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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beyond Belief to Convictions (audiobook) by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler



Disappointed in the abridged audiobook

I've seen Josh McDowell speak many times and I know that he can be a strong speaker and I do wish that he had read this book. This book has strong attributes, but when combined with the reader (Greg Wheatley) it can be tedious.

The audiobook seems poorly put together at times but I suppose that is due to a poor abridgement.

The reader is very poor, which is surprising since the cover notes note that he has a wealth of radio experience. He fails to do basic things like pause. For example, most readers would read like this:

Chapter One
(pause)
It was a dark and stormy night...

This book is more like this (in a monotone):

ChapterOneItwasadarkandstormynight.

Other negatives:

McDowell includes a fictional story of friends at college that are struggling with their faith. Those stories are stilted and read like they were written for ...well, like they were written for a Sunday school book. The people don't talk like kids (I teach high school and those kids spoke more like 60 year olds than teenagers) and the reactions of some are so emotionally secure that it seemed fakey.

Following the climax of the fictional story came a sermon that was not all that hot either. Perhaps it was the reader, but it didn't do much for me.

What was good:

McDowell tells a lot of his personal story in here. If he'd have ditched the fictional people and told more about himself it would have been so much more powerful because his story is compelling and touching.

The ending is very strong with a good dose of Christian apologetics concerning the crucifixion.

Another reviewer on Amazon.com noted that there is another version of this book read by McDowell himself. Search that one out if you have to have this book in audio format.

I rate this audiobook 2 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: Beyond Belief to Convictions.

Reviewed on March 10, 2009.

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