I have heard of Josh McDowell and his book More than a Carpenter since I was a child. Yet I never knew all the trials he went through as a child and all the ways God revealed Himself to Josh as a young man. What a case this makes for forgiving others - seeing the results in his life was amazing. I loved this story - it gave me goosebumps at times to see how God provided miraculously for Josh McDowell in so many different ways! I was bummed he didn't go further into his life - more info about his wife and the writing of his book More than a Carpenter - but still this was a fabulous book.
This biographical book told of an intellectual quest that led to spiritual awakening. The early experiences in his life were difficult to take, even heart-wrenching. His trials show he can relate to those who are suffering. Knowing where it led because he is such a public figure, I was not surprised by the conclusion, but the journey leading there was quite interesting and inspiring. His life can draw you to renew your own faith. I was reaching for the tissues when he wrote how God answered prayer in Chapter 19, at the end. This book did not take long to read, it flowed like a novel, and it had the evangelism I expected from Mr. McDowell.
Terrific demonstration of God's faithfulness, July 13, 2013
By Louise Pearson "luvs to cook" (Virginia Beach, VA)
This review is from: Undaunted: One Man's Real-Life Journey from Unspeakable Memories to Unbelievable Grace (Paperback)
Josh McDowell writes with incredible openness of his horrendous childhood as the last child of a woman so fat she couldn't walk through a doorway without hitting both sides and an abusive alcoholic father whose helper on the farm sexually abused Josh until Josh was strong enough to attack and almost kill him. Promising his mother he'd never be an alcoholic or swear, but be the son she'd be proud of, Josh managed to graduate from high school, join the Air Force, get out of it, go to college, and travel to Europe for evidence to debunk Jesus' resurrection. Amazingly, great professors, lawyers, clergy, librarians and scholars spent time with Josh, challenging and pointing out truths to him. Finally one suggested that his perception of his heavenly Father might have been affected by difficulties with his earthly father and that Goethe who wrote Faust said "Man errs until he stops striving." Josh recognized these truths, but it would take time before he was ready to ask God for forgiveness and His presence. Once he did, remarkable miracles took place. God truly directed Josh's paths, making impossible things happen, like finding out if his dead mother ever accepted Jesus as her savior.
This is the true story of Josh McDowell, author and evangelist. The book chronicles his childhood and college years, and was written by Josh and film director Cristobal Krusen.
This is a powerful story of Josh's upbringing. He overcame many struggles in life to get where he is today. I have read some of Josh's books but did not know his story or seen the film based on his life. I would have liked to see the story continue past his seminary years, which is where the book stops.
Reading a biography can be interesting for a number of reasons. What events and forces shaped the person who later became a public figure? If the book is written from a Christian perspective, how did God work in the person's life, how did the person come to faith, and how did faith contribute to dealing with various challenges? And in the case of a published author, who is the person behind the books?
Undaunted answers those questions regarding Josh McDowell's childhood and early adulthood. It is an easy read, never bogged down in details. It is perhaps somewhat lacking in depth, but it tells an inspirational story of God's power to change lives.
People struggling with painful childhood memories may appreciate seeing how God enabled McDowell to trust Him and to do ministry for Him. People with doubts about the truth of Christianity may be interested in following McDowell's search for answers - and may want to consider reading other books by McDowell where he answers these questions directly.
One thing that surprised me is that McDowell's reasons for rejecting God when he was young were emotional, yet what seemed to convince him were arguments based on evidence and logic. I had thought that people with emotional reasons not to believe were generally not swayed by intellectual arguments, any more than people with doubts related to facts and logic would be turned to faith by emotional arguments.
Perhaps McDowell was unusual in that regard. Or perhaps there is more to the story that is not included in this short book. A note on the cover of the book identifies it as "the true story behind the movie," and while the book no doubt covers more material than the movie, it seems likely that complex events and issues may still have been simplified a great deal.