Deeper Waters Podcast 2/25/2017: Matthew Bates

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

The Trinity is seen as one of the great unique qualities of the Christian faith. Some see it as a great theological weakness. Some see it as a truth that shows the truth of Christianity due to its power to answer questions. Where did the idea come from? Groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses will try to tell us that the idea is from paganism. What if a different reading of Scripture can show otherwise? What if we saw the Trinity coming right from the Scripture where we saw passages where the throne room was essentially opened up and we saw conversation going on between the Trinity?

You could be saying “I don’t know many passages like that” but my guest thinks he does. He’s one who says we can read Scripture with this kind of theological reading where we see at various points one of the persons of the Trinity speaking. When we do that, then we get some insights into the throne room of God, and that this was an entirely acceptable kind of reading in the time of Jesus. Who is this guest? His name is Matthew Bates and we’ll be discussing his book The Birth of the Trinity.

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Matthew W. Bates is Assistant Professor of Theology at Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois. Bates holds a Ph.D. from The University of Notre Dame in theology. His area of specialization is New Testament and early Christianity. His books include Salvation by Allegiance Alone (Baker Academic, forthcoming), The Birth of the Trinity (Oxford University Press, 2015), and The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation (Baylor University Press, 2012). He also hosts a popular biblical studies podcast called OnScript.

Bates’s book is published by Oxford, which is no small feat, and a look at reading the text in a way that he calls theodramatic. Bates not only looks at the text itself, but he looks at the culture and the history of the text and interacts with many great scholars of the text. It will be a shock to many that Bates says that the seeds of the Trinity were even present before the time of Jesus. Scholars like Hurtado and others have claimed that the earliest Christology is the highest Christology. Could it be because they already had a reading of Scripture that allowed for Jesus the Christ to fit in and be represented as the Son of God par excellence?

The Trinity is always a great topic of conversation. Muslims, atheists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses often stumble over it and many Christians are in fact thoroughly confused by it, but for we Christians, it is the very nature of God we are discussing and we ought to give our best to understand this, even if we will never do so entirely. I’m looking forward to hosting Matthew Bates on this topic and I hope that you will be looking forward to listening. Please also go on ITunes and leave a review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 2/18/2017: Peter Leithart

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

History throughout time has presented a share of villains for us. Right now, we’re seeing several political statements indicating that Trump is Hitler, and there’s even a law on the internet that the first one to bring up Hitler in a debate loses. For many of us, if you want to say someone is a wicked individual, Hitler is the go-to person to compare them to.

Church history also has a villain. That is Constantine. Constantine was the Roman Emperor who supposedly became a Christian and made Christianity legal, but he’s said to have dominated the Council of Nicea, controlled the process, put together the NT by his arbitrary command, and murdered his family. In many cases, when people talk about matters going wrong in church history. It’s Constantine. He’s even accused of inventing the deity of Christ from the pagan religions and forcing it to be the belief at Nicea.

Perhaps we are looking back from too far ahead. Maybe Constantine wasn’t the villain that he seems to be portrayed as. That’s not to say that we are going to go around and start talking about Saint Constantine, but could we have got Constantine wrong in history? Could it be the king while flawed, wasn’t the villain that we make him out to be?

My guest says that is indeed the case. He is so sure about it, he wrote a book in defense of Constantine. That book is aptly titled Defending Constantine. The author’s name is Peter Leithart. Who is he?

Peter Leithart

According to his bio:

Peter J. Leithart is President of the Theopolis Institute, a study center and leadership training institute in Birmingham, Alabama. An ordained minister, he serves as Teacher at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. He is the author of several books, including Defending Constantine and, most recently, the End of Protestantism. He and his wife Noel have ten children and nine grandchildren.

We’ll be talking about who Constantine was. He didn’t exist in a vacuum. What was going on in his time? How did he come to power and what was the Roman world like before him?

What impact did Constantine have on Christianity? Did he radically change everything? Is there reason to believe that he was a Christian himself or was this something that he did that we could say was just somehow politically advantageous?

Then, what about the charges against him. Did Constantine really murder his own family? Was he really involved in the worship of Sol Invictus? What really did happen at the Council of Nicea. There is so much to cover in looking at this figure in ancient Christian history that we need to understand.

I hope you’ll be looking forward to listening to this new episode. There are a lot of myths built up around Constantine and hopefully we can clear away some of the cobwebs that have come about over his history. Please also consider going to ITunes and leaving a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast. I love to see them!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 2/4/2017: John Granger

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

Harry Potter has been called the boy who lived. His books came to America here in 1998 and the first movie came out in 2001. Since then, all of the books were best sellers and all of the movies were hits, the final book even having to be divided into two movies. He was either loved or hated, but Harry was the talk of the town.

That was, of course, several years ago. The craze then was Pottermania, and surely that was it. Harry Potter was fun for awhile, but then, like so many other fun things, the time comes to move on. His fame lasted for a time and it was no more and will be no more.

But the boy who lived still lived.

Last year, the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them came out as well as a book continuing the series twenty years in the future called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Based on sales, one would think that Pottermania had never died. The book was a bestseller and the movie was a box office hit. (I must confess, I have not seen the movie, but I did get the book for my birthday and read it in a couple of days.)

What’s the Christian apologetics community to do with this? Is this harmless fun? Is it actually a satanic plot that will get our children to fall into the clutches of satanism? Or could it actually be a story that is surprisingly Christian at the core? My guest, someone well read in the classics, goes with the last option. His name is John Granger. Who is he?

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Tagged “The Dean of Harry Potter Scholars” by TIME magazine’s Lev Grossman, John Granger has been the leading expert on the subject of the artistry and meaning of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels since the publication of his first book on the subject in 2002. The author or editor of eight books, ‘The Hogwarts Professor’ has been a Keynote and Featured Speaker at more than twenty academic and fan conferences, and spoken at twenty-five major universities and colleges. John has a Bachelor’s degree in Classics from the University of Chicago, a Master of Fine Arts ion Creative Writing, and is working on his PhD thesis at Swansea University (Wales). He blogs at HogwartsProfessor.com and podcasts at MuggleNet Academia.

What is it that has led Harry Potter to be such a phenomenon such that even years after the original series, the theaters and bookstores are filled with fans again wanting to see the latest on the boy wizard? What is it that actually makes Granger think that these are Christian classics? Are these not stories of witchcraft and wizardry which would be condemned by Scripture? Are there not many examples in the stories of Harry misbehaving in ways that we should not accept as Christians?

We’ll be discussing all of this and more so if you’re a fan of Harry, or you know someone who is, this will be a show for you. Please be looking for the latest episode. Also, please consider going on ITunes and leaving a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 1/21/2017: Christopher Kaczor

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

As I have been saying, in January I try to devote the podcast to abortion. This Saturday is no exception. I’ve had some friends from the Christian Apologetics Alliance come on to talk about abortion, but I decided I needed to get one guest from outside of there. I wanted someone who is first-rate and has thought deeply about the issue of abortion.

That someone has done extensive reading on the topic and is a recognized scholar and has appeared on several programs. He is a professor of Philosophy as well meaning a skill in learning how to think on the issues. He is also the author of the book The Ethics of Abortion and his name is Christopher Kaczor.

Who is he?

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Dr. Christopher Kaczor (rhymes with razor) is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University.  He is a Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life of Vatican City and the James Madison Society of Princeton University. He graduated from the Honors Program of Boston College and earned a Ph.D. four years later from the University of Notre Dame. A Fulbright Scholar,  Dr. Kaczor is a former Federal Chancellor Fellow at the University of Cologne and William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University.  His twelve books include The Gospel of HappinessThe Seven Big Myths about MarriageA Defense of DignityThe Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church, The Ethics of Abortion, O Rare Ralph McInerny: Stories and Reflections on a Legendary Notre Dame Professor, Thomas Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues; Life Issues-Medical Choices; Thomas Aquinas on Faith, Hope, and Love; The Edge of Life, and Proportionalism and the Natural Law Tradition. Dr. Kaczor’s views have been in The New York Times, The Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, National Review, NPR, BBC, EWTN, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, MSNBC, TEDx, and The Today Show.

We’ll be talking about the case for abortion and noting that the case is not really a religious issue. There are Christians (I don’t know how) who say they are for abortion and there are atheists who are against it. Therefore, we need to make this an issue not dependent on any religious tradition but just what the facts are.

We’ll look at numerous arguments given for abortion and how to reason about the subject. One that I particularly want to deal with is the question of supposed you’re in a lab and there is a dish with ten embryos and there is one fully grown janitor there and there’s a fire. Are you going to get the janitor our or the embryos? We’ll also be discussing perhaps if artificial wombs could ever end the debate, or would it just create more difficulties?

I hope you’ll be joining me this Saturday for the latest episode and remember to please like and share the Deeper Waters Podcast. If you haven’t left a review, please go and leave one on ITunes. I love to see them!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

Deeper Waters Podcast 1/14/2017: Elijah Thompson

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

Last week, we had Ty Benbow come on and talk about abortion and we had a wonderful talk about women who are seeking to get an abortion and about our need to reach out to these people. This Saturday, we’re going to keep going down the path and I will be interviewing some friends for the Christian Apologetics Alliance. Our focus in January is on the topic of abortion and I will be bringing someone on who does focus on that topic. This week, our guest is Elijah Thompson who has his own podcast on this.

So who is he?

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Elijah Thompson is the host of The Fetal Position, a pro-life bioethics podcast dedicated to having open and honest discussions about abortion (and related topics) from a pro-life perspective. His goal is to promote the equality of all human beings, not because of what they can do, but because of who they are. He believes that human life and human rights ought to respected, from womb to tomb. Elijah graduated with a bachelor’s in biology and a minor in philosophy, so he found bioethics to be an easy fit for his academic interests, and has experience working with cell cultures (including stem cells). He currently lives with his wife and two sons in Buffalo, NY, and attends a church where he and his wife both volunteer as youth leaders.

Elijah also considers his show to be a secular show. How does that work? Can there be arguments that are “secular” against abortion? That will be something I plan on discussing on the show.

What does it mean to be a human being? If we are equal based not on what we do, but on who we are, then who are we? What is it about us that makes us human? What is it that the unborn possess just like us that makes us human as well?

What is the violinist argument and what does Elijah have to say to it that he thinks is unique? We’ll also be talking about tweetable answers. Many of us know that twitter is in the news a lot with the usage of president-elect Trump of it. Can Christians use twitter to make substantial comments on the abortion debate? We have been told in politics that important policies cannot be argued in 140 characters. Is that wrong? Could it be that we could use that many characters to make a successful argument against abortion?

I’m quite thankful to have friends who are willing to come on the show and I hope introducing you to some new minds on the issues can give you some new ideas and hope that there are others out there fighting the fight against abortion. I hope that you will be looking forward to the new episode. (Also, we have fixed the link to the show so your ITunes feed should be full now.) Please also considering going on ITunes and leaving a positive review of the show.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 1/7/2017: Ty Benbow

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

January is here. This is a month that many of us will think about the abortion industry. After all, Roe V. Wade was decided this month in 1973 and here we are years ago and the silent holocaust is still going on in America. In January, I tend to devote all of my shows to the topic of abortion. I haven’t always done perfect, but it is the hope.

This month, I also asked around for friends in the area of apologetics specializing in abortion. I found three who were willing to come on. I hope then to introduce you to some new names in this field and new resources that you can use. One guest this month will be someone already well known in the field but for the others, I want to give my friends a chance to shine.

So who’s up first?

Meet Ty Benbow.

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According to his bio:

Ty Benbow is a professor and emerging author originally from Muncie, Indiana.

He graduated with a BA in Psychology from Wabash College in 2008, and later received his M.Div. from Anderson University School of Theology in 2011.

He currently serves in the Church Ministry Department at Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida where he teaches courses on Understanding the Old Testament and Life of Christ.

His debut novel “I’m Not Real” was published by Charisma Media in Lake Mary, Florida. INR was released on January 22nd, 2016, the 43rd anniversary of Roe v Wade.

Ty, his wife Riley, and daughter Berkeley currently reside in Winter Haven, Florida.

Ty has an approach where he seeks to get inside the head of a woman who is seeking an abortion. What is going on? We might be too quick to write someone off like this for negative reasons. Sure. We can all agree that the action is sinful, but we all do things that are wrong and we all think we have good reasons to do those things that are wrong. Ty will help us try to understand what is going on.

And what is the church to do? Ty has a hope that the church will become more proactive in this field. One complaint often given is that the church doesn’t really care about the child so long as the child isn’t aborted. Are we looking for signs of women in our community even who could be considering abortion and how to help them? There are a number of women who go to get abortions who identify as Christians after all.

This will be a serious month no doubt as abortion is a serious issue and since I’m not a specialist in the topic, I’m honored to be joined by people who do focus on that topic. It is my hope that you will be equipped better to talk with the people in your life who are considering abortion or have had one. We can be like Christ for those people who are struggling with the help of these people.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Deeper Waters Podcast 12/17/2016: Jeffrey Weima

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

We had some recording problems with a past show so once we get that taken care of, we will be uploading again. This could also be the last show of the year. I’m not sure, but I don’t think many people care for a new podcast on Christmas and New Year’s Eve both. So if this is it, let’s see how this year will end.

Letter-writing is today seen as a lost art. It’s certainly not one I partake in. It was done in the ancient world and one of our most prolific writers was Paul. Have we ever stopped to think not just about the content of what he said but the way he generally worked his letters? What is the style of Paul? What does he intend to do with openings and closings and everything in between?

We may not have, but someone has. That someone is Jeffrey Weima. He is the author of Paul: The Ancient Letter Writer: An Introduction to Epistolary Analysis. We will be talking to him about what all went into Paul writing his letters and recognizing the various parts of his letters, but who is Jeffrey Weima?

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According to his bio:

Dr. Jeffrey Weima is Professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary, where he has taught for the past 25 years. He is a sought-after speaker who is able to communicate well the truths of the Bible in an interesting, contemporary and practical manner. Jeff has published five books (Neglected Endings: The Significance of the Pauline Letter Closings [1994]; An Annotated Bibliography of 1 and 2 Thessalonians [1998]; 1 & 2 Thessalonians [2002]), recently completing a major commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians (Baker Books: 2014). His fifth and latest book, Paul the Ancient Letter Writer: An Introduction to Epistolary Analysis, appeared in the fall of this year (Baker Books: 2016). Jeff is also the author of numerous scholarly articles, academic essays and book reviews. He has taught courses all over the world: Hungary, Greece, Italy, South Korea, Kenya, Taiwan, The Philippines, and South Africa. Jeff is an active member of several academic societies, lectures overseas, leads biblical study tours to Greece,Turkey, Israel/Jordan, and Italy, conducts intensive preaching seminars for pastors, and preaches widely in the Christian Reformed Church as well as many other churches in both the USA and Canada.
Jeff and his wife, Bernice, have been married for 33 years. They have four children and five very cute grandkids.

Many of us have studied the writings of Paul and read about them, but how many of us have studied the style of Paul and the importance of every single part of his letters? Is there really something significant in the introduction to Galatians for instance? You might be surprised. In fact, I hope you will be. Weima’s book is a fascinating work that I recommend greatly.

I hope you’ll be looking forward to this new episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. Please consider going on ITunes and leaving a positive review. You know I love to see them!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 12/3/2016: Hugh Ross

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

It used to be said that we lived on a pale blue dot. In this vast universe of ours, we are one solitary spot on the map. To some, this makes us seem insignificant. Why should there be a vast universe and yet this one tiny little planet that has life? If there is a God, why would He do something like this? Isn’t that wasteful?

Besides, is there anything really unique about our planet having life? Surely there are others out there that have life. Why should we look at our planet and see it as an exception to the rule. Ironically with the skeptics, the claim has us losing both ways. If we alone have life, well that shows that we’re just a freak accident. If life is throughout the universe, that shows that there is no creator supposedly needed.

Is our planet unique? I’m not a scientist, so I can’t say, but I do know someone who is. He is returning to my show to talk about his book The Improbable Planet. He is someone I consider a friend and I have a high respect for him also with him being a fellow Aspie just like I am. My guest this Saturday is going to be once again, Dr. Hugh Ross.

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Astronomer Hugh Ross is founder and president of Reasons to Believe, an organization dedicated to integrating scientific fact and biblical faith. His books include Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job. and Navigating Genesis.

We’ll be talking about his latest book and looking at the claims that he presents in it. Why is the universe the way that it is and why is it that we have all these planets out here? Is God just creating some pretty scenery for us to look at, or is something else going on? Is there a reason our solar system is the way it is?

Why did it take so long for life to show up on the Earth anyway? Couldn’t God have done things a lot faster? Look at how many extinction events we had and how many disasters we had on this planet before we showed up. Is there really a point to that?

Come to think of it, what is the point? Why is it that God did all of this? Why is it that he created dinosaurs that we would never see with our eyes and had all these events take place for billions of years when the time that we have spent on here is just a tiny portion of all of that? Is God really interested in this time that humanity has been alive so much that He will create a universe and a planet just for that?

Join me this Saturday as Hugh Ross and I discuss these topics. We are working on getting past shows up. We had a flaw with the audio on David Sorrell’s so we are going to be working on that again and then everything should flow as normal. Please go to ITunes also and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 11/26/2016: Matthew Dickerson

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

Fairy tales. Many of us think about these stories that we read as children and have no relevance to us today, but could it be deeper than that? Could fairy tales be some of the most shaping tells of reality? Even more amazing, could they tell us something about Christianity? Our atheist friends like to say that Christianity is a fairy tale, but while that claim is false, can we better understand our Christianity by reading fairy tales?

The fact that we have so many Christian classics like Narnia and The Lord of the Rings should show us that Christians can make use of this genre, but what about even non-Christian fairy tales? Could we learn something from His Dark Materials for instance? Do we include Harry Potter in the list and if so, what can we learn from that series?

To discuss this, I have a guest on who co-wrote a book on the genre of fairy tales. It’s called From Homer To Harry Potter. His name is Matthew Dickerson and he’ll be here to answer questions about fairy tales. Who is he?

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Matthew Dickerson is a professor of Computer Science at MIddlebury College in Vermont. He holds a PhD from Cornell University.  He is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction in a variety of genres. This fall he published both a new fantasy novel titled The Betrayed and a new work of Christian apologetics titled The Mind and the Machine: what it means to be human and why it matters. His other recent creative works include: a medieval historical novel titled The Rood and the Torc a three-volume fantasy novel beginning with The Giftedand a pair narrative non-fiction books on nature, ecology, trout, and fly-fishing titled Trout in the Desert: on Fly Fishing Human Habits, and the Cold Waters of the Arid Southwest and Downstream: Reflections on Brook Trout, Fly Fishing, and the Waters of Appalachia (co-authored with David O’Hara.) Dickerson is also an well-known scholar of fantasy literature.  He is the author or co-author of several books, chapters, and essays on the writings of J.R.R.Tolkien and C.S.Lewis and the co-author of From Homer to Harry Potter: a Handbook of Myth and Fantasy.  You can learn more about Matthew Dickerson and his writing at www.matthewdickerson.net and  www.facebook.com/MatthewDickersonBooks

(Matthew Dickerson also wants you to know about his new book that can be found here.)

We’ll be talking about fairy tales? How should Christians handle the realm of fantasy? What about the idea of magic in a story? Is magic truly opposed to Christianity? What are some of the great classics to read beyond Lord of the Rings and Narnia?

We’ve been getting to update the show a lot more lately so hopefully we’ll be right in schedule soon. I hope you’ve been enjoying the Deeper Waters Podcast and will continue to do so. Please go on ITunes as well and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 11/19/2016: David Sorrell

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

There have been some ideas that have come up that many people have scratched their heads at wondering what is going on with them. One such idea is that of transgenderism. We have seen that Target has had it that now anyone can use the restroom that they identify with. In fact, this was even talked about in the election earlier this month with the way North Carolina was voting. How did it become such a political issue? Are Christians just bigots because they don’t go along with the party line?

To discuss this, I wanted to bring someone on who I think has their finger on the pulse of social issues today. I wanted someone who has in fact done extensive reading on this topic and knows it well. I also needed someone who had experience with things that I thought were really unusual and out of the ordinary. In fact, I know this person has done all of that.

This Saturday, I’m going to be interviewing David Sorrell. He is someone who is always watching what is going on in the political and social scene which has led to him and I having some great discussions. He has done much reading on the transgender movement, even getting to be published in the Federalist. As for the last part, he is definitely someone who has experience in dealing with the unusual and out of the ordinary. I know this because he happened to be my roommate for a few years in seminary, at least until we realized we didn’t have a marriage clause in our unwritten “roommate agreement” and I decided I wanted to tie the knot with Allie. When that came, there was no question also that David would be the best man at my wedding. Today, among men, I have no better friend in this world than David and I’m honored to get to host him on my show.

So who is he?

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David Sorrell is a student at Southern Evangelical Bible College, and writes about contemporary ethics and Christian apologetics issues. He lives in rural southeastern Missouri. He’s on Twitter @Rayado2011

We’ll be talking about what can be said about the transgender movement. Is there really such a thing truly as a transgender person? Can someone really be born the wrong sex as it were? What about unusual cases with babies being born with physical problems where it can be hard to tell? As a Thomist, which I am as well, does Thomistic philosophy have anything to say about this?

We’ll also talk about the political ramifications. What is a Christian to do with the Target issue? How can we respond when we are called bigots? Is there anything a Christian can say when this is such a complex issue?

I hope you’ll be looking forward to the next episode. We have been working on getting them uploaded so you should be seeing them in your podcast feed. Please leave a positive review on ITunes and keep listening to the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters