Posts Tagged ‘Acts’

Book Plunge: But God Raised Him From The Dead

February 12, 2015

What do I think about Kevin Anderson’s book from Wipf and Stock publishers? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

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Wipf and Stock was recently letting reviewers have a free copy of this book and since it was about resurrection, I jumped at the chance, so my thanks first to Wipf and Stock publishers for this copy.

This is supposed to be the first monograph of its kind on the resurrection as seen in the work of Luke-Acts. For those with a more apologetic bent like I am, this is not meant to give you a defense of the resurrection. You will not find something like the minimal facts in here. You won’t even find an argument for the resurrection. What you will find is what the doctrine of the resurrection means in Luke-Acts and how it plays a major role if not the major role in the whole narrative.

Some especially interesting subjects are the looking at the concept of resurrection in Second Temple Judaism and the looking at resurrection in the pagan world surrounding the Jews. The resurrection is not cut and dried in the time of Second Temple Judaism. We know the Sadducees did not believe in it and the Pharisees did. Various texts in the OT are looked at to see if they talk about resurrection and then some writings from the period of Second Temple Judaism are looked at.

More interesting is the looking at the pagan world I thought. After all, many of us would view resurrection as a good thing. In the ancient world, not as much. There are strong indications that it would be like returning to a prison. This is helpful for those of us in the apologetics field as it gives us further evidence that indeed returning to the body would be seen as returning to the shackles of a prison. Contrary to what we might think, the resurrection was not thought to be a liked doctrine. That would explain why there were scoffers of the idea even in the Corinthian community.

From there, with the cultural backdrop of resurrection, Anderson looks at how Luke plays this out in his narrative. He spends plenty of time on Peter’s speeches and on Paul’s speeches. If there is a main theme that the resurrection is seen to help establish in the narrative, it is the theme of hope, which is also something Anderson writes about. What is the hope of Israel and how will it be established?

Anderson seems to end on the note that the resurrection will take place so the just will be rewarded and the wicked punished. I think it’s a bit more. The hope of Israel is that God will become king and Israel will be His special chosen people. Today, Christians also share that hope as we are adopted into the family of Israel and we preach the kingship of Christ with the hope that His kingdom will spread all over the world.

Note this book is not layman friendly. It does contain plenty of Greek and assumes a good background with the scholarly material, but if you’re into the heavy stuff, this will be a good addition to your library.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Defend The Faith 2015 Day Two

January 7, 2015

What has been happening at Defend The Faith? Let’s Plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today has been an active day at the Defend The Faith conference hosted by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. We started with a talk from Tim McGrew on the evidential value of the Book of Acts, which was certainly an eye opening talk. Next we followed with a talk from Rob Bowman on the travesty of an article from Newsweek. Let’s just say that it was like using a tank to squash a slug. Again, these talks will all be online for a limited time after the conference for free so please take advantage of that time!

After a lunch, we went to hear a talk first from David Calhoun about the role that films can play in apologetics. I did realize exactly how out of the loop I am about so many great movies, excepting when the topic of Harry Potter came up seeing as I know the series very well as a fan and was able to make my own contributions at that point. There are definitely some movies I wouldn’t mind watching now.

We followed that up by going to hear Keith Loftin give a case for mind/body substance dualism. I found this one to be quite technical but quite good as well. I was surprised to see NDEs not covered well and I did ask about them which got us to discussing the research of Gary Habermas, who I must highlight because he will in fact be speaking tomorrow.

After that, many of us who are speakers got to go out to dinner together at a nice seafood restaurant. I did order a shrimp platter but there was no way I could go through all of it. Allie got herself some pasta. Meanwhile, I just got to enjoy great conversation with Rob Bowman, Rhyne Putman, Tom Gilson, Fred Smith, Tim McGrew, Bob Stewart, and so many others who were there. I considered it a real privilege. The people running this conference are so kind and generous. Allie and I have felt like honored guests.

After that, Tim and Allie and I went back to his apartment. Why? Because Tim is wanting to teach me Bayes Theorem, especially because it seems to be so misused, especially by a certain prominent blogger that is popular amongst atheists. I’ve got a lot of work cut out for me, but Tim is a really encouraging guy and takes the time to explain and says to not worry about mistakes. They will happen.

We went back to the seminary then to hear James Walker of Watchman Fellowship give a great talk on worldviews and different perspectives people hold on religion. Watchman Fellowship also has available all their profiles that they’ve written on various topics of religion available for purchase as a file you can carry on your mobile device, which could be quite helpful to get.

After that, Allie and I went back to Tim’s apartment for a little while where he had a few people there just discussing apologetics and how important it was. If only we could get more youth ministers especially to see the need imagine what a difference we could make in the world and it was wonderful to see young people really eager to know how to defend their faith.

Well that’s all it’s going to be for tonight. Allie was starting to fall asleep while we visited Tim and not because he’s boring. He’s not. It’s just because she was so tired and frankly, I am too. Tomorrow is my day to speak so I hope you all will pray for me that I will give an effective talk that will bolster up the Gospel.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 3/15/2014: Darrell Bock

March 13, 2014

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

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Our special guest this weekend will be Dr. Darrell Bock to talk about the Gospel of Luke. As it stands, another friend of mine is hosting an interview with Darrell Bock right before mine so we have decided to work together to bring you “Back-to-Back Bock.”

Bock will be on Agustin Astacio’s show to talk about blasphemy and exaltation in Judaism. Specifically, he’ll be dealing with the answer given to the high priest at Jesus’s trial in Mark 14. Other verses could be touched on as well. A link to that can be found here.

This program will air from 2-3 EST.

We’ll be having Dr. Bock on our show to talk about a different topic. However, before saying what that is, let me tell you a bit about Dr. Bock.

“Darrell L. Bock is Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas. He also serves as Executive Director of Cultural Engagement for the Seminary’s Center for Christian Leadership. His special fields of study involve hermeneutics, the use of the Old Testament in the New, Luke-Acts, the historical Jesus, gospel studies and the integration of theology and culture. He has served on the board of Chosen People Ministries for over a decade and also serves on the board at Wheaton College. He is a graduate of the University of Texas (B.A.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.), and the University of Aberdeen (Ph.D.). He has had four annual stints of post–doctoral study at the University of Tübingen, the second through fourth as an Alexander von Humboldt scholar (1989-90, 1995-96, 2004-05, 2010-2011). He also serves as elder emeritus at Trinity Fellowship Church in Richardson, Texas, is editor at large for Christianity Today, served as President of the Evangelical Theological Society for the year 2000-2001, and has authored over thirty books, including a New York Times Best Seller in non-fiction and the most recent release, Truth Matters, a response to many issues skeptics raise about Christianity in the public square. He is married to Sally and has two daughters (both married), a son, two grandsons and a granddaughter.”

On our show, we’ll be talking about the Gospel of Luke mainly with Darrell Bock and it’s value for apologetics. When it comes to a Gospel that can be used best in apologetics endeavors with skeptics, I find the Gospel of Luke to be the best as it is full of historical claims that can be verified, as well as the prologue of Luke which we will definitely be spending some time on. Perhaps we can also discuss some of the book of Acts in relation to Luke as well and how we can be sure that Luke is indeed a reliable author.

So please be listening this Saturday to our show and remember to be listening to Agustin’s show as well to hear Bock speak about blasphemy in Judaism. For us, you can listen to the show from 3-5 PM EST. The call-in number with your questions is 714-242-5180. The link can be found here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Profit With Delight

July 16, 2013

What do I think of Pervo’s take on Acts? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Richard Carrier has said that if you want to know Acts isn’t reliable, read Pervo. I found a work of his on the genre of Acts, though this is not the one I think Carrier is referring to. Still it is worth sharing my thoughts on this one.

Pervo’s thesis in this work is that Luke is writing a kind of historical fiction. At least, that’s the impression when one does not see Pervo ranting about how obviously unhistorical the work is, something that plays a huge distraction from the content that is already in there. Pervo wants to jump at any chance he can get to show why he doesn’t think Luke is historical. (To be fair, I think this book was written before Colin Hemer’s massive work.)

This is not to say that the work is without any merit. For instance, the chapter on humor and irony in Acts I find to be quite pleasing. It is a mistake we’ve made with the text of Scripture that we often do not look to find any humor in it. In fact, this is a topic I’m interested in doing more research on someday.

If the rest of the book had been like that, I would not have had as many concerns, but alas, it isn’t. The whole idea of the thesis comes as that the book is so incredibly inaccurate that it could not possibly be considered to be historical in genre, therefore, it must be some sort of fiction.

Unfortunately, Pervo isn’t that accurate I find with the data that he presents. One such example is found where he writes about how ancient writers liked intrigue and conspiracy with the following:

“Evil Chenephres, jealous because of Moses’s civilizing innovations, tries to do away with him by ordering that he invade Ethiopia with an army of untrained peasants. After Moses is nonetheless victorious, Pharaoh strips him of this command and alienates his Egyptian lieutenants. Assassins are secretly sworn. They back out. Pharaoh does not. Having gained the allegiance of one Chanethothes, he dispatches Moses on a diplomatic mission, planning to ambush him on the road. An insider reveals the plot. In flight (on advice from Aaron), to Arabia, Moses meets and kills Chanethothes in single combat. The resemblance to Acts requires no comment.” (Pages 33-34)

The resemblance to Acts?

What resemblance?

It’s seeing claims like this that get me to think that I have to take everything that is said in here with a huge grain of salt.

Pervo’s thesis has not found wide acceptance, and for good reason. Most do realize that Luke is intending to give a historical account. Even if there were errors in it, that is certainly the intention. One can say that there are statements in Luke that match novels of the time, but that could be said of most any work in ancient history. A writer would write in a way that would catch his audience’s attention. Luke was a skilled and talented writer, in fact, so skilled that those who are learning Greek are told to not start trying with Luke. Luke is a highly difficult writer in Greek to understand since he knows it so well.

The reader is encouraged to instead go for ideas that have far more scholarly backing. A good reply to Pervo can be found in The Jesus Legend by Boyd and Eddy.

In Christ,
Nick Peters