Is Pornography Beautiful?

If the human body is beautiful, why isn’t porn? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last week was my debate. While I am pleased with it, I will leave it up to you to decide what you think about it whenever I get a link to it. Yesterday at church, someone who was there mentioned an atheist couple he was sitting near during the debate and when I made a remark about the problems of pornography one person of the couple said to the other, “That shows he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Pornography is beautiful.”

It might be easy to make a connection. The human body is a beautiful thing. Pornography is a display of the human body. Therefore, pornography would be beautiful. This makes sense. Right?

It does, but there are some distinctions to make.

Let’s start with the first point. The human body is a beautiful thing. Yes, indeed. I am married to my wife of nearly nine years and I can assure any guy out there that I am amazed by the beauty of the female body and think God did an excellent job when He fashioned the human female form.

So surely, if I am a great lover of the female body, wouldn’t I want more of that body? Wouldn’t I want to see more women like that? Wouldn’t it be a good thing to see more women like that?

That’s where we get to the differences.

For you guys out there who struggle with pornography (And I know women struggle, but I can’t speak from the experience of a woman), you’re really robbing yourself. To click a button on your mouse and bring up an image really requires nothing of yourself. There is no work in wooing a woman and winning her heart and earning her trust.

In a marriage relationship though, there is work. If one wants to have intimacy with the Mrs., one needs to be on good terms. This requires that you rise up and actually be the man and treat her the way she deserves to be treated as your one and only spouse. When that woman then shares her glory with you, there is really nothing like it. It is a message to her of not just showing you her body, but showing you her body is showing you how much she loves and trusts you and desires you.

Porn will also show you lies about sexuality. When I talk to guys who aren’t married and are about to marry and the question of sex comes up, I tell them to think to what they have seen in movies and television. Then forget every bit of it, because it just isn’t accurate. Most of the time, sex won’t take place like it will on the big screen. There will be mistakes and confusion and you can often put down a towel first. Watch a TV show and the only point of the dating relationship of a couple seems to be that they can have sex. Sex is a hugely important part of a married couple connecting, but it is not the only part.

It also won’t show you what a woman really wants because every woman is different. What will excite a woman one day might not excite her the next. Learning to love a woman involves adapting to change and coming to know each other better. In porn, there is no love involved.

You just see a girl on a screen. You don’t have to know her name. My concern for many men is it can instill cowardice in them in that they think that this is the best way they can get a woman and won’t go out there and do the work of getting a real woman. It will also instill in them a tendency to treat women like objects in their only purpose is giving them sexual gratification.

The human body is beautiful, but porn takes that sacredness of the human body and reduces them from being a person to being a body. Sexuality is something beautiful and it’s meant for a marriage union where the passion it has can be properly harnessed and used for the good of the couple together. Keep in mind also guys that if you are married and you do use porn, many times you could devastate the woman you’re with if she finds out. No woman likes to get the message that she’s insufficient to please you in the bedroom and you need to go and look at other women. I also suspect that many reasons I hear commercials around here for ED is so many men have got that way because porn has changed their body’s natural response system.

The human body is beautiful. Sex is beautiful in a marriage covenant. Porn is never beautiful. It is treating the human person like an object and degrading to the user and the performer both.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Mama Bear Apologetics

What do I think of Hillary Morgan Ferrer’s book published by Harvest House? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Move over, Captain Marvel. True feminism has a new force to represent it and that’s Mama Bear Apologetics. Not all in this movement are Mamas, but all of them are women on a mission. They are women out to protect the younger generation from the forces that seek to destroy their faith.

The book is an introduction to apologetics as it were for mothers and is written in a style easy to understand without dense terminology. It is for women and it is by women. This doesn’t mean fathers and other men won’t get something out of the book, but it is quite likely to speak to mothers more.

Every chapter deals with a different topic so each chapter can be read on its own if one desires. They follow the same pattern ending with ways to pray and then with icebreakers on how to talk to your children about the topics included. This also includes ways for mothers to talk to other mothers.

The book deals with a lot of isms mainly. Relativism, pluralism, emotionalism, Marxism, feminism, etc. It has a synopsis of each of the views it deals with and then spends a little bit of time talking about ways that we can agree with those views, but then it goes into the bigger problems that they get wrong. This will help mothers in conversing since they don’t always have to be in attack mode and can instead find common ground and go from there.

Feminism was a topic I found particularly interesting, especially since it came from women. It’s one thing for men to critique feminism, but it’s another for women themselves to be doing that work. The critique is greatly appreciated.

Some might be surprised that Marxism is included. After all, why should we be going political? It’s because Marxism is about a lot more than politics. It’s a worldview that encompasses also one’s response to the family today and who is going to be in control and has led to the deaths of millions.

If there is a concern I have about this book, it’s that I wish there were more topics covered. I understand that it was intentional how it was done, but there aren’t topics covering the existence of God, the reliability of Scripture, or the resurrection of Jesus. I would prefer that there be at least one chapter on each of these and then go from there to critiquing the other worldviews while the foundation is already in place.

Still, this is a great opener in equipping mothers to be defenders of what their children believe and to enable them to know how to dialogue not just with their own children on these topics, but with other mothers as well. Apologetics no longer belongs to just the men and it never should have been that way to begin with. Mothers need to get this book and in the words of the authors “Roar like a mother.”

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 3/23/2019: David Dockery

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

Go into most any Christian bookstore and you will see a plethora of Bibles available. Many of them are for much more individualized purposes, such as a men’s Bible or a teenager’s Bible or a graduate’s Bible or even more specialized than that. Fortunately, many are also starting to answer the demands of the mind as well as the longings of the heart. Many Bibles are coming that are not just about what can be done for one’s self, but also about how one can better understand not just Scripture, but the world around the reader.

One fact present to us today, especially in the world of Facebook and the internet, is that there are plenty of worldviews all around us. In the apartment complex my wife and I live in, there are Muslims and Hindus, for example. However, we don’t ever have to walk outside our door to encounter Muslims and Hindus today. We encounter them when we turn on our computer, as well as most every other worldview.

So why not have a Bible to understand those worldviews? This has now been done. There is a way you can study the Scriptures and learn about other worldviews around you at the same time. After all, how best can you take the truths of Scripture to those that do not share a Christian worldview? The Bible I have in mind is the Worldview Study Bible. Its editor is David Dockery and he will be my guest Saturday.

So who is he?

According to his bio:

David S. Dockery was unanimously elected on February 28, 2014 as the 15th president of Trinity International University and is now serving in his 24th year as a university president. Highly regarded as one of the outstanding leaders and senior statesmen in the world of Christian higher education, Dockery served as president of Union University for nearly two decades where during his transformational presidency the enrollment more than doubled, the net assets of the institution more than tripled, the campus was transformed, and Union vaulted to a place of national leadership in Christian higher education. Much of this took place in response to the strategic implementation of four distinctive and far-reaching strategic plans, which included the development and renovation of the campus while surpassing the goal of a $100 million comprehensive campaign.

Dockery also helped guide Union’s response and recovery in 2008 to one of the largest natural disasters ever to hit an American university campus. Following his years of service at Union as president and University Professor of Christian Thought and Tradition, Dockery was named president emeritus. Since coming to Trinity, he has brought guidance to an institution that had previously experienced more than a decade of serious enrollment decline along with a number of institutional challenges throughout the 21st century.

In addition, Dockery has led processes to strengthen the Trinity Board, enhance denominational relationships, upgrade the look of the campus, and reshape the University Leadership Team. He has brought a renewed focus to the best of Trinity’s heritage while seeking to give a sense of realistic hope and hopeful realism to the Trinity community for the days ahead. New academic programs have been introduced and four new academic centers have been established. These themes are amplified in the University-wide comprehensive plan, “Heritage and Hope: Trinity 2023,” which was unanimously and enthusiastically adopted by the Trinity Board of Regents in February of 2015. The Plan has provided a shared commitment and common direction for the Trinity community. 

I hope you’ll be watching for the next episode. It’s more and more important that we make sure the people in the pews know about other worldviews. Also, please go on iTunes and leave a positive review for the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

Evidence Considered Chapter 40

What about those who never heard? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We continue our look at Glenton Jelbert’s book with a chapter responding to Mike Licona on those who never heard. One statement at the start is Hell is infinite punishment for a finite sin. This is false. For one thing, I think those in Hell are continuing sinning in rebelling against God. For another, the punishment of a crime is not determined by the length of time it takes to commit the crime. There are also degrees of separation in Hell. Jelbert mentions nothing of this and sees saying eternal separation instead of punishment as trying to soften the case for Hell. I see no reason to think such.

Jelbert says that Licona softens the claims of the pluralist in the previous chapter who say Jesus is not the only way. Is Licona doing the same thing when he offers speculation about what happens to those who never heard? Not really. For one thing, many of the pluralists are saying what they say in spite of Jesus’s claims. Licona is not doing the same thing in his speculation. He is trying to answer a valid question. He admits the question is speculation and is not treating it as gospel truth.

Next, Jelbert says that God does not hold accountable those who lack judgment seems to go against some commands in Scripture. Let’s look at them. The first is the destruction of the Amalekites since the young are said to be killed, but the Amalekites were hardly peaceful folk to Israel and had been plundering them in the previous chapter. The city attacked was a fortress city and there was plenty of warning given so that even a neighboring people could get away. The language I suspect is hyperbolic.

Noah’s flood is also not a good example since Noah would have been preaching for 120 years and judgment would come because people did what they knew they should not do, unless Jelbert wants to say that we don’t possess moral knowledge apart from divine revelation, which I doubt he wants to say. If he doesn’t, then these people are guilty.

Hosea 9:16 says that YHWH will slay Ephraim’s children, Indeed, but this is God saying that He will judge Ephraim for what they have done. Nothing is said about the eternal fate of any such children so it’s a mystery how this applies to Jelbert’s argument.

In 2 Samuel 12, David’s infant son dies instead of David, but David is also a unique case. What would it mean to all of Israel if the king died? Any data on the fate of David’s son indicates the son is with God since David says he will go to him someday.

2 Kings 17:26 says lions came in to kill the people who lived in the land because they did not know what God required. First, nothing is said again about eternal fate. Second, if you went to any ancient land, it would be proper protocol to learn the ways of the god of that land in proper honor. This would be like going to another country today and making sure you know customs that should be followed before you go.

Licona in the end says we should ask what we are going to do with Jesus. Jelbert says this is a fear tactic. Why? We can’t say anything for those on the outside, but we can say about ourselves. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to at least consider the claim? Jelbert seems to fall back to this “Believe or else” mindset that he claims to see which tells more about him than the positions he’s critiquing.

We’ll say more next time we go through a chapter.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Some Thoughts On Mormonism

What’s it like when Mormons come to your door? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently for a couple of months or so, Allie and I had Mormons who agreed to come see us. I was quite impressed in some ways with these Mormons as they actually came back after the first visit even. Most of the time, they don’t. We had some sisters first visiting us, but then after that, we had guys as they were switched out as one sister’s mission came to an end and sometimes, they had a Mormon who lives in our apartment complex come with them.

Let’s say at the start that for the most part, Mormons are very nice people. They’re people that are kind and courteous and tend to be very likable. Of course, that is also a danger as when Christians meet someone like that, they tend to think that they’re Christians just like them. Warning. Being a Christian is about more than just being a nice person.

In some ways, Mormons sadly seem to have a lot in common also with atheists I meet. Many times, the same arguments atheists make about Christianity are made by Mormons. These include things like the Bible being changed and all the denominations. They do come with some twists such as unique Mormon doctrines such as God having a body of flesh and bones and the importance of the Book of Mormon and the burning in the bosom.

I also noticed that the Mormons were often asking if I was reading the Book of Mormon to find out what’s wrong with it. I had been challenged to read it again since I have read it before and so I did accept the challenge. I gave them a contrast by saying if they wanted to read the New Testament to pick it apart, be my guest. Try it on every area. Go ahead.

The burning in the bosom I find to be a weak argument. I can understand it’s very emotionally appealing and I do know ex-Mormons have said that there is nothing like the experience of the burning in the bosom. If you pray and you get the burning in the bosom, well that confirms that the Book of Mormon is true. If you don’t get it, well, you just weren’t sincere or something of that sort. The test is in essence unfalsifiable.

It’s also important to really know your own church history and doctrine. We got into a debate some on the Council of Nicea and how it was there decided that God didn’t have a body of flesh and bones. I had to ask them where they got that from. No specifics were given. I went on to tell them the debate was really about the nature of Jesus as were the next three councils at least. No one was debating if God the Father had a body.

Remember also with Mormons, try to always build up the Bible, which is something I was making it a point to consistently do. If you just try to destroy the Book of Mormon, you could get a Mormon to throw out the baby with the bathwater. They could abandon not just Mormonism but Christianity and theism altogether.

Still, Allie and I enjoyed meeting with the elders and the sisters. They’re all people we could enjoy their company with regularly. We’re also still praying for them. I didn’t expect a deconversion and an embrace of the gospel, but I do hope I put a rock in their shoe. The goal was to build up Jesus and the Bible. That should be our goal whenever we encounter them.

Please be remembering the Mormons that come to your door need the true Jesus and the true gospel. Be willing to give it to them. Don’t slam the door in their faces. If the present time isn’t convenient, arrange another time when you can get together. They’re worth it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Special Debate Tonight

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

Tonight is a big night in the ministry of Deeper Waters. While I have done debates, this is going to be my first live debate against an atheist in a public setting. Most of my other debates have been done via Podcast, which is fine, but tonight, I get to see the audience up front and person and to take questions from them.

The event is available here. Everyone and their mother have asked me about livestream and recording. I do not know any more than you do. I trust that both will happen, but I do not have a website or anything like that that I know will be streaming the debate.

I do know that people from the churches Allie and I attend are both planning on coming which is really good. It’s always helpful to have that audience support for an event like this. I do have an opening statement and it’s one that some friends worked with me on to help me get it better than it was originally no doubt.

The debate will be on if God exists. I do want to stress that I wish to focus on that part of the debate. At this part of the debate, I am not interested in demonstrating that the Bible is true or Jesus rose from the dead. Those need to be demonstrated eventually, but the big focus is to demonstrate that there really is more than what meets the eye.

It is also both humbling and honoring to be chosen for this position. I have familiarized myself with Barker’s material and many of you know that I have an ebook that I have co-written responding to Godless by Dan Barker. The title of the book I helped to write is Groundless.

It has been a great blessing to hear from so many of you to give your vote of confidence and belief in me before this event. It’s again humbling and honoring and I want to make sure I do my best to show that I don’t disappoint you. It amazes me in the few years I’ve been doing this ministry that I’ve managed to already have such an impact.

I also have to strive to remember that the event tonight is not about me and it’s not about Dan Barker. It’s about God and it’s about Christ. At the same time, it’s something to really think about when an event comes up like this and you realize you are the one who is up there who has the duty of defending Christianity. Again, it’s a time to pause and be humbled and at the same time to give thanks. There are plenty of people praying for this event and if you can’t come, I pray that you will be one of those such people.

Should it be recorded and there is a link up, I will put it on my webpage under the section of interviews and debates. If so, I appreciate your feedback. If you’re at the event tonight, come and see me. I’d love to get to meet you.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Evidence Considered Chapter 39?

Is Jesus the only way? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In this chapter, Jelbert takes on Mike Licona’s essay on Jesus being the only way. I do agree that this is not evidence for God, per se, but there are still matters to deal with here. So let’s get started and see what we have to say about what Jelbert said.

Jelbert again says that since Licona says the resurrection is the prize puzzle in an earlier chapter, that means that the resurrection is not yet established. If he means established to the satisfaction of everyone, sure, but on those grounds evolution is not yet established and even Intelligent Design is somewhat established. What I take Licona to mean is that this is the topic that is the hardest to tackle in historical Jesus scholarship.

Next, Jelbert says Jesus is saving us from Himself, though considering the horrid understanding he has of the Trinity, I suspect Jelbert really means the Father. Jelbert tells us that if an earthly father locked his daughter up unless she said she wasn’t better than Hitler, we would not regard that as generous salvation. If he went on to say that she needed to pay for her sins, but he was going to smash his hand with a hammer instead, the result would be horrification.

None of this is an accurate picture. For one thing, not all of us are children of God in the sense of part of the family yet. We all come from Him, but some of us are rebels. There’s also the idea on Jelbert’s part that the children are presumed innocent and the only problem is they don’t stroke God’s ego.

Also, forgiveness is really the paying of debts to some extent. In that case, it is entirely fair for someone else to pay the debt for someone else. This happens regularly today still.

Jelbert also says that he found a problem going through Evidence for God in that he would be told he has a conscience which is evidence of God, but when it comes to doctrines like Hell and Christian exclusivism, then we don’t listen to that conscience. Fortunately, I don’t use that argument. I realize we all have a sense of right and wrong, but that has been seared as it were and is not infallible. Our ideas are more impacted by culture than we realize.

Jelbert moves on to saying that if you do believe in hell, you are obliged to try to convert people. Licona says that anyone is free to say “No thanks.” Jelbert says this ignores plenty of times of forced conversion and such in church history. It also ignores Christianity trying to force its way into the public school system. Jelbert is making too much out of one statement. It is ridiculous to think that Licona is supposed to speak on behalf of all of Christian history. As for science education, I do not support ID, but I have no problem with them wanting to get their ideas into the public marketplace. Why not bring them in and discuss them? Are atheists afraid they cannot expose them?

Jelbert also brings up Deuteronomy 13:6-15 where people who try to convert Israelites are to be killed. That’s also because Israel was under a Suzerainty covenant where loyalty to the sovereign was to be expected and anything contrary would be rebellion and in a society where communal thinking was the norm, a little leaven would work through the whole dough. We are the weirdos in this regard. Our individualism is the outlier. To some extent, we still have this. When we have people who promote disorder in the society, we lock them up in prisons away from the general population.

Licona also says those who complain about exclusivism being intolerant are themselves being intolerant. Jelbert says that a person can be tolerated while their beliefs are not. This is true, but I suspect Licona is talking about a much more modern view of ideas where holding a disagreeing opinion is considered intolerant. Jelbert is right on a classical definition of tolerance. Licona is right if he is going with the modern notion, which I think he is.

Jelbert also says the Christian beliefs aren’t much comfort in general in times of pain. Perhaps sometimes they are not. Sometimes they are awful. So what? Sometimes, they are a help. I could just as well ask what help is an atheist belief in time of pain? This is just the way reality is? Get used to it? Life is a pain and then you die and it never mattered anyway? The hope of the resurrection for me, as a Christian, is a very real hope.

Jelbert also tells us a lot about himself in that when he realized he didn’t believe in God, he first thought of hell and what if he was wrong. Then he says that if God wants him to believe, God will convince him. Yes. After all, it’s God’s job to do the work. I have written about this before in God being treated like a trivia question.

In closing, I would like to explain why Jesus is the only way. Jesus is the only way because He is the only one who did anything about the problem, which is sin. He is the only one who comes from the only true God and can represent us. No other religious figure did anything about the problem. Hence, Jesus is the only way.

Some might be wondering about those who never heard. That will be dealt with later on. When it comes up, we will deal with it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 3/16/2019: Harold Felder

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

I have grown up in the South and lived here all of my life. My community was largely a white community. I did not have black classmates until I went to Middle School. Church was the same way. That’s just saying a statement of fact.

When I read the Bible, I read it as a white person. Yet could my perspective be different if I had read it as a black person? For example, would I read passages about slavery differently? It’s understandable as a child to read the Bible and assume everyone looked and thought just like you, but when you do more study you know it’s not like that. Most of our movies depict Jesus walking around Jerusalem as someone white. I don’t think He was black, but I don’t think He was white either.

What if you do grow up in the black community. Will you be told sometimes that Christianity is the white man’s religion? Will it affect you when you hear about the way Christianity was sometimes sadly involved with the slave trade. What about the Southern Baptist Convention and slavery? It’s a mark of shame on Christianity today that we have been involved with that, but how can a man of color embrace such a religion?

Why not do what should be done? Talk to such a man. Talk to someone who knows what life is like in that community. Talk to someone who takes race seriously. Talk to someone who wants to reach his fellow African-American community with the truth of Christianity. Talk to Harold Felder.

Who is he?

According to bio:

Dr. H.C. Felder is a former atheist and NASA Software Engineer. After becoming a believer and being exposed to the truth of Christianity, he has dedicated his life to sharing that truth with others.  He has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, and both a Master and Doctorate degree in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary.  Dr. Felder is the author of multiple articles in scholarly journals on race and the Bible.  He is also the author of the book “The African American Guide to the Bible.”  

 

Dr. Felder has been married to his wife Tina for eleven years. They have a blended family of four children & six grandchildren.

We will be talking about race and the Bible. What is race? What about slavery? Were there any people of color in the Bible or was it really that Jesus was walking around Jerusalem just as white as His clothes were in the Transfiguration. What about ideas that Christianity is the religion of the white man? Is someone like Dr. Felder a traitor for embracing Christianity?

I hope you’ll be listening to this episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast as this is the kind of topic that we haven’t covered before. Please also consider going on iTunes and leaving a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast. I look forward to getting to bring this next episode to you.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Evidence Considered Chapter 38

Is Jesus superior? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In this chapter, Glenton Jelbert responds to Tal Davis on if Jesus is superior to all other religious leaders. I really have no interest in prooftexting from the Bible and such. If the Biblical view of Jesus is true, such as Him being fully God and fully man, I think He is ipso facto superior to all other religious leaders. None of the rest of them could claim such a thing. What I am interested in are the ways that Jelbert gets Jesus wrong.

Jelbert wants to know the evidence that Jesus is perfect and sinless. Of course, as a Christian, I point to the resurrection as the validation of His specific claims about Himself. Jelbert doesn’t accept that. If one does not accept Christianity as true, they will not accept Jesus as sinless. They will definitely not accept the resurrection.

From here, Jelbert goes into the idea that if Jesus does anything as a perfect person, it must be good. This is so. It doesn’t mean that it is for us. It is just fine for Jesus to stand up and proclaim Himself as God. It would be blasphemy and/or idiocy for me to do the same thing.

Jelbert brings up supposed genocides in the Old Testament as another example of this. The difference I see here is that not only does God command war in the Old Testament, but the Israelites had abundant evidence to think it was God doing it. After all, they had seen Egypt destroyed by plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, manna falling from Heaven, Mount Sinai burning with the presence of God, and numerous other miracles. If you want to claim God has told you to do something that seems contrary, you’d better have just as good evidence.

Jelbert also says that going with revealed truth requires suppressing intelligence, rationality, and one’s moral compass. No argument is given for this statement. I see no reason to accept it and think it just implies Jelbert is saying that Christianity requires checking ones’ brains at the door. No doubt, some Christians do, but it is not a requirement.

Jelbert also writes about the atonement. He has a series of questions.

Why does God need to kill Himself/Jesus because of our sins?
What is the mechanism by which this works?
If Jesus and God are one, how did Jesus die and God not?
What does death even mean when applied to an infinite being?
Why would God be satisfied by this?

Jelbert says that none of these questions have meaningful answers and the produced doctrines just assert that no contradiction exists. Well, thus far, no contradiction has been presented. Asking questions is not the same as presenting contradictions.

Also noteworthy is that Jelbert does not interact with ANY theories on the atonement. There are multiple ones. Jelbert just accepts that none of them work. This is hardly the way to do research.

But hey, let’s look at these questions.

First off, God doesn’t kill Himself at all. Jesus gives Himself because our sins put a barrier up between us and God. Sin has to be taken seriously and sin is rebellion against a good and holy God. For God to ignore sin is to put creation above Himself. That would be treating us as greater than God. Meanwhile, we could not pay such a price. It’s not so much guilt as it is a debt.

What is the mechanism by which this works? There are many different ways, but let’s suppose I just said, “I don’t know.” Meanwhile, I do know that Jesus rose from the dead and is God’s chosen king. Am I to reject Jesus just because I don’t know how atonement works?

If Jesus and God are one, how did Jesus die and God didn’t? Jelbert assumes that Jesus and the Father are one person. They are not. The Son experienced death in that He was separated from His body on the cross, which wouldn’t apply to the Father since the Father has no body.

What does death mean when applied to an infinite being? For Jesus, it means the separation of His soul from His body. That doesn’t have anything to do with infinity.

Why would God be satisfied by this? See the second answer.

With this, I have answered Jelbert’s questions. Perhaps my answers aren’t all right. Okay. However, they are answers. Others will have different answers. Even if one can’t be proven, they can still be seen as coherent.

Jelbert then goes on to list some problems with Jesus. One is that Jesus was wrong about the time of His coming, which we saw earlier was actually false. He also says this led to unwise advice such as not worrying about tomorrow since it will take care of itself. How this is unwise is not stated. Jesus also could not have been talking about saving up since most people were day-wage earners and had nothing to save up. He was just telling such people to trust in God for tomorrow.

Of course, there’s something on eternal punishment. Jelbert apparently takes a one size fits all approach to hell and heaven. Some people in each place will be better off and worse than others. If Jelbert is aware of this, he shows no knowledge of it.

He points to calling the Canaanite woman a dog in Matthew 15. He says he doesn’t find it funny, but the key is the woman herself was not offended by it and saw it as a challenge from Jesus to rise up. Jesus was not joking, but offering the lady a chance to show herself. I think He was also speaking the way His apostles would speak and then letting the woman show herself even better than they were, and in turn, He did heal her daughter.

He speaks about the pigs being slaughtered and how the owners weren’t compensated, but in this kind of area, pigs would not have been a herd that should have been there. As for the fig tree, I just think we’re getting into bizarre areas when people are concerned over a fig tree. God as the Lord of Life can restore or kill a fig tree whenever He wants.

In the end, I find Jelbert’s arguments again weak. Maybe he’ll do better next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Evidence Considered Chapter 37

Is there a case for the Trinity? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We return to the work of Glenton Jelbert. I do agree with him in Bill Gordon’s chapter that on the face of it, I don’t understand a chapter on the Trinity in evidence for God, unless you’re trying to respond to objections about God. Still, the Trinity is an important topic, so let’s see what Jelbert has to say about this.

First, Jelbert says the doctrine says that three is one and declares this to be a mystery. No Trinitarian worth his weight in salt would ever put forward such a ridiculous notion as that. No one who has a clue about this subject will say there is one God and three gods or that God is one person and three persons. Jelbert can say it’s wrong all he wants, but please, let’s dispense with straw men.

He says that Thomas in John 20 displays healthy skepticism, but this is not really the case. Thomas had traveled with these guys for years and lived with them and knew them well and all of them gave the testimony that they had seen Jesus. Thomas’s skepticism was unreasonable in that sense. Jelbert ends this saying it took hundreds of years for the Trinity doctrine to evolve. We’ll deal with that later when it comes up again.

He goes on to say that Mark doesn’t support the divinity of Jesus.

Oh really?

In Mark 1, we have John the Baptist coming forward to prepare the way of the Lord. If you look in the Old Testament, the Lord is YHWH. Who shows up on the scene then? Jesus. Think Mark is making a connection? Mark also has Jesus being able to declare forgiveness of sins in His own person in Mark 2. In doing this, Jesus is being the temple which represented the presence of God. Jesus is then the new place the presence of God is made manifest.

Later in that chapter, Jesus declares Himself to be the Lord of the Sabbath. What does that say about how Jesus viewed Himself? We could go on and on, but keep in mind that this is in just the first two chapters. Jelbert really needs to look at Mark more.

In Matthew, we are told that no one called Jesus Immanuel. No, but this is irrelevant. Many people would also have many names and the focus is that God is with us, which is exactly what happens in the last few verses of the book. Matthew is writing an inclusio to show that Jesus is God with us.

Jelbert says Matthew 28 was never quoted to show that one must go to the Gentiles. After all, the apostles all had immediate understanding and accepting of Jesus’s words. Old ways of thinking die hard. As for being baptized in Jesus’s name in Acts 2, that is because Jesus was the one that needed to be recognized as Lord. Groups today that make something magical about the names given at baptism are badly misunderstanding both passages.

I do agree that there can be an overemphasis on John, but Jelbert never seems to bother looking up the best scholarship. There is no citing of Bauckham or Hurtado or Bird or Tilling or anyone else in the early high Christology group. His only reference to the Trinity doctrine evolving is Bart Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God. I have already reviewed that book and found it really lacking.

In conclusion, there really isn’t much here. Sadly, even Jehovah’s Witnesses seem to have a bit more substance here. Jelbert should really consider interacting with the best in the field.

In Christ,
Nick Peters