Moving On In

What’s life like in the Big Easy? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Hello again, Deeper Waters readers. I’m now living in New Orleans and enjoying the city. My apartment should be ready tomorrow so for the time being, I am staying at the Providence Guest House, which is a hotel across the street from the seminary.

I live in a great area of the city where most everything I need is even within walking distance. Need groceries? Walk to Wal-Mart? Need medicine? Walk to Walgreens. There are also several fast food restaurants and a cafe and I don’t need to drive a bit to get to them.

I don’t mind driving and I can like it, but I also like saving gas and there are other benefits of walking, such as my cashwalk app and such as playing Pokemon Go with my fellow students. Speaking of them, I haven’t got to meet too many of them yet. There is a student orientation this week and I hope to get to interact with them there.

The weather is a bit erratic here. It’s not uncommon to have the windshield wipers on for a sudden rain that only lasts a couple of minutes and then it’s all clear again. I was just out walking and felt some drops of rain, but no panic. I figured it wouldn’t last long and thus far, my prediction has shown to be true.

Shiro is having a hard time adjusting. Last night was the first night ever that he didn’t wake me up in the middle of the night and keep me up with constant crying. I really feel sorry for my little kitty. His whole world has been turned upside down.

I have also been to a new church where I hope to be a pastor intern. I understand this church is disability friendly and I can at least say at this point they are friendly. I was welcomed with open arms and already members of the church are going to be working to help me move things into my new apartment. After all, I only have a small hybrid car and I have a steel rod on my spine so I can’t lift a lot.

While here though, I also do think that the society around here definitely needs the gospel. I have been praying to be able to do something to change this city for Christ. The saying here at NOBTS is to prepare here and serve anywhere, because you can find most any belief persuasion somewhere in this city. It would be wonderful to see New Orleans transformed into a major Christian city and who is to say that it cannot happen?

Some of you might want to send packages or something my way as well. Remember that if you want to help the ministry out financially since I am working on education and I want to get the podcast up again, my patreon is below and any help you can give is greatly appreciated. If you are reading this elsewhere, please go to my website itself to find the link. Also, if someone wants to send a package of some sort, please send to the following address:

Nick Peters
3939 Gentilly Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70126

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

Moving On Out

What big change is coming? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am not going to be posting next week. Why is that? Because of the city in that picture. That is New Orleans, Louisiana. That is where I am going.

I have not said much about this aside from recently on Facebook, but it has been in the works and a few friends have known. One thing I decided shortly after my divorce was in moving on, I needed to finish goals I never had. That meant getting my Master’s and eventually going on to get a Ph.D.

I’m a member of a Southern Baptist Church and in talking to my pastor, he said that if I went to a Southern Baptist Seminary, I could cut 40-50% off of my tuition. I asked him to send me a list of such seminaries. One named stood out to me immediately. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

I had been there once before for a Defend the Faith conference and I did enjoy the city. I had many friends there, including Bob Stewart who I contacted immediately. He told me that I could do the program online from my parents’ house, but I would honestly finish the degree faster if I moved to New Orleans and did it on campus.

My Divorcecare leader and his wife came up to talk to my parents about it since my mother especially is concerned, as many mothers are. Still, it was enough to get them to realize this is what I need to do. My own personal mentor says that this is definitely the right path for me to take.

Today will be my last day at the Wal-Mart. This is a big move I am making and I won’t deny, I am awfully scared many times. I am putting a lot on the line. I do have likely a position as an intern for a pastor which could cover my tuition as well and give me a little bit more money each week. I also could be working at the campus post office part-time, but it is minimum wage.

I just know I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and recovering from my divorce has been hard and it has been hard to be passionate for something, but many times, I think about the salvation of New Orleans. Something I told Dr. Stewart when I visited in January was that I had two thoughts at one time. There’s no reason God can’t save New Orleans and there’s no reason He can’t use me to do it.

My pastor told me the anxiety is normal and many people who told me about making big changes in their lives have said the same thing. I get that it is normal and in some ways healthy, but it sure isn’t pleasant. I will likely have to stay at the guest place across the street from the seminary for a few days until the apartment is ready and my main concern with that is Shiro, will he be fine in a new place like that until we move into a regular one and then he has to make the switch again? It has to be this week though because my Divorcecare leader and his wife are going down there with my Dad and I to get me situated and they have a station wagon that can carry several boxes as well. My Dad and I will likely split up the driving between the two of us.

If anything also gives me anxiety, it’s money. Now I have a sizable portion in the bank because I have been saving up money from my job. I really don’t spend a lot, though while with my parents I have been covering my own bills. Also, Shiro is a non-negotiable with me. I will only stay a place that allows him. He’s an older cat and I’m the only person he really trusts and I’m not going to abandon him again, especially after the fact that my ex did just that.

Friends. Please do what you can to help out. Here is a list of all the things I will have to provide for and I do need your support.

Rent.
Electricity.
Internet.
Cell phone service.
Gas.
Health insurance.
Auto insurance.
Groceries and day-to-day supplies.
Care for Shiro.
Books for research.
Medications and Doctor Visits.
Traveling expenses, especially to see family on Christmas as I plan on flying back for such events and for other conferences like Evangelical Theological Society.
My own personal tithes to my new church and any charitable giving of my own I choose to do.
Unless I get it all covered, tuition.

I can assure anyone I try to be as frugal as possible. I regularly go to apps on my phone to get the best deals at places like restaurants. When I am grocery shopping, I go and check out the clearance sections immediately. I don’t want to make a dishonest penny. I do programs that are free to try to earn free gift cards also for places like Amazon. My entertainment expenses are also slow and one such as Audible is also educational for me.

Please be praying for me and please be a regular donor. This site includes at the bottom of every post how to be a donor through Patreon. Please do consider it. Every donation gives me more hope and encouragement. I have been praying at night for God to provide as I take this step even if I don’t know where every dollar to provide for me will come from. Please consider becoming one of those suppliers to help me on the journey. I also hope that if enough comes in, that i can start the Deeper Waters Podcast once more which I have missed greatly.

Thank you and I hope to write to you the week after next with good news.

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

DTF 2022

What did I think of Defend the Faith 2022? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was pleased to be invited to attend this conference and though I didn’t give a talk, I still had a good time. Surprisingly, it wasn’t even awkward staying in a room by myself, especially since the last time I had been there I was with my now ex-wife. I somehow managed to sleep well most every night and enjoyed the independence that I had, though I would certainly prefer to be sharing the room with a lady again.

So let’s go over some highlights of the event fSamor me.

Tuesday night was the night that we had trivia night. This was one of my favorite nights of the event. I was on the team of Bob Stewart, the chair of the apologetics department who invited me. I really was glad to be able to contribute so much to our team, which did end up winning.

Naturally, seeing old friends and making new ones is always good. I got to see again Tawa Anderson, Rob Bowman, Tim McGrew, Bob Stewart, and of course, Gary Habermas. I also met Mike Strauss, a physicist who actually works at CERN. The people are always a great facet.

I briefly interacted with Sam Allberry. His talks were some of my favorite. Sam is a pastor who has same-sex attraction and writes and speaks on issues of sexuality and Christianity. His talks not only teach you about the issues of the day, but leave you with a greater appreciation of grace.

Thursday night, I went with Tawa and Mike and some others at the conference who were attendees to the French Quarter. This included going down Bourbon Street which eventually got us to the Mississippi River, which I had never seen in person. While on the Quarter, we saw the annual parade in honor of Joan of Arc. Also, being in this part of New Orleans is certainly a lesson in the depravity of man.

The talks were also great. There are several breakout sessions that take place and the speakers do hang around and answer questions. You can often find them just going about throughout the campus during the day. If you come next year, you are certain to find something that will pique your curiosity. This would also be the case if you’re a non-Christian, and non-Christians are definitely welcome at the conference.

The most important part for me out of all of this was the tour for potential new students. This is something I had been considering and I finally got one of my main questions answered when I went to the campus. There is student housing that is pet-friendly. I would never move somewhere where I could not take my Shiro with me.

My folks know now that this is what I want to do and I am making the plans. My mother’s not thrilled with it, but she knows this is what is best for me. I have been told I can get my Master’s faster if I live on campus and I look forward to living near guys that share my interest (And might want to have a gaming night some nights) and possibly meeting a new young lady I can marry.

If you want to donate to Deeper Waters, now is a great time to do that. Your donations will help make this more of a reality. Yes, there is a load of scholarships I will be applying for, but any donations from friends like you help. Please consider it. I’ll keep you all updated and you can check my Facebook page as well.

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

Defend The Faith Conference Day 1

What’s going on at the Defend the Faith 2015 Conference? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If you’re noticed my presence on Facebook has been lacking lately, it’s because I’ve been at the 2015 Defend The Faith Conference in New Orleans. It’s been a big thrill for me. The only other time I’ve been west of the Mississippi was as a small child when I was visiting Memphis and we went across it just so I could say that I had been in Arkansas once.

The day started off with a great talk by Douglas Groothius. He spoke on the necessity for God in order to have a foundation for moral law in society. It relied on an essay that was actually written by the atheist Arthur Leff. The talk left us all a lot to think about including the increasing danger that is going on in a society that wants to give more and more power to the state.

After that came one of my best moments. Finally, I got to meet the one and only Tim McGrew.

NickandTim

Tim McGrew is the professor of philosophy at Western Michigan University. In fact, when he was introduced later this evening, it was said that he had fan boys and some people had traveled for miles just wanting to meet Tim McGrew. I turned to Allie and said I couldn’t help but wonder who would be so excited about traveling for miles to meet Tim McGrew. In the Christian Apologetics Alliance, McGrew is a legend.

Meeting him was a thrill because he is also so much of what I want to be. Do I mean all the knowledge he’s gathered over the years? Obviously. But I include in it that Tim has a great heart. He has become one of my dear friends who I can turn to when I’m in need and the investment he’s put into my own self has been stellar and I hope to be able to give back to others the way Tim has to me someday.

He and Tom Gilson gave a talk then on Peter Boghossian, quite appropriate since on Unbelievable?, Tim had massacred Boghossian’s chickens. Gilson and McGrew showed how Boghossian is trying to dissuade people with his street epistemology. I’ve written on Boghossian’s work myself. Boghossian does want an army of street epistemolgists who I have also had run-ins with. The church is blessed to have a presentation like that of Gilson and McGrew’s that shows the problems with Boghossian’s approach.

After lunch, we went to some break-out sessions. I wish I could talk about them all, but I can’t, but for those interested it is my understanding they will all be available online afterwards. The first one we went to was by Tawa Anderson. At this point, I had left every choice to my wife since I wanted to see what she’d be interested in. She made a fine first choice. It was a talk on worldview thinking and I was highly pleased to see it involve a scene from the Matrix. Worldview thinking is extremely foundational and so many people just miss it.

Next was a talk by Justin Langford. This one dealt with the topic of forgery in the NT. I have reviewed Bart Ehrman’s book as well here and here. Langford did something interesting in showing us two texts and have us guess which one was canonical. I must confess that I did not get each one right. To be fair, the first one did throw me some since I recognized Jude but knew he was quoting 1 Enoch which left me wondering a bit. We also had a good discussion on if a new book had been found and we knew it had been written by Paul should we accept it into the canon. I argued no since part of it was recognition by the church universal. Someone else answered yes. I think Langford went more for my side, but it was an interesting discussion.

Finally, we went to a talk by Tim McGrew and Tom Gilson that turned out to be about how we could do apologetics faithfully. McGrew asked us what we would like if we could have one wish that would help our ministries. I answered financial stability, which I think several people resonated with. Allie asked about how she could incorporate apologetics into her art. McGrew really liked her question and is still thinking about it.

The evening ended with McGrew giving a talk on how not to read the NT which dealt with Jesus Interrupted and yes, I have responded to that as well. McGrew gave a devastating presentation that showed that Ehrman quite frankly isn’t really honest with the data a number of times. It was quite a thrill also to have him refer to my work on Raphael Lataster. It’s a great way to see members of the body working together and building one another up.

On our way back to the hotel, we also got to ride some with James Walker of Watchman Fellowship. Expect him to show up on a future episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

Overall, we’re having a great time here in Louisiana at the conference. That’s about all I can say here. It’s getting late and I’m tired so we’re going on to bed because we have to get up early for another day of apologetics tomorrow. I have been pleased with this conference so far and I suggest if you’re interested in apologetics, try to make it out next year.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 12/27/2014: Bob Stewart

What’s coming up on tomorrow’s episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Normally I write this post on Thursday, but since yesterday was Christmas, I decided to write about that instead. Now that the holiday is passed, let’s talk about what we’ll be talking about on the show.

Next month, there’s a big annual apologetics conference that will be going on. That is the Defend The Faith conference. It’s held every year in New Orleans. This year you will find such great speakers there as Gary Habermas, Tim McGrew, Paul Copan, and many more. In fact, if you’re interested in Deeper Waters, please be sure to be there because I’ll be in one of the breakout speakers speaking on Wednesday. The person who contacted me about this and someone who is integral to the conference itself is Bob Stewart.

BobStewart

So who is Bob Stewart?

Robert Stewart is Professor of Philosophy and Theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also serves as Greer-Heard Professor of Faith and Culture.  He has authored or edited several books.  He is also general editor of the Studies in Christian Apologeticsmonograph series from B&H Academic.  He has also published articles in numerous books and journals.  He also has spoken in university settings in North America and Europe.  He and his wife, Marilyn, have three adult children.

Why is it that these conferences are going on and why should you care? What does it take to have a conference like this and why would a Seminary be interested in the concept? Bob Stewart has been doing Christian apologetics for several years and we’ll be talking about the importance of the conference in New Orleans which could carry over to many other conferences as well.

Along with that then, we’ll be talking about the importance of apologetics in general. If you are going to a Seminary, should it matter to you if the Seminary has any interest in apologetics or not? Does this really matter to the church or should it belong in the hands of an elite few? Can what is said at a conference really have any relation to what is going on at the church? Can the life of the mind really help to inform us in our worship?

It’s been my personal hope that apologetics is starting to come on the rise in America and one of the reasons for thinking that is the rise of the new atheism and other movements like this. These issues are becoming so common that having some sort of apologetics knowledge before too long will be unavoidable. The more people become aware of conferences like this, the stronger our churches will become.

I hope you’ll be watching your ITunes feed for the newest episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast where I am honored to get to interview Dr. Bob Stewart. Also, if you happen to make it to the conference in New Orleans, try and find me and hopefully attend the session I’ll be speaking at. It would be great to get to meet anyone who is a fan of the blog and of the podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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