Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I first met Josh McDowell when in college I interviewed him for a Christian newspaper I served as founder/senior editor. Then a few years ago we reconnected in Canada when we were both speaking at Breakforth. I appreciate his (and his son, a professor at Biola) continued focus on apologetics. Here is a good overview of his story and the evidence he gathered to undergird a burgeoning belief in Jesus. Reading it can serve as a model of how to share apologetics and your story.
By Josh McDowell, Fox News, 4/8/18.
…When some young believing students at school challenged me to investigate the evidence for Christianity intellectually, I was shocked. Specifically, they challenged me to investigate the evidence for the resurrection. I thought it was joke. In fact, I thought it would be easy to marshal the evidence disproving the claims of Christ. Since I like a good challenge, I accepted their offer…
I left the university and traveled across the United States, Europe and the Middle East to study ancient manuscripts and gather the evidence against Christianity. After months of study, I returned to a small library in England. I leaned back in my chair, cupped my hands on the back of my head and said “It’s true. It really is true.”
…Needless to say, my research had taken quite an unexpected turn. I set out to disprove the historical resurrection of Jesus but ended up becoming a follower of Christ. I first published my research in 1972 in the book “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” which has since been printed over 4 million times in 44 languages.
The historical evidence for Christianity today is like a tsunami. And yet, the amount of evidence we have engulfs the kind that led me to believe in Christ over five decades ago. The textual, archaeological and manuscript evidence is increasing regularly.
…Because of this, my son Sean and I recently teamed up to revise “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” with all of the latest discoveries that bear upon one verdict: Jesus Christ has risen from the dead in confirmation that he is God.
This is obviously a radical claim to make today. After all, many smart people disagree with me. How do we know the claims of Christ are not “fake news?”
My challenge for you is to consider the evidence for yourself. According to the Apostle Paul, if Christ did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is false, and Christians are to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). But if Jesus did rise, then Christianity is true. The evidence is there, if you are willing to consider it. After 50 years of studying it, I can tell you that this tsunami has not let up.