We Don’t Need No Stinking New Philosophy

Do we need something new? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Over the weekend, I saw somewhere on Twitter that Elon Musk had said that people are losing hope in the future and we need a new philosophy. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find that tweet again. I agree with Musk on the first part, that people are losing hope. I disagree with the second part that we need a new philosophy.

By philosophy, I suspect Musk means a new way of living and a new way of seeing the world. It’s understandable, but it’s unlikely we’re going to uncover a grand new truth of reason that hasn’t been discovered already. The main foundations have already been laid and we are simply building on them.

I do question that we need something new based on the maxim of C.S. Lewis. If you find yourself traveling the wrong direction, the way of progress is to turn around. If we look at where our “progress” is taking us, it really doesn’t look good. The humanist dream has always said that Utopia is just around the corner, when Utopia usually turns out to be a nightmare.

What we need is not a new philosophy but a new embrace of the old philosophy and that is to return to Christianity. It is in Christianity that we have an embrace of the family, the essential building block of our society. It is in this system that we have an emphasis on morality and the good and love of your fellow man.

As for hope, Christianity gives us hope, and this is hope not just in the future, but hope for the present. We have a real message of forgiveness and that justice will be done for all. That can be both good and frightening as well. Justice sounds good when we think about evil people and we think about people who have wronged us. It doesn’t sound as good when we realize we have to sit at the same seat.

Christianity does give us hope that death has been defeated. It means that no weapon formed against us will prosper. It tells us that we should do our best, but that everything doesn’t depend on us. This is our Father’s world and He is watching over it. This message gives us something to live for. It’s not just about collecting the most stuff or having the most pleasure. It’s about seeking a greater kingdom and the best way to bring it about.

Christianity is a message of hope to people. It was something that changed the world of its time and whenever it is preached and lived, that same change begins again. Christianity tells us that everyone is worthwhile and everyone is in the image of God. Christianity tells us that God cares enough about us that He Himself lived among us and He is a security that we can put our hope in.

The way to change society around us today is not by anything new. It is to undo the damage that has been done, I contend principally by the sexual revolution, and return to the truth of Christianity, an ethic not dependent on circumstances or feelings, but on eternal truth. Some could think that hope is just for the future, but I will contend another time, perhaps tomorrow, that this hope is for the present life as well.

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

Happy New Year

How should we see 2022? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Personally, I’m happy to see 2022 coming. People talk about 2020 as if it was the disaster year. If I say that, it’s not because of Coronavirus at all. It’s because that’s when so much trouble with my ex and I reached a breaking point. In all of 2021, I have not seen her one time in person. On the other hand, I have also not done anything romantic with a lady at all which is depressing for me.

2021 is the year I officially became divorced.

2022 is a year then I am looking forward to as I want to continue to change my life for the better. I am interested in a seminary and getting my Master’s and then eventually a Ph.D. I have noticed I have got to do more interviews and debates lately and I hope that keeps up.

We are told in the Gospels that Jesus said to not worry about tomorrow, which is true. Worry is stupid, even though we do it, myself included. Last night I went to bed worrying about a situation. I slept, but it wasn’t the most restful of sleep, and yet today early in the morning, the situation was resolved immediately and frankly, it never really was one. The real situation was the fear I had in my own head about matters.

By the way, as one who has long suffered with anxiety, and I do take medication now too which greatly helps, I would like to point you to the best book I have ever read on anxiety. That is Pierce Taylor Hibbs’s Struck Down But Not DestroyedThe approach taught in this book has been nothing short of life-changing for me in handling anxiety.

Often when we look at the future, we’re tempted to assume the worst. Why should we though? Let’s suppose the worst happens, whatever it is. God is with us. For me, I would have told you the worst thing that could have happened to me was to get a divorce.

Well, guess what. That happened, and it hurt immensely and it was awful and there were times that I wondered if life was really worth it, but you know what? I made it through. I made it through and I have kept going. Will there be a new worst possible thing to me someday? Probably, but I need to remember I made it through this one.

So if a disaster happens in 2022, well that’s just a fine time for the church of Christ to shine. That’s a great time for us to rise up and to show the love and power of Jesus to a world that needs that. Many times, I have reminders come that God is in control of the story and has it all worked out. Whether you are a Calvinist or an Arminian, all Christians should accept God is the author of this story and He is working it out.

So with 2022 coming, I want to see how it works out. I have my hopes and dreams, sure. I want to do my education and get my Master’s and hopefully, at least start dating someone special and being in a serious relationship. I also want to get a better job and be earning enough that I can provide for that woman.

I could be afraid of the future, but that wouldn’t do me any good. Wherever I go, I need to walk with courage. I never walk alone. God is with me as He was through the worst time of my life. He’ll get me through it all so why not enjoy the ride?

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

Aspergers and Future Plans

What are the hopes for 2022? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I want to let you all know that for the first week in January, there won’t be any new blogs. I will be in New Orleans for the Defend the Faith Conference. I have been invited to attend, though not as a speaker this time, and while there, I will also be discussing with them the possibility of my attending seminary as well there. My pastor informed me I can get a big discount at a Southern Baptist Seminary on tuition since I’m a member of a Southern Baptist Church and I know a lot of people at New Orleans so it sounded good.

I do have a Bachelor’s already, so this will be Master’s work. However, that’s a brief rundown of what’s coming. Check here after the first week in the year for updates, but I do want to share something else about it. This post is not just about future plans, but it’s also about Aspergers.

When I was growing up, my parents say they were told many things about me. After all, I spent many a time at centers for studying disability. It wasn’t until 5th grade that Autism was my diagnosis. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t there before that.

There was some concern, for example, when I went to Middle School. Why? The school had more than one story. That meant climbing stairs. I was scared of stairs then. To some extent, I still am, but my mother took me to the school beforehand when it was empty and they let me in knowing their concerns. I reportedly told my mother, “I have to do this” when climbing the stairs. Looking back at Middle School, I don’t remember stair climbing ever being an issue really.

Throughout my school years, I didn’t know much about my diagnosis and didn’t say much about it. However, my parents had been told that I would never finish school. I wouldn’t be able to hold down a job. Nothing like that.

I understand I was the first student on the spectrum in Knox County, Tennessee to go completely through the public school system. I don’t know if that’s right, but it’s what I have been told. For me, any time someone told me I couldn’t do something, it often became a challenge of “Watch me.”

Now if I was never to finish high school, surely I could never finish college. Nope. Did that too. Did a senior sermon before my entire graduating student body which consisted of about 1,000 people, including students and professors. Even months after that sermon, people who saw me in the halls would still compliment me on it.

One of my professors, David Wheeler, remarked about how when I came to college, I was quiet and not interacting with anyone. Then I found apologetics there, which became my passion, and soon I was dropping in on my professors and sharing jokes and everything He remarks about watching me come alive in college.

I had also been told I would likely never drive a car. Well, that’s been shot through of holes. I drive nearly every day and to this day, I still enjoy driving. I still consider it a remarkable gift.

One summer, I knew I wanted to get out and live on my own. I was looking for a way to convince my parents though. I knew they were protective. I had found a good place and I needed a good argument to be able to convince them to let me move in. I thought of one and one day came home from searching to find them on the back porch together and I made my case.

“I just put money down on an apartment.”

It was a very powerful argument. The next day, we started making preparations. I took this route because I wanted to attend seminary out of state and I knew my parents wouldn’t just let me go immediately. I needed a trial period, so I lived about 20-30 minutes away and fended for myself for the most part.

A year later, my best friend, David Sorrell, and myself, moved into an apartment together. David was coming from Missouri and I from Tennessee. He would be getting a Bachelor’s at the Bible College. I would be getting a Master’s at the Seminary. However, there was one thing that did change our plans.

I met a girl.

After I married Allie, the seminary chose to go after my then father-in-law and so I left there as well. I am sure the people who were the experts had told my parents I would never marry either. Well, that’s another one they got wrong. Even now after a divorce, I say I am still not stopping. I have plans to get my Master’s and to get remarried.

For me, every major success I take is something huge. It is a victory for those on the spectrum as well. I realize not all are high-functioning. There are limitations for all of us, but I want people to see what I can do and if they are on the spectrum to think, “I can do likewise.” Your dream may not be mine, but you can still follow it.

Last month I went to ETS and I considered that a victory. I am able to fly on a plane by myself, interact by myself, and to most people, I am sure I come across as a relatively normal person. When I am on a plane flying, I marvel at what God has done in my life and allowed me to do what I love here.

When I walked down the streets of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I was amazed still. Here the experts thought I would never do anything and yet, I am out on the streets living my life and making a difference. I am hanging out with scholars and not only do I know who they are, they know who I am. That still shocks me.

Next week, God willing, I will be in New Orleans. I will be discussing attending seminary and if things work out, I will be moving then to New Orleans into student housing. There’s a lot to think about, but I think the future looks good. Every time I do a debate or am interviewed or anything like that, I consider it a testimony of what God can do in the life of someone on the spectrum.

Many of you who know me know that I am a hardcore gamer. Tonight, I spent about an hour playing several games against both of my parents individually of Connect Four at their invitation. I won the overwhelming majority. When I play a game, I play to win.

For me, my own life is the ultimate game too. I am playing it to win. I want to be the best that I can be in it. I want to succeed and be somebody with my life. I don’t want to just hold a 9-5 position and have it be that. (Even though I was also told I would never hold down a job. So much for that.) I want to get a Master’s and a Ph.D. and to remarry.

Tomorrow, I plan to write something on the New Year coming and a look back. One final plea I would make here though is to please consider becoming a financial partner through Patreon. There is a link on this blog post below. Even a small amount means a lot. This is about my going to seminary, getting a teaching position, hopefully starting the podcast again, and making strides for the Kingdom of God. Whatever people donate means so much because it tells me you think my work is worth investing in. If you want to make a one-time gift for end of the year giving, that’s okay too.

Besides that, I owe so many of you thanks anyway. My family always believed in me and supported me and raised me to be the way that I am, even if sometimes they don’t like my sarcastic personality. My friends have stood by me in many times and while divorce has been the worst pain I have ever gone through, one blessing I have is I don’t think I have lost a single friend because of it. Thanks to you friends.

Please be praying for me in all of this. The future does look bright for me really. I hope I can make it bright as well.

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

Divorce and the Future

Where do you go from here? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

When you marry someone, you make a promise to them that they will have a central aspect in your life until the day one of you dies. Love is a choice. You promise to love. You do not promise to have a feeling for the rest of your life. You promise to live in such a way to celebrate that person.

When that changes, everything else changes. I suppose the closest analogy I could come up with would be losing a child, and I do not speak from experience. Parents have plans for their children and build up a college fund and everything else for them, and then if that child dies, which is not expected, what do you do with all of that?

So it is with being single again. Now granted because of situations Allie and I could not both hold jobs, but I have to work on a budget again, which that part granted wasn’t hard for me. I have known how to do that. I have heard that in marriages, normally one person is a spender and one is a saver. I’m the saver.

At the same time, you wonder about your future relationships. As a man, one aspect that definitely changes is that you have to learn it’s okay to turn your desires towards other women and realize you could be with one of them someday. You also have to realize as a Christian that unless you remarry, sex is now something that is again forbidden. I understand the temptation to turn to porn for some and I am thankful I have managed to resist that.

For each of us, our personal questions will be different. One of my first goals is getting to be out on my own again. I am an independently minded person so either I find a way that I can afford to move out on my own, which right now will cost $3,000 a month. That’s because average rent is $1,000 a month and you need to make three times that. I do have a Patreon (link below) for that and I ultimately hope to make enough through YouTube videos and writing that I can do that full-time.

What about relationships with other women? This is something really difficult, especially if you’re 41. If you’re in your 20’s or even early 30’s, there are normally plenty of candidates available. It’s much harder as you get older. Put in being on the spectrum and not understanding social cues and it gets harder. I could have someone flirting right in front of me and I might not even recognize it.

Not only that, divorce can be a stigma. Some people could rule me out because of it. I understand it as if someone is divorced, then there is a story and you wonder why. The problem is some people don’t bother to find out what that story is.

All of these are once again, unknowns. It’s tempting to wonder if matters will ever change. Unfortunately, such worry does no good. I have to instead choose to get up and face every day. I will either conquer what lies before me or be conquered by it.

One other aspect I have to consider is charges of abuse. Yes. She has made them, but I really don’t think they will come to any fruition. I have plenty of people, including her parents. Still, if you learn something from the gaming world, it’s that you have to be prepared for every contingency.

None of this also means any animosity towards her. I try to remember that she has some severe mental issues and I hope that she believes what she believes from serious delusion instead of willful dishonesty. I really hope the best for her.

What does my future hold? I don’t know. I never would have thought it would hold divorce, but I have to trust God is still in charge. I still want to play a role in the Kingdom and I don’t want to let anything stop me.

Thank you to all of you who have supported me on this painful journey, fellow travelers.

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

We Don’t Know The Future

How should we approach a new year? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I remember going through 2019. I hated that year. It’s personal reasons so I won’t go into it, but when 2020 came I was relieved. I thought that surely this year had to be better than that worst year I had ever had.

It wasn’t.

That has nothing to do with Corona or political situations going on. Again, this is all personal stuff. If anything, for me, 2020 blew 2019 out of the water so much so that I would have loved a year like 2019 again. As I had people saying to me yesterday “Happy New Year” I thought, “That remains to be seen.”

Last night I also wasn’t in a good mood and again, there were other stressors going on. I didn’t ring in the new year the best way. I had a bottle of sparkling cider from Welch’s seeing as I don’t drink alcohol that I opened up. I remember just sitting on the recliner drinking it feeling low.

If the past two years were like this, what is 2021 going to be like?

However, I also try to remember talking to a friend of mine last year who had a situation in his relationship with his wife. I kept giving him one proposition we were going to hold to. “We don’t know the future.” It’s a simple one, but I kept coming back to it.

So he would tell me something about the situation and then say “And then she’s going to.”

“Stop! What’s our proposition?”

“We don’t know the future.”

“We don’t know the future.”

Today, things are working out just fine for them. Back at the time, it seemed like the whole world was coming down all around them. As it turns out, by toughing through it, matters got better off. I was right. We didn’t know the future. Could it have been a disaster still for them? Sure, but no one knew that at the time. I wasn’t promising things would work out. I wasn’t promising that they wouldn’t.

As we prepare to embark on a new year, I’m trying to tell myself that. No one would have ever dreamed that 2020 would turn out the way it did, but in reality, if we looked back, no one would likely have dreamed that about any year. Some years might stand out more than others, but in every year, no one knows what’s coming.

Who knew at the start of 2001 that we would be attacked by Muslims who would destroy the World Trade Center? Most of us wouldn’t have known it that very morning if any of us. I remember where I was still when I heard the news. I was in a chapel service at my Bible College and I had heard that a plane had struck one of the towers. My honest thought was some pilot must have been really drunk. After the service, we heard the other tower had been hit.

So much for the drunk theory.

Sometimes good things can happen. Years ago, my wife and I attended a church that met at a movie theater in a mall. They were having an event going on where one lucky winner would win in a random drawing two $400 gift cards to the mall. I entered Allie and I both in.

When the day comes, they call ten names at random from the list. I was one of them. We all go up there and the rules are given that names are going to be drawn at random from those ten. The last person left is the winner. As it turns out, I was the last person left. Everyone enters a contest like that hoping they will win, but most of us think it’s unlikely, and we’re right statistically, but someone does have to win.

2021 could be a disaster. We don’t know. We might long for another 2020 when this year is up. 2021 could be the best year we’ve ever had. We don’t know. We might look back and think 2020 made us appreciate it more. It could be just another year with nothing that stands out.

We can make predictions about the future, but many of us often make predictions that are false and many of us worry about things that never happen. Mark Twain is reported to have said that he has worried about many things in his life. Some of them actually happened.

The year is new and we don’t know. Even when the year is old, we don’t know. Anything can happen. If we are Christians though, we know God is in charge of our story so He’s the main one behind the scenes. Whether you are Calvinist or Arminian or anywhere in between, all of us believe in sovereignty in some sense. I hold that God does not cause everything, but He allows everything in some sense. Nothing surprises Him.

So I could either be worrying about the future, or I could try to see the adventure in every day. Keep in mind Chesterton once said that an inconvenience is an adventure wrongly understood and an adventure is an inconvenience rightly understood.

I want an adventure.

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

The Future of Inerrancy

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I’ve spent a lot of time lately writing on the Geisler/Licona debate. I have stated I am Licona’s son-in-law, but I would like to make a few points clear.

To begin with, everything I say here, I say of my own free-will. Yet at the same time, I have made it a point to be objective. My father-in-law and I do disagree on some points and we have discussed them back and forth. Yet in this, while I am not ready to sign on the dotted line with his interpretation, I am open to it, as I am with it being both historical and having apocalyptic symbolism. Still, I am against the idea of him being labeled as denying Inerrancy.

I will also say that when I talk about the future, there are immediate ramifications of this. This has been quite difficult on my family, especially with my wife having her own stress over this. We’ve never had good finances in our marriage as I got laid off three months before our wedding. This puts us in a bind now even further. For new readers, if you do like what is going on, I do urge you to consider making a donation to what we do here at Deeper Waters to keep up a real defense of orthodoxy.

As for the future, I think we’ve all seen something in this debate. We’ve seen how to argue and we’ve seen how not to argue. Even if Geisler and Mohler were right in their points, the consensus across the net from what I see is that using ICBI and ETS like a club is not the right way to establish that. Nor is the right way to be found in the denial of scholarship.

Many on the net are now stating they do not want to join the ETS. Personally, I don’t blame them. I have no desire to join now either. However, let us be clear that we still need to be evangelicals in unity. We need to stand up for the great truths that have made the Christian faith what it is.

A lot of people now are asking “Well what is Inerrancy?” I think this is a good question and it is not a simple one. We know we believe the Bible is a book of truth, but at the same time, we don’t think inerrancy means you take everything necessarily literally. Of course, some passages you do take literally, but of course, there are some you don’t take literally. Has the simplistic idea of “Literally unless needed otherwise” done more harm than good?

While we do not want to defend what Geisler and Mohler are promoting, let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Let’s instead realize that Inerrancy needs to be even better explained. There have been changes in the scholarly world since ICBI. While we can respect what went on then, we realize some more study has been done. For instance, while we agree with what was said at Nicea, that does not mean Nicea was the pinnacle of study on the incarnation.

Thus, while Geisler and Mohler are making a mistake, let us be sure that we do not make a mistake in the opposite direction. Let us make sure we have a definition of inerrancy that can allow for apocalyptic interpretation, but at the same time not a definition where anything goes.

Of course, in this definition, we will always be open to new eyes realizing that the younger generation just might have found something we’ve missed. As I told my friend last night, someday, we will be the older generation of apologists and we will want to make sure we deal with the younger generation in a way unlike what we see Geisler and Mohler doing.

When they come with ideas that seem contrary to the traditional ones we’ve grown up with, let us encourage them. If scholarship shows that those ideas are false, then they are false, but the student will be all the more benefited for having done the research. Biblical studies will also learn that which is not true. If the idea is true, then we can thank the student for bringing to our attention something we’d been seeing wrong and all will be blessed. If we dismiss them with a threat, we are saying that we do not care for scholarship and running from the academy will never serve the church well. It never has in the past after all and there is no need to repeat history.

Part of good scholarship is always being open to the possibility that you could be wrong about something. Now to be sure, the more you have studied an issue, the less likely it is that you will be wrong, but either way, it will be beneficial to you to be open to the idea.

Unfortunately today, it seems that if something is traditional, then we dare not mess with it. Many of us are thankful the Reformers did not take that stance, but yet at the same time we do with the Reformers what they did to the Catholic church. They were not infallible and would not wish to be. Let us be clear on this. No one human being is infallible save our Lord. We have an infallible text. We do not have infallible interpreters.

What will we need in the future then? Study. More of it. If new councils are to be formed to discuss Inerrancy, and I have no problem with that idea, they need to be blessed by having conservative Christians across all the fields. We need scholars in philosophy, theology, history, Greek, Hebrew, Science, Sociology, Archaeology, etc.

We also need them from all belief systems on the conservative spectrum. We need futurists. We need historicists. We need Preterists. We need Calvinists and Arminians. We need old-earthers and young-earthers. We need cessationists and we need those who think miraculous gifts are for today. Provided one holds to orthodoxy, we need them to all come together and say “We disagree on everything else, but on this we can unite.” Can’t be done? We’ve done it with the deity of Christ, the Trinity, and the physical resurrection.

In saying that, I am not saying I believe that Inerrancy must be a test for orthodoxy. I don’t. I think it’s important, but at the same time, beliefs about Scripture are not salvific. We must be sure that we do not make the Bible an idol as we seek to study it. However, since it has long been said that the Bible is without error, the burden is on the one who thinks he knows better than the authors and that’s a heavy burden.

And speaking of heavy burdens, let us be willing to put them on the young scholar who does think he can show a long-held belief is false. If they really want to, by all means try. If we are believing something that is wrong, then please show us so that we can correct it. If it turns out we are right, the student has at least learned the effort of research and reaching a claim based on the evidence.

Will there always be disagreements among us? No doubt there will be. That’s inevitable. The question will be how are we as Christians going to handle those disagreements with one another? I believe the actions of Geisler and Mohler in using ICBI and ETS as a club only stiffen the divide. If you think I am wrong, then I simply ask that you browse the blogosphere and watch what is going on. Why are so many talking about leaving the ETS? Why are so many talking about being sick of seeing open letters? Could this all not have been handled better?

The future belongs to us and our forefathers worked hard to get us where we are and we dare not disregard them. We are not the only generation the Holy Spirit has worked through. Unless Christ returns, we will not be the last either. We are simply carrying on a work from those who came before us. We will seek to correct them when they are wrong, but so will those after us which to correct us when we are wrong.

This is also an awesome responsibility and we dare not take it lightly. Let us make sure Scripture never loses its high place. Those who came before us often willingly died so we, the ones they would never see with their own eyes until the after-death, could get to carry Bibles and study them. We do not treat that book with the awesomeness it demands. Yes. I include myself in that group as well. We do not appreciate enough the rich work that the prophets and apostles wrote for us.

While I believe Geisler raised his charge wanting to preserve Inerrancy, my thinking is that what it has led to is actually the reshaping of Inerrancy. Note that this is not the abandonment of Inerrancy. At least it isn’t on my part. It’s saying that if your idea of Inerrancy is not enough to include someone following what they believe the author really intended the text to mean based on research, and this to be a well-known orthodox author who takes his research very seriously, then your idea could bear some modification.

Peter Kreeft once said that apologetics is the closest we get to saving the world, and really that is what we do. If we believe the Christian faith is the only hope for the world, then those who are defending that faith are doing what they can not only for the faith, but for a dying world in need of that truth.

That could easily lead us to arrogance thinking we are the heroes of the story, but let us not forget it should lead us to humility. God allows us to do what we do. He does not need you. He does not need me. He does not need Geisler or Mohler or Mike Licona. Rest assured apologist. If God were to zap you from the Earth this moment, His message could still be defended just fine. Do what you can, do it well, and enjoy it, but remember that at the end of the day, you are a servant doing what you have been told. God does not exist for the glory of your name. You exist for the glory of His.

Let us not look down on those who are not apologists either. All play a part. I think all should have some basic sill in apologetics, but not all are meant to study it professionally. I believe we should be thankful for counselors, expositors, teachers, evangelists, preachers, etc. Of course, someone could be a combination of these, but let us keep in mind what Paul said about the body in 1 Cor. 12. One part is not better or worse than another and all should serve regardless of where they are.

If you, like me, are serving in apologetics, then serve to the best of your ability. Shine as much as you can. God didn’t place you on this Earth to live a mediocre life. Yes. You are to avoid pride, but the way to avoid pride is not to have nothing that you could be prideful about, but to have a holy and contrite heart.

We have a mission before us. We have a divine calling ahead of us. We have a purpose in the Plan. Let us make sure that when the torch is passed on to the next generation, that it is not only still burning, but that it is burning brighter than ever before.