Book Plunge: So The Next Generation Will Know

What do I think of Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace’s new book published by David C. Cook? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This book is not your typical apologetics book. Actually, I wouldn’t even call it an apologetics book. If you want to know if God exists, you’re wasting your time coming here. If you want to know if Jesus rose from the dead or if the New Testament is reliable, look elsewhere. If you want to know if you should wait until marriage to have sex, come back to this one later on.

Yet despite that, this is still a very important book for apologetics.

Why? Because this is dealing with Generation Z, a generation many older people will not really know how to interact with. For Z, 9-11 has always been a reality. Either they were born after it or they were born in a time when they couldn’t really know what was going on when it happened. This generation has grown up with internet that you don’t have to dial-up to use. This generation has grown up with smartphones. As a gamer, I can even use one of the images that I think of when I see the younger generation of gamers coming up.

If we talk about gaming, in my generation, you had to do something like read Nintendo Power, or once a month or so call a long-distance (GASP!) line that charged to get tips you needed to win or talk to kids on the playground. Not so today. Nope. You just get on Google and look up what you want to do or watch a YouTube video where someone shows you how to do it.

Generation Z is also looking for real relationships and real answers. These are people that won’t answer a question with “I don’t know” but “Let me Google that for you.” They can fact check what you say right on the spot. It doesn’t mean they will do a good job of it necessarily, but they can try. This is a generation that will talk to you while on their phone and not think a thing about it. (Okay. I’m 38 and I will do the same thing so it’s not totally different.) This is a generation that is quite literally, plugged in.

Wallace and McDowell have written a book about how to reach them. This is something that if you are a youth pastor should be required reading. Parents should also learn about this generation and the realities that they grow up with. This generation needs to know the Gospel as well, especially since our society is becoming more and more post-Christian.

The book is a guide on how to best interact with this generation in the home, in the school, and in the church. McDowell and Wallace have experience as well having gone on trips with these young people and having had jobs where they were in touch with them and working with them. They talk about the way to build up relationships and do so in a way that the youth will actually listen.

As someone on social media, I see many people coming up who I think are in generation Z and some are Christians and apologists like myself. Some are also non-Christians and antagonistic towards Christianity. I can still notice the differences in our approach. It still amazes my wife and me when we both talk about “kids today” realizing we’re doing what our parents did and wondering when we became them.

If you are in youth ministry, get this book. If you are in a pastorate, get this book to learn how to interact with those younger people. If you are a parent, get this book. If you care anything about the next generation, get this book.

In Christ,
Nick Peters


Deeper Waters Podcast 6/1/2019

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

Okay. I get it. You want to examine Christianity. You want to know if it’s true and if it is true, how do you defend it? Yet there are so many claims out there. There are also so many Ph.D.s in legitimate fields speaking on the topics and they disagree with one another. Who are you to disagree with them? Then, if you take any side you are saying some of those experts are wrong.

Add in also that you have a job. You have to provide for your family and oh yes, you still want to spend time with them. The kids won’t stay kids forever. You want to be a good parent. When the time is done, you’re worn out. And here after all of this you’re supposed to go and study Christianity?

How on Earth can you do all of this?

How do you do research exactly on these topics? What’s the way to get the best and do so with the time that you have in your day? Do you have to go off to seminary and get a Ph.D. to have an authoritative opinion? At the same time, you’ve seen people you disagree with speak on topics they know nothing about and think they know everything about and you don’t want to be like them. What are you to do?

That’s why I am bringing on an expert in research methodology. Not only that, but he’s going to be here in the Atlanta area for some other work and is stopping by our show. We are going to be spending an hour together with you all talking about how to do research. He’s a favorite who has been on the show a number of times before, my ministry partner, and a great friend to boot. J.P. Holding is joining me again.

So who is he?

According to his bio:

J.P. Holding has a Master’s Degree in Library Science and has been running Tekton Apologetics Ministries since 1998. He has also written for the Christian Research Journal.

So we’ll be discussing together how research is done. If you are wanting to do an in-depth scholarly look at something, what should you look for in a book that you want to read? Is it appropriate to read only one side of the argument or should you also be looking at what your opponents say regardless of what side you’re on? What about other mediums besides books such as websites, YouTube, and podcasts?

What about if you’re not doing something like that? Suppose one of your Facebook friends shares a claim and it’s a recent event and you want to know if it’s something that really happened. Did Trump or Obama really say or do that? How is the best way to research that?

I hope you’ll be joining us for this episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. This will be our first one after the move and I am going to be trying to produce them as faithfully as I can. Please also go on iTunes and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters


Book Plunge: Two Dozen Or So Arguments For God

What do I think of Jerry Walls and Trent Dougherty’s book published by Oxford University Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Around thirty or so years ago, Alvin Plantinga gave a talk on two dozen arguments for the existence of God. It’s my understanding these were brief synopses of some arguments. Some Plantinga favored and some he didn’t. These are also generally outside of the usual classical traditional arguments. You won’t find the Thomist arguments in there and Bill Craig adds in the Kalam and the moral argument isn’t there as much and even the fine-tuning argument has some updating to it.

Now that topic has been fleshed out further and each of these arguments has a fuller explanation of it given. Some arguments people will like more than others. Each should give the reader something to think about. It will be interesting to see what replies come from the other side in response to this project.

Let me start with a criticism here also. I consider myself a classical theologian and think in those philosophical terms. As it was, most of the arguments in the book then I did not understand the logic of. I don’t speak in terms of modal logic and possible worlds and much of the symbolism found did not make sense to me. This work then I would say is not really layman friendly. It would be nice to see another work done like this that would work on the popular level for the rest of us.

My favorite essay then in the book was actually Tim McGrew’s on the argument from miracles. This is because much of it spoke to my area of history and there were even side notes in there I can use such as problems with the argument from silence, a favorite of mythicists and others on the internet. Other arguments did give me something to think about when it came to things that I did understand.

Consider something like the argument from numbers. Does this point to an eternal mind? The same kind of idea could be at work in my debate with Dan Barker where Barker actually said that 2 +  2  = 4 was not true in the time of the dinosaurs. If that is the case, then that would mean all truths like that would be truths that depend on us for their making. If we make them, we can change them. That would also include the moral truths that Barker emphasizes such as behaviors he thinks are evil when done by God, which would refute his whole argument.

The book also has an appendix with a brief interview of Plantinga discussing various questions about the project. Many people could be interested in his answers to questions about day to day Christian living. There is a notes section at the end looking at the arguments in the book, but I found it unclear if this was Plantinga’s musings going on or something else.

Those who enjoy philosophy will appreciate this book, but I think it will be those who enjoy philosophy of a certain kind. For the layman, I recommend waiting for a version to come out friendly to the layman. I hope the editors will seriously consider that as it would be another great gift for the man in the pew.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The One Year Chip

What does it take to overcome? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last night was a momentous night for my wife. She and I are part of Celebrate Recovery and my wife has a battle against self-harm. This is where you take a blade of some kind such as a pair of scissors. You then cut yourself. Why would anyone do that? When I first heard about it, it made no sense, but for people like this, it becomes a way of releasing endorphins and short circuits any anxieties that they have. Of course, there are dangers. Those in the medical profession could say more, but one I have frequently been told about is staph infections.

Allie has been in a battle with this and while many times she came close to the one year mark, she always fell short somewhere along the way and had to start all over again. As the time drew closer to this, she got more and more nervous afraid she was going to blow it. Fortunately, she did no such thing.

Yesterday, we went to see a friend of ours from our Protestant Church who is a cosmetologist. She had agreed to help Allie with her make-up for the big presentation last night. Allie said later it was one of the rare nights in her life that she felt beautiful. She took a picture of herself on the way to the event.

We got there and I opened the door to the church telling everyone to greet Miss America. So many people were amazed with how she looked. For me, I told her regularly to remember there was a man who said she was beautiful all along and that was without make-up.

In the end, Allie did get her one year chip. She had been of the mindset many times that she wouldn’t make it. At one point, she was really tempted and said, “Who cares about a stupid chip?” At times last night, I told her, “Well, honey, isn’t it just a stupid chip?” She knew what I was talking about and had to concede it wasn’t.

Some of you might be thinking it is just a stupid chip. It’s not. It’s a symbol. It’s a token of a victory that one has had over temptation and sin. Let’s be clear also that definitely addictions come from sin and cutting is such a case. So let’s see that one year chip.

Her Dad also came for the event.

And here she is again with her chip.

If there’s any great lesson I told Allie to get from this, it’s one we all need to hear. Tell that inner voice to shut up. We all know that voice. It’s the voice that condemns us and tells us to give up and that we’re not good enough and that we’ll never make it or whatever it says for you. Last night, Allie showed that inner voice that it was wrong. Hopefully, it will happen consistently.

And that can happen for you as well. If you are struggling with an addiction of some kind, please go to Celebrate Recovery and enroll there. If you are struggling with cutting, definitely go and do that. You are loved just as you are by God, and Allie would tell you it was only through reliance on God that she got this chip.

Princess. Please also know that your husband is super proud of you and remember that he has also always said you’re beautiful even before the make-up. Your true beauty comes from within and it makes your exterior so much more amazing. You are the woman who captivates me to this day still and I love you greatly.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Memorial Day Thoughts

What do I think about Memorial Day? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

For those wondering where the blog and podcast have been, we were moving to a new apartment complex here and things had to be packed up. We have everything back up now. We are still looking for a new desk as I am using my wife’s art table now, but hopefully, that will come soon.

Yesterday, while at the Orthodox Church, I heard the priest say something about Memorial Day that hit me. Veteran’s Day is for celebrating those who took off the uniform. Memorial Day is for those who never took it off.

I am sure every spouse knows that their spouse could die in combat, but most of us have this idea that it won’t happen to us. The reality is that it sadly does. Some people die because of the evil of others. Death is a tragedy, but there is something about that that makes it worse.

A year or so ago, there was a news story about some criminals on a bus being transported and somehow they stole a gun and killed a police officer and escaped. They were found a few days later and returned to prison. If I heard that while I was single, it would have been tragic. As a husband now, I cannot imagine what is going on.

Those criminals were able to wreck a young woman’s life and that of her kids for the rest of their lives just so they could enjoy freedom that lasted only a few days and they would have been on the run for the rest of their lives anyway. It is incredible to think about the intense selfishness in such an act. We can say the police officer knew the risks, but that doesn’t make them any less tragic when they turn out that way.

My wife and I have a habit when we meet police officers or military people. We thank them for their service. Even when a police officer has pulled me over for a traffic violation, I have thanked them for their service still. It’s way too easy to make the police the villains.

Memorial Day is to remember those who never took off the uniform and died in service to America. They gave up their freedom to make sure we wouldn’t have to give up ours. Now today, we will be doing many other things. That’s not wrong either. We should enjoy ourselves because our men and women died so we could also enjoy life in this country. Today, I will be celebrating a victory of my wife as she gets her one year chip at Celebrate Recovery.

Yet let’s also take the time to remember those who have gone on. While you are having a cookout with your family, remember there are some families that have an empty chair there. This is a day of grief for them. If you see a soldier sometime today, take the time to thank them for their service to their country.

Meanwhile, as I was writing this, I heard my wife playing a song that I think is appropriate for today. It’s Three Doors Down singing Citizen Soldier.

Happy Memorial Day.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Twenty Years

What can change in a couple of decades? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today, Allie and I begin a trip back to Tennessee for my 20th high school reunion. Next week we will be moving to a new apartment complex in the area that’s cheaper and so since we won’t have internet access all week, I won’t be doing a blog next week. For now, let’s get into the thought of today.

It’s amazing to think back to what has changed in twenty years. Twenty years ago, I wasn’t sure where I would be going for college or if I would be going. I was wanting to do something in the world, but I didn’t know what it was.

Now here I am doing the Christian apologetics that I love so much. I didn’t even know about this when I was graduating from high school. Today, I have risen to some prominence in the field, especially with getting to debate Dan Barker not too long ago and having a podcast and a few ebooks on Amazon.

Let’s not forget one major change. I didn’t interact much with the ladies in high school. I had female friends, but I could have had a crush on someone and it would have never been known. I never even went to prom. At my 10th reunion, it saddened me that I was still single and had no real prospects. Little did I know that later in the year of my reunion that love would come along. Today, we are working on celebrating nine years.

I lived in Tennessee at the time of my graduation. Since then, I have lived in North Carolina as well and now I live in Georgia. Originally, I never would have seen myself leaving Tennessee at all. Now, it seems perfectly natural.

We also lived in a world where the internet was just starting out for us. Now everything is connected. Our reunion was pretty much put together in a kind of impromptu matter over Facebook. No one could have pictured something like that happening back in 1999.

Speaking of which, many of us will come with our phones and while when I was in high school I had a cell phone for my driving, now our phones do so much more. You can look and see an old flyer for a company like Radio Shack with equipment for sale that altogether costs a few thousand dollars. Now your phone can do all of it.

Yet it could be the personal growth that is most impressive. Allie has been doing a work in me getting to change many of my ways, something that my parents think indicate that she is a material worker. Much of my hesitancy to change is due to the Aspergers that I have, but it’s the love of my wife that motivates me so much to change.

I look forward to seeing all of my old friends again and to having Allie see them again. It’s also her chance to try to get any embarrassing stories about me in high school. (Although she had no problem believing I skipped lunch in high school to join my friends in the library and play Magic: The Gathering.) It will be good to see where everyone else has come from and while we all have differences in our stories, I hope we’re all twenty years wiser as well.

And who knows? Today might be a good chance for you readers to look back and see how things have changed in twenty years, some good and some bad changes to be sure. Think back on it and learn from the bad and appreciate the good.

In Christ,
Nick Peters


Moral Ontology vs Moral Epistemology

What is the difference between how you come to know morality and the reality of morality? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

One of the main arguments used for God is the moral argument. This is the idea that we need God to explain objective morality. While I hold to this, I prefer to speak of the argument from goodness. Still, there is a common misconception when it comes to this.

The theist will tell someone that they need to be able to explain objective morality. The skeptic will often respond that they can know these moral truths by some way such as empathy. This will then lead to laughter on the part of the skeptic saying you don’t need to believe in God to know moral truths.

The skeptic is absolutely right. In order to know moral truths, you don’t need to know that God exists. Since you don’t need to know God exists to know moral truths, then obviously God is not needed for moral truths. Right?

If a skeptic thinks this, this is a common misconception of the argument. This is not about how we know moral truths. This is about how those moral truths exist. We can all for the most part agree that it’s wrong to torture babies for fun. What we want to ask is how that truth itself came to be.

In a universe that is the result of blind chaotic events with no guidance behind them whatsoever, how is it that a moral truth relating specifically to human beings exists? Now as a Thomist, I would more ask how goodness itself exists since this is not a property of something that can be measured by physical and/or scientific means, but let’s stick to moral truths. Do we create the moral truths or do we discover them?

If we create moral truths, then they can be whatever we want them to be. We can say that it’s a supposed truth that it’s wrong to torture babies for fun, but then we can switch that and say that on Tuesdays between 4-5 PM in our time zones, it’s okay then. This would also really do away with objective morality which would mean there’s nothing to explain.

We don’t do this with scientific truths. It’s not that Isaac Newton created gravity. He discovered a scientific truth that was already there. In the same way, with morality, we discover truths that are already there. Before we humans arrived on the scene, there was a moral truth about babies being tortured for fun that was in existence.

And this is the question of ontology, the study of being. Epistemology, how we know, deals with how we discover the truths. The moral argument is not about how we discover the truths. There could be perfectly naturalistic ways of knowing moral truths just like there are for mathematical or scientific truths or other kinds of truths. What needs to be explained is how it is that those truths exist.

Feel free to explain how it is that you think we know these truths. There could be multiple ways or one way and that’s a fascinating discussion, but skeptics of theism need to stop confusing how we know with that there is a truth to know. It’s a fundamental mistake in the moral argument.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

What Does The Love Of God Mean?

When we say that God loves us, what do we mean? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Love is one of the most meaningless words in the English language. Another one of the most meaningless words in the English language is god. Some of you might be shocked to hear me say both of those. I hope before too long, you’ll actually agree with both of them.

When I speak of something like say, a cat, you have a good idea what I mean. Most of you would probably think of your regular housecat. Some might think of lions and tigers and other animals. You won’t think of a wolf or a fish.

When I speak of a pizza, you also know what I’m talking about. You might have disputes about what kind of pizza it is, such as pepperoni or just cheese or a veggie pizza, but you will get the general idea. The word has some substance to it.

Such is not the case when I speak of god or of love, and god is intentionally lower-case for now. When we say those things, we can say something and totally confuse any other person we’re talking to because they mean something different by them. Let’s start with the idea of what god means.

In my debate with Dan Barker, as some people noted and I agreed, Barker’s god sounds more like Zeus than anything else. He’s a god eager to strike someone down for any wrongdoing and any concept of love and grace was foreign. That’s why the term god is meaningless without some concept. Speak to a Hindu or a new ager or a Muslim or a Mormon and you’ll get radically different ideas when you use the same word god.

So it is with love as well. When we talk about love today, often what we speak of is a feeling for one person. Love can produce feelings and that’s fine. Some people are very feelings oriented. I have great admiration for my own wife in this area in the way she talks about feeling the love of God. For me, that doesn’t often register.

Yet if love means warm feelings, it’s not much. It’s saying “I feel something very special in me because of you.” That’s nice, but the love is not really about the good of the other person as much as it is about the good of the self. Biblically, love is giving to the other for the good of the other and seeking the good of the other for their sake.

1 Corinthians 13 naturally comes to mind. One good exercise to do is when you get to verse 4 and start going through love is patient and other such things, take out the word love as you read it. Put your own name in it. Do you really think you’re saying true statements still? If you’re not, then you have to ask if you’re really loving.

Now if we have the real concept of God, we have someone who is the greatest good, and goodness itself, who loves us. This is not some toting grandfather in the sky who is saying as long as the children are happy. This is a love that wants the very best for us. As Lewis would say, unfortunately, we are far too easily pleased and hold on to things sometimes and get scared of what it would be like to not have them.

It’s not to say you have to give up everything. God gives us many things richly for our enjoyment. What we have to ask is if something is really becoming a hindrance between us and God. Anything that comes before God is not being good for us, no matter how good it might be in itself.

I’m a gamer, and I love playing my games. Still, if God told me that I had to give them up for Him, I would honestly hope that I would do it. I’m not going to tell you it would be easy. I’m not going to tell you I would be thrilled with the thought. I am not going to make a foolish boast and say I would do that in a heartbeat. I’m not so foolish as that. We all know what happened with Peter and his boasting.

But if we’re not willing to sacrifice for the love of God, we have to ask if we really want it. Sometimes, I don’t think we want to be loved by God. If we are loved by God, then we are in danger of being changed by God. When my wife and I attend Celebrate Recovery, sometimes this skit is played by the Skit Guys about this kind of love and it’s really powerful.

But not only that, if we sacrifice anything for God, we are told we will receive 100 times as much in the world to come. This is a promise. God is interested in our happiness and joy, but it might be that we have to go through short-term suffering to get long-term joy and happiness.

If we trust God though, then we need to trust Him with everything in our lives. Note that I don’t think God will call us to give up anything that involves committing a sin in giving it up. If you are in a Christian marriage, God will not call you to give that up. We can also be assured that Abraham is a rare exception and God will not call us to kill our children for Him.

But if we want the love of God, it should be worth it. If we don’t really want it, then we really have a low concept of the God that we are claiming to love. In our day and age, it’s easy to love other things more than God. I really admired it when I heard Peter Kreeft say that sometimes he fears he is a bigger Red Sox fan than he is a Jesus fan.

We could also fear the judgment of God. God will look on us we fear and find something He doesn’t like. This is something odd to fear because God already knows how we are. We’re not going to keep any secrets from Him. He loves us just as we are.

What could you do today to make God love you more? Nothing. What could you do to make Him love you less? Nothing. God will always be seeking your good which is also His good in the long run. It’s not that God has special feelings about you. He has a commitment to you.

That’s what real love is. It’s a commitment. Anyone can be loving when they have good feelings for a person. That’s easy. What’s really loving is when you do the right thing to that person even when you don’t have those feelings and maybe even when the negative feelings are there. Talk to most any married couple and you’ll find there are times they have less than loving feelings towards one another. That’s the time when it’s the most important to be loving, and it’s the most worthwhile.

Seek the love of God today. It’s always there. It’s always been there. It’s always worth pursuing.

In Christ,
Nick Peters


Why Evolution Isn’t A Problem

Should a Christian live in fear that evolution could be true? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The new atheism doesn’t really seem to be doing much anymore, but if there’s anything I really remember from them, other than how weak and pathetic the arguments were, it’s to not speak where you don’t know. If these guys are this embarrassing when it comes to Christianity and philosophy and such, do I want to make the same mistake? Do I want to speak about science when I haven’t properly studied science?

To that end, I started rethinking a lot of things. I started pondering how much of my worldview in Christianity depended on science and asked if that needed to be the case. In the end, I even came to realize there was no need to argue against evolution. This was a shift for me since normally I think many of us when we come to the faith seem to automatically think it’s either evolution or Christianity.

I also thought that there seems to be a problem if all of our best arguments for theism depend on modern science. Are we really going to say that before the age of science, theists had no good grounds for believing in God? The greatest philosophers in Christianity history lived before the age of modern science. Why did they believe?

Largely, I have gone with the Thomistic arguments. None of them depend on modern science and I can pull the rug out from under some opponents when I tell them I will grant evolution to them, which sometimes is often their favorite defeater. Sadly, many Christians think the same way as I encountered one yesterday telling me that if we grant evolution, aren’t we undermining some of the best arguments for theism?

That’s only if we have a God of the Gaps mentality, which is really a problem. Are we saying that God’s only job is just working with the pre-existing matter and universe that we have to make creatures? If so, we don’t have the God of Christianity, but we have the demiurge of Plato. God isn’t someone who holds all of existence in His hand, but rather someone who just works with the existence that we have.

Furthermore, this is marrying our theism and/or Christianity to the modern science. So let’s suppose your best argument for the existence of God is the complexity of life and how did life come about naturally? What happens if one day science does find a naturalistic pathway including the origin of life? If you are consistent, then you will have to say your best argument for theism is undermined and your theism will be in danger. You will also give your opponent more grounds for their atheism.

This is not to say there are no scientific arguments for God’s existence or that the design arguments are entirely worthless. It is saying that you should not make your theism or Christianity dependent on them. This is especially the case if you don’t understand the science and wind up arguing something that you don’t understand, which will be disastrous when you meet someone who knows what they’re talking about. As has been said

“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”

Who said this? It wasn’t a modern writer commenting on the “warfare between science and religion.” It was Augustine said around 400 A.D. or so. The claim is old, but the information is just as relevant today as it was then.

If you are a Christian who knows science well and wants to argue against evolution after reading both sides, have at it. If not, I really urge you to stay out of this field. Please don’t be like the new atheists. Stick to what you know.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

On The Death of Rachel Held Evans

What makes the death of someone a true tragedy? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Much of the evangelical world was surprised this weekend when it was announced that young writer Rachel Held Evans had died. Now I have never been fan of hers. I think much of her work was very damaging to Christianity and in some cases mocking. My first awareness of her came when she was clinging on to her faith because of Chick-Fil-A Day.

Yet in all fairness, there was an easy way I could have empathy when I heard that she had died. Regardless of what I think of her, she had a husband and two kids. Let’s always keep that in mind. As a husband, I find it horrid to think that I would never share a meal with my wife again, get a smile from her again, spend an evening watching Netflix with her, go on a drive holding hands, pray and worship together, go to sleep together, and of course, have sex with my wife ever again. When I heard a story a year or so ago about two criminals who escaped and killed some police officers, I found myself grieving for the family immediately.

Again, it doesn’t matter what you think of her as a person or of her theology. We can all realize her husband is going through a hard time. My wife and I did pray for her family that night.

Not only her husband but her children. They have to grow up without their biological mother now. That will always be hurtful. Many of us remember as children the first time we were really introduced to death. For me, it was a favorite Sunday School teacher who died suddenly while I was in 7th grade. It would be horrible to think your first experience of death was at a young age and was your own mother.

So you can view someone as an intellectual opponent and still see their death as a tragedy. Death for anyone should be to some extent. Whatever their position was at death with God, they are in some sense locked into that one. There is no repentance beyond the grave.

Years ago when Saddam Hussein was in power, someone told me in a chat that his sons had been found and killed. Wasn’t this good news? It was good news that their evil would no longer plague innocent people on Earth. It was sad because it meant two people passed into eternity without Jesus. That should always make us sad.

So was Evans a Christian or a heretic? I understand the positions of those who say she denied Christianity. I haven’t read all of her writings so I can’t say, but I understand the concern. The good news for me is that I don’t have to make that judgment. That’s God’s judgment. The thing I have to worry about is what about me and my household. Am I serving God as I should? Am I encouraging my wife to serve God as she should be my example?

Something else noteworthy is that Warren Wiersbe passed away this weekend as well. He was nearly 90 years old and wrote several commentaries to help people be living the Christian life. While I wasn’t a massive fan of his, I find it interesting that hardly anyone is saying anything about him whatsoever.

Some are saying it’s too soon to be speaking about if Evans was a heretic or not. I understand both sides. Some people are grieving a loss. Some people are really concerned about the health of the church. I would say if you think she is outside of Christianity, speak it but speak it with sorrow and sadness. Try to emphasize the teaching and not make it about the death of the person.

When someone who is definitely an unbeliever dies, we should take no joy of them being apart from God. None whatsoever. It should be seen as a tragedy. It is also a tragedy when a believer dies, but not for them, but for those of us who are left behind. At the funeral, we don’t really grieve for them as much as we grieve for ourselves.

So in conclusion, my final advice overall is first to pray for the family and realize there is a real husband with real kids left behind. Second, be diligent about your own faithfulness to Christ. Finally, take time to celebrate the loved ones you have in your life today.

In Christ,
Nick Peters