Josh McDowell Quotes: 20 Thought Provoking Sayings

Who is Josh McDowell?

Josh McDowell is a Christian evangelist, author, and apologist.  At one time Josh considered himself to be an agnostic.  That is, he was uncertain if there was a God or not.  God would later reveal to him that indeed He is real and the love of God changed him forever.  He has since traveled the world over and shared the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is well versed in apologetics.  Apologetics provides rational, logical, scientific, and historical evidence for the existence of God and the historicity of Jesus Christ.  Since he put his trust in Christ, he has written well over a hundred books that range from apologetics to evangelism.  Josh McDowell has articulated some very profound statements about the God of the Bible.  We are limiting his great expanse of wisdom to 20 thought provoking sayings.

Josh McDowell’s Thought Provoking Statements and Quotes

The Internet has given atheists, agnostics, skeptics, the people who like to destroy everything that you and I believe, the almost equal access to your kids as your youth pastor and you have... whether you like it or not.

The Internet is like a sewer pipeline that needs to be regulated. If left unchecked, it threatens the veracity of the Bible, the authenticity of Jesus, and the unvarnished truth of God’s Word in the minds of those who surf it.  There are so many false claims about the Bible and Jesus Christ that if a Christian is not well-grounded in the truth, these false claims can undermine a person’s faith.  These false claims can also destroy the beliefs of our children and grandchildren.  We need to remind ourselves and our family that the Internet is not a source of ultimate truth…only the Bible is.

I've never had anyone define purity. You probably can't define purity. Purity is to live according to original design.”

God made mankind in His own image.  Ever since then, we have been a distorted image of Him.  The desire and effort to live in purity is only possible by the power and work of the Holy Spirit.

Having convictions can be defined as being so thoroughly convinced that Christ and His Word are both objectively true and relationally meaningful that you act on your beliefs regardless of the consequences.

I love Dr. Charles Stanley’s similar saying:  “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.”  This is like seeing in the dark with the eyes of faith. Faith is not “seeing is believing” but is “believing without seeing.”

Every kid needs to say, 'I want what my mom and dad have.’

With children, more is caught than taught and what we say will always be drowned out by what we do.  Dad and mom…they are watching you.

Where I once believed people were there to be used, I started thinking of other people first.”

Some use people to get things…while some people give things for use by people.  Josh McDowell is the latter.  People are always more important than things don’t you think?

"Isn't it arrogant to claim Christianity is the only true religion?"

Mr. McDowell is spot on.  Jesus Himself said “I am the way, the truth and the life” in John 14:6 but He never said “I am one of the ways.”  There is no other name to which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).  If it seems narrow, that’s fine, for the road to salvation is a narrow and difficult path (Matt  7:13-14).  It isn’t arrogant.  It is the truth.

If there were more than one path to salvation then it would totally negate Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, his life, and his teachings.”

If there were another way to heaven, then the cross of Christ makes no sense.  Since He went thru this torture and death it must have been necessary.  It was the means by which we can be restored to a relationship with God.  The cross tore apart the temple curtain, thus ending the separation between a Holy God and unholy man.

If you do not reach your child by their 12th birthday, you probably won’t reach them.

How true this is.  The latest evangelism research indicates that 85 % of those who are born-again became so before the age of 18.  The importance of reaching children while they are still young can not be overstressed.  It is so critical to reach children while they are still young because they are still pliable, their hearts are still tender, they haven’t grown cynical like many adults have, and their level of trust is at its greatest height.

I am not a Christian because God changed my life; I am a Christian because of my convictions about who Jesus Christ is.”

I love this quote.  The conviction about just Who Jesus is comes only from the Holy Spirit for He always speaks about Christ and seeks to glorify Him, as we should also.

After I set out to refute Christianity intellectually and couldn't, I came to the conclusion the Bible was true and Jesus Christ was God's Son.”

Doesn’t this remind you about Paul’s “Damascus Road” encounter where he was “kicking against the goads?”  Sometimes a mission to disprove the Bible comes back to disprove our beliefs and validate the authenticity of the Bible.

Why don't the names of Buddha, Mohammed, and Confucius offend people? The reason is that these others didn't claim to be God, but Jesus did.”

This is very puzzling to Christians.  The name that is truly above all names is seemingly the only one that offends people.  I believe Mr. McDowell is correct.  None of these other religious leaders claimed to be God but Jesus can do so because He is God.

Scientists now believe the universe must’ve had a cause. The implication of that cause must be very powerful, very intelligent, immaterial, and beyond time.”

Scientists have never seen an effect that was not caused.  Even at the microscopic level or the molecular level, there is complex information.  Information always infers intelligence.

Prayer is talking with God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart.”

As we talk with friends in all open honesty, so too should we talk with God as He is our greatest friend.  We should of course do so in all reverence with respect but our words are not as important as what the intent of our hearts is.  Bowing our knees is not as important as bowing our heart.  The position of our body is not as important as the position of our hearts.

Anyone with sincere religious beliefs cannot say that all religions are true. That is so illogical it is pathetic. All religion cannot be true because some of them are so diametrically opposed to each other.”

Not all roads or paths lead to God.  There is only one path that leads to eternal life and thus, all religion can not be true because they conflict with one another.  Jesus said that no one can come to the Father except by Him (John 6:44).   No one is a universal negative meaning that no person can go to the Father and thus enter heaven except by Christ.  Buddha doesn’t know the way, Mohammed can not guarantee this, and Confucius only confused us.  Jesus was crystal clear though.

Forgiveness is the oil of relationships.”

To me, without forgiveness, friendship is not even possible.  Because we are human we are eventually going to need to be forgiven.

What you are as a single person, you will be as a married person, only to a greater degree.

What a powerful statement about marriage and a powerful statement of the Creator of marriage…God!  When the two become one flesh, they are greater.  As the wisdom literature says, two are better than one and a three-fold cord, who can break that (Ecl 4:9-12)?  Especially when that third cord is Jesus Christ.

Leaders of the world's religions said, 'What do you think about what I teach?' Jesus said, 'Who do you say I am?'(Luke 9:20)”

Jesus not only claimed to be God, He revealed Himself as God.  The greatest question anyone will ever ask in their entire lifetime is not who Buddha is, who Muhammad is or who Confucius is but Who Jesus is.

Both Jewish and Roman sources and traditions admit an empty tomb.

If those outside of the faith can not deny that the tomb was empty, how can we not rest in complete assurance that He was raised from the dead and thus, we know that we will also be raised together with Him someday?

Jesus claimed He had the power to raise himself from the dead and His followers would be raised from the dead. That's a unique claim in the literature of religion.”

What other religion can make the claim that the dead will yet live.  God has said that He is not the God of the dead but the God of the living.

The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb, but rather the empty grave clothes - undisturbed in form and position.”

This may be why when Peter walked into the empty tomb and found the grave clothes folded up that He realized Jesus had risen.  Jesus being God and knowing that God is not the author of confusion, He would never leave things scattered around.  The places that He left were always left in better condition than before He got there.


Josh McDowell is an inspiration to us all.  He gives us hope for our many friends, family and associates who are presently agnostic or atheist.  As one of the greatest examples of atheist-turned-believer, C. S. Lewis shows us that the Holy Spirit of God can penetrate any human heart and if the king’s heart can be changed by God (Prov 21:1), how much more so can a Saul be converted into a Paul.  Even our own conversion is a glory to God that He takes decrypt, vile, wretches and makes them into new creatures in Christ.  No one is beyond the reach of God…even the agnostics of which Josh McDowell was once one.  Paul reached a conclusion, saying “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17) and so we are “to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:24).  That is what happened to Josh McDowell. Has it happened to you yet?

"The Truth" (Romans 10:9-10) Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Resources- The Holy Bible, English Standard Version“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”,,photo credit: Key Foster via photopin cc

Guest Post by: Jack Wellman

Jack WellmanJack is a Christian Author and Freelance Writer.  He is Pastor at the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane, Kansas.  Jack is also a Senior Writer and Communications Editor for “What Christians Want To Know" Website and Facebook page.   In addition to that Jack is  finishing receiving his masters in religous studies.  His books are available on Amazon.