Book Plunge: Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible

What do I think of Joseph Keysor’s book published by Athanatos Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I know I haven’t done a book plunge in awhile. It’s not because I haven’t been reading. It’s because I was reading books on the virgin birth, which I do affirm, and I didn’t plan to review those but to save them for a future ebook. If I read books relevant to future debates I have planned or future ebooks, I will not review those, but i will try to review books that aren’t relevant to those.

This is one I decided to get after Hitler came up in a discussion on my Facebook page. I was reading David Robertson’s Magnificent Obsession where he just casually recommended this one and being a fan of his, I decided I would get it. I thought it sounded like it would be a quick read at first. Not complaining, but I was sure wrong about that.

Keysor has definitely taken an in-depth look at Hitler and asked about his influences. Some people like to say that Hitler was heavily influenced by Martin Luther, but Keysor notes many many other people at the time that were more influential to Hitler. Now there is a downside here in that when Keysor introduces people and places, he doesn’t always explain them. The reader who doesn’t know will be lost at these parts.

However, he does quote numerous authorities in the area of Hitler research. He doesn’t hide at all that he is a Christian and is striving to show how much Nazism was opposed to Christianity. At the same time, he freely, and I think correctly, argues that Hitler wasn’t an atheist. If anything, we could say his god was more like a will to power that was vaguely pantheistic I think. His god agreed with him on the need of a pure race and the greatness of the German nation.

Keysor largely starts his work looking at the history of anti-semitism. This includes looking at various passages in the New Testament that are claimed to be anti-semitic. From there, he goes through history, of course with an in-depth look at Martin Luther, and then up to modern times. As one sees later in the book, there are a surprising number of German thinkers who had anti-semitic tendencies, including Kant and Nietzsche.

He then looks at Christians in Nazi Germany. Not all that was called Christian was Christian. There was a movement called Positive Christianity that was built around the alleged greatness of the Aryan Race claiming that Jesus Himself was an Aryan who decided to fight against the Jews. He also looks at Christians who stood up to the Nazi regime and points out times where the Catholic Church did as well, even though they get a lot of scorn for how they handled Hitler, and answers questions like why the Church handled Hitler the way it did, even though Keysor is definitely not a Roman Catholic.

From there, he looks at those who were influences on Hitler, including Wagner, Chamberlain, Nietzsche, and Haeckel. Mentioned also throughout regularly will be Darwin. At times, I thought Keysor was way too hard on philosophy and seemed to get preachy. I also think he too often made a split between evolution and Christianity, as if you couldn’t believe in both.

I do think he rightly points out that Hitler was not an idiot. He read well and had many influences on his thought, though he didn’t name them since he was to be the self-made man. He was also a politician through and through. He knew that if he came out and made several public anti-Christian statements that he would not get the support he wanted, so he would make a promise to the churches, they would accept, and the next day he would break it.

Nazi Germany was also incredibly scientific. The problem was they had no moral basis to guide their science and the science was used for whatever was good for Nazi Germany and if that meant gassing Jews and others, well that was what would be done. After all, humanity had to eliminate the undesirables.

Is some evolutionary thinking involved here? It would be hard to deny otherwise. That doesn’t say anything about the truth or falsehood of evolutionary theory. It does show that we shouldn’t try, if we believe in it, to force the process alone ourselves.

If there is any near comparison today, it is, of course, abortion. The unborn are made to be less than human and thus able to be killed and then this is done for the good of the rest of us. For many of us, this shows how far we have lost our moral grounding.

So this is still a good book, aside from the caveats of sometimes getting too preachy, downing philosophy at times, and making evolution and Christianity an either/or. I also suspect the writer is more in the Calvinistic camp as I did see some presuppositionalist tendencies. However, there is still a lot here to ponder and one will get introduced to other works, some I plan to get to someday.

If you want to study Hitler then, this is a good place to start.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Are Sex Rules Pro-Women?

Do all the stipulations in the Bible on sex benefit women? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

On yesterday’s blog, some commenters on Facebook thought that I had given the impression that in this society, women were only valued for sex. They were pretty much objects. One did rightly see I was trying to point out the sacredness of sex, but that didn’t come across that way.

So today, I want to clear things up as to why the Bible has these rules and if they are good for women or not.

Let’s start with something. I do think our society is led by men. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for women. When men are being men, they will look out for the women around them. I suspect there weren’t many feminists on the Titanic who were objecting when it was said “Women and children first!”

A man who abuses and/or uses a woman is not being a man really. He’s being less of a man. If you view yourself as a leader in society, your goal is to build up those around you and not to tear them down. Any man if he wants to can take a woman’s body. Not any man can take her heart. That requires that he be a real man and one she is willing to entrust her heart to.

So let’s look at some other realities. Are some men more tempted to just look at women as sex objects? Yes. Pornography is a great example of this. If anything has taught men to treat women as objects, it’s pornography.

In the ancient world, this would also be the natural temptation of men. After all, men by nature of the chemicals and hormones in their bodies tend to have very high sex drives. Not all do and in some marriages, the woman actually has the higher drive. We’re speaking of averages here.

A man and a woman would often get together immediately in an arranged marriage and then you could be introducing yourselves to one another and then sleeping together immediately as husband and wife. Why this way? Because sex is meant to be a bonding act. It releases scores of hormones and chemicals that bind the two people to one another.

This is one reason Christians safeguard this so much. Not because sex is anything dirty. After all, the joke is that many Christians are taught two things about sex growing up. #1. It’s dirty. #2. I should save it for someone I love.

Sex is in a sense like nuclear energy. If you use it the way it was meant to be used, wonderful things can happen. If you use it in a way it’s not meant to be used, Chernobyl can happen. Do we see this? Yes. Look at most any talk show on where they talk about who is the father of who and see it. Look at single mothers who have been kicked to the curb by a guy because he thought someone hotter came along or he didn’t want to get married. Sadly, look at our divorce culture where too many people don’t take their vows seriously and many times, one person is rejected and abandoned over it.

In sharing my own story of divorce, I have had men share stories with me that leave me thankful I didn’t go through that and I have heard stories in DivorceCare that are indeed horrendous. Even harder is the fact that so many men and women jump into relationships immediately before they are ready because of the intense loneliness. Some have said that being divorced is worse than the other person dying and I am inclined to agree. Death is normally not intentional. Divorce is.

The rules of the Old Testament also started with people where they were. Let’s face it again. Guys are very much driven by sex and our natural tendency will be the path of least resistance to get what we want. We were originally designed to use our drive for the good of the other. Now we often place the good of ourselves first and foremost. Women become just means to us. Even outside of sex, this is naturally how we tend to view other people. What can they do for me?

Women meanwhile live in a world where half of the people around them could overpower them if they wanted to for the most part. Yes. I realize that there are men who are not physically intimidating, including myself, and there are women who know how to fight well, but I am again speaking of averages. I will not claim to know what it’s like to walk as a woman in a parking lot at night, though I do walk out women who work at night where I work so they don’t have to go alone.

The Old Testament doesn’t expect perfection right away. Consider many of the rules as baby steps towards a better ideal. We have slavery at the start in the wilderness, but as time moves along and people become more and more capable economically, that starts to dissipate. Jesus Himself implies this when He says that Moses granted divorce because of hardness of heart, but this is not the way it was meant to be.

So God looks at sinful men and says that if they follow their natural instincts, they will pay a price. They will either have to be with the woman for life or at the least, pay a hefty fine. That’s to curtail the man’s strong desire. So if he wants to be with the woman then, what does he have to do? He has to work up and be a man and really impress the father enough that he says “Okay. I can trust you with her.” Many of us know that if we start acting a certain way towards someone, our feelings towards that someone can change. Lewis once said to not ask if you love your neighbor. Live like you do, and loving feelings will follow. Even if they don’t, you are still doing the right thing.

Within the past few years, I was at Celebrate Recovery and for the group sharing after, it was just me and one other man. He told me about how he doesn’t feel respected by his wife and XYZ and all this other stuff. I listened and then said, “You know, I’m hearing all of this stuff and I’m going to say something and it’s going to sound insensitive, but I think I need to say it.”

“Who cares?”

BAM! The guy said even the next week it was the slap in the face he needed.

After all, as I explained. You have a duty. You have a responsibility. You made a promise as a husband. You are to do that regardless of how you feel. Do your duty and let her work out her own issues.

The Christian call to a man is not to deny his sex drive. God made it for us and He made the woman’s body desirable to us for a reason. He built the engine. It’s instead to channel that into greater love for the woman. Saving sex for marriage is meant to say that you only get to love the woman this way after you make a lifetime commitment. There is no try before you buy.

This is also to make the woman feel safe. She can freely give herself to the man because she knows he has her best interests at heart. He has made the promise and he will keep it. Ideally, a woman will meet the needs of her husband sexually, and he will meet her needs as well, not just emotional, but every other need. Also ladies, if you have a good man, he delights in meeting your needs and wants to meet your needs.

I can safely tell you that when I was married, I loved doing things that I thought put a smile on her face. When our anniversary came, I tried to go all out every single year. I wanted to go above and beyond to please her. Some I remember well, such as taking her to the hotel we stayed in our first night for our first anniversary to recreate things. For the fifth, I took her to an Equestrian theater. For the seventh, a friend had given me $200 and told me to spend it on something fun explicitly. I spent all of it and even more on our anniversary which included eating out for every meal, getting her a PSP, and a singing telegram singing songs from our wedding and other songs.

For me, I just wanted to make her happy and have her feel loved.

Ladies. Please remember you are worth a lifetime commitment. Don’t give yourself to a man for anything less than that. Let him demonstrate his commitment by making the promise first.

God realizes our natural tendencies in Scripture and puts these stipulations in because He wants us to get the most out of what He has made. It is wrong to say God only cares about our happiness, but it is just as wrong to say our happiness matters nothing to Him. God created love and sex and marriage for us to enjoy it as well and we should. Marriage done right will have us living more holy lives and in those lives finding more joy in one another and in God.

As we go through Scripture looking at marriage and divorce, keep this in mind. We are talking about the sacred. Marriage and sex are sacred because they come from a God who is sacred and they involve two people who are meant to be sacred together and bring up holiness in the next generation.

I hope this clears up matters for readers and my apologies for any bad phrasing on my part yesterday.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Can You Try Before You Buy?

Could you take her for a test run? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We live in a world that tends to worship at the altar of sexuality. We often think we know so much in this area, when really we know so little. It’s one reason there’s so much confusion such that people are having perfectly fine body parts removed from them because they feel like they’re the opposite gender. (As if to say there’s any set way a man or a woman is meant to feel.)

Sex is certainly not sacred to most people anymore and is pretty much a recreational activity. You are attracted to someone, you date, you sleep together, you move in, you could get married. Normally, it’s the woman who wants to get married to have that security, but the man isn’t as motivated. Why would he be? He’s getting what he wants already.

In the ancient world, a woman was to be protected while she was in the house of her parents, and that included her sexuality. In this case, if a man seduces her, assuming she is not pledged to someone else, then he doesn’t get to try before he buys. He has to marry her at that point.

Suppose the father absolutely refuses? The man is still in the loser’s position. He has to pay the bride-price for her. He has damaged the family. In the world of ancient Israel, men wanted to marry women who were virgins. This woman would be less likely to marry as a result of what this man had done.

Now we can be sure if a woman seduced a man, which could happen as we saw earlier with the wife of Potiphar who attempted this, that the law would be understood to apply in an opposite sense, though a man certainly doesn’t have a bride-price. However, most of us realize it makes sense to address the man because usually, the men are the pursuers in sexual relationships.

Overall, this was to be a deterrent to the man. Do you want to sleep with this woman? Really consider how much it’s going to cost you. Can you afford a bride-price? Later on in the Torah, we will get to the case of a man who seduces a woman who is pledged to be married and the stakes are different.

This is one reason also in our society, abortion is not an ally to women, but it is much more an ally to the man. After all, most men don’t really like the thought of paying child support, but if he can get a woman pregnant and she can make the problem go away, then the man gets off free and can do what he wants at that point. Abortion has really been helping women to be used by men as long as it has been around.

Perhaps our society should also learn to not take sex so casually. Maybe we’re really missing out on the joy that we’re meant to have in this area of life. While Christians are not under the Law, we are foolish if we don’t think we can learn something from it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Who Can Be Hitler?

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

I have been reading a book about Hitler and the evil of his regime. The book is also looking at the possible influences that Hitler had. Something to be sure of is that Hitler was no idiot. He was very well-read. He believed strongly in the science of his day and was opposed to the Christianity that we have today. Many times he could say something different in public, but this was before he had the power that he had and like many politicians, he changed his phrasing to fit his audience.

Here are a few observations. First off, if we compare anyone to Hitler today, we really need to stop doing so. Okay. You don’t like Trump. Unless you can show me where he intentionally killed millions of people, the comparison is not valid. Okay. You don’t like Biden. Unless you can show me where he intentionally killed millions of people, the comparison is not valid. We minimize the evil of Hitler when we do this and we minimize the suffering of millions of Jews and others under this wicked man.

However, there is a far greater concern that should be had. Who could be the next Hitler? The concern I have here is I know exactly who it could be.

“Okay, Nick. Tell us who this next evil person is? Kamala Harris? Joe Biden? Donald Trump? Putin? Anthony Fauci? Who?”

You won’t like the answer. I don’t.

The answer of who could be the next one is you and me.

“But I don’t have the power that Hitler had!”

But what if you did? What if you found yourself in a position of power? We all would like to think we are using it for good. If we are, what could be wrong? Here’s the thing. Hitler was convinced he was using his power for good either. The advance of the German people was good for humanity in his mind and also in his mind, the destruction of people like the Jews was good for humanity.

How many people have been an employee in a business and thought “If I was a manager, I would treat my employees differently” and yet when they get to the power of being a manager, they act just like the people they condemned? I have seen it and I’m sure you have. Did the power really change these people? No. It just revealed what had already been there.

The question we have to ask ourselves is how do we treat our neighbor and sincerely in our heart of hearts. It’s easy to put on a face in front of people and treat them nicely when it’s in public, all the while despising them beneath. That is actually something Hitler did. He assured the churches nothing would happen to them, and immediately when he got into power he began breaking his word.

We all struggle with this to some extent. I have a saying I have shared before that if you want to know how much you love Jesus, look at the person you like the least. How much you love them is how much you really love Jesus. That person is just as much in the image of God as you are.

What can you do then? Learn to love your brother better. Realize the capacity to be Hitler is just as much in you as it was in Hitler. You can be that evil and if you were given power, who knows what you would do with it? Would you do great evil convincing yourself it was for the good of humanity?

If you also think this could never happen to you, then I fear that you are far more prone to have it happen to you.

What is the solution? The only solution I know of is the resurrection of Jesus and His life. It’s learning to love as He did. His ethic and life is the only hope we have. The next Hitler is indeed right here right now. We have met him. It is you and I.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

What Can You Get For Your Daughter?

Why would anyone sell their daughter? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

It sounds bizarre to us really. Why on Earth would someone sell their daughter? Do they want money more than they want a daughter? That does seem to be what is going on in Exodus 21.

“If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

The problem here is too many of us are reading this from our cultural perspective. We might think of something like sex trafficking going on or people turning their children into prostitutes at their home. This sounds like a family that really doesn’t care for their daughter.

However, when we look at the ancient world, by and large, marriage was about survival and continuing in the family name. This would be more like indentured servitude. serving someone for an amount of time in order to get something out of the deal. This was done by many people at first to get to America.

Okay. So how does that tie into survival? A poor family would have to work extra hard to provide for every family member. For us, we don’t understand this in a world where if we want bread, we can just drive down to the supermarket. For them, just getting a meal was long and laborious and it took time and energy to make bread.

By selling their daughter, they were selling her into a family that could afford her and could provide for her and make a better laugh for her. She would be moved into a new family unit. This doesn’t mean the old family could no longer have any contact with her, but essentially today when a family gives their daughter to a man who wants to marry her, they do the same. When my former in-laws gave my ex-wife to me, they realized that I was going to be the new primary family unit and my parents realized she would be my new primary family unit. I was the one meant to provide for her.

And notice, the new family is meant to do that, especially the husband. He has to provide food, shelter, and yes, marital rights. The man is to consistently love his wife. A man cannot sell her because that would be breaking the covenant promise to her. If the man’s son marries her, the master must treat the new girl like a daughter. If the son marries another woman, this one is not to be deprived and if she is, she can go her own way. In other words, for a book supposedly sexist, the woman has all the freedoms here and the man has all the responsibilities.

Again, we are not really at marriage for love yet, but we will be getting to that kind of attitude. Even still, that needs some temperance as love is badly misunderstood. Keep waiting as that is a way’s away.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

The Servant’s Wife

What happens when a servant comes to a master? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I wrote about how marriage was treated differently in the Old Testament. In this instance, we’re going to be discussing it with slavery in the Old Testament. It needs to be said that in this society, slavery was largely a willing institution where people gave of themselves to provide for them and their families. It was also not based on race.

So in Exodus 21, the question comes of a man who sells himself to his neighbor in order to provide for himself. Now if a man comes and he has a wife with him, then when his term is done with his master, then he is to go free and his wife is to come with him. However, what if he comes and he does not have a wife?

His master could provide one for him. This means that the master is giving of himself what he has and letting his servant partake of that gift. After all, a wife isn’t necessary to someone doing their job for the most part. How many of us when we go to work for an employer today discuss with the employer if they will provide a spouse for us or not?

In this scenario, when the man leaves then, his wife and children are not to go with him. The master will provide for all of them. However, there is an exemption to this. The servant can say that he loves his wife and his children and doesn’t want to lose them so he can become a servant for his master for life, which, if the wife was the master’s daughter, would essentially make him a son-in-law entirely and part of the family.

Note also that this indicates love was not really the norm in the time. Marriage was not done so much for love as it was done for survival. However, it would certainly be hoped that a marriage would make someone into a more loving person. In this case, it did.

The servant has no right to claim on his own what is his and what isn’t. He has been working for the master for years, likely had room and board provided, and the master doesn’t owe the servant anything else, including a spouse. If a master gives, that is a gift and the servant can choose how he wants to respond.

For those concerned about the idea of slavery in these passages, there are plenty of resources to go to on this one. I recommend this excellent article from the Christian-thinktank. I also recommend this video series on Scripture and Slavery. For now, I am looking at marriage and I don’t want to get diverted into a whole other series.

This time, we looked at the case of a man going into slavery. Next we’ll be looking at what happens when a man sells his daughter into slavery. That will hopefully be on Monday barring anything else that needs to be said. See you then.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Marriage in the Bible Intro

How do we see marriage explicitly? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We’re in the book of Exodus in our look through the Bible at marriage and as we get into this, we will see a lot of customs that don’t match up with a modern Western approach to marriage. This isn’t a culture that practices dating or marriage for love. You do not normally choose your spouse. Marriage seems to be a different kind of relationship.

At this point, skeptics of the Bible who tend to be left politically shout with glee about how much marriage has changed. Thus, we live in a time also where marriage is changing and it is changing so much that it is no longer supposedly a union of a man and a woman. We have already changed marriage since then, so why not?

So for this, I want to give a brief overview. Some matters will be acknowledged. Why people enter into marriage has changed. Why people got married has changed. How people got married has changed. There is something that hasn’t changed.

Marriage hasn’t.

But what about polygamy?

This was a borderline practice that was allowed in the Old Testament. Still, if anything, this could count as one man having multiple marriages. When Joash was the last surviving member of the line of David that was able to rule, he was granted to have two wives. After all, they needed to produce more children again.

So in the Old Testament, most marriages were arranged. This is still common in much of the world today. A person doesn’t know their spouse sometimes until the day that they marry them and then they are to give to the relationship and make it work. In many cases, it really does work.

Marriage was mainly about the uniting of the families together and the survival of the family. This was to pass on the heritage of the family and ensure that they would not be forgotten in Israel. Producing children was a must as that was the way to make sure this would take place and you needed a lot. Today, we take it for granted that our children will live and start saving for college while they’re in the womb. Not so in those days. Child mortality was very common.

While love was not the basis, there was no doubt that it was hoped for. If you read Proverbs, a man is told to delight in his wife. Song of Songs is a very passionate poem about love and especially sexual love in a marriage relationship.

Divorce did happen, but it was not a practice that God celebrated in Scripture, even when He did it Himself to Israel. The breaking of a covenant is always a tragedy. Now I realize some people are saying, “But my spouse abused me. Are you saying that the divorce was a tragedy?” Yes, and hear me out on this please. It is a tragedy that one person broke a promise to love and cherish the other and treat them like a partner in life and wound up abusing and/or betraying them. While the divorce was sadly a necessity in this case, the first tragedy is that the betrayal had already taken place. It is sad the situation was so bad that one person had to remove themselves from it to protect themselves when marriage was meant to be a relationship for the growing of love between the two.

So as we go into this, I’m not going to say every time about how different the union was entered into and the different purposes it served. I figure it’s easier to do this upfront than to do that. Still, we will see differences between our day and theirs. The past is a strange place. They do things differently there.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

On Pascal’s Wager

What is this argument? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We will get back to marriage, but I wanted to write about Pascal’s Wager since I have seen atheists debating it on a Facebook page I belong to and I don’t think I have ever written anything about it. I did make a post in the thread asking how many atheists had read the Pensees. If you don’t know, that’s the book of Pascal that contains the wager. Only one gave any indication.

Note this is not saying that one should use Pascal’s Wager, nor is it saying one should not. It’s just an attempt to clarify what is going on. Most atheists do not understand the wager.

Suppose you are one who claims that the wager doesn’t work because there are many other religions to choose from.

You do not understand the wager.

Suppose you say it doesn’t work because Pascal gives you no reason to be a Christian.

You do not understand the wager.

Whatever you might think of Pascal, by standards of even our time, Pascal was a genius. His intellect was extremely impressive and it’s a shame that he died at such a young age. It is a shame that the #1 thing that Pascal is remembered for is his wager. I think he would be disappointed if he came back today and would ask if anyone had really read the whole of the Pensees, and yes, you should.

Pascal’s wager is not a logical argument in the sense that if you follow the premises, you get to the conclusion that Christianity is true. That doesn’t mean that it’s irrational, but it is not a classical argument that you would find in someone like Aquinas. This is really an argument that is based on experience.

Pascal is talking to the person who is saying, “I’m torn really. I see that there’s evidence for Christianity and I am considering it, but I am not sure if it’s true or not.” Pascal is addressing an experiential claim then. If you are not sure, then live like it is true and see what happens. After all, what do you have to lose? If you die and find Christianity is true, you lose nothing. If you die and atheism is true, you have still lived a good life.

That part is indeed accurate. All atheists and Christians should agree that the Christian claims do have severe outcomes for us. It is at least worth looking into. If you are an atheist who is absolutely sure Christianity is bunk, the wager is not targeting you. Again, Pascal has a specific type of person in mind.

This might seem dishonest, but many of us know this principle. If you are married and don’t feel love for your spouse, live as if you love them and watch what happens. If you are in a job, live as if you have the ability to do your job well and watch what happens. We are often told that if we act a certain way, we are more inclined to feel that way as well and have the existential question answered.

Before you comment on the Wager now, ask if it’s really for you. If you aren’t the person in mind, then don’t bother. How can you better tell? Try going and reading the Pensees yourself. There’s plenty more in that book besides the Wager.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

On Celebrity Deaths

What do we do when a celebrity dies? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A little over a week ago, the world received a shock. I remember I was at work that day and I had just randomly started thinking about Betty White’s 100th birthday coming up. In the break room in the past few days before that, I had seen on what I think was Entertainment Tonight that plans were underway for her birthday party. Everyone was ready. It was coming. Let’s celebrate!

Except we didn’t. Before the new year on December 31st, Betty White died.

Then on Sunday night, I received a message from friends about the death of Bob Saget. If your family was like mine at one time, watching America’s Funniest Home Videos was a staple in the household. Bob Saget hosted that and although he was not a bit funny, we did enjoy the videos. I know he was on Full House, but I never watched that so I can’t comment.

When these people die, we mourn and it’s not because we’re normally close to them, but more I think for the nostalgia. For Betty White’s performances, I mainly watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show and I remember her from her husband being the host of Password. I never watched The Golden Girls. I have already said where I remember Bob Saget from.

I suppose you could say it’s like the past dying in some ways. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie Patch Adams, but I have not seen it once since Williams’s suicide. I suppose it’s like my own parents talking back about their past experiences and mentioning someone and saying “They’re dead now.”

Yet there are some matters that need to be said.

First off, most of these celebrities probably had plans, which is not bad, but they never got to pull them off. Saget was on a comedy tour. He had no idea his time was limited to that very night. It’s something to consider that one breath is all that separates you from eternity.

After I get done here, I will take a shower and after some time, I will go to work. I have no guarantee I will come home tonight. I don’t even have a guarantee I will get to work okay. I act like I will and I don’t think we should live in terror that we will die at any moment, but I do need to remember more often that every moment is a gift.

So let’s look at what happens next. What will happen to many of these celebrities? Will they enter into eternity with joy or will they enter it with shame? Will they love the presence of God or will they hate it? Right now, their choice is made and they are done. What would it profit them if they gained the adulation of the world and lost their souls? I’m not saying that happened for sure for either White or Saget. I can’t speak on that. I am saying it could have.

Hollywood is one of the most influential systems in the world today, and we Christians have to admit it’s full of depravity. So what are we doing about it? Do we write them off because they’re celebrities? We often treat them as gods and goddesses and our magazine racks are filled with stories about events in their lives to which I often want to say, “Who cares?” Why should anyone live vicariously through a celebrity? What difference does it make who so-and-so is dating? Don’t you have enough issues in your own life to work out?

However, these people have struggles like everyone else. They have questions and problems like everyone else. They also need Jesus like everyone else. Are we trying to influence Hollywood at all or are we just avoiding it? There is no reason Jesus Christ cannot redeem Hollywood. There is no reason He cannot use you to do it, except for one. You are unwilling to be used. That includes me as well.

When we get to Hollywood also and start making our movies, can we please also make good movies? Right now, for the most part, Christians make movies only other Christians want to see. What good would an evangelism method be that only reached other Christians and never those who don’t know Christ? One rare recent movie I understand was an exception to this was Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ.

Christian movies for the most part are universally bad and Christians go see them because they’re Christian and that’s what you do. Sadly, that’s often the reason we could give for going to church as well. What if we made them so well and they were so popular that non-Christian celebrities wanted to be in them?

There will be other celebrity deaths in 2022. Are we trying to reach these people that seem out of reach with the gospel? Do we consider that they are a breath away from eternity? Do we consider that we are?

God loves them as He loves us. Let’s show Jesus to them as we should.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

DTF 2022

What did I think of Defend the Faith 2022? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was pleased to be invited to attend this conference and though I didn’t give a talk, I still had a good time. Surprisingly, it wasn’t even awkward staying in a room by myself, especially since the last time I had been there I was with my now ex-wife. I somehow managed to sleep well most every night and enjoyed the independence that I had, though I would certainly prefer to be sharing the room with a lady again.

So let’s go over some highlights of the event fSamor me.

Tuesday night was the night that we had trivia night. This was one of my favorite nights of the event. I was on the team of Bob Stewart, the chair of the apologetics department who invited me. I really was glad to be able to contribute so much to our team, which did end up winning.

Naturally, seeing old friends and making new ones is always good. I got to see again Tawa Anderson, Rob Bowman, Tim McGrew, Bob Stewart, and of course, Gary Habermas. I also met Mike Strauss, a physicist who actually works at CERN. The people are always a great facet.

I briefly interacted with Sam Allberry. His talks were some of my favorite. Sam is a pastor who has same-sex attraction and writes and speaks on issues of sexuality and Christianity. His talks not only teach you about the issues of the day, but leave you with a greater appreciation of grace.

Thursday night, I went with Tawa and Mike and some others at the conference who were attendees to the French Quarter. This included going down Bourbon Street which eventually got us to the Mississippi River, which I had never seen in person. While on the Quarter, we saw the annual parade in honor of Joan of Arc. Also, being in this part of New Orleans is certainly a lesson in the depravity of man.

The talks were also great. There are several breakout sessions that take place and the speakers do hang around and answer questions. You can often find them just going about throughout the campus during the day. If you come next year, you are certain to find something that will pique your curiosity. This would also be the case if you’re a non-Christian, and non-Christians are definitely welcome at the conference.

The most important part for me out of all of this was the tour for potential new students. This is something I had been considering and I finally got one of my main questions answered when I went to the campus. There is student housing that is pet-friendly. I would never move somewhere where I could not take my Shiro with me.

My folks know now that this is what I want to do and I am making the plans. My mother’s not thrilled with it, but she knows this is what is best for me. I have been told I can get my Master’s faster if I live on campus and I look forward to living near guys that share my interest (And might want to have a gaming night some nights) and possibly meeting a new young lady I can marry.

If you want to donate to Deeper Waters, now is a great time to do that. Your donations will help make this more of a reality. Yes, there is a load of scholarships I will be applying for, but any donations from friends like you help. Please consider it. I’ll keep you all updated and you can check my Facebook page as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)