Deeper Waters Podcast 9/9/2017: The Mentionables

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

It kind of started as a joke or a compliment. Maybe it was a little bit of both. One of my friends mentioned me and some others in a comment and how that while there are several big names in apologetics, there are some that deserve a mention. I replied thanking him for the compliment as did some of the others named, and then we decided why not make it real?

And now, the Mentionables are here.

We’re going to be having a regular podcast with different ones of us speaking from time to time and we’re having a conference in Greensboro in May of next year. However, we’re also going to be doing an interview on my podcast this Saturday. We’ll be talking about who we are and the conference and giving an example of what we want the Mentionables Podcast to be like.

So who are the Mentionables?

Joel Furches is a writer who has spent most of his writing career researching and writing on the subject of Christian Apologetics. Joel wrote a column for The Examiner on Apologetics for over five years. Additionally, Joel has researched and written for publications such as Bible Translation Magazine, Hubpages, Premier Christianity Magazine, and Christian Media Magazine. Joel has contributed material to the book “Basics of Biblical Criticism,” and is the author of “Christ-Centered Apologetics.”

Joel has a BS in Psychology and an MS in Education.

And Neil Hess

 

  • Masters in the Arts of Teaching 2006

 

  • Attended Western Seminary 2013-2015 (Stopped due to time, health and financial constraints)

 

  • Completed the Ambassadors Academy on Evangelism with Ray Comfort and Living Waters July 2011

 

  • Teaching science at the middle school level since 2007

 

  • Produced dozens of apologetics related and evangelistic videos and blog articles

 

  • Years of experience in multimedia production, especially in audio production and voice overs

 

 

Established multiple podcasts

Other members at this time include Adam Coleman, Chad Gross, and Tyler Vela. Tyler has been on my show twice before. Finally, I’m also included as a mentionable. If you want information on me, it’s all here on this web site and I don’t think I need to include it again.

We are already planning for our first conference in May of next year in Greensboro, North Carolina. We hope that it will be the first of many. The show we’re doing on Saturday though is more to help introduce us to the world. Many people have heard of the much bigger names, but they haven’t heard of the lesser names, but even lesser names deserve a mention.

This also means podcast fans that from time to time, I will be contributing regularly to yet another podcast and I hope that you listen to that one as well. The difference is on the other one, you’ll likely be hearing a lot more of my viewpoints whereas on mine, it’s strictly an interview or debate format depending on the guests on the show. I hope it goes well and you listen to tha tas well.

I also hope you’ll leave a review on ITunes of the show and if you want to get to see me sometime, maybe you’d like to come to the conference in Greensboro. Be watching this web site for details.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Book Plunge: Christ-Centered Apologetics

What do I think of Joel Furches’s book published by Crosslink Publishers? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Awhile back Joel Furches sent me this book, which recently I finally got around to reading. Normally, the only direct apologetics books I read today are those that are sent to me and I mainly try to keep in mind how an audience unfamiliar with apologetics would take it. Generally, if you’re well-read, you won’t find much new in many classical apologetics books. That’s not a bad thing necessarily. Everyone needs a start somewhere.

So what are the positives of Furches’s book?

I certainly appreciate that Christ must remain the center of our apologetics. Furches rightly points out that too often we can get bogged down on secondary issues such as Inerrancy or the age of the Earth. The main point that needs to be proven is that Jesus is who He said He was and that He rose from the dead.

I do appreciate that Furches has a chapter in here on how to do apologetics. I do not agree with all that he said, and more of that is coming up later, but knowing how to do apologetics is just as important as having the content of apologetics.

Furches is also right on how this must be done in our churches today. Christianity is in a state of lethargy here in America with most people not knowing what they believe beyond “faith.” The new atheists can make easy pickings of such people, not because the new atheists are so strong, they’re not, but because the ones they are going against are so weak.

I also agree that too often our worldviews have been like a house of cards. Each doctrine of Christianity has been given as much importance as every other one and so if one falls, then everything falls. To point to earlier examples, I know of Christians that if they found out the Bible had an error in it, they would abandon their faith immediately. I also know several who thought Christianity was disproven when they were convinced the Earth is old.

Now what are my concerns?

First, while Furches does often cite Biblical scholars, many times, he does not, and these times can be concerning. I really don’t like seeing John MacArthur used as if he was a Bible scholar when there are real New Testament scholars to go to for the matters that MacArthur is consulted on. Also, while I do respect people like J. Warner Wallace greatly, it can too often look like an apologist quoting another apologist. I would prefer to go back to the scholarly sources. Wallace certainly cites them in his work, so why not instead of citing Wallace, go back to the people that Wallace cites?

Second, I thought some arguments could have used some improvement. I am thankful for a look at each of the Gospels to show they are by eyewitnesses or trace back to eyewitnesses, but would this not have been a good time to mention Richard Bauckham’s groundbreaking work on the topic? Since the most defense was applied to Mark, would it not be helpful to show that Mark is an inclusio account that directly links itself to Peter?

Third, some arguments were just suspicious to me. Consider for instance the claim that there was some of Mark found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. I do not know a specialist on the Dead Sea Scrolls today who takes this opinion. Putting an argument that could be highly spurious in a work could lead people to question the rest of one’s research.

Fourth, I found the section on prophecy troubling. To begin with, there was nothing about how to interpret prophecy in the OT that I saw. What is a Christian to do when met with passages like Hosea 11:1 being cited in Matthew 2? Without an informed hermeneutic on the NT’s usage of the OT and how prophecy was understood in Second Temple Judaism, you could quickly be devastated by others who are sadly just as ignorant of such realities. I also was surprised there was no mention of Daniel 2 or Daniel 9 which I consider excellent prophecies with the timing of Jesus.

Finally, with how to do apologetics, I would disagree in some areas. There are times I am answering a question and I am NOT trying to get the person to come to Jesus. The person is hostile, but it is a public place. My goal is to shut them down since they are a threat to others coming to the cross. I think in such times being more tough in one’s approach can be helpful and in fact I see this in the Bible regularly.

In conclusion, it’s kind of a mixed bag. If you don’t have any apologetics training, this could be a good start. I would hope in future editions the author would take my concerns into consideration as areas for improvement.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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