Book Plunge: Pulling Back The Green Curtain Part 5

What else can we find in Jim Hall’s book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We return again to Hall’s treasury of comedy, for lack of a better word, to see what arguments he has. Getting back into the matters, one of the first is the problem of evil. This is about how 25,000 children are dying everyday in fear, pain, and hunger. We are to remember this when we win some money in a scratch-off lottery ticket and give thanks or on Thanksgiving dinner.

We could just as easily ask Hall what great atheist organizations are doing to help combat the evil. Christians are normally right there on the front lines whenever disaster strikes and we are the ones that run the organizations helping children in need. Not all of it is Christian, but a large portion of it is.

Hall has nothing here on interacting with any scholarship on the problem of evil. Nothing about Clay Jones or Peter Kreeft or Alvin Plantinga or anyone like that. It’s simply the emotional appeal. While one would hope there is genuine concern for children, it looks more often like these children are trotted out to score personal points against theism.

He also says God violently drowned the world because they were too violent. This is supposed to be irony. What’s ironic is I went to Biblehub to do a search of the main passage, Genesis 6:5, and not one of them mentioned violence. Instead, it referred to man having a continual inclination towards evil. That could include violence, but it would not be limited to it.

Furthermore, God is the judge and ower of life and has the right to end the life He created. We do not have such a right. Hall just has a bad case of theistic personalism going on here. He views God as a big man just like the rest of us and under the same moral rules. God is good, but He is not a moral agent since there is nothing that He ought to do.

While I’m not Catholic, I find it amazing to hear him say Catholics practice cannibalism with transubstantiation. Hall is going back to older claims about eating the body and blood of Christ that Christianity’s first opponents used. Some arguments just never die.

He asks about how many pairs of animals Noah brought onto the ark. Was it two or seven? It’s amazing such a weak challenge is taken seriously. The clean animals would be extra for sacrifice and the number refers to how they were to enter the ark.

He quotes Matthew 6 to say Jesus was against public prayer. No. Jesus was against prayer to be seen. Pharisees would let it be known to everyone that they were praying so they could get the honor for it. Jesus Himself prayed in public, such as at the tomb of Lazarus.

He has that a 90 year-old woman gave birth. News flash to Hall, but everyone at the time also knew that this was generally impossible even without knowing why. That’s why it was called a miracle. I still do not understand how it is supposed to disprove a claim to someone that believes miracles are possible to show that a miracle occurred.

He also says one man circumcised 300 of his slaves in a day. As if to say that because the text says Abraham did this, he had to do it all directly. You might as well say that when John 19:1 says Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged, that Pilate did it directly. What is it with fundamentalist atheists and literalism?

He tells us the oldest bit of text we have from the New Testament is P52 and it is about the size of a credit card and dated to about 225 CE. Not sure where he’s getting the date at. Most sources I read say mid-second century. Furthermore, there is really no reason to call the text of the NT into question. We don’t have any original manuscripts of any ancient work and the NT is far and above better with dating and manuscript number than any other ancient work. Hall cites no scholars for his claim. For my position on the NT text, I will.

If the primary purpose of this discipline is to get back to the original text, we may as well admit either defeat or victory, depending on how one chooses to look at it, because we’re not going to get much closer to the original text than we already are.… At this stage, our work on the original amounts to little more than tinkering. There’s something about historical scholarship that refuses to concede that a major task has been accomplished, but there it is. Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior: An Evaluation: TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism, 1998, a revision of a paper presented at the Textual Criticism section of the 1997 Society of Biblical Literature in San Francisco. http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/vol03/Ehrman1998.html

In spite of these remarkable [textual] differences, scholars are convinced that we can reconstruct the original words of the New Testament with reasonable (although probably not 100 percent) accuracy. Bart Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 481.

“The manuscripts of the New Testament do indeed have large numbers of variations in them: alternative ways of reading a verse in a passage; omissions of words or sentences; additional insertions of words and sentences here and there. But the problem is not of such a scope as to make it impossible to have any idea what these ancient Christian authors wrote. If we had no clue what was originally in the writings of Paul or in the Gospels, this objection might carry more weight. But there is not a textual critic on the planet who thinks this, since not a shred of evidence leads in this direction. And I don’t know even of any mythicist who is willing to make this claim. As a result, in the vast majority of cases, the wording of these authors is not in dispute. And where it is, it rarely has anything at all to do with the question of whether Jesus existed.” -Did Jesus Exist, p. 181

He also says that insects have four legs according to Leviticus. Keep in mind these were people who regularly hate these insects and knew how to count. What’s going on? Simple. The back legs are not counted as regular legs like the others.

He says that God cursed humanity with multiple languages for trying to build a tower to Heaven. Why isn’t NASA judged yet? Because the tower was built after the flood when mankind was supposed to disperse throughout the Earth and instead they were acting in pride to build a tower to keep themselves safe in defiance of the flood in their recent history.

“The gospels were not written by simple, illiterate, Aramaic-speaking fishermen and peasants who knew Jesus, but were written decades later by literate, educated writers who wrote in Greek and were, incidentally, rather hazy about the Jewish landscape” – Kenneth Humphreys

Yep. Ken Humphreys, owner of Jesus Never Existed. We are getting into some first-rate scholarship here, folks. First off, in the ancient world, most works of history were written decades later. Actually, that’s not really accurate. Many times it was at least a century later. Hall and Humphreys obviously hope their audience is as ignorant as they are.

Second, most everyone who could write back then even used a secretary when writing. That the apostles might have still been illiterate is irrelevant. Literate people used secretaries.

As for errors in the Jewish landscape, none are given. I guess Hall just wants us to take it on faith.

Hall lists a variety of seafood that you are forbidden to eat citing Leviticus 11. Well, maybe if you’re observant of Jewish law and kosher practice, but not necessarily if you’re a New Testament Christian who is not under the Law. Again, Hall takes a simplistic approach to a complex topic. It’s alright. We wouldn’t want him to actually work and study a topic.

He shares the story of Jacob working seven years to get Rachel and not noticing that he got Leah instead and how he worked another seven years. What’s the problem here? For one thing, how could he not notice? A number of reasons. One is he could have been likely drunk which would happen at weddings. Another is the woman wore a veil often and he might not have even seen her face until the next day and keep in mind, no lighting really at night unless you used a candle or something of that sort.

There are some accounts in the New Testament that Hall questions how the writer could have known about them. The first is the voice of Heaven at Jesus’s baptism. Yes. It’s a wonder how the author could have access to a public declaration done at the baptism of Jesus. Some such events are conversations with the priests and what they were thinking. Considering Acts 6 says some priests became followers of Jesus, it’s not too hard to figure out how that could have come about. What about Jesus praying alone? The word indicates that Jesus was a short distance away. This could have been easily heard. Pilate and Jesus’s private conversation. Doubtful that when it says they talked together, they were alone. A governor would not be without his aides especially when interviewing someone thought to be a criminal. Another humorous one is Joseph of Arimathea asking for Jesus’s corpse. Well, since Joseph was a follower of Jesus, maybe, and I realize this is stretching, but maybe he told other followers of Jesus what happened.

Could be.

He says that denying a gay customer a wedding cake because of your religious beliefs is the same as a Catholic refusing to sell condoms, a Muslim refusing to sell bacon, someone refusing to sell you cookies because you’re on a deity, someone refusing you a fishing license because they became vegan, and a Jew refusing to sell Christmas cookies.

Again, a simplistic approach to matters. To begin with, I think anyone who has a good or service has a right to refuse that since you do not have a right to anyone else’s goods or services. Second, to supply actual artwork for an event as is often asked is to be forcing someone to endorse that event since their artistic labors are part of their free speech. Would Hall be fine with forcing Jewish bakers to paint a pro-Nazi cake?

He says bats are birds and not mammals. This is going by modern taxonomy. In the Biblical case, the word for bird referred not to a taxonomy class, but a winged creature. Last I checked, bats have wings.

He says Judas refers to a Jew and thus the betrayal of Jesus is obvious fiction since Judah in the Old Testament sold his brother for 20 pieces of silver and Judas in the New Testament sells Jesus for 30. Never mind that Richard Bauckham points out that Judas was the fourth most popular name for Jewish boys in Palestine. Could it be that maybe Judas was the name because that was a common name and not because of some conspiracy theory? We’ll wait to see if Hall takes off his tin foil hat for this one.

We’ll continue another time. Only so much nonsense in a day after all.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Demons and Spirits In Biblical Theology

What do I think of Walton and Walton’s book published by Cascade Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A few months ago John Walton and his son released this book. It’s a bit different from their usual work seeing as there’s not a list of propositions being affirmed and that it doesn’t just focus on the Old Testament, but it also focuses on the New Testament. The work is meant to examine what the Bible means when it talks about demons and spirits.

This book is sure to cause some controversy if it hasn’t already. Walton and Walton think that a lot of what we believe about demons is wrong. The Bible is not meant to teach us any kind of demonology as the beliefs about the demons came from the culture much like one could talk about geological beliefs about the shape of the Earth and the nature of creation without having that be meant to give us scientific details.

This involves looking at the systems of thought that existed in Biblical times. This also means looking at what is going on when gods are invoked or prayed to in other cultures. Some texts of the Old Testament indicate that these could be to demons. Is that really the case?

There’s also a lot of talk about spiritual warfare. What is really going on in that? We have a look at the Daniel 10 passage where Michael says he was upheld by the Prince of Persia. It’s an odd passage in many ways and one frequently cited. I don’t want to tell the look the Waltons give of this. You need to read it for yourself.

They also look at the Serpent in the Old Testament. Is this really the devil? There could possibly be references in the book of Revelation that indicate that, but the creature doesn’t seem to be mentioned anymore in the Old Testament text. This will also include examinations of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28.

One of the more interesting aspects of the book I found was when they talked about the problem of evil. While Christians of the past did have something to say about evil, it wasn’t really considered a major issue like it is today until the time of the Enlightenment. This is very similar to something David Wood said to me when I interviewed him for the first time on my show.

What changed? The Enlightenment sent us the message that human happiness was the greatest good. This doesn’t mean that human happiness doesn’t matter to God, but is it on the same level we would put it on? The problem for us is we think if God is doing what He “ought” to be doing, then we shouldn’t be seeing this evil. God actually becomes a means to our happiness and we judge His commitment to us by how our lives are going. That’s why some people walk away from their faith at this point which is, in essence, firing God. They get something out of it that they don’t think they get in Christianity.

The Waltons also say this doesn’t serve the cause of what they call conflict theology, where God is fighting against the ways of the devil as classically understood, in a good light. Too often, it is easy to say that people do great evil because of demonic inspiration. I’m not one to say demons aren’t always involved, but enough times the old adage is true. Lead me not into temptation, I can find it on my own. We’re good enough at finding evil ourselves.

There’s another concern with this also. It’s this idea that if we just removed demons from the scene, none of us would really choose to do evil. I find the same thing happening when we have a mass shooting and we talk about mental health. If we can just remove the mental health, well then everything will work out perfectly and no evil will take place.

There’s a lot to think about here. I’m not convinced on every point just yet, but there is stuff to think about. I look forward to seeing what other scholars say in response to this important work and dialogue starting about the topic of the devil and demons.

If there’s something else I would have liked more on, I would have liked something on the holy angels, seeing as those I think would be included as spirits. Maybe that will be in another work.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Steven Anderson on Mount Athos

What do I think of Steven Anderson’s views on Orthodoxy? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

For those who don’t know yet, I am a thoroughly convinced Protestant. I have a wife who is interested in Eastern Orthodoxy and that did get me looking into issues of Catholicism and Orthodoxy. It really was something I never wanted to get into since I am one who tries to be ecumenical. Now I do have a greater understanding of both positions and still disagree, but I don’t want people speaking wrongly against my brothers and sisters on the way.

For those who don’t know, Steven Anderson is this crazy pastor who thinks that we should kill all the homosexuals or that they should kill themselves. This is not to say that I think homosexuality is fine. I think Scripture is clear on the wrongness of homosexual practice. It’s also clear to me that we’re not in an Israelite theocracy based on the Old Testament Law.

I also find it interesting that the video we’ll be looking at has a description that says the real way to get to Heaven. It’s a shame that Pastor Anderson thinks that the whole point of Christianity is to get to Heaven. That is part of it, but the goal of the gospel is to bring honor to God and has an impact for this life and not just the next one.

In this video, Pastor Anderson says that he is told that he needs to look into Mount Athos. Some of you might not know that for Orthodox people, Mount Athos is one of the most holy sites out there. I don’t claim to fully understand that, but I know when I’m at the Orthodox Church and hear Mount Athos mentioned, it’s a really big deal.

The first thing he talks about is the idea of vain repetition. I understand the concern with saying the Jesus Prayer over and over and I do agree that some people could get into this being a rote thing that they do without any real motivation behind it, but the constant repetition does not equal vain repetition. Jesus condemns a certain kind of repetition, but He does not condemn all of it.

The Jesus Prayer in my understanding is meant to change the person praying more than be a constant plea for mercy. It’s meant to make them think about who Jesus is. It’s up to the person to determine if they’re being vain in their repetition or not.

Next he mentions praying to Mary. Now I do disagree with this practice, but at the same time, I’m not ready to say everyone who has done such is being thrown into hell or is outside of the body. I would find it hard to condemn Christians across the centuries who have been doing this since whenever it started, and any Orthodox person who wants to convince me it started early had better bring some really good historical evidence to the table.

The same will be said with praying to the saints. While I disagree with this, I am not one who thinks that there were no true Christians after the apostles died until Martin Luther showed up again. I actually think most Catholics while disagreeing with Luther would agree that the Catholic Church needed some reformation and change in it and there were corrupt practices going on. Any material about practices like this then I will not say further on but just point back to these sections.

He also says something about the drinking of alcohol. He is right that the Bible condemns drunkenness, but it does not follow that it condemns alcohol, any more than the Bible condemning gluttony means that it condemns eating. The Bible condemns extramarital sex, but it thoroughly commends it between husband and wife in marital union. Jesus did not turn the water into grape juice at Cana.

I want to say at this point also that I do not say this as one who drinks alcohol. My wife has come to accept that I am willing to change my diet in many areas, but I just never want to drink alcohol. If you can control it, I have no problem with you drinking it, but I will abstain.

He then goes on to a monk carving a crucifix and says it is the making of idols even though we are told to not make any graven images. To begin with, if images are the problem, then what is going on behind Pastor Anderson in his own church video with watching a service live? Would we really say the problem with the image is that it is graven instead of that it is an image?

The first person to be explicitly said to be filled with the Holy Spirit in the Bible is a man named Bezalel. Who was he? An artist. He made images that he was ordered by God to make. Now it could be that the Bible contradicts itself in such an obvious way, or else the prohibition is not against images, but rather against the use of images to worship.

This is a point the Iconophiles brought up against the iconoclasts in the debates about the use of icons. At the same time, I want to be aware that yes, some people could treat icons and relics as if they were magic charms which is just as bad. The misuse of an object does not point to a lack of a proper use.

He also says that the Bible says it’s a shame for a man to have long hair and every priest and monk on Mount Athos has that. Samson also had it as that was part of the Nazarite vow. What is going on in 1 Corinthians is Paul is addressing practices of the day. How men and women wore their hair said something to their culture then. Were I to visit Anderson’s church, would he want me to greet his wife with a holy kiss? That’s what Scripture tells me I am to do.

Pastor Anderson said that Jesus said to beware of the ones who go around in long clothing. Jesus was speaking more of the tassels on the garments and those were used to show a special kind of holiness. In other words, Jesus was against wearing clothes for the purpose of showing off your holiness. It’s not as if Jesus would have no problem with the scribes and Pharisees if they suddenly switched to shorts and T-shirts.

He also has a statement about the prohibition of calling people Father. Now at this time, I also do not call priests in the church by the name of Father. At the same time, I recognize there are some ridiculous extremes that can be taken, such as the video my wife and I saw once about the man who called his parents by their names instead of Mom and Dad even to avoid breaking the commandment of Christ.

He also looks at collections of skulls and femurs and other bones they have and says that the Bible says to bury the dead out of sight and to not touch dead bodies. It’s really a shame a pastor has such a poor understanding of Israelite Law and its relation to Gentiles today in light of the new covenant. My understanding is that these are gathered to remind the people of the resurrection that is coming.

There’s a part here where in what is apparently an aside he says that the monks are dressed like warlocks. I am sure in movies and TV shows and video games warlocks dress in these robes, but I am also sure that in real life, they could dress just like everyone else for the most part. As I say this, it is still morning and I am wearing my Legend of Zelda robe. I suppose Pastor Anderson is convinced I’m a heathen then.

He also says that the Bible says that all those who hate me love death. He doesn’t say who says this, but it is Wisdom in the book of Proverbs. This is said about the skull collecting, but does that equal a love of death? Does someone who grows up wanting to be a mortician then hate Jesus? This is not done to worship the dead but to honor the dead.

He then goes and says there is no monastery or monk in the Bible. True. There’s also no such thing as a pulpit or a pew in the Bible as well. I wonder if Pastor Anderson’s church has a parking lot and heating and air system in it since those aren’t in the Bible. His services are recorded, even though the Bible says nothing about that. If he wants to go the argument from silence route, I expect him to be consistent.

Finally, in criticism, he says that Orthodoxy is closer to Eastern practices and he gives Buddhism as an example. The thing is, he’s right and also wrong. I don’t think it’s like Buddhism, but it is closer to Eastern practices. What else is closer to that is the culture of the Bible itself. Pastor Anderson probably knows nothing about the eastern dynamics of honor and shame and agonistic societies. The Bible is itself not a Western book. It is a Middle Eastern one.

He encourages people to come to the real Jesus and the real gospel. I encourage that, but I have many friends who are Orthodox and Catholic. We disagree on many things, but there is something we don’t disagree on. We agree on who Jesus is.

I am sure Pastor Anderson’s motivations for this are noble, but his criticisms are way off the mark. I encourage healthy dialogue between Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox on our differences, but let’s make sure they are informed criticisms. I also encourage that we try to recognize that others are Christians as well. Not all Catholics and Orthodox and Protestants are Christians, of course, but for the most part, the doctrines all agree on the centrality of Christ and His work in salvation.

Let’s try to focus first on what we agree on. Alright?

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 8/17/2019

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

The 60’s were a wild time in America. You had the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the space race and landing on the moon, and Woodstock. You also had a revolution that drastically changed society and that was the sexual revolution. This revolution has been on the move and is still in effect to this day. Unfortunately, while the American Revolution did bring about much good for us, the same cannot be said of this one.

Today, we live in a culture that is thoroughly confused about sexuality. Sure, we’re watching sex, we’re talking about sex, we’re dreaming about sex, and we’re just plain having sex, but we’re not really thinking about sex. We keep chasing after the god of Eros wondering why he flies away so often.

Maybe instead of moving forward on this path, we need to move backward. Maybe we need to undo the sexual revolution. Maybe we need to think more about what sex is and why it is so important to think about it.

To discuss the Sexual Revolution, I am bringing on someone who has written and spoken profusely about this topic. It is a field she never thought she would get into being an economics major, but it is where she has found herself. Today, she teaches from a Catholic perspective on the issues of sexuality and family. We are going to be talking about her new book, The Sexual State. Her name is Jennifer Roback Morse.

So who is she?

According to her bio:

Dr. Morse is the founder of The Ruth Institute, a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a Civilization of Love. 

Dr. Morse was a campaign spokeswoman for California’s winning Proposition 8 campaign, defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. She has authored or co-authored six books and spoken around the globe. Her work has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Polish and Chuukese, the native language of the Micronesian Islands. 

Her latest book is The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives and Why the Church was Right Along. (See below for a complete list of Dr. Morse’s books.) 

She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Rochester and taught economics at Yale and George Mason Universities. 

Dr. Morse was named one of the “Catholic Stars of 2013,” on a list that included Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI.

Dr. Morse and her husband are parents of an adopted child, a birth child, a goddaughter and were foster parents for San Diego County to eight foster children. In 2015, Dr. Morse and her husband relocated to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where the work of the Ruth Institute continues. 

Complete list of Dr. Morse’s books: 

  1. Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village (2001) 
  2. Smart Sex: Finding Lifelong Love in a Hookup World (2005)
  3. 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage (2013) coauthored with Betsy Kerekes.
  4. The Sexual Revolution and Its Victims (2015)
  5. 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person (2016) coauthored with Betsy Kerekes. 
  6. The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives and Why the Church was Right Along. (2018) 

I hope you’ll be watching for this new one. If you’ve been watching for awhile, the episodes are being worked on and coming up. There have been some snags lately, but they are coming. Just please bear with us.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Some Thoughts On Gun Violence

What is the real cause of the violence we see in our society? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

At the start, I will tell you my political persuasion on the issues involving mass shootings. I am the type that is so conservative that I would only fly on planes that have two right wings. I am very much for the second amendment and the right to bear arms. However, when I listen to the gun debate there is something that is missed. I understand it being missed by the secularist mindset, but I don’t expect it to be missed by Christians.

Many times, we hear talk about needing help for mental illness. It’s true I am sure that many people who do the wicked acts of mass shootings could have mental illness. The problem with this is it creates a stigma on mental illness that keeps people with mental illness who would never do something like this from getting help. Imagine what it would be like if whenever the news talked about something like ALS, we also heard it in connection with mass shootings.

Here’s one of the main problems with this. I am not at all opposed to good therapy and psychiatric medicine. I think such tools are extremely helpful. My wife’s own therapist has said that she thinks everyone should see a therapist and even many therapists see therapists.

If we paint the problem as mental illness, then the solution would be that if we could eliminate this mental illness, we would eliminate these mass shootings. This overlooks one of the most important Christian doctrines. It assumes that man as he is will not do evil and that if we can just fix that defective part in his brain, we can prevent that.

But the real problem is not really mental illness, though it can compound that.

The real problem is sin.

And we all have it.

Earlier I said that some people with mental illness would never do something like a mass shooting. I am not recanting that, but I don’t think it’s entirely accurate. In actuality, I think every single one of us, you and me both, are capable of greater evil than we can imagine.

Maybe you wouldn’t now, but if you were in a position of power, would you take the opportunity? Most of us don’t wake up in the morning thinking of some great wrong we want to do. Consider having an affair. Most husbands and wives don’t wake up in the morning and say “I think I’ll ruin my marriage today and have an affair.”

Instead, it starts with the opportunity to have lunch with a co-worker or just talk to someone casually. Before too long, one is looking for more and more opportunities to be with that person. Then suddenly they find themselves meeting one another in a hotel room. The evil just came gradually.

It’s hard to avoid looking back to Nazi Germany when thinking about this. Look at the evil that they did. We know now it is very easy to lead people to do great evil. Milgram established this with his experiments.

We don’t need to look that far. Consider the abortion industry. We have killed numerous babies in our culture and many people have done so with a clean conscience. This is defended as a moral right. (Ironically, these same people complain about God in the Old Testament putting children to death. Go figure.) This evil has become so normalized many people no longer see it as evil.

Chesterton once said we don’t differ on what we will call evils so much. We differ on what we will call excusable. I really think a lot of gun violence goes back to the sexual revolution and the breakdown of the family. What a shock that many of the evils we tolerate, sex outside of marriage, pornography, abortion, homosexual practice, etc. are all connected to sex. Even now society is trying to make pedophilia more acceptable. Many Christians I know have no problem with the concept of living together before marriage, something Christians for hundreds of years would have condemned immediately.

It’s easy to blame the problem on many other factors. If we remove violent video games, this will help deal with it! I don’t care for many overly violent video games, but at the same time, I am a gamer and one of the most peaceful people I think there is. The overwhelming majority of gamers are not like this.

Maybe it’s guns? Guns can give people a means to do something, but the evil is still there in their heart. Oklahoma City took place with everyday products. 9/11 was done with planes. People have used cars to go on mass rampages. I really don’t think gun control laws will work. Such laws will take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens while criminals who don’t care about the law will use them. If you really don’t care about the law against murder, you’re not gonna care about the one against having a gun.

At the heart, the real issue is sin and we need to return to that. The reality is you and I are both capable of being the next mass shooter. The huge overwhelming majority of us won’t do something like this, but if we dare deny our capability, then we are denying the great evil we have within us. If any of us had the opportunity, we need to be vigilant. One of the surest ways you can fall for an evil is to say it is one you will never commit.

If the issue is sin, there is only one solution. Christianity. It alone is the means to deal with sin in one’s life. Politics has its purpose, but it cannot save society. Only Jesus can do that.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

On Marty Sampson

What happens when someone leaves Christianity? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Until the announcement came, I had never heard of Marty Sampson. I really don’t pay much attention to Contemporary Christian Music as too much of it seems shallow to me, though there are a few exceptions. I do understand I have at least one friend who really looked up to Sampson and was devastated by the news.

“Time for some real talk… I’m genuinely losing my faith.. and it doesn’t bother me… like, what bothers me now is nothing… I am so happy now, so at peace with the world.. it’s crazy / this is a soapbox moment so here I go xx how many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it,” he said. 

“How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send 4 billion people to a place, all coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it.

“Christians can be the most judgemental people on the planet – they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people… but it’s not for me. I am not in any more.”

He added: “I want genuine truth. Not the ‘I just believe it’ kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion.”

Many of us looking at this are a bit surprised and in some ways, not surprised. When he says no one talks about these kinds of things, in a sense, he’s right. Very rarely does the church talk about these intellectual issues. Instead, most of the church services are just large group therapy sessions to help people feel better.

I have to wonder what kind of God concept he had when one leaves it behind and thinks that there is great peace then. I have a personal theory that many of the struggles we have in our life come down to bad theology. How we view God impacts every area of our lives, even if you’re an atheist.

The truth is the church does need to talk about these issues. We do no favor to our young people in the church when we simply give them emotional placebos and expect that to carry them over. Would you want your marriage to rely totally on your emotions? (Which could explain why there are so many divorces.) Why say your relationship with Christ is the most important aspect of your life and never think about it?

What do we do with our youth? We give them pizza parties, video games, and concerts. What do they get in college then? They get all of those along with sex, drugs, and drinking. Guess which side is going to win this one.

Marty Sampson has since made a post recommending a number of Christian apologists, which says he was looking for some answers. He gives no reason why they are not convincing. At this, I have to wonder if something else is going on, which I suspect it usually is.

After all, all the issues that he raises are ones that have been addressed time and time again. There are plenty of resources available to help someone who is struggling with any of them. I suspect most of these five guys Sampson lists as respectable apologists would have been glad to have worked with him through the issues.

Ultimately, we need to be doing better. You will not be strong as a Christian if you rely on your emotions because your commitment will only be as strong as your emotions are. This is the same in any area of life. It works that way with marriages, jobs, friendships, etc. Christianity requires a commitment of the will and for that, you must be able to be made sure in your mind.

Every church should have someone in there who really knows apologetics well and at least an apologetics small group. Every youth minister needs to be equipping the youth in their church in Christian apologetics. There is eternity at stake for people and we don’t need to be giving a shallow faith to those who need a deep one.

I also recommend my friend George Brahm who has similar thoughts here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Pulling Back The Green Curtain Part 4

Does Hall’s book get any better? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So as we go through and we’re past fact 100 now with nothing that has seen us blink so far, let’s see what we get. One of the first is that religious fundamentalists spread hate and intolerance, increase teen pregnancy by denying sex education, bomb abortion clinics, impose beliefs on others, throw homosexuals off of buildings, and other similar items. What do atheist fundamentalists do? Hurt your feelings and challenge your faith.

He left out that atheist fundamentalists can also murder millions of their own people, but details, who needs them? Of course, it’s easy to do something like this if you just take the worst of your opponents and overlook the rest. I prefer what Bruce Sheiman has said in An Atheist Defends Religion.

“The militant atheists lament that religion is the foremost source of the world’s violence is contradicted by three realities: Most religious organizations do not foster violence; many nonreligious groups do engage in violence; and many religious moral precepts encourage nonvio lence. Indeed, we can confidently assert that if religion was the sole or primary force behind wars, then secular ideologies should be relatively benign by comparison, which history teaches us has not been the case. Revealingly, in his Encyclopedia of Wars, Charles Phillips chronicled a total of 1,763 conflicts throughout history, of which just 123 were categorized as religious. And it is important to note further that over the last century the most brutality has been perpetrated by nonreligious cult figures (Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jong-Il, Mao Zedong, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, Robert Mugabe—you get the picture). Thus to attribute the impetus behind violence mainly to religious sentiments is a highly simplistic interpretation of history.” 

He also says the early Christians were hypocrites since their love feasts were wine orgies. It is true that Paul says some people were getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper and he condemned that, but there is nothing about orgies going on. This was a criticism of the opponents of the early church, but Hall presents no such data to show this. It would be a shame if he was being hypocritical here and not giving evidence but making a blanket statement expecting us to take it on faith.

He says Genesis 1:29 says every plant is safe to eat. It says nothing of the sort. It says man has command over them and I am more prone to think it refers to the plants that are in the Garden of Eden since the world for Earth can also refer to the land. The ancients knew about poisons just like we do.

He says same-sex marriage are not redefining marriage since marriage predates religion. Let’s suppose I grant that marriage comes first. (Although I contend people have always been religious.) What of it? Marriage is a metaphysical reality that does not depend on any one religious claim. Have the reasons for marriage changed? Yes. Has there always been a man-woman unit? Yes. Hall could actually try to study the history of marriage and find a place that had same-sex unions. Good luck with that.

He tells us that some beliefs were borrowed from Zoroastrianism. These include a good being vs an evil one, every human having a soul, heavenly afterlife, final judgment, and an apocalyptic end of the world. A shame isn’t it that he gives no source for this. A shame that he never tells us when we have our first writings of what the Zoroastrians believe. Hint. It comes AFTER Christianity.

He says God killed a man for putting his load on the ground instead of “knocking up” his sister-in-law. This is the sin of Onan. No. It does not refer to coitus interruptus being a sin or masturbation being a sin. Onan was really protecting his own inheritance knowing that if his sister-in-law got pregnant, the child would not be his and he and his own family would lose any inheritance he could get. Meanwhile, he was denying her what he owed her and denying his dead brother his duty and getting all the benefits. This is much greater than Hall realizes.

Hall says there are over 25,000 Greek New Testament manuscripts and 99% of the New Testament is quoted in church fathers, however, these come after 300 AD (or CE as he says) and this is the same century Christianity becomes established and when they start burning libraries. Unfortunately for Hall, we find more and more manuscripts regularly and these date earlier. Second, the only library I know of being burnt is the Library of Alexandria. It’s not really an open and shut case. Furthermore, the Christians were not opposed to these other books. We were the ones faithfully copying them for centuries.

He says Adam was to die if he ate from a tree and instead he lived 900 years. First, I understand some Hebrew scholars indicate that it means that the process of death will begin at that point for Adam. Second, I think he did die. He died spiritually that day.

He takes Genesis 2:18 that tells us that God tells us that He would make a helpmate for Adam. Proper interpretation? Bestiality was the original plan for Adam. Friends. At this point, I really don’t think I need to say anything. I have no idea how Hall reached such a bizarre interpretation.

He also says prayer doesn’t work because of prayer studies for healing. First, it’s interesting to note that if prayer works, it’s supposed to involve us getting something. Second, I take such studies with a grain of salt anyway, but I am intrigued by the research of Candy Gunther Brown. Third, I want to explain why I don’t pay much attention to these studies.

For one thing, we’re not often told about who is praying. Are these people really people dedicated to a Christian faith? That’s relevant data. Second, God is not a genie or a vending machine that can be tested. God will heal who He wants and not heal who He doesn’t want to. Third, there will be people praying for those in the hospital anyway that can’t be tabulated. There are just too many variables here.

He says according to the Bible, donkeys, snakes, and bushes can talk. The creatures talking would be what we call miracles. That’s assuming this is to be read in a literalistic sense. Even if it is, these are one-time events. The bush is the burning bush and the text indicates that the Angel of the Lord appeared in the bush.

He goes to Leviticus to say tattoos are not allowed ever. This is part of the Levitical Law which is not binding for Christians and never has been. Hall has earlier indicated his ignorance on this point. It is not a surprise that he repeats it.

He says Genesis 3:14 says dirt is the primary food of snakes. The ancients knew just as well as we do what snakes eat. What this means is rather a statement of shame and humiliation for the serpent. It is not making any statements about diet.

He quotes the meme about Codex Sinaiticus having 14,800 differences from the KJV. How an English translation is compared to a Greek copy of the Bible like that is not really stated. It’s good to know that he gets his information from memes. Too bad he never read anything that disagreed with him.

He claims Christian worship on Sunday began under Constantine. I wonder what he does from chapter 67 of the First Apology of Justin Martyr.

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.

He says when Cain got married, his parents were the only other people on the planet. This is not said into the text, but it is read into the text, though understandably so for many people. I am not persuaded of this interpretation and think it more likely that Adam and Eve were our representatives.

Finally, there is condemnation that Noah who was a man of God cursed his son for the crime of seeing him drunk and naked. It could be far worse. Robert Gagnon in his book The Bible and Homosexual Practice says this could be a euphemism indicating that his son did more than just that and shamed his father sexually.

We will continue another time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Pulling Back The Green Curtain Part 3

What more shall we find in Jim Hall’s book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As we return, it’s not a shock that one of the passages I come across is Judges 1:19 and how God can’t drive out the people because they have iron chariots. Naturally, a God who conquered Egypt and parted the Red Sea would obviously have a problem with iron chariots? Right? The reference to he is not to YHWH. It is to Judah. Judah was not being fully faithful and chose to not take on iron chariots. After all, later in chapter 4, there is an army with 900 iron chariots that is defeated.

Hall also has a list of words known to Bible scholars but not to men in the pews. This is a shame. The people in the pews do need to be better educated. These terms include gloss, mimesis, and pseudepigrapha. There are some assertions here such as Moses is deutero which Hall says is another writing of a book but not by the same author. Deuteronomy really means Second Law and is a summation of all that happens before the Promised Land.

He also says Nazareth does not show up anywhere in the ancient world. Why should it? It was a small little podunk hardly worth mentioning. Rene Salm popularized the whole idea of the myth of Nazareth. It has never caught on among archaeologists. Bart Ehrman has even written on this arguing that Nazareth was a real place.

He has the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman as well. This is one I have already written about. Again, Hall is banking on his readers being just as ignorant as he is and getting an emotional reaction out of them. It would be awful for him to consult any commentaries and actually encounter contrary thought.

He has the story about Lot and the two angels. Yeah. Not Lot’s finest moment. What is this supposed to show? YHWH never approved of Lot’s behavior. He still spared him not because of his sinfulness but in spite of it.

He says that Peter and Paul supposedly died around 65, but if that’s the case, then Peter would not refer to Paul’s writings as Scripture because, well, reasons. None are given. He also says Paul’s letters weren’t discovered and circulated until 150 A.D. I would love to know where he got this little piece of fiction from since Polycarp and Clement both wrote of Paul. Third, he says Peter was illiterate so he couldn’t write so obviously, this letter is a forgery. The problem here is Peter would have used a secretary, just like people who could write used.

He has God making light on day 1 but nothing that produces light until day 4. It is a shame he has never availed himself of the cosmic temple view of creation that John Walton has. In this, it’s not that the matter is being created, but that the function of it is being named.

He says the RCC has finally accepted evolution, but they still accept Adam and Eve which is the epitome of cognitive dissonance. I am not aware if they have made a formal statement on Adam and Eve or not, but how is it cognitive dissonance? One can have evolution and still have two distinct human beings. Furthermore, I don’t think the RCC was really that opposed to evolution from the beginning.

He says wearing a polyester-cotton blend T-shirt is a sin based on Leviticus. The first problem is missing the role of the law and the relation of it to the Christian. The second is that this is about ritual purity and it is not about sin.

He says Jesus was illegitimate since Mary and Joseph had not yet married when he was born. The whole point of the story is that Jesus was not conceived through illegitimacy but had a virgin birth, which I do affirm. Exactly how little does Hall think his audience knows about the Bible?

Hall says there’s only one reason to believe something and that’s you know it to be true. That’s not accurate. One could just have good reason to believe it to be true. Proof isn’t always easy. Some reasons he says to not believe something are that it gives you comfort or hope, everyone around you believes it, or social reasons like losing job or reputation, or because you fear death. Sure. I agree with those. And?

He also says it took the Israelites 40 years to walk 250 miles. Indeed. Purposefully too, because they disobeyed and they had to wander in the wilderness until the wicked generation died. This is basic knowledge every Christian should know about the Old Testament.

He also has a list of later beliefs Christians had that aren’t in the Bible. One is the Trinity since 1 John 5:7-8 is a forgery. What of it? To say that is the basis of the doctrine of the Trinity is to be entirely ignorant of New Testament studies.

He finally says that if the only reason you don’t do wicked evils is because of religious morality, you are a dangerous psychopath. Japan has one of the lowest rape rates in the world but is one of the most atheistic country in the world. Where does he get this from? He says the Pew Research Center, but color me skeptical since Japan is highly religious with Shintoism and Buddhism both playing major roles. Also, Japan has one of the highest suicide rates as well.

Furthermore, what reason does Hall have to not be that psychopath? Who makes these moral rules? What is their foundation? Why should I care?

We shall continue another time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 8/10/2019

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

Due to technical difficulties last time we recorded, this post is a repost of a prior post as we rescheduled our guest.

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

Christianity has had a rich tradition for 2,000 years. That tradition has included several great thinkers as well. Contrary to what many people think, it’s not the case that church history began with your pastor.

It’s also not the case that church history began with the Reformation. It did not happen that the apostles died and then the gospel was lost and then the Reformers restored it. This is not to say the Reformers didn’t do a great work that I think was important and needed, but it is to say that Christianity did not cease to exist.

Another great tragedy is that if you tell people there have been great Christian thinkers throughout history, they will likely think that such is antithetical to Christianity. You can see that and think “Well, yes Nick, there are plenty of atheists out there who think Christianity and sound thinking don’t go together at all.” Unfortunately, I’m talking about Christians as well. There are too many Christians who are anti-intellectual in their approach.

We ignore this great intellectual heritage we have to our own downfall. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. We should be seeking to learn from these people who went before us. Many of the battles that they fought are being fought today and we can learn from how they won those battles so we can be better prepared today.

Not only that, many of their spiritual struggles can be ours today. Could you find something you can relate to in Augustine’s Confessions? Would you be like Martin Luther and struggle with the idea that God is always ready to punish you? Can you be a person with a fervent imagination like C.S. Lewis?

To discuss these great thinkers and others, I am bringing on someone who recently wrote the book Classic Christian Thinkers. This is someone who is a thinker himself being a philosopher. He is also a Christian who will be guiding us on how we are to look at this issue? His name is Ken Samples from Reasons To Believe.

So who is he?

According to his bio:

Philosopher and theologian Kenneth Richard Samples has a great passion to help people understand the reasonableness and relevance of Christianity’s truth claims. He is the senior research scholar at Reasons to Believe and the author of several books, including Christian Endgame7 Truths That Changed the World, and God Among Sages

Dr. Samples and I will be discussing nine great Christian thinkers in history. These are people generally recognized across the board. We will be seeing what we can learn from them and why we should really care about these old dead guys so some would see them today. What difference do they still make in our culture today?

Please be watching for the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. Also, please consider becoming a partner with us in this work by making a donation to Deeper Waters and also leaving a positive review of our podcast on iTunes. It means so much to us!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Pulling Back The Green Curtain Part Two

What do I think of Jim Hall’s first arguments? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Jim Hall’s book begins with a list of facts that you’re not supposed to know about. Let’s start with the first one which showed me what I was getting into. The early church had female clergy.

Yeah. I get it. You all are about to apostasize right now.

Yes. The church did move much more against the direction of female leadership of any kind, but the leadership is right there in the New Testament. Nothing said here was a shock to me and I seriously doubt Hall has done any reading on the debate in Christian scholarship.

The next one is the tried and true trope of God approves slavery. God forbid that Hall ever read any sort of scholarship on the issue. He could do what I did and talk to a scholar on the issue, but that won’t happen. We eagerly await Hall’s brilliant solution on where Joe Israelite in the past was supposed to go to be able to provide for himself and/or his family, but Hall has never thought past that.

Sadly, as Mark Noll says, Hall reads the text of Scripture the exact same way the slaveowners he condemns does.

“On the other front, nuanced biblical attacks on American slavery faced rough going precisely because they were nuanced. This position could not simply be read out of any one biblical text; it could not be lifted directly from the page. Rather, it needed patient reflection on the entirety of the Scriptures; it required expert knowledge of the historical circumstances of ancient Near Eastern and Roman slave systems as well as of the actually existing conditions in the slave states; and it demanded that sophisticated interpretative practice replace a commonsensically literal approach to the sacred text. In short, this was an argument of elites requiring that the populace defer to its intellectual betters. As such, it contradicted democratic and republican intellectual instincts. In the culture of the United States, as that culture had been constructed by three generations of evangelical Bible believers, the nuanced biblical argument was doomed” – Mark Noll, The Civil War As A Theological Crisis.

The next thing to cover is Elisha and the two bears. Hall refers to this as just teasing and name-calling. Not at all. These boys were boys old enough to be wandering around on their own away from their families. They also weren’t just teasing Elisha, but they were teasing YHWH and mocking Elisha as a prophet of His and telling Him to go away just like Elijah. The text also says 42 were hurt by the bears. Bears can be fast, but they could not hurt that many unless some of them stayed around to fight. Again, this is not mere toddlers teasing someone. This has the makings of turning into assault and is outright rebellion against the covenant.

Another one to comment on is a howler about the Gospel of Andrew. Hall says there were some sixty Gospels that weren’t included and many of them were older than the ones we have. These include the Gospel of Thomas, Perfection, and Eve. Good luck finding any scholarship whatsoever that will back Hall on this. If he finds anything, it’s the fringe. We can be sure he will never pick up a work like Who Chose The Gospels? by Charles Hill either.

Naturally, we have something about believe in me or burn in hell is not an act of love but compulsion and somehow violates free-will. First off, the Christian claim is not to believe or burn in hell. Most evangelical scholars don’t even believe the flames are literal. It’s also not about demanding love. God rightly is owed our honor and if we don’t want to give it, God honors our free-will and sends us away from Him.

We also have Isaiah 45:7 with God creating evil. Hall apparently doesn’t realize that the word there refers better in this case to chaos and disaster in the lines of Hebrew parallelism. Nope. That would require Hall might have to pick up a book of scholarship he disagrees with and read it. Maybe Hall wants to avoid “cognitive dissonance.”

Hall also says that Jesus taught the end of the world was at hand in saying “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” 2,000 years and we’ll still waiting. Except Jesus never mentions the end of the world. He’s talking about the Kingdom of Heaven and Hall would need to demonstrate that is what is meant. As an orthodox Preterist, I am convinced Jesus was right on in this claim.

Hall also says Christians couldn’t decide for 300 years if Jesus was created or eternal and it required Nicea. Nonsense. All of the early church held that Jesus is fully God and fully man. Nicea was there because someone was saying otherwise and that was the unheard of part. Again, Hall just demonstrates his own ignorance in this kind of topic.

Let’s also look at a list of references he gives on how fathers should murder their sons.

The first is to eat them according to Ezekiel 5:10, but the Ezekiel passage is a judgment passage. It’s not YHWH prescribing this. It’s Him saying that these are the consequences that will happen if repentance doesn’t come in line with the treaty Israel accepted in Deuteronomy. God will withdraw His hand of protection and Israel will have to live under a siege. Cannibalism happened then.

The same is happening in Lamentations 4:4. YHWH is not telling parents to not feed their children. He’s saying in a siege there’s nothing to feed them with. This can be seen just by simply reading the passage within the chapter, something Hall doesn’t do.

The next is to strike them dead referring to the angel of death in Exodus 12. Of course, this was after nine judgments had been established and a way had been told to directly avoid this one. It’s also not fathers killing children in that passage anyway. It’s YHWH, who has a right to all life, taking back a life if He chooses.

Next is stoning in Deuteronomy which we have dealt with here.

The next one is from Joshua on the conquest saying to smite them with a sword. Naturally, Hall hasn’t bothered interacting with the work of people like Copan on this question. After all, Hall has to stay in that bubble to avoid contrary thought.

Nahum 3:10 is next with kids being smashed in the streets, but this is also a judgment motif. It’s not recommending this. It’s a shame Hall needs this spelled out so much.

Next he goes to Matthew 19:29 and says that this is about abandoning children. Keep in mind Peter was said to have left everything and followed Jesus and yet has a wife later on when Paul writes about him in Corinthians. All Jesus is saying is that Kingdom loyalty comes before family loyalty.

Next is Revelation 2:23. Hall says the text says kill them with death wondering what that means. Naturally, he’s going by the KJV still sticking with his fundamentalist roots. At any rate, the passage is a judgment passage on one particular person and the children mean here followers. Again, this is basic reading comprehension that Hall fails at.

No list would be complete without Psalm 137 and dashing them against the stones. In this passage, Israel is rebuking Babylon and saying “May someone do to you what you did to us!” It is not saying they will do it at all or prescribing it. It’s a common Middle Eastern motif of trash talking with your opponent and letting all the rage out at the start.

Deuteronomy 32:24 about poisoning is also the judgment motif again. Nothing more needs to be said.

Hall goes on to say Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. Let that sink in for a moment. Sure. He also never said anything about rape or pederasty or anything like that. That’s because no one was debating these issues in Israel. The Law was clear. If anything, Jesus’s silence would indicate agreement with the moral stance.

Hall then says there are two creation accounts in Genesis and they don’t agree. Hall will not dare interact with John Walton’s work on this topic nor any of the scholarship that has come out to address this supposed problem. We can guess it’s because the books don’t contain pictures.

Hall also says that six of the Pauline epistles are known forgeries. It is true that these are debated and some scholars do think that, but Hall provides no sources and gives no arguments. He also doesn’t interact with the scholarship on the other side at all.

Hall also shows his fundamentalism with a howler about Christmas trees being forbidden. His reference is Jeremiah 10, of course. This is one that has already been dealt with ad nauseum. For someone who says there is no such thing as too much information, Hall never seems to want to go out and get that information.

This has been a lot, and really, we’re only scratching the surface. Hall’s book thus far is filled with error after error and with very little if any research. I keep thinking there seems to be a competition among atheists to see who can write the worst book and do the least research. Hall is trying to be a strong contender.

In Christ,
Nick Peters