Deeper Waters Podcast 4/4/2015: Aspergers and Apologetics

What’s coming up on this week’s episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

First off, some of you might be wondering why you haven’t received any updates since the Jerry Walls episode. The answer is that there haven’t been new episodes. We had to cancel the David Marshall interview because I came down with the flu and then Mike Edens had to cancel on us, but hopefully we will this Saturday return to our regular podcasting.

As I hope you know, April is Autism Awareness Month which includes those of us who are Aspies. This month all of our shows will be revolving around this topic. We are going to have an apologist who is a mother later on this month talking about her life with a son with Aspergers. We are going to be having a father come on later who is also an apologist talking about life with his son with Aspergers. Also, we will have Stephen Bedard on who has two children with Autism and he has written a book on how to make your church more autism friendly. So if that’s all coming up later, what’s going to be going on this Saturday?

This Saturday, you’re going to hear from myself and a few others in a round table discussion. What we all have in common is that we’re all apologists and we all have Aspergers. I will be leading this discussion as the host as to how life is for us on the spectrum. Do we have any bonuses in our eyes because of our condition? Are there any negatives that we have to work on? How does it affect our Christian life overall? After all, you can read many books on the subject, and I encourage you to do so, but there is nothing like hearing from someone who is on the spectrum yourself.

At this point, I do not know for sure who all the guests are going to be. My friends Will Herb and Dan Ventress have already said that they will come on. We are hoping that Jonathan McLatchie will also come on. I plan on us not just discussing apologetics but also discussing our day to day lives. How do we do in social situations? Do we have any idiosyncracies that it can be hard for other people to understand? Also, what about social situations? How do we go about making friends and how do we act with them? What about with our family? What about with the opposite sex?

I also hope we will discuss what we think the church can do differently for people who are on the spectrum. Are there any things the church does right now that are problematic for reaching people who are on the spectrum? Could it be that maybe those on the spectrum will more often respond more to intellectual ideas rather than to social ideas? More and more people are being diagnosed as being on the spectrum so this is a group we need to be more aware of.

I hope you’ll be watching your podcast feed! I hope this will be a very informative episode for you.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Does Science Show The Bible To Be A Myth?

If we have science, does this mean the Bible is false? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A friend messaged me wondering what I’d say to someone who says the Bible can be relegated to the category of myth because of science. Now for this, I am going to be assuming that the person means a false tale, although myth does entail a wide genre of categories and would not necessitate something false. That is not a discussion I’m going to be entering into at this point. For now, I simply want to address the objection. It is a common one in our day and age where it looks like science has become the new priesthood and many people think the only way something can be demonstrated is scientifically.

To begin with, when we look at this question, we are not going to be arguing that the Bible is true. We are just going to be arguing that the Bible has not been shown to be false. Of course, it’s up to the apologist to still make the positive case. Therefore, if someone thinks I have not demonstrated Christianity is true by this, yes. I have not, at least not in this post. I have simply made it my aim to remove a defeater.

A stance a Christian should not take in this is to denigrate science. Science is a wonderful tool and it is our ally. If we think that Christianity is true, then that means we should be able to accept everything that can be demonstrated scientifically. I also want to advise Christians that if you have not read up on a scientific topic, do not debate it. When you meet someone who knows it better than you do, you will be embarrassed and even worse, Christianity will be embarrassed by what you say. This is one of those times it pays to know people in the field of scientific apologetics who can help you.

One of the first steps with how science supposedly disproves Christianity is to look to the creation accounts. As readers of this blog and listeners of the podcast know, I am not persuaded this is a creation account per se. I think John Walton has made a powerful case. You can listen to my interviews with him here and here. Does this mean I subscribe to the idea of macroevolution? No. It doesn’t even mean Walton does. It just means I do not see it as a defeater for Christianity. Keep in mind that even if I was incorrect, the worst case scenario would be we’d lose Inerrancy. We would not lose the resurrection.

Miracles are a more common objection, but it’s hard to see how this is an objection. A miracle is a being outside of our space-time world in some fashion acting on that world. The only way you could recognize a miracle would be if you had at least some rudimentary science. You only know a virgin birth (Which I of course affirm) is a miracle because you know what it normally takes for a birth. You only know walking on water is a miracle if people don’t normally walk on water. It’s quite bizarre to hear so many atheists say that dead people stay dead, as if this is a new discovery of science. Ancient people also knew that. That’s why they did something called burial.

Can an outside force interfere? The only way to really establish that would be to say that there is no outside force. Of course, saying that there is one does not mean that a miracle will necessarily take place, but it opens the door. In that case, we just look at a historical event and decide what we think the best explanation is. There’s nothing wrong with wanting an explanation that falls within known causes first, but if we find nothing, then we should be open to an unknown cause and if we have evidence that there is a cause beyond us, then that makes it all the more likely.

It’s also important to bring up an idea of God of the Gaps here, where we have this idea that there have been all these gaps and that theists plugged in “God did it” throughout history. This simply isn’t the case. The medieval period, often called the Dark Ages, was actually a great time of scientific advancement. It doesn’t mean that we have the rapid advancement we have now, but the preliminary steps were taken then, such as first off bettering agriculture so that people would have more free time for scientific pursuits since food was more readily available.

We should also state that contrary to what people might think, science cannot answer every question. It can answer a lot, but not all of them. Most of our day to day decisions are not made based on science. When we make a major decision like choosing a spouse, we do not do a scientific experiment to find out if the other person loves us or if we love them. We have other ways of knowing. When it comes to the God question, philosophy is a much better route to take. When it comes to the question of understanding Scripture, history and anthropology and literary studies are much better routes to take.

Overall, it’s the kind of position I do not find convincing, but in our day and age, science has become the new priesthood and it is one that we must answer.

In Christ,
Nick Peters