Deeper Waters Podcast 5/23/2020

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

How do we know Christianity is true? We normally look straight at the resurrection of Jesus. How is it that we can know this happened? I mean, we can point to so many apologists who argue for the resurrection, but what do non-evangelical scholars say about it?

A lot of Christians might have a hard time going through a big book such as one by N.T. Wright or Mike Licona. Fortunately, there is a smaller work out there now and one that humorously and effectively gives the data. This one looks at what scholars on the other side say and argues point by point, even taking on a pastoral approach at times, for the resurrection of Jesus.

I got the book recently and went through it and found it a very enjoyable read and one that will be educational for many Christians. With such a book as that, the natural goal then is to decide to do a show about it, which is what I decided to set up. The book is the Bedrock of Christianity and the author will be my guest this Saturday. His name is Justin Bass.

So who is he?

According to his bio:

Justin W. Bass has a Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary in New Testament Studies. He has formally debated Dr. Bart Ehrman, Dr. Richard Carrier, Dan Barker and Mufti Hussain Kamani. He currently lives in Amman, Jordan serving refugees through an NGO and he is Professor of New Testament at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary (JETS).
Dr. Bass’ latest book is The Bedrock of Christianity: The Unalterable Facts of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection released April 8, 2020. He has also written The Battle for the Keys: Revelation 1:18 and Christ’s Descent into the Underworld.
When he is not working, he is reading, watching movies (usually The Lord of the Rings), and spending time with his high school sweetheart Allison Bass and their two kids Arianna (10) and Christian (7).

Twitter: @DrJustinbass

YouTube Channel: DrJustinBass

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Be watching for this next episode!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The Bedrock of Christianity

What do I think of Justin Bass’s book published by Lexham Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Justin Bass’s book is a book to look at what scholars across the board are saying about the historical Jesus in regard to His resurrection. This is a wonderful book that has great data, humor, and a nice pastoral touch. It is not only short and powerful, but it is also fun to read.

Bass also thankfully starts at the beginning with dealing with mythicism severely. He is familiar with Carrier’s work and does the work to show that this is not a claim that is taken seriously. From there, he goes point by point through the historical Jesus to show what is said.

Each chapter is a good number of pages long and has quotes all throughout to back everything Bass is saying. In the early chapters, Bass makes no argument really about the resurrection of Jesus. He instead saves that for the very end. If you go through the book, you will get a great plethora of quotes that you can use.

The humor in the book is really good. At one point, for example, Bass is making the case about what it means when we say that Paul was zealous for Judaism. He compares it to several zealous figures in the Old Testament, including Jehu who destroyed as much of King Ahab’s family as he could. He ends by saying the life of Jehu is a great bedtime story to read to your children. I found myself wondering what it would be like if he teamed up with Andy Bannister or Michael Bird to write something.

He also gets a pastoral touch. Now in some ways, this isn’t my favorite part because too often if you point to something like this, skeptics of Christianity will just discount everything you say as if the only reason you have for believing in Christianity is emotional. There is nothing wrong with emotional reasons playing a part though in your worldview thinking. We are emotional creatures as well as rational creatures for the most part. The stories are quite powerful thinking about the unique life Jesus lived and how His life has transformed the lives of others.

The appeal at the end is very evangelistic. Bass wants you to at least consider taking the claim seriously. He can accept that if you come to the data and say, “I don’t know what happened” that’s one thing you can say, but he urges you to not stop there. Isn’t it really worth looking into? Isn’t it worth considering?

In the end, he gives an argument for the resurrection based on this and the importance of new creation. Jesus didn’t just come and rise again so we could know Christianity is true. He rose again so that He could bring about the new creation. The new has come. The old has passed away.

In conclusion, Bass’s book is highly accessible and one worth reading by skeptic and Christian alike. I give it a full recommendation.

In Christ,
Nick Peters