Josh McDowell, founder of the trans-denominational Christian organisation Campus Crusade for Christ and author of More Than a Carpenter, is known to the public after a decades-long career and having had several volumes published in the field of apologetics.

McDowell was not always a Christian, but began his spiritual journey as an agnostic after a childhood and youth marked by abuse. He came to believe in God and to be a Christian, relying on the fact that the evidence he discovered in favour of faith, he said, crushed the evidence against it.

Although he studied law and had begun a political career, McDowell turned to theology, studying at Wheaton College (Illinois, USA) and then at the Talbot School of Theology of Biola University (California, USA), where he got a master’s degree in theology, graduating magna cum laudae. His son, co-author of the present volume, teaches apologetics at the theological school his father graduated from and has authored over 20 volumes on faith-related topics.

More Than a Carpenter is one of the 150 books written by Josh McDowell and was first published in 1977. Since then, it has sold over 15 million copies. The present edition is revised and added to by the author’s son to enhance the relevance of the book for new generations.

Written in an accessible and friendly language, the book traces its structure by appealing to the author’s personal experience and his own journey in discovering the evidence in favour of adopting the Christian faith. With this approach he manages to answer some of the most important objections brought against a belief in the divinity of Christ.

Each chapter argues against an assumption contrary to faith: “Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?”, “What about science?”, “Are the Biblical Records Reliable?”, “Isn’t There Some Other Way?” and probably the argumentative climax of the book: “Who Would Die for a Lie?” and “What Good Is a Dead Messiah?”

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more than a carpenter

The volume is short, almost like a booklet. This, however, makes it very versatile as a gift for those who are willing to examine the reasons why Christian believers still hold to an idea increasingly difficult for new generations to believe—that the Son of God Himself came to earth and died to save mankind captive to the eternal consequences of their own wrong choices.

 Alina Kartman is a senior editor at ST Network and Signs of the Times Romania.