Posts Tagged ‘Deeper Waters’

Ken Humphreys Does Some Quote Mining

November 28, 2014

Is that quote being given accurately? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.

It looks like Ken Humphreys is watching Deeper Waters after my debate with him. Good for him. Unfortunately, it looks like his quoting skills are not the best. The worse problem is that his followers will not check the primary source, my blog.  This is going to be even more difficult for them because he on the post does not give a link to my blog page. He has a date, but that’s about it.

So what does it say?

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So what does Humphreys have quoted from there if you can’t see it?

Bedard and Porter are spending time on this topic is not because the idea of Harpur’s is a serious debate in the academic community. It’s not. They wrote it for the same reason I had my recent debate with Ken Humphreys. It is because this is affecting the rank and file of the church and instilling doubt in them.

Well that certainly sounds damaging. This is reaching the rank and file. Surely mythicists can rejoice. Well they will anyway, but why is it reaching the rank and file? What else did I say about mythicism? Let’s look at the quote in the full context on the original post.

Unmasking The Pagan Christ is a response to the book of Tom Harpur’s called “The Pagan Christ.” It’s important to note that the reason authors like Bedard and Porter are spending time on this topic is not because the idea of Harpur’s is a serious debate in the academic community. It’s not. They wrote it for the same reason I had my recent debate with Ken Humphreys. It is because this is affecting the rank and file of the church and instilling doubt in them. This is also because we as the church have been doing an abysmal job at equipping Christians to answer challenges so much so that even the craziest of theories has an impact.

Do note the part that I have bolded. That is hardly speaking well of mythicism. In fact, it is speaking more against the church and how unequipped we are. This is how bad we are. Even a theory as ridiculous and groundless as mythicism can affect the church because they are unprepared and do not examine their worldview.

Why would Ken not mention that part? Why would he even make it look like I had a whole paragraph and start it in the middle of a sentence?

Want to see more evidence of this? Just look at other places in my post.

Thankfully, there are people out there like Bedard and Porter who are doing the work to make sure that this kind of material is dealt with. A large number of scholars have had the right attitude towards mythicism  (This is nonsense) but had the wrong response. (Therefore if we ignore it, it will just go away.) This is especially so for Christian scholars who ignore this not at their peril, but at the peril of their fellow Christians who aren’t as equipped.

I also make clear that this is not just Christian scholarship.

Of course, atheistic scholars and others have a role to play in this as well. There are atheistic scholars out there who are frankly quite embarrassed by how many atheists are jumping on the mythicist bandwagon, as they should be. For atheists who complain about Christians arguing against them on evolution without studying science (And they are certainly right to do so!), it looks like too many atheists are jumping on this idea without really studying history.

I have bolded the above for all readers.

And how did I end the post?

I am thankful that books like this one exist and I hope more do come. Mythicism cannot be ignored at this point. It is not because it is a powerful theory. It is not. It is because it is a theory that leads away people from doing sound and real history. It results in a conspiracy theory thinking that is extremely anti-intellectual and anti-historical. It is my hope that scholars of all worldviews and positions will start to deal with this and give it the deathblow and humiliation that it deserves.

There’s a lot here then that was left out.

Unfortunately, this is par for the course as mythicists have a tendency to quote sources out of their proper context and as well rarely go back to the primary sources. (Again, why didn’t Humphreys include a link to my post so all could see it for themselves?)

So in short, as is being said, the reason this is concerning is not because the theory is powerful. It’s not. It’s because people are uninformed. I’m sure many atheists would say the same about ID or YEC, beliefs they both can’t stand. Why do these reach many people? Do atheists think they reach them because there’s sound and convincing evidence? No. It’s because the people just don’t know the issue well enough. (And I am not able to comment on the rightness or wrongness of if they do or not.)

Besides, if I can see that Humphreys isn’t even getting my blog post right and is leaving relevant material out in his quoting, then why should I trust him on the rest of his research?

Of course, this could change if the photo is taken down and the real quote given in its entirety with the surrounding context, but I suspect that won’t happen because on the whole, it’s a condemnation of mythicism, which it deserves.

We’ll see what happens.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 11/8/2014: Kurt Jaros

November 6, 2014

What’s coming up on the Deeper Waters Podcast this week? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This week on the Deeper Waters Podcast, we’re going to be looking at some topics that Christians can divide over a bit and I’m going to be getting the perspective of my friend Kurt Jaros. Kurt has been on the show before and has in fact been a speaker at the Unbelievable? conference in the U.K. So who is Kurt Jaros?

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Kurt Jaros is the Director of Operations at Apologetics.com, a charitable organization that challenges believers to think and thinkers to believe. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Highland Theological College in Dingwall, Scotland. His doctoral dissertation will look at the doctrine of Original Sin in the writings of monks from southern France in the 5th and 6th century. He holds two Masters degrees in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, and Systematic Theology, from King’s College London.

He likes systematic and historical theology, philosophy of religion, and issues in Christian pop culture. Additionally, he enjoys political philosophy, economics, American political history and campaigns. He current resides in the suburbs of Chicago with his lovely wife and daughter.

So what all are we going to be talking about?

We’ll be talking about original sin some. (Last I checked, Kurt is against sin for all concerned) Kurt comes from a perspective where he has enjoyed debating in the Calvinist/Arminian debate. It’s one that I’ve tended to avoid, but if you’re interested in that kind of debate, then you might want to hear what he has to say.

We’re hoping as well that some of this can break off into the problem of evil. How does one deal with the supremacy of God in a world of evil from the perspective of someone like Kurt? Can it be dealt with?

Also, we’ll be looking at what Kurt has to say about the teaching of Pelagianism. If one rejects Pelagianism, can one call oneself a semi-Pelagian? How will this relate to the doctrine of salvation? What kinds of issues are at stake in this? How will all of this then tie back into original sin?

I’m also interested in having our discussion on inerrancy as well. Kurt and I have had several discussions about this topic and while we both believe in inerrancy, we both hold a view of it different from the traditional view. Those who have been interested in the writings that I have done on the Geisler debate will certainly want to hear this kind of discussion on inerrancy. We will also be discussing various items we have in the works for the debate on inerrancy.

Kurt’s a good friend of mine and I’ve enjoyed a number of comments he’s left on my Facebook page as well as much of the humor we share together. He also takes my blogs which I appreciate and shares them on his own group. If you don’t know Kurt, now’s your chance to get to know him. I hope you’ll be listening to hear what he has to say.

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 10/25/2014: Marcia Montenegro

October 23, 2014

What’s coming up on this Saturday’s episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.

First off, we unfortunately had to postpone the interview we had scheduled with Matthew Flannagan. Why? I came down with a virus and I was in no condition whatsoever to do an interview. Unfortunately, my wife was a recipient of my generosity and she is just now starting to get over it. So if you’re wondering why the latest episode didn’t upload on ITunes, that’s why.

Now I am in good enough health that I am ready to continue doing the show again and this Saturday, we’re doing a show in preparation for Halloween. As you can expect, there’s a lot going on around this time of year. Many Christians wonder if they should participate in Halloween. There is also supposed to come out this weekend the movie “Ouija.” Is this just a harmless children’s game or is there something more to it?

Years ago, Gary Habermas advised me to not study the occult for myself. It can be too powerful of a draw. Instead, I should save such discussions for those who have come out of it and know it from the inside-out. I am fortunate to be friends with one such person and am honored that this Saturday I get to welcome Marcia Montenegro to the Deeper Waters Podcast.

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Prior to trusting Christ, Marcia was involved for many years in Eastern and New Age beliefs, and was a licensed professional astrologer for 8 yrs. During that time, she also taught astrology, and was President of the Metropolitan Atlanta Astrological Society. Marcia has a Masters in Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary, Charlotte, NC, and is a missionary with Fellowship International Mission. Through her ministry, Christian Answers for the New Age, she has spoken in 30 states and is a frequent guest on radio, and has published articles in several Christian publications, informing Christians about the New Age as well as reaching out to those who are part of it. Marcia is the mother of an adult son, and is the author of SpellBound: The Paranormal Seduction of Today’s Kids (Cook, 2006).

Marcia has now come out of the New Age movement and has devoted her life to helping others to come out of it. In fact, many times I have messaged her about something that sounds as if it was New Age to get her opinion on it. Unfortunately, much of this can also be found in the Christian church as many of the notions that are seen as popular today are actually quite occult in their mindset. (Consider the Word of Faith movement as an example of this.)

I hope you’ll be listening as you and your family prepare for Halloween just as ours is. You want your children to be fun and safe this time of year and you also should want to know about any dangers of the occult that you might not be aware of. Please be watching your podcast feed for the latest episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast featuring Marcia Montenegro.

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 10/4/2014: James Sire

October 2, 2014

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

To begin with, for those who have not been able to hear the podcast lately, it’s through no fault of our own. The one who hosted our show decided that their ministry needed to be more focused towards youth and for some strange reason, Deeper Waters didn’t fit in with that. (We’ll see how much of that changes when these youth go to college and meet a Bart Ehrman type.) Fortunately, we have recently found a new host for our shown, the Universal Pentecostal Network. (Not affiliated with the denomination)

Anyway, what is coming up? Well this Saturday, we’re going to be interviewing one of the members of what has been called the first wave of apologetics and has been doing apologetics long before a number of us were even born. Many of us doing apologetics today owe what we do in part to my guest if not directly, then indirectly, seeing as he probably helped many others find out about the field. My guest is Dr. James Sire.

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James W. Sire has retired as senior editor and campus lecturer for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri (1964), an M.A. in English from Washington State University (1958) and a B.A. in Chemistry and English from the University of Nebraska (1955).

He served as an officer in the U. S. He has taught English, philosophy and theology at a number of universities, serving as associate professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University and Northern Illinois University. Over the past thirty years, he has taught short courses at the University of Delaware, Regent College (Vancouver), Wheaton Graduate School, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Biola University, University of the Nations, Evangelical Theological Seminary, Osijek, (Croatia), Biblical Theological Seminary, Wroclaw (Poland) and many other academic institutions in the U.S. and Europe.

Dr. Sire is the author of several books including The Universe Next Door,(now in its 5th edition; adopted as a text on worldviews in over 200 universities and seminaries; over 350,000 in print; translated into eighteen languages), Scripture Twisting,  Discipleship of the Mind, Chris Chrisman Goes to College, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?, Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, Václav Havel: The Intellectual Conscience of International Politics, Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept,Learning to Pray Through the Psalms, Why Good Arguments Often Fail, A Little Handbook on Humble Apologetics, Praying the Psalms of Jesus,Deepest Differences: A Christian-Atheist Dialogue with Carl Peraino, and Rim of the Sandhills (eBook). His most recent publications are Echoes of a Voice: We Are Not Alone (May 2014) and Apologetics Beyond Reason: Why Seeing is Believing (August 2014).

He has lectured on over 250 university campuses in the U.S., Canada and Europe. During  one typical academic year, Dr. Sire spoke on over 20 campuses in the U.S. and several in Croatia, Yugoslavia, Romania, Belgium and the Netherlands. His most recent lectures were sponsored by his Bulgarian publisher and given in June 2012 in Sofia. He has addressed groups of undergraduates, graduate students and faculty with talks that range from pre-evangelistic and evangelistic to academic and analytic on topics of interest to students and faculty in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and technical fields.

He counts among his current interests (1) the application of worldview thinking to the integration of Christian faith and the academic disciplines (2) the critiques of worldview analysis as a major form of Christian critical thought and of understanding modern and ancient cultures and (3) the nature of signals of transcendence and their relation to Christian life, especially apologetics.

My first introduction to Sire came in Bible College when I was recommended to read Scripture Twisting and later for a class we were assigned as our textbook The Universe Next Door. That latter book has often been a textbook used in classes and is still to this day an excellent introduction to the subject of worldview thinking.

We’ll actually be talking about three books of his this time. We’ll be looking at the past with Rim of the Sandhillsthen we’ll see why he still believes in Christianity today with looking at his book Echoes of a Voice, and finally see what he thinks we should be doing in the future with Apologetics Beyond Reason.

This is an interview I’m looking forward to to hear someone we could all see as a great mentor in apologetics. I hope you’ll be listening in. I will be recording from 3-5 PM EST this Saturday.

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Plans After 34 Years

September 19, 2014

What is Deeper Waters and why does it matter? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

If you’re on my Facebook page, you probably know by now that today, I celebrate 34 years of life. On such a day as this, I try to look back and see how it is I got where I am, but for the most part, I want to tell you all where I think Deeper Waters is going and why I’m so excited about it and why the ministry that we’re doing here is so special.

First off, a lot of this stuff can be covered in the newsletter. If you’re not getting our monthly newsletter and would like to be a part of it, then please let me know. You can email me at Apologianick@gmail.com and let me know that you want to be a subscriber. If you do this route, please include something in the subject line so I will recognize you. I too get a lot of spam. You can also go to our Facebook group and sign up. While there, please “like” Deeper Waters.

Second, I will be speaking this evening in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. I’m the opening speaker at a conference and the point of my talk will be the importance of Christian apologetics today. I’m quite excited to have this opportunity where my invitation just came out of the blue and to get to be a recognized speaker at an event is an honor.

Third, next Friday, my wife and I both will be speaking at the Freedom Church of God for their “God’s Not Dead” conference. I will be speaking on the historicity of the resurrection. My wife will meanwhile be giving her first ever talk at a conference. She will be speaking on the problem of evil from the perspective of a layman and how the reality of God has helped her overcome evil in her life.

Fourth, I will be speaking the first Sunday of October at Farragut Church of Christ for their adult Sunday School class. I will be doing a lesson I’ve wanted to do for some time where I will be speaking on Christian marriage. I’m convinced that if we want to turn the tide in our country on marriage, we need more than good arguments. We need good marriages and I want to encourage people to celebrate their spouses and their marriages. I thoroughly believe that the world doesn’t honor marriage because the church failed to honor it first.

What else do we have up ahead in the works?

There’s always the Podcast. I am constantly trying to get the best guests on. Next month I will be interviewing James Sire, a classic in apologetics for decades, as well as Graham Veale on his book on the new atheism. I will also interview Matthew Flannagan on a book he’s written with Paul Copan on war in the OT as well as interviewing Marcia Montenegro on Christianity and the New Age Movement. If you like the podcast, then please go to ITunes and leave a positive review. It just thrills me when I go and see new comments. So many of you surprise me by telling me how much you like the show.

Also, Ebooks. We have one on the new atheism in the works and as it stands, I’m also writing one on dealing with internet memes today. It’s going to be a brief look at a topic sometimes followed by other recommended resources that could be used to further understand the topic. Memes being used as arguments instead of just a humorous punch is a great problem today with internet debate.

In the middle of all of this I’m going to be working on my Master’s still so yes, I am a busy busy guy. Not only that, but I’m also leading a men’s group on Sunday nights for our church where we talk about apologetics issues. I also do work for my church in writing out material that is used for our studies so know that your support of Deeper Waters does go to work that I am doing.

Let’s talk about that right quick. Donations. Really, I don’t like doing this part, but it’s something that has to be done. Your donations just thrill me. Each time I get one in it tells me that this is someone who has been impacted by Deeper Waters and wants me to keep going. If you want to donate, you can see the section on the side where it says to help support the work of Deeper Waters Christian Ministries. Now if you click that link that will take you to Risen Jesus. Please consider donating and especially, becoming a monthly donor. If you do make a donation, and I cannot stress this part enough, make sure you email me afterwards at Apologianick@gmail.com and say “I’m X and I just made a donation of Y to your ministry.” I will pass it on to my mother-in-law who runs the finances of RisenJesus, the ministry of Mike Licona, and they will make sure that it goes to me. Your donation that way will also be tax-deductible.

Now some of you might be wondering why I don’t just set myself up as a 501c3 and not go through Risen Jesus. That’s because becoming a 501c3 costs money and right now, we don’t have enough monthly donors to justify that. It will be wonderful when we get to that day, but so far, we are not there yet.

I really hope you all appreciate the work that is done here at Deeper Waters. We are trying to bring the best and your support means everything. If the fruit of this ministry has done you good, why not consider becoming an investor in it? If you cannot do that at that time, then please pray for the ministry and share the material that we have and let other people know.

Be praying for me tonight as I give this important talk! For all who have been friends and supporters to me this far, I cannot thank you enough. I would not be where I am today were it not for you.

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 9/20/2014: Rick Mattson

September 18, 2014

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

To begin with, for those concerned my guest had to cancel last Saturday and I chose to just cancel the show due to situations going on here that I thought needed my more urgent attention. That means unless you check my blog page, you’ve been wondering who’s going to be on the show this Saturday? Wonder no more! My guest is going to be Rick Mattson, author of the book “Faith Is Like Skydiving.”

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His bio describes him as:

“Rick Mattson serves as a traveling evangelist/apologist for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, appearing at 50 campuses the past five years. The most common event he holds on campus is called “Stump the Chump,” where students can come and ask the “Chump,” Rick, any question about Christianity. His home base is Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, where he serves as the InterVarsity Staff worker. When not on the road, Rick enjoys times with his wife, kids, and grandkids, golf, and writing.”

Unfortunately, we don’t have call-ins to the show anymore so we won’t be able to play a game of Stump The Chump, but we will be able to have a good talk about an excellent book.

Mattson’s work serves as a fine usage of analogies to help someone better understand the deep ideas of Christianity and relate them to students. Through years of college ministry, he’s got to have that interaction that involves the answering of questions and the spreading of the Gospel through apologetics endeavors.

The book is a result of all of that. If you want to know the kinds of arguments that he uses while on the road, then all you need to do is pick up this book. In it, you will find a wonderful conversational approach that can be used whether you’re a chump being quizzed on in the center of a college campus or whether you’re at the water cooler at work or just caught in a Facebook or internet debate of some kind.

His style is easy to learn and you will find insights that will help you explain matters and the analogies I find to be quite revealing. To this day, I have not yet shook the analogy that Hell is like an empty pub. While I do not necessarily agree with the view on Heaven and Hell, I certainly can see that this is a way to better explain it to people rather than using terminology that is highly misunderstood today and will bring to mind more Dante’s inferno than anything else.

Also, if anyone is interested, we will be recording this podcast on the road as well. As it turns out, I will be in the nearby Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area tomorrow to give the premier talk at a conference where I will be speaking on the importance of apologetics and the people running it have been nice enough to pay for a hotel room for Allie and I on Friday and Saturday night. (To boot, tomorrow happens to be my 34th as well and what better gift is there than getting to give a talk on a topic I am so fascinated with.) Please be praying that this goes well.

I hope you’ll be watching for a new link to show up in your ITunes feed. Again, don’t worry about missing one last week! Just be prepared to tune in and enjoy this week!

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 9/13/2014

September 11, 2014

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

I’m afraid some of you are going to be disappointed. My guest Trevor Ray Slone had to cancel his appearance earlier this week due to some reasons of his own, and so I decided to book….

No one.

Because as it happens, I have my own situation going on and my wife really needs me for something at the moment and I figured it would be good for us to just spend as much of Saturday together as we could. Now I do plan on having the show again on the next Saturday, but for this Saturday, I ask the fans of the podcast to understand that sometimes, things like this happen and please pass it on to anyone you know who is curious about where a new episode is.

You see, while I think my show is an excellent show, I know it’s not the only one of its kind. There are plenty of great sources out there to get apologetics and there are several other excellent podcasters out there who are doing their part to bring apologetics information. I hope I fill a unique niche with my lengthy interviews with scholars on various fields, but I also know that there are others that you can listen to and in fact, I would encourage you to listen to not just me.

So yes, there are plenty of people who can supply you with apologetics information. If something ever happened to me, apologetics would still go on strong. I’m not essential. There are plenty of other people out there who can debate unbelievers and answer questions. I’m glad I get to do what I do and I love it, but I know there are others who can do it. Also, no. I am in no way quitting. I’m just focusing on the family this weekend and next week, everything should be normal again.

Despite that, if you’re in ministry, I really want you to hear this message. I don’t just mean if you’re in apologetics ministry. I mean if you’re in any ministry capacity and if you’re a woman, just switch the language around as need be.

Many people can do what you do, but only one person can be a husband to your wife. If you have children, many people can do what you do, but only one person can be a father to your children.

I have also said that if you become an apologist who can answer every question and can leave every atheist scared to face you in the debate arena, but you have not been a husband to your wife or a father to your children, then as far as I’m concerned, you’re a failure in ministry.

If you are a husband, your task is to love your wife as Christ loved the church and present her faultless before the throne. That’s a big responsibility. Sometimes, if we’re in ministry we can be thinking “What I’m doing is for God so I get an exception.” No. There are no exceptions to this rule. You have a divine responsibility and before the throne of God saying “I was serving you” won’t make a valid excuse. Obedience in one area does not equal disobedience in another, and too many people in ministry have found themselves married to their ministry instead of their spouses.

So this Saturday, I’m taking that necessary break. In fact, if you haven’t seen me on Facebook often, there’s a reason for that. I haven’t been answering questions or anything like that. That will have to wait until next week. I really hope everyone understands, but if you don’t, well that’s just too bad.

I do hope you’ll be here next Saturday for the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast and please go to ITunes as well and write a favorable review. I love to see them!

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Debunking 9 Truly Evil Things Right-Wing Christians Do Part 8

September 9, 2014

We now turn the blog over to Allie again for part 8.

We’re almost done with going through this article http://www.alternet.org/belief/9-truly-evil-things-right-wing-christians-do?page=0%2C2 .  We’re now at part 8. Destroying Earth’s web of life and impoverishing future generations is evil.  The writer of the article didn’t write much on this section, so I’ll go ahead and quote them:

“The book of Genesis may say that only man is made in the image of God and that God gave man dominion over everything that grows or walks the earth. The book of Matthew may say that the return of Jesus is imminent and that his disciples shouldn’t worry about tomorrow, which will take care of itself. The book of Revelation may teach that this world is just a prelude to streets of gold.

But some of us think the lives and loves of other species have moral weight of their own. And some of us think that the intricate web that gave us birth is both precious and precarious, and that the wellbeing of future generations matters. And we think those verses in Genesis and Matthew and Revelation reveal more about the hubris and flawed humanity of the Bible writers (and of Bible believers) than they do about divinity.”

The verses they are using from Matthew are 16:28 and 6:34 –

(Matthew 16:28 NLT) “And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

(Matthew 6:34 NLT) “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Yes, Genesis does say man is made in God’s image and they have dominion over the creatures of the world.  Genesis 1:26 (NLT) reads:

 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

There’s more to that than just ruling.  It’s not like ruling with an ironfist.  We are to care for them as well.  God created everything and saw that it was good – including all the animals.  Even though man is most precious to him, he loves animals too or why would he have created them and wanted us to care for them?  You do have corrupt people who will abuse their power of ruling over the creatures – that’s because of sin, not because God said that it was okay to do that.  A king rules over the people in his kingdom, but a good king doesn’t abuse his power in ruling over them.  He takes care of them.  We may have dominion over the animals, but we are to take care of them, not abuse them.  

Yes, we’re not supposed to worry about tomorrow.  It’s not necessarily because Jesus could be coming back any day now though!  In Matthew 24:36 (NLT), Jesus says:

“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.”

We don’t know how soon Jesus is coming back.  People have waited for him to come back ever since he ascended into heaven.  He could come back today or he could come back 2000 years from now.  We don’t know.  Only God knows.  Plus, when Jesus said this, he didn’t die yet.  He had told his disciples more than once before he said this that he was going to die, but they didn’t understand.  When Jesus told people not to worry, he was just starting his ministry.  There was no predicting his death or anything like that.  If anything, the people who believed in Jesus thought he would lead them as their king in defeating the Roman Empire – not being the King of the universe!  But Jesus was not out to destroy the Roman Empire.  What Jesus was saying here is “Why are you worrying about tomorrow?  Doesn’t today have enough problems already?  Why add more problems on your plate when you already have enough on there?”  The reason we don’t have to worry is because we know that Christ is with us.  We aren’t going through our problems alone.  (Psalm 23:4 NLT) Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

As for the Book of Revelation, there are different interpretations of it and what’s going to happen in the end.  I agree, writer (of article), if people are just waiting for Jesus to return and for the world to be destroyed, that’s not right.  If people are thinking, “Well everything is doomed anyway,” even if you’re under that opinion, you still do the best you can to save it!  We are supposed to take care of the world, so do it!  Whether you’re a Christian or not, do it!  Of course, there are things only God can take care of, but do your part too!  God doesn’t condone laziness, which is something I even need to work on.  God approves of working hard, not laziness, so do it!

Our final part will be 9. Trying to suck vulnerable people into your poorly researched worldview is evil.

 

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 8/30/2014: R. Scott Smith

August 28, 2014

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

Morality. Most of us do agree that there is such a thing, although a growing number are increasingly saying that they don’t, which is quite frightening. We know that there is a good and there is an evil and we have a good idea about what it is we are to do. This is a phenomenon of reality that needs to be explained. How do we do it? To find out about this, I’m having R. Scott Smith come on the Deeper Waters Podcast. 

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Who is he?

Professor of Ethics & Christian Apologetics in the MA Christian Apologetics program, Biola University (starting my 15th year)

MA, Philosophy of Religion & Ethics, Talbot; PhD, Religion & Social Ethics, USC

Author of 4 books: In Search of Moral Knowledge (IVP, 2014), Naturalism and Our Knowledge of Reality (Ashgate, 2012), Truth and the New Kind of Christian: The Emerging Effects of Postmodernism in the Church (Crossway, 2005), and Virtue Ethics and Moral Knowledge (Ashgate, 2003).

Contributor to several books, journals, and other magazines/websites

What we will be talking about is the latest book of his, In Search of Moral Knowledge. 

Smith’s book is a fascinating one that takes you through a tour of ancient philosophy, biblical theology and ethics, the medieval period, and then modern theories, including naturalistic theories, that attempt to give a grounding for the morality that we all seem to share. What theory best accounts for it? In the end, he decides that the Christian worldview is the best worldview for explaining morality.

We will be asking a lot of questions along the way of course. Since the book starts off with looking at the early Greek philosophers, one question that can come to mind is “Why should we care?” After all, if we are Christians, don’t we have the Bible to tell us right from wrong? Why should Christians bother studying the ideas of Plato and Aristotle since this isn’t part of inspired literature? Can it really help us to understand morality?

When it comes to biblical ethics, at this point, it is the atheist who will have a rejoinder. “Yes. Let’s talk about biblical ethics. Let’s talk about slavery and genocide and all of that stuff. Remember, all of this is what shows up in the ‘Good Book.’ Why should I take the Bible as a relevant source on morality when it contains so much that is immoral?”

As we go through the medieval period, we can ask what we have really gained from all of this. Most of us today do still have a good idea of right and wrong. Did the medieval period really contribute in any significant way to what we know about reality? Does it really help us to understand what people like Aquinas thought about morality?

Finally, we will be looking at modern ideas from Christians and non-Christians and seeing how they add up and asking if morality can really be explained in an atheistic worldview? If it can’t be, then why is it that we should think that the Christian worldview is the best explanation for morality?

If you’re interested in the moral argument for God’s existence, then I urge you to please subscribe to the Deeper Waters Podcast on ITunes and be watching your feed for this latest episode! You won’t want to miss it!

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 8/23/2014: How To Form Your Canon with Lee McDonald

August 21, 2014

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

Canon. It’s something a lot of Christians don’t think about. You open up your Bible and those books are there. They’re just there. Yet how did they get there? Why do you have the Gospel of Matthew and not The Gospel According To The Simpsons in your Bible? Why do you have the story of Genesis but you don’t have the Gilgamesh Epic?

Some of us have thought about this. We have to face the common objections that we see. We hear that the choosing of the books of the Bible was just arbitrary. We hear for the NT that many Gospels were excluded like the Gospel of Thomas. We see series on the History Channel like “Banned From The Bible.” We also hear today commonly on the internet that all the books of the Bible were chosen at the Council of Nicea in 325.

This indicates some have thought about this, but some haven’t thought as much as others. One person who has thought a lot about these issues is Lee McDonald.

Lee McDonald

According to his bio:

 

Dr. Lee Martin McDonald (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, Scotland) has studied at many institutions including Cambridge University (England), Heidelberg University (Germany), and Harvard University. He is a professor of New Testament studies and president emeritus at Acadia Divinity College and former dean of the Faculty of Theology at Acadia Univeristy in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has taught New Testament Studies at Acadia, Sioux Falls Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, was a visiting scholar and professor at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2007 – 2008, and lectured in a variety of graduate institutions in Canada, the USA, Athens in Greece, Budapest, Prague, and elsewhere. He also served for six years as president of the international Institute for Biblical Research (a community of hundreds of Old and New Testament scholars), was a chaplain in the U.S. Army, a pastor for more than twenty years, and has served on boards of directors for three graduate schools of theology. Lee McDonald has written and/or edited more than 31 books and authored more than 100 articles and essays on biblical subjects, as well as on practical issues for the church.

 

Dr. McDonald is a member of the prestigious Studiorum Novi Testamentum Societas, the Society of Biblical Literature and the Institute for Biblical Resarch. He is an American Baptist ordianed minister and has served as a pastor and in leadership positions within the denomination. He regularly focuses on how the Bible came to be and also what biblical scholars are saying about Jesus in various churches as well as academic settings. He also addresses the question of the relevance of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient non-biblical resources for understanding Jesus in his context and various pasages in the New Testment as well as their relevance for canon formation. He is a specialist in the context of early Christianity and the origin of the Bible.

 

 

Dr. McDonald is quite the authority on the canon and not just the New Testament canon! It would be a treat to discuss just that even, but no, you’re going to get two canons for the price of one! We’re going to be talking about the formation of the Old Testament canon as well. Why is it that in both canons we have the books that we have and not the other ones? Is there any controlling conspiracy going on? Are Christians just trying to hide ideas about Jesus that they just don’t like?

In the end, it could realize that the truth is something far greater. It could actually be that we have the very books that God intended us to have and we do have a reliable source of information on the history of the people of God and the life of Jesus the Christ.

So please be watching your ITunes feed soon for the latest episode of Deeper Waters discussing the formation of the canon of Scripture with Dr. Lee McDonald.

 

In Christ,

Nick Peters