Defend The Faith 2015 Day Two

What has been happening at Defend The Faith? Let’s Plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today has been an active day at the Defend The Faith conference hosted by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. We started with a talk from Tim McGrew on the evidential value of the Book of Acts, which was certainly an eye opening talk. Next we followed with a talk from Rob Bowman on the travesty of an article from Newsweek. Let’s just say that it was like using a tank to squash a slug. Again, these talks will all be online for a limited time after the conference for free so please take advantage of that time!

After a lunch, we went to hear a talk first from David Calhoun about the role that films can play in apologetics. I did realize exactly how out of the loop I am about so many great movies, excepting when the topic of Harry Potter came up seeing as I know the series very well as a fan and was able to make my own contributions at that point. There are definitely some movies I wouldn’t mind watching now.

We followed that up by going to hear Keith Loftin give a case for mind/body substance dualism. I found this one to be quite technical but quite good as well. I was surprised to see NDEs not covered well and I did ask about them which got us to discussing the research of Gary Habermas, who I must highlight because he will in fact be speaking tomorrow.

After that, many of us who are speakers got to go out to dinner together at a nice seafood restaurant. I did order a shrimp platter but there was no way I could go through all of it. Allie got herself some pasta. Meanwhile, I just got to enjoy great conversation with Rob Bowman, Rhyne Putman, Tom Gilson, Fred Smith, Tim McGrew, Bob Stewart, and so many others who were there. I considered it a real privilege. The people running this conference are so kind and generous. Allie and I have felt like honored guests.

After that, Tim and Allie and I went back to his apartment. Why? Because Tim is wanting to teach me Bayes Theorem, especially because it seems to be so misused, especially by a certain prominent blogger that is popular amongst atheists. I’ve got a lot of work cut out for me, but Tim is a really encouraging guy and takes the time to explain and says to not worry about mistakes. They will happen.

We went back to the seminary then to hear James Walker of Watchman Fellowship give a great talk on worldviews and different perspectives people hold on religion. Watchman Fellowship also has available all their profiles that they’ve written on various topics of religion available for purchase as a file you can carry on your mobile device, which could be quite helpful to get.

After that, Allie and I went back to Tim’s apartment for a little while where he had a few people there just discussing apologetics and how important it was. If only we could get more youth ministers especially to see the need imagine what a difference we could make in the world and it was wonderful to see young people really eager to know how to defend their faith.

Well that’s all it’s going to be for tonight. Allie was starting to fall asleep while we visited Tim and not because he’s boring. He’s not. It’s just because she was so tired and frankly, I am too. Tomorrow is my day to speak so I hope you all will pray for me that I will give an effective talk that will bolster up the Gospel.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

My Concern With Christmas Movies

What is the reason for the season? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Here at the Peters household, Allie and I have been watching a lot of Christmas movies this month, mainly on the Hallmark channel. Now on a level, I do enjoy them. They are touching and morally, much better than a lot of the other stuff on TV, but as we were talking last night, we were discussing a problem that we see with them.

In many of these movies, the movie is not really about Christmas. It is about getting a man and a woman together. I have no objection to bringing a couple together. Keep in mind I proposed to my Princess on Christmas Eve which made it a special holiday indeed, but when it comes to what I’m seeing, the main point of the movie is not Christmas, but it is rather the romance. Christmas is secondary. Santa becomes a matchmaker and Jesus is not mentioned at all.

In all of this, someone could wonder why we celebrate Christmas at all. In the films, it’s often a great time for family and friends to get together and we exchange gifts and we have the spirit of the season where we celebrate love and goodness. None of these are wrong in themselves of course, but did we just randomly pick a date on the calendar and say “We’ll call it Christmas and we’ll spend it doing good things!”?

My mind instead thinks back to an annual Christmas classic that I certainly love to watch which is the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Most of us remember the famous part where right in the middle Linus goes out on stage and recites from the second gospel of Luke and tells Charlie Brown that that’s what Christmas is all about.

It’s not about finding the perfect tree. It’s not about getting the perfect letter to Santa to get all the items. (And if you can’t, send cash. How about tens and twenties?) It’s not about getting romantic with a pianist and telling him how he should play Jingle Bells. It’s about Christ.

If this is a lack in the movie industry, the problem does not lie with the world. The problem lies with us. We’ve let it happen. Christians either don’t make good movies normally, or else they make them so cheesy that even most Christians won’t want to go see them. The main exception I can think of are movies done by a church such as Fireproof and Courageous. (Allie and I own a copy of Fireproof and it was the first movie we watched together as husband and wife)

If we want to see better, we need to get our viewpoint out there and we need to get it out there in a good way. We need Christians in the movie industry and the television industry. We need Christians in the music industry and not just playing on Christian stations where we minister to each other. As a gamer, I’d like to see some Christians in the video game industry.

We will be enjoying Christmas movies still of course as it is good time together, but I do hope that perhaps next year when Christmas rolls around, there will be movies out from a Christian perspective that will highlight the real reason for Christmas and not so overdone that no non-Christian will want to watch.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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