Book Plunge: Classic Christian Thinkers

What do I think of Ken Samples’s book published by RTB Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

For some people, to think of a Christian thinker sounds like a contradiction in terms. Sadly, some of those people are also Christians. After all, aren’t Christians supposed to be people of faith? This assumes that faith is something anti-intellectual when it isn’t. Our Christianity has a rich heritage of great thinkers and we should embrace them.

It would be too much to list all the great Christian thinkers, but in this book, Ken Samples has chosen to give nine. Each chapter covers one thinker and is a brief portrait of their life and how they contributed to apologetics and philosophy. He also lists the best books to read by these thinkers and works to go to to understand their life and impact all the more.

He also goes across traditions for this. There are people in this list that Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox are likely to admire. Perhaps not all of them, but anyone from any of these traditions will find someone they can support. So who are the people he covers?

He starts with Irenaeus and then Athanasius. Next in line are the big free of Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. A lot of people in Catholic and Orthodox circles might not be happy with Martin Luther and John Calvin next, but each were great thinkers who have shaped the Christian world. After those is Blaise Pascal and then to top it all of is a great mind who has found support from all three branches and that is C.S. Lewis.

Samples’s book is also easy to read and understand. The reader will walk away with a greater appreciation of who the person is. Also, any reader can just read each chapter on its own if you want to get a brief overview of a certain figure in church history.

The book is also good for group discussions. This is a book that small groups could get together and read about the life of one thinker and then discuss the impact of that thinker with the discussion questions. I am sure Samples would love to see this happen and I know that I definitely would.

The book is also really trying to be more ecumenical than one might think. Martin Luther will not be the favorite of Catholics and Protestants, but Samples does not go after Catholics or Orthodox in the chapter. He also gives us the interesting idea that it could be that more works have been written about Martin Luther than about any other figure in history apart from Jesus Christ.

The real goal of the success of this book will be seen in one way. That will be in how many people go to these great writers themselves and at least read some of their works. Samples would be disappointed to know readers used his book to learn about the thinkers without going to the thinkers himself. As Lewis said, “Read Plato. Not books about Plato.”

I encourage anyone interesting in Christian thinking to read this book. Those interested in church history should read it as well. Remember to use it as a stepping stone though to get to the other books that Samples would say are far more important.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 4/20/2019

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

April is Autism Awareness Month and as you all know, at least one show every month is dedicated to the topic of autism. This Saturday will be that show. I make it a point to have a guest on to come and introduce you to the world of autism a little bit more.

But who to get on? That’s often a puzzle and really, this kind of thing is a common occurrence with me. I try to get the best guests on that I can and sometimes it’s difficult. Many people who are Christians and on the spectrum are not that well known. Also, we need a variety of guests.

So who could it be? Who is there that is on the spectrum that the audience has not heard an in-depth interview yet? Is there anyone I know out there who could introduce people to the world of autism even more? Then in all my thinking, I hit on a guest that I thought would be interesting for my audience to hear. He would be someone that some people could know about, but maybe people who just know about my work through the show might not know about.

Why not have myself be the guest?

To help me with this, my friend of the Cerebral Faith Podcast, Evan Minton, has agreed to come on and be our first ever guest interviewer. This time, I will be taking the hot seat. Evan will be interviewing me on my experience with living on the spectrum and what it has been like.

So who am I?

My background in ministry is being a student at Johnson Bible College (Now Johnson University) where I got a B.S. in Bible and Preaching. From there, I went on to SES to do some study but left after the inerrancy controversy started. I currently run Deeper Waters Christian Apologetics and host the Deeper Waters Podcast. I live with my wife Allie and our cat Shiro.

I have not given Evan a list of questions to ask me so I really don’t know what’s coming. If I were to make some suggestions, it would include ways that life was like growing up for me including being in the public school system. (I was the first one on the spectrum in Knox County to graduate from the public school system) There could be talk about hobbies and interests and how Aspergers plays a role in all of this and of course, how I came to find out I am on the spectrum. Married life is always something I like to talk about and what’s it like to be married on the spectrum and married to someone on the spectrum.

We are working on getting new episodes up. Due to some technical difficulties and such, we weren’t able to in March. I hope that this month will change all of that. Thank you for listening and please leave a positive review on iTunes of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Jimmy Carter on Homosexuality

Should we take what Jimmy Carter said seriously? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have seen this meme going around the past few months or so and saw it again yesterday on Facebook. Chances are, you have as well. I always give the same reply. As far as I know, the quote is authentically from Jimmy Carter, but even if it isn’t, the message is still one that many Christians will find difficult to respond to and many others will treat as an unassailable argument.

Maybe you’re a Christian wondering how you should respond to that. After all, Jesus never said anything explicitly about homosexuality in the Bible. Also, it was very well known in the ancient world and this long before Jesus was born. Is it time to surrender this point? No.

Here’s what I initially post every time I see this.

Pederasty was well-known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born, and Jesus never said a word about pederasty. In all of his teachings about multiple things, he never said that pederasts should be condemned.

For those who don’t know, this was a practice where an older man would take a younger boy in and mentor him. That mentoring would often involve making the younger boy a lover. The boy would traditionally play the female role. This was a common practice in the ancient world at the time of Jesus and Jesus never said a word about it.

Now if the person posting this meme is going to be consistent, then they will need to approve of a practice that most of us would call child abuse or sexual abuse today. If they don’t, then they are just cherry picking. This shows the problem with the argument because if you just submit another term in that can apply equally, the argument doesn’t work.

If anything, Jesus’s silence should be seen as tacit approval of what the Torah said about homosexual practice. Jesus had no problem dealing with interpretations of the Law that He found to be problematic. On this one, He is incredibly silent on the matter. Could it because like pederasty, this wasn’t an issue in ancient Israel?

As for Jesus’s stance on sex and marriage, it was much harder than those around Him. Jesus looked at both of the schools of His day on divorce and at the Essenes in Matthew 19 and went beyond both of them. His response many Christians today might think perfectly natural, but His own disciples were shocked by it.

Jesus also spoke hard on lust, something that many of us guys would probably love to have taken out of the Bible. Committing adultery was wrong, but it is definitely just as bad to even look at a woman with the desire to fornicate with her. Why? Because on a cost-benefit analysis, if you can get away with doing it, you will do it.

Don’t let someone fool you with this kind of argumentation from Carter. Regardless of what I think of his politics, I can say he does not know what he’s talking about with the Bible. Contrary to what the meme says, the Bible is something I think real Christians should stand up for.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Sacredness Of The Human Body

What is it about the body that is sacred? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I found myself on Facebook in a discussion about pornography. Why was I against it? Talking to atheists in this one, I decided to not just quote Scripture left and right, but to accept real evidence that I thought would be more convincing.

I spoke about how pornography ultimately treats women as objects. (I know there is porn the other way, so just alter the figures as needed) They are there to fulfill a sexual need and that is it. There is no more beyond that. Such a position is degrading to the female and if you degrade one woman, you have degraded all of them.

Later last night, I read about a resort called Temptation that is pretty much a millennial sex orgy. While there is supposed to be no public sex there and no is supposed to mean no, I’m quite sure that at least the first rule is violated several times. The sad thing is, this article was written by a married woman who said while she wasn’t going to be sleeping with other guys, she was happily letting it all go there.

I found it ultimately saddening, as if the human body is simply a display object. For myself, I like knowing that there is something of the body that is reserved for me only by my wife and vice-versa. This isn’t talking about you just going to the gym and if you’re with other men or other women, being undressed around them. After all, unless they’re gay, that’s not an issue for them. This is about things reserved for you and your spouse alone.

I really do think this is something that women especially have to face. After all, even most women would say the female body is objectively far more beautiful than the male is, and that’s even if they’re fully straight women. Women were just made to be beautiful and many women are constantly comparing themselves with other women to see if they have that beauty.

By the way women, just a little tip. What you are so obsessed with, we are not obsessed with. If you are married to a good man, he has no objections to you doing things to beautify yourself more, but he also loves you just the way you are. If anything, he wants you to live like you believe that.

Which gets me back to my objection to pornography. I object to the female body being put on display as an object just to arouse men. Now let me be straight forward and say the human female body does arouse men. I was listening to a news story about Notre Dame burning and how it was the building as it was before the fire was the most beautiful sight someone had ever seen. My thought was, “I am sure it is a beautiful sight, but it sure can’t compare to Allie.”

I definitely mean that. Why? Well, Notre Dame, as beautiful as it was, and hopefully will be again, was still built by man. It can’t compare with a design that was originally made by God. As I sit here typing, I see a picture of my wife here next to me and I look over with amazement. I never truly knew what beauty was until I saw her.

If I am sitting on the couch minding my own business and she tells me she’s going to go take a shower, my ears perk up immediately. If there’s anything that can get me to stop what I’m doing, it’s the affection of my wife. It has been a huge motivator for me to get me to stop doing things I shouldn’t be doing and start doing things that I should be doing.

So yes, I am not at all about to deny that the human female body has that function on us men.

The difference is that we who are happily married men should know that that is not just a human female body. That is a person. There’s an adage for married men that says sex begins at breakfast. No. It doesn’t mean you hoist her on to the breakfast table and get your game on. (Not that many of us would object if she was willing) It means that you start being romantic in the morning and that will increase the odds of her being romantic in the evening.

Pornography removes all of that. There is no romance truly in porn. The story of a movie might have some romance, but the man watching to get his stimulation needs to make no requirement. He does not have to romance a woman. He does not have to treat her with dignity. He’s just seeing a body. That’s all that matters.

Not only that, there are likely some in the porn industry who are there because of sex trafficking. Someone watching porn could unknowingly be supporting sex trafficking then. This is especially relevant for those in the atheistic crowd who want to decry slavery in the Bible so much.

There’s also the case that if you watch movies and TV, most of us know that any sex that takes place there is nothing like it is in real life. Porn will go way beyond that to even more unrealistic ideas. That’s why many women today can struggle with their lovers wanting more and more extreme behavior. I’m also convinced this is why many young men struggle with conditions like erectile dysfunction. They have got so used to fake women that a real woman can’t turn them on anymore.

Guys. If you are struggling with this habit, I really encourage you to go and get help immediately. You are not preparing yourself for a future sex life if you’re still a virgin. You’re doing great damage to your future sex life. If you are not planning to marry, you’re still lowering women everywhere. If you are married, find pleasure in your own wife. You don’t need to look elsewhere for sexual fulfillment.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The Sexual State

What do I think of Jennifer Roback Morse’s book published by TAN Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I want to thank Dr. J, as she prefers to be called, for sending me a review copy of this book. Dr. J’s book is about the sexual revolution and the damage that it has done. The book is definitely written from a Catholic perspective, but Protestant readers like myself will still benefit from it.

Dr. J starts with talking about many of the victims of the sexual revolution that have been silent. These are people who have been hurt by the tearing apart of the family, including the divorce culture. This isn’t to say that divorce should absolutely never happen, but when divorce is way too easy, it has led to people with their own fallen natures seeking to end a marriage easily. Even when Allie and I were still in our seventh year of marriage I was told by some people we had a “long marriage.” Very sad.

Dr. J contends also that all of this required the necessary involvement of the state. The government has been pushing much of this, which is definitely the case when we realize that Planned Parenthood is government funded. Many of our elites also have a great interest in the sexual revolution. Think about how many people got ousted in Hollywood and media by the MeToo movement.

Dr. J sees this built on three pillars. The first is the contraceptive ideology. This is the one that tries to separate sex and babies. As a Protestant, I didn’t agree with this one as much as the others. After all, even devout Catholics practice Natural Family Planning to be able to have sex without having babies.

There’s also the case of situations where the motive is entirely right to avoid childbirth. I know someone once whose wife had a serious bone condition. If she got pregnant, she could die. They have measures taken to make sure this doesn’t happen. Is that wrong? I don’t think so.

For this, I largely think it depends on the circumstances. I would definitely agree that anyone wanting to use contraception in order to have easy sex outside of marriage is in the wrong, but notice that in this case, it is the activity itself of sex outside of marriage that is wrong. Were we to live in a culture where sex was kept within the bounds of marriage, I don’t think this would be as much of a problem.

Of course, I definitely agree that abortion is an evil. The only possible exception could be if it is required to save the life of the mother and the baby would die anyway. Abortion is one of the greatest evils of our time and I find it repulsive to think that even many so-called faith leaders are accepting it.

From there, we move on to the divorce ideology. This one destroys the permanence of marriage. Again, there are times I think everyone agrees that divorce is a sad necessity, such as a highly abusive relationship, but even then, it is a tragedy because it means someone broke their promise before God and men.

On the other hand, I do know of some women who favor no-fault divorce because it allowed them to get away from abusive husbands where if things had gone wrong, they would have stayed in that situation and been punished by the husband. I am not a legal scholar at all, so I can’t answer what can and can’t be done, but I would definitely agree that divorce is too often done and too many couples go into marriage saying that if things don’t work, they can get a divorce.

Sadly, this can also lead to people assuming that moving in together before marriage to test out a relationship will work. In reality, this is something that increases your odds of divorce and puts you in a more dangerous situation and allows men and women to treat each other as test subjects. It’s especially bad for the woman. After all, the man gets all the rewards he wants, namely free sex, and he doesn’t even have to commit to the woman!

Finally, there’s the gender ideology. It first started with the goal to remove the gender requirement for marriage, but now it seeks to eliminate gender altogether. If we looked at how the feminist movement went down the path, it’s quite a development.

The first step was saying that women are equal to men. This wasn’t in an ontological sense but saying women can vote, drive cars, own property, hold a job, etc. Most of us today would have no problem with this perspective.

The second was saying that women are superior to men. This has led to men often being just sperm donors and having it be easy to cry out rape at any event. Women have tried to show they don’t need a man in anything. I often thought Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 could have just been “Vote for me because I’m a woman!”

But then the third step went somewhere most feminists didn’t expect and some have argued against. Now, thanks to the transgender movement, women are men. This has also led to some amusement from many of us men. Now men are able to compete in women’s’ sports. When they win, now men are no longer just superior at being men, but at being women apparently. Of course, there’s no risk also that many young men won’t use the new laws on transgenderism to be allowed to shower with the girls. Nope. After all, we’ve learned men have no interest in looking at female bodies.

Each of these chapters is followed with the Catholic response. Again, Protestants can get something out of this. I don’t agree with the Catholic Church on many issues, but they do some of the best work in moral philosophy today.

A final section also has Dr. J talking about the gift of grace and such. This is also how she ended her book Smart Sex and Dr. J I think is truly at her best when writing about the gift. She does not write as a highly sophisticated theologian or Biblical exegete. I would contend it is the simplicity of how she writes that makes it special and many of us who are Protestant Christians can stand up and cheer at this point.

While many people will have different levels of commitment, I think most of us in the Christian camp will agree the sexual revolution has been a disaster. If we could return to saving sex for the person you are married to it would help us out so much. (Just think of how much we would not have to spend in researching and treating STDs) No laws will ever give us utopia as long as we are fallen human beings, but we can say that some ideas make it worse, and that includes the sexual revolution.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 4/13/2019: Jonathan Greer

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Those who do not learn from history are often condemned to repeat it. At the very least, they are condemned to misrepresent it. In our day and age, it’s incredibly easy for internet atheists to proclaim themselves experts on the Old Testament because they can read it.

Sadly, Christians can do the same thing. It’s easy to just lift up a text from somewhere and treat it as a prooftext. It’s easy to confuse law and gospel and the relation between the two. Even worse, it’s easy to make a Gospel presentation where you have the fall of Adam and Eve take place and then jump straight to the story of Jesus because, you know, the history of Israel really has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity. Right?

The Old Testament is a difficult work to understand because it takes place in a time and a culture that is so foreign to what we live in. When they wrote the text, they assumed that the culture was understood by the readers. For us, it isn’t. We don’t know many of the places and many of the terms or the language or the culture.

In order to better understand the culture then, we need the work of those scholars who have invested in the culture. Fortunately, there are several of them who are also committed to Jesus. Even better, many of them have worked together in a volume that has been compiled by three such scholars to help us. The work is Behind The Scenes of the Old Testament and one of those editors is joining us tomorrow and his name is Jonathan Greer.

So who is he?

According to his bio:

Jonathan S. Greer is Associate Professor of Old Testament and Director of the Hesse Memorial Archaeological Laboratory at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Cornerstone University. He holds M.A. degrees in Old Testament and Biblical Languages from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University where he focused on Hebrew Bible, ancient Near Eastern studies, and archaeology. He is also the Associate Director of archaeological excavations at Tel Dan, Israel, and has published a number of works on the relationship of the Bible to the ancient world.

We will be discussing the way the Old Testament world was and why it matters to us. We too often understand the Old Testament just through the lens of the New Testament instead of understanding the Old Testament on its own entirely. We need to approach the work on its own. The book covers so many of the minor details of life in the Ancient Near East, far too many to cover in even two hours. This is how massive the world is and hopefully, you will get a better understanding of it.

I hope you’ll be looking forward to the next new episode. We’re working on others. We have had some issues, but they are being worked on. Please also go on iTunes and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

My Wife And Emotional Commitment

What does it mean to connect? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I hate to tell you all this, but I am not the husband I should be being. If you watched on Facebook and wondered why I stopped posting to my wife, it’s not because my love died for her one bit, but it’s because it seemed to be more of a show to her and the substance behind the scenes wasn’t all I thought it should be. As it turns out, she hasn’t felt emotionally connected for years and it has been heartbreaking to realize this.

Allie had a hard day yesterday and when we went to bed, we prayed and then we just started talking. Allie takes medications at night and one purpose of one medication is to help her sleep. Because of that, we don’t do anything that will go against that, so that means that once she takes her medicine, nothing sexual will happen. That is then off the table.

So what did we do? We found ourselves just talking. Allie goes to bed early and we went to bed at 8:30. I normally stay up and do some work after that. While I do value that time, tonight, I got a lot more.

As a man, I can too often be pushing for sexual fulfillment way too much. Allie insists I need to wait and let her come to me, but I sadly have a tendency to be boneheaded and not listen. When it was off the table, I found I got something incredibly fulfilling in just talking together. That doesn’t mean I didn’t from time to time give a hug or a kiss, but it was something simple, something that could have been done while we were just dating.

I found my wife amazing in so many ways. She is really one of the strongest women I know if not the strongest. She recently shared on her Instagram a picture called Healer’s Journey. Take a look for yourself.

This is my wife. No matter what pain she is going through, she has care for so many people who come to her, much more than I do. The reality is many of you don’t know what goes on with her. Inside her head every day it is a battle. Every day she has the hardest voices tearing her apart. She resists temptations so much that you and I never really can think about.

Sadly, she takes upon herself the weight of the world often and when she sees people around her in pain, she feels personally responsible. She feels used to being neglected and abandoned and alone and sadly, I fear I have treated her the same way at times unintentionally. Many of you don’t really know what is going on inside of her, but rest assured when she is giving to you, she is often in a place of pain herself.

She lives with a constant perfectionism for instance inside of her and never thinks she’s good enough. This can affect her Christian walk as every sin seems to be unacceptable. In a sense it is, but she does have a struggle with grace. Still, when I see her hungering for God so much and praying for more of Him, I can often think there is something missing in me. It’s easy for me to just come to God with my list of the things I want. Allie is different. She truly wants to come to the table just for the one seated at the table.

This is causing me to look at my own prayer life differently and my own Christian walk. Seeing the way I have unintentionally mistreated her over the years is causing me to look at how others are and have more grace and mercy. Some things Allie has said to me lately would normally get me in anger immediately, but they haven’t been. I’ve had to look at myself a lot more.

I’ve told her that lately, she has given me a great gift. She has given me the opportunity to humble myself. I stress the opportunity aspect because she can’t humble me like that. Humility has to be an act on my own part. I can assure any reader that I take no delight in any sort of self-humiliation on my part here, but I do take delight in getting to tell you more about her.

The thing about her is she really cares. I am convinced that one day she will be a beacon of hope to so many people. I have apologetics and it’s good to answer questions and they need to be answered, but she has a story and I think a story will connect a whole lot more for many other people. She has a story that it will be very hard to argue against.

So today, I want to give this as a tribute to the woman I love so much, my Princess Allie Peters. This is a woman who is giving me an opportunity to have a deeper walk with Christ and take a look at myself and sacrifice my own pride for a greater cause. This is a woman who makes me want to be a better Christian just by being herself. This is a woman who still loves me for some odd reason though I have done much to not deserve it. Her love is a gift that I could never earn, but like I plan to do with God’s love, may I spend the rest of my life showing how much it means to me.

Love you, Princess. Thank God for what you are being used to do in my life and thank you for your willingness to be used by God.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Is The Internet Destroying Religion?

Does the net pose a danger? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last night, I saw someone share an article about how the internet is causing people to leave Christianity. On the face of it, let’s just accept the claim. Actually, I’m quite sure the claim is true. This was an atheist who shared it so naturally, the idea is the internet is showing people that religious claims are false.

Unfortunately for them, that’s the kind of simplistic thinking that is behind many such claims. You could say that the totalitarian regimes in Russia and China caused atheism to rise, therefore atheism is true. In all of this, I don’t want to assume that any one position is true. Hypothetically, atheism could be true and Christianity false. I just want to access how we’re approaching the claim.

The idea is that more information leads to more knowledge, which could in many ways seem like something obvious to say, but it’s not. More good information leads to more knowledge. There is plenty of false information out there. You can watch a documentary on Netflix called Behind The Curve about people who believe the Earth is flat.

Most New Testament scholars that are even atheists and agnostics would decry Jesus Mythicism as an utterly bankrupt theory. Unfortunately, if you went by what is seen on the internet, you would think that this is the main idea of such scholars. Atheists will go and treat this like it’s gospel and do so because they read something on the internet and never bothered to read anything else.

In all of this, I don’t want to say the internet is horrible. There is plenty of good information on the internet. The problem is most people don’t possess the skills in research necessary to sift out the good information from the bad. This isn’t just limited to atheists. There are plenty of Christians out there that believe stupid things because they don’t know how to sift out information.

One key problem of this is avoiding books. You see, the information you read on the internet is often free stuff and not the best material that you can find in scholarly works by people who actually want to get paid for their information because they have these strange desires like, you know, providing for their families and earning a living.

Many times when I present these books to people and ask if they want to read them, I get met with the strongest resistance. Whenever this shows up, mark it for what it is, a form of anti-intellectualism. If you are confident in your position, you should have no problem reading the other side. Don’t say the other side isn’t worth reading if you think it’s worth the time to go out there and argue against it. This also goes for those of us who are Christians who do need to read the other side.

So what we could say is that many people who are low-information are having their minds changed easily. I say this in light of realizing that as a Christian, I am happy much information is being put out about groups like the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses that they wouldn’t have access to normally, but even then that information needs to be sifted out. When we have had Mormons visiting us, I have found them to be just as credulous with material on the internet and even anti-Mormonism and anti-Watchtower material should be checked for veracity.

Two great offenders worth mentioning in all of this are Wikipedia and YouTube. When someone sends me a Wikipedia article on a serious subject, I don’t even bother reading it. Some might say the footnotes at the end are usually good, but then just go and read those sources and show me that that information is in there. Wiki is fine if you’re looking up pop culture references, like movies, TV shows, music, and video games. It’s not good for debatable positions.

YouTube is the second great offender here. Of course, there are plenty of great YouTube channels out there. Sadly, anyone can set one up and having knowledge and skill is not a requirement. It’s too easy to think that someone is an authority because they have a channel, but they’re not. You must look at the content that is being produced.

So the problem is not really religion. It’s low-information thinking. Again, nothing I have said here is about any particular worldview being true or false. I have simply made claims about how we access religious claims and any other claims and test them for validity.

The shout of victory that the internet is leading to more information and thus more people leaving religion is itself a low-information belief. It doesn’t bother to examine all possible reasons going on and just assumes that people are finding stuff on the internet and learning that X isn’t true, whatever it is. That could be, but there are other reasons and those need to be examined as well. To choose one automatically without examination or justification is to be the kind of person who does just believe whatever is read to them on the internet.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Problem With Phobic Statements

Why is it problematic to say someone is phobic of a position? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

One way many people shut down a message today that they don’t like is to impugn the speaker in some way. A great way to do this for them is to say that someone is phobic. One example of this was back in the presidential race of 2016 when Hillary Clinton made her “Basket of Deplorables” statement.

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables’. Right?” Clinton said to applause and laughter from the crowd of supporters at an LGBT for Hillary fundraiser where Barbra Streisand performed. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”

So what’s wrong with this statement?

First off, ask anyone who has a phobia and it’s something entirely different. When I went to ETS one year, I got in an elevator that was a glass elevator and someone pushed a button that took us all the way to the top. I’m terrified of heights. I crouched in the corner, covered my head, looked away, and prayed it would end quickly. By the way, I think the top floor was the 47th floor. I get scared just thinking about it.

Also, as a small child, I was with my family at the beach once and in the ocean when I went straight under. That was the day I learned about the undertow. The undertow has always scared me ever since and being in water like that is still terrifying to me, one of the reasons I can’t swim to this day.

These are real phobias.

We can find some phobias strange and not understand them, but that doesn’t mean that we should ever insult them or make fun of them for it. After all, a phobia is a real psychological condition that can be very hard to get under control. What kind of person makes fun of someone else for that?

Yet when a person is accused of being homophobic, it really isn’t true. It’s often been said that such a person is really struggling with homosexual temptations themselves and doesn’t want to admit it. Could this be true? Yes. Is it always true? No. It would be very hard to verify such a claim.

And even if the person you are speaking to about the issue were someone who was secretly struggling with homosexual temptations, what of it? The parent who tells their kid to not start smoking while puffing away at a cigarette could be a hypocrite (Could be. They could be saying “I’m addicted to these things and I hate it so please don’t start), but it doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. The real issue would be “Is there something wrong with homosexual behavior?” That’s not the point of this blog.

To turn this around, let’s suppose someone objects to the way Christians act on this issue. Would we say that they are Christophobic? Maybe they have secret desires to be Christians and don’t want to admit it. You see, if phobic just means “Disagreeing with a position” then we are all phobic of something.

But yet, here I think is the main goal in saying this every time. It’s sadly a way of shutting down discussion. It could be because too many people today are unequipped to handle it if someone disagrees with them or thinks that they’re doing something wrong.

You need to be informed of this. If you live in the real world, you’re going to meet people like this. If your happiness and personal well-being depends on what every single person thinks of you, you will always be a victim. You will never get everyone to agree with you. You will never get everyone to like everything about you.

For the last one, there’s an obvious example of that. Look in the mirror. Do you like everything about you? Do you think you’re just perfect in every way? If you’re a real person with an ounce of humility, you’ll say there are things about you that you don’t like. That’s okay. There should be. We’re not perfect, and yet we should strive to get along with ourselves. (And if you can’t, you need to get psychological help seriously)

Here’s a real shocker for some of you. Someone can think you live a lifestyle that is wrong and disagree with it, but they can like you anyway and value you as a person and treat you with kindness. Really! They can!

Oh. Let’s say something for my readers who are fellow Christians. That’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to love like Jesus. That person is still someone made in the image of God that Jesus Christ loves and died for. Sinners weren’t scared to come to Jesus in His earthly ministry and really, they shouldn’t be scared to come to Him in His heavenly ministry. (That includes us. He’s still the same Jesus and if we think Jesus is peace and love but God is ready to smite us for anything, then we’re guilty of a sort of Marcionism then) If people are scared to come to us, perhaps we’re not being like Jesus.

If you are using this kind of tactic, stop it. It’s rude and shuts down discussion on important topics and is really making fun of someone for what you say is a psychological condition. If you are having this used on you, be the better person. A kind answer will turn away wrath in this case.

In Christ,
Nick Peters