Book Plunge: Obsessed with Blood Part 4

What about original sin? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In this chapter, Baker looks at the topic of Original Sin. Well, we’ll see how much he stays on topic. He starts it off with talking about what the sin of Adam and Eve was. His reply? Seeking knowledge.

Well, no.

For one thing, this tree was in the center of the garden, which would make it the most important tree of all. The term good and evil is not meant as knowledge, but more as a merism in Hebrew thought. It meant that they wanted wisdom on their own terms, not on the terms of God. They wanted to be in charge. They wanted to rule the garden on their own.

Seeking knowledge was not the problem. It was how they were seeking it.

He also says he spent years following God’s plan for his life and found it to be a myth. Once again, I have to say I get tired of so many of my fellow evangelicals talking about God’s plan for your life. If God has a personalized individual plan for your life, let me assure you you have already ruined it, as have I. No. I can tell you the real plan God has for your life. It’s easy. His plan is to conform you to the likeness of Christ if you are willing.

Now all historians gather around and prepare for a laugh:

Throughout history, medical science, astronomy, philosophy, sexuality and even art, have all been adversely affected by Christian thinking.

Preacher, Ex; Baker, Barnaby. Obsessed with Blood (The Crazy Things Christians Believe Book 1) (p. 66). Kindle Edition.

I always refer atheists on this to go to Tim O’Neill and his History for Atheists series. There is so much misinformation in these simple sentences that I can only recommend the great myths series. There is a constant problem ex-Christians have that they go from blindly believing what they believed before to blindly believing whatever else is said on the other side. He can also check out Dominion by Tom Holland.

Contrary to what modern Christians are led to believe, the Bible really does describe the earth as being flat with the sun and moon revolving around it. For centuries, this is a belief the church upheld so vehemently they actually killed blasphemers who thought otherwise. Strangely it is not something they cling to quite so vehemently anymore. The Bible’s support of slavery, which will be discussed in different book; is also a teaching they distance themselves from.

Preacher, Ex; Baker, Barnaby. Obsessed with Blood (The Crazy Things Christians Believe Book 1) (pp. 66-67). Kindle Edition.

The first myth on O’Neill’s page is the flat Earth myth. We will deal with slavery in the other book if it is read, but I can say based on Tom Holland that the reason he opposes slavery is because he has absorbed background Christianity. There is nothing on the basis of atheism that can lead to the idea that slavery is inherently wrong. (I would actually argue that anything is evil or good for that matter.) Naturally, Baker has no citations for any of these claims about Christian history.

Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in 1590 for going against Bible theology and correctly declared that the earth rotates around the sun – heliocentrism. Galileo also defended heliocentrism and the belief the earth was not as described in the Bible. The Church responded by threatening Galileo with torture and confining him to house arrest until he died.

Preacher, Ex; Baker, Barnaby. Obsessed with Blood (The Crazy Things Christians Believe Book 1) (pp. 67-68). Kindle Edition.

No citations again. No. Bruno was not burned to the stake for heliocentrism but for various heresies and for all the idea of Bruno being a scientist, his scientific works are never cited. One can only wonder why…..

The Galileo affair is not an open and shut case. The church really had no problem with Galileo believing in heliocentrism as long as he treated it as a theory. It didn’t help that he wrote a dialogue depicting the pope as a simpleton. Also, the evidence for his claim was good, but it wasn’t sufficient yet. Again, O’Neill has several articles on Galileo if Baker wanted to peruse them, but I suspect he won’t, despite his claims that he loves seeking knowledge.

Without a doubt, science and culture have all been suppressed due to the ridiculous belief that the Bible is more than just a collection of ancient stories, but the actual inspired word of God.[xxxii]

Preacher, Ex; Baker, Barnaby. Obsessed with Blood (The Crazy Things Christians Believe Book 1) (p. 70). Kindle Edition.

Oh look! He has a citation! What great source did he cite?

None. He just referred to 2 Tim. 3:16 on the belief in Scripture being the inspired word of God.

I am not surprised.

We will continue next time.

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


Book Plunge: Seeing Through Christianity Part 2

What are we to think of the Fall and Original Sin? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’m almost done reading this book in the entirety. This is another book that I have to say that each page is better than the next. Zuersher follows in the great tradition of atheists writing books where they do not do sufficient research on a topic and stick to only their side for information.

Chapter two is about the Fall. After giving the account of what happens in a paragraph, Zuersher switches to the problems with it. First off, he says that there is no reason to believe the story is historically accurate. Well, I’m glad we got that out of the way! Just imagine all the time we could have wasted reading Old Testament scholarship. You could actually read such scholars who believe in a historical Adam and Eve and find out why they could but, nah, it’s easier to just make the assertion. Color me unconvinced.

Zuersher’s biggest difficulties are moral difficulties with the story. The first for him is why would a creator withhold knowledge of good and evil from humans? Isn’t this the basis of morality? Unfortuantely, Zuersher doesn’t recognzie that this is a Hebrew merism. This would be like saying North and South, East and West, Heaven and Earth. One lists two contrasting things in order to show all things in between them. This is not about knowledge so much as it is about wisdom.

There also is no problem with humans having wisdom. The question was “On whose terms were they going to have that wisdom?” The act of violating the covenant is a way of trying to usurp the giver and take His place.

So why place this tree in the garden? Zuersher says all manner of animals would eat this fruit. Would they gain the knowledge but humans wouldn’t? Of course, this assumes that the covenant was the same for animals and such a fruit would act the same way. No doubt, this is what he thinks since Zuersher refers to this as a magical fruit. (It’s really cute how atheists use the term magic over and over as if sticking that label on something automatically denigrates it. It’s like the word “magic” is magical for them.)

Zuersher also says that if the story is accurate, since Adam and Eve did not have knowledge of good and evil, they would not know that eating the fruit was wrong. This again is Zuersher not understanding the merism. Adam and Eve would have had basic knowledge of right and wrong.

He then asks why they were endowed with a nature incapable of meeting His standards. Who says they were? Adam and Eve did not have the fruit forced down their throats. They willingly chose. Zuersher strikes me as someone who says something like “There’s something I don’t understand about this” or “I wouldn’t have done it this way” and then concludes the whole thing is false. Unfortunately, in any worldview, there are going to be areas that are not fully understood and questions. One has to look at the major themes at the center. Raising a question alone is not a defeater.

We move on to original sin. Now I have no hard line on this one. Normally when people present Adam and Eve as a problem for Jesus, it doesn’t mean a thing to me. We’re told that if there was no Adam and Eve, there was no original sin and then Jesus didn’t have to die for sin. I just tell people to turn on the evening news. Even if original sin is false, there’s still plenty of sin to die for.

Zuersher says it is indispensable, but I would just say sin is what is necessary, and I don’t think anyone would deny in some sense what Christians call sin. It would be the rare soul around us who says no human being ever does anything that is morally wrong. Again, turn on the evening news or even better, look in the mirror and try to tell yourself you’re a perfect person.

Zuersher also says the Old Testament God doesn’t know about original sin. After all, he flooded the world, but Noah was a sinner too and would still have sin. What we could say the flood is God hitting a reset button at a certain point He thought sin had got so bad.

Zuersher also thinks a convincing argument is that God thinks humans are capable of living morally since He gives them the Law. How this is a problem is a mystery. It is not as if the doctrine means that no human being is capable of doing good things.

He thinks that when Jesus came, there was a problem. Why would the divine Son die? Then original sin had to be made up. Of course, this is fascinating since one would think that would be the big emphasis in the New Testament, but the emphasis is more on the Kingdom of God.

He also goes on to say the only real evidence of original sin is human nature itself. Even if I grant that, that would seem to be sufficient. Chesterton said years ago that if you see boys skinning a cat for fun, then you can either deny original sin or you can deny the objectivity of good and evil. Of course, he also added that some modern theologians have considered it a rational objection to deny the cat.

In conclusion here, I find Zuersher’s arguments unconvincing and again, he interacts with no serious theologians writing today on the topic. Zuersher is another person who seems to think “I have an opinion on the matter. Who needs to read contrary thought?” If one does not read the contrary, it’s no wonder what side they will wind up on.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 11/8/2014: Kurt Jaros

What’s coming up on the Deeper Waters Podcast this week? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This week on the Deeper Waters Podcast, we’re going to be looking at some topics that Christians can divide over a bit and I’m going to be getting the perspective of my friend Kurt Jaros. Kurt has been on the show before and has in fact been a speaker at the Unbelievable? conference in the U.K. So who is Kurt Jaros?


Kurt Jaros is the Director of Operations at, a charitable organization that challenges believers to think and thinkers to believe. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Highland Theological College in Dingwall, Scotland. His doctoral dissertation will look at the doctrine of Original Sin in the writings of monks from southern France in the 5th and 6th century. He holds two Masters degrees in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, and Systematic Theology, from King’s College London.

He likes systematic and historical theology, philosophy of religion, and issues in Christian pop culture. Additionally, he enjoys political philosophy, economics, American political history and campaigns. He current resides in the suburbs of Chicago with his lovely wife and daughter.

So what all are we going to be talking about?

We’ll be talking about original sin some. (Last I checked, Kurt is against sin for all concerned) Kurt comes from a perspective where he has enjoyed debating in the Calvinist/Arminian debate. It’s one that I’ve tended to avoid, but if you’re interested in that kind of debate, then you might want to hear what he has to say.

We’re hoping as well that some of this can break off into the problem of evil. How does one deal with the supremacy of God in a world of evil from the perspective of someone like Kurt? Can it be dealt with?

Also, we’ll be looking at what Kurt has to say about the teaching of Pelagianism. If one rejects Pelagianism, can one call oneself a semi-Pelagian? How will this relate to the doctrine of salvation? What kinds of issues are at stake in this? How will all of this then tie back into original sin?

I’m also interested in having our discussion on inerrancy as well. Kurt and I have had several discussions about this topic and while we both believe in inerrancy, we both hold a view of it different from the traditional view. Those who have been interested in the writings that I have done on the Geisler debate will certainly want to hear this kind of discussion on inerrancy. We will also be discussing various items we have in the works for the debate on inerrancy.

Kurt’s a good friend of mine and I’ve enjoyed a number of comments he’s left on my Facebook page as well as much of the humor we share together. He also takes my blogs which I appreciate and shares them on his own group. If you don’t know Kurt, now’s your chance to get to know him. I hope you’ll be listening to hear what he has to say.

In Christ,

Nick Peters