepted Him as his Lord. After his conversion, Josh’s plans for law school turned instead to plans to spread the truth about Jesus Christ to a world that doubted it just like he had. Josh completed his college degree at Wheaton College and then attended Talbot Theological Seminary, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master of Divinity degree.
Josh had cut all contacts with his father. When he accepted Christ as his Savior, a powerful love consumed his life. He described how it affected his feelings for his father: “God’s love took that hatred, turned it upside down, and emptied it out. I looked my father in the eyes and said, ‘Dad, I love you,’ and I really meant it."
A short time later, his dad visited him. “It was one of his few sober days,” Josh said. “Dad paced nervously around the room and finally blurted out, 'Son, how can you love a father like me?’ Josh answered, “Dad, six months ago I despised you.” He shared the story of his research and conclusions that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and confessed, “I have placed my trust in Christ, received God’s forgiveness, and invited Him into my life. He has changed me. God has taken away my hatred, and now I love and accept you just the way you are.”
After they talked for almost an hour, Josh’s dad said, “Son, if God can do in my life what I’ve seen Him do in yours, then I want to trust Him as my Savior and Lord.” His father’s life changed completely and immediately. Josh says his father was tempted to drink alcohol once after that, but threw it away before he took a sip.
Josh has devoted his life to telling the world about Jesus Christ. and is well-known as a compelling and convincing speaker. The Josh McDowell Ministry, as part of Campus Crusade for Christ International, reaches young people to tell them about the truth and love of Jesus. He has talked to more than ten million young people around the globe. In the United States, Josh and his team hold events to help young people maintain their beliefs as they deal with the stresses of the rapidly-changing culture they live in. The topics that are covered have such titles as:
* SIX HOURS WITH JOSH * WHY WAIT? * TRUE FOUNDATIONS
* COUNTER THE CULTURE * RIGHT FROM WRONG
One of the most well-known books Josh has written is The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. It is a very comprehensive book on apologetics (defense of Christianity and why the Bible is true). It has been named one of the twentieth century’s top forty books and one of the thirteen most influential books of the last fifty years on Christian thought by World Magazine. In addition, more than fifteen million copies of his book, More Than a Carpenter, have been printed. It is available in eighty-five languages.
Josh and his son, Sean, have co-authored several books, one of which is about Easter. It is called Evidence for the Resurrection: What It Means for Your Relationship with God. Released in February, 2009, it was written with the hopes of providing pastors and youth ministers with a way to teach the true, historical meaning of Easter, as an alternative to a holiday focused on bunnies and candy.
Presently the Josh McDowell Ministry headquarters is located in Plano, Texas. Affiliate offices are located around the country. Further information on Josh McDowell and his ministry may be found at: www.josh.org.