Evidence of Joy by Josh McDowell and Dale Bellis is quite dated now, but I was curious with the authors’ premise. Much of the material is repeated elsewhere in newer books but a couple of things stood out to me. One was the emphasis on faith being objective. Christian faith is based on historical facts which can be checked, plus the biblical record which Christians believe is an accurate account of God’s dealings with his people over many centuries. Therefore faith isn’t subjective and whipped up from within ourselves. Rather it is objective, and not affected by how we feel. Even Jesus told us to believe the evidence: “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves” (John 14:11).

I found chapter seven on the law and God’s motivation particularly insightful as the authors explain that God gave his laws to protect and provide for his people. Often we see God’s laws as restrictive but his heart is to protect us from the physical, mental, and emotional damage that happens when we pursue our own choices. God’s desire is to meet our need for love, acceptance and security but often we prefer to meet these needs ourselves, but ultimately end up dissatisfied.

The book is easy to read, with anecdotes and illustrations from real people’s experiences.

Still a worthwhile read, many years after its publication.