Deeper Waters Podcast 6/3/2017: Alan Branch

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

Our culture is undergoing changes we never would have thought possible growing up and Christians face challenges that would have been unthinkable a couple of decades ago. The homosexual movement especially has risen up and demanded what is called “equality.” Why should this be given? Don’t you know? It’s not a choice. You’re born this way!

Well, are you?

My guest on the show this Saturday says “No. You are not born this way.” He is the author of the book Born This Way? and has looked deeply at the subject of if homosexuality has some sort of genetic origin. We’ll be talking about that this Saturday. His name is J. Alan Branch. So who is he?

Alan Branch got his B.B.A. at Kennesaw State College in 1991. He went on to get a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in December of 1993. He went on to get a Ph.D. from there in 2000 in theology with a focus on ethics. As of now, he is the Professor of Christian ethics at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What is the origin of homosexual attraction? Is it a choice? Are people born this way? If they are not, does that mean that they chose it? Branch’s book is a look at all the theories raised thus far to explain homosexuality and how it comes about. He looks at psychologists of the past as well as medical research done today to see if there is a genetic link of some kind to homosexual attraction.

So we’ll be having a brief history of this kind of study. We’ll be looking at Freud to see what he thought about homosexuality and then, we’ll move on to talk about Kinsey. Kinsey is a figure that needs to be talked about because he’s still highly influential in our culture today, yet not many people really know about all that was done by Kinsey and the kind of person he was.

What about objections raised today? Don’t we see this in the animal kingdom? Isn’t it thought that homosexuality is thus natural in so many animals? If it’s something natural, shouldn’t we have no problems with it today? What are we to say to this?

And of course, there’s the question about reparative therapy. If this is not something that is genetic, does that mean that it can be changed? If it can be changed, it is something that will even work? Many of us have heard the horror stories about what has gone wrong with this therapy and about people who claimed to be cured and yet fell back into the homosexual lifestyle. What are we to do then?

I hope you’ll be listening to the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. We’ll be working on getting it up for you as soon as we can. Please also consider going to ITunes and leaving a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast. It’s always good to hear what you like about the show so I can know what you want to hear.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Deeper Waters Podcast 7/18/2015

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

Marriage. It’s all in the news today. It’s amazing that what has been argued by some as just a piece of paper is at the same time being argued as essential for the homosexual movement. What is it about marriage that has sparked such a debate? What is marriage? Is it just a connection of two people in love, or is it something different? How could we ever know? In order to answer these questions, I decided to have a scholar of marriage come on my show so this Saturday, I am honored to be bringing you Glenn Stanton.

GlennStanton

Glenn T. Stanton is the director of Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs and a research fellow at the Institute of Marriage and Family in Ottawa. He debates and lectures extensively on the issues of gender, sexuality, marriage and parenting at universities and churches around the world. Stanton served the George W. Bush administration for many years as a consultant on increasing fatherhood involvement in the Head Start program.

Stanton is the author of five books about marriage and families, including “Why Marriage Matters: Reasons to Believe in Marriage in Postmodern Society,” “My Crazy, Imperfect Christian Family” and “Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting,” which was featured on C-SPAN BookTV. Stanton has also been interviewed on the Los Angeles NPR show, “AirTalk.” He is also a contributing author to nine others.

His latest book, “Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor: Being Friends in Grace and Truth,” explores how Christians should interact with gay or lesbian neighbors in a Christ-honoring way. He is also the author of “The Ring Makes All the Difference,” and “Secure Daughters, Confident Sons: How Parents Guide Their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity.”

Stanton is a graduate of the University of West Florida with graduate degrees in philosophy and history. He now makes his home in Colorado Springs with his wife and five children.

We’ll be talking with Stanton about the SCOTUS ruling first to determine what his stance is on the matter and why he thinks the way he thinks. What are Christians to say about this? Does having something be the law of the land mean that it is actually true, or is this a case of trying to redefine something?

We’ll also then talk about what difference marriage really makes to a society and to a person. Many people today are wanting to live together before getting married. After all, why would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive? We also have a problem with a culture that readily turns to divorce. What role does sex play in a marriage? What difference does it make how you live your marriage if you are married?

These are all important questions and I am honored to have an expert in the field come on, particularly as my own wife and I get ready to celebrate five years together. I hope you’ll be watching for the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: When God Goes To Starbucks

What do I think of Paul Copan’s book on everyday apologetics? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

 

starbucks

 

A friend of mine told me about getting this book as a Christmas gift and asked if I’d like to read it and see what I think. Now I do know Paul Copan and see him as a friend and I’ve liked all of his other books that I read and so I jumped at the chance. As expected, I was not disappointed.

Copan’s great strength is in so many of his books that he writes that are conversational and deal with issues that will pop up at a location such as Starbucks. In this volume, you’ll find issues such as the question of egoism, lying to the Nazis, the redefining of marriage, the Canaanite conquest in comparison to Islamic Jihad, if Jesus was wrong about His second coming, and the problem of so many denominations.

Copan lays out the case each time and then concludes with a summary of the issues. When that’s done, he’ll point to other works that are worth reading, many of them the works of scholars in the field which is something that I greatly appreciate. Copan’s writings are meant to be a starting point for further study with enough to show you where to go next.

I was pleased also to see him talking about the importance in the book of the honor and shame dynamic in the Middle Eastern culture and how we misread the Bible because of this. This is the kind of idea I wish would catch on like wildfire among evangelicals, but alas, as evangelicals too often are ignoring scholarship and sticking to a Western worldview, we are disappointed. It is one of the reasons that we have so much fundamentalism in the world today, including the way atheists respond to the Bible in assuming a Western context.

Also refreshing was to realize that Copan takes a Preterist viewpoint in answer to the question of the second coming of Christ. This is also a view I hope to see grow in the evangelical movement. Copan’s chapters on the question of the return of Jesus will no doubt cause great shock and concern among many Christians, as such an idea did for me when I was first looking into the problems of a dispensational viewpoint, but in coming to a Preterist view, I found a view that I hold has a more comprehensive explanation of Scriptural passages and speaks in the language of Scripture far more.

The only chapter I really thought could have used some more was the last one on the denominations in the church. There was no mention of the claim that there are x thousand denominations in the world today, with a number that seems to keep rising. Most people don’t realize this is an entirely bogus statistic and I would have liked to have seen more on that front.

Still, in a book like this, that that is my main concern should speak plenty about how excellent the rest of the volume is. This is a book I would gladly put in the hands of the layman today who is dealing with some of the issues that are being talked about. I consider Copan to be an excellent apologist and worker in the field and hope to see more books like this increasingly from him.

In Christ,

Nick Peters