I highly encourage you to read More than a Carpenter so that you can talk intelligently about the proof which verifies that our faith is more than just blind trust. There is most definitely historical and intellectual proof for what we believe. God wanted and wants for there to be proof since He deals in miracles every day and since He has offered prophetic predictions of future events in proof of Who He Is. It is a very important for God to prove that He is real, so that He stands out far above man-made legalistic religions which operate under frail human power and work from sinful flesh. Although I want you all to buy a copy of McDowell’s book and read it (which can be done in one sitting easily), I have posted four resources on my website’s Bible Resources page concerning the book which may help you remember the main points of the book and commit them to memory. The four resources are a 2-page outline of the book, a 4-page outline with a little more detail, a 12-page synopsis with much more detail, and a 23-page synopsis with the most detail of all 4.
One of the most compelling arguments in the book is about the dramatically transformed lives of people who encounter Christ and ask Him into their hearts as Lord and Savior. Josh McDowell was one of those because he had been a devout atheist during his early years at college and had set out to disprove the Bible and to discredit Christianity. However, the more he researched the topic, the more he found the exact opposite. He kept finding more and more credible and empirical proof that God is very real and that the Bible is true. McDowell later turned this exhaustive research into his Evidence that Demands a Verdict series of books which list a mind-numbing number of details on a broad variety of subjects which verifies and validates the Bible and historical Christianity. But McDowell is only one among millions of people who have been changed by God once they were saved.
You know, of course, of the dramatic transformation of the Apostle Paul from the vicious, legalistic persecutor of Christians to one of the greatest Christian servants in the history of Christians. I know the transformative power of God since He has delivered me from most of the symptoms of my PTSD, a feat that all the psychiatrists with all their pills could not accomplish, and a remarkable miracle when you understand how many millions of people have been permanently hobbled by this horrible malady throughout history, a result of traumatic events in their lives. In order to understand what was happening to me, I have conducted exhaustive research on the subject, reading a couple dozen books and hundreds of articles, including a few score articles which I pulled from medical journals one long day while researching at the Dahlgren Memorial Library for medical research at Georgetown University's medical school. The research was my way of grappling with and understanding this strange disease that afflicted me, causing me so much emotional and even physical pain from the psychosomatic issues as well as the direct physical manifestations from the probably permanent physical and chemical changes to my body (adrenal glands, adrenaline/epinephrine, cortisol, brain damage, etc.).
These same symptoms have been suffered by many people, but most especially soldiers and veterans throughout history, and PTSD has made their lives a living nightmare decades after their combat service. The VA is still treating Korean and Vietnam vets for their psychiatric issues from the PTSD and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that they developed during their time in combat (TBI shares many of the same symptoms as PTSD). So, believe me, when I cite my own life as an example of the transformative power of God. This transformative power is VERY, VERY REAL. I wrote about that this my posting on homosexuality a few days back.
The Bible verses about the transformed Christian life that I listed in that posting a few days ago are:
“be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind...”
2 Corinthians 5:17
“if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new…”
“we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them…”
“Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
“Repent therefore and be converted…”
“walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
I pray that you will experience and be aware of the transformations in you, if you are a believer, having been saved in the blood of Jesus. If you are not a believer, I pray that you would set that right today, praying from wherever you are sitting, reading these words. The words are not important – only the submission or humbling of your heart and your request for God to save you.