By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries and the ASSIST News Service
PLANO, TX (ANS – June 10, 2015) – Interviewing Josh McDowell is like talking to the Energizer Bunny®, for he just keeps going and going and going, but he also reveals that he has a great forgiving spirit.
I recently talked with McDowell for my Front Page Radio program about his latest of an astonishing 142 books called, “God-Breathed: The Undeniable Power and Reliability of Scripture” (Barbour) and, it was during our conversation, that I learned of his dark secret, and how he was able to forgive the man involved who molesting him.
He told me, “There’s an undeniable power through the scriptures and how it can change your life. For 7 years, for every week, from 6 to 13 years of age, I was raped every week. It almost destroyed my life. When I was 13, I threatened to kill the guy and he never touched me again.
“After I became a believer, a man mentored me for 6 months right out of the Bible and before my eyes I saw my life change. My feelings, my emotions, my attitude, my behavior, my actions, everything changed. And I one day I said, ‘I have got to share with people with a very unique book about how truth can be objective in history and how it can change your life. It’s called, ‘God Breathed: The Undeniable Power and Reliability of Scripture’”.
Later in the interview, I again broached with Josh about the time he was molested and how he was encouraged to track down the man who did this to him and tell him that he forgave him.
McDowell said his wife and children, his “best-friend”, as well as well-known broadcaster and counselor, Steve Arterburn, and they all told him that he should forgive the man who almost wrecked his life.
He went on to say, “After I became a Christian, I knew I had to forgive him, though to be honest, I wanted him to burn in hell. Still, I drove from Battle Creek up to Jackson, Michigan, and when I found him, I said, ‘Wayne, what you did to me was evil, very evil, but I’ve since come to know Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord and I’m here to tell you that Jesus died as much for you as He did for me, and I forgive you. And if I hadn’t have done that, I would have destroyed everything in my life.”
How did he respond?
“I really don’t know,” said McDowell. “He just stood there stared at me and I walked out.”
What did it do for you?
“When you forgive someone, it set me free to know I had been obedient; and boy did God bless me for it,” he said. “When I forgave him, I had no good feelings or anything. I just did it out of obedience, knowing that God commanded it. And, so by faith, I did it and wow. By the way, he died about 8 years after that.”
I then asked Josh what he would like to say to someone who had been molested like he was, and should they also forgive that person, and he replied, “Oh yes. But, even more than that, I would say, don’t go it alone; you won’t make it. I don’t care if you’re personality A person like me, or a go-getter aggressive positive, you won’t make it. You need the Church. You need the Body of Christ. Find a church that can help you through this.
“I can’t imagine any church in the world that doesn’t have a recovery group, or works with other churches that have recovery groups. Get into a group with others of like mind and like hurt, and through that, Christ can use them to minister to you.”
And what about the molester? What would he say to them?
“You need professional help because you won’t make it on your own. I don’t know if I’d tell them to seek out a pastor or not, but definitely seek out a professional Christian counselor, but they need to be a professional,” he told me. “And then there are a lot of amends you’ll have to make. But unless you go to each person that your harmed, I don’t think you can ever be healed. And I think when somebody reads my new book, ‘God Breathed’, they will see the power of God in their lives because of the truth of scripture and how other people’s influence in their lives.”
McDowell also revealed that a movie came out in 2011 about his early life called “Undaunted.” You see the trailer at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2076977/.
But back to his new book, McDowell says that he wants readers to:
* Experience God’s Word in a powerful new way.
* Recapture the awe, mystery, passion and power of scripture in God-Breathed – where you’ll personally experience a life transformed by the One who spoke everything into existence, including you.
* Through the story of a centuries-old Torah and other scriptural artifacts he’s acquired, McDowell highlights the Bible’s unique history. Learn how these writings were made, what makes an ancient document reliable, and why the Bible is the most trusted. Includes color photos of McDowell’s biblical manuscripts.
This brand-new from book Josh McDowell, is life-transforming that will take you on a journey as you come to understand how the living, breathing word of God speaks directly to your life — teaching you the meaning of life, love, relationships, and the joy He originally intended for His beloved children. A bonus section includes full-color photographs of McDowell’s amazing collection of ancient scripture artifacts that he recently been able to assemble.
A study guide and audio book are also available.
As a bonus, McDowell has suggested that people go to www.readgodbreathed.com, where he says, “They can download a booklet called ‘The Inside Story’. It has photographs and everything of these artifacts with the background how they were discovered and all. You can download the 14 pages, and best of all, it’s free”.
About Josh McDowell:
He has been at the forefront of cultural trends and ground-breaking ministry for over five decades. He shares the essentials of the Christian faith in everyday language so that youth, families, churches, leaders, and individuals of all ages are prepared for the life of faith and the work of the ministry. This includes leveraging resources based on years of experiences, new technologies, and strategic partnerships. Since 1961, Josh has delivered more than 27,000 talks to over 25,000,000 people in 125 countries. He is the author or coauthor of 142 books, including ‘More Than a Carpenter’ and ‘New Evidence That Demands a Verdict’, recognized by World Magazine as one of the top 40 books of the twentieth century. Josh’s books are available in over 100 different languages. Josh and his wife, Dottie, are quick to acknowledge that after their love for the Lord, family is their greatest joy and top priority. They have been married for 43 years and have four wonderful children and ten beloved grandchildren.
Note from Dan Wooding, this is only a short version of Josh McDowell’s interview. You can hear the entire program by going to: http://oldassistnews.net/frontpageradiofiles/FPR20150531JoshMcDowellMono.mp3.
Photo captions: 1) Josh McDowell today. 2) Book cover. 3) Movie Poster. 4) Dan Wooding recording his radio show.
I would like to thank Robin Frost for transcribing this interview.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the author of 45 books and founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). Dan hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on the KWVE Radio Network in Southern California and which is also carried throughout the United States and around the world, and also “His Channel Live,” a TV show beamed to 192 countries. He is the author of some 45 books.
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