Josh McDowell forgives sexual abuse, but cannot forget


‘Undaunted,’ a New Film, Unveils Painful Past

Josh McDowell

By Dan Wooding

Few people know that behind the ministry of the legendary author and international speaker Josh McDowell lies a painful childhood caused by a severely dysfunctional family, sexual abuse and an alcoholic father.

On Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7 PM, Undaunted: The Early Years of Josh McDowell, a new docu-drama by Director/Script Writer Cristóbal Krusen will premiere at Chase Oaks Church in Plano, Texas.

Shot throughout Michigan to capture the rolling acreage surrounding the McDowell’s family farm, Undaunted sheds light on McDowell’s darker days as an innocent child growing up in a severely dysfunctional family.

The film portrays the difficult circumstances in which McDowell was raised and the atmosphere that produced one of modern Christianity’s greatest skeptics. McDowell’s miraculous conversion to faith from resistance and unforgiveness is a sought-after testimony. Though never before portrayed on film, his testimony has been shared on every continent.

“The movie is less about Josh McDowell and much more about promoting Jesus Christ,” said Krusen, the award-winning filmmaker, who will host the premier screening of Undaunted along with Executive Producer Douglas Maddox.

In tribute to Josh, hundreds of his family, friends, supporters and fellow ministry leaders are expected to attend the weekend-long culmination of McDowell’s 50th anniversary celebration, simultaneously designed to cast a vision for the next 50 years of the evangelistic ministry. The unveiling of a 42-minute version of Undaunted is considered the centerpiece; the premier screening is free and open to the public on a first-come first-served basis. Doors will open at 6:45 PM.

Festivities for the 50th anniversary celebration will begin on the evening of Friday, Oct. 7, at Southfork Ranch–well-known as the setting for the hit 80’s TV show “Dallas”-where McDowell, his family and friends will gather for dinner and reflection on stories from across the years.

Then, following Saturday’s premier screening, McDowell will speak during two public Sunday worship services, Oct. 9, at Prestonwood Baptist Church, where he and his family attended while living in the Dallas area. Prestonwood’s Pastor Dr. Jack Graham will introduce McDowell before services at 9:15 AM and 11 AM.

In 1961, McDowell joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ International as a traveling representative. Not long after, he started the Josh McDowell Ministry to reach young people worldwide with the truth and love of Jesus. His books have become classics. “More Than A Carpenter” has more than 15 million in print in 85 languages. In the most recent edition, McDowell reveals for one of the first times in print that he was sexually abused repeatedly as a child by a hired farm hand from the age of 6 to 13, and more recently he shares the story in the book “My Journey . . . from Skepticism to Faith.” His book “New Evidence That Demands a Verdict” was named by World Magazine one of the twentieth century’s top-40 books and one of the thirteen most influential books of the last 50 years on Christian thought.

Despite, or maybe because of, Josh’s challenging childhood years depicted in Undaunted, strengthening of the Christian family remains a pillar of his half-century-long ministry. Above all the honors and awards, Josh will tell you his family is his first ministry. He and his wife Dottie have been married 38 years; they have four children and five grandchildren.

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  1. God bless the movie and God’s blessing on Christ’s ministry through us rag tag followers who are wounded scarred and abused through life’s battles. Bless you in your the ministry of your families loves and Christ’s family in your state country and nation and world wide, Amen in God we “do” trust!, PTL Amen!!!

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