Book Plunge: Evidence Considered

Was Jesus’s tomb found empty? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In chapter 34 of Evidence Considered, Jelbert decides to take on Gary Habermas on if there was an empty tomb or not. At the start, Jelbert says that all of Habermas’s material comes from Christian sources. He also says these are diluted by internal disagreements and contradictions.

However, Habermas is just doing what all scholars do. Even Bart Ehrman will grant this point.

If historians want to know what Jesus said and did they are more or less constrained to use the New Testament Gospels as their principal sources. Let me emphasize that this is not for religious or theological reasons–for instance, that these and these alone can be trusted. It is for historical reasons pure and simple. (Ehrman, The New Testament, page 215)

Now if Jelbert thinks he has some sources that are more relevant to the life of Jesus and closer to the time, he’s free to come forward and show them to us. I am sure the scholarly world would love to hear these sources. If not, then there’s no reason to complain because Habermas uses the main sources that we have. Everyone does that.

Jelbert says that Jesus had in the accounts left the tomb. Why on Earth would it be that angels would have left it open? This sounds like a good question unless you actually think about it for a few seconds. The tomb was open so that everyone could see that it was empty. It wasn’t open so that Jesus could get out, but so that others could get in.

He also says Habermas makes two assumptions. The first is that the Gospels are reliable which is what needs to be shown and that anyone would care to disprove the story anyway. Naturally, both of these are weak claims.

For the former, he’s not trying to prove the Gospels are reliable. He’s trying to prove a part of the tradition in the Gospels, the empty tomb, is reliable, That’s a big difference. The way he’s doing it is by examining the sources we have with normal scholarly protocol. Again, everyone in the field does this.

For the second, apparently Paul might have been in such a position. We know that within a year or two he was already out there persecuting Christians and that’s just one person we’re told about. Christians were regularly facing some sort of persecution from Jewish interlocutors.

Jelbert goes on to say that Christian teachings explicitly encouraged belief without sight. Not at all, but we have the usual litany. Let’s go through each of them.

We have Jesus with Thomas saying “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” This is a strange passage to use because it would imply that we who are later on are in a better position than the apostles who saw Jesus themselves. Thomas’s problem was that he had every reason to trust Jesus and he failed to believe.

1 Cor. 1:19 says God will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the intelligence of the intelligent he will frustrate. This verse has absolutely nothing to do with seeing something. What it is talking about is a masterful rhetorical work where the teaching of Jesus would challenge the sophists of the day by going against their preconceived notions of what a king should be and by revealing them to be frauds. Sophists, after all, could stand up one day and make a powerful argument that the nation ought to go to war against the enemy and receive applause for it, and the next day get up and argue the exact opposite.

No list of verses like this would be complete without Hebrews 11:1. I have written on that one before here. Nothing further needs to be said.

Jelbert says 1 Thess. 5:21 is often brought out, but that it applies to prophecy. I do agree on that one. Still, I think it’s a principle that can easily be applied across the board.

When he talks about the women discovering the tomb, he says that if the Gospel writers wrote that, they probably believed it. Yet this is what strikes me as odd. Jelbert talks about the accounts evolving over time. If they did, why did this part not evolve? Wouldn’t women witnesses be one of the first ones to change? Why not make the disciples into the heroes?

Jelbert says Mark and Luke have the women wanting to anoint the body with spices, but Matthew has them just wanting to look in the tomb. This is because Matthew has a story about guards that is found nowhere else. There’s one reason that I really think the story has credibility and this is something Jelbert never mentions. The text says the story has been told “to this day.”

If this story wasn’t being told in Matthew’s day, any reader would say, “Well not it hasn’t. We’ve never heard that story.” This is a direct acknowledgment of what was being said at the time. Again, Jelbert never mentions this.

Jelbert also says since Matthew changes Mark, that shows he doesn’t think Mark is reliable. That doesn’t follow. It could mean he does some editing to highlight certain points. It could be he wants to refine a detail. It could be he thinks a detail is unneeded. Jelbert just assumes the worst and goes with it.

Jelbert says that Paul never mentions the tomb at all, but what he needs to show is that he needs to. Paul writes about Jesus buried and risen and the word there indicates coming up from a lying down position. As a Pharisee, Paul would believe that what is placed in the tomb naturally comes back up again. Also, one will search in vain for any interaction with a work like Gundry’s Soma In Biblical Greek to see what is meant by a body.

Jelbert also says that when Paul says “Last of all he appeared to me, it implies an exhaustive list.” Why? Your guess is as good as mine. I see nothing here to make me think the list had to be exhaustive.

Getting back to the guard story, Jelbert says the chief priests and Pharisees go on the Sabbath to request a guard from Pilate who gives them one. That’s a problem at the start because there’s debate on if Pilate gives them a guard of if he acknowledges they had their own guards. He says the angels knock the soldiers out with an earthquake, which again I do not see in the text. They come to and run to the leaders who tell them what to say and assure them they will keep them safe. Jelbert says none of this is plausible. I suppose it isn’t when you straw man all of it.

Jelbert also says that if a body was raised from a mass grave, that would not leave an empty tomb. Sure, but no one claims it is a mass grave. If Jelbert thinks he has such a source, let him show it. All four of our early sources here all agree that Jesus was buried in a tomb alone.

Jelbert now goes to 1 Cor. 15 and the passage about the spiritual body. If this means immaterial, we have a problem. Paul speaks of spiritual men in chapters 2 and 3. He speaks of a spiritual rock in chapter 10. In that same chapter he writes about spiritual food and drink. Spiritual does not necessitate immaterial and again, the reader is invited to check the work of Gundry.

Right now I am convinced the tomb was empty, but not only that, so is Jelbert’s critique of it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Thought For Election Day

What can we think about what happens at the polls today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today in America, we have an election going on and it is one that has been anticipated for quite some time. Lately, every election has been touted as the most important election of our lifetime. So it is that this one is as well the most important election of our lifetime, until, of course, the 2020 election.

I’m all for doing your civic duty. My wife and I both did early voting together. This is what I think we should do in America if we want to have a say in what goes on. There’s no wrong in voting and we should support the people that we think will do the best job.

At the same time, there can be too much dependence, as if the government is supposed to fix everything. One subject I have done some reading on is economics, which is really a fascinating topic. Not too long ago I was in a Facebook discussion dealing with the housing situation in our country. What was the major solution? Government.

My stance is simple. Any power that is given to the government like that is power that can be used against you someday. If the government can tell you what you can sell or not sell something you own for, they can do the same to anyone else. They can control your property and tell you how to handle it.

This is why I am convinced government cannot be our savior. We should strive for one that is good, but we can’t make it our everything. We actually have power ourselves to do something about many of the problems we see. The problem with housing could lead to things that can help us out much like some entrepreneurs started companies like Uber and Lyft.

There is another fear I have in this. The more we let government do the work of caring for the sick and the poor, the less the church realizes that this is its responsibility. The early church regularly cared for the sick and in the fourth century, the emperor Julian the Apostate complained that the church was doing the work of not just taking care of its own sick, but the sick in the pagan communities.

Maybe, just maybe, we can consider doing that in the church today. Please understand I am not advocating the social Gospel. Economic well-being is not the goal of the Gospel. However, if the Gospel is truly being spread somewhere, I think that insofar as the society embraces that, it will be better off economically. It will care for the poor all the more.

We can react so much against Liberation theology that we forget that part of Christianity is indeed helping those in need. Liberation theology just takes one part and makes it the central part. We should emphasize the central part of salvation in Christ, without neglecting the lesser part. Even Paul, when given the right hand of fellowship by the apostles, was asked to remember the poor.

I don’t know what will happen tonight. Neither do you. I do know, whatever happens, my marching orders are the same. Preach the Gospel and seek to bring about the Kingdom. If the government we elect is favorable to that, then all the better. If not, then we still have the same orders anyway.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Book Plunge: Always Be Ready

What do I think of Hugh and Kathy Ross’s book published by Reasons To Believe? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I read a lot of apologetics books. I read all levels. Some books are entry level. Some are intermediate. Some are advanced. I have high standards. When Hugh And Kathy Ross sent me an apologetics book they had written, I saw the title and thought it looked like something basic. I looked at the bibliography. It was only three pages.

Great.

So I pick it up. There is one chapter dedicated to science apologetics. I really don’t know much about what to say with that. I have a stance that I stay out of science debates like that. I don’t know enough to recognize nonsense from accuracy. I think science is fascinating, but I can’t argue one side anyway.

But that’s the only kind of chapter like that. The rest of the book starts getting fascinating as Hugh Ross talks so much about how he came to believe in Christianity. It’s a fascinating autobiographical look at things. I count Dr. Ross a dear friend of mine and I knew some of it, but a lot I didn’t know and it was amazing stuff.

Did I agree with all of it? No. Ross makes a lot about Israel being founded in 1948 and that as a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. As an orthodox Preterist, I don’t agree, but the great thing about Ross is I know he wouldn’t have any problem with that.  If you want to work with Reasons To Believe, you’re actually required to have something that you disagree with Ross on.

Yet the story just gets fascinating to see Ross describe growing up and his life on the autism spectrum, something I relate to as one on the spectrum as well. Ross talks about problems in school and the care that he got from one special teacher. Teachers. Please never underestimate the influence that you could have on one student.

Ross also talks about the influence of Kathy on his life after he met her. At this point, as one who knows Ross’s story with her, I would have liked to have heard more. He talks about her showing up at a Bible Study he was at and then sometime later on, we hear that he’s her bride. Whoa! How did we get to that point so quickly? I would have liked to have read more how the romance developed. This could be especially helpful for people on the spectrum who are waiting to get married.

Ross goes throughout the book then talking about ministry opportunities that have come up in his life in working with the church and the launching of Reasons To Believe. Ross has it apparently that he gets into encounters all the time where he gets to share the gospel. I found this to be exciting reading.

That means that in the end, this could very well be my favorite book that I’ve ever read by Ross. It left me wanting those own opportunities to come and watching the world around me for when they could show up. It’s my sincere prayer that they will.

If you’re wanting to get a book that will equip you to go out there and have the best answers to deal with those who contradict the faith, this isn’t the book for you. If you want a book that can help discuss how to approach people better and give the Gospel, especially in a church setting, and examples of ways you can use apologetics in evangelism, this is the book for you. Veteran apologists will not likely learn much in the area of apologetics knowledge, but hopefully, they will gain a desire to interact more.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Please Support Ed Komoszewski

What can you do to help? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Whenever I have been to churches, I have always grown antsy when they talked about money. I understand if people are getting concerned with this, but this is not to support me. This is to support someone else. This is to support Ed Komoszewski.

Many fine Christians will tell you that this is someone to support. Daniel Wallace, Darrell Bock, Rob Bowman, and Mike Licona all come to mind. Ed is one of the writers of the book Putting Jesus In His Place which is an excellent defense of the deity of Christ. He has done much to serve the Kingdom of God.

You would never know the suffering he goes through.

Yet he does.

I have been told that he wakes up every morning and has to throw up for some time. Eating is very hard for him. He has been regularly to the Mayo clinic and no one can really figure out what’s wrong with him. Despite this, he is still serving. Just recently he turned in another paper on the historical Jesus.

Recently, Ed was in a Wal-Mart and his heart failed on him. He lost consciousness entirely. Ed woke up in the intensive care unit. He was told the electrical system in his heart would no longer work and he had a pacemaker implanted.

This is in addition to everything else he deals with. In the past sixteen months, he has undergone major hospitalization four times. This is a strain on him and on his family as well.

Ed’s bills are still coming in and his family is having to have the burden. Many people have helped through the GoFundMe, but many more could help and even if the goal is reached, let any extra income come in because barring a miracle, which we should pray for, there will be another time.

Speaking from experience, I can say despite what Ed goes through, he has been more positive than many of us are with less. My wife has been posting about her weight loss and so many times he posts encouraging messages to her. I keep thinking this should be the reverse. We should be the one posting encouraging messages to Ed.

I can’t help but think of Paul in prison in Philippians. Paul is the one in prison and he is writing to them about the importance of joy. It doesn’t make sense to us, but Ed is being like that. Ed is out there in his suffering and he doesn’t draw attention to himself. He doesn’t say “Woe is me” (At least in public). He does all that he can to give to the kingdom.

We Christians are supposed to care for our own. It’s about time that we did that. In all honesty, my family does not have the money to donate, and Ed I am sure knows this, but I want to know that if you do have the means, do consider making a donation to Ed and his family. They could really use your support.

Ed’s GoFundMe

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Since The Beginning

What do I think of Kyle Greenwood’s book published by Baker Academic? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We all know that from the very beginning, Genesis 1 and 2 were thought to be totally scientific accounts to know about the origins of the cosmos. Everyone believed that the Earth was 6,000 years old or so. Then along came modern times and people began to reject that idea with the teaching of evolution.

We all know that.

But sometimes we don’t know what we think we really know.

People who think this really need to pick up this latest book by Kyle Greenwood. Greenwood is the editor as he has many writers write about the interpretation of these two chapters throughout history. Since it’s 1-2, it covers more than just the age of the Earth, but the age of the Earth is what comes to mind immediately for most people.

If you were like me, you would think that the first part would be to look at the Ante-Nicene Fathers and see what they had to say about the text. If you were like me, you would also be wrong. Greenwood takes the bizarre stance of looking at an Old Testament text by actually beginning with the Old Testament text. From there, he goes on to list ways themes from this portion of Scripture show up in the rest of the Old Testament.

From there, we get to Second Temple Judaism. These are the ideas from what is known as more of the Intertestamental period. What was being said about the text then? What do we find in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

This is followed by the New Testament. When we look at the writers and speakers of the New Testament, they will often refer to the Old Testament. How did they see the text? What can we learn? This is especially important for those of us who are Christians since most of us would see this text as inspired in some way.

After that, we get to see what rabbis at the time of Jesus were saying about the passages. Here we get to see some of the creativity of them. One rabbi asked another why it was that Adam was with Eve when the serpent came and yet he said nothing. The other responded that Adam and Eve had just got done having sexual intercourse so Adam fell asleep and when Eve woke him up with the fruit he took it not knowing what it was.

They were certainly creative.

From there we get to the Ante-Nicene Fathers. The point being that if you think we’re just going to jump into Christian interpretations immediately, you’ll be mistaken. As you go through, you realize people had many different views. You discuss the length of the days, the role of Sabbath, the location of the Garden of Eden, the role of men and women, etc.

And as you go through, you come to see that things aren’t as cut and dry as you would think. There have been many interpretations of the passage throughout history. Some you will think have something to them. Some you will wonder how anyone could have ever thought such a thing about them.

Sometimes I do wish more would have been said about the creation and role of humanity. For example, I remember wanting to see more about how the Fathers viewed men and women. It’s my understanding that sexuality was seen by them as a necessary evil and it should only be for the purpose of procreation.

Of course, we do eventually get to our own time and to post-Darwinian interpretations of the text. Yet once you get there, you’re not really surprised. In some ways, the interpretation is different, but in many ways, it’s the same. It’s the language to describe it I think that differs.

A valuable contribution to this will be to realize that interpretation has been multi-faceted from the beginning. Greenwood I am sure holds to an interpretation of the text, but he does not push for any of them here. He simply presents what is founded in history.

Anyone wanting to seriously study the text needs to interact with this book. It will be a valuable compendium for quite some time on thought throughout history on these texts. Hopefully, by reading from the past, we can learn more for today on how to understand what has happened since the beginning.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Is It Wrong To Question God?

Is questioning the Almighty acceptable? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was with a group of guys last night and heard someone say that you’re not supposed to question God when talking about personal suffering. This is something that we often hear from Christians. It’s as if it somehow shows a lack of faith. In reality, I think it’s quite false.

I spoke to this man later and talked with him, because I didn’t want him living with guilt when going through a hard time on top of any other struggles that he has. The Bible consistently has people questioning God. The Psalms are one such book. You do not have to go far into the book before you find people questioning God. These are not minor matters either. These are heartfelt cries asking if God is there and if He really cares or not.

And this is a great benefit for us. After all, do we view God as a Counselor as is said in Isaiah 9:5-6? What kind of counselor is it that you can’t be honest with. Are you really angry with God and having questions for Him? It’s not like you can hide it from Him. He knows it already. Let it out.

That’s actually very healthy anyway. Often, psychologists speak of this as a catharsis. We can have moments where we have so much emotion built up in us that we just have to let them out. If we store them up inside of us, they don’t do us much good. Why think you can let them loose on another human being, but not on God?

Habakkuk is another great book for this. Habakkuk is a different prophet. Many of the prophets went to the people on behalf of God. The book of Habakkuk is the prophet going to God on behalf of the people. Jeremiah is another one. You can find written in the book of Jeremiah the complaints of Jeremiah. Even in the book his secretary Baruch is of the opinion that what he is going through is pointless.

Of course, there’s Job. Job went through intense suffering. In discussing this, I asked the real purpose of Job. The purpose of Job is not to help you understand suffering and evil. If you go through it wanting to know why bad things happen to good people, you are going to be disappointed. When God shows up at the end, He says nothing about the suffering of Job.

What is it about then? It’s about the question of the accuser. Does God serve Job for nothing? If Job did not have all these blessings in his life, would he continue to serve? In the end, Job passes the test. Job is faithful to God and blessed. This despite Job questioning God and being angry with Him.

John the Baptist in the New Testament is another example. John as a baby leapt in the womb when Jesus came over and who saw Heaven open and a dove descend on Jesus at baptism and heard the voice of God speak at that moment. John also grew up certainly hearing stories about his cousin. This John the Baptist. What does he say?

He’s in prison and sends his disciples to ask Jesus if He is the Messiah or should we wait for another. Jesus gives an answer to show that He is. Then Jesus turns to the crowd and talks about how hard it is to find faith because here even is John the Baptist and yet John is without faith and….

Wait.

What’s that?

He doesn’t say that?

He says what?

He says that of all men born to that time, none of them is greater than John the Baptist? You mean Jesus blesses and holds up as an example the guy who questioned Him? Jesus celebrates this man? Sure, he says the least in the Kingdom of Heaven will be greater than him, but he sure heaps some praise on John.

Now don’t get me wrong. How you question God could be wrong. Questioning itself is not necessarily. Faith can be something you wrestle with. When I go through some intense suffering, I do ask why. One often thinks that if they were God, they would do such and such. In reality, you wouldn’t, because if you were God, you’d have the perfect knowledge and wisdom that He has.

If anything, coming to God and being honest is a step of trust. It’s telling God that you don’t know what is going on, but you want to understand better, yet you are just thoroughly perplexed by what He is doing, or sometimes not doing. Questioning can be a way of saying you are willing to let God see all of you, which is kind of a no-brainer because He already does and you can’t hide anything from Him anyway.

Go ahead and question. God’s not obligated to give you an answer and honestly, we probably wouldn’t understand the answer, but you can know that He is there and He does hear and He does care. We in evangelical circles often sing the hymn “Just As I Am.”

Come to Him just as you are. He already knows. He heals up the wounds of the brokenhearted and He is there.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Sex. It’s Worth Waiting For

What do I think of Greg Speck’s book published by Moody Publishers? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If I’m not reading on apologetics, I’m often reading on sex and marriage. One topic that’s interesting in this is encouraging young people to wait for marriage, like my wife and I both did. The importance in this topic is to find the balance.

One clear memory I have is being at a church I attended when they had a Silver Ring Thing, which is like True Love Waits. The pastor speaking was saying if you have sex for marriage, it will be for selfish reasons. Okay. I can agree with that. Then he encouraged thinking about the consequences. What if you get pregnant? Get an STD? What will you have to tell your future spouse one day? What about shame? What about guilt?

And I’m thinking, “Those sound like selfish reasons to me also.”

This guy went on and on. He gave about a sentence about the joy of sex in marriage and kept going on about not having it beforehand. I started zoning out. Pastors. If you are teaching about sex in church and a college-age guy is in the audience and getting bored, you are doing it wrong.

Greg Speck’s book is written to teenagers so it is a bit odd for someone in his late-thirties to be reading it, but I want to see what is said. I liked a lot of what I said. Speck’s style is easy to follow. He writes in a way that teenagers will understand. (Okay. To be fair, I didn’t read the whole section on STDs. That was a bit gross.) He also writes with a pastoral heart.

There are many chapters. Speck wants the readers to first off know, sex is more than just intercourse. It can start off small, and then go on from there. Many times, we want to know how close we can get to the line without crossing. It’s a quite foolish stance, though understandable. It’s like we want to put ourselves in unnecessary risk. I personally recommend couples go no further past step eight in their relationship in The Twelve Steps of Intimacy until they marry.

Speck goes into Biblical reasons also for waiting until marriage, but then he also has testimonials from teenagers who didn’t. I think the last part is particularly worthwhile. Sadly for many young people, a few Bible verses will not be enough. If you’re sitting with your girlfriend on a couch, a random verse from Paul won’t likely stop anything. Now if you have a thoroughly thought out position of sex and know how it fits into a Christian worldview, that’s a different matter, but many young people do not. (And honestly, many adults don’t either.)

From there, Speck goes on to various other situations involving sexuality. These are ones that often aren’t talked about with teenagers, but they need to be. These include incest, rape, and the fear that you could be homosexual. There is also a section on pornography and masturbation and with the former, Speck does admit he had to struggle with that.

This is followed with sections for guys only and girls only. I found these a bit interesting, but I was curious. An unmarried guy wrote for the girls and an unmarried woman for the boys. I suppose that you could always look at different ways this could be done. Perhaps in a future edition there could be testimonials from married couples who waited.

While there is a section on God’s design for marriage, I would have liked to have seen something more at the end. I think too often we can give the negatives, but we definitely need to emphasize those positives. Yes. This is something great worth waiting for. This would be the benefit of testimonials of people who waited until marriage. There’s a saying that the devil will do anything he can to get you to have sex before you’re married, and afterward he will do anything he can to keep you from having sex.

Which brings me to one small criticism. As an Orthodox Preterist, I already think the devil is bound. This does not mean there are not demons running around still, but I think we give the devil far too much power. Speck does point to the devil being a cause of temptation many times. I am of the persuasion that often we don’t need the devil to be tempted, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. As the saying goes, “Lead me not into temptation. I will find it myself.”

Still, I think this would be a very helpful book for youth groups to go through together. Naturally, I think guys and girls would need to go through it separately. Having guys and girls together and talking about an issue like this in close quarters could have the opposite effect desired after all!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Some Thoughts On Erotica

Is Mommy porn a problem? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A friend of mine messaged me this weekend telling me that I’d written about porn, which is a great struggle for men (And also more and more so for women), but couldn’t a lot of erotica be in the same boat? Could this be for many women what porn is for men? Isn’t that worthy of a post?

Request granted.

Granted also that I don’t read erotica. I have no desire to do so either. I consider it the same as saying that I don’t need to go and watch porn in order to do research on porn.

Let’s also be clear what I mean by erotica. I don’t mean just any romance novel. There are some Christian romance novels out there. I do not know how good they are, but they are out there. I definitely mean material that is much more explicit, such as, say, Fifty Shades of Grey.

I also don’t necessarily mean chick flicks either. I think I, like all guys who date, had to watch The Notebook, for example. (It’s a hidden rule I think all women have that guys they’re with have to watch it.) Yet at the same time, we all know which sex was going the most to see Magic Mike.

I also don’t mean the traditional love stories, although let’s be clear that there are some myths in them, and I don’t mean Cinderella having a pumpkin turn into a coach. I mean the idea that you will meet a man and because he’s a prince, he will sweep you off your feet and naturally, those words that are never really accurate, “Happily Ever After.” Cinderella may have married Prince Charming, but she would wake up one day and realized he had bad morning breath and that he left his dirty socks outside the laundry basket.

But that could get us to something that is the problem. Unrealistic expectations many times. If we talk about pornography, we can talk about girls that have their features altered so that they have vastly unrealistic proportions. Today, women often think they have to compete with that hot actress on the TV show. You know, the one that has undergone hours of make-up and such before she ever gets on the set.

Most of us men say you don’t. You’re gorgeous to us as you are.

The problem with erotica is that women are usually more turned on through words and touch than they are through sight. That doesn’t mean sight is irrelevant, but it doesn’t woo a woman the same way. For me, just give me the sight of my bride and that is more than enough. I just don’t understand why it is sometimes that doesn’t work the same way in reverse. (And hey, it can’t be me because obviously Allie married a total stud. Right? Why are you laughing?)

Women have dreams of romance, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When my sister was four, she was already planning her wedding out. When something like Sleeping Beauty is on, men relate to the knight fighting and slaying the dragon. Women relate most to being rescued by the knight. (But hey, we men aren’t going to complain about waking her up with a kiss either.)

And men, let’s sadly face it that too many of us stop this after we marry her. Now many men I know say their wives could not keep their hands off of them when they were dating and wanted to kiss so much, but when they married, that all changed. We change too. Many a man no longer works to impress their wives. It’s a common trope to hear about men forgetting anniversaries and birthdays.

Part of that is we men are conquerors and when we’ve already succeeded at one task, winning the bride, we move on to the next. How about we make the task be “Impressing the bride?” This doesn’t mean you go all out every day, but it does mean that you make an effort everyday to please.

But for women, well it’s too easy to be resistant to your husband and then go and read an erotica novel and then come back and expect your husband to behave exactly like the man does. It’s as unrealistic as a man expecting the woman he’s with to act like that porn star does. Your man is not scripted. He is not written out. He will not do things perfect.

Yes. Your man will do many many stupid things in romance with you. He might take you to a restaurant you don’t like or he might belch in the middle of an intimate moment. Prince Charming can have morning breath. He’s not going to be perfect.

But if you have too many false ideas built up just like he can with pornography, it’s going to be harder and harder for him to measure up and could get you looking elsewhere. The grass might be greener on the other side of the fence. A big problem when many people leave relationships is that they go to the next one thinking it will be better because that other person was such a problem. Many times this is done without them looking at themselves and improving themselves and the history just repeats.

Ladies. Here’s a little tip for you to interact with your man. If you want something, just say it. We men are totally oblivious with hints. My wife has told me there have been three times she’s been in a romantic mood and tried to tell me and I totally missed her hints. Three times! (Excuse me. I have to pause writing this to go and mourn.)

In all honesty, if you tell your man something that you really want, he will want to do it for you. If my wife is out somewhere and I’m with her and I see her mention something she’d like, I remember it. She and I both play Pokemon and once when she was out, she saw a Sylveon at a Wal-Mart that she really wanted. We didn’t have the money in the wallet so I said I couldn’t. I went home where I had Amazon credit and ordered all nine forms of Eevee including Sylveon on Amazon for her. They were much smaller in size, but she got all of them.

I really don’t think I’m alone.

Ladies. Your man is always wanting to know that he’s your man. He’s always wanting to measure up. Make him think he has to compete with erotica and it can be just like you think you have to compete with porn, and you shouldn’t. If your man is no longer trying really and doesn’t seem to care, that’s something else to work on and perhaps counseling would help, but please try to give your man the benefit of the doubt. He wants to please you.

Even if he doesn’t do perfect, remember him when he tries. Men take criticism from their wives very seriously. Every time it makes us think we’re failing and if we get the message enough, we just stop trying. I don’t even care for it if I’m taking a break and playing a video game and my wife likes to point out every time I make a mistake. That might seem minor to you, but that’s the way we men are. We want to be great at everything we do no matter how small.

Ladies. Be careful about the books that you’re picking up just like he should about the websites he’s visiting. Perhaps it might be better instead of reading a book about how you want to be romanced, for you to read a book about how to romance your husband. You can be sure he will greatly appreciate it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Does It Matter If The Resurrection Is A Metaphor?

Does it matter if the resurrection was literal? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Wednesday night, I was at the debate between my father-in-law, Mike Licona, and John Dominic Crossan about who the historical Jesus was and how he saw himself. I hate to say it, but it really wasn’t much of a debate because I don’t think anyone really understood what Crossan was arguing. Crossan was putting practically everything into the world of metaphor and saying that the message was a metaphor and that he would die for a metaphor and if the resurrection is literal, what difference would it make? The real question is are we living resurrected lives.

When I got up to ask a question, I said my wife and I enjoy being married. Still, we wonder what will happen when our time comes. Will we be together forever? I replied that a literal resurrection can assure us that we will be. What hope can a metaphor give us?

The reply was something along the lines of how the message was not the resurrection of individuals but that the human race would overcome. The violence of Rome would be overthrown by non-violence. This is supposedly the good news of Jesus.

There are a number of things I wonder about this, such as how this Jesus got crucified. Despite that, there is one thing I want to focus on. The resurrection. Does it make a difference if it’s a metaphor or literal?

I’m not going to go into making a whole case for the resurrection. That has been done plenty of times elsewhere. I am going to be emphasizing the difference it makes and to be fair, it is easy to miss this many times.

One big difference is that we live in a world where death is a reality. We see it all around us. We know that when the game over comes for someone, it really is game over barring a miracle. It’s a sad reality. When we bury a loved one, they are dead, and the relationship is not the same.

Will it ever be? Is that it?

We live in a world of injustice. Recently here in Atlanta, we had a police officer shot who died from that and his killer was found within 48 hours and also died when he pulled out a weapon on police officers. There are many crimes that take place and sadly, the culprit is never found. Some people seem to go free.

Will there ever be justice?

Sometimes people die from disease. Our friend, Nabeel Qureshi, died from stomach cancer at an extremely young age. Just today in my Facebook memories I saw something about a friend who passed away last year. She was an older lady, but it’s still hard to see.

Will this ever be righted?

What about our universe itself? Some of you out there I am sure believe we are responsible for some climate change. We live in a world there does seem to be a lot of destruction. We want to colonize other planets, but even if we do, the universe is destined to die a cold death and take us with it.

Is there any point?

What about our bodies themselves? Do they matter? Are human beings just objects. Does it matter what I do with my body? Does it matter how I behave sexually or how my diet is?

What difference does it make?

This is why the resurrection matters? Will we live again and see each other again? Yes. Will evil be judged and good rewarded? Yes. Will lives be redeemed that died from tragic disease? Yes. Will the Earth and the universe be renewed and made eternal paradises? Yes. Do our bodies matter and how we treat them? Yes.

The resurrection matters.

It matters that it’s literal.

I think I’ll stick with the literal resurrection. That’s the good news that overcame the Earth. Christianity isn’t just a nice story. It’s a reality about the world and everything in it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Those interested in the debate can listen to it here.

Deeper Waters Podcast 10/27/2018: Doug Beaumont and Jefrey Breshears

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

A little over 500 years ago, Martin Luther put up his 95 theses and after that, the world has never been the same. A rift was eventually created unlike any before. The Catholic Church had dealt with opposition, but due to the printing press, this one lasted with the ideas being broadcast far and wide.

In the aftermath, both sides hardly came together and started asking “Why can’t we be friends?” Instead, both sides have been guilty in the past have handling things in a less than Christlike way. Namely, killing each other. Wars would take place with Protestants and Catholics both being on the run.

Today, things are different. Many of us will happily work alongside one another. While for the most part, most of us do see the other side as fellow Christians, there are still areas of disagreement. We can all be benefitted by good discussions about what those disagreements are and how to handle them. Is the Catholic Church the church that Jesus established? Or do the Protestants have it right and the teaching of Scripture is the only infallible authority the church has?

To discuss this, I have a show coming up with a Catholic and a Protestant. Doug Beaumont, a former professor of mine at SES turned Catholic will represent the Catholics. Jefrey Breshears, founder of the Areopagus here in Atlanta will represent the Protestants.

So who are they?

According to his bio:

Douglas Beaumont earned a Ph.D. in theology from North-West University and an M.A. in apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary, where he taught for several years before coming into full communion with the Catholic Church. He has since appeared on The Journey Home and Catholic Answers Live, and has been interviewed by The National Catholic Register, EWTN, Relevant Radio, and The Patrick Coffin Show. He is the author of Evangelical Exodus and The Message Behind the Movie, has contributed to Bumper Sticker Catholicism, The Best Catholic Writing, The Apologetics Study Bible for Students, and the Christian Apologetics Journal, and has written online articles for Catholic Answers Magazine, Strange Notions, and Catholic World Report. He can be found online at douglasbeaumont.com.

And for Jefrey Breshears

According to his bio:

I received my Ph.D. in history from Georgia State University, specializing in two fields: (1) Ancient history, philosophy and religion; and (2) modern United States history. I also taught for 15 years at Georgia State and Kennesaw State University, and also at Atlanta Christian College and Reformed Theological Seminary, during which time I taught courses in ancient and medieval history, early and modern U.S. history, and political history.  I also developed a course entitled “American History Off the Record: Social and Political Themes in Popular Music from World War I Through the 1970s.”  In 2003 I founded the Areopagus, a Christian education organization in the Atlanta area that offers semester-length seminar courses and forums on topics related to Christian history, apologetics, contemplative Christian spirituality, literature and the arts, and contemporary cultural issues.

Having done some recent research on this topic, I am looking forward to having two people who have studied this more than I have come on and discuss the matter. I also hope this discussion will produce more light than heat. Be watching for the next episode and please consider leaving a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters