What do I think of Jim Hall’s new self-published book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
While the book says it’s by Stephany Chase, an interview has been done and Jim Hall is apparently the real author. We’ve dealt with Jim Hall a few times on this blog. We are quite confident he won’t engage back since any time I have challenged him on any point, he has refused to address it.
At any rate, this book is supposed to be 666 things your priest, rabbi, imam, etc. didn’t tell you. Nice to know Hall is expanding his repertoire. In all of this, I will not be able to fully comment on matters relating to Islam, though I might on some with some positions like Mormonism if I think I know enough about the subject matter. I also think it’s important to do that since I don’t want Hall misrepresenting anyone else’s religion any more than I want him misrepresenting mine.
Rather than go through the list of teachers each time, I will simply say a holy man. Hall says there are specific parts they avoid in teaching. First, I don’t doubt this on many points since many of our ministers are really quite shallow and have no wish to educate themselves. Second and more relevant here, there is nothing in the book of mine he can show me to surprise me since I’ve read the whole thing many times.
Hall also says there is no such thing as too much information. True enough, but there is the problem of false information. Hall does not have good information in this. He takes run of the mill atheist tropes and runs with them. Hall’s problem is too little information and too little if any interaction with scholarly sources.
He also says something about cognitive dissonance. This is a favorite atheist trope. It’s like it’s the only psychological condition they know. Of course, Hall has likely never read When Prophecy Fails on the matter, but hey, who needs to? I wonder if it’s cognitive dissonance that keeps him from responding to my reviews.
Hall also says to not take his word for anything. Look it up. I would believe that except as I have said, Hall has refused to respond to my review of his first book and still keeps going. Odd for someone who wants to be checked on and says there’s no such thing as too much information.
Hall also says many Christians try to wiggle out of the Old Testament saying the laws are no longer in effect. He is convinced they are. Is there any wrestling with Pauline teaching on the matter whatsoever? Nope. He has several verses for us, so let’s see.
“Keep his commandments for a thousand generations.”[ 1] – “Keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.”[ 2] – “Remember and obey the laws of Moses.”[ 3] – “Every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever.”[ 4] – “It is easier for Heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”[ 5] – “One came and said unto him, Jesus, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”[ 6]
Chase, Stephany. Pulling Back The Green Curtain: 666 Things Your Religious Leaders Never Taught You (pp. 4-5). UNKNOWN. Kindle Edition.
The first one is from Deuteronomy 7. This is a hyperbolic statement about the keeping of the commandments. It is also given to the people who had that covenant made with them. Gentiles are not those people. The second is in Deuteronomy 11 and is much the same. Malachi 4 is the third saying to remember the Law of Moses. Yep. That settles it I guess.
The fourth is from Psalm 119 and says God’s commands are true and endure forever. Note the Hebrew word for forever can refer to forever. It can refer to things lasting forever or a long time or even to something such as great men of old.
The fifth is from Luke 16 saying not one jot or tittle of the law will disappear. Correct. We also say that Jesus fulfilled the law for us. Again, Hall does not interact with any Christian interpretation of the passage.
The sixth Hall says is Luke 19:16, but it isn’t. It isn’t 20:16 or 21:16 or 18:16 either. It is the story of the rich young ruler being told to keep the commandments. Of course, he is! He’s still under the old covenant.
So again, Hall comes up amazingly short because he does not have enough information. Strange that a man who says too much information so much ignores information. Why is this?
Finally, at the end of the introduction, he has the logical problem of evil from Epictetus. Apparently, he’s unaware that Plantinga and others have solved the logical problem of evil. Atheistic philosophers don’t use it. That does not mean that the problem of evil itself has been abandoned, but some forms of it have been. Again, Hall just does not have enough information.
So next time we look at this book, we will start looking at the 666 claims. It will take awhile to go through, but what I have read so far is entirely disappointing.