By MADDY VITALE
Author and evangelical apologist Josh McDowell took a contrarian view.
He learned the most about Christianity and believing through not believing and trying to discredit the Christian faith when he was a young man.
“I think I learned more by refuting the Bible. I never knew until I set out to refute it,” McDowell told a crowd at the Ocean City Tabernacle on Saturday.
Fast forward 57 years. The now 81-year-old McDowell is a best-selling author and co-author of 148 books on Christianity, including “More Than a Carpenter” and “New Evidence That Demands a Verdict.”
During his presentation at the Tabernacle, titled “Discover the Evidence,” a “tactical adventure through history and archeology,” McDowell took the audience on a journey.
On a table set up below the stage were ancient artifacts for the audience to peruse. McDowell explained that there was an ancient scroll, ancient books and other relics he said helped him to understand that the Bible is a true documented account of history.
McDowell spoke of how he discovered his faith and a way to enlighten others that there is concrete proof the Bible is not filled with fables, but with truth.
“There is great value in the ancient writings,” he noted.
He urged the audience to always have in the back of their minds when researching Christianity, “Is what was written down true?”
“To this day, no biblical discovery has ever undermined the Bible,” he pointed out.
In the opening segment of his discussion, he explained how ancient writings from classical to scripture give a perspective of how facts can be changed or not changed through copying.
Some writings were replicated a few times over many years — while others were not. McDowell discussed how the more writings were copied, the more chance for changing the facts. The ones copied less were more accurate representations of the original.
Ocean City Tabernacle Pastor Jay Reimer recalled reading McDowell’s book, “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” published in 1972. It is said to be a resource book for Christian apologetics presenting arguments about the truthfulness of Christianity.
Reimer said it gave him perspective about the Bible.
“The first time I read the Bible it wasn’t just a story and fiction,” Reimer said, crediting McDowell’s works in Christian writings for enlightening him. “Since then, I truly value his teachings.”
He spoke of the resurrection of Christ.
“He has risen. He has risen indeed,” McDowell said.
McDowell explained how there is no way the resurrection could have been concocted. There is much research to substantiate it and writings in the New Testament give ample proof.
On Sunday, McDowell will speak on the necessity of parents building good relationships with their children at the Tabernacle’s 8:30 a.m. traditional and 10:30 a.m. contemporary worship services.
For a complete schedule of speakers, concerts and events at the Tabernacle this summer, visit www.octabernacle.org.
Located at 550 Wesley Avenue, the Tabernacle is a family ministry center where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is central. 2021 marks the Tabernacle’s 142nd year of ministry.