Advice For Up and Coming Apologists

What would I encourage someone getting started to do? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I got interviewed this past week by someone for a project in their education to interview an apologist. One question I was asked was what advice would I give to anyone starting in this field. Since I don’t recall ever writing on this, why not do so here as well?

An obvious one is to read everything you can. Nowadays, there is no excuse for not learning what you need to learn. Books have never been more readily available and there are plenty of free resources such as YouTube and even if you’re someone on the road and driving a lot, you can get audiobooks.

Also in that reading, you should be reading material that disagrees with you too. You need to learn directly what the other side is saying and what their main reasons for it are. If the only material you’re reading is that which agrees with you, you are staying in a bubble.

Get yourself a good mentor as well. Find someone wiser than you who can teach you. Again, in the age of the internet, this is far easier. I would generally prefer you have someone in person if at all, but if the only one you can find is someone online, go with that.

Be engaging in debates regularly. Again, thanks to places like Facebook, you can easily find someone you can argue with and who is willing to challenge you. Odds are as well, you will get your butt kicked a good time or two. That’s okay. It is something that will drive you back to your studies more and more.

While I do encourage you to read plenty, it would be a mistake to think you have to know everything. There are numerous fields out there such as history, philosophy, science, cults, other religions, ethics, politics, etc. This naturally includes the Bible, but all Christians should be by default studying the Bible. Your specialty area could be something in the Bible.

Yet even these areas have sub-areas within them. Suppose you want to study other religions. Do you think you’re going to be an authority on Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Confucianism, Shintoism, and many other religions out there? Quite likely you won’t. You might just want to specialize in Islam or a little bit broader in Eastern Religions or just study the New Age movement.

The same applies to any other field. If you don’t know everything, and you don’t, that’s okay as well. In this, it’s good to know plenty of people who are proficient in areas you aren’t. I can enjoy talking about the history of science and the philosophy of science, but when it comes to science as science, I pass that on to specialists I know. When someone sends me questions on Hinduism or Indian culture, I have a friend who does that. I have friends who study Judaism and the New Age movement.

This is why a community is so important and it’s something we’ve often lost sight of. Surround yourself with great minds and people you can learn from. These are the ones to emulate who have walked the road you want to walk.

Choose a field you’re not just capable in, but one that you also enjoy. Choose areas of study that grip you and leave you wanting to learn more. You’ll likely spend your life studying this.

One other question asked was how has God used my ministry. I could have told some stories, but ultimately, I said that’s not for me to know now. It’s really my job to just be faithful with what I have and leave the rest to God. Do the same. There are plenty of stories of missionaries who spent several years overseas without a single convert and now, their names are well-known for the great change they brought to the culture they went to.

If you want to come into this field, welcome aboard, but it will be work. I hope you’re ready.

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


How Not To Handle Doubters

What do you not do with a doubter in your congregation? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last week, I came down with a virus and was experiencing extreme fatigue. I’m fine for the most part, but I do have a lasting cough that will probably stick with me for awhile. There have been a few nights I have got up in the middle of the night and just sucked on a cough drop until it was done and then I returned to sleep.

So during the week, I also saw someone share this on their post that a pastor shared. Granted, we don’t know all that went on before. The pastor claims there were several cordial DMs that he had with this person, and then decided to share this as something that you just have to do some time. Again, I don’t know all the context, but I am going on what the pastor shared, not the person he was dialoguing with.

Pastors. Please please please don’t do this.

I can see myself easily as the young man in this picture. If someone you trust sees a message and doesn’t say anything, it’s hard to know what’s going on on the other end. He feels ignored. Now is that a potshot possibly taken at the end? Perhaps, but hurt people hurt people, and I do suspect this man has been deeply hurt.

You all know I don’t think God speaking today is normative, but if you do and God seems to be silent and you look to the person you think best represents him and that person lets you down, what else is to be thought? God has totally abandoned you. It’s an easy conclusion to make.

So let’s look at this unnamed pastor for now. I know who he is and where he pastors, but I’m not going to share it. I want to note one thing he says.

He has a church with 400+ people in it.

Could you not find a man among one of them who can help you out? Is there not someone who understands enough apologetics to help this person? If there is not, then pastor, your biggest problem is not this person coming and taking “your time.” Your problem is that you haven’t prepared your flock. If you are teaching the flock the truths of the gospel, finding one person who can do this should be simple.

By the way, I also say a man because I think a man experiencing doubt like this who is going to be spoken to on a personal level needs it to be another man. Forming an emotional connection like that with a woman could easily lead to forming other connections. It is not to say women aren’t needed in apologetics. They definitely are.

This pastor has instead told me more about himself. I know more about what this pastor does, but I don’t know what is going on with the person who is asking for help. I know more about how important what this person does is.

Or rather, how important he thinks it is.

Instead, all I see given back are a bunch of cliches. These sound good, but they don’t work with a doubter. Could some of the claims be true? Possibly. Could it be that this person thinks the world revolves around them? Possibly. Still, the pastor shared this photo and shared it as an example of what to do.

It is exactly the opposite. It is a failure of leadership. It is someone who didn’t delegate and let someone else answer the questions. I hope this young man isn’t a casualty of what you did.

And if the young man who was in dialogue sees this, reach out to me. I’ll answer your questions the best I can and if I can’t answer a question, well, I don’t have a problem reaching out to people I trust to be experts in those fields to answer such questions.

It’s not about me and my time after all.

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

To A Friend Struggling With Faith

What do you do when you want to throw it all away? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

People on Facebook have been talking about someone who has said they just can’t believe in Christianity anymore even after years of being in apologetics and producing media on this. Now a number of people are coming out with their own views on the matter, which I understand and I don’t condemn. Some are blaming Calvinism, which I don’t care for, or presuppositionalism, which I also don’t care for, but i think there is something else going on here.

Now with so many people entering into this discussion, why am I jumping in? Do I think I have something to contribute that others do not? Indeed, I do, and this is not because of anything arrogant, but it is because of similar life circumstances. I can contribute that I have been through divorce as this person has.

Divorce is betrayal and rejection through and through. It is a pain that stabs at me every day still. Imagine what it is to think someone loves you so much that they want to share every aspect of themselves, nay, their very lives with you, and then in the end they reject you. You, the totality of you, all that is you, has been cast aside. You have been declared no longer worth it.

Now we all know theoretically that our identities should not be determined by other people, but you are a fool if you think that this doesn’t hurt. This leads to pain. Intense pain. I have said before there were times I would be ready to go to bed at night and see a bottle of Benadryl and briefly think, “You could.” I never came close, but it was there. There were some times I did think maybe I should check myself into a hospital for a few days. Again, never did.

I can say on my end, that I have a hard time today trusting people. I can say my thinking gets caught up in difficulties from time to time. I plan to date other women, but I also worry about self-control now seeing as I have been there before and as a divorced friend told me, “It’s easy to move on auto-pilot.” This is all real.  I also realize some people will look at me with a scarlet letter.

I fully understand if at those times it feels like God has abandoned you.

My friend wrote also about the Christian subculture and this is something I have the biggest problem with. People treat prayer like they can pray for an hour and it just comes so easily. People treat Scripture as a magic book and it’s such a joy to read every day and you learn something new. People talk about how you are supposed to feel as a Christian and that you are supposed to hear from God regularly and speak as if you have some secret hotline to God.

It’s individualism, and it’s a cancer in the church.

When people talk like this and suffering comes, they don’t know what to do then. After all, if your Christianity has been based on your emotions before, what happens when those emotions turn negative? When you don’t have them, what do you want? Do you want the emotions, or do you want what the emotions signify?

When I was married, there were times I had a deep feeling of love for my wife. There were also times that I did not. However, I always had a deep love for her. Today, I still want the best for her. The feeling was nice when it was there, but it wasn’t part of my diet to be expected.

What happens though if I focus more on the pointer instead of the reality the pointer pointed to? I am pursuing a feeling. It is like an addiction. If I have that feeling, then I love her. If I don’t, then I don’t. That leads to chaos. Would I want my love for my ex-wife to be based on a feeling?

The same can happen when we look at it in reverse. How do I know God loves me? If I base it on a feeling, what happens when that feeling goes away? Does God no longer love me? In the end, am I pursuing a feeling as a way of certainty?

I understand when my friend spoke about how if his son wanted comfort and to know that his Dad loved him, he would give it in a moment. I get that. It makes sense to us. It is easy to look at Matthew 7 and see about a son asking for bread or a fish. Doesn’t that apply here?

No. In Matthew 6, Jesus had been talking about food and clothing. The same is still going on in Matthew 7. Jesus is talking about provision for daily staples. This is not to say that God cannot give other things and that He doesn’t, but those are not promised.

So what if God did do what we ask and provided for us an experience of His love every time? Could we not get caught up in ourselves more? Could we not get caught up in experiences? What happens when that experience fades into the past? Do you need another hit.

The thing is, if I want to know if God loves me, and I understand that struggle, I need to trust what He has already said. It is written large in Scripture. How do I know I am one of His? Because I am trusting Him. I am not perfect, but I am striving.

What about pain? Pain can be the crucible that gets us more like Jesus. I can say that every pain I went through was horrible, when I was going through it. Years later, I look back and I am thankful I went through it. I suspect some time in the future, I will say “That divorce was horrible when I went through it, but I am a better and more holy man for it.” Hopefully, that will be when I am married to someone else. Maybe I will even have some of my own children with her.

I do want to say though that I get the silence of God. The problem is not really God, but it is a Christian subculture that is rooted in experience. Let’s also point to another sad reality about divorced people. We are quickly often isolated.

You used to do things with other people as a couple. It wasn’t you got together with your friends so much as you and your spouse got together with other couples. Those couples can like to hang out with you then, but, and I’m not saying everyone did this, when you become single, those couples can go away. Christians can also look at you in church as a lesser Christian.

Not only that, you have to explain your divorce so often to everyone. Divorce is treated like it’s the unpardonable sin and every time you have to repeat it, you live it all over again. The church is too often ready with condemnation instead of consolation. We are to mourn with those who mourn and weep with those who weep and when you are going through divorce or suffering with it, you are mourning and weeping. I am thankful some people did just that. I am thankful that I found DivorceCare. I am thankful I had people who had been divorced who walked with me through it and I hope someday I can do the same for someone else walking through divorce.

To my friend, I hope I got a lot of what is going on correct, not because I want to be right, although I do, but because I want you to understand that I can relate. I also see you are asking the question about Jesus and who He is and I think that is a great place to go. It’s really hard to say anything negative about Jesus and I think really looking at who He is is the way to go.

I also encourage you to not believe anything just to believe it. I have not done that with my Christianity. For every position I have a strong stance on, I have a litany of reasons for why I embrace it. There are some issues I don’t argue and I just don’t care about. (Calvinism vs. Arminianism being one of them.) Don’t believe anything just to be consistent or to fit in with the people or look good in popular culture.

Be real. If things suck, say they suck. If you are angry with God, be angry. No sense hiding it. If you want to cry, then cry. Mourn. I had a friend come by on my next to last day in Georgia who was in the area when I found out I had to clear out because of the divorce and he saw me bawling my eyes out and never thought less of me for it.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out and talk if you need it, and I encourage this to everyone else. Before trying to win someone back to Christianity, just be a friend. Listen. Care. Besides, I suspect if you do this right, the Christianity will fall back into place anyway.

I understand the crickets, but I am also thankful for them. They have caused me often to go back to what is more foundational and not transitory. They have pointed me to what I really believe and what it is rooted in and not being based on feelings means I have a firmer foundation I can rely on when things get hard, and they do.

Here for you, if you need me.

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

Book Plunge for Fun: Mollie McQueen Is Not Having A Baby

What do I think of Lacey London’s second novel in this series? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The first book in this series I found intriguing enough that I wanted to go on and see where the author would go from there. Not only was the story good, but the characters were written in such a way that there seemed to be a personal investment on my part in them. In the first book, I was sure it would end positively, but I wanted to make sure the main character of Mollie saw what a disaster a divorce would be and there were a lot of good lessons about marriage along the way.

Now with this second book, many of the same characters are brought back. The investments go deeper and many loose strings are tied together. I wonder how much of this so far the author had in mind from the start.

Not only that, but with the return of the therapist figure of Evangelina Hamilton, there was also the return of a course for one of Mollie’s single friends with the goal being to find the one. I am quite certain if this course existed here and it was ran the same way, I would try to do whatever I could to sign up. Just now thinking about it, I consider it interesting the first step in the course was to get a new wardrobe, just after I went to the free Swap Shop here on campus with some friends to update my wardrobe and yes, for the same reason, to meet women.

Of course, there was material about how to behave on a date and two very opposite men doing the dating. How that turns out is going to be left for interesting readers to discover. There are a number of twists and turns one would not expect, but that make the story interesting.

The main theme though throughout is that Mollie thinks she might be pregnant and this while her husband is away on a business trip and she doesn’t want to take a pregnancy test to confirm or disprove until he returns. At the same time, she has a DIY project to do on her house and she gets the help of her brother-in-law who is trying to win the heart of her sister. How these work out is again something else I won’t spoil.

What is confusing about the main theme is that it doesn’t really read like the main theme. It’s there in the background and it looks like the main focus is on the dating course as Mollie helps one of the guys in it as his friend and sponsor. I found this story much more interesting than the baby story.

From a Christian perspective, there is a lot of good advice in here for relationships again, but Mollie does have a belief throughout about the way the universe is working things out. I often find this way of thinking so many people have odd, as if the universe, a non-personal entity, is intervening personally in the lives of people. One can say theism is nonsense if they want, but one can at least understand how a theist can see a personal deity intervening in the lives of people in the universe.

At any rate, I have started the third of five books now. I look forward to seeing what is in this one.

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

Things To Remember On Election Day

What should we keep in mind today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So as we go out and vote in America today, here are some points I want to keep in mind.

First, we should be wary about the possibility of marrying our theology to our politics. Everyone wants their side to win, but it does not mean that if our side loses, then that means the end has come. Now it could be that God is bringing judgment by corrupt political leaders and so God’s will is still being done. However, the great danger we can think is that if our side doesn’t win, then it’s game over.

Let’s keep something in mind. Even if America were to fall someday, and most great nations do, the gospel will go on just fine. America needs the gospel, but the gospel doesn’t need America. The gospel will go on just fine. It could be surprising to consider, but some great locations where the gospel could be central could be a Middle Eastern nation or even China. In countries where the church is persecuted, it tends to rise up more and more and get stronger.

Second, do go and vote. You can go and play your part and you have that freedom in this country. Just consider how much it would have meant to early Christians under wicked Roman rulers if they could somehow vote out of office a particularly brutal Caesar and replace him with someone who would be kinder to their cause. Our freedom to vote is a great gift in America.

Third, whatever the outcome of today, Jesus is still on the throne. Perhaps you get the leaders you wanted. Okay. Consider it a blessing and then go and do the work of the gospel. Suppose instead the other side wins. That just means the challenge level has been upped and the church can prosper under persecution.

Fourth, this also means that whatever happens, your marching orders have stayed the same. Are you still called to go and spread the gospel in some way? Yes. Are you to love your neighbor as yourself still? Yes. Are you called to be a servant of Christ still? Yes.

One thing i try to avoid in any case is fearmongering. To get into my politics a little bit, when the Coronavirus came about, I made it a point to not buy into hysteria over it. I still see that as a wise choice. I try now to actively avoid places that still require wearing a mask.

Fear is something that a lot of us are addicted to. We have a steady diet of fear that is given to us and when people are afraid, they’re much more easily to fall to whatever is told them. This can often lead to some kind of disaster being created and then the party talking about that disaster is insistent that their solution is the only solution to it and if you don’t agree with that, then you don’t care about the cause.

Go out, vote, pray for he best, but remember Jesus is on the throne still and your marching orders are still the same.

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

Good Reasons for Seminary

What are some good reasons for going to seminary? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I had said no more till next week when WordPress ate my blog I wrote a few hours ago, but I couldn’t resist so here I am writing again. Today, I’m going to be listing some good reasons for going to seminary. If you’re wondering if you’re a candidate, find out.

I have said I don’t think a subjective experience is required. If anything, I get more suspicious of someone who claims such an experience. I have seen of too many pastors that are “called to preach” and they’re really just awful preachers.

Consider what it’s like when you hear someone who thinks they’re a gifted singer. Unfortunately, their biggest critics will be the neighborhood cats who go crazy hearing them sing. They may have a great desire to sing and really think they have a gift, but everyone around them can tell that they don’t.

So let’s get some better criteria.

The first one is simply desire. You want to go. That’s not a bad thing. Paul says in 1 Tim. 3 that if anyone desires to be an overseer, he desires a good thing. Then he lists some criteria. None are a subjective call.

If you want to go to seminary, that’s one of the first reasons. You have a deep desire to serve God in a ministry capacity. However, the bad singer can want to sing so more than that is needed.

Next is ability. Do you have what it takes to make it in seminary? This will depend on the field that you want to go into. If your friends tell you regularly you have wisdom in listening to their problems and a good ear and a good heart, then you might want to consider counseling. If you are good at evangelism, then you should consider going to seminary.

You might want to try if you want to preach to go to your pastor and ask if you can do a Sunday night sometime. See how you do and get some pointers at it. See what people say about your ministry. Listen in any case always to the ones who are older and wiser than you are.

The last is opportunity. A lot of this will be dealt with hopefully in tomorrow’s podcast about how to choose a seminary. For this, you have to ask if you have the resources to make it or if you’re willing to do the work necessary to get the resources to do what you need to go. Very few people will go to seminary with enough money on hand to cover the whole of the experience. However, they can go with enough to get started and find a job to get the rest while they’re there.

The next part will be trying to decide what seminary you want to go to. That’s a different situation altogether. If you meet these criteria and are really thinking of going, then be here to hear what comes next.

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


Book Plunge: Why The Church Needs Apologetics

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

Jamias is a friend of mine and when he found out I had ordered his book, I found out that he was awfully nervous about my review. Would I like it or would I hate it? Would I be hard or would I be soft?

That being said, it was tempted to start off this review telling you this book was totally awful and not worth reading at all and a sadness to all the trees that had to die. It was tempting to do that and then put out a “just kidding”, but I decided against that. Still, I had to mention the idea just for the comedic effect.

Okay. So let’s talk about the book. By and large, I agreed with much that was in it. Now as a seasoned apologist, I really didn’t find anything new in the book that stood out intensely. That’s okay. The book wasn’t written with someone like myself in mind but more with a person who wasn’t as familiar with apologetics, which could sadly include a lot of pastors.

So let’s go with the positives first.

To start, this book is very accessible. If you don’t have a clue what apologetics is, by the time you pick up and finish this book, you will not only know what it is, but you will also know why it is important. You won’t find apologetic arguments in here, but that’s okay. This book isn’t meant to provide those. This book is meant to show what a difference apologetics makes and why it matters to the church today.

Second, this book is short. Someone without a lot of time they want to invest can read this book. I could see a devoted reader easily reading it in a day. If you have even just fifteen minutes a day to read a book, it shouldn’t take you long.

Third, this book is in short chapters. Benefit of that? Great for small group discussion then. It’s easy to come together and read a chapter and just discuss what was read.

Fourth. Jamias also lists various resources that can be used, including my own podcast that I hope to start up again soon depending on if I get the necessary funding for that or not. Jamias lists them by level and so if you want to get started, this is a place to go. I was pleased to see The Case for Christ, for example, as it was the book that lit my fire.

So now let’s go on to the negatives.

I did talk with Jamias about this and he agreed, but there is a lot of reference to Ravi Zacharias. This book was published just shortly after he died and the news of his lifestyle had not come out. Jamias did personally confirm to me that if he wrote a second edition, references to Ravi would be severely edited. If you are reading this, please keep that in mind.

I do respect William Lane Craig as a great apologist, but I sometimes find there is a constant reference to Craig’s work. I would have liked to have seen more variety in this as there are plenty other great apologists one could go with. I wondered sometimes if I counted all the footnotes to Craig what percentage they would be.

On a smaller matter also, I disagree with Jamias on 1 Peter 3:15. While he thinks we would have the case if this was the only verse we had, I think it is not actually about apologetics. Thankfully, there are plenty of other excellent verses that I think are about apologetics.

Lastly, Jamias does speak about how we present the case and says sometimes we make winning the argument more important than winning the person. I might sound contrary, but yes, I think sometimes the focus is on the argument and should be. Why? Because there are some people who at the time of a public exchange are obviously not interested in Christian truth, but they are more interested in shaming and mocking Christianity. This can especially happen online.

What is the goal then? The goal for me is to shut down opposition and make their side look shameful and build up confidence in the Christians on my side and hopefully let any fence-sitters see what could be a strong and confident case for Christianity. Jamias is right that often the audience is the one to be won in these encounters, so I just take it to the conclusion and say sometimes you should be more interested in shutting down opposition. (Was Paul trying to win Bar-Jesus to the faith when he struck him blind or was he trying to win over the king who was watching?)

Those negatives, however, are miniscule in comparison to the positives of the book. Get this book for yourself and read it. Get this book for your pastor and have him read it. Get this book and share it with a small group leader and make it a group reader. Either way, get this book and read it.

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

On Those Who Never Heard

What about those who never heard the gospel through no fault of their own? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Going through my review of chapter 5 of God’s Gravediggers, I found out that if I wrote something on those who never heard, I was not able to find it. I needed to clear that up. Therefore, this will be my question about those who through no fault of their own never heard the gospel in their lifetime?

Obviously, many people fall in this category. Even before Jesus, we have several people and many of them devout Jews in the Old Testament who never heard the gospel. What about people living in places like Australia and Japan in 35 A.D. The gospel would not reach there by then and even if it hypothetically had, there is no way it reached everyone.

What about babies who die before any age of accountability? What about people who have a severe mental handicap and cannot understand the message? These are all important questions.

At the start, let’s be clear. The Bible never answers this question I think because God doesn’t want us to have the answer. I believe if we did, it might cause us to grow even lazier in the job of what we’re supposed to be doing. God gives us the Great Commission. There is no Plan-B. He never says “If you should fail, this is what I’m doing instead, just so you know.”

We are told in the Psalms that God will judge the world with equity and Genesis has Abraham saying “Will not the judge of all the Earth do right?” (It’s important to note that for the purposes of this article, I am treating this like an internal critique of Christianity and so any allegation of the Bible not being reliable or anything like that is not relevant to this.) At the start then, one major point is no one will be able to say “It wasn’t fair.”

We also know that God is all-good in Christianity. God will not do anything that is evil. At the same time, God will also treat sin seriously, but He is a God of mercy as well as justice. The cross also shows us that God is working His part to get people into the Kingdom. He is making the initiative. (I will not be getting into Calvinist-Arminian issues, although I am much more Arminian)

We also know the text says that there is no other name given under Heaven by which we must be saved. However, does this mean that everyone has to explicitly know the name of Jesus? If so, then you have a problem with Old Testament saints who would not know that name. So what does it mean by the name of Jesus?

In this case, name refers to authority. When the apostles say this to the ruling Jews, they are essentially saying, “Jesus determines who is in the Kingdom and not you.” We use the same kind of language when we speak of stopping in the name of the Law. So if I am right, then this means that one does not have to explicitly hear the message.

We also know that Jesus said that many would come from all directions to the great banquet in the end while many of the Jews would be cast out. Revelation 7 speaks of a great multitude from all over that no man could number. Some will say that the way is narrow and few will find it, but I really think Jesus is speaking to the audience right there and saying few of the Jews of the time would come to Jesus, and if so, that is correct. One has to have an interpretation of Scripture that balances all of them and I hold that mine does.

My thinking then is God will judge people by the light they have and how obedient they were to it. I also think that if they are seeking more, God will give it. Sometimes, it will be by missionaries who come. It’s amazing how many missionaries have stories of people they came to who had never heard the gospel and yet later tell the missionaries, “We had a tradition here that one day people with a book would show up and they would be the ones with the message of the one true God.” Such events have happened.

There are also cases where miraculous events happen. Many Muslims have stories of Jesus appearing to them in dreams and visions and leading them to come to Christianity. Nabeel Qureshi in his book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus even tells about his own experience with this. These stories are becoming more and more common in the Muslim world and it has happened in other religions as well.

What about babies and the mentally handicapped? I’m prone to think that God will welcome them all into the Kingdom seeing as they could do nothing good or bad ultimately to affect their destiny. Children are even often seen as a salvation picture in the Bible. Why not go ahead and abort children so they can go to Heaven? Because getting to Heaven is not the only goal of Christianity and we are not to do evil that good may result.

This is a brief run-down, but they are my thoughts on the matter.

Now you know.

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

DTF 2022

What did I think of Defend the Faith 2022? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was pleased to be invited to attend this conference and though I didn’t give a talk, I still had a good time. Surprisingly, it wasn’t even awkward staying in a room by myself, especially since the last time I had been there I was with my now ex-wife. I somehow managed to sleep well most every night and enjoyed the independence that I had, though I would certainly prefer to be sharing the room with a lady again.

So let’s go over some highlights of the event fSamor me.

Tuesday night was the night that we had trivia night. This was one of my favorite nights of the event. I was on the team of Bob Stewart, the chair of the apologetics department who invited me. I really was glad to be able to contribute so much to our team, which did end up winning.

Naturally, seeing old friends and making new ones is always good. I got to see again Tawa Anderson, Rob Bowman, Tim McGrew, Bob Stewart, and of course, Gary Habermas. I also met Mike Strauss, a physicist who actually works at CERN. The people are always a great facet.

I briefly interacted with Sam Allberry. His talks were some of my favorite. Sam is a pastor who has same-sex attraction and writes and speaks on issues of sexuality and Christianity. His talks not only teach you about the issues of the day, but leave you with a greater appreciation of grace.

Thursday night, I went with Tawa and Mike and some others at the conference who were attendees to the French Quarter. This included going down Bourbon Street which eventually got us to the Mississippi River, which I had never seen in person. While on the Quarter, we saw the annual parade in honor of Joan of Arc. Also, being in this part of New Orleans is certainly a lesson in the depravity of man.

The talks were also great. There are several breakout sessions that take place and the speakers do hang around and answer questions. You can often find them just going about throughout the campus during the day. If you come next year, you are certain to find something that will pique your curiosity. This would also be the case if you’re a non-Christian, and non-Christians are definitely welcome at the conference.

The most important part for me out of all of this was the tour for potential new students. This is something I had been considering and I finally got one of my main questions answered when I went to the campus. There is student housing that is pet-friendly. I would never move somewhere where I could not take my Shiro with me.

My folks know now that this is what I want to do and I am making the plans. My mother’s not thrilled with it, but she knows this is what is best for me. I have been told I can get my Master’s faster if I live on campus and I look forward to living near guys that share my interest (And might want to have a gaming night some nights) and possibly meeting a new young lady I can marry.

If you want to donate to Deeper Waters, now is a great time to do that. Your donations will help make this more of a reality. Yes, there is a load of scholarships I will be applying for, but any donations from friends like you help. Please consider it. I’ll keep you all updated and you can check my Facebook page as well.

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

Divorce and Depression

Why is divorce so sad? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I hadn’t said a lot publicly, but Allie and I had been having problems for awhile. For me, Allie was regularly pulling away from me and there was little affection going on between us. I had been told a few times I could divorce based on things going on, but I didn’t want to. I still maintain that the covenant is meant to be for life.

Back in May of last year, I had got us a pizza at the grocery store and after the meal, I was taking out the trash. My stomach started to hurt so I thought I would just go to the bathroom when I got back. No big deal. Well, it was one. Allie heard me screaming in there and when I came out, if I had said I turned on the shower full throttle and stuck my head in, she would have believed it since my hair was so wet. She immediately told me to go to the ER and I didn’t complain.

After some tests there, I was told I had a polyp and it had to be removed. If it wasn’t removed within six months, it could be come cancerous. Why am I bringing this up? Because at this point, the matters between us were so bad there was a piece of me that was saying “Why bother?” My mother-in-law had to be the one to convince me when she pointed out she didn’t want to see anything happen to me.

By the way, I actually had the procedure, a colonoscopy, done in December which yes, was late, but still apparently close enough. A colonoscopy was one experience I never wanted to have and it was awful. When I woke up though after being under from the procedure, I immediately asked if they got the polyp.

Wouldn’t you know it? There never was one. It was a misdiagnosis. I still don’t know what caused the incident in May, but there is no cancer apparently. However, that is just a taste of what depression can do.

I was at work when Allie texted me saying we needed to talk in December and I knew what it was. I called her and insisted she just go on and say it. Yep. She was going to file for divorce. I had only an hour left, but I asked to please not do any work that put me around customers. I talked with the store manager briefly as well as I wanted to talk to a man. Was I in tears? Yep. Not ashamed of that.

When my friend William came over in January, it was my last day there and again, I am not ashamed to say it was a time of great tears. When my Dad and brother-in-law on my sister’s side and some people from the church were there the next day to help me pack, I was pretty much useless.

I got involved in DivorceCare when I got back here and I remember the leader once saying in a group meeting that everyone there had thought about suicide at least once. From my experience, he wasn’t wrong. Divorce is a sad event. It’s a  kind of death.

The only relief I have in the experience is that it is over and I can get on with my life, but it is still very sad for me. As someone said on my wall, divorce is a kind of death. If you are to become one flesh with someone, it is like mutilating yourself. Part of you has died in some way.

It’s hard also because it is something so constantly brought to mind. When I go to sleep here, I realize that I am sleeping in my bed alone, which is thoroughly depressing. When I see a beautiful woman out in public, I miss the female companionship that I had in the past. Yesterday while at work, I heard “Love Story” on the radio overhead which was saddening for me since that song was played at our wedding.

Being the one being divorced also leads to your own self-doubt. One belief I had was that I never wanted to reject Allie. She had made a major deal of how much it hurt her to be rejected and I knew that it did hurt. I knew that from my own experience. However, I did become the rejected. I still hold that it is better to be wronged than to do the wrong, but it doesn’t change that it hurts a lot.

I look back over myself and over the years and look at all the mistakes I made and wonder “What if I had done that differently?” I look at various traits of myself and wonder “Is this what made it so hard for her to love me?” I think that I gave everything of myself to her and it wasn’t good enough, so would the same sort of thing happen again?

Divorce is a time when someone says “You are not worth it.” Sometimes, I think that is justified, such as in adultery or divorce, but while I certainly have many thoughts and living with someone on the spectrum can be difficult, I don’t think anything justified my being divorced. Still, it happened.

The Aspergers also brings up a new difficulty. Will I find a woman out there who is caring enough and understanding enough to realize that I have some of my own difficulties because of that and can handle it? Am I capable of being the husband that I need to be?

You see, if you asked my mother especially, and mothers usually know this better, all my life I have wanted a lady in my life. When Allie came along it was a dream come true. Then when the divorce came, it was a shattered visage that took place. Everything gets called into question at that point.

By the way, I know some things that could be said to me at this point, and this includes statements about seeking a new wife sometime. I plan on doing a series on things to not say to someone who has been divorced. Many statements people make, no doubt meaning well and wanting to give good advice, are deeply painful.

For me now, the tiniest thing can make me remember some common activity Allie and I could engage in together. I can remember little things she said to me on one occasion. I know that such things are not coming back. Again, it is a kind of death.

Now there are also times of anger, though not so abundant. You see, if you asked me if I still loved Allie, I would tell you yes. I still want the very best for her no matter what. I still have my own concerns for her and I pray that God will help her on the path of holiness.

I do indeed plan on writing something on anger and I have been told there will likely be a time of great anger towards Allie and to let myself experience it. It will be cathartic. Still, there is some anger now.

When I am at work and wishing I was doing something more, I get depressed about that. When I realize I am living with my parents again, the same happens. I want to be out there on my own more. I want to be doing something in the world that makes a difference in apologetics. I want to enjoy my life.

This is also, as I have said, why I am advertising my Patreon and my YouTube more. It is me trying to reach my goals bit by bit, which include living on my own and then eventually dating again. The more I also gain that independence, we are getting closer to bringing the podcast back again.

Something that has been a help is so many of you messaging me and even saying something simple like you’re praying for me. I am also thankful that very few of you have given unsolicited advice. I appreciate you realize that this is a deep time of pain for me.

It has also been great how many of you have told me you have been in the same boat before. Of course, this is far easier with guys. Guys understand what guys go through. I have had phone calls with some of you and it is a relief to know that you are fellow travelers.

I also realize that my parents are giving me a blessing by taking care of me, but I don’t want to be here forever. I will soon be 41 after all. I want to be out there living my life. I want to make the world a better place than it was when I came into it. I don’t want to be a victim.

Part of that is a fighter spirit I think I possess. I have played games all my life and I have always strived as a result to excel and succeed at all that I do. As I have told someone in DivorceCare recently, the only way you can be steamrolled by someone is if you lie down before them. If things get hard, well that just means the challenge level has been upped and that makes it more fun.

So yes, there are times of joy, but there are still times where I want to be by myself. There are still times I’m out in public and wonder if anyone knows what’s going on in my life and really cares about me at all. I have friends on Facebook, but sometimes, I want more. I do have one really good one around here, but that’s one.

When I started DivorceCare, I was asked in the book what is it that you think you can’t live without. Naturally, I put the Jesus answer, but I also put something else. Friends. Even Jesus had friends when He walked this Earth. Friends are a unique class different from family. They are always there because they choose to be. You can say your family loves you because they’re family. Friends are very different.

That doesn’t mean that you all on here don’t matter a bit. You do. When I get messages or see people share my work or subscribe to my YouTube or donate to my Patreon, it always inspires me, giving me the knowledge that I do have supporters out there. Just in the past week, I was asked to come on an apologetics channel and talk about my story, and that’s awesome. I don’t want to stop doing stuff like that.

Still, every day is a battle. It is easy to fall back into depression and it can be tempting at times. Perhaps sometimes, it might sound odd, but it is actually needed. Sometimes you might need to be sad instead of burying the emotion. In Georgia when I worked at Kroger, I resonated with a song sometimes I heard playing with the main theme of “Sometimes I don’ t want to be happy.” A friend also sent me Dallas Holm singing “I Just Don’t Feel Like Dancing.” I think it’s a mistake to say we should always be happy. Some situations should make us sad and we need to experience that rather than deny it.

To my fellow travelers, thank you so much for the support on this journey. I have kept it silent for months as I didn’t want to risk people acting ill towards Allie and honestly, I still don’t want people to do that. It is in some ways a relief to be able to speak about this freely. It is a kind of death, but I am thankful you are there walking it with me.

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