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More Than a Carpenter

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  14,952 ratings  ·  271 reviews
In "More Than a Carpenter" Josh focuses upon the person who changed his life - Jesus Christ. It is a hard-headed book for people who are skeptical about Jesus' deity, his resurrection, his claims on their lives.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published April 28th 1980 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published 1977)
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Mary
This is one of those books I read with a highlighter handy. And I ended up highlighting about half the book...

Here are a few things that caught my attention:

"Christianity is not a religion. Religion is humans trying to work their way to God through good works. Christianity is God coming to men and women through Jesus Christ" (p. 5).

"It amazes me to hear so many people say that Jesus was simply a good moral teacher. Let's be realistic. How could he be a great moral teacher and knowingly mislead p
...more
Jeff Youngblood
Someday, in heaven, I am going to thank the kind stranger who handed me this book one day. I was at the height of skepticism, embittered with religion and disillusioned with humanity in general. Christianity was the religion of optimistic but ignorant fools, in my opinion. I didn't even want to talk to the guy, but he asked me to take the book. Hesitantly, I did.
Over the coming weeks I found myself drawn to this book. Through it I realized the skewed, one-demensional Christianity I had always se
...more
Joe
Jun 26, 2008 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Joe by: Diane Flora
Shelves: spirituality
A a former hardened cynic, this book changed my life. It didn't change my life single-handedly but as part of a series of influences really. Nonetheless I've never been able to look at Jesus the same since I read it - for the better I think.

In my experience, most who suggest that McDowell's arguments are drivel offer no support for their claim(s), as if they're self-evident. My suggestion? Ask them to detail their counterargument(s). Then read the book and ask yourself the same question througho
...more
Dave
The heart of this book is that either Jesus was who He said he was (Son of God, single path to God) or he was crazy or lying. For some to call Him a "good teacher" without being the Savior is a flawed argument. And to try to fit Him into a view that there are many roads to God doesn't hold up either. Either accept Him as the sole way to God, or leave Him out of the argument altogether because it just doesn't fit with His very own teachings.

Classic book that deserves to be read more than once.
Landon
This was one of the first books by a Christian apologists that I ever read, and now that I've read it for a second time I have a better sense of how the book measures up. As an overall comment, I think the value of this book is comprised solely of the fact that it is a quick, easy read which presents some of the basic arguments for Christianity. If you are a complete novice when it comes to Christian apologetics, this book will at least acquaint you with the kinds of claims that are made and the ...more
Dan
This book takes a rather slapdash approach to apologetics, and commits some grievous errors in argumentation. For instance, the author falls into the silly modern contrivance of insisting that Christianity isn't a religion, in order to dump any negativity onto his customized definition of religion and preserve the 'pure' character of his supposed personal relationship with god.

When arguing against counter-apologetics, McDowell provides an underwhelming and often inaccurate summary of the non-chr
...more
Keir
One of the first books (aside from the bible) that I read that helped lead me to a clearer understanding of who Christ is, and into a saving relationship with Him. Elementary, clear and poignant. I haven't picked it up recently but I'd imagine it's still very much worth a read for the same reasons.
Debbie
"More Than a Carpenter" is a book that defends the Christian faith. The authors pack a lot of information into this slim book, but it's written with a conversational tone and is easy to read and understand.

The authors use common questions they've been asked during talks on this topic to start most of the sections, then they answer them using information they've discovered themselves or by quoting other experts. In this revised edition, they added updated material and a new section on science to
...more
Stefan
A small volume that communicated well why Jesus Christ is more then a prophet or simply a good man. I found this book to be a pleasant refresher on why makes Jesus and Christianity unique. The author uses quotes and supporting data from a varied group of individuals, and clearly shows, that you cannot partly believe in Christ, for you either believe he was the son of God, or alternatively, you believe he was a lunatic or a fraud. McDowell shows his communication ability in the fact that he is ab ...more
Javen
Christianity is not a myth and Jesus Christ is real, all the evidence you need are presented concisely in this book. I found this book at Booksale, and knew without a doubt that I should take it home with me. True enough, this book proved to be a blessing. I liked best that the approach was not argumentative nor persuasive, like Yancey's style, the facts of Jesus and his life are presented here in an unbiased and objective manner. You journey together with McDowell as his thoughts become transfo ...more
Casey
Dec 22, 2009 Casey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Casey by: Jonathan Rousseau
I was extremely impressed by this book. It doesn't matter if you are looking for answers, agnostic, strong Christian, Muslim, I don't really care it is a very factual non-biased book. It really lets you see things from a new perspective and along with whatever else you have learned in your life you can formulate your own judgement and beliefs from there. It is a very quick read and if nothing else is thought provoking and informational. Don't shy away from it from the simple fact that is is goin ...more
Philip
I read this back in college when I was a christian, and I just read it again as an atheist. I remember thinking it was well-written and scientific. Boy, was I wrong. SO much sloppy logic, littered with straw men arguments.

And what the heck is this "Aristotle's Dictum"? I can't find any references to it on the web outside of Christian apologetics. Basically, McDowell says the benefit of the doubt should be given to any historical document - we should assume its writer is telling the truth until
...more
Angie Libert
Being a Christian I certainly come to this book with a biased opinion, which makes me wonder what someone outside of faith would think of this book. Kind of like how I can read nutrition books and see the errors in the authors thinking, I wonder how others more immersed on this topic would see it.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this book. His chapter titled "Lord, Lunatic or Liar?" in regards to Jesus was thought-provoking. If you the text is accurate you would certainly have to make a decision r
...more
Zach Freeman
This is one of the silliest books I've ever read. Anyone planning to use any of the information in this book to "logically" support their religious claims should reconsider what logic is. Stuff like the "lord, liar, lunatic" argument and "why would the disciples die for a lie?" are laughable. Don't read this book for any rational purpose. It should only be used to add a touch of humor to your day.
Jeremiah Baker
This book was extremely informative and allowed me to expand my knowledge on the evidence behind the Bible. The way that the author formatted the information made the book an easy read. The extensive use of quotes and other sources helped to legitimize the information. Josh went very in depth on many topics, addressing issues such as the Bible's legitimacy and the creation of the Earth. Before reading this book I was somewhat interested in apologetics, but after reading, I have found a new passi ...more
Joe
A great read! For me it just re-solidified my faith.
Angela
Mar 24, 2011 Angela rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Christians
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
Oh how I wish I had read this before I read C.S. Lewis’ – Mere Christianity!

As someone who is still wrapping my head around the Christian faith – not being a new believer but a new practising believer – I was excited to read this book, anticipating if not answers then at least theological starting points on which to ponder my quest at finding out the truth about Jesus.

McDowell delivers many quotes from believers and non-believers alike, simply cited and well placed. It’s not a book that can tra
...more
Lynn
Sep 21, 2012 Lynn is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Still reading, but finding so many wonderful things in this book. Here is one of my favorite pages...

"Was Jesus a Liar?"
"If, when Jesus made his claims, he knew that he was not God, then he was lying and deliberately deceiving his followers. But if he was a liar, then he was also a hypocrite because he taught others to be honest whatever the cost. Worse than that, if he was lying, he was a demon because he told others to trust him for their eternal destiny. If he couldn't back up his claims and
...more
Alejandro
Josh McDowell never comes up short when it comes to presenting the facts, and this little book is no exception. I've read it five or six times, and each time it amazes me how much evidence there is proving that Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and did what He said He did. The personal stories can get a bit dry at times, but this is nonetheless a great book for Christians to read to strengthen their own faith.

It is also a great book for the intellectual skeptic that needs empirical proof on an
...more
Ben Lind
Are you a Christian having doubts about your belief in Jesus Christ? Are you an atheist wondering why in the world these Christians would believe in Him? This book takes a systematic view and analysis of all the evidence supporting and all the arguments against Jesus Christ, His life, and His deity.

Did He really live? Was He just a good person/prophet? Is it true He rose from the dead? This book answers these questions, and many more.

This book is for anyone who is or has had doubts about their f
...more
Gregory Miller
I rate this book a 4, despite some problems, because it is intended for the uninitiated and is a great tool for that purpose.

I read this book about a year after becoming a Christian. I was facing the claims of Jehovah's Witnesses (denying the Deity of Jesus Christ) and was troubled by my own questions on the matter of Who Jesus is. This book provided the "meat" that I needed to find assurance of the reality of the person and work of Jesus Christ. If Jesus is not God, we are all doomed. This book
...more
Sojana
I really like this book because it gives a mixture of life, testimonies, facts and history of Jesus Christ. While many atheists say they don't believe in God, the thing is that they haven't tried to search for facts about it. The writer was an atheist and he decided to search for facts against resurrection of Jesus but what he found was completely the opposite. He discovered a lot of documents, facts and writings of antiquity that emphasised and proved even more that the resurrection of Jesus wa ...more
John_the_elder
As one of the first non-C.S. Lewis apologetics books I've read I was impressed. McDowell writes in a very easy to understand voice using plain language and good examples. I'm interested to see what else he has written since this was published in 1977.

Chapter 1 is an introduction to the book commenting on why Jesup is different than any other figure in history.

Chapter 2 "Lord Liar or Lunatic", McDowell shows scholarly research and references as to why Jesus did not display tendencies of either
...more
Steve lockwood
Josh presents a clear picture of who Jesus was, what he taught, and who he believed to be based on his teaching. He concludes with something CS Lewis said, Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic or the Lord. He has left no middle ground and has certainly not allowed us to say something as silly as 'he is a good teacher' because he claimed to be God.
Adam Parker
More Than A carpenter is a must read for all Christians. Daily we come in contact with people who dismiss Christ because of ignorance of history and reason, led down a path of blindness by the talking heads of our world. We have an obligation to not only share our personal and corporate experiences of the Holy Spirit, but to also address the concerns of our contemporaries: showing them how it is drastically more unreasonable to not believe in Christ! This book is succinct, yet packed full with m ...more
Jair
Es un libro interesante pero que comete errores en su argumento. Tal vez haga dudar a personas que no creen pero han sido educadas para respetar la idea de Jesucristo, pero si uno realmente se pone a pensar en los argumentos presentados se da cuenta que existen más opciones que las presentada en este libro. Al final, se busca demostrar que Jesus era Dios, pero se usan en su mayoría estudios que tienen un interes cristiano. La parte más interesante fue la del analisis historico, debo admitir que ...more
Dailyn
This was a wonderful book that contained heaps upon heaps of evidence for the deity, humanity, perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Who is SO much more than just a carpenter. This book went over almost all of the major contradictions, beliefs, disbeliefs, claims, theories, etc. etc. etc. of Jesus Christ. It gives - in a nutshell - facts and arguments in support of Christ's life and being. It goes over the theories of atheists and unbelievers and gives irrefutable eviden ...more
Robert Rubio
A concise and easy read, yet powerful apologetic for Jesus The Christ and His resurrection. Enjoyed this one! I've been recommending this one for years now.
Adam Sylvester
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
I am impressed with how accessable this book is. Easy to read and easy to understand arguements for Christ.
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As a young man, Josh McDowell considered himself an agnostic. He truly believed that Christianity was worthless. However, when challenged to intellectually examine the claims of Christianity, Josh discovered compelling, overwhelming evidence for the reliability of the Christian faith. After trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, Josh’s life changed dramatically as he experienced the power of ...more
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“The words Jesus Christ are not a first and last name; they are actually a name and a title. The name Jesus is derived from the Greek form of the name Jeshua or Joshua, meaning “Jehovah-Savior” or “the Lord saves.” The title Christ is derived from the Greek word for Messiah (or the Hebrew Mashiach, see Daniel 9:26) and means “anointed one.” 2 likes
“Most important of all, individual believers can experience the power of the risen Christ in their lives today. First of all, they can know that their sins are forgiven (see Luke 24:46-47; 1 Corinthians 15:3). Second, they can be assured of eternal life and their own resurrection from the grave (see 1 Corinthians 15:19-26). Third, they can be released from a meaningless and empty life and be transformed into new creatures in Jesus Christ (see John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17).” 0 likes
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