Josh McDowell

PLANO, Texas -- As U.S. coronavirus cases show signs of leveling off, a renowned Christian apologist today urged the church to prepare for an avalanche of new challenges.

Following federal and state government discussions about plans to re-open parts of the nation in May, best-selling author Josh McDowell released online a document-titled "What Comes Next"-outlining challenges the church, para-church organizations and individuals will likely face in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. He has compiled more than 1,000 hours of church research over 55 years.

Social distancing, quarantines and lockdowns-government tactics enacted to help flatten the curve against the novel coronavirus-are having an adverse effect on mental and emotional health in the church, McDowell said.

"Since before the pandemic, pornography addiction and loneliness were the top issues facing the church, and now they are exploding," McDowell said. "Isolation caused by the COVID-19 lockdown has only exacerbated loneliness, pornography, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems."

As the COVID-19 death toll exceeds 42,000 Americans--more than U.S. soldiers who died in battle in the Korean War--McDowell also said, "The Church will need to be ready to address issues relating to God, and why He would allow such devastation."

In recent weeks, McDowell has correlated the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak to his extensive 55-page research paper, titled Ten Challenges Facing the Church. It outlines crucial challenges believers must address before moving forward in their relationship with Christ over the next five years.

"Our global society has created a complex and destructive scenario and environment that all Christians face in their everyday life including within the church in every culture of the world," explained McDowell.

McDowell predicted that in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis there will be greater interest in spiritual things--but not necessarily in the church.

"During this crisis and in all circumstances, we remain committed to pointing others to the hope found in Jesus. That's our calling and privilege as believers, and we must make every effort to offer others hope that only He can provide."

For information about Josh McDowell Ministry, visit https://www.josh.org/

Josh McDowell is founder and president of Josh McDowell Ministry (A Cru Ministry). He has written or co-authored 152 books in 128 languages, including the multi-million selling More Than a Carpenter and Evidence That Demands a Verdict. Josh and his wife Dottie have been married 48 years. They have four children and ten grandchildren.

SOURCE Josh McDowell

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