Deeper Waters Podcast 5/31/2014: Joseph Hinman

What’s coming up this Saturday on the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Okay. I generally have a bit of a skeptic in me, and today, that can be a good thing. With so many phonies on stations like TBN, one wants to make sure that they’re getting accurate information. Furthermore, there are groups like the Mormons out there that keep going on about how they had a burning in the bosom. Experience can often be a dangerous tool when used improperly.

So when I got Joseph Hinman’s book to review in the mail called “The Trace Of God”, I was skeptical. Why? Because Hinman’s argument is that religious experience presents a valid justification one can have for believing in God. It’s important to point out Hinman does not see this as a proof of God’s existence. He just sees it as giving the religious believer an epistemic justification for what they believe.

I will confess that I am not sold entirely yet, which could still be more of my skepticism based on the paragraph above. This despite the fact that I would say even my own wife has had a religious experience where earlier this year she was suddenly cured of the depression that she has lived with practically all her life and has a renewed interest in Christian matters.

So who is Joseph Hinman? His bio goes as follows:

Mr. Hinman did his undergraduate work in sociology and debate at the University of Texas at Arlington. He earned a Masters degree in Theological studies where he focused upon history of doctrine at Perkins school of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He was a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Ideas (Intellectual History) and studied at the doctoral level for several years at University of Texas at Dallas. He began work focusing upon Derrida and the postmodern understanding of the self. He then switched and spent five years studying history and philosophy of science, focusing upon Newton, Boyle and the Latitudinarians. In the process of completing his dissertation, he was forced to terminate his studies ABD (all but the dissertation) due to family tragedies. Mr. Hinman published the peer-reviewed academic journal, Negations: an interdisciplinary journal of social criticism. He now works as an independent scholar.

So we’ll be talking about all the facets of religious experience. What exactly is a religious experience? What about different worldviews? Don’t Hindus and others have religious experiences? Can you be an evangelical and affirm religious experiences? Are religious experiences meant to give you content about theology? Aren’t these kinds of things too subjective to use as a reason to believe in God’s existence?

There’s going to be a lot to discuss on a topic that many of us are not familiar with and I am pleased to say that Hinman has definitely done his homework. His book is filled with meticulous research from qualified researchers. Please be watching for it as I hope to have it up as soon as I can. Remember, we can return to live broadcasts whenever we get sufficient financial backing for it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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