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Articles by Sean McDowell



  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    For a variety of reasons, I rarely respond publicly to other Christians. But in this case, I feel compelled to do so. Last week, in an effort to be compassionate and loving, popular Christian author Jen Hatmaker came out in support of LGBT relationships, referring to them as “holy.” While other Christian influencers have come out in favor of affirming theology, this caught my attention because my wife has personally benefited greatly from her books. In fact, she has even read out loud to me some particularly funny and insightful portions from one of Jen’s book.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    How would you make a case for Christian sexual morality in a secular setting? Specifically, what would you say if you were asked to speak on the Christian view of homosexuality and same-sex marriage in a university classroom? This is exactly the opportunity that motivated pastor Matthew Rueger to start researching and studying Christian sexuality in depth, and ultimately to write the book Sexual Morality in a Christless World.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    What was unique about Christian practices and teachings in the first three centuries of the church? And how did such a minority faith — which was considered irrelevant, extreme, and at odd with the role “religion” is supposed to play in a pagan society — ultimately prevail? In his recent book Destroyer of the gods, New Testament scholar Larry Hurtado focuses on the first of these questions. But his book also has powerful implications for the second.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Nabeel Qureshi is one of the leading apologists today on Islam. Raised in a devout Muslim home in the United States, Nabeel became a Christian in college. He records his faith journey in his first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (2014). His second book, Answering Jihad, was written as his response to the “why” behind the recent jihadist terrorist attacks. His latest book, No God but One: Allah or Jesus? A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam & Christianity, released in August 2016. It is an excellent book for Christians to better understand Islam and how to answer tough questions Muslims often raise, but also a great book to give to your Muslim friend. Along with his M.D., Nabeel has three master’s degrees, including a master's in Christian apologetics from Biola University (where I teach). Coinciding with this latest book release, Nabeel was diagnosed with late stage stomach cancer. Nabeel answers a few questions related to his most recent book in this blog post.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    For the past fifteen years (or so), I have had the privilege of speaking at camps, conferences, schools, churches, and universities worldwide. People quite frequently ask me what it takes to develop a speaking ministry. While there are certainly people with platforms far beyond mine, here are some personal thoughts that I hope will help those of you desiring to become a public speaker.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Professor Scott Rae is one of the leading Christian ethicists today. As an undergrad, I had the opportunity to take his class on business ethics...and it was one of my favorites. I have used his book Moral Choices for my high school honors Bible class, and I consider it one of the best texts on ethics. Now, he has written a short, concise introduction to ethics called Introducing Christian Ethics: A Short Guide to Making Moral Choices, which officially releases today. If you are looking for a book to use as a text for a class, a small group, or even personal study, this book would be an excellent choice. Dr. Rae briefly answered a few of my questions regarding ethics today.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    The Bible is the most influential book of all time. Given its impact over literature, history, governments, philosophy and more, it should come as no surprise that there are many misconceptions about its nature. Christians need to avoid these misconceptions because Paul said, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    During a trip to Breckenridge, a beautiful ski town in the mountains of Colorado, a friend and I decided to get our hair cut at one of the little shops downtown. As we waited our turn, I read another chapter of the book I had brought along with me, a book whose title clearly indicated my interest in spiritual things ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    When I first wrote my book Ethix in 2006, the reviewer for the Christian Research Journal said its one of a few, but growing number of apologetics resources for students. It’s amazing how much has changed in a decade. Now we have tons of good apologetics resources for students, and the challenge is to highlight the best ones. The purpose of this post is simply to highlight some of my personal favorites. Please let me know if there are any good ones I need to add to my list ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Training students in apologetics is one of the most important tasks for any youth leader today. Whether through classroom teaching, speaking, personal conversation, on apologetics mission trips, or through writing, I have been training students to defend their faith for nearly two decades. While there are certainly some exceptions, in my experience, the vast majority love it ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    In my recent book, A New Kind of Apologist, I was able to interview my friend and colleague J.P. Moreland. He is the distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and the author or coauthor of thirty books, including The Kingdom Triangle ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    This goal of this blog is for me to soak up wisdom from my father and share it with you. I have been blessed to have an incredibly influential father, Josh McDowell. He has written over 150 books and spoken to more young people live than anyone in history. But what I appreciate most about my father is his love for my mom, for his kids, and now for his many grandkids. Enjoy! ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    One of the most common questions I receive regards which books I would recommend Christians to give their non-Christian friends who they hope may become believers. While there are many excellent books, these six come from both my personal experience of hearing stories of how people have become believers, and also an assessment of the apologetic and evangelistic value of each book ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Even though I grew up in a Christian home, with parents in professional Christian ministry, there was a time that I walked away from God. I was tired of the rules, authority, and simply wanted to live life my own way. And as you can imagine, I hit rock bottom. Feelings of loneliness, despair, and the weight of sin simply overwhelmed me and I hit the end of my rope … and so when I was four years old, I got down on my knees and decided I was going to follow Jesus ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    In my last post, I listed my top five popular books on the Bible and homosexuality. This post is designed for those who want to go deeper and explore the academic sources firsthand ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    For the past few days I have been trying to think of the top ten verses that would be most helpful to apologists and evangelists. I have reflected on my own experience and also gotten feedback from many of you on Facebook and Twitter. So, here are my top ten verses to defend your faith (in no particular order) ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Perhaps the toughest question parents ask me is how they can help their wayward kids. The difficulty of this question stems not solely from the intellect, but from seeing the pain in the eyes of parents who are genuinely hurt and disappointed in the choices of their kids. What can we do? Here are some humble thoughts from my work with students ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    In my last post, I evaluated the tradition that the apostle Thomas ministered in India. While the evidence for Thomas in India is not as strong as for Peter and Paul in Rome, it is at least probable that he founded the church in India. But did Thomas die as a martyr?

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    In my recent book The Fate of the Apostles, I examine the evidence the apostles of Jesus died as martyrs. Because the evidence is early and consistent, there is widespread agreement that Peter, Paul, and both James died as martyrs. But scholars are much more divided over the tradition surrounding “doubting” Thomas. Did he really make it to India, as tradition suggests, and die there as a martyr? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    In my recent book The Beauty of Intolerance, my father and I discuss how a new view of tolerance has crept its way into the church. One powerful way this is seen is how an increasing number of Christians approach Scripture. For instance, in his book God and the Gay Christian, Matthew Vines begins by affirming the final authority of scripture on questions of morality and doctrine.[1] And yet when Vines discovered his own same-sex attraction, his perspective began to change based on his personal experience. Now he has become an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights within the church, and his goal is to lead a movement to convince Christians that they can affirm the full authority of scripture and also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationships ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    It seems strange to be writing a blog with advice for young apologists. After all, I still think of myself as young! There are many “seasoned” apologists I turn to for advice and direction that are much older and more experienced than me (don’t worry, dad, I won’t mention any names!). But since I’m turning 40 this May, I do have some insights for younger apologists that I have learned along the way ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    My entire family went to see The Jungle Book this past weekend. From my 3 ½-year old son, to my mother-in-law, we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Disney is to be commended for making an engaging, creative, and faithful “live” version of this classic story. Like all fictional movies, The Jungle Book offers a story, which has worldview implications. Two questions lie at the heart of the movie: What does it mean to be human? And secondarily: How does man relate to nature? Specifically, these questions are explored through the life of Mowgli—a young boy whom wolves raise in the jungle ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Since writing my book on Same-Sex Marriage, I have been reading almost every book I can get my hands on related to homosexuality and the church. While there are some great books, there has been a huge need for a book that addresses the “plausibility” problem. I recently came across the book Same-Sex Attraction and the Church by Ed Shaw, and was pleasantly surprised that it dealt with this exact issue with clarity and insight. In my view, this book is one of the top five most important books for Christians to read on the subject. Pastor Ed was kind enough to answer a few of my questions. Enjoy! ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    I recently received a copy of an intriguing book in the mail called Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity. One of the authors, Dr. Clinton Arnold, is a friend and colleague of mine at Biola University. This father-son pair tackle some of the biggest theological questions raised about Christianity today, such as, “Is Hell a real place?” “Do angels and demons really exist?” and “Does God hate sex?” If you’re looking for an easy-to-read, insightful, and timely book that tackles these types of questions, then I highly recommend this book. To give you a sense of the content and approach of this book, the Arnolds answered a few of my questions ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    One of my favorite presentations to do at universities, schools, conferences, and churches is my Atheist Encounter, in which I interact with the audience while role-playing an atheist. After briefly setting up my character (which involves putting on my “atheist glasses”), I then take live questions from the audience and do my best to defend atheism so Christians can see how well—or how poorly—they defend their faith ...