God Came Down

Merry Christmas.

What does Christmas mean?

Christmas is about the time that God entered into our world in the most personal sense, that of a human being. This wasn’t just a temporary appearance. This was beginning as a zygote and then naturally going through a gestation process and coming out of the birth canal of Mary and living life as a baby. This would be a baby who would need to have his diaper changed and be cradled and everything else.

At this point, I also want to clarify what I mean when I say that God came down. A lot of people who are anti-Trinitarians assume that if you say God, you mean a being who is unipersonal and if you say Jesus is God, you’re either saying Jesus is the Father or that Jesus is the Trinity. What is meant is that a person who fully possesses the nature of God became a man. It’s just a lot easier to say “Jesus is God” every time.

This is something unthinkable to Muslims. You mean God pooped? Yes. God fully took on the human experience. He had to eat and drink and sleep. He got His feet sore walking on the streets. He worked up a sweat and got callouses on His hands and had body odor.

To many, this seems unthinkable, and let’s face it. There’s a point to that. It is incredible to think of God doing something like this. Not only to do all of the above, but to end with dying on a cross in the greatest act of shame at the time. He was abandoned and rejected by those closest to Him.

It sounds odd to think of humility on the part of God, but that is what we have. We see it in the great hymn of Philippians 2. We see Jesus not clinging to glory, but taking on the form of a slave. We see God going to the greatest lengths to bring about salvation to man.

Revelation 12 actually depicts the incarnation taking place. We think of Christmas as a happy time, and it is, but the original wasn’t. In the original story, Herod goes and has children killed to make sure that he has no competition. It wasn’t a happy time.

Christmas is when the battle became personal. Christmas is when God entered into the world directly. In a war, the last thing the enemy would expect is for the ultimate head of the army to march out on the battlefield and engage the enemy himself. However, this is exactly what happens in the Christmas story.

It is always amusing to see the people who are so adamant about how evil it is to celebrate Christmas because of alleged pagan origins. Even if that argument was true, so what? No one today is doing this to celebrate a pagan deity, but to celebrate Jesus. If you can’t celebrate Messiah coming into the world, what can you celebrate? That’s what I celebrate today. I celebrate the virgin birth, which I do affirm. I celebrate the incarnation.

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


A Brief Defense of the Virgin Birth (Which I do affirm)

What can be said to defend the virgin birth? (Which I do affirm) Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

There seems to be an inevitability that when atheists bring forth accounts meant to embarrass Christianity, one of them is the virgin birth. (Which I do affirm.) It is acted as if we now know better that it takes sex to make a baby, despite that if you read the whole Old Testament, it looks like they discovered the correlation pretty quickly. When I meet people like this who like to point out that “We know better”, I ask them when it was that we discovered that it takes sex to make babies.

Technically, we no longer even have to have it that way thanks to IVF procedures. As Catholic thinker Jennifer Roback Morse said once, we wanted to have sex without babies, and now we are having babies without sex, which she is sure is not as much fun as the traditional way. That’s just a fun aside.

So first off atheists out there, please learn that when you say something is nonsense, you are assuming that on your worldview it is. If atheism was true, then yes, miracles would be nonsense, but to start out with that assumption is begging the question. If you want to disprove miracles, you might actually have to, gasp, disprove miracles.

So let’s look at some specific data on the virgin birth, which I do affirm, accounts.

First, it needs to be addressed why this is not mentioned by Paul, which that question is the whole origin of my repeated emphasis on the virgin birth, which I do affirm. Paul would not need to mention this since he was not writing a biography of Jesus. In a high-context society, this would be background knowledge.

So now let’s look at the Gospels. I don’t think Mark would mention it because his account is the account of Peter which would include everything Peter was able to witness. Peter was not there at the virgin birth, which I do affirm. However, Mark 6 speaks of Jesus as the son of Mary and not Joseph, which could be a veiled reference.

As for John, there is a possibility that when John 1 speaks of someone being born not of natural descent, human decision, or a husband’s will, it could be referring to the virgin birth. (Which I do affirm.) John is more emphasizing the full deity of Christ. He wants to jump straight to the life of Jesus to demonstrate that.

But don’t the accounts of Matthew and Luke contradict? Even if we granted that, that’s hardly the best way to have a virgin birth (Which I do affirm) account. It would have been easier for the church to just reject one Gospel or go with the Diatessaron which was an attempt by Tatian to combine all the Gospels into one.

It also seems strange that both writers would go to what are thought to be extreme conditions to get the child born in Bethlehem when they could have just avoided that altogether. They did, putting themselves open for attack. Also, if both of them were practically identical, we would have heard collusion instead.

So what about something like Luke’s census? The reality is that there are numerous responses to this. Luke is highly accurate in many areas so it seems strange he would invent a whole census across the Roman Empire no one heard of for a story. There are numerous suggestions such as that the census was the one that took place before the time of Quirinius. It is possible that there was a census that took place in various shifts. I don’t have a firm hypothesis I go with, but that there is one shows this is not unsurmountable.

Didn’t pagans have virgin births? Not really. Usually, there’s something else going on that makes it clear that a god is getting his business on with a lady. One lady has a golden shower falling over here. Alexander the Great’s mother had a dream involving a thunderbolt hitting her womb and we can question if Philip was one who wanted to avoid pre-marital sex. As for Mithras, well, technically I suppose it was a virgin birth. That rock that he popped out of fully grown quite likely never had sex.

Not only this, but the early church was extremely resistant to paganism. In examining garbage in ancient Jerusalem, it is noticed that it is after 70 AD that we find pigs’ bones showing up. It’s also highly unlikely that Matthew in wanting to explain the birth of Jesus would want to risk implicating YHWH Himself in the affair. It would not do a favor to Jesus to give an account of His birth that could seem remotely pagan.

Keep in mind that they could have done what Mark and John did and just avoided it. If anything, by addressing it, they were implicitly acknowledging that Jesus was viewed as illegitimate, hardly a good trait for a Messiah. For some reason, they did face it.

Also, consider what is said in Luke 1. Jesus will be given the throne of His father David and will reign over His kingdom forever and it will have no end. Many skeptics date Luke to after 70 AD so let’s go with that for the sake of argument. Any Jewish reader at the time who wasn’t a Christian would say “That never happened! Jerusalem was destroyed! He wasn’t given a kingdom!”

Yet that is what Luke said, which is hardly something he would say if he thought it could be easily disproven. Now a Christian will understand how that was fulfilled and before 70 AD, it would be a lot easier to make that claim. So either it’s more likely that Luke was early or that Luke included material that could be seen as embarrassing.

All of this is something brief. I really recommend those wanting more go and read the classical defenses, especially J. Gresham Machen. It was a long time ago, but it’s still really good.

Merry Christmas everyone! Let’s celebrate the virgin birth, which I do affirm, of our Lord.

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


Christmas Eve Thoughts

How has Christmas Eve changed? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am writing this early seeing as I am going to be going back to see my parents for Christmas this year. This leaves me thinking first about Christmas Eve. For me, there was a tradition to call someone in the family on Christmas Eve and be the first to say “Christmas gift!” I don’t remember where this started and why, but I have known it as long as I can remember and enjoy being the first.

Christmas Eve was often about getting together with friends and family. We used to get together with another family my mother helped out when she was younger so we were practically adopted into their family. We have stopped going though, but not because of bad blood. I do remember the last time I went though was when I walked in with my now ex-wife and announced our engagement.

After that, we went to my aunt’s house and when we walked in, everyone had a pile of presents. It was my grandmother, my aunt, my cousins, my parents, and any significant others. There were real gifts given, and then there were some gifts that we considered so bad we called out “Who would want it?!”

We no longer do that in our family. It’s not because of bad blood. It’s because my grandmother and my aunt and her husband have all died now. Things are just no longer the same. Ironically, I think I, the one who the “experts” said would do the least with my life, am the one who is furthest away. Everyone else as far as I know now has stayed in Tennessee.

In the past when I lived in North Carolina or Georgia, it was a bit tedious, but I could easily drive back to Tennessee. This is the first year I will actually be flying back. Last year, we did everything through the Amazon Echo my parents and I both have. I had one already and gifted them one when I left so we could stay in touch that way and they could see me.

Last year, my folks wanted to make sure that I had enough money for my education, their first priority. This year, before I even head back, I have already been given two gifts by people I know here on campus who know I am going back. I also went to the campus Christmas party.

Christmas has changed, and I have changed with it. As a young boy growing up, Christmas Eve was about the gifts. It was incredible to walk in on Christmas Eve and see all those gifts for me. Now would it be nice to still get a lot like that? Sure. Who doesn’t like getting a gift?

I have an Amazon wish list (In case anyone is feeling generous), but I honestly have no idea what my family is getting me and it’s not the biggest deal to me. I will likely be fine with whatever I get. I also enjoy giving the gifts. My mother recently told me about how she got a package from me that has her Christmas gift in it, indicated on the package, and was telling a friend about it. She told her friend that I don’t usually ask what people want. I just get them what I think they would like or what I think they need. It actually works well for me as most people love their gifts and I love seeing them get them.

Yet what about my Christian views. Those changed too. Now the gifts really aren’t the main thing as I said. It’s remember why we’re here and spending that time with the people in my life. I will likely spend this Christmas season with my family, probably playing Trivial Pursuit with my Dad a few times, and watching Christmas movies and various clips on YouTube and other such things.

While a lot with Christmas has changed and I have changed, Christ has not changed. He is still the same and always will be. I spend plenty of time arguing with people who insist Christmas is pagan. They have a low view of redemption. Even if it was, which it wasn’t, Jesus still redeems it.

So when I get together, whatever anyone might think, no pagan god is being celebrated. Jesus is being celebrated. He always will be.

I hope you all enjoy the Christmas season and please do consider Deeper Waters for end-of-the-year giving. There is a link on the blog post below to become a member of Patreon. Please consider it.

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

Book Plunge: Conceived by the Holy Spirit

What do I think of Rhyne Putman’s book on the virgin birth (Which I do affirm)? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Rhyne Putman is a good friend of mine and he was fine with sending me a review copy of his book on the virgin birth (Which I do affirm). If you want to read it, you will be waiting awhile as it comes out next year. Still, I wanted to write on it while it was fresh in my mind.

This book covers most every area of the Gospel narratives on the virgin birth (Which I do affirm) and not just defending the doctrine, which needs to be done, but even more important after that, showing what difference it makes. Is it just a nice add-on to the story but if we lose it, no big deal? Not at all, says Putman. We need to look at the difference it makes to know that Jesus was virgin born. (Which I do affirm.)

Also, if you’re reading this and you’re a layman thinking “Great. Another academic work that will go over my head” then you are also mistaken. This is written for you. This is easily approachable and Putman explains his terms well. Not only that, but it’s perfect Christmas reading seeing as there are 25 chapters in this. Gather the family around and read one chapter a day and you can go through December 1-25 celebrating the virgin birth. (Which I do affirm.)

The first section of the book deals with the birth of the virgin-born king (Which I do affirm) in the narratives. Each part is looked at in detail and also specifies which objections are being answered. Want to look at something on the Lucan census? Go straight there! Want to see if the incarnation goes against pre-existence? You can find it! Want to just look at one particular part of the narratives, say if you’re a minister preparing a sermon? Not a problem! Go to it!

Part two then goes beyond this looking at the practice of the doctrine. Putman will take you through the church fathers to see what they say. (Also, Protestants like myself really do need to read the church fathers. The Reformers pointed to them regularly and it’s a shame that many in our churches don’t even know who they were.) He then goes through church history seeing what so many people said about how the doctrine applies to them. There is definitely a heavy Christmas theme here as many of the chapter headings refer to Christmas carols. Again, you can also go through and see objections that need to be answered, even the one that says Mary should have aborted.

Finally, he does have an appendix for those who are interested, on the Marian dogmas, particularly perpetual virginity. Putman walks a fine line here as he wants to make sure he is charitable to scholars who are of a different persuasion than he is whom he has learned much from. I hope that those who read through such a section, like Roman Catholics and Orthodox, will walk away saying that their position was treated fairly and even though they don’t agree with Putman, that he made his case and respected theirs.

Putman’s book is a delightful tour through the Gospels and through church history. If you want to bless your Christmas celebrations, get this book. Go through it. If children are old enough to understand the terms about virginity and other such ideas, have them join in. If you want to establish a new Christmas tradition, then let it be this one.

And on a side note, Putman is also definitely right about one other thing. Die Hard is indeed a Christmas movie.

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


Celebrating The Season of War

Is everything just merry and bright? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This Christmas for most of us here in the West, Christmas is indeed merry and bright. It will have us coming together with friends and family to celebrate the coming of Jesus. We will exchange gifts, have meals, sing carols, and any number of other traditions.

It’s a time of war.

That description doesn’t sound like war….

Yet it really is a time of war and we don’t realize it because we have it so good in the West. Imagine if you were celebrating this holiday in a Muslim nation where you are proclaiming God incarnate coming. Imagine celebrating it in a country like China. In a number of countries, being a Christian is a death sentence.

It was like that in the Roman Empire as well. A number of Christians faced the death penalty because of the charge of atheism. It was not safe to be a Christian.

This shouldn’t surprise us because in the Bible, Christmas is presented as a time of war.

Go to Revelation 12. It’s really my favorite rendition of the Christmas story. In this account, you see the birth of Jesus and when the devil can’t kill Him, he goes out to seek war on all of the saints. By the way, this is a problem for a totally futurist view of the book of Revelation. It’s really difficult to see this as anything other than the birth of Christ.

As a result of God coming into the world, war was declared. If we were really being accurate going to church, we should wear military gear. We often think we will go to get a feel-good message and encouragement, and there’s nothing wrong with such encouragement, but we should also consider that we are going to get our marching orders as we are soldiers for the Kingdom of God seeking its spread.

The world has never reconciled to the coming of God. There is still a desire to shut down Christianity. In the West, we are starting to see this more and more as the sexual revolution’s fruit is still going strong and more and more, movements are being made against Christianity. We could fear what happens, but it could be one of our greatest gifts. Christianity taken for granted tends to grow weak, much like anything that is taken for granted.

We are right now living in contested territory. We are living in a world where the forces of good and evil are constantly facing off against one another. As someone who studies video games and Christianity, this is something I find easy to understand as a game often throws us into a world where it is good vs. evil fighting constantly.

Go and enjoy Christmas by all means. There is something to celebrate. Jesus did come in the flesh and did start the battle. We are to go and announce the good news that not only the king came, but that the king is still reigning right now. None of this is the case if it hadn’t been that that original birth took place. (And I do affirm the virgin birth.)

Merry Christmas.

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

Christmas on Sunday

Should we go to church on Christmas? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So there’s been a lot of talk I’ve seen on Facebook about Christmas being on a Sunday this year. I do know a lot of churches are having Christmas Eve services, which is fairly common. I don’t remember going to them growing up since my parents were the ones in charge and we always went to two different houses on Christmas Eve. I know my ex-wife and I didn’t on our first Christmas Eve together, but we were also going on a deep drive through snow.

Now this year, I do plan on going to my church for Christmas. I understand we’re going to not have the regular Sunday School aspect, which is fine with me, but I plan on attending the service. There are some people who are thinking we shouldn’t have church this year on Christmas because people will want to be with their families.

Churches normally are open on Christmas day for a service and also people usually do want to spend Christmas with their families. Both of those make sense. Somehow, when Christmas falls on Sunday, it seems strange to some people to think you’d go to church.

Which is kind of odd. We’re only celebrating the birth of the Son of God into the world. It’s strange to go to the very place where that is celebrated?

However, we could also consider this a Romans 14 matter. Perhaps someone’s family has non-Christians that will absolutely refuse to go to church at all and maybe one doesn’t want to avoid any sort of drama. That would be up to each person to decide based on the kind of skeptic in their family they are dealing with. It could also be a great time to get someone to church so they can hopefully learn something more about the message of salvation.

For me, I am going to church and my family is going to be celebrating on Eastern time. They will have to wait another hour likely for me then, but I don’t think there will be much problem with that. I am staying in New Orleans for Christmas and we have said we are going to use our Echo devices so we can see each other and open gifts that way.

If we treat this as a Romans 14 matter, then we should also say that each person should be fully convinced in his own mind. For me, the idea of missing church doesn’t really make sense, but at the same time, I don’t want to look down my nose at someone who is missing. It would be horrible to be celebrating the birth of Christ while practicing the sin of satan after all.

People will be discussing their reasons back and forth for what they do and there are many factors to consider. Again, let each be fully convinced in his own mind. For me, I am going to be going to my service that day and the gifts, God willing, will still be waiting for me when I get home and the family will still be there. They’ll do just fine.

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

Merry Christmas. War is Starting

What really happened on Christmas? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’ve seen several people sharing lists of their least favorite Christmas songs and one common song on many lists is Merry Christmas: War is Over. I am not going to talk about that song, but I think it is mistaken. When we look at the original Christmas, it’s not war is over. We could say the message at the first Christmas was, “Merry Christmas: War is Starting.”

My favorite version of the Christmas story in Scripture is found in Revelation 12. We forget that this is really what happened. Jesus is born and then wise men come seeking him and King Herod wants him dead. No doubt, Herod was a twisted and evil man, but he know what the birth of the Messiah meant for him. This guy was to rule Israel. He was a threat.

We have our nativity scenes set up with gentle scenes and it’s all peaceful, but Jesus’s coming was a declaration of war. This was God making His way into the world in a new way in a way that He would be king. This was God coming in person.

The world was meant to never be the same. Herod was just the first challenger. The religious elite in Israel started to challenge Him as well. His followers, His body, would be persecuted by the Roman Empire. Later on Islam would come up and from them on, more and more forces have come up to persecute the church.

Jesus is a threat to people wherever He goes. A few months ago a friend shared that we often hear that Christianity needs to come to grips with the world. This person they shared then said it’s the exact opposite. The world needs to come to grips with Christianity.

When we celebrate Christianity, we don’t celebrate the end of a war. We celebrate the start of a war. We should also realize that we are to be continuing this war. We are to be spreading the message of the King and understand that that message comes with opposition.

It could be tempted to think that that means doom and gloom, but it doesn’t. We are meant to win this war. The gates of Hell will never stand against our side. Gates are defensive measures. The church has often put itself on the defense when we are really supposed to be on the offense.

On Christmas, we celebrate our king coming and leading the charge. He went and defeated the major enemy and left the rest of the battles for us to fight. Even then, we fight them by His power and not our own. We are meant to be conquerors.

This world is the world of King Jesus and He came into it on order to reclaim it We are meant to be ambassadors of good news and be rescuing those who are still believing that the enemy is in charge. The greatest battle has already been won. We are, at this point, dealing with left over battles and the last holdouts.

Christmas is a fun time, but remember it’s a time of victory and fighting the battle between good and evil. Jesus came to reclaim this world for God. Let’s make sure we are helping the cause.

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

Divorce and the Holidays

What are holidays like for those grieving? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’m emphasizing divorce here because I can speak personally of that. I cannot do that for other situations. However, for anyone going through grief and loss, the holidays can be hard. I think of my friend Evan Minton, who lost his mother this year and how Thanksgiving could be very awkward this year. There are many widows and widowers out there who will be having a hard time. I think of my friend Christina in Charlotte whose young husband died this year.

Now for me, I have never really cared for Thanksgiving. I really like for the most part being on the spectrum, but Thanksgiving is awkward. The holiday is now pretty much all about the food, that I don’t care for aside from pumpkin pie, and then socializing. The first Thanksgiving I remember truly enjoying, I had the flu and had to stay home and Ocarina of Time had just come out and I spent the evening trying to get through the Forest Temple for the first time.

That used to be my second best also.

The best would have been the first Thanksgiving I spent with my ex-wife and her family. I can’t really say that anymore. That memory now only brings pain.

I noticed at my own job that I was becoming more irritable these past few days. I suspect it has to do with all these people coming in talking about the holiday and saying “Happy Thanksgiving.” It doesn’t help that my love life has suffered and just recently I thought I might have had something, but no, that didn’t work out. For me, Thanksgiving is a kind of loneliness.

Sure. I have my parents here, but I’m 41 years old and I thrive on being independent. Being in Texas for ETS was an awesome time for me because I was out there and on my own and making my own decisions. No. My parents don’t control me, but I am dependent on being in their house. They’re great people, but I do long to be out there myself.

I am busy preparing for the furtherance of my education and I don’t know how I will manage to pay for it all. I still want to earn enough to live on my own. I want to have a woman in my life again. I want to be able to go to a job that I enjoy and that I think I make a difference at.

In that situation for me, Thanksgiving is hard because I’m thinking about all the things I don’t have and I am tempted to cry, “How long, O Lord? How long?” I know I have many things to be thankful for, such as I am a child of the king, I live in the greatest country on Earth, and I do have my family and many great friends.

Sometimes, it’s just hard still.

You could call me ungrateful, and I suppose that could be true to some extent, but it’s something we all struggle with for the most part. We all can easily overlook our blessings, but for the holidays, those going through a real loss can still struggle with that. The things I write of I pray for every night.

This holiday season, through Thanksgiving and Christmas, try to remember those people around you who are grieving. If you know someone who has lost a loved one, do a kind gesture for them. Do something that says you’re thinking of them. Get a gift for a friend or invite them over to do something.

Remember also those less fortunate you don’t even know. Work with a charity this year to provide for someone in need. Provide a Christmas gift for a child who will have nothing this year without one. If you know someone who does care for food, invite them over to Thanksgiving dinner or provide a meal for their family.

This year can be hard for many people struggling and depression and suicide rates can easily go up. Please be remembering those people. For me, this is my first holiday season officially as a divorced person and don’t think it doesn’t come to mind that I proposed on Christmas Eve. It’s easy to tell someone to focus on what they have, but it can be hard as we all know. It’s far better to walk alongside those who are suffering.

Please be a gift to them this holiday season. Maybe they can be thankful in the end you’re in their lives.

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

Thanksgiving When You’re Not Thankful

How do you celebrate a holiday when things are rough? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A few weeks ago, I did a podcast with the Mentionables and we talked about depression. It was largely about mental illness, but depression came up. I brought up that when the holiday season comes around, for a lot of people, it’s a happy time, but for some people, it can be rough.

For me, Thanksgiving has never really been my favorite holiday. Just picture being socially awkward due to Aspergers and then also because of that, having a dislike for all of the food served there. I know on my end, it’s really hard when people tell me to eat a lot of turkey. Yeah. Sorry. I don’t play that game.

Honestly, looking back, only two Thanksgivings stand out to me with fond memories. The first was in 1998. The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time had just come out. I also had the flu. It wasn’t faked at all. I never faked sickness. I had the flu. I couldn’t be around people at all, so I stayed in my room at home the whole night trying to get through the Forest Temple.

That was an awesome Thanksgiving. It might have been horrible if it had been the Water Temple, but it was the Forest one. That one is not the nightmare the Water one is.

The second one was the first Thanksgiving I had with Allie. We were dating and not even engaged yet and she invited me to be with her family. I’m sure that wasn’t the favorite Thanksgiving of my family since I was away spending it with a girl I was dating, but I remember it fondly.

If the holiday season is here though and you’re not into it because of your own suffering, it’s really understandable. Sometimes, holidays remind us of what is different. It can be really painful seeing other people happy. It can be painful hearing so many people say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas or Happy Thanksgiving.

We know they mean well. They don’t know what’s going on in your life if they say that. If you’re in that position this year, try to remember that these people really do mean well.

The thing is that you are still supposed to be thankful. A couple of years ago or so, someone told me to be thankful for something when you get to the end of the day. If it has been a horrible day, at least be thankful that the day is over.

Also, remember if this is your first time going through a hard holiday season, you’re not alone. Other people have walked this path before. It could be your first time going through it, but it’s been traveled before. There are plenty of people who have walked down it who could be willing to help you as you walk it.

It’s often said that misery loves company. There’s a reason for that. That misery of other people can remind you that you’re not alone. This is a great benefit of groups like Celebrate Recovery. You can go there and know that you are not alone.

That’s something else to be thankful for then. You’re not truly alone.

If you also know someone going through a rough holiday season or think they could be, reach out to them. Give that waiter at the restaurant an extra tip just in case. Give a great tip to the guy who helps you carry your groceries out to your car. Give your Uber driver or deliverer a little extra.

If these people don’t serve you that way, give them a gift card to a favorite restaurant of theirs. If they have children, get some gifts for the children. Even just putting some money in the mail and having it sent that way could help and if you want to do so anonymously, that’s fine too.

If you’ve got a lot more money, do more. I remember the year someone gave us a Nintendo Switch. I still enjoy it and it gave me a lot of hope. Go and secretly pay someone’s electric bill perhaps or take care of their rent or go by them groceries.

By the way, if you’re a Christian, you’re supposed to show this kind of kindness anyway. If they are fellow believers, they are your brothers and sisters. Would you want your physical family going without over the holidays? Then don’t let it be with your spiritual family either.

Not only that, you will really give them something to be thankful for this year.

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

Book Plunge: Torahism

What do I think of R.L. Solberg’s book published by Williamson College Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

There are many things that bring the Christmas season home to me and make the holiday so special. Getting to put up decorations, going out and looking for lights, getting together with friends and family and exchanging gifts, hearing Christians tell me that Christmas is pagan, good times. No holiday season ever seems complete without that last group showing up.

So it is that when R.L. Solberg had a friend say the same thing on Facebook, he engaged with the post and found himself caught up in something greater. As a result, he wrote Torahism asking if Christians are to keep the law of Moses? Torahism can often go beyond that as some people like this deny the Trinity and the deity of Christ and are definitely very anti-Catholic.

So looking at Solberg’s book, I’ll start with the things I liked about it and then suggest areas I’d like to see improved.

First, I’m glad that the book has been written. There are too many people who are Christians and not Torahists who also have questions about the Law of Moses. There are too many atheists that present the Law as if it was to be a perfect guide for all time and be the perfect moral system. Both need answers to their questions.

Second, the book is easy to understand. You don’t need to have a Seminary background to understand what is being said here. Solberg writes in simple language and does not use complex terminology.

Third, each chapter is stand alone so you can look at each section that is relevant to what you’re talking about and getting it from there. Of course, you could read straight through like I did, but it’s not necessary. The information is really easy to find.

So what we have is good, but there are some changes I would like to see Solberg make for future editions.

First, more engagement with the scholarship in the field, especially Old Testament scholars like John Walton, Tremper Longman, Michale Heiser, Walter Kaiser, and others. It would have been good to see what scholars in the field say about the Law. I am especially thinking about Walton’s book The Lost World of the Torah.

Second, in the section on the deity of Christ, I would have liked more answers on such questions like “How could Jesus die on the cross if God can’t die?” I would have liked to have seen more on the Trinity. With this, a work like How God Became Jesus would be great.

Third, one point I was surprised to not see mentioned was that of slavery. Would Torahists like to have some kind of system like this? Along those same lines, would Torahists be open to allowing a man to have more than one wife?

It is always good to see people filling a niche in the apologetics world. A group like the one called Torahism is one that needs some responding to. I am thankful Solberg took the time to answer them and I hope that there will be further expansion on this work.

In Christ,
Nick Peters