Book Plunge: The Gospel Precisely

What do I think of Matthew Bates’s book published by Renew? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I want to thank Matthew Bates for his friendship as I was one of the people he contacted in order to promote his new book. It’s an honor to be in that circle. I find Matthew Bates to be a highly informed scholar, but I am super thankful that he is not just staying in an ivory tower, but is taking advanced New Testament studies and breaking them down for the layman to understand the gospel in a whole new way.

Too often, our idea of the gospel is way too shortsighted, which is a tragedy because what we have is really good already and yet we miss that there’s so much more. We are more content with making mudpies when a day at the beach awaits us. We are pleased with what we understand of the gospel, and we should be, but we miss that there is a lot more.

So let’s start with what is the gospel. Most of the time, we make the gospel about ourselves. This is what God is doing to forgive us. With that, we are ultimately the subjects of the gospel. It is about us. The gospel is not about us. It is about Jesus. We are the ones that are being used for the glory of God. God is not to be used for the glory of us.

One aspect that we miss is the gospel is Jesus becoming king. I remember hearing once that John Dominic Crossan said about Mark 1:1 that talked about the beginning of the good news of Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God. It’s a short little verse, but Crossan said it could be translated as “In your face, Caesar.”

If he said that, he’s not wrong.

Jesus is coming and declaring Himself to be the king who will rule on God’s behalf. This is part of the gospel. This is one of the reasons He was crucified. You don’t get crucified for just teaching good ethics and sharing parables. Jesus was a majorly political figure as well as a religious one.

Why does this matter? Because we were created to be the rulers of this world on God’s behalf. Unfortunately with sin, we all failed at that one. Jesus was meant to be fully human and fully God so that He could rule and reflect God perfectly but also be a man ruling like God intended. Part of the good news is also that not only are we forgiven, but we are to be rulers of the new creation with Jesus Christ. God saves us so we can serve.

This is however also good for non-Christians for the time being. The world is meant to be a better place with the coming of Christianity and where Christians aren’t being what they were supposed to be. Most people, Christians or not, do support the life and ethics of Jesus. I still remember a non-Christian friend saying on my Facebook wall that life would be a lot better if we all tried to live like Christ.

Oh. Let me explain something with that. When we speak of Christ, we shouldn’t treat Christ as just a name. Some people actually think that he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Christ. I wish I was joking. I can still remember years ago someone asking “Why would a Jewish guy have a Greek last name?”

The closest idea we have to Messiah is King. In our country, that’s something that seems foreign to us, but we might not be too far from us. A friend of mine thinks we might naturally move as a society towards monarchy. Every four years, we are having “The most important election of our lifetime” which should show that we place way too much emphasis on the president, no matter who he is.

Of course, if we’re servants of God, we need to know who this God is. The Trinity is not just an add-on. If Jesus is not fully God and fully man, the Gospel is completely changed. Christians need to learn how to understand to some extent the Trinity and how to defend it.

I’m only giving snapshots here because honestly, i want you to read the book yourself. Some of you might be concerned with reading a whole book on this. Good news. The book is only about 100 pages. You could easily read it in a day or two, and it would be a day or two well-spent.

Finally, how do we share the gospel? This is where it might get difficult as Bates lists ten items that he thinks we need to remember and share. Those complaining about this might want to think about what they have memorized about sports teams, TV shows, music, or video games.

So final opinion? Get this book. It’s a great one to understand the gospel and will show you how much you are missing. It has five chapters and while I said you could read it in a day, if you wanted to read one chapter a day, you could do so easily and read it in a week and you would be blessed for doing so.

Matthew Bates is a gift to the church that keeps on giving and thanks to him for his work and being considered part of his team to help share his material. It’s material worth sharing and it’s an honor to be a part of it. And oh yes, there is one part where he does show that he does believe Jesus was born of a virgin so he does affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm, the obvious important sign of anyone wanting to share the gospel.

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

 

Book Plunge: The Giver

What do I think of Lois Lowry’s book published by Laurel Leaf, Paperback? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I had an old neighbor post on Facebook about how she was concerned that her son is being told in school to read a book called The Giver. I talked with her a little bit, but I didn’t do anything beyond at that point. Then I saw one of her neighbors post something about the book asking if anyone remembered being asked to read it.

So at that point I decided I would see what I could find out. I went to Libby and managed to borrow the book for free on Kindle. I had been told that there was a lot of dark stuff in the book and I do know that there is a lot of garbage being shared and taught in schools. When a book is mandated, I don’t know what to expect so I started reading this one and I will try to avoid spoilers.

The story deals with a sort of dystopian society in the near future. The oddity is that this dystopian society on the surface looks like a place that you would want to live. People seem to get along well and everyone has their job. People are not rude to each other and do not live with great pain. Suffering is dealt with very easily.

The story centers around a boy named Jonas. He lives in a society where he and his friends have their names, but I noticed that adults are never named. Their parents are referred to as Father and Mother. That’s it. I cannot remember a single adult that was named in the book.

In the society, it is unclear how the children come to be. After all, as Jonas is coming of age, he starts to have what are known as the “stirrings” In this, he has a dream where he wants another girl in the community to take off all her clothes and get in a tub. The mother starts telling him to take a pill every day.

In this society, rudeness is rebuked at every chance and everyone has to be precise with their language. Children grow up with a discipline wand and get smacked if they do something out of line until they learn the rules. People apologize at the slightest possibility that they might have offended someone and every evening, they share their feelings time where they talk about their feelings.

Children are also divided by their ages. At the start, Jonas is an eleven and his sister Lily is a Seven. It is unclear to me if all these kids are said to be born at the same time so that they come of age at the same time. Children are not really born in the family but more assigned in the family. It’s unclear how this works, but it is a book for youth.

At each age, the way the children behave change. Lily at seven is still allowed to have a comfort object which is a stuffed animal and she looks forward to being a nine when she gets her own bike. The big age is twelve when each person gets their assignment and role in the community.

As you go through the book, you also learn that animals don’t really exist in this society, aside from apparently fish. Jonas starts noticing some items in his society changing and he can’t really explain it and the reader is unsure what is happening. As the story progresses, you learn what the society is missing.

Jonas is assigned a role to be the keeper of the memories of the community and works with the person called the Giver. I really don’t want to say much beyond that except Jonas starts seeing that what his life is is largely a facade. The people are living in a society where their major life choices like spouse and work are made for them by the leaders all because if the leaders don’t, the person could make the wrong choice and that could hurt.

That doesn’t mirror anything in our society at all does it?

We don’t live in a society where we try to do anything we can to avoid someone suffering. We don’t live in a society where everyone’s feelings are put in the place of utmost importance do we? Nope. Not us.

But the problem is, this society has to eliminate a lot of good to protect everyone from pain. Medication is there to make sure no one really experiences deep pain. Love is not a word that is used because that could lead to rejection. I suspect this is also why “the stirrings” are eliminated because sexual attraction and relationships can lead to a lot of pain. Again, how the kids come about is not entirely explained.

And there are even darker things underneath the surface of this society. That gets into a lot of spoilers so I don’t want to go into it. Still, learn that this society is one that has a lot of evil going on and it is treated as if it is normal.

So now, is this for kids, such as pre-teens or young teens?

I think it’s obviously not for kids in the single digits. These kids need to be old enough to understand the birds and the bees. Now it is true that this book has a lot of darkness in it, but the good reality is that this is presented as evil.

It’s another lesson that we really can’t create a perfect utopia society. This might be a society without pain and suffering, but it is not a society you should want to live in, especially when you see all that is missing in this world as everyone tries to achieve “sameness.” Any time people try to create a perfect society, it only ends in tears.

Suffering is a part of reality this side of eternity and doing everything to avoid it will in the end only lead to more suffering. A good society will not try to eliminate suffering ruthlessly, but will realize that you can learn through the suffering on the path of being good. A good society will also celebrate childhood. It will accept children playing and coming into adulthood on their own.

In the end, I did enjoy the book. I am considering if I want to read the rest of the series. It’s just that I have so many books that I am reading right now and I spent a lot of time recently because I had to go through all six books of the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy. (No. That is not a typo or ignorance. Fans of the series understand six books in a trilogy.)

So while children I think should read this, it would be good for their parents to be there to discuss evil and suffering. Frankly, most of us grow up not knowing how to explain evil and too often we just take an often easy answer. “There’s no God.” Okay. That doesn’t really deal with the problem. As I have said earlier, if you take this route, then you still have the problem and you eliminate the solution.

In the end, this is an interesting book and a good one to introduce children to the idea of a dystopian society. I also hope our society will learn from it. Trying to protect everyone from any suffering will not end well. Teaching people how to deal with it is a lot better.

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

Thoughts on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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

Opening note: This is about the original trilogy. It’s not about parts four and five. That doesn’t make sense? That’s fine.

One of my favorite lines to use to answer a question is to just say “42.” Where does it come from? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (HGG) The book is often quoted in pop culture the way that the Princess Bride is in movies. Maybe not that much, but that’s the best parallel I can come up with.

As I started, I found that Adams was a marvelous writer who has great humor with juxtaposition. He’ll get you going on something that you think is really important and then all of a sudden, he will shift totally to something else as if that point he was going on doesn’t matter, and yet at the same time, it seems natural. Also in these books, hardly anything is serious, even if it is a serious matter. Someone destroyed the planet? Well, that’s rough, but move on. Are you facing certain death? Too bad, but somehow it will work out.

The work is also no doubt, extremely imaginative. Adams has a creative genius that has created multiple worlds and races and has a unique idea of naming. Even after introducing a new race, before too long, you think you know it. Again, there’s a naturalness to the writing style.

For me, the first book was by far the most enjoyable. This is the one that starts Arthur Dent, the main character, on his trek through the universe exploring various worlds after the Earth is destroyed. This one was the one that seemed to have the most guiding it in the sense of purpose and destination. This is the one where the story seemed the most cohesive.

The second one is The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, which really only shows up at one point in the novel. Here, there isn’t much that I found memorable aside from the lines near the start about in the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

The third book is Life, The Universe, and Everything. At this point, I started being convinced that it was being made up as Adams went along bit by bit. Sometimes it seemed like something was introduced and Adams completely lost sight of it later on. I have been told by others that they also thought the first book was the best and the second and third just weren’t the same. At the same time, I am intrigued enough that I plan to go through books four and five, especially since I bought book five when I saw that it was on sale at a bookstore going out of business.

Douglas Adams was an atheist, but that doesn’t mean Christians can’t enjoy the work just like we can enjoy movies and TV shows and music by non-Christians. We need to be engaging with the work of non-Christians to understand where they are coming from and how they see the world. If we stay in our own subculture, we won’t be able to interact with the culture around us. Paul knew the pagan poets well enough to quote them.

If you like science fiction and you’re looking for a good read, this is an amusing one to go through. I plan on reading parts four and five as I said and I will review them when I am done. I don’t know yet if at this point it will be reviewing them one by one or reviewing them as parts four and five of the trilogy combined. Didn’t make sense again? That’s okay.

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

Book Plunge: A Change of Affection

What do I think of Becket Cook’s book published by Thomas Nelson? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Change can happen in strange ways.

One day, Becket Cook is sitting outside at a coffee shop when someone comes in with a Bible. Wow. Cook and his friend sit outside making fun of a group apparently sitting around and talking with this man. After the group left, one straggler is left behind. Cook and his friend decide to go up and start asking the guy question.

Here’s a real shock. The guy is ready for them. I don’t know the answers given, but they were enough to leave Cook wanting to engage. At the end of the questioning, Cook decided to drop the hammer. As a man who is primarily attracted to men he asked, what about homosexuality?

The man actually gave a listening and kind answer. Cook was then invited to his church and he thought, “Why not?” If anything, it could be a good social experiment. It wasn’t an easy decision though as it was done with much debate. Many of his friends would not like to see him in a church or hear he had been to one.

Cook was there Sunday. He had grown up in a conservative Christian home, but he was the prodigal son. He knew the story about Christianity. He knew why it was nonsense.

Or so he thought.

As the pastor begins talking about the gospel, Cook is caught off guard. He hadn’t heard it this way before. He realized he was actually agreeing with a lot of what the pastor said. As he tells it, Cook knew then the conviction that he had. Homosexuality wasn’t an issue anymore. He came forward to pray and before too long, he became a Christian.

This is ultimately how the first part of the book starts as the first part is basically Cook’s story. It is about how he came to embrace a lifestyle of homosexuality and what all led to that. He’s very clear to state that he doesn’t know what is the ultimate cause of anything. He also ponders on many ways God could have been working in His life up to that point.

The second part is answering questions. Cook finds it sad that most of them have to do with sex. According to him, he would much rather talk about the resurrection and how to know it’s real, but no. People want to ask him about sex. He understands that and he does answer the questions.

Cook acknowledges that he still wrestles with temptation and has a heart for those who do. He still tries to find his heart fulfilled most of all in God. It is a sacrifice to him, but it is a worthwhile sacrifice as in his mind, he gains something far greater than his other intimate relationships could have given him.

So the positives of the book.

Cook’s story is very exciting to read. It’s a difficult book to put down as you wonder what will happen to him next and Cook has led an exciting life. He is a gifted storyteller as he brings the past to life and goes step by step in what all his experiences were. At the same time, it’s actually family friendly to read for the most part. There is nothing explicit described.

Second, Cook writes with a heart as well. You can tell he has a great concern for the people that he writes to. He is concerned about how our culture is so focused on sexuality above all else. Sex has become our great idol in our culture as we think that it’s impossible for a homosexual to be happy unless he or she is having sex. Actually, we think the same thing about heterosexuals and any of the other 2,489 sexualities we have today.

There is one big negative I have in that I would like to have seen more said about why he is a Christian today. I think too many will read his book who are skeptics of Christianity and say “Yeah. He went to a church and got caught up in an altered state of consciousness and abandoned all his reason at that point over an emotional experience.” I don’t think that is what happened, but I can understand that some would think that.

Cook does talk once about how he’d like to be asked about the resurrection, but I would prefer he just tell us. I understand that might not fit in with the story entirely, so why not add in an appendix? He can talk about how after his conversion, he did check to make sure he hadn’t been tricked and found a whole lot of data to support what he believed now. I’m not saying that’s how it happened to him, but if it is, I would like to know about it.

After all, Cook’s experience is great, but he can’t share that experience with others in the same way. No one else can enter a Matrix kind of world where they will experience what he experienced. They can hear his story and perhaps with an appendix like this hear something that could give them pause.

People interested in this kind of area need to read Cook’s book. It is readable and not too long as well. I hope you enjoy the story like I did.

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

Book Plunge: An Impossible Marriage

What do I think of Matt and Laurie Krieg’s book published by IVP? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters.

Laurie and Matt have what they call an impossible marriage. It’s an unusual situation. Matt is like many red-blooded males and really likes to look at the ladies.

So is Laurie.

That’s right. Laurie is primarily attracted to women in their marriage. Because of that, they say their marriage is seen as impossible. They also agree, but you know who else has an impossible marriage?

Every single married couple out there.

All marriages involve two people who are very difficult trying to function as if they were one person. All require death to one’s self. All require sacrifice. All require putting another person before yourself. All require hard work.

So let’s go with the positives of this book first.

This is definitely a book that makes you think. Much of the book is talking about difficulties with sex. Laurie has gone through trauma and during this time looks at Matt as if he is a threat entirely. She is left wondering, “Why can’t we be friends without sex? Why should married couples need to have sex?”

Meanwhile, Matt is having a battle of his own. Can he love his wife even if she is not having sex with him? Some could say Matt was overplaying sex, but honestly I would say that’s not the case. Not because sex is the ultimate, it’s not. (Yes my fellow guys. I really mean that.) I say it because C.S. Lewis told us you can’t love something too much. You only love something else too little. Matt had to learn how to put God first.

This is something that led to a lot of thinking for me. I too had to think about what it is that makes sex in a marriage so important and this book does excellent at showing the gospel message that is meant from sexuality. This is a great book for husbands and wives to read together.

Second, this book has a habit of switching back and forth, though letting you know of who is speaking. You get to see Matt’s perspective on something and then you get to see Laurie’s perspective or vice-versa. This is good not only so husbands and wives can see what they relate to, but they can see inside the head of the other person.

Third, this book also is not something that really speaks out against homosexual practice, which I do disagree with. They state regularly they know that behavior is not acceptable for a Christian, but there is nothing here that shows any hatred towards someone who has same-sex desires. They invite such people to read this book to learn about their perspective.

Fourth, this book is a story. You will go along with their journey and wonder how it turns out. You want to see this couple work even when they are both convinced that they won’t, this despite both of them doing counseling to an extent, Matt even being a counselor, and both of them helping people with issues regarding sexuality.

Now let’s look at things I would change for another addition.

First, I like the story, but I think I was thrown into it. There was something on how Matt and Laurie met and married, but I would like to have known them first. How did they come to Jesus? My main wonder was with Laurie. Was she raised Christian and came to find she had same-sex desires and just decided to sacrifice them? I would have liked to have seen something such as in Rachel Gilson’s Born Again This Way. Not a whole book to be sure, but perhaps a single chapter with each of them introducing themselves first.

Second, some terms are vague. Matt says whenever he wants sex while Laurie is not able to, he is to turn that to God and say that he wants God. Okay. What does that mean? Do you want a feeling or what? How do you know when you get to the point where you can say you have Him? What are you supposed to experience? This term is unclear and I was left wondering about it.

Third, I do think too often subjective experiences were relied on. I am not saying such can’t happen, but when I see people going on more about what they think God is telling them, I do get cautious as many such claims exist. Also with some of these stories, they were often times very difficult to follow.

Fourth, while the book does say that we can make too much about sex, it does seem that the whole book is largely about the couple and the struggle that they have with sex. My conclusion is as much as we might want to downplay it, sex is far more important to a marriage than a lot of us realize.

I have an equal number of pros and cons, but ultimately, this is one of the most thought-provoking marriage books to read. Anyone wanting to marry or who is married should read it. It would also be great for small groups to study together. Either way, go get this book and read it.

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

Book Plunge: The Skeletons in God’s Closet

What do I think of Joshua Butler’s book published by Thomas Nelson? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Sometimes you hear about someone you really like or meet them. They seem like a great person upfront in their public image, but then you see something behind the scenes. This person has skeletons in their closet. Everything is called into question then.

Many people think God has a few in His closet.

How could a loving God send people to Hell?

Why would a loving God judge anyone?

How could a loving God be so genocidal in the Old Testament?

Each of these can be a deal breaker for so many people. Why would I want to serve a God like that? These are valid questions, but Butler turns these on their heads. Each of these is actually good news for most of us.

One of the reasons for this is we don’t take sin seriously. We say to just let it be. It’s not really hurting anyone. Right? Imagine if we took the same approach to someone being treated for cancer. “Don’t worry. It’s just a little cancer. You want to keep some of it in you. Right? A little cancer won’t hurt you will it?”

The analogy, like all analogies, is not perfect, but if we treated sin like cancer we could find our lives quite different. If we don’t, then God has the answer of Hell. At the start, Butler has it clear that this place is not a torture chamber. Part of the problem is we have an idea that Heaven is up above and Hell is down below, such as the old email chain about Hell being found underneath Siberia. (Ridiculous since Percy Jackson showed us all that Hell is really under Hollywood, but I digress.)

This is false. Heaven is some place far up there and Hell is some place way down there. This division doesn’t really help us as we make this world an awful place to escape then. This is the world of God and God made it to be dwelt in. That does not include Hell. Nothing in Scripture indicates that Hell is made for humans.

Hell is really an intruder in this world. However, what if someone doesn’t want to choose God in this life? What does God do with them? He gives them what they want. Those who want to join in the rebellion and fight against God get the results of fighting against Him and choosing against Him. Still, it is not a torture chamber. It is a place of shame and sorrow where one realizes what they have lost.

Judgment, however, is still good news. After all, if anyone talks about the problem of evil and asks why God doesn’t intervene, they want judgment in some way. “If I was God, I wouldn’t let someone get raped.” This is a real need for us. We want to see justice done.

This is then good news. There is a God who will deal justice and does deal justice. We don’t really want a grandfather in the sky who says the children will be children, unless, of course, it’s our own sin that we’re talking about. We don’t want God to judge that.

But for those who do evil, there is a day of reckoning coming. God will not let someone do what they want forever and for those of us who do hunger for justice, that is good news. For those who are living in a sin of some sort, that is very bad news. Nothing will escape His eye. Nothing. We have to give an account for everything that we do in the body. If you’re a Christian and you read that and there is no nervousness in you over that thought, you really need to examine yourself.

And sometimes, that judgment came in the Old Testament in holy war, but is that really like God? Butler argues that what happens most of the time is not living cities are attacked, but more military outposts. These also often include the idea of driving out instead of killing.

But doesn’t the text say women and children are killed?

This is language of totality and is really trash talking. It doesn’t indicate women and children are killed, especially since they were rarely in these military outposts. What about Jericho? Consider first off that Jericho could be walked around 7 times in one day. Sure, Rahab was there, but it wasn’t uncommon to have a woman be a tavern master for the men and sometimes, she would be a prostitute if men wanted more than a drink.

Consider as Butler suggests, a basketball team in the locker room after a game talking about how they demolished and destroyed the other team. Final score? 120-105. Hardly a complete shutout, but that language is used. What you see in the genocide passages is actually trash talk.

I have only given brief explanations, but this book is an extremely powerful book. Skeptics who want to complain about these kinds of passages really need to read this book. Even Christians who have studied apologetics for years will get food for thought.

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

Book Plunge: Fault Lines

What do I think of Voddie Baucham Jrs book published by Salem Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Baucham is concerned about the evangelical church in America and the rest of the world for that matter. Too many good Christians are buying into Critical Race Theory. It might look good for awhile. After all, who wants to say that black lives don’t matter? Don’t we all agree that racism is a bad thing? Don’t we all want justice? Of course, but there are bad ways to get good things.

Baucham does agree that racism is in America, but America is not systematically racist. Racism is not at the root of all of our ills. He also sees CRT as Marxist and pagan in its origins. It will do more harm by far than good.

Baucham also deals with statistics on crime and other issues. For example, he tells the story of a young man who died tragically at the hands of police. A police officer pinned him to the ground and mocked him. He pleaded with the officers saying that they were going to kill him. The officers did nothing and kept making jokes.

No. That’s not George Floyd. That’s Tony Timpa. Timpa had schizophrenia and had called the police himself because he was off his meds and he had already been handcuffed by a security guard. Timpa died under those police officers before the paramedics arrived.

Most of you never heard of him because he was white.

On October 5, 2016, an officer was nearly beaten to death by a suspect. She knew she should have used her weapon. Her supervisor told her she should have. Why didn’t she?

Because she knew the next day she and her family would undergo scrutiny on the national news. There are real world consequences?

What about Dylan Noble? During a routine traffic stop, he reached into his wasitband and was shot 11 times. Why do you not know about him? He’s white.

Breanna Taylor made the national news when she did in a shooting involving the police. A police officer served an eviction notice on her Dad. The Dad pulled a weapon and the officer pulled out his gun and fired. The bullet passed through his arm and hit Ciara which caused her death eventually. Why do you not know about this? She was white.

Why bring these up? Because people love to bring up stories that fuel a narrative. In this case, it’s the idea that the police treat the black population unfairly. Baucham argues there is further evidence to back this.

Meanwhile , a National Academy of Sciences study ignited controversy when its authors proclaimed, “ We find no evidence of anti – Black or anti – Hispanic disparities across shootings, and White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non – White officers. ” 14 More fundamentally, the researchers noted that “ using population as a benchmark makes the strong assumption that White and Black civilians have equal exposure to situations that result in FOIS, ” which is the only way the 2.5 – to – 1 ratio could be viewed as prima facie evidence of police bias. Instead, they noted that contrary to the accepted narrative, “ If there are racial differences in exposure to these situations, calculations of racial disparity based on population benchmarks will be misleading. ” 15 In other words, the 2.5 – to – 1 ratio, taken at face value, is actually misleading.

CRT will not bring about unity. It will only bring further division. For example, if every incident involving interaction between blacks and whites is made into racism, even if no racist motives can be shown, then there will be hesitancy to act in any situation. Not only that, but if you cry wolf, real racism will go unnoticed. Even today, I am highly suspicious as soon as someone says “racist” about something or someone.

Baucham stresses that CRT has Marxist origins and thus is highly antithetical to Christian values. The church could let the nose of this camel in thinking they are doing good, only to wind up having the whole camel in and that will lead to chaos on other issues.

For many on the CRT side, if you deny that you are a racist, well that just shows you are a racist. No matter what you do, you are racist. You can marry someone of the another race or have children of another race and still be considered to be racist. You are guilty of racism until you are proven innocent, and you cannot be proven innocent.

I was amazed also to read parts of a sermon that Obama gave to a black church on a Father’s Day. I never supported Obama, but I have to say I agree so much with what he said.

Yes, we need more cops on the street. Yes, we need fewer guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Yes, we need more money for our schools, and more outstanding teachers in the classroom, and more afterschool programs for our children. Yes, we need more jobs and more job training and more opportunity in our communities. But we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child — it’s the courage to raise one.

The problems for the black community by and large are not from without but from within. Fatherlessness is too common and too many black men are dying at the hands of other black men. Restoring the family to the black community would be the best gift that could be given. CRT will not do that as groups like BLM are opposed to the typical nuclear family.

This book is written from a Christian perspective, but I think a non-Christian would get something out of it. They won’t care likely about what is going on in the church over this, but I would hope they would look at the case either way. I really hope Baucham is wrong about a future earthquake coming, but I fear that he is right.

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

Book Plunge: Napoleon’s Hemorrhoids

What do I think of Phil Mason’s book published by Skyhorse publishing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I will get back to Simplicity soon, but for now, I wanted to review this book I finished over the weekend. I enjoy reading about little oddities in history and this book is full of them. It’s my goal then to tell some that I really liked and give some thoughts from a Christian perspective.

At the start, Mason says that the reason we have civilization today is beer. We have an old Sumerian recipe for beer and that recipe caused people to stop and work on agriculture instead of being hunters and gatherers. After all, they wanted more beer. If this theory is accurate, then the reason we are on the internet today and I am writing and you are reading is because some people once wanted to drink beer. Incredible.

It has also been theorized that another drink helped save civilization. That is the sacred drink of tea. The Industrial Revolution took off in Britain according to this because people had to gather together and often, the water wasn’t the best, but tea contains enough health benefits that it could be used. No other nation had the Industrial Revolution take off so if this is so, tea has done our world a great service.

Now with many of these, from a Christian perspective, you could argue that God was orchestrating some events. That could be so, but I hesitate to say such a thing. After all, I have presented some positive events. What happens if I present negative events, and there are several of those.

Let’s start with the fact that starlings are in America because Shakespeare wrote Henry the IV. Yes. There was a man in America who wanted to bring every bird mentioned in Shakespeare to America and since Shakespeare referred to the starling one time in that play, 100 starlings were brought over and they have been a problem to our American ecosystem ever since. The same happened in Australia as a man wanted to hunt rabbits so he brought some over and now Australia has a problem with the rabbit population.

At Lincoln’s second inauguration, there was a young man who broke through the ranks and almost got to the president. He was stopped and restrained because the police thought he was really harmless and so they let him go. Want to know what happened to him? I’ll just tell you his name was John Wilkes Booth.

Why did the Battle of Gettysburg take place in the Civil War? It wasn’t planned, but one army leader heard a story about shoes being on sale in a town and his troops needed shoes. The journey to get them was seen as hostile by the other side and thus began a major battle that took place and could have changed the tide of the war, all because someone wanted shoes for his troops.

One example that should definitely give us pause in saying God is behind some events is Hitler. Mason lists numerous times that there were assassination plots against Hitler and at the last moment, something changed in Hitler’s plans and he avoided assassination every time. It was also through a quirk circumstance he describes that Mengele avoided capture as well.

This is the danger of many of my fellow Christians when we often try to read into history, including our personal history. We often like to try to read what we think God is doing in every situation in our lives. I have said before that it would be awesome if we Christians spent as much time trying to interpret Scripture rightly as we do trying to interpret our experiences rightly.

On the other hand, this book is informative, but it’s also fun. You can read about how some actors in Hollywood got big breaks through chance events. About the only topic I didn’t really get into was the one on sports since I didn’t understand a lot of the analogies.

People who like history should get this book and go through it. Each chapter contains several bite-sized section that would take at the most a couple of minutes to read. These will also be great conversation pieces to make any group gathering interesting and leave you looking really informed as well.

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