Deeper Waters Podcast 8/8/2020

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

It’s been said that the Shroud of Turin is the most studied artifact ever. This could be so and it would be a fascinating relationship. Jesus Christ is the most written about and talked about figure ever in history so what is claimed to be His burial shroud would be the most talked about item in history as well.

But is the Shroud the real deal? It’s certainly an impressive work, real or not, but hasn’t it already been shown to be a fake? Didn’t we do tests to demonstrate that the Shroud actually originates in medieval times? For many people, that’s a done deal. For some, perhaps there were some problems with the test.

My guest thinks so. He began his walk not really caring so much about religious questions until he came upon a book about the Shroud. From that point on, he was inherently fascinated with it and even joined a monastery where he became an authority on the Shroud and began lecturing on it and attending every conference he could on it.

His path actually got stranger still when he encountered a lady who was interested in the Shroud and thinking they had a destiny together, he ended up leaving the monastery life and marrying her. Together, they did research and spoke on the Shroud. I have even been told that they were instrumental in raising up concerns about the veracity of the Carbon-14 tests.

His name is Joseph Marino and he’s my guest this Saturday.

So who is he?

According to his bio:

Joseph Marino has a B.A. in Theological Studies from St. Louis University
and is a long-time sindonologist (one who studies the Shroud of Turin). He has researched, written and lectured extensively on the Shroud since 1977. He currently works at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1977, he saw a book on the Shroud of Turin, which he had never heard
of before, even though he was raised as a Catholic. He read the book in one
sitting and became fascinated by the subject and proceeded to collect any
material on it that he could find. In January 1980 he started living at the
Benedictine monastery St. Louis Priory, which later became known as the St. Louis Abbey. In 1986, he attended his first Shroud conference and met for the first time, many of the top scientists and researchers involved. In the early 1990s he felt drawn to the priesthood and was subsequently ordained in 1994.

In 1997 Marino received a call from M. Sue Benford who informed him of
her spiritual insights about the Shroud. After many discussions via phone and emails about the Shroud and other spiritual matters, he began to experience God in a whole new way. Joseph felt powerfully drawn to leave the monastery to pursue Shroud research and other spiritual paths with Benford.

Marino believes the Shroud can be shown to be the burial cloth of Jesus,
then it would be an interesting archaeological object, however he believes that it’s more important for the spiritual message it can bring. As a former Benedictine monk, and Catholic priest Joseph believes that organized religion has often depicted Jesus as an unreachable deity, whose standards we can never reach. With his work he hopes to show that the Shroud represents a more human Jesus, who is someone we can not only approach, but, as indicated in the Gospel of John, a person we can even surpass in doing great things.

”It is my hope and desire that our work can get this message across, and,
it is my belief that this is the destiny to which I’ve been called, which is why I have been given the passion I possess for the Shroud.”

Again, we are catching up on past shows. I hope you’ll be watching your podcast feed. Please also keep supporting the Deeper Waters Podcast any way that you can.

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

Book Plunge: Wrapped Up In The Shroud

What do I think of Joe Marino’s book published by Cradle Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Joe is your normal teenager years ago who loves his music and really has no interest in religion. That all changes one day when he’s in a bookstore and gets a book on the Shroud of Turin out of curiosity. Before too long, he winds up in a monastery lecturing on the Shroud where he is said to be “wrapped up in the shroud.”

If that part seems strange, it’s not over yet. Sometime in his correspondence he comes across a lady named Sue Benford, who is also fascinated with the Shroud. Then, this monk winds up leaving the monastery life and marrying her and being a team with her talking about the Shroud. I have been told that their research is what really called into question the veracity of the C-14 dating that placed the Shroud in medieval times.

This book is mainly Marino’s journey into the Shroud of Turin. A lot of it can be really fascinating. Some stuff, I’m still skeptical of. That’s okay as well. You can be skeptical of some of the experiential stuff and the material about the Shroud can be entirely valid as it doesn’t rely on that. Marino doesn’t even fault you if you’re skeptical of that stuff.

There are also several appendices. This is a rare book in that the appendices altogether are almost as long as the book prior is. I read through them and found them interesting, but if you want just the story you only need to read through the first part.

Sometimes, the language gets technical, but it isn’t too technical, though the appendices can be an exception. You also get a look at the inner politics going on at Shroud meetings. While it is true that politics isn’t everything, everything is sadly politics.

There were times that something would seem to get picked up and I wondered what happened with it later. Marino mentions being a big brother to a kid named Greg at the start through the Big Brothers program. I found myself wondering at the end of the book if Marino ever spoke with Greg any more and knew how he was doing. I would have liked to have seen that covered.

I also would have liked something on the more theological perspective of the Shroud. Suppose we demonstrate the Shroud is authentic to someone. So what? What does that mean? What difference does it make? Why should we care if it is authentic? What does it matter today if Jesus rose from the dead? Marino is a former monk, but it would have been nice to get some of his theology on this topic, especially since he talks about how seeing the Shroud is life-changing for some people. Why? What hope does it give? I have my answer, of course, but maybe others need one.

If you care about the history of the modern period on the Shroud, this is likely the best book to go to. If you are skeptical of some of the experiences, that’s fine. They aren’t really essential to the research on the Shroud. You can still get a lot out of this. In the end, you might find yourself wrapped up in the Shroud as well.

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

Book Plunge: Stolen Shroud

What do I think about Daniel Westlund’s self-published book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I don’t read a lot of fiction, but the author sent me this book of his wanting to know what I thought of it. After a recent email reminding me, I decided to open it up and when I do, I am skeptical. It’s something I do with my reading where I have trained my mind to be critical when it comes to books in my field.

After all, while this book is fictional definitely, it’s about the Shroud of Turin. I really can’t go into it too much without giving major spoilers. Basically, the book starts with the main character, Mark, being at an event discussing the Shroud while it’s on display and then something happens and the Shroud is suddenly gone. He then goes on a quest to find out what happened to the Shroud and who stole it and why. On the way, his Christian faith is explored more and more.

The book switches back and forth chapter by chapter. At first, I found this annoying. Why do I give a rip about this guy’s childhood when I want to know what happened to the Shroud? However, as time went on, I found something happening.

While I came skeptical and at first was having a hard time getting into it, before too long, I found out that I was. I wanted to know what happened. I found, in the end, a story with many threads that weaved together in a wonderful way. I don’t think it was entirely flawless, but I was able to suspend some disbelief enough to enjoy the book.

The book also involves some genetic enhancements to several characters. I understand how it was used, but at the same time, it struck me as a Deux ex Machina. Maybe there really wasn’t any other way to do things, but I found that part kind of distracting.

The villain of this story was one of the most diabolical ones that I have come across and it was fascinating how all of that came together. A lot of his plan I really didn’t understand because of the high science language, but there was enough that I could grasp to know what was going on for the most part. This was truly one of the great villains.

I was surprised to see some real-life issues hit so hard like rape and sexual abuse. This book doesn’t always read like a Christian book, but that could be good because it’s a book that is set in a world where not everyone is a Christian. They do not speak and act like Christians.

I would have liked to have seen a little bit more said about the Shroud itself. I would have liked to have seen more about the objections to it being the real deal. I think there can be a convincing case made for its authenticity, but I would have liked to have seen more.

If there was one character that I really didn’t get into too much honestly, it was the main one. It seemed like he was in there because the plot had to be centered around someone, but there wasn’t much to his personality to leave me really admiring him. He could at best be what is seen as a lovable loser, but I found the other characters for the most part all deeper than he was.

I still wonder about some things at the end and wonder if they’re the best for a Christian novel, but they are things I cannot say because of spoilers. Still, I did enjoy this one a lot more than I thought I would. I would like to see more books like this.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 2/13/2016: Mark Antonacci

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

The resurrection of Jesus is the central fact of the Christian faith and the rock on which everything else stands. If the resurrection is not true, then in agreement with Paul, we are above all men to be pitied. There is a lot about the resurrection of Jesus that as it were remains shrouded in mystery for some of us and one object that can remain shrouded in mystery is, well, the shroud itself.

That is, the Shroud of Turin.

This is a relic that caused a stir when it was discovered and to this day, it is still disputed. Most of us would no doubt consider it something remarkable and even those who are its critics do not have a way in mind yet that someone was able to make the image on their with all the ins and outs that it possesses. You might make an image that looks similar, but not one that has all the features that the Shroud of Turin has.

I prefer looking at different arguments for the resurrection, but I find the Shroud intriguing. What got me to get this book was a conversation with Gary Habermas when he told me about this book that he was reading about the Shroud of Turin. I decided to contact the author and see if he would be willing to come on and talk about the book. That author is Mark Antonacci and he is coming on to discuss his book Test The Shroud.

Going through, it is hard to imagine a book on the Shroud of Turin being more exhaustive in its scope. I can hardly think of a single topic about the Shroud that is not covered. For those who are concerned about the Carbon 14 dating test, yes, that is covered. For those who are concerned about the history of the Shroud, yes. That is covered. Antonacci has really left no stone uncovered in this massive work.

Hopefully also, we’ll be able to get the language in it to be more amenable to the layman as often he does speak in strong scientific terms that I will frankly admit I was getting lost in. Perhaps that is unavoidable, but when he spoke about the topics that I am familiar with being a student of the New Testament, I found that I was right there with him. If I could recommend at this point in time one book for someone curious about the nature of the Shroud of Turin, I would recommend this one.

We’ll be having Mark Antonacci be our guest and I do intend to try to ask the hard questions about the Shroud for all who are skeptical of it. At this point, I personally lean towards it being the real deal because there is just so much unexplainable about it, but it is not something I make an argument out of because I have not studied it that in-depth. I am thankful for people like Mark Antonacci who have and I hope you will be here for the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters