Book Review: Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell

Book Review: Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell

 

 

Evidence
Image taken from Christianbook.com for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine

Evidence by Josh McDowell is an apologetics book that provides evidence and counter evidence to uphold history as it’s documented in the Bible. Right about here some readers might be inclined to stop paying attention, but allow just to make this argument:

When you wen to school, you read a book that told you what happened and believed it. When the world presents a theory as fact, especially in schools, people accept those facts. I’m not actually arguing any of the information in the Bible in this post; I’m only presenting the observation that one reason why the historical record in the Bible is refuted is because it’s the Bible.

Evidence takes on questions such as: “Was Jesus a real person?” “How old is the Earth?” “Was Moses a historical figure?” “Is there evidence for the plagues of Egypt?”

This book took me a very long time to go over. For analytical thinkers, this book is packed with relevant scientific data presented for consideration. I typically consider myself an analytical thinker, but this book is currently miles ahead of where I am in terms of theory and analysis.

I’d be very interested if McDowell broke this book down into smaller parts and provided more context and analysis on those specific chapters.

As I study the Bible more and more, and look at history, I become more convinced of the historical accuracy of the Bible. This can create some inflammatory points of debate I’d rather not go off on.

McDowell
Image of Josh McDowell taken from his Goodreads author account for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

I mention the above simply to provide context on what Evidence does. This book doesn’t just state what the Bible says. In fact, it provides detailed archeological information along with multiple plausible theories. The struggle is it’s like reading three different (and information-packed) textbooks.

I’ll probably read this again in a few years after I’ve done some lighter research. At this point, it feels like calculus, and I’m just learning to count with my fingers. For people with a higher knowledge base in science or a deeper understanding of the Bible, it’s probably perfect.

Any time someone studies and tries to learn more about God, it’s a good thing. There is a lot of valuable information here for readers, but for my part it feels more like a challenge to study more as opposed to the direct answers I wanted.  That’s more a problem with my expectations than what the book actually does.

I’m still studying up on my apologetics now, and as I grow, I’m confident more if this information will make even more sense.

Thanks for reading

Matt

 

Book Review: 12 Ordinary Men by John MacArthur

Book Review: 12 Ordinary Men by John MacArthur
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Image taken from Amazon for review purposes under fair use doctrine.

12 Ordinary Men by John MacArthur is a book that looks at the original 12 Apostles. I’ve already read this book twice, and I intend to read it again at some point.

What this book does is help the reader see just how human the Apostles were. They were chosen by God, and developed into the foundations of the Christian church, but they were just men. Not only that, they weren’t from a high station.

I appreciated the person-by-person structure of the book. I was honestly most impressed with Andrew, Peter’s younger brother. Why? Because all Andrew did was introduce people to Jesus.  While I wish I had more in common with Andrew, I see more of myself in Peter and John.

Like them, I’m aggressive. I’m task oriented. I’m driven. I have ambition. I value truth over most things. These aren’t inherently sinful traits, but they can lead one to stumble if no one is there to temper those traits into positive leadership.

I’m comforted in that while I see that I need to develop certain skills and bring back others, they are traits that could be useful to my Savior if I seek to serve Him more.

If any are wondering, this book even takes a look at Judas. It’s as comprehensive as it can be. It uses some church history writings to fill in some gaps, but the primary source of reference for the information is, of course, the Bible.

John-MacArthur-Primary-2
This image taken from MacArthur’s web site for review purposes under fair use doctrine.

I’d recommend this book to any people in leadership. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to see personal growth. Seeing a detailed character study allowed me to see parts of myself and truly contemplate how I’m acting. This is probably my favorite book by MacArthur to date.

By looking at how Jesus developed his Apostles, we also get a unique view of Him, and that’s always a plus.

I’m honestly a big fan of this particular book. Any Christian looking to evaluate their walk with Christ would do well to read this.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Sonnets for My Savior 11

Sonnets for My Savior 11

He Came

He was promised when Eve was deceived.

He was promised when Moses led the Jews.

All the prophets who came were disbelieved.

From Moses to the Baptist, they were abused for their news.

Isaiah said he would come as a baby.

Micah told them where the Christ would be born.

Nephi prophesied He would be born to a virgin lady.

These signs would announce that God had done as he had sworn.

He came as Isaiah predicted.

He arrived just where Micah said he would.

The virgin Mary gave birth just as Nephi depicted.

He came, but His people did not welcome Him as they should. 

He came to be a ransom for many.

He came to pay our price and suffer our agony.


 

The Devil Is Your Best Friend

“It’s OK,” he says. “No one will cast blame.”

Seek not encouragement from friends.

Instead, obey the one with the most Holy name.

His law is written, and his rules do not bend.

“It’s OK,” he says. “Everybody does as you do.”

Seek not the approval of man.

Instead, follow after He who died to save you.

He is the way, the truth, and the light; the only path to Heaven.

“You’ll never be perfect,” he says. “Do what you wish rater than suffer guilt.”

Seek not a path of comfort.

Instead, do what is right according to the one by whom this world was built.

He is God, and His will is one no man can subvert.

Do not listen to the words of man,

Instead hear God, for against His wrath, no man can stand.


 

That Day

They mocked him, daring him to save himself if he could,

ignorant of the reason for his death.

Nine hours he hung, bleeding on a cross of wood.

“It is finished,” he said, and then he breathed his last breath.

They buried him in a rich man’s tomb

and rolled a stone to the entrance.

The disciples were each filled with gloom,

but they should have remembered what was said in advance.

How foolish it was to think

that a mortal guard could do what death could not.

At an angel’s arrival, the guards did shrink

as he removed the stone and sat upon the rock.

They mocked Christ on that day,

but when he returns again, they’ll know him, kneel, and offer praise.


 

Let Us Be Ready

Let us wear wedding garments that we may celebrate Your feast.

Let us carry our flasks of oil that we might be ready when You come.

Let us feed and give water to your brothers even to one of the least.

Let us welcome strangers, no matter where they’re from.

Let us increase what you entrust to us no matter the amount,

so that we might be good and faithful servants.

For to those who return your gifts with interest receive more than they can count,

when you rent out your vineyard, let us be loyal occupants.

Let us stay awake

for we know the thief is coming.

For we have more at stake

than simple possessions or even gold that’s gleaming.

Let us be ready for Your return,

for those who do not seek the Son, are only destined to burn.


 

For Your Brothers

When You are hungry, we will give you food.

When You are thirsty, we will give You refreshment.

If You are a stranger, we’ll offer our welcome and not be rude.

Should You be naked, we will offer you a garment.

If You are sick, we will visit you.

If You are in prison, we will come.

As we do for your chosen, we do it for you, too.

We serve so that Your will might be done.

Let us serve our brothers to glorify your name.

Let us offer our love and fellowship.

For as we treat our brothers, you will treat us the same,

so we share and help to demonstrate our worship.

Let us inherit the kingdom you have prepared.

For whatever your brothers needed, we have freely shared.


 

The Irony

“…not as I will, but as you will,” He said. He wanted the cup to pass.

Instead, he accepted the will of his Father.

Peter pulled his sword, ready to fight to the last.

Instead, Jesus told him to put it away so He might fulfill scripture.

The people chose Barabbas, denying their Savior.

They saved the guilty, and condemned the innocent.

Soldiers abused and mocked our Ruler.

But even in this, Jesus did that for which He was sent.

“…let Him come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him,” they said.

They reviled him thinking His death was evidence of a lie.

They did not realize that if He came down, we would all be dead.

They didn’t know that his death was for our sin, and through him we are alive.

He did not come down because he lacked the power;

he stayed hung to the cross to save us in our most desperate but shameful hour.


 

The Commission

Make disciples of all nations.

Baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

We can build fellowship and establish good relations,

teaching them the good news and blessing all who hear it.

Help them observe all He has commanded.

Help them learn of Christ and the resurrection.

Prepare them for the end before Jesus has descended.

For only through accepting him can people receive salvation.

Let Your commission be obeyed.

Let us be bold in our testimony.

Though our ability is insufficient, Your Spirit will come to our aid,

Let us follow the spirit of Your commands and not get lost in simple ceremony.

Let us take up your great commission.

To help Your kingdom come, is our most holy mission.

Sonnets for My Savior 5

Sonnets for My Savior 5

A Family Under God

Let husbands love their wives with a sacrificial love;

let husbands love their wives as they love themselves.

Let wives respect their husbands as heads just as the Lord is head above;

let your scripture be the source for guidance into which the family delves.

Let children be obedient and honor their parents;

let them be raised in the Lord’s discipline and instruction.

Let Your word and Your teachings be parents’ primary arguments

to guide them to a life free from the evil one’s seduction.

Let family members bear with each other and forgive

just as the Lord has forgiven us.

Let their worship for You outlive

any personal distrusts.

Let families live only in accordance to Your will,

so that love and blessings from their hearts overfill.


 

Appreciation

Let us give thanks to the Lord with all of our hearts

and proclaim all of His wonderful deeds.

We owe all we have to Him who gives all one needs;

We know that once You have one’s soul, from You it never departs.

He is our rock and our salvation,

so let us always keep him near.

His presence means we need not fear

the curse of eternal damnation.

He grants us our strength and makes us strong,

and to His people He gives peace.

We give thanks to the God from whom all things flow.

He has passed over the sins we have committed, indeed every wrong.

Through him we receive a release

and await the new lives he will, eventually, bestow.


 

An End to Suffering

We pray for Your day to come fast,

for that day, You will wipe the tears from our eyes,

and death will no longer last.

Mourning, crying, and pain will cease on the day You arise.

Even if we suffer for a time,

we rejoice despite the pain

because the age to come will be sublime.

Therefore our endurance is not in vain.

From the character endurance breeds comes hope,

and hope does not put us to shame.

Even if we feel we can’t cope,

we will put our trust in Your holy name

We await Your return eagerly,

for on that day, from suffering we will be free.


 

Faithful

Oh gracious God, You keep Your ears open for our supplications.

Your love is steadfast with those who love You and keep Your commandments.

You are faithful and provide ways to escape our temptations.

You provide for us and heal us from our ailments.

When we seek You with all our hearts, we find you.

When we come and pray to You, You hear.

Let us hold fast to our hope, for when You make a promise, You always come through.

We exalt You, Lord, for to us You are dear.

In times of temptation, we take heart in Your son.

Even if some are unfaithful, your faithfulness remains.

Even when we suffer, we trust in your will, which will always be done.

We were trapped in sin, and You have broken our chains.

Thank you for being merciful and true

and we give thanks for all the glorious things you do.


 

Trust in Your Wisdom

Your Wisdom is pure;

Your judgements are unsearchable.

Though we may doubt, you are always sure.

The depths of your knowledge are unmeasurable.

Fear of You is the beginning of knowledge;

to shun evil is understanding.

In times of sadness, let us pledge

to offer You praise that is abounding.

Should we encounter disappointment,

let us see it as an opportunity

to glorify your sovereign judgement

and conduct ourselves with dignity.

Any one can praise You in times of gladness,

but blessed are those who praise You even in times of sadness.


 

Doers

We know it isn’t enough to know.

Our fathers and ceremonies are not what count.

With all we do, we are held to account,

and we will reap what we sow.

You, Lord, measure our heart,

so the rule of law is not where our salvation lies.

Any person who relies on himself dies,

but those who put their faith in Christ are held apart.

Those who do the law are justified;

righteousness doesn’t come from listening.

Even those who haven’t heard it can be a law to themselves if they do what is required.

Those who know the law but break it show themselves falsified.

The disobedient will find the obedient condemning.

For those who receive grace through faith are the ones who are desired.


 

Call Me

Here I sit in my iniquity;

call me please, so with You I may sit.

To claim not to need You is fatuity.

I am a sinner, so to You I submit.

I am sick;

You are the only physician who can heal me.

Rebuild me, Lord, brick by brick,

and leave my transgressions in the debris.

I listen for Your call,

for I can not escape my sin.

Let me hear You before I fall,

for there is nothing good in my skin.

The table of tax collectors and sinners is where I should be,

so please sit with us and share the truth that sets us free.

s