Deeper Waters Podcast 10/26/2019

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

Truth is said to be stranger than fiction, but fiction sure can be pretty strange. If you interact with a lot of fiction, it can contain some stranger things. Let’s consider for example, Stranger Things, the hit series on Netflix. This series has been a mega-hit for Netflix and has a huge fan following. My wife and I are hoping we have enough to get Netflix again before the new season comes out next year.

Right after watching Season three this year, I went on Amazon to see if anyone had written anything about Christianity and Stranger Things. Sure enough, I found what I was looking for. Not only did I find it, I found it was by someone who had been on the show before.

So I send out a few emails and before too long, things are in the works. I’m really pleased to get to do a show on such a popular series. While it is doubtful the authors want to spread anything Christian in the series, that doesn’t mean we can’t see Christian themes in there. After all, it’s been said wherever you have a hero and a villain, you have the gospel.

We are almost to the day. It’s possible that Allie could be joining me on this show. While she hasn’t read the book, that could be to her advantage in this case so she could ask questions that anyone wondering about Christianity and Stranger Things could answer. We’re still waiting to see what she’ll do.

So Allie may or may not be present, but I can tell you who will be present besides myself. It will be our guest who is an Old Testament scholar who does a lot of work with Logos. He’s written a lot on the unseen realm and is now bringing that knowledge to Stranger Things. His name is Michael Heiser.

Who is he?

“A scholar in the fields of Biblical Studies and the Ancient Near East, Dr. MichaelS. Heiser is a Scholar-in-Residence at Faithlife Corporation, the makers of Logos Bible Software. Heiser studied at Dallas Theological Seminary, has a master’s degree in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in Hebrew Studies and a PhD in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published hundreds of essays and peer-reviewed papers in scholarly journals and popular periodicals such as Bible Study Magazine.¬†He has taught at the collegiate level for well over a decade, specializing in the¬†Hebrew Bible, Northwest Semitic languages (biblical Hebrew, biblical Greek, Syriac, Aramaic, Ugaritic, Egyptian, Akkadian, Sumerian, Phoenician, and Moabite), biblical theology, the history and religions of the ancient Near East and Second Temple Jewish literature.”

What hath Stranger Things to do with Christianity? What are the themes in the show that point to Christian ideas? What about moral problems in the show like pre-marital sex and other such issues? How should Christians approach a work like Stranger Things?

I hope you’ll be watching for this episode and that you’ll be watching your podcast feed. We are working on putting up new episodes more and more. Please also leave a positive review on iTunes for us.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The World Turned Upside Down. Finding The Gospel In Stranger Things.

What do I think about Michael Heiser’s book published by Lexham Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My wife and I are fans of Stranger Things, the hit show on Netflix. (It’s one reason we want to get back someday our subscription to Netflix.) We’re not the only ones. Stranger Things has become the hit sensation that has got a huge fan following. The Duffer Brothers, the minds behind it, have hit upon something in our culture.

If you haven’t seen it, the show is set in the 80’s in a small county. Some pre-teen boys regularly play Dungeons and Dragons together and one night, things get real as in conjunction with some work in a science lab in the town, a monster takes one of the boys hostage when he’s alone and takes him to a parallel dimension known as the Upside Down to the people who know about it.

The boys also encounter a girl with psychic powers who was also being experimented on known only as Eleven. The series then involves the adventures of this party and others involved in their own families and anyone else in the town they involve trying to make sense of what’s happening. I really don’t want to say much more than that, but if you watch it, there’s a reason why it’s such an engrossing series.

Dr. Michael Heiser also agrees. He describes it as the series of his childhood, because it fits the time that he lived when he was growing up. He does not think for a moment that the Duffer brothers have in mind telling a Christian story, but in many of our stories there are things that do jive well with a Christian worldview. In this case, one of the big lessons in the series is that there are other powers in this world and we are not alone.

While much of Stranger Things involves science, a lot doesn’t fit with a scientific worldview. There are powers that the creatures and Eleven have that go beyond what we see science often showing. In the same way, we live in a world where there is much that is not known by science and cannot be known. This is not to mock science, but to say science has its limits.

There’s also the concept of a party. The boys form a small group of adventurers that do all that they can together to fight against an oppressive government agency and a monster from another world. They have divisions among themselves, but they ultimately stick together. Other people wind up joining in the adventure and so far in the seasons, what you see is, in the end, several differing quests come together and reach a conclusion.

Many of these center around family. When the young boy goes missing, his mother never gives up hope, even when his body is presented. That body is not her son’s. She’s right. Mothers somehow know. The bonds of family often run deep in Stranger Things.

Love is also a constant reality. Naturally, you have stories of teenage love and as the boys are coming of age, they are forming their own love relationships. Sometimes, these relationships hurt. Some people are scared to open up. Sadly, sometimes, some of the people die in the relationships due to the interactions of the monsters. There’s no guarantee that the story will have rainbows and puppies all throughout.

This book features on the first two seasons. I do hope a sequel will come out of the book when the series is done to give overall thoughts. Stranger Things I think hits on our culture because we all know there is something more. We don’t have to believe in an Upside Down, but we can believe there is another world beyond ours. We can believe there are greater powers. We can believe in good vs evil. We can believe in love and family.

Whatever you think of the series, you probably know someone who likes it. Why not give them this book if they are a non-Christian? Actually, why not if they are a Christian since they can think about it all the more? I highly endorse this book.

In Christ,
Nick Peters