The Loss of FInal Causality

What happened to the why questions? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We all know about little children. The constant question they ask is “Why?” Many groups will try to claim them as their own. Those include scientists, journalists, lawyers, philosophers, theologians, etc. There are many professions where one of the questions you ask is “Why?”

Except we don’t really ask that much anymore.

There’s a quote said to be from Polkinghorne where he gets asked the question “Why is water boiling on the stove?” One such answer is “Because heat is being applied to the water thus causing its molecules to move further apart and thus turn from a liquid state into a gas state.” There’s another answer to the question as well.

“Because I am going to fix tea.”

Too often in our scientific age, we think the answer is the first one, but that is not what we have in mind. The first question merely describes what is going on. The second question asks a different question, the question of purpose.

In Aristotelian thought, a final cause is the reason why something is. What purpose does it serve? What is the end goal? This does not imply that the agent is acting intentionally. Kudzu grows and spreads. So do viruses. It’s not said that these are acting with an intentional plan.

Thomist Philosopher Edward Feser gives an example of an iceberg floating through water. As it goes on its way, the water in its area of effect becomes colder. It does not become cotton candy. Yes, this gets us into the fifth way for the existing of God, but that is not the point today.

Even if one holds to evolution, evolution depends on final causality. The goal is the passing on of the genes so that the most fit can survive. It’s literally described as the survival of the fittest.

Over a week ago, I saw an atheist make this argument in a group. I only still have it because it’s so monumentally stupid that I couldn’t believe anyone made it. Lo and behold, the capacity for human stupidity ever increases. So here is one of the stupidest arguments ever in all its infamy.

If God created everything and created everything perfect. Than God created the man’s anus to stretch large enough to fit a raccon inside of it. Just think that’s only part of humans body God created to stretch that big. God certainly wanted men to have big stuff in there

Leaving aside if God created everything perfect, it was one of those arguments that I had to have it register a bit before I said anything. I just couldn’t believe someone said something so monumentally ignorant. However, they did and so I asked a simple question.

I don’t remember the exact words, but it was asking what was known about final causality.

Because if you know what the final cause of the anus is, you know that the argument just doesn’t work. It violates that order.

When debates happen in “Pride Month”, we forget that final causality. We don’t know the purpose of so many things today. We don’t understand the purpose of sex, the family, and marriage, for a start. We think we can just change what any of these are and we’ll all get along fine.

We won’t, and I’m sure that a lot of people now are asking “What really is wrong about showing items of a sexual nature to extremely young children?” This is the normalization of pederasty starting.

When we treat sex as if it’s just a recreational activity and it doesn’t even matter the sexes of the people involved, we are lowering sex and ourselves. When we treat a family as just any group of people together, we are lowering the family. When we make marriage just a long-term relationship that anyone can leave at any time for any reason, we are lowering marriage.

Will that impact our society?

Look around and tell me what you think.

This is not to deny the role of the gospel in our society, but the gospel doesn’t dwell in a vacuum. We need good thinkers who can apply the principles of the gospel to life and in studying God’s world just as much as we should His Word, then we need to understand why the universe is the way it is. Why did God make things the way He did?

Bring back final causality.

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

Book Plunge: In God We Doubt Part 4

What happens when worldviews debate? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In this chapter, Humphrys writes about an interaction between a Christian, William Lane Craig, and an atheist, Lewis Wolpert. It was a debate done in England and done to a packed house. Humphrys freely admits the reason for that was Craig. He also says most of the audience consisted of Christians.

So how does he describe Craig’s opening statement?

Craig had these arguments. The first is that God explains the origin of the universe in that whatever begins to exist had a cause and since the universe began to exist, it has a cause beyond it found in a personal God. Also, God fine-tunes the universe. Third, God makes sense of the reality of moral values. Fourth, the case for the resurrection of Jesus shows that Christianity is true. Fifth, God can be personally experienced. If you’ve seen Craig debate, you know all of these arguments already.

Now I have been paraphrasing, but when he gets to Wolpert’s response, I can easily quote him. This he says is the essence of Wolpert’s rebuttal:

It’s bunkum.
All of it.

He then says that of course, he said more with wit, but how can an atheist intellectually engage with a believer? This is an astounding claim. So Humphrys admits that five arguments are made and Wolpert’s response is just “It’s bunkum” and the problem is on the side of the believer?

For Humphrys, it boils down to one question.

“If God created the universe, what created God?”

Of course, if Humphrys had someone on like Edward Feser, he would find this question simple to dispense with. Naturally, Humphrys uses Dawkins’s quote about how complex the designer of the universe must be. All this assumes God is a material being composed of parts. As a strict holder of divine simplicity, I deny that outright. God’s very nature is to be and asking what made Him is like asking “What created existence?” It would have to be something that exists and then you get into a contradiction. Those looking to read Feser can go here. The second objection he deals with that is not serious is the one about “What caused God?” I will quote his final paragraph.

So, to ask “What caused God?” really amounts to asking “What caused the thing that cannot in principle have had a cause?”, or “What actualized the potentials in that thing which is pure actuality and thus never had any potentials of any sort needing to be actualized in the first place?”, or “What imparted a sufficient reason for existence to that thing which has its sufficient reason for existence within itself and did not derive it from something else?”  And none of these questions makes any sense.  Of course, the atheist might say that he isn’t convinced that the cosmological argument succeeds in showing that there really is something that could not in principle have had a cause, or that is purely actual, or that has a sufficient reason for its existence within itself.  He might even try to argue that there is some sort of hidden incoherence in these notions.  But merely to ask “What caused God?” – as if the defender of the cosmological argument had overlooked the most obvious of objections – simply misses the whole point.  A serious critic has to grapple with the details of the arguments.  He cannot short-circuit them with a single smart-ass question.  (If some anonymous doofus in a combox can think up such an objection, then you can be certain that Aristotle, Aquinas, Leibniz, et al. already thought of it too.)

Humphrys says that Craig and his followers dismiss the conundrum. I’m not defending Craig’s version of the cosmological argument, but it is not the classical one that was used by Aquinas and others. Theirs was not about the origin of the universe. We who use this one do not dismiss the question. We show why the question is a nonsense question. I suppose I can just easily say “But Humphrys and his followers dismiss any such interaction on those grounds and want to stick with what they think is a stumper.”

Along these lines, he also makes the case about Bertrand Russell’s teapot. I have already dealt with this here.

He then goes on to talk about Douglas Adams and says that when Adams put the words into God’s mouth that “I refuse to prove that I exist for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing”, he got to the essence of religion.

It’s really embarrassing seeing what these people think is a powerful argument.

I challenge them to go back and see the word that was used in the time of Jesus, pistis, and show me where it was meant to be “Belief without evidence” and before they gleefully turn to Hebrews 11:1, nope. That’s not it. These people have bought into this false notion so long they’ve come to have “faith” in their idea of faith.

He then goes to Keith Ward who is a Christian and in response to his idea of God creating, asks why would God create the world if He already had everything for His happiness in Himself? Now you must understand that for an atheist, their fault with Christians is they ask questions and don’t do science to say “Let’s find out!” However, if you’re an atheist, you can just ask the question and the question alone is the defeater. Obviously, brilliant Humphrys has thought of a question that no one in 2,000 years of Christianity ever thought about.

The reply generally has been God’s desire to spread love beyond Himself. God created because creation is good and extending love is good and God wants to create other beings who will come into the joy that He has. It was said in the past, I think by the Celtics, that the Trinity has been in a dance of love for all eternity and mankind is made to join in the dance.

He then later says that if you are a Christian philosopher, don’t you already have the conclusion beforehand and find the arguments? This is simply a genetic fallacy. Even if that is the case, the arguments stand or fall. Could I not say to Humphrys “Don’t you already have the conclusion of Wolpert that it’s total bunkum and thus have the conclusion before the arguments? Sauce for the goose and all that.

He then goes on to say that something Craig said was foundational in his conversion was a smiling girl who got him to become a Christian. Naturally, Humphrys thinks Craig has stayed there. He has to after all. It can’t be the arguments. Gotta love atheist psychologizing. Craig’s arguments remain untouched. The man, on the other hand, has to be analyzed to find out why he’s really holding these positions.

I come back to what I said in the first part. Humphrys says someone with the mind of an inquisitive child can see past the arguments for God. Therefore, it must be a psychologizing thing. It’s too bad Humphrys doesn’t treat his skepticism the same way.

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

Coming For Your Children

Have we gone past the idea of equality? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I had to look to find a video I could use. Why?

Because some of these are not fit for a blog of this type. They actually contain nudity that many of you would not want to see. However, if you did for some reason want to see it, where could you go?

A pride parade.

You might think “That’s disturbing.” Most of us would agree that having young children be in the presence of such a scene would not be good. Unfortunately, even that has to be defended now. It certainly needs to be explained to George Takei.

Some of you who haven’t heard about this can probably tell I’m holding something back. Okay. The title is coming for your children. Marching nude in a parade isn’t exactly targeting children.

Yet in the video I am about to show here, that’s not what is going on. They are explicitly saying “We’re here. We’re queer. We’re coming for your children. It’s not just one person. It’s a whole group saying it.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

Back when marriage was redefined in the eyes of popular culture to throw out the sex-specificity of it, we were told that that was it. Many of us who are Christian conservatives knew it wasn’t. You give an inch and a mile will be taken. There was even a joke meme at the time that indicated the only thing that would happen if gays got married. There are many such examples. Here’s one.

See that orange unit? The family unit was already falling apart sadly, thanks to no-fault divorce, but this did further damage to it. One other chart like this had as an option that was supposed to not happen was “Teachers will teach children about gay sex.”


And as is said at FreedomToons, if anything didn’t happen, it was gays getting married, because marriage is a man and a woman.

There are plenty of people who consider themselves LGBTQ+ and they want nothing to do with what is going on. Ultimately, they just want to live their lives in peace. They don’t want to be glamorized. Most likely, they don’t want their sexual desires to be on the front of everyone’s mind.

I am relieved to see that this is starting to be pushed back on. The nation’s children are as always, the greatest casualties. When I was in high school and had a cold, I had to have a doctor’s note to have cough drops at school, (Which as readers of the Princess Bride know, are the greatest thing ever.) and I had to go to the school office to get one. I could not be trusted to handle cough drops on my own.

But today, not only could a teen girl get an abortion, but now the student can be taught to change their gender identity at the school and keep it secret from their parents. If the parents push back, they are the problem. If the girls don’t want a boy in the locker room while they undress and shower, then the girls are the problem.

Don’t think this is the end of it also. Every step we give in is just another step and it will never be enough. If these people are willing to take your children, what will they take next? Where will it end?

I don’t want to find out.

It’s up to us to stand up now and not support businesses supporting this and follow the adage of Get Woke, Go Broke. Bud Light should show us that we are capable of this if we work together. Naturally, this will also require us learning, truly learning, and sharing the gospel. (Along those lines, see this video I did on The Legend of Zelda and evangelism.)

If you’re a parent, go look at your children now or at least pull out a picture of them.

Those are the stakes.

Game on.

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


Book Plunge: In God We Doubt Part 3

What are the battle lines? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In chapter 2, (And we won’t always be going one chapter a day) Humphrys starts what he calls the battle lines. He has said that only recently in history have we been allowed to question the existence of God. I cannot help but wonder what history he is reading. These are usually people who don’t understand either the Crusades or the Inquisition, or both. The treatment of Galileo and Bruno (To be fair, we don’t talk about Bruno), also misunderstood, didn’t even happen during the so-called “Dark Ages.”

Yet then he goes and points to the Enlightenment as the dawn of rational debate. Seriously? What was going on between Augustine and Faustus? In the medieval schools of thought, debate was taking place regularly. The rule was even you couldn’t comment on your opponent’s view until you could say it in your own words to his satisfaction. (Would that we had that today!)

Naturally, he also has the line about debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. While in a sense, this is a real question to discuss, it was never one discussed in that period. It was one made up later on to mock the kind of discussions that took place in that period. Mission accomplished, I suppose.

He then writes about figures like William Lane Craig, Richard Dawkins, and Alister McGrath. He notes Alister McGrath as saying he converted to Christianity because it worked. He says that it actually brought purpose and dignity to life. I can accept this provided that by works we don’t mean something like Christianity meets emotional needs since as Lewis once said, if he just wanted to be happy, a bottle of port could do that. If he means it makes sense of the world we live in, that is fine.

Humphrys goes on to say that there is a lot of dogmatism on both sides of the debate, but to call Dawkins non-thinking is a bit below the belt. Of course, it was entirely acceptable to say in the first part that anyone with the mind of an inquisitive child can see through the arguments for the existing of God. No harm in implying that your opponents don’t think that well, but if you say something about the new atheists, well that’s just mean.

Do I think Dawkins is non-thinking? No, but he has a gigantic flaw many atheists have in their approach. When Dawkins writes about science as science it is beautiful. I imagine I could read him for hours as he describes the wonders of especially the animal world. Dawkins is a magnificent writer there.

However, he then takes the mindset that because he understands this, then he is also qualified to speak on theology and philosophy and history. The new atheists seem to assume that anything religious is nonsense and stupid and so they don’t need to study it. Many internet atheists do this today, and when they do, they make embarrassing blunders and cannot see it no matter how many times it gets pointed out to them.

So yes, when it comes to writing on religion, I do consider Dawkins to not really be thinking. There’s no real attempt to engage with the substance matter. If you want to see this, consider what I wrote on the shoddy research of the new atheism.

Humphrys says the approach of someone like Dawkins won’t work on many because they weren’t reasoned into their faith. They were born into it or indoctrinated or had a Damascus Road experience or something like that. It never seems to occur to him that that can happen on atheism as well.

There can be many non-intellectual reasons for being an atheist. They could have had an experience with evil and don’t understand why a good God would allow it, or they could not like the political stance of Christians, or they could even just want to have a free sex life without the idea they are doing something wrong. It is foolish to say that most Christians come to their position emotionally, but atheists don’t have that problem. News flash. Humanity has that problem.

However, when it comes to choosing a belief system, one should take the best proponents of it. Consider their arguments. Just as I as a Christian have to put up with bad arguments and reasons from fellow Christians that can make me cringe, atheists have to do the same. As Michael Ruse has said:

Their [the new atheists] treatment of the religious viewpoint is pathetic to the point of non-being. Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course. Proudly he criticizes that whereof he knows nothing.

This is an accurate description. My copy of The Dawkins Delusion by Alister McGrath and his wife had a quote by Ruse on the front along the lines of “Dawkins makes me embarrassed to be an atheist and the McGraths show why.”

The problem with Humphrys when he fails to do this is the hidden implication that if you are a Christian, it is most likely for emotional reasons, but if you are an atheist, well that is most likely for intellectual reasons. He himself does this without dealing with the arguments for theism. As we go along, we will see that that happens consistently. I have not finished it thus far, but so far, I have not seen him dealing with the arguments, just with the arguers.

But we will see more next time.

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

Book Plunge: In God We Doubt Part 2

What do I think of John Humphrys’s book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Let us continue looking at Humphry.

Humphrys is in England and talks about being raised going to church, except for his Dad. For Humphrys, there was no question that he would, but the problem of the father not going doesn’t surprise me. Humphrys admits that he was usually quite bored and had no idea what was meant by “The quick and the dead” or the Holy Ghost, or the Trinity. That is certainly a failure on the part of us to educate our youth.

He also said he read the Bible from cover to cover, but it might as well have been the phone book for all he got out of it. Again, there is this emphasis on experience. Could we not be overdelivering and not properly preparing people? I wonder about people who say “I get something new out of the Bible every day!”

He talks about the first time he took the Eucharist and how he expected something grand to happen since he was taking the body and blood of Christ. Well, it didn’t. I wonder how common this might be, and anyone in the Anglican or Catholic or Orthodox traditions can tell me. Again, could we be overdelivering? Is this not more a danger of putting the emphasis on experience. (That being said, he does say the words and the solemnity of the Eucharist still stays with him.)

He talks about being thirteen and the priest talking about the blood of Jesus and he’s sitting there and wanting to get between two of the girls in the church. What thirteen year-old boy doesn’t? I dare say he is not alone in this. Not condemning that either.

He also talks about how even after he left church, he still had prayer, but he doesn’t feel like he connected with anyone. Again, what does this mean? Do we gauge how well our prayer life is by how we feel as a result?

He does have what I think is a proper criticism of too many preachers. When trying to reach unbelievers, they will use the Bible as their authority for what the unbelievers should believe. The problem is that if they already believed the Bible, wouldn’t they agree? If they don’t believe it, then why share what they don’t believe?

If anything, Hanby at least shows that man does seem to have a spiritual desire of some kind wanting there to be something more, which is perhaps why it is really difficult to be an atheist. I daresay that I do not think anyone consistently lives out atheism. Someone like Nietzsche if he was here today would be stunned at the new atheists and tell them that they need to give up on these ideas of something being good if they get rid of Christianity and of God. Keep in mind, he also spent the last years of his life in a mental institution as he had gone insane.

We’ll continue next time.

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



Book Plunge: In God We Doubt Part 1

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

As I started this book, Humphrys seemed to write with some kindness. I thought this might be different. It’s confessions of a failed atheist so maybe he would bring forth the best of both sides. As I have gone through this book, and I am still going through it, that is not the case.

The first part before chapter 1 is called the challenge, and it is not one. Right off the bat, we see where Humphrys is coming from.

I’ll tell you what’s easy. Atheism for a start. Anyone with the enquiring mind of a bright child can see that the case made for God by the three great monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – is riddled with holes. Christopher Hitchens rumbled God when he was nine – or so he tells us in his book on atheism, God Is Not Great. His teacher, Mrs Watts, had demonstrated to the class how powerful and generous God was by pointing out that he had made the trees and the grass green – exactly the colour that is most restful to our eyes – instead of something ghastly like purple.

So look people, if you don’t see that the case for monotheism is false, then you don’t even have the enquiring mind of a bright child. Unfortunately, Humphrys here doesn’t tell us what these holes are. Later on, he will produce what he thinks is a great stumper for us. Spoiler alert: It isn’t.

But as for the above, Hitchens goes on to say according to Humphrys that he knew that our eyes had become attuned to nature and not the other way around. If this did turn Hitchens into a fierce opponent of religion, then it more demonstrates childishness on the part of Hitchens. As for me, my answer is perhaps a bit of both. Does it really matter?

Humphrys does say that when it comes to the question of why is there something rather than nothing, this is hard question for atheists. Believers have an easy time. God made it all. Of course, this will get to our stumper later, though some of you can probably see where this is going.

I do not argue for intelligent design, but he says that belief in intelligent design is based on faith, hope, and a large dollop of wishful thinking. Evolution is based on reason and science. Whatever one might think about ID, they do at least present what they consider scientific data, and on some level, it is quite respectable, such as the idea of a Goldilocks zone or the anthropic principle. One could even say God intelligent designed through evolution.

In the very next paragraph, Humphrys tells us about how each cell in our body has a nucleus with two sets of the human genome and each genome contains enough information to fill 5,000 books. That’s something that is meant by ID. Does that mean it’s faith and hope with wishful thinking thrown in?

He also says for a believer, that whatever is happening right now is because God willed it and it is good. This might be for an extreme hyper-Calvinist, but I know several theists and I don’t know anyone who would hold to this. Humphrys doesn’t show us any examples either. We can say that all that God wills is good, but that not all that happens is because God directly wills it.

He talks about arguing with a well-known evangelical and asking if he would abandon belief in God if all his arguments were disproven. He said no. He would always believe in God and if it could be proved, it would not be faith. Assuming this account is accurate, I can also say that that is not at all what is meant by faith.

He then talks about the ferocity of the campaign of the enemies of faith, and with this he has in mind the New Atheists. Are they fierce? Yes, but at the same time I recall a neighbor once who had a little teacup poodle that I could hold in my hand easily and that one would turn fierce many times, and be licking my face the next. We all know of little dogs who think they are big dogs. Fierce? Yes, but that does not mean formidable, and the New Atheists are certainly not formidable.

Daniel Dennett, Lewis Wolpert, A. C. Grayling, Sam Smith, Christopher Hitchens, Michel Onfray. They are the masters of many disciplines – you could paper the walls of an aircraft hangar with their degrees and qualifications – admired and envied throughout academia and journalism for their knowledge and intellect. They argue their case, as you would expect, with skill, wit and passion. But ultimately they fail – at least for me.

Wit and passion can be granted, definitely passion. Skill? Not so much.

He goes on to say that it’s hard to not be impressed by the arguments of the atheists. Logic and science are on their side. Well, there you go! If you disagree with them, you are obviously not on the side of logic and science. Never mind that there are plenty of people on the other side who know logic and science as well.  Humphrys has accepted his conclusion already.

He goes on to say the good thing about science is that it can be proved. This is simply a false statement. Science cannot be proven. It is inductive. Does this mean we doubt it? No. It cannot be proven any more than it can be proven that George Washington was the first president of the United States. You cannot prove that, but there is not enough evidence anywhere near needed to overturn that.

What is science in one generation can be disproven by the next and should always be open to that. Many of the harder truths we know are not from science. I can easily anticipate that many of our beliefs about diet and health and other such matters could be shown to be false. I cannot anticipate that we will ever find evidence that it is okay to rape someone.

He then says the atheist demands proof while the theist turns to mystery. That might work for your average Christian in the pew, but the Christians I interact with in this field would never say that. Humphrys puts his opponents in the worst light and his allies in the best light.

He also says what the New Atheists have done is like a blitzkrieg and compares it to a boxing match where he wants to say at one point “Enough! Your opponent is down! You can stop hitting him!” You can search this blog for where I have reviewed New Atheist literature. It is not a blitzkrieg. It is barely even a spark.

He then describes how belief in God was going down and then the twentieth century was a real test of faith in a God of peace. Why? Yes, he is right that we killed and maimed each other more than ever before, but seems to ignore that perhaps this is because we did abandon that God of peace and He has no obligation to save us from ourselves. This was not a test for theism. This was a test for atheism, and atheism failed.

One final thing he says is that he doesn’t think people are stupid if they believe in God. No. He just says you don’t have the intellect of an enquiring bright child and you aren’t on the side of logic and science. But hey, you’re not stupid. He has already cut off that branch. Excuse me if I question the fruit he says comes from it.

We will continue next time.

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




Book Plunge: Ready Player Two

What do I think about Ernest Cline’s sequel? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I don’t think it’s possible to talk about this without some spoilers so you have been warned. This is one of those books I have been reading just for fun as I am trying to get more fiction in my literary diet. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie Ready Player One and so I was glad to see when the sequel was available on Kindle for cheap.

As pertains to content, I still prefer the first story. In this second one, Wade, the main character, finds out that as the heir of Halliday, that Halliday left for the world a headset that one could use to log into the virtual world of the OASIS and it is up to Halliday’s heir to decide if he wants to mass produce and market this or not. The headset isn’t just a device to watch, but also a neural uplink. Wade does introduce it to the world, but the biggest critic of this decision is his then-girlfriend Samantha from the last movie.

Then along the way, a new quest is released like in the first one to find the seven shards of the siren’s soul. That quest is going okay until a threat rises up within the system of an AI that has gone rogue and decided that the seven pieces must be gathered for his own purposes. Wade and his friends then find themselves on a quest to get the shards in time and also find a way to defeat the AI.

Those are all the spoilers I want to give and I think they’re necessary. What strikes me again in looking at this is here we have the problem of technological geniuses creating an AI and lo and behold, the AI turns against its creators and decides it has its own plans. This seems to happen in every science fiction scenario involving it, but somehow, we’re the exception.

There is no doubt that science has been a means of bringing great blessings into our lives, but it has also brought great destruction into our lives. We can live in fear of nuclear weapons being used because we invented them. Whatever you think of the Covid situation, it was produced in a lab and had devastating effects around the world.

We are often told of the evils of religion, but what is really evil is the misuse of religion. Religion used for good does great things, such as fine charity work across the world and the love of one’s neighbor. Religion used for evil can have devastating consequences just as much, like 9/11.

In every scenario, the real culprit is the same actually. Us. Any good thing can be used just as much for evil. The problem is not the tool. The problem is the person using the tool. Science and religion in the hands of good men can be used for good. In the hands of evil men, it can be used for evil.

But let’s also include foolish men.

There are people in religion who are quite foolish, even in my own evangelical tradition. There are plenty of people who are sure they are called to ministry of some kind, but they don’t have the first clue how to do it and they think it’s unspiritual to get an education in what they study. Shouldn’t God just tell them everything? They’re not evil. They mean well. They just cause great destruction.

In the same way, there are plenty of people in science who aren’t evil at all. They could just have a lot of pride or foolishness, just like the person in religion, and think they can handle whatever happens. Both of them make great errors in judgment that affect not only them, but others as well.

It’s good to know we’re different, isn’t it?

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




Can We Stop Talking About Hate?

Is this term a distraction? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have often said before that there are two words in our society that are practically meaningless. Those words are God and love. It is not because I deny the reality of those words. It is because in our society, we take them to mean whatever the user thinks they mean. If you meet someone and they tell you they believe in God, it doesn’t mean they’re a Christian. It doesn’t even mean they’re a monotheist. The Mormons will tell you they believe in God, but their god is a vastly different being than we have as Christians.

Likewise, we have such vapid sayings in our culture as “Love is love.” What if I told you, “Glork is Glork.” Well, by law of identity, that would be true, but it’s meaningless if you don’t know what glork is. Besides, if you want to say all love is equal, no one really thinks that. Do we want to say that the love by a group such as the North American Man-Boy Love Association is love? If a person wants to have an affair with their dog, will that be love? (Brace yourselves. If the path is not stopped, defending these will come soon enough.)

Another word along these lines is hate and it gets tossed around too much. For one thing, we treat all hate as bad. It isn’t. You ought to hate some things. I’ll go further and say if you don’t hate some things, you are a demented individual.

Really? Yes. I hate that children are sexually abused. I hate it when someone commits suicide. I hate it that innocent people are mistreated. As a divorced person, I definitely hate divorce.

I also hate all of these things because I love something else. If you love children, you don’t want to see them abused. If you love life, you hate suicide. If you love justice, you hate seeing the innocent mistreated. If you love marriage, you hate divorce.

In our day and age, and especially in “Pride Month”, if you say that you disagree with something, you are accused of hating the individuals. For one thing, this is really getting into mind-reading which has no basis. For another, it really has no point. It really gets the debate to be about the mindset of the person instead of the data.

Let’s take two people. The first one will be a white supremacist. He is talking about the unhealthiness of the black community and he talks about how many black boys are fatherless. He uses this to look down on the race. Now let’s take Thomas Sowell, a famous black economist. He goes and talks about the economic state of black America and that too many black boys are fatherless.

The claim is true in both cases. The reasons for holding them are different. Thomas Sowell has no joy in what he says. The white supremacist does. However, what matters is the data. Now you can be more suspicious of the white supremacist, but data is data.

Now talk about same-sex sexual behavior. On the one hand, you have someone who is a Fred Phelps type from Westboro Baptist. He makes a statement about rampant disease spreading in the LGBT community. He can do this with glee seeing it as a judgment of God. On the other hand, you can have a doctor, perhaps himself same-sex attracted, from the CDC who says that men who have sex with men are at a higher rate for disease. Both are making the same claim. Now you can say the doctor is better qualified to speak, and that will be granted, but the claim is the same.

Having someone say you have hate for a group doesn’t touch the data. It just talks about you and frankly, if they believe that, how could you convince them otherwise? Why should you really care if they think otherwise? It’s just as much a smokescreen as saying bigot or hater or X-phobe, whatever the X might be.

And too often it works.

If anything, you could turn around and ask the person why they hate you for disagreeing with you. If it works for them, why not do it yourself? Could they ever prove that they don’t speak from a place of hate? No. It’s the exact same problem.

In every case, what really matters is the data. Name-calling and other such behavior is really just a way to avoid the issues. That is where the battle really lies, which is probably why they don’t want to talk about them.

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

Book Plunge: The Critical Qur’an

What do I think of Robert Spencer’s work? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Robert Spencer has gone through the Qur’an and given us information on the passages as well as pointed to leading scholars, past and present, to tell us about the origin of the Suras and about textual criticism. I had got this book several months ago, but I chose to wait until I finished the book before I reviewed it. I also wasn’t reading one sura (our equivalent of a chapter) every day, seeing as these can be long. A small number even have more verses than Psalm 119.

Some of you might be thinking this could be like the Skeptics’ Annotated Bible. I am pleased to say that it is not. It is not the case that Spencer jumps on anything that could be an inconsistency. There are times he even says that a claim against the Qur’an here is a poor one. Of course, he points out problems, but generally, it looks like his biggest goal can be to help with understanding.

One big problem some Muslims could have with the work is that he definitely shows textual variations that occur within the book. This is a problem since Muslims will often argue that there are no variations in the text. They say that the Qur’an is an eternal document that has always been with Allah. Of course, this gets us problems when we get to the abrogated passages, and that too will be discussed.

As I indicated earlier, Spencer interacts as well with Muslim sources of the past. This is important since it would be akin to us going to the church fathers to show the earliest handling of the text. These people were the ones closest to the writing of the book and were the ones most invested in the work.

This isn’t just a book for people who have never read the Qur’an. When I saw David Wood of Acts 17 Apologetics talking about the book, he said that he got new information on his look at the very first sura, and Wood has done a lot of work on dealing with Islam. That was enough to convince me that this was a resource that I could use.

Thus, you have a work here that goes through the Qur’an and yet thankfully, unlike the work of Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, I find to be fair. Spencer deals with misconceptions of the text. While there is no doubt he is opposed to Islam and the Qur’an, he also wants to be accurate in all that he says. He’s not going to jump on anything to go after it and he wants to make sure bad arguments against various passages are also dealt with.

One caveat though and I suspect it’s one that Spencer would not have a problem with. If you wanted to read something like Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, I would encourage you to at least read just the Bible first without any feedback along the way. In the same way, if you have not read the Qur’an on your own, as I had, then I encourage you to read it first and then come back and read the Critical Qur’an. It’s all about being fair with the text after all.

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


A Tale of Two Flags

What flag do you recognize today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Here is one flag:

Here is another one:

Many of you might not recognize that first flag. It is the flag of Germany. If you went to most people on the street for a sort of “Fun With Flags” game and asked them to recognize it, I’m sure the majority would not. People who like trivia or study that kind of subject would, but most of us would not.

The second flag is the Nazi flag, and I guarantee you the overwhelming majority of people on the street could tell you about that flag and that it represents Nazism. What’s interesting is that before Nazism came along, most people would be thrilled to see a swastika. It would for them represent something like good fortune.

Today, no more. We recognize it for the wicked ideology it got associated with. Many of us when we think of Germany will think of that flag. That flag has supplanted Germany as a whole for many of us.

It’s scary to think of an ideology overtaking a country like that. Surely that could never happen. Right? Well, it apparently happened in the UK. Look at this video.

So apparently wherever this is, the “pride flag” is more important than the flag of the country. It’s not even handled carefully. It’s just let go and dropped to the ground.

But hey, that’s the UK. Right? That’s not the good ol’ U.S. of A. Right? Surely such a thing like that could never happen here.

Oh, wait. It already has.

According to the flag code for the US, this should never happen. The American flag is always supposed to be central. Unfortunately, we have an administration now that ignores that in favor of “Pride.”

We as Christians should also be concerned because, like the swastika, the rainbow has historically been seen as a symbol of God’s covenant with man to never flood the world again. That rainbow represents the promise of God to His people. It is now being used in a way that directly opposes something Christianity stands for.

Not only this, but at the White House event, some of the demonstrators had to be thrown out of the event for lewd behavior. Yes. This is the same kind of behavior that they want to have normalized in your child’s school. This is the ideology that is trying to take over your society. There will never be a step where they say “Enough.” It will always be a demand for more and more and more.

We know this because this has been the pattern. “We just want to be left alone.” “We just want the right to be with the person we love.” We want to be recognized in society.” Now we have surgeries being done on minors where their bodies are being altered. Just a couple of years ago it was seen as a big reveal to show that some hospitals were doing this to children. Now it’s common knowledge.

Now you can hardly see a movie or TV show without LGBTQ representation in it. Now you can’t take your child to a store without seeing something. A Christian friend of mine showed how her young daughter saw something on Amazon today about a program about a boy’s new dress. With the Call of Duty controversy going on (Which is what it should be instead of the NickMercs controversy seeing as there is nothing controversial about saying “Leave children alone”), we are seeing it be the debate in the gaming community.

I am pleased that this month, I am seeing pushback, but it will have to be for more than just a month. Now keep in mind when I say this about the movement, I mean the activists. I know of plenty of people in the group who just want to live their lives and don’t want all the attention. Our struggle is against an ideology and those who want to push it.

The pushback must continue though. I have a hope that sometime we will have the last pride month ever.

Maybe it will even be this month.

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