Deeper Waters Podcast 6/8 2013, Lighting Up Dark Ages Science

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

We had hoped to get Mike Licona to join us, but he is with his mother who is in the final stages of brain cancer. We ask for your prayers for her and the rest of our family in this time.

Instead, it looks like our guest is going to be James Hannam. James Hannam is the author of the book “God’s Philosophers”, also known as “The Genesis of Science.” In this book, Hannam takes a look at the period of time known as the Dark Ages where the church led the world and as a result, science and education languished while people dwelt in superstition, until finally came Galileo along to renew an interest in science.

That’s the popular belief, and as is often the case with many such beliefs today, it is entirely false. Hannam goes to great lengths in this book to demonstrate that the Christian church not only encouraged science, but carried it forward so that people like Galileo were just standing on the shoulders of those who came before them.

We will hopefully be talking about people such as Andrew Dickson White who kept going the myth that in this time there was a warfare between science and religion. This could include also discussing how modern disciples of ignorance, such as the new atheists, keep these claims going.

We will find that certainly not everything the medievals believed about science and nature was accurate, but it wasn’t because they were blinded by religion. If anything, it was because they did not have the best information available, yet for what means that they did have to obtain knowledge, they made several excellent observations that we still hold today.

We will be looking at the way Scripture did play a role in this. Did it hinder the learning that took place or did it encourage it? Was it a rule that the Scriptures had to be interpreted “literally” or did the church allow for a variety of ways in which a passage could be translated? Were there any real conflicts going on between science and religion?

Were those who were doing science supported by the church or where they doing their work in isolation? If you had a sickness, could it have actually been better for you to go to your local priest rather than to the actual medical doctor? Were cadavers allowed to be used for the study of the body?

And of course, some time will have to be spent on Galileo. Was he really the victim of persecution from the church trying to put a stop to his science, or was there something more going on?

In the end, I suspect you will be surprised to find that the so-called dark ages were not really dark at all. If anything is actually in the dark today, it is the idea that is spread perpetually by those who wish to paint the time period as a time of great ignorance.

Please join in from 3-5 EST this Saturday to listen to the podcast here

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 6/1/2013

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

So you’re sitting there wondering what you’re going to do for your Saturday afternoon. How about the Deeper Waters podcast? Well that could depend on who the guest is this week. If you tune in, you’re going to hear an excellent guest. The incredibly scholarly Craig Blomberg will be our guest to talk about the historical reliability of the gospels.

That also happens to be the title of the book that he has under discussion. Some of you might know Blomberg from Lee Strobel’s book “The Case for Christ.” Others of you might know Blomberg as well from the fact that Geisler went after even him for defending Michael Licona. What you should know about Blomberg is that he used the methods of scholarship and wound up defending orthodox Christianity.

We’ll be talking about what it means to say the gospels are historically reliable. Do we mean that they are inerrant? If they are not, does that cost us anything? We’ll be talking about the question of miracles. Since the gospels involve miracles, does that make them automatically suspect? (Spoiler alert for some of you. You can expect more on this when I interview Craig Keener on August 10th.)

What are the approaches of scholarship that are being used? We will talk about all manner of criticism such as form criticism and redaction criticism. We will talk about the concept of the gospels being read as midrash. Should Christians avoid this kind of study and approach altogether? Should we go in wholesale? Or does the ideal method lie in the middle somewhere?

What about the authorship of the gospels? Can we know that Matthew was written by Matthew and that Luke was written by Luke? What about contrary theories to this? Is there a historical method whereby we can determine who it is that wrote a particular book?

Also, we will be talking about supposed contradictions in the gospels. If you go to any atheist website, you are quite likely to see a list of Bible contradictions. Blomberg has seen them as well and obviously, we cannot discuss all of them, but we will try to discuss some of them. Of course, if you have one that you really want to have discussed, then you are free to call in at 714-242-5180.

On the agenda as well is to discuss extrabiblical resources in looking at the biblical record. Is there anything in history that contradicts the Biblical account? Something interesting in light of this is that Blomberg does not really think archaeology can provide the help most people think it can with the gospels. We’ll also be talking about why he thinks that.

Much of this is just possibility as we never know where one question might take us, but these are all possible topics of consideration. I invite you to be listening tomorrow from 3-5 EST to hear this informative podcast and feel free to join in the discussion at the number mentioned above.

A link to it can be found here.

Hope you’re listening!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

An Unbelievable? Podcast

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

I actually just finished the interview for the Deeper Waters podcast about half an hour or so ago. This time, I interviewed Justin Brierley of Unbelievable? and talked with him about the show Unbelievable? and about the conference of the same name happening annually in the U.K.

Unbelievable? has been one of my favorite shows since I’ve started listening. Justin Brierley is a wonderful host/moderator who brings on excellent guests and who manages to remain quite neutral in his presentation. If you really want to hear both sides of a debate sometime, just turn on Unbelievable? and see what you find. As Justin and I discussed, sometimes the atheist does do better. Sometimes the Christian does better. That is life. For those interested, I have often written into the show and spoken about how badly a Christian has done in debate. In fact, for those even more curious, I was once a guest on the show. (See January of 2010 for my debate there on the problem of evil after the Haiti earthquake.)

Justin and I talk on the show about the state of the church in the U.K. Contrary to what I used to think, it is not a spiritual wasteland over there. There are bright lights that are shining, and I consider Unbelievable? to be one of them. We need to keep in mind that there are strong pillars of Christianity that exist over there, including someone like N.T. Wright.

We also talked about the show and how it has come along and the great guests that have come on. Justin said some guests have been good and some haven’t. Some could be great writers and just not meant to a debate style like that which is done on Unbelievable?. The show has also been an education for him, something I’ve noticed in my brief time hosting a podcast. The show is often a chance for me to get my own education in interviewing guests on so many great topics.

There was also talk about the Unbelievable? conference that takes place annually in the U.K. This year, the conference will be focused highly on C.S. Lewis, seeing as it’s the 50th anniversary of his death. There will be discussions on Lewis and the imagination, Lewis and the problem of pain, and even what would C.S. Lewis say to the new atheists?

I highly encourage my readers to be listening to the Deeper Waters podcast. It’s really exciting to be bringing out the best in Christian apologetics. We plan on having more and more scholars show up. Yet while listening to my show, I also encourage you to listen to the Unbelievable? podcast. It is a podcast that I never miss and if I’m on vacation and have to listen to two podcasts one after the other, well that’s what I do. Unbelievable? is that good.

For those interested, the interview with Justin Brierley can be found here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters