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Book Review: Undaunted by Josh McDowell with Cristobel Krusen

"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16 NASB
On a farm outside Union City, Michigan during the summer of 1939, Jos McDowell was born. He had three older siblings, two of them much older than he was. His father was an abusive alcoholic. His mother suffered under the weight of her own physical restraint, and her husbands tyranny and abuse. Family life was a swarm of dysfunction. As Jos grew into young adulthood he hid behind a mask of bravado in order to hide the scars from his past. What fragment of faith in God he had as a child, diminished quickly as a teenager. By the time he was in the Air Force and then college he was an agnostic. The careful planting of an idea by a Christian acquaintance led Josh to spend a summer in Europe seeking to discredit the Gospel of Jesus. Their were three intelligent, educated, wise, godly men that Josh spoke with during his summer trip to Europe. Each of these men instilled in him a desire to want to know more, to seek the truth for himself, and to continue to be open-minded. One man in particular had a "courage of convictions" that impressed Josh. Josh's mind whirled and his heart beat faster as he pursued this quest.
While in high school an incorrect spelling of his first name stuck with him, Jos became Josh.

I love this story, and I am so glad Josh was transparent in sharing his life story.

Positive Points:
  • When I first began reading Undaunted, I felt as if Josh detracted emotionally a bit from the painful abuse of his early life. Sometimes an author when writing their memoir will with descriptions worthy of a microscopes detail, emphasize the painful memories of their past. I believe that Josh knew the memories of his earlier life could have easily swallowed up the entire story, and left no room for the One who is most worthy to be praised. The emphasis is not on Josh's painful past. The emphasis is on God's patient and loving pursuit of Josh.
  • With humility Josh looks back on his life and sees God at work. Even though God did not want the abuse to happen to Josh, God used it to create and bless Josh in order to bless other people, and to mold Josh into a servant God used. Only God can take a horrible painful experience, and in His grace, create something of beauty. Beauty can rise from ashes, but only in God's grace.
  • Josh's story is more than a memoir, it is a work of apologetics. Josh's search for the existence of God, and then His radical transformation into God's servant.
  • The story carefully peels back the layers of Josh's insecurities, fears, doubts, anger, sadness, all deeply buried.
I have no negative points for this book. I highly recommend it and am grateful to have read this powerful testimony of a radically changed life "in" Christ Jesus. 

Thank you to Josh McDowell and Tyndale House Publishers for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Published by Tyndale Momentum an Imprint of Tyndale House Publishers September 2012
288 pages

Link @ Tyndale House Publishers:

Josh's Website:

More Than a Carpenter Website:


Josh's Official Blog:

Campus Crusade for Christ:

Christian Book link:
Paperback $10.99
eBook $9.99

Two other books by Josh McDowell:
New Evidence That Demands a Verdict
Unshakable Truth

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Cathy said…
This sounds very good. Thanks for your thoughtful review!