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Articles by Sean McDowell



  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    How is there both unity and diversity in reality? Why is there both change and sameness over time? According to Frederick Copleston, in his massive ten-volume A History of Philosophy, these questions relate to the first philosophical issue people wrestled with, which is often called the problem of the one and the many. In the 5th and 6th centuries B.C., Greek philosophers wanted to know what accounted for both the unity and diversity within nature and so they began to offer various theories for ultimate reality ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Justin Brierley is the host of " Unbelievable?" the UK-based apologetics radio/podcast show (which is one of my personal favorites!). I have had the privilege of being on the program twice to discuss the martyrdom of the apostles and talk about why I am a Christian with Ryan Bell, the pastor-turned-atheist. For over ten years, Justin has been leading discussions between Christians and atheists, and yet he still believes in God. This Thursday he releases a new book Unbelievable? which I had the privilege to endorse. In the UK, it is available here: www.unbelievablebook.co.uk. Brierley offers some lessons from his conversations as well as the evidence he finds most compelling. Check out this interview and consider ordering a copy of his excellent book ...

  • Think Biblically

    Faith at the World Series

    with Dodgers chaplain Brandon Cash

    Brandon Cash, Sean McDowell, Scott B. Rae — 

    Talbot School of Theology professor Brandon Cash has served as chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the past seven years. Listen in as Scott...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    A few years ago, I had a discussion with an influential theologian who claimed that Jesus was not an apologist. He pointed out that, except for 1 Peter 3:15, the New Testament appearances of apologia (“defense”) all come from the writing or ministry of Paul. Does this mean Jesus was not an apologist? Was Jesus more interested in proclaiming and illustrating the faith than defending it? ...

  • Think Biblically

    Sean McDowell, Scott B. Rae — 

    Josh McDowell has long been one of the leading spokespersons and apologists for Christianity, having spoken to hundreds of thousands of students...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    In the recent update to my father’s classic book Evidence that Demands a Verdict, we begin with a chapter on the uniqueness of the Bible. Unquestionably, in comparison to every book ever written, the Bible stands out as unique in a number of areas including authorship, literary genres, translation, geographical production, circulation, survival, and impact. The Bible truly stands in a category of its own ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    For the past three years I have been helping my father update his classic book Evidence that Demands a Verdict. There is no doubt that the evidence for Christianity has grown substantially since the book first released in 1972 ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    As a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, I (Sean) help prepare students to answer tough questions raised against the Christian faith. One day someone from outside the Biola academic community called our university to ask why we offer classes on apologizing for the faith. She thought apologetics meant teaching students to say they were sorry for their beliefs! While her question was well intentioned, she didn’t grasp the nature of apologetics and its role in the Christian life. Christians certainly should apologize for their faith, but not in the way she had in mind ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Let’s face it; we live in a world saturated with sex. Our movies, music, novels, politics, and even advertisements are dominated by sex. Essentially, the celebrated view of sex in our culture is: if it feels good, do it. According to the ideas propagated by the late Hugh Hefner, and others in the sexual revolution, anything that prevents someone from experiencing consensual sex in whatever fashion he or she desires is viewed as harmful and repressive ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    My friend Timothy Fox at Freethinking Ministries recently interviewed me regarding the updated version of Evidence That Demands A Verdict, which I had the opportunity to co-write with my father. He asked some great questions about the history of the book, its impact, and details regarding some of the updates. Enjoy! ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    We live in a time when impatience, personal attacks, and shallow criticism characterize much of the cultural dialogue. I can hardly ever post a blog without receiving personal criticism from someone to my left or my right ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    As John Stonestreet and I argue in our book Same-Sex Marriage, we are currently undergoing one of the most sweeping social revolutions in world history. Until the Obergefell v. Hodges SCOTUS decision in 2015, the definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman was the understanding of virtually every civilization throughout history. But this has all changed ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    There has been a lot of discussion recently about why kids leave the faith. People have rightly drawn attention to the role of poor theology, the importance of kids owning their faith, the significance of intellectual issues such as the apparent tension between science and religion, and more. But there seems to be a core issue that is often overlooked—to develop a lasting faith, kids need to grasp their need for God. Let me explain ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    By any measure, Hurricane Harvey has been a disaster. The financial damage is an estimated $180 billion. The destruction has spread over 300 miles and damaged about 200,000 homes. But the greatest damage is clearly the estimated 47 people who have died. The physical destruction is substantial, but the human loss is unmistakably the most significant ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Questions related to origins are some of the most divisive in the church today: How old is the earth? Is there good evidence for intelligent design? Did God use evolution? Sadly, rather than discussing differences in a sober and gracious manner, conversations are often characterized by defensiveness, misunderstanding, and personal attacks. What a shame! But this need not be the case. The recent book Old-Earth or Evolutionary Creation? demonstrates that leading voices in the origins debate can come together and wrestle over big questions of faith and science with both “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15) ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    For the past few years, I have been speaking and writing about the dangers of pornography. Although I have read dozens of books about the effects of porn, I recently heard Matt Fradd discuss it on Unbelievable? radio and decided to pick up a copy of his recent book: The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. In fact, it’s now my top recommendation for a book of its kind. Without using Scripture or religious argumentation, and relying upon dozens of recent studies, Fradd makes the case that porn is damaging to individuals, relationships, and society as a whole. He is not out to censor porn, but to educate people so they can live more healthy sexual lives ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    It’s no secret that I love apologetics. I love to read apologetics blogs, study apologetics books, and have apologetics conversations. But there is a constant temptation I have to battle that I believe is common among many apologists: the temptation to simply study apologetics but not put it into practice ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Recently I had the opportunity to endorse a new book by Kris French, a medical doctor with an expertise in neuro-immunology. While he discusses many of the common arguments for God’s existence in The Universe Diagnosed, he does so uniquely from the perspective as a medic and in a way that is understandable to non-specialists. I think you will enjoy it! But first check out his answers to some of my tough questions about intelligent design, transgenderism, and more ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Dr. Ken Berding is a colleague of mine at Biola University. Like me, he is very interested in the Apostolic Fathers. He recently wrote a brief and interesting introduction to the Apostolic Fathers called The Apostolic Fathers: A Narrative Introduction, which is different from any other book of its kind. Professor Berding was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about some of the earliest church fathers and his recent book. Enjoy! ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    I recently received a book in the mail called Everyone Loves Sex: So Why Wait? by Bryan Sands. Given that my father launched the “Why Wait” sexual purity movement in the 1980s, when I was in my early teen years, I was curious to see what approach Sands would take. And I was pleasantly surprised! His book is balanced, biblical, hopeful, and grace-filled. In fact, when young people ask me for a book on sexual purity, this is going to be one of the first books I will recommend. After thirteen years as a local pastor, Bryan has served as the Director of Campus Ministries at Hope International University in Fullerton, CA since 2011. He is also a public speaker who encourages students across the country. You can find out about his book at www.EveryoneLovesSex.org. I recently caught up with Bryan and asked him a few questions. Enjoy! ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Along with asking good questions, cultivating the art of listening well is one of the most important skills for Christians to develop today. And it is especially important for those who want to be effective apologists in our “argumentative” culture ... So, how does one develop the art of listening well? Here are four tips I have learned from personal experience as well as through my undergrad Communication Studies program at Biola University ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    My friend and Biola colleague Greg Ganssle has written a fascinating new book called Our Deepest Desires: How the Christian Story Fulfills Human Aspirations. Professor Ganssle takes a unique approach to the apologetic task. Essentially, his goal is not to show that Christianity is true, but to argue that when it is properly understood, people should wish it were true. He talks about how tragedy, beauty, and freedom make the most sense in a Christian worldview and that only Christianity fulfills our deepest desires ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    With the release of his 2000 book Icons of Evolution, Jonathan Wells became one of the leading evolution critics of today. Unlike some detractors, Dr. Wells has impeccable credentials—with Ph.Ds. in molecular and cell biology from U.C. Berkeley and religious studies from Yale. Last week he released a new book that is just as controversial (and frankly, just as fun) called, Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    Western culture is obsessed with sex. Sex dominates our movies, music, television, advertising, conversations, social media and more. But the question many people fail to ask is: why? There are myriads of reasons for this. Some reasons are certainly more germane than others. And they undoubtedly overlap. Nevertheless, here are 5 reasons for western culture’s obsession with sex ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Sean McDowell — 

    A few years ago I hosted a student debate at my church. Three of my high school students debated three students from the local freethinking club on the historical Jesus, intelligent design, and morality. The church was packed! One of the freethinking students argued that there is no universal moral law, and hence no need for a God to ground it. As best as I can remember, he argued that morality is merely subjective and depends upon the individual or society. But then, interestingly, during his closing speech, the same student used the opportunity of being at a church to rail against Christians for being hateful, bigoted and intolerant. In other words, he berated Christians for being immoral ...