Book Plunge: Not Afraid of the Antichrist

What do I think of Craig Keener and Michael Brown’s book published by Chosen books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I used to be a futurist pre-trib dispensationalist. I’m not proud of it. I grew up in the Bible Belt and I heard Southern Gospel music and I never heard any other view. Christians believe in the rapture. It wasn’t until I got the internet that I heard a contrary view.

And I went kicking and screaming into that contrary view. Who would want to disbelieve in the rapture? Who would want to go through a great tribulation and face the antichrist?

However, there were still questions I had. Eventually, I found my eschatological home. Today, I am an orthodox preterist. I realize Keener and Brown don’t come from this position, but I wanted to go through their book to see what they had to say about the dispensationalist position which is still extremely prominent in the church.

I describe them as firm and gentle. They start out telling their stories on how they came to believe in the rapture and then in how they came to disbelieve in the rapture. They have nothing but respect for their friends who are still dispensationalist and pre-tribulationists. They are just writing this to answer questions that they have often received.

Let’s also go with a positive. The application aspects of this book are excellent. Keener and Brown write about how Christians all over the world are already going through suffering. It can be comforting if you think you could be excluded from such suffering by a rapture, but no one is guaranteed this. Keener and Brown stress that even if Christians have to face the antichrist, they have nothing to be afraid of because Jesus is greater. With these, all Christians be they pre-tribulationists or orthodox preterists should say amen. I think all of us need to read this section of the book because many of us in the West don’t have any real idea of what persecution is like from experience.

When the pair look at the arguments, they are again firm, but gentle. Michael Brown specializes in Old Testament arguments. No. I’m not going to give his answers here, but he looks at questions like “Doesn’t God regularly deliver his people from suffering in the Old Testament such as in the case of the flood or Sodom and Gomorrah?” Keener deals with New Testament passages like 1 Thess. 4 and others.

They also stress that the Second Coming is a one-stage event. The idea of the rapture breaks the second coming into two different stages. It also has a problem with the idea of the resurrection being on the last day and then a resurrection happening before the last day.

That being said, I do have some criticisms. For one, preterism is nowhere mentioned in the book. Neither is futurism. I would like to know what reasons Keener and Brown have for not accepting this viewpoint.

Next, I think as a Preterist that while Keener and Brown rightly reject pre-tribulationism, they still have many of the ideas in it. For example, what about the antichrist. The term antichrist only shows up in the epistles of John, and yet the Beast in Revelation is thought to be the antichrist as is the Man of Lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians. That could be right, but it needs to be argued for.

I also think 2 Thessalonians presents a problem with this since we are told about this man entering the temple. There is no reason to think Paul has in mind a third temple that will supposedly be built sometime in the future. If that is the case, then that would mean the Man of Lawlessness has already come and if he has, then if he is the antichrist, then antichrist has already come.

Let’s also remember the Olivet Discourse. This begins with the destruction of the temple. It concludes with Jesus saying “Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass until some of these things have taken place.” Oh wait. That’s not what it says. He says “All of these things.” That means the generation that sees these things start will see them end and how did the questioning start? The destruction of the temple. The generation that sees that will see the coming of Jesus.

By the way, let’s note in the passage it is about the coming of Jesus, but not to Earth. Jesus refers to Daniel 7. That shows Jesus coming to His throne in Heaven. The disciples asked Him for the sign of His coming, not knowing He would die let alone die, rise again, and then ascend into Heaven and return in the future.

I also think the authors assume a great tribulation. This is still like taking part of the pre-tribulation paradigm and running with it. We have a great tribulation referred to in Rev.7 and in Matthew 24, but why not think that that is the destruction of Jerusalem. Why assume a future event?

The authors also state that satan always has his antichrist ready for each generation since he doesn’t know the hour. I found this a very weak point. For one, satan would always be thinking that he is going to overcome the plans of God, such as in the crucifixion. Here, he is acting like he has to play along. Next, how could you establish this? How can we go and look in each generation in history and find someone who would be the antichrist of that time? Keep in mind I think this is the weakest argument in the book and I even hate having to mention it because the rest is excellent.

Again, the best part of this book is the section on overcoming suffering and being willing to for Christ. Even if pre-tribulationists disagree up and down with the rest of the book, they need to read that part. Every Christian does. I would be thrilled if future editions of the book would include more about this.

Christians who are pre-tribulationists need to read this book to receive a kind criticism. People who are not can read this to realize why they abandoned it. Orthodox preterists like myself should read this to get the criticism and for the blessing at the end. In other words, read this book.

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

Book Plunge: Vertical Marriage

What do I think of Dave and Ann Wilson’s book published by Zondervan. Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Dave Wilson didn’t know what to think. He had gone all out to try to impress his wife on their tenth anniversary only to hear her say “I don’t think I love you anymore.” At that point, marriage could have easily ended and as their book shows, their marriage had had rocky times up to that point, but they did turn it around.

The secret was to go vertical. It was to make the relationship with Christ the priority. It sounds easy and really, it’s a message we shouldn’t need to hear, but we too often do. Today, Dave and Ann are happily married and getting better everyday.

It hasn’t been without several bumps in the road. Dave and Ann are fully honesty and share their great mistakes together that they made. Dave talks about being alone in a hotel room and just watching 30 seconds of a porn movie and how that led to an addiction that even to this day he has to keep under control.

Ann talks about how she could be tempted to hold a grudge against Dave, such as the time he forgot to fix a light on her car until the last minute. Instead, it’s always best to go vertical. It’s my personal philosophy that no one will ever wrong you greater than you have wronged Jesus Christ, and yet He forgives you.

One of the first sections of the book is on communication, which is always a problem. There are different communication styles and people tend to communicate with what they grew up with. Some people grew up in houses where there weren’t any problems. Does that sound unrealistic? That’s right, because the reality is they had problems, but it was better to just not talk about them. You avoided the issue. Then some people grew up in houses where you dealt with the issue right away.

Now imagine what happens when spouses with those communication styles get together.

And one of the great techniques here is listening. It’s too easy to not hear what the other person is saying and instead interpreting it through what you think. Those of us in apologetics know that it’s easy for us to be misunderstood by skeptics online and we can also do the same thing. The way a man understands the world is vastly different from the way a woman does.

There is naturally a section entirely on intimacy. No. This is not about a new position to try in the bedroom or a new technique. This is about connection. There are some absolutely hysterical parts of the book in this section. Some stories are quite amazing, such as when there was a mission trip that took place in Sweden with several young men and in to a place they were working at walked in three topless women. Dave did lower his head then to which his wife said, “If you look up, you are dead.”

This is another issue where men and women think differently. Men tend to focus on the physical aspect and women want the more relational aspect. It’s not to say men don’t appreciate the relational connection or women don’t appreciate the bodies of their men, but it does mean that generally, this is where the primary focus lies.

The book is easy to read and very funny. The Wilsons do freely share the skeletons in their closets. There are times in the book when it is Dave speaking and times when it is Ann.

The only aspect of the book I couldn’t really embrace so often is my questioning of the idea that God is telling people to do XYZ on a regular basis. I always wonder how they know that. There is even one time where Dave writes a note to his wife and is convinced the words are from God when he gives it, but we know they’re not and Dave would say the same thing about the content of the note now. This is not to say advice said to be from God is not good advice. I just question if it came directly from God.

Don’t let that hold you back. This is an enjoyable book and should change your perspective. If you want to improve your marriage, go get this one.

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

Book Plunge: Finding Quiet

What do I think of J.P. Moreland’s book published by Zondervan? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If you have had one, you can often remember the first time. Things can seem normal, and then out of the blue, boom, it hits you. For me, I remember I was at home alone in my high school years and watching Touched By An Angel, a show I really don’t care for today now being better informed, and then I felt something coming over me.

It was something I had never felt before, but it wasn’t anything good. It felt like the whole world was coming to an end. It was a sensation of overwhelming doom and judgment. It was such a defining moment in my life that I spent the next few years living in response to that moment.

It’s what you call a panic attack.

It would be a mistake to castigate someone in some way for this. It doesn’t mean that you’re someone who is stupid and uninformed. Smart people can get panic attacks. It doesn’t mean you lack faith. People who are devout Christians and well-informed in their faith can get panic attacks.

J.P. Moreland did. His was likely brought on just because he was working too hard and getting overwhelmed. When you are in the midst of that fear and that panic, nothing makes sense any more. Moreland wound up going to a therapist and taking medications.

The latter part is quite sad. It’s not because he was taking medication, but because he dared say that when giving a sermon at a church and after that, the pastor said he received a large number of texts from people who were complaining about someone in the pulpit approving psychiatric medications and Moreland was never asked to come back. Sadly, too many in the church have that attitude.

Like many though, Moreland will rightly say that you have to work to change your thinking. You also have to learn to work with your own body. Some of your mental issues at times could be physiologically affected. For instance, if you don’t sleep well, you don’t think well. I understand many Navy Seals go through Hell Week involving deep training. These guys have to go days without sleep and at that point, they often start hallucinating.

In David Seamands’s book Healing For Damaged Emotions, he says that he has been told by doctors and nurses that when a patient comes to a hospital struggling with suicidal thinking, they will often give them protein. There can be a lack of real substance in them. With that, something else needs to be said.

Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. J.P. Moreland’s book is mainly about anxiety, but similar techniques can work for depression. Moreland does say he was never suicide, but he did sometimes ask God to finish him off in some way. He felt like his life was a waste and he just wanted the pain to go away.

Many Christians could be surprised to hear Moreland think his life was a waste. Let’s also add in that no matter who they are, people need to be told that they do make a difference and matter. Moreland doesn’t mention that part, but it needs to be said.

Moreland gives various techniques in the book and I will not share them because if you are one who like me can struggle with anxiety, you need to read the book for yourself and get them. Even someone who is of a secular mindset could get some good out of this, although I am sure they won’t care for the idea of prayer being used. Definitely, as indicated earlier, the church needs to be kinder to those struggling. People who have mental struggles in the church often think lowly enough of themselves already. They don’t need to be shot at further for seeking treatment.

Moreland’s book is also not going to go over your head. This isn’t your standard apologetics work, although there is some of that in there. This is more on helping you to live better in the midst of anxiety and depression, which can come to all of us.

I know for when the times comes that I struggle, I appreciate knowing I am not alone. After all, since that time in my past, I have learned a lot which has helped me get past anxiety and depression more, but there can be times that one encounters difficult events that bring it all back again. I plan to always be learning how to overcome the monster.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

Book Plunge: What Is The Gospel?

What do I think of Greg Gilbert’s book published by Crossway? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’m in the process of joining a new church and in the membership class, this book is given to us as a requirement to read. As a side note, let me say I think that is awesome. Churches should be encouraging their members to read more books.

So what are my thoughts on the book? Let’s go with a straight list of positives and negatives and with the negatives, I plan to say how I would change them.

First positive, this is a short book. Not only does it have less than 150 pages, but it’s also small in size meaning you can carry it with you easily and a church member will not get intimidated by it. I would love to see church members read something like N.T. Wright’s The Resurrection of the Son of God, but let’s face it. Most people are not going to read a book with 800+ pages sadly.

Second, it is easy to understand. The author does not use high theological terms that a layman would understand. He also uses real life examples that most anyone can relate to.

Third, there is talk, including one chapter, on ideas not normally included in the gospel, such as the Kingdom of God. I wondered if this is the effect of Wright in some way. Too often in gospel presentations, it’s easy to skip the life of Jesus and go straight to the death and resurrection. I was concerned for some time going through that the kingdom would never be mentioned, but thankfully, it was.

That brings me to what I would like to change.

First, when the gospel is being defined, the writer immediately goes to Romans. Romans is a great place to go to, but I’m thinking “Why don’t we start with Jesus?” This can be a problem though because if you think the central theme of the gospel is something like “Justified by faith” then what do you do with Jesus preaching in Mark in the first chapter saying the Kingdom of God has come near and to repent and believe the gospel.

This not to deny the doctrine of justification, but saying we need to see what Jesus meant by the gospel first instead of jumping to what Paul means by the gospel. This is also not to deny Paul. Christians should be reading Paul, but we need to go to Paul to understand Jesus and not Jesus to understand Paul.

For those wondering what I say on this matter, Jesus is saying that God is going to be king over the world again through Jesus and is reconciling the world to Himself. All are called to show allegiance to the true king revealed in Christ. Those who do so are going to be justified by their faith (Loyalty) to the one true God.

Second, there was a part where the author got into the definition of faith and saying that it is not blind belief or anything like that. He is certainly right. However, nowhere in this was anything about apologetics even mentioned, which is a great need in the church. I understand this isn’t a book about that, but would it have been difficult to add in a paragraph like this?

“For those interested in why we believe, there is a branch of Christianity called apologetics that is dedicated to answering hard questions about Christianity. This book is not about that field, but for those interested, I have included an appendix in the back of the book. This appendix lists a few books on specific topics that can get you started.”

Third, I understand at the end what Gilbert was saying about how the cross is central, yet as I went through this section, I kept thinking that it’s great to speak about the cross, but what about the resurrection? Shouldn’t we include that? If all we have is the cross and no resurrection, we have nothing. We can say we are justified by the cross, but only if that cross is followed by a resurrection.

Finally, I would have liked to have seen something more on the nation of Israel. When we tell the story of the Old Testament, we start at the fall and then tend to jump straight to Jesus. We need to know the purpose of Israel and the purpose of the Law, especially in a day and age where many atheists also misunderstand the Law and like to pelt Christians with questions on it.

Overall though, this is a good introduction to the topic. The criticisms I have could be easily fixed after all and most readers won’t notice something like that. This is a great book for a layman to learn how to address this topic.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

Book Plunge: Decoding Nicea

What do I think of Paul Pavao’s self-published book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The Council of Nicea and Constantine. These are two subjects where we have a lot of heat and very little light. Look at a work such as The Da Vinci Code and you’ll find nonsense on there such as that the deity of Christ was decided at Nicea by a very close vote. One lady online told me that she abandoned Christianity when she found out the canon was decided at the Council and proceeded to send me a link that said that that was actually a great myth about the Council.

Paul Pavao has a book to help deal with this. A good benefit of his book is at the start, he’s not just trying to tell the facts about Nicea. He wants you to know how the facts are known. As he says:

You don’t have to wonder about what is being said in this book. You can look up every reference I give. There are not any other primary sources. Everything else said about the Council of Nicea that is not from these sources is speculation or wishful thinking.

He does just this. The book is heavily filled with endnotes. He does look at the debate at Nicea and points out it could be more accurately said that it was about what the Son of God was made of, what is His substance. Much was agreed on at the Council, but what was disagreed on was sure substantial.

This book also includes looking at several references in the church fathers to see what they had to say about the deity of Christ before Nicea. It’s easy to see that there were no innovations at the meeting. The appendices are filled with several historical documents as well.

As it goes into church history, there are looks at other questions as well. One such question I liked is the one on the Sabbath, though I wish there had been more on this. The SDA church lists several claims about the RCC supposedly admitting that they changed the date of the Sabbath. Perhaps that was out of the scope of the book though.

There is rather substantial pushback to RCC claims about the Pope. It would be interesting to see some members of the RCC respond to this. I as a Protestant agree with the claims and am skeptical of many of the claims my Catholic and Orthodox friends make about church history.

I also like the response to the idea that Constantine tried to destroy all the Gnostic writings. As Pavao says:

If Constantine was unable to succeed in extinguishing the memory and writings of Arius, just one man, do we really believe that he destroyed all the gnostic writings and there’s no record of his even trying?

What about the canon? Yep. Nothing to do with Nicea. There is an appendix with the canon lists from church history in the back. I do have some pushback here as I don’t think the Muratorian Canon really dates to the time it’s said to date to and is really a forgery.

Pavao also stresses that it’s a shame that Christians got so violent over the question of Nicea. We spent years working on our doctrine, which we should, but we didn’t spend so much time looking at our practice. Sadly, today we are still in the same boat. While we weren’t killing each other, remember the problems from the Inerrancy wars in the past decade? I am not opposed to Christian debate as we should have that, but too often we are ready to shoot our own instead of going after our own common enemies.

That is another great benefit of the book. The work is not only meant to help clear up myths about Nicea, which it does a great job of, but it also is meant to tell us how we should better live as Christians. Not enough study has been done on this topic and definitely not enough practice. What does it matter if we reached the orthodox position at Nicea if we go out instead and live like heathens?

The book is long, but it is worth it. It is also readily readable for the layman. Anyone can pick up this book and understand it. I encourage Christians and skeptics to do so. There are too many myths believed about Nicea.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth.)
Support my Patreon here.

Book Plunge: The Politics of Envy

What do I think of Anne Hendershott’s book published by Crisis Publications?

Envy is said to be the one sin that we don’t enjoy while we’re doing it. A guy can enjoy lust while he’s sitting at his computer watching pornography. We can rejoice in the adulation we get when undergoing pride. Having a lot of wealth and greed can be a good feeling and many a glutton still loves the taste of food.

Envy doesn’t do any of that. Unless acted on also, it will not hurt the one we are envious of a bit. They get along with their lives just fine. However, despite all of that, we still struggle with envy. It does us no good and it leads to great damage.

It’s almost as if man is fallen.

This book is written from a perspective that is religious and I think likely Catholic, but being religious does not mean that the secularist has nothing to get out of the book. Religion is presented in a gentle way. This isn’t in your face Christianity and the skeptic of Christianity could still easily agree with the damage that envy does.

One of the places the book starts off with is sex and marriage. Here, we encounter a confusion between jealousy and envy. If a husband has a wife who is being adulterous, he will have jealousy, and that is in this case something noble to have. The husband expects an inclusive intimate relationship with his wife and that is not being given.

Most all societies view marriage this way. Really? What about the Inuit people who are supposed to have free love going on? Not so fast.

The reality is , as David Buss writes from an evolutionary perspective : “ Contrary to popular myth , male sexual jealousy is the leading cause of spousal homicide among the Inuit , and these homicides occur at an alarmingly high rate . Inuit men share their wives only under highly circumscribed conditions , such as when there is a reciprocal expectation that the favor will be returned in kind . . . . All of these findings demonstrate that there is no paradise populated with sexually liberated people who share mates freely and do not get jealous . ”

Many of those who claim to be open in this way do normally have some breaking point. If they don’t, it’s easy to wonder if they really care about the relationship at all. However, that is jealousy. There is real envy going on.

This happens with a group called the InCels, which stands for involuntary celibates. These are guys who would love to have sexual relationships with women, but they don’t think they are desirable in the eyes of women. Sadly, this has arrested in a lot of violence taking place. Killing sprees were done by Alec Minassian and Elliot Rodger.

All of this happens because of the envy that these guys have. It is the kind that says they want to take their rejection by women out on the world around them. There are other places of envy to consider as well.

Do we not hear today often about taxing the rich? This will pay for all of our nice social programs from the government. Right? How much of this is envy? Historically, this tactic failed in the past, but today is different. In the past….

In Federalist No . 10 , James Madison dismissed the idea of taxing what he called the “ various descriptions of property ” because he knew it would begin to destroy the rules of justice . The Fourteenth Amendment promised equal protection of the law to all citizens , and early attempts to “ tax the rich ” met with legislative failure . In 1894 , when Congress passed an income tax that was levied on only the top 2 percent of wealth holders , the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional because it targeted only one group . Writing for the majority , Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field repudiated the congressional action and predicted that if such a tax were allowed , it would be the “ stepping stone to others , larger and more sweeping , until our political contests become a war of the poor against the rich . ”

And as Hayek warned:

According to economist Friedrich Hayek ( 1899 – 1992 ) , “ social justice rests on the hate towards those that enjoy a comfortable position , namely , upon envy . ” In The Mirage of Social Justice , Hayek suggests that social justice is a notion that lacks a rigorous meaning since no one has been able to determine , except in the marketplace , what would be the absolutely just distribution of the patrimony and income in a mass society . Suggesting that the phrase social justice had become a source of “ sloppy thinking and intellectual dishonesty , ” Hayek believed that using the phrase was “ the mark of demagogy and cheap journalism which responsible thinkers ought to be ashamed to use because , once its vacuity is recognized , its use is dishonest . ” Describing social justice as “ that incubus which today makes fine sentiments the instruments for the destruction of all values of a free civilization , ” Hayek warned that the continued unexamined pursuit of “ social justice ” will contribute to the erosion of personal liberties and encourage the advent of totalitarianism .

It should not be a shock that we have envy going on. Whenever I hear people talk about social justice, I notice it is never really defined. The reality is economics won’t change that. Some people will always have something that someone else won’t and despite what we think, the self-esteem movement has not helped a bit with this. We really need to consider if envy is driving much of what we do today and if it is, it won’t end well.

And as for why we make such a big deal about politics….

In some important ways , this has contributed to the current culture of envy because once the realm of the metaphysical is rejected , individuals become creatures not of God but of society and politics . This is why everything is now political . It is also why people become anxious and consumed with political campaigns and the outcomes of elections . Those who continue to try to depend on their traditional religious institutions have found that , in many cases , religion itself has become corrupted by politics — losing its transcendental reference points while it undermines balanced political judgment .

After all, if our hope is not to be found in God, it must be found in man, and thus if an election goes wrong, then there goes everything. This does not mean that a Christian or any religious person shouldn’t care about politics. It means politics should not be seen as everything.

No look at this would be complete without social media being discussed. In the past, those who lived glamorous lives didn’t have everything they did accessible to the public. Now, they do. Facebook and Instagram and other sites have us putting forward our best selves normally and we are competing with the best selves of others.

Sometimes, we can go to talk about problems on these sites, but it really isn’t the best place to go. This is not to say we don’t form true friendships on these sites, as I have, but that does mean that most people won’t invest in you like real friends will offline. Social media has actually led to us being depressed and being dependent on what others think of us going for that coveted “like.”

The hope for this is the recovery of the sacred. We need to know what is truly good and worth pursuing for all of us and that is available for all of us. That will also help us to look less at others and then pursue that which is worthwhile.

Again, even if you are a skeptic of religion, you will likely get something good out of this book. Envy is a topic we need to discuss more often. If we miss that so much of what we do is a result of envy, we will only keep doing the damage that envy causes without any real long-term solutions.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

Book Plunge: Sex Matters

What do I think of Mona Charen’s book published by The Crown Forum? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Feminism has failed women.

This is not to say that everything it has done has been a catastrophe. What it means is that the movement has done more harm than good. While it hailed itself as pro-woman, it has actually been anti-woman. The damage has been because it had an idea of what they would like women to be, but ignored what women really are, and the same for men as well.

The movement assumed that for many women, the dream is to be a career woman. It assumed that women should experience sex the same way that men do. It assumed that women must be able to have abortions in order to be on equal footing with men.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of women. Women tend to really want to feel security. Marriage is one of the great ways that women can have that security. Not only that, that also has a positive effect on the man as the marriage covenant usually domesticates a man.

It started with some good goals for women, but then it went on to other ones. Many of the earliest feminists would be appalled at what feminism is today. The first one to really change the way the movement was seen was Betty Friedan with the Feminine Mystique. Much of what she said was rooted in Communism as well.

From there, more and more feminists wanted to push the envelope further. Marriage was seen as a bondage for women. Women should pursue sex outside of marriage. Motherhood should not be a major goal for women. Abortion should be a right for women.

Unfortunately, all of this denies what women are. Women have a natural longing for the most part to be mothers. Many women would be willing to sacrifice a career to raise their children directly. Sex outside of marriage does not do women good but rather allows them to be used.

This is built on the idea that femininity is something artificial that can be bent to be whatever we want, but if women have a nature and we are fighting against that, then we are doing harm to women. The same is also done to men. We live in an age where we hear about toxic masculinity and complaining about the patriarchy, automatically assuming that masculinity is a bad thing and a man is a villain if he leads.

This has also led to women severing their bonds. In abortion, a woman severs the natural bond she has to be a mother to her children. Abortion is actually the most anti-feminine behavior I can think of. First off, many of the babies aborted are themselves women. Second, a woman is doing the exact opposite of the motherly instinct and learning to kill her own children for the sake of something else. It could be money or career or just wanting to have free sex. Either way, a woman does herself great harm as she has to find a way to justify abortion.

A woman also has to shut herself down during sex which can lead to the hook-up culture. Women are too easily used and many women have taught themselves to not feel anything during sex lest they form a connection that get severed. Many women will also say yes to sex when they don’t really want to because of fear of losing the guy or of being seen as a prude by society.

We’re also told men need to stop pressuring women to have sex. This is true, but at the same time, in reality, men also have far more testosterone in their bodies and think about sex a whole lot more than women. We are also far more aggressive. Andrew Sullivan is even cited with an example of how he was getting testosterone for something and at the start, he almost got into a fight with his neighbor because of it.

Do men need to control their strong desire for sex? Yes. Will you change male nature though? No. The more you do that, you will find yourself fighting against reality.

Let’s consider some ways we are doing that. Charen cites someone who complains about a tool that is used by women to help them see if a date rape drug has been put in a drink. A woman complains saying she doesn’t want to live in a world where she has to fear that her date has done something like that.

That’s a fine goal, but the reality is we do live in that world. We do live in a world where some men are scum and you might not know if that guy you just met in a bar is one of them or not. I remember hearing actress Bates say about the Weinstein situation that in her day, when a man invited you up to his hotel room, you knew what it was about.

Men, however, also can be natural protectors. If a man has a wife, for the most part, he will want to protect her and provide for her. I remember even when I worked at a movie theater as a young adult. We worked at a mall and often got out of work after midnight. I would always walk my female co-workers to their cars and told them the same thing. “If someone comes after us, you run. Don’t look back. Don’t worry about me. Just run.” After all, I’m a Christian. I knew where I was going. My goal was to keep the women safe.

This has also changed college culture. Date rape is on the rise and more and more control is being exerted. Many a woman can seduce a man or at least have sex where the man thinks it’s consensual and then months later he’s slapped with rape and abuse charges. The problem is usually when a couple is having sex there aren’t a lot of witnesses around.

And what about after that? The family is in crisis. It was long beforehand, but it has only gotten worse because of feminism and “sexual liberation.” We have let government take the role of parents and it just doesn’t work. The main loss is the loss of fathers. Children are best raised by their biological mothers and fathers in a committed relationship.

The breakdown of the family is a disaster for men and women both, but especially for the children afterward. We are fighting against reality by doing this. We need to go back and examine feminism and see what is really good for women, and not for men, and not just what we would like to see.

This is an excellent book that we definitely need to read and the data is far more than I can show in just a blog review. I would that more people would read a book like this. Our society is on a downhill track and we really need to change it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

Book Plunge: Woke

What do I think of Titania McGrath’s book published by Constable? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Truly, we have a budding genius in our times whose writing will bring about a new Copernican Revolution. Then again, she would prefer we call this a McGrathian since Copernicus was obviously a racist and sexist cis white male. Everyone of us should be blessed by reading McGrath’s work.

Obviously, everything is tongue in cheek here. Titania McGrath doesn’t really exist. She is the creation of Andrew Doyle. Her satirical work is meant to make fun of woke culture and does a superb job. I found something that made me laugh on most every page.

Consider some examples:

The conservative broadcaster Ben Shapiro ( whose opinions are always wrong ) bases much of what he believes on facts, which just goes to show how useless they are. ‘ Facts don’t care about your feelings, ’ he is known to say. The opposite is true. Feelings don’t care about your facts. This is how social justice works. If you feel something to be true, then it is true.

One might be tempted to think that it’s obvious that feelings don’t determine reality, but then look at our culture. Is that not what is too often happening? When it comes to transgenderism, what data is pointed to but feelings? Now working on changing the feelings isn’t acceptable. One must change the body instead. Speaking of transgender:

“Anybody who has ever taken even a rudimentary course in Gender Studies will know that there are literally no biological differences between men and women. Except in the case of trans people, who are born in the wrong body.”

“I mention all of this because enlightened society now realizes that gender is fluid, the outdated categories of ‘male’ and ‘female’ being dictatorial taxonomies assigned randomly at birth. Some ‘ experts ’ still maintain that there are only two sexes. The idea that knowledge is more important than feelings is everything that is wrong with the field of modern science.”

We should all know that so much of this is nonsense. However, when it is put in a satirical form, it becomes that much more enjoyable. That is the way satire is supposed to work.

There’s much more than just transgenderism. McGrath speaks about Islam as well.

In order to achieve wokeness, one must treat Muslims with special sensitivity. This is essential given the increasingly vehement forms of prejudice they face due to damaging stereotypes in the media and popular culture, as well as legitimate grievances in Islamic communities, which have arisen as a direct corollary of Western depredations in international conflicts. Also, some of them have bombs.

What makes this so funny is the last part. Bart Ehrman was once asked why he doesn’t do what he does with the New Testament to the Qur’an. His answer was quite revealing.

And what happens when there is an attack by a Muslim? You go after the logical target, the Christians. We’ve seen it happen before.

Every time I hear about another act of jihadist terrorism my heart sinks because I know there’ll be a horrible Islamophobic backlash. Whatever their crimes, nothing that ISIS have ever done comes close to the acts perpetrated by the European nations during the Crusades. Surely in the face of modern-day jihadism, we need to be focusing on the misdeeds of medieval Christians. Anything else would be sheer hypocrisy.

And going on those standards,

Westerners have to understand that there is a civil war raging within Islam, and moderates are trying to reform the more problematic beliefs. We could see evidence of this when Islam was rebranded as The Religion Of Peace ™, which I think we can all agree is much catchier. This also helps to remind everyone that when somebody drives a truck into a group of pedestrians, shouting ‘ Allahu Akbar ’, it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam.

You can try to deny it, but remember the Fort Hood shooting? It was marked as workplace violence. I still remember all the memes going around about the Crusades being workplace violence.

Feminism is also a target.

If women choose to sacrifice the prospect of a career in order to breed, that is of course up to them. By doing so, however, they are embodying all that is rotten in patriarchal society. They have internalized their misogyny to such a degree that they genuinely believe that raising a child is more important and rewarding than earning money.

Most of us would laugh at this, except we see it happening. Many of us do place money over what matters most like children. How many of us neglect our families at times for lesser goods?

How many times also have we said something about safe spaces at universities and conservative speakers being chased off of campus?

Student unions at universities are currently spearheading the battle against free speech through the creation of ‘ safe spaces ’ where debate is outlawed if the topics are potentially triggering. At Oxford, a debate on abortion was canceled because a man with incorrect views was scheduled to appear. Debates are all very well in principle, but there’s no need to represent all sides of an argument. One protestor, Niamh McIntyre, said, ‘ The idea that in a free society absolutely everything should be open to debate has a detrimental effect on marginalized groups. ’ A university is hardly the appropriate place for exploring alternative ideas.

Something like this is so incredible since a university is exactly where you should be exploring alternative ideas. We should all welcome debate on controversial topics. As I write this post even, I am dealing with atheists on a JW page who are doing everything they can to avoid reading a book that disagrees with them.

And as for pop culture:

Hip hop music is sublime, with the exception of white rap artists such as Eminem, Vanilla Ice, and Pam Ayres. But while enjoying rap, one must guard against cultural appropriation. When Kendrick Lamar invited a white fan onto the stage to sing along to his song ‘ M.A. A.D City ’ at a concert in Alabama, he was forced to interrupt when she repeatedly used the n-word. Nobody can fathom why the girl indulged in this racist outburst. Some have surmised that it might have something to do with the word being a continual feature in the song’s lyrics.

This is something I have often thought about and yes, I think much of this music does much damage to the culture by instilling ideas that do promote the usage of women especially.

Woke is a hilarious read and one that is not too long. Christian readers need to know the book does contain language that would not be appropriate for your children. The point is that this is satire done extremely well and those who enjoy political humor should read it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

Book Plunge: Is The Bible At Fault?

What do I think of Jerry Pattengale’s book published by Worthy Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The Bible has been used to teach good moral lessons to people for thousands of years. We can look in American history at the McGuffey Readers which helped teach children how to read and taught them how to live well based on the Bible. There is even the old story about an atheist debating a theist (I don’t remember if he was a Jew or a Christian) and the theist asked the skeptic, “If you found yourself in the streets of the city late at night and your car broken down and you saw a door open to a building and out came ten big, burly men heading toward you, would it or would it not make a difference if you knew that they were coming from a Bible study?”

Humorous, but we get the point. This makes the Bible sound really good, and I think it is naturally, but unfortunately, we also know that all good things can be misused. The Bible has been a tool for wonderful character development, but too many have misused it.

This book looks at the misuses and asks if the Bible is at fault. Were these people doing a proper interpretation of Scripture or were they misusing it to justify actions that were definitely evil. We move throughout time even looking at present situations in this book.

A lot of these I had never heard of. Some I had and these were obvious ones, but the reading was still interesting. The KKK is one we have all heard of, but to hear the way they interpreted the text was quite interesting. Even the biggest critic of Scripture should realize the point of Jonah and the whale is not that a Jew is so repulsive that a whale has to vomit him up.

Another one I had heard of was Andrew Hamblin. This is a guy I dealt with years ago when I moved back to Tennessee the first time. He holds church services involving the handling of poisonous snakes where they take literalistically the passage about taking up serpents. Strangely enough, they don’t drink poison from what I normally see. Not a shock but a number of people have died in this practice.

A number of these cases I have never heard of. Some older readers might have. These included a cult group in Michigan called the House of David and a figure known as Prophet Jones who chose to use the Bible to make himself rich. I am certain some readers remember the latter from their own lifetime.

There are also cases of misreading the text in apocalyptic fervor. Thankfully, nothing like that happens today. No one today is doing anything like using the Bible to try to determine when the “rapture” will take place. Oh. Hold on. Someone is handing me a note here….

In history there were cases that were just bizarre. You had the Phibionites who were apparently drinking actual blood in the Communion service. Not only was it blood, but it was menstrual blood at that. The group also had orgies holding wives in common. Big shock that this group tarnished the name of Christianity.

Some Protestants including myself think that Catholics and Orthodox have gone way too far in their treatment of Mary, and we can debate that, but we would all agree that Tanchelm of Antwerp in the 12th century definitely went too far. This is a guy who in a church service actually married a statue of the Virgin Mary. Again, we should be thankful we are past the day and age where this happened and people no longer want to marry strange objects like statues and….wait….I’m being handed another note….

Many bad readings have very disastrous results. Two major examples are the killing fields in the Crusades and the treatment of the Aborigines in Australia. Both of these led to the destruction of various people on a mass scale.

At the end of each chapter, Pattengale explains the interpretation that was thought to be biblical in the first part. After that, he points out how the misuse actually departed from Biblical Orthodoxy. Then he gives the type of problem that took place and what the antidote would be.

I consider this a fascinating way to look at Scripture and a book like this begs to be a continuing series as there are even more instances we can use, but this one is a good start. Not only do you get good interpretation, you also get a look at history showing movements most of us haven’t heard of. For example, there were many cult groups in Christian history and I hadn’t heard of the Phibionites that I remembered.

I would like to see this book dealing with other issues that are hot button issues. What about slavery in the time of the Civil War? What about modern day sex scandals? How do modern politicians on both sides of the aisle misuse the Bible?

I hope Pattengale will continue this pathway. It’s one that needs to be dealt with and we need to keep in mind Augustine’s rule. You never judge a philosophy by its misuse. May we never judge the Bible by its misuse.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

Book Plunge: Raised on the Third Day

What do I think of Mike Licona and David Beck’s work published by Lexham Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Gary Habermas has done more in defending the resurrection of Jesus in scholarly work than anyone I can think of save going back to the apostle Paul. Not only that, he keeps doing more. Also, he has the character of one who is meant to be an apologist. He not only deals with the resurrection, but especially deals with doubters and will invest plenty of time on them and answers all of his own emails and phone calls.

This is a work dedicated to Gary Habermas with a range of scholars coming together, all of whom have been impacted in some way by Gary and his work. The book has some of everything. Some chapters I didn’t understand at first, such as Francis Beckwith’s chapter on legal issues involving the redefinition of marriage, until I found out that Gary has an interest in that area as well.

Want to know about substance dualism? J.P. Moreland delivers. What to know about the Shroud of Turin? Barry Schwortz is here. You can discuss the moral argument and purity in the Gospel of John in relation to the empty tomb.

Veterans and novices alike will find something in this book that can greatly help them. Those with legal challenges will find Francis Beckwith’s work fascinating. Those interested in the Shroud again will enjoy the chapter by Schwortz that discusses the history. Mike Licona’s chapter will be of interest to those who hear the argument about the authorship of the texts being in question with what he says about ancient historians.

The book also has personal looks at Gary Habermas. The two that are in this field are Alex McFarland and Frank Turek. I want to take some time to personally expound on this issue from my own personal position.

Many of you know that I know Gary Habermas personally. If I send him an email, I can normally expect that within 24 hours, he will respond to that email. There have been times that I have called him on the phone and he said that he only had ten minutes he could give, but he ends up giving an hour.

Gary’s personal investment in taking the time to meet with people he doesn’t know and invest in them, even hardened skeptics, is a testament to his character. I was never a hardened skeptic, but he took the time to invest in me once and has helped me tremendously. With the trouble that is going on in my own marriage right now, Gary has been an invaluable help to me.

When I in the past had been caught in the throes of extreme depression over the situation, Gary was right there willing to help. I could call him feeling utterly miserable and hang up feeling good. As one can expect, I would not be filled with joy, but Gary is a good listener who knows the psychology of what he speaks and knows how to talk to people who are suffering. This is fitting for him since he himself went through that with the death of his first wife, Debbie.

That having been said then, that is about the only lack in this book is a chapter on dealing with doubt. This has been an emphasis of Gary Habermas for a long time and it is something that any great thinker will deal with. I know many skeptics reading this will say it as a smear that an apologist can have doubt, but if anyone who is a serious thinker doesn’t ever have doubts about their position, I consider them NOT taking that position seriously.

Thus, if I would have changed anything about the book, I would have included one chapter on the different kinds of doubt and how to deal with them. It would have included an emphasis on emotional doubt since that is the one most common on a personal level. Such a chapter would be a benefit to many apologists and to any seekers reading the book.

Still, this is a fine book to read. It is an excellent tribute to an excellent man. Gary Habermas is a gift to the Christian apologetics community and we can be thankful for what he has done.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.