Deeper Waters and Ratio Christi

What happens when Deeper Waters and Ratio Christi come together? Let’s find out as we dive into Deeper Waters.

Ratio Christi is a ministry dedicated to reaching the college student in the intellectual climate he finds himself in. They are not interested in competing with other ministries, but in working with those ministries to equip students the best that they can so that students can make a stand for their faith at secular campuses. There will be a link below with more information about Ratio Christi in it.

Recently, I got to speak with some people from Ratio Christi who have been looking for me to be their social media and communications specialist. What does this mean? It means that someone monitors Facebook and the blogs and is a specialist on the internet ready to help those who have questions.

Consider a student sitting in class who is told that there is no evidence that Jesus exists. He can send an email then or a tweet and it will come to me and if I am there, I will be able to give an answer that he can use in class if need be. Students will have a place they can go to regularly to ask questions. There will also be help on Facebook debates and posting of regular material that will be helpful to students.

From time to time, this will involve public speaking on my part. This is just fine for me and something that I enjoy anyway. It could mean that with this position, I could be coming to your college campus soon to give a talk on an area of the faith you need to know something about.

This is where you dear readers of Deeper Waters can come in. Some of you might see the “donate” button at the top and think “I’d like to give, but I want my gift to be tax-deductible.” No problem. You can now give to Deeper Waters through Ratio Christi. At the end of this post, I will be including a link showing how to donate.

Why should you donate? I do have endorsements and allow me to share those now.

“I count Nick Peters as a friend of mine and believe the ministry of Deeper Waters challenges Christians and non-believers alike to think through the implications of their worldview. Nick’s approach is rigorous and logical but remains Christ-centred at heart. We need people like Nick, prepared to “stick their neck out” to engage with the kinds of questions many people are asking today.”

Justin Brierley
“Unbelievable?” presenter

“The life of Nick Peters itself is a testimony of God’s favor and power. God has given this brilliant young man a passion for using the mind–which is often neglected by Christians–to reach the seeker and the doubter. He is resilient, focused, and disciplined. I believe many will be impacted positively for God’s kingdom through his servant, Nick. And I am proud to call him
my son-in-law!”

Mike Licona
Apologetics Coordinator of the North American Mission Board

“I have known Nick Peters for a couple of years and, in spite of several serious physical ailments, he excels at graduate level research, writing, debate/dialogue, and evangelistic efforts with those of other faiths. I commend his ministry.”

Gary R. Habermas
Distinguished Research Professor, Liberty University

“I have known Nick for many years and have had the privilege of having him on staff as a voluntary moderator/leader in a theology debate forum which ministers to all segments of society. He worked his way into upper leadership due to both his personal character and apologetics ability. I have always known him to conduct himself in a Christian and God-honouring way and could recommend him for apologetics work without reservation.”

DeeDee Warren
Co-owner of Theologyweb.com

“I have known Nick Peters for several years and have been featuring his contributions as a guest writer on the Tekton website for nearly that entire time. He is also my ‘go to’ person for several important topics that are outside my scope, such as arguments for the existence of God and theism as a basis for morals. I find that he is able to succinctly and masterfully address these topics in a thorough and competent way. His talents are such that I have deigned to have him
as a Tekton ministry partner, and I cannot recommend him enough.”

James Patrick Holding
Founder of Tektonics Ministries

“In the years that I have known Nick Peters, my respect and appreciation for him has only grown. In my opinion, Nick is a meticulous thinker, an astute apologist, and an effective communicator. I have always found his arguments to be logical and his positions Biblical.

Let me also say that Nick exhibits another quality sometimes missing in apologetics- he has a tender heart and great “people skills.” I believe that his kind demeanor is reflective of a life yielded to Christ and led by the Spirit. Nick Peters is an example to all who aspire toward apologetics and evangelism.”

Alex McFarland
author and broadcaster

At the end of this, I will also be including a link to a video by Mike Licona of a further endorsement.

I hope many of you readers will become supporters of me in this regard. I will be including links at the bottom. If not your financial support, grant me your prayer support in this.

Expect regular updates as well and be a supporter of Ratio Christi.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

More information about Ratio Christi can be found here.

You can support me through Ratio Christi by debit or credit card here

A video endorsement by Mike Licona can be watched here

Is Deeper Waters Mike Licona’s Mouthpiece?

So where does everything on Deeper Waters come from? Let’s find out as we dive into those Deeper Waters.

A lot of people have said that Mike Licona has been awfully quiet in his debate with Norman Geisler and I have been told by some that there is suspicion that what is really happening is that Mike is quiet in public but is instead using my blog as it were as a sort of mouthpiece. How far this goes I am not sure. Does Mike just give me the information? Does he write the posts wholesale? Does he just tell me what topics to write about?

Here’s the answer to those last three questions. No, no, and no.

There is no one in the family that I agree with entirely. That includes my own wife. We have disagreements. No doubt that some will think that Mike is a respected authority in the area, and I do not dispute that. Despite that, there are areas that I do disagree with him on.

When this whole controversy surrounded him erupted, my wife and I were getting ready to see the Liconas for her birthday and when I went down there, Mike and I spent a lot of time discussing the Bible and how to handle this. Mike has come to me to seek my opinion on some matters. There is a mutual respect there.

Why is he quiet in public? It is because this is not a debate he needs to waste his time with. He needs to be preparing for the more important debates and writing more books. This is something that I have said repeatedly that he just needs to leave to J.P. Holding, Max Andrews, and myself. Of course, there are some things he will share and in fact ask me to not share on my blog, and when it comes to that, I do respect his desire for privacy in that area. I often disagree, but I do respect.

If anyone knows me, they probably know that I am too much of a free agent to be one who will just allow someone else to do my thinking for me and to be used in such a way. I would hope that readers would realize that my own writing style come through the blog and when I write on a topic, I write on a topic because I want to write about it. Now that doesn’t mean that no one else has any impact on what I say, but the final decision comes from me.

What do the Liconas know in advance? Hardly anything. In fact, the time that they read the blog is usually about the same time anyone else has the option, and that is after it has been published. Even in this debate, I have not sent my blogs to the Liconas in advance to have them look over it and see if they approve or not. I’ve just written and published.

Now if I thought Mike was in violation of Inerrancy and Geisler was correct, I would be telling him so, but I have made it a point to be as impartial as possible and examine the evidence and when I do, I just conclude that Mike is not violating Inerrancy and I believe that while his view could be wrong, we need to find out if it is wrong, not by simply asserting by authority and pointing to Inerrancy, but by examining the evidence of the claim. I don’t know about you, but for me, if this is what the Bible is teaching I want to know. On this, Mike and I do agree. He wants to know what the Bible teaches as well.

When you read Deeper Waters, you are not reading the opinion necessarily of Mike Licona. It could be that he agrees with what I say here, but it is not because I have written it. He agrees with something because he believes it to be true and if it is true, then it can be said to be his opinion. It is an idea however that exists independently in my own mind and that I put to the text and share to the world. It is my doing my little part for the future of evangelicalism.

Have I realized the risks for me from the beginning of the debate? Yep. I sure have. Once again, I point to what people know about me. If something is going on that I don’t believe is right, I am not one to sit in the background and do nothing.

Also, for those who need more convincing, my in-laws have areas that they disagree with me on and they think I’m wrong on and they have talked to me about those areas. We’ve had some give and take exchanges and there are a number of areas that today, I still don’t agree with them on, and they know it.

Back when we were engaged, I remember my now mother-in-law being with my wife and I and talking about relationships with parents. My mother-in-law told my wife that she had no doubt that whenever push came to shove, I would not hesitate to stand up to parents in defense of my wife. That has happened a number of times. I have even stood up to her parents before if I thought they were in the wrong concerning her and let them know it.

I have no doubt to them that sometimes that’s annoying to have a son-in-law that can do that, but then at the same time, I think it makes them thankful they have a son-in-law who does not just cave in to pressure like that and at the same time is devoted to their daughter and will defend her at any time if I think someone is in the wrong concerning her.

They also know that if I thought that Mike was in the wrong on this, I would be letting him know entirely. That does not mean in the wrong on his interpretation, but it means in the wrong on Inerrancy. His interpretation could very well be wrong, but that does not mean that he is violating Inerrancy. Is his interpretation wrong? I honestly don’t know. I’m open I’ll say at least.

So for now, let this post stand as my statement that what I write is my own thinking. Now some people might think that this too could be a written post of Mike’s to deny the idea, but if they do, let them present their evidence other than a conspiracy theory. If someone wants to believe that, I probably won’t convince them, but for those who want to know for sure, I hope this settles the issue.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

My Personal Confrontation

Geisler says someone personally confronted me on the video? Did they? Well let’s see today as we enter Deeper Waters.

Let’s look at the charge first:

“As a graduate of the seminary, and fellow brother in Christ, I want to inform you of a slanderous video by current SES student [name] on the internet against SES co-founder Dr, Geisler…. I am actually ashamed, saddened and embarrassed by this type of activity on [name] part. I know that I and numerous people have personally confronted [name] about such behavior and he refuses to listen.” —Southern Evangelical Seminary [SES] graduate

It would be nice to know when this happened. Unfortunately, the name has been taken down because someone might be “annoyed” so I cannot face my accuser. However, speaking as the one accused here, let’s see what happened.

First off, I did put up the link on my Facebook page. I figured the video would pop up sooner or later, so I might as well get it over with. A number of people were talking about it back and forth on my page and discussing the issues. Note this. I do not consider someone else posting on my Facebook as personally confronting me. I did not even participate in the thread at all after I got it started.

I did talk to one person on the phone and we had an agreeable conversation. He still does not like the video, but as far as I know, realizes the reasons why I do what I do and handle things the way that I handle them. Thus far on the count, we have one possible person who could have been said to have confronted me. As far as I know however, he is not a graduate of SES.

There is only one other person I can think of who called and he wished to express his concern for me in this activity and we talked back and forth about it some to which I said that I would be glad to set up an email chain between him, myself, and my ministry partner so we could discuss the issues. I do not see how it can be that a discussion of the issues means I am refusing to listen, unless the idea of refusing to listen means “I will not do what you say immediately!”

If that is what is meant, then no. I wouldn’t. I don’t believe in a knee-jerk reaction like that. We have seen in this debate what happens at times when that takes place.

However, this is also just one person then in that case and that is a highly skeptical case. This one is claiming that not only this person, but several others have confronted me on the issue. The reality is that this has not taken place.

What am I to conclude from that? Either Geisler put up information knowing to be false, or someone in support of Geisler knowingly said something untrue in order to further bring about their case. Either one of those is not a good option. Now do I understand that people have their concerns? Yes. I certainly do. I meanwhile have expressed my concerns about actions that have been done to Mike Licona and that I and others have felt the sting of as a result.

I also know that it seems several came out to condemn the video when it was made, but it seems there is no hint of repentance whatsoever from the other side on actions that endangered a man’s livelihood and ability to bring home a paycheck as well as his reputation in the Christian community. Even more concerning is the impact that this will have on Evangelicalism in America as a whole if this kind of mindset continues.

Thus, I conclude that this charge is just blowing smoke and if that is the case, then I wonder how many others could be blowing smoke as well?

But with just anonymous sources, who can say?

In Christ,
Nick Peters

A Response to Paul

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. Tonight, I’m going to continue our look at the Inerrancy debate with a personal appeal from my friend Paul and what he fears is going on in this matter. For that, let me give a little background.

Paul and I met in 2001 at Johnson Bible College. I was a student there and in my Western Civilization class had raised my hand to speak out against JEPD theory and in the midst of that quoted Ravi Zacharias. This caught Paul’s eye who was in that class and he came up to me and asked me if I knew about the Apologetics Conference and about SES.

You mean you can go to school for this? There’s a conference about this?

I had no idea and I was sold from that point on. That year, I went to my first apologetics conference with him and a couple of other guys. I think I ended up spending around $400 in the book store.

Paul graduated before I and went on to SES. I soon followed. When my roommate and I moved in, he was the one who came over and helped us, seeing as we didn’t know anyone else in town. When he left to get a job in another state as a youth minister, he simply asked that SES take care of me.

Recently also, Paul found out that one of his sons has autism, which I thought was an interesting turn of events seeing as my wife and I are both Aspies, and Paul has begun doing more study on the topic of autism. Allie and I have been a great resource for him.

And to his credit, Paul is the only one I know who supports Geisler, but seems willing to reach out. I hope something good comes of that. Unfortunately, I have seen a number of friends cut me off because I do not support Geisler and I am arguing against his claims. While on Facebook thus far, I have not blocked anyone over this, but I have been blocked.

As for those who have done such to me, my wife and I still pray for God’s blessing on them everyday, and in a number of ways I have a great concern for them.

Having given a good introduction, now I will look at what Paul says.

I am a Norman Geisler fan. He is a godly man who has worked tirelessly for more than half a century. He is a man of integrity and a defender of the faith.

Probably a year ago, I would have said the same thing. However, from what I have seen in the past few months, I could no longer say any of this. I have talked to others who have had a similar problem with Geisler and too many people who I think could not just have a grudge. I have heard the people I consider to be some of the kindest in the world speak out on the nature of Geisler and have heard about the damage that has been done elsewhere, this from persons I trust highly.

As for Geisler being a defender of the faith, unfortunately it seems to also be more focused on his personal view on how the faith should be. When Mike told me his interpretation of Matthew 27 even before the book came out, I considered it an interesting idea worthy of further study. Never once would I have thought it was a denial of Inerrancy.

Here’s a simple way to look at it. Mike believes what he believes because he believes that is what the text actually teaches. How is it that he can be denying Inerrancy when he’s just saying “I want to believe what it is that I see the Bible teaching?” It seems the reply is “No. You must see what we say the Bible is teaching.”

If you want to know why Mike has not changed his mind, it’s for a simple reason. The evidence is not convincing. This is a man who got a book on the sighting of comets in the ancient world and having all of them catalogued just to better understand the phenomena described in the text. His reading of Greco-Roman biographies was to further understand the way the gospels were written.

Some out there unfortunately seem to panic at the thought of something outside of the text influencing how we read the text. Unfortunately, there is something that does that for all of us. It’s our surrounding culture. For instance, I can go to you and say a sentence and you can wonder what I’m talking about. I can then go to a really good friend and say the same thing to have him bust out laughing. Why? He knows a surrounding context to the text that you don’t know.

Lately, I’ve been reading some of the material of Ken Bailey. I find it fascinating the way he talks about how an understanding of Middle Eastern culture can help us with the text. The text was written in that climate and there was no need to explain the ins and outs of that culture to the listeners. They knew it already. They lived it. However, for those who do not, we can fail to notice several clues that we would not know about by studying the culture.

Let’s consider what’s called the parable of the Prodigal Son. Do we see anything in the Bible that says that in the ancient world, it was shameful for a man to run? No. However, it was, and then when we see the father running to meet the son, we understand that this father is breaching social etiquette out of extreme love for his son.

We get that from the surrounding culture. Archaeology is another example of this seeing as archaeological findings have helped us understand Bible passages. For instance, why is Daniel offered the third-highest position in the kingdom in Daniel 5? Well now we know. Archaeology has shown that Bel didn’t have it to give to Daniel. He was a co-regent at the time and so Daniel would have had the highest position Daniel could offer.

This is not to deny that the basic message of the Bible can be understood without help from the outside culture, but it is to say let’s get past the allergy idea of using information outside the text to teach us what the text means. In fact, if any of you have code messages that you use with your spouse, you should know about this.

I am a Mike Licona fan. I appreciate his eagerness to defend the Christian faith and his extensive research on the resurrection. Although I did not have the opportunity to study under him, his students speak very highly of him.

Keep this in mind everyone. Mike is defending the resurrection. Remember that? It’s the central doctrine of the Christian faith. Mike has written the best tour de force out there on the topic, as even said at SBL with N.T. Wright present. That is a strong position of orthodoxy, and yet so many people seem willing to say that Mike is trying to discount the supernatural or that he’s wanting to water down the gospel or that he thinks we can’t trust the Bible.

Yes. I have seen each of these said.

The Geisler-Licona debate has been a hot topic in the blogosphere lately. Nick Peters has devoted a number of discussions on this issue. I am a Nick Peters fan. I met Nick at Johnson University over a decade ago. He is a brilliant young man who will no doubt play an influential role in Christian apologetics. He and his wife Allie have also been very encouraging to our family.

I quote this only to say that Paul sees me as a friend. For those in the Geisler camp who might want to discount me due to my relation with Mike, I think Paul would say “Don’t do it. If he argues for a position, it is because he believes it.”

I am also a Christian apologetics fan. I am a Jesus fan. As such, it is difficult to watch the Geisler-Licona debate continue much longer. I would like to see Geisler and Licona continue to discuss the issue, as I believe it is an important topic. I’m not convinced either Geisler or Licona is guilty of any wrongdoing regarding the presentation of the arguments. Both men are standing firm to a position for which they have great conviction. This is honorable.

I am convinced however that Geisler is guilty not just in how he presented his arguments, but in what he’s done outside of this.

Here is what Geisler has done in the issue.

He has issued a petition behind the scenes for people to vote on about whether Mike is violating Inerrancy or not.

He has been instrumental in causing Mike to lose a job twice, including personally contacting people to warn them about Mike.

He has caused further financial loss to Mike by getting him uninvited from speaking engagements and has done the same to two supporters, Paul Copan and Gary Habermas.

As Max Andrews has demonstrated, he has misrepresented Mike’s position as well.

He has refused to meet with a scholarly conclave to discuss the idea.

His actions have caused great psychological stress to the families involved.

He’s also played a heavy hand at SES which he left and now wishes to use, just as is the case with ETS.

He has caused a number of people to say they don’t want to join ETS now because they don’t want to be a victim.

He has caused us to be a topic of derision by atheists on the internet who are now saying that Christian scholars can’t be objective because they must toe the line.

This is just a start in fact. I think before too long, we’ll be seeing more results from what has happened.

Now let’s look at what Mike has done.

Mike has offered to meet Geisler to discuss the matter with witnesses. This was not accepted.

Mike gave a paper at EPS to defend his views. Geisler called what he did unscholarly.

Mike went on some podcasts to share his views. Geisler condemned this despite open letters. What’s the big deal however in Mike speaking on an issue when his views are already public and some shows want to know what is going on?

You can hardly find anything posted against Geisler by Mike on Geisler’s Facebook page. Compare this to Geisler’s page. More than half of the most recent posts by Geisler of the most recent 20 have been statements concerning Mike.

I just went to Mike’s Facebook page even. I clicked on News. What did I find about Geisler on there? Absolutely nothing. I then clicked “Articles” and found the EPS paper. Had I not been looking for it, I would not have known about it from the home page.

Meanwhile, I go to Geisler’s page. What do I see? Advertisements about his book “Defending Inerrancy” and to the right of that, an article by Thomas Howe on Licona’s denial of Inerrancy and an outpouring of support for Geisler after the “Pro Licona Attack.” I also find a link to Licona info with twelve articles on it. You’d think Mike Licona was the greatest threat to the Christian faith!

Someone can say “Well Mike hasn’t condemned the attack cartoon!”

Well seriously, why should he?

It’s amazing that this is considered an attack on Geisler when in fact, Mike has been the one who’s suffered repeatedly. Then Geisler gets a little pressure applied to him and expects Mike to condemn the cartoon based on his say-so. Sorry, but the cartoon was quite accurate in what it depicted. JPH documented all the events that he spoke about in that and the responses have been ludicrous. Some people actually think we’re encouraging physical attack on Geisler?

It’s amazing that no one blinked with what Geisler was doing to Mike and is still doing, but now that a cartoon has come out, everyone is speaking about something being offensive.

And I thought Christians were better than the tolerance crowd.

And frankly, if some people can’t take a cartoon, I wonder how they’ll handle it when real persecution shows up. It would benefit Geisler to realize that the reason evangelicals are laughing is that they think the depiction of it is quite accurate. Geisler can say it isn’t, but he needs to tell the rest of the world why it isn’t and stop and consider why so many do think that it is. Could they be seeing any evidence of this?

What concerns me the most is what has recently occurred in the blogosphere. It is heartbreaking to read some of the posts by my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of these posts originate from various sites devoted to apologetics. These sites are filled with so many quality discussions on a wide range of topics. However, the language in this debate has become brutal. This needs to end. Of course, I realize that my plea may be met with the same sort of harsh criticism directed towards me for making this request. If so, it’s a favor I won’t return.

Here, I am concerned that there is worry about brutal language but not brutal actions. Take a look again at all that Geisler has done to Mike and we’re supposed to say nothing, but when it comes to language that could hurt Geisler, we are to stop it immediately?

In fact, I don’t think much of what has been said has been severe. For instance, I do not support the action of someone who just said “Shut up already, you old pig.” Do I wish Geisler would be quiet about this issue and drop it? Yes. Do I understand the sentiments that were expressed? Yes. However, we need to also make our statements with arguments. Those who saw the cartoon often talk about it being disrespectful, but the oddity is they never seem to explain how it is.

I’m not opposed to the use of strong language, but I am opposed to it when there is no argument backing it. In fact, this time for me has been a time in the study of forgiveness. What does it mean to show to my family around me how someone handles a tough challenge? How does one deal with what seems like personal betrayal? How do you have an attitude of forgiveness in case someone repents? How do you learn to not hold a grudge.

What I am most concerned with what I see in the blogosphere is unthinking. Now someone has complained that the Geisler video made some people look like drones. In all honesty, when I go to the Geisler Facebook page, a lot of people do a really good job of demonstrating that. For some, it’s simply the case of “Geisler has spoken. The case is closed.”

I honestly wonder if some might take the Mormon hymn of “Praise to the Man” and simply change it from Joseph Smith to Geisler.

In fact, I have a difficulty in some ways with Paul saying he is my fan. I often realize the position that I hold and a lot of people will take what I say very seriously and think “I want you to really study what I tell you.” I often do this trick at work where if someone tells me their birthday, I can tell them what day of the week they were born on. So many customers upon seeing this say “I believe you!” I don’t like that. I want them to check me first. Make sure what I’m saying is true instead of just being willing to believe me immediately.

I fear when I go to Geisler’s page, I see a lot of “yes men.” These are the ones that think “Well Geisler said this in response and that settles the issue.” That is not a position that should be given to any man save Jesus Christ. It should not be given to Geisler. It should not be given to Mike. It should not be given to me. I understand Paul is not doing this with either of us, but are we in danger of following another man instead of Jesus? Do we not remember 1 Corinthians? “I follow Paul. I follow Apollos. I follow Cephas.” It should be for all of us “I follow Christ.” Oh we’d all say we do, but are we following Christ but necessarily through the lens of a mortal man?

Here is my plea to my brothers and sisters in the Christian blogosphere – stop the personal attacks. If you would like to discuss the subject of inerrancy, please continue to do so. However, we must not tolerate the personal attacks. The “[so and so] started it first” argument didn’t work for me in first grade, nor should it be a valid excuse now. Just as I would not tolerate personal attacks against any of you, I can’t tolerate personal attacks against either Geisler or Licona. I urge you to commit to speaking only against a position not a person in this matter.

The reason there is speaking against Geisler in this matter is because he has moved this beyond the arguments by targeting Mike and his family financially. If we want the personal attacks to end, then Geisler needs to also stop playing the role of the bully, which he is now.

If we are to condemn “personal attacks” should we not condemn the cutting off of a man’s income and the targeting of his friends who support him? Paul Copan has said there are some evangelical scholars who want to speak out, but don’t for fear of being the next target. Why should anyone hold this power in the church today? If there is one thing that definitely needs to be done, it is that the evangelical community forms a union in such a way that no one person can have as much influence as this.

When I’ve seen all that Mike has gone through and the effects of that, and there are things we know about happening that we haven’t even shared, to say that a cartoon is offensive rings hollow. In fact, Geisler omits names to protect from annoyance. Yes. That’s right everyone. Mike and friends have had their reputation called into question, been uninvited from conferences, and Mike has suffered loss of income.

Geisler’s followers are in danger of being “annoyed” supposedly.

Keep in mind also, the list of scholars that stood in favor of Mike has been taken down in several places because some of those scholars have been targeted now and some realized their jobs were on the line. There were some who weren’t included to begin with for fear they’d lose their jobs.

Losing income vs. “being annoyed.”

Obvious one-to-one parallel there.

If there are any wrongs that need to be made right between Geisler and Licona, allow them to work it out. If we continue to stir things up in the blogosphere, we can be sure the tone will only get worse. It will distract others from a much more important Message.

It’s been tried, and it has not happened. Mike wants to meet, but only with witnesses. Who can blame him? (Well, apparently some in the Geisler camp can) Why do some of us write? Not to convince Geisler. We’re sure he won’t be. It’s the same reason William Lane Craig debates atheists. It is not to convince the atheist, but to convince the audience.

If I were to convince the audience here of anything, it would not be first off that my father-in-law is not violating Inerrancy. In fact, if you want to think that he is, that’s wrong entirely, but at that level, I’m not really going to complain. I could just see you as a hyper-fundamentalist type, but oh well. I see those often.

I would say instead to take a stand against bullying like this. Look at what I have said has happened to Mike and what could happen to anyone in the evangelical community who does not toe the line. Is this the way we want evangelicalism to continue? Do we want inquisitions like this to happen? We can settle the matter on Inerrancy later of course, but must it involve damaging the well-being of one in the body who has provided an outstanding service to the Christian community in giving a tour de force on the resurrection?

Now if you think Mike has been nasty himself, show where. I have pointed out my qualms with what Geisler has done, but I fear many are like a commenter on my blog here who saw nothing wrong with any of that, and if you are one of those, then I can just pray for you.

I agree it’s time to end, and I think it’s time for some to stand up and say wrong actions are wrong actions.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Addendum: I do wish to add that Win Corduan has been kind to my wife and I in all of this even stating there was no justification for the one who referred to Mike as a demon even. This slipped my mind at the time and my apologies to Dr. Corduan.

Christmas Carol Chaos

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I certainly hope that you all have had a very Merry Christmas. My wife and I had a great time with my folks and we have a lot of important decisions ahead of us so please be praying for us in this. For now, I think it’s time that I spoke on the latest goings on in the Geisler controversy.

A large part of it came with the release of Geisler’s Christmas Carol, hence the name of the blog. I will put a link to the video below.

My thinking was people would find out about the video before too long on their own so I might as well release the news. Thus, I went to my Facebook and posted a link to the video for people to see. What a surprise I had when it turns out that people were saying that I produced the video.

My wife would tell you that I could not even draw a stick man.

Anyone else could tell you that I constantly have to call anyone I can to help me with really technical things on the computer. I don’t know how many of you have told me to fix the date set-up on the blogs. I can’t figure out how to do that kind of thing.

But I’m supposed to have produced the video….

Now did I do voice work on this? Yep. So did my wife. That’s about all that we do in these videos. My ministry partner, J.P. Holding of Tektonics produced it.

The rumor was spread, despite evidence to the contrary that anyone who watched the whole video could have seen, with a letter coming out from a president of SES saying that a student had produced a video. It is incredible that this conclusion was reached since it is directly said to be a work of Tektonics ministries. For those interested, Holding’s response to this will also be seen at the bottom.

Consider me also quite a bit irritated at the thought that what has been done in this cartoon is considered unnecessary and offensive and it needs to be taken down. Let’s see. My father-in-law has lost two jobs, been put in a hard financial situation that affects my wife and I as well with our already poor finances, had his wife and mine gone through considerable stress over this, has been uninvited from speaking engagements along with his friends that have supported him, been the object of phone calls to Seminary presidents warning about him, had his reputation smeared on the net by the Geisler camp, and had a petition going around behind the scenes claiming that he is out of line and his methodology is unorthodox and that he’s denying Inerrancy.

All that is okay, but putting together a little satirical video is not.

What reason are we given? Some people find it offensive! No doubt, these people think it was probably ridiculous how Muslims went on a rampage over a cartoon. No doubt, several of these people do not hesitate to pass around political cartoons going after a candidate they don’t like. These people would normally also encourage us to learn to be willing to take a stand for Christ and that we need to get out of the tolerance trap that we should not say something just because it offends someone.

What’s offensive about it? Who knows.

Seriously. Who knows? We’re just not told. We’re just told that it is. Now is it sarcastic? Yep. Is it satirical? Yep. Nothing wrong with that either. Both methods were used in Scripture.

Interestingly, when Geisler writes about this in his letters, he writes about Mike’s son-in-law and friend. Geisler goes out of his way to not even mention me by name nor to mention my ministry partner by name. He should know my ministry partner’s name however. After all, it was the person who’s challenged was deleted from Geisler’s Facebook page.

Geisler has also complained that Mike Licona has not stopped his son-in-law, being myself, and others from writing on this on the net. Well sorry, but if you open Pandora’s Box, you have to deal with the consequences. If you don’t want this talked about publicly, then don’t make it public. Had this been settled in the scholarly venue like Mike had suggested, none of this would have happened.

And believe it or not, Mike did do something of trusting me with his daughter so maybe it could be that he actually trusts my judgment in the area of writing and thinks that I’m big enough to think for myself and write for myself and he will not force me to do something. Of course, he is my father-in-law and we do discuss matters sometime, but I get nothing but respect from him as I hope he gets from me. He also realizes that I can argue on my own.

Now some of you might be saying “Well Nick, maybe Geisler just doesn’t know who you are so that’s why he says son-in-law over and over.” Nice try, but no. Geisler knows me. I was one of his students in his classroom, he was present when I spoke at ISCA, he received an invitation to our wedding, he was one of the first people my wife and I saw when we returned from the time at Christmas when I proposed to her, and he and his wife have had dinner with us even since we’ve been married.

Could it be that if my name is mentioned, that could get someone to look me up and if they look me up, they’ll find that in fact, my blog is loaded with counter-arguments to Geisler’s position?

It seems Geisler has availed himself of some resources, such as his statement that he knows that Mike said on a podcast that he has not read Geisler’s critiques. Well who can blame him? What some of us have noticed is that when you read one, you’ve read them all. They all run the same and after awhile, it gets to the point where anyone could write a Licona Letter.

Sorry, but Mike has been busy with other important tasks. You know, tasks like starting a ministry, finding support for it, and studying for debates. These are the kinds of things that you tend to have to do when you’re unemployed because the activities of someone has caused you to lose your job.

However, in spite of Geisler listening to this, he still says that on page 306 of Mike’s book, Mike denies that the guards fell back. No. He doesn’t. He says that in looking for embellishments, that text is brought forward. He admits for the sake of argument that it could be an embellishment. In the podcast however, Mike does state that he does not believe the New Testament has embellishments.

It’s Geisler getting that wrong that is even making me have this question in my mind. Has Geisler even read Mike’s book? I’m really no longer sure that he has.

Geisler also states that Mike denies that the angels appeared at the tomb. Where does he do this? Once again, I wonder why I should trust Geisler’s interpretation of the Bible when he can’t seem to interpret contemporary texts correctly, not to mention that he can’t seem to interpret a video.

As for the event in John, what’s the big deal? If John knew the correct date and his audience knew that he knew it and he was making a point by altering chronology, it is not lying. Some say he could have done the same with putting the temple cleansing at the start of the gospel. I wonder if the Geisler camp can tell me in what order the temptations of Jesus took place.

Let us look however at the reasons that have been given to condemn the Christmas Carol video. (All the while, Geisler’s actions have not been condemned. It is quite remarkable.)

To begin with, the one with the video doesn’t even know if an SES student produced the video. Basic fact-checking would have explained that. However, what’s his first reason?

#1-Dickens’s work was used in a disrespectful way.

Reason being? Who knows! We’re not given it. The Christmas Carol has been redone over and over again. I’ve considered before trying to count how many variations of it there are. In Max Andrews’s excellent response, he asks how they would respond to the Muppet’s Christmas Carol.

The second is that Geisler deserves respect. Well respect is earned. It is also lost. Geisler apparently can treat Mike any way he wants to and that’s okay, but if we do something “disrespectful” that’s a no-no.

Third is that it’s sarcastic and puts words in Geisler’s mouth. Sarcastic? You bet. That’s the point. As for putting words in the mouth of Geisler, all that is said is documented on the video description. Which part has not been presented accurately?

Fourth is about Geisler’s followers being clones. The sad reality is that if you go to Geisler’s Facebook page, you can find that over and over, people tend to just quote Geisler’s writings as if that’s enough and none of us have read them. I’m not saying all are like that, but there are a sizable number who are unfortunately.

Fifth, the video is accused of mocking Inerrancy. Not for a second. JPH and I both hold seriously to Inerrancy.

Sixth, the video is actually threatening to take physical action against Geisler.

Oh come on! Anyone who saw me could tell you that I’m not capable of any kind of real physical attack and to think that a snowball in the face means we okay the use of physical force is ridiculous! (Apparently however, this viewer of the video could figure out authorial intent. Perhaps only those in the Geisler camp can know authorial intent.)

It is even more ludicrous in light of the fact that we on the Licona side have had to generally keep silent for a long time because of the fear of what would happen to us. Why are so many evangelicals not speaking out on this issue? They don’t want to be on the receiving end of Geisler. Who really fears being on the receiving end of team Licona? What great action have we taken to people that would make them afraid to stand against us?

In fact, it is quite ironic that the complaint is made about an attack on Geisler (In fact, Geisler’s description of the video calls it an attack on him) while Geisler has endorsements from someone who says the student who made the video should be dismissed from the college.

Note also someone even reported the video. Oh my. YouTube would be busy all day if they had to respond to all complaints like that.

By the way, who are these people?

We don’t know. They could be anyone. They won’t identify themselves but the fact that some nameless people we don’t know don’t really like a video is enough reason to take it down.

Geisler also complains that Mike has not condemned the video.

To that, all we can say is JPH is responsible for the video and he has been fair and given actions that he will accept as enough to take down the video. They can be found below.

Where will this all lead? Who knows again? What is hoped to be accomplished? One would hope that Geisler will read the comments being raised on the net. People are asking if Geisler has a mental illness of some sort. Some have questioned his salvation. Some people are wondering if Geisler is just doing this to promote his latest book coming out. I’m not saying any of these are true, but that they are being raised should be enough to make one think they should be changing their stance.

What can we do? Pray for the good of evangelicalism and do our part. I believe it’s time to revisit Inerrancy as I think the version there is now has been too corrupted by this and I fear the deck had been stacked for a certain view when the statement was being written. We cannot have a free discussion when one man can point to his interpretation of the document alone. We need to have several men being able to state what it says regularly.

Hopefully this is all coming to a close soon. It could get worse before it gets better, but we urge Geisler to put an end himself to what he’s doing. Admit that this has gone on too long and that great harm has happened to the body and to various persons in that body.

Do I think that that will happen? Sadly, no. Until this ends however, I plan to keep my pace going and continue making my stand. I ask for your prayers and support for my wife and I as I continue to do so.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Geisler’s Christmas Carol – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSMEsQkoH3A&feature=g-u&context=G25c7cd8FUAAAAAAADAA

J.P. Holding’s response – http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/2011/12/scrooges-christmas-eve-gift.html

Support Mike’s ministry at RisenJesus.com.

The podcast of Mike Licona on the Theopologetics program can be found here: http://theopologetics.blogspot.com/2011/12/episode-69-when-saints-go-marching-in.html

Max Andrews’s reply can be found here: http://sententias.org/2011/12/26/auctoritas-a-response-to-the-geisler-controversy/

What it will take to take down the video: — http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/2011/12/geislers-demand.html

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