Josh & Sean McDowell on the New Edition of Evidence That Demands A Verdict
Here’s another great interview from Ed Stetzer at The Exchange.
Josh and Sean McDowell have just come out with a new edition of the modern apologetics classic Evidence That Demands A Verdict. Below I ask them some questions about why they updated the classic and the role of apologetics and evangelism today.
Ed: So, what does this new version contain that the previous version did not?
Josh and Sean: There are two main additions. First, we updated some of the arguments. There have been some remarkable manuscript and archaeological discoveries that strengthen the evidence. For instance, Evidence includes the most up-to-date list of the number of New Testament manuscripts. It was an enormous task to compile this, but Christians need to be aware of how strong the case is for the reliability of the Bible. Second, there are some entirely new issues that we tackle, such as the claim that Christianity is a copycat religion, historical evidence for the exodus, the martyrdom of the apostles, the challenges raised by Bart Ehrman, and more.
Ed: What advice would you give Christians today about how to begin faith conversations? To continue faith conversations?
Josh and Sean: Our first suggestion is to learn what you believe and why. We have found in our own lives that when we are prepared with an answer, as 1 Peter 3:15 commands, we have much more confidence to engage others in conversation. Second, just ask questions. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just be willing to ask questions and be a good listener. Here’s some of our favorite questions: What do you believe? Why do you believe it? What experiences have most shaped your belief in God? What would convince you to believe in God? If you don’t believe in God, can you tell me about the God you don’t believe in?
The best way to continue conversations is just to be persistent. Of course, it is important to keep balance in the relationship so we don’t overwhelm people and communicate that we only care about conversion. But we have found that if we are intentional in relationships, and treat people the way we would want them to treat us, then most people are willing to have continual spiritual conversations. And remember to have a long-term perspective. Some people come to faith quickly, but others take years.