I found the book, Undaunted, to be an amazing story of a man who was changed by God and the legacy that flowed from that change. Josh McDowell had a rough childhood and was going down the wrong road when a college student challenged him to prove that Jesus had never risen from the dead. Josh McDowell took the challenge and after studying manuscripts, talking to experts on the subject of apologetics, and going to Europe to research, he came to a startling conclusion: Jesus is as He says He is as the Son of God. Soon after he came to that realization, Josh gave his heart to Jesus. Once Josh became a Christian, his life changed for the better. He forgave those who hurt him in the past and went to Christian college to become a lawyer. Though he wanted to become a lawyer, God wanted him to be a minister so Josh gave up his dream to pursue God's will, which led to a big ministry that has helped bring many to Christ and strengthen the lives of Christians. Throughout this story, my main thought was how amazing God is because only He could change the hearts of people who turn to trust in Him.
I was working with the youth of my church with the pastor approached me and said that another pastor had approached him about the possibility of several churches joining together for a Josh McDowell conference. I had never heard about Josh McDowell at that point. All the details were planned. On the first night of the conference two things happened: (1) I was so impressed by Josh McDowell and what he had to say and (2) I met my husband for the first time. That has been 24 years ago now. Although we have been admirers of Josh McDowell's books like More Than A Carpenter, Right from Wrong and Don't Check your Brains At the Door, I never had any clue of Josh's life before his ministry.
Opening scenes of this movie start with Josh's earliest memories. His Dad has lost their farm and the entire town has turned out to mock them. It was painful to watch the reenactment. I hurt to think of what that was like for him as a child. It hurt even more to hear him admit that was the point that he turned his back on God.
Josh grew up with an alcoholic and extremely violent father. His mother is a large woman and has difficulties getting around. The family hires a live in housekeeper who sexually abuses Josh for years. Because the movie is done as a docudrama with scenes in the movie with brief scenes of narration from Josh, you can see the pain on his face as he relives each of these moments of his childhood.
Because of some of the mature subject matter I would not recommend this movie for anyone younger than middle school age; however, I highly recommend this movie. It is a moving testimony. Those who have read McDowell's books will truly come away with a greater appreciation for who Josh is.
Thank you to Echo Light Studios for their providing me with a copy to review.