What do I think of Timm Todd’s book published by TT Publishing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
This was one of those rare occurrences for me when I was given the book by someone I knew in person. He mailed it to me, but we met beforehand and he didn’t have a copy then. It’s always intriguing to read something by someone who isn’t as well-known in the field and is willing to step out and take a step in that direction.
So Todd’s book is arguing mainly for intelligent design as showing that there is a creator. On this, I must say I cannot really comment. I do not really go for scientific arguments for theism and that includes intelligent design. I cannot really speak then to the arguments for ID at the start of the book. They could be great or they could be terrible. A scientist would need to evaluate them.
From there though, we get into more philosophical arguments that I prefer like the moral argument. Readers of my work know that my problem with the moral argument is that it’s fine insofar as it goes, but it needs to go further. I don’t just want morality explained. I want goodness itself explained. That includes morality, but it is not limited to it.
Todd also gives some interesting anecdotes from his personal experience of things that has happened in his life that he thinks are moments of God working in his life. They could be, but I always get skeptical of such stories. I am not skeptical in the sense that I think they’re made up or anything like that, but I have seen stories where people are convinced God is telling them something and it’s bunk. Still, I do know some people will find this convincing and if it leads them to Jesus, well and good.
I appreciated the part on the reliability of Scripture some, but not entirely. I do think a scientific look at Genesis 1 can be interesting, but I find John Walton’s proposal for Genesis much more convincing where the account is a functional account of a cosmic temple being created. The archaeological backing of the Bible is certainly something I agree with, but when we get to prophecy, I again demur from Todd’s approach. I really don’t think a futurist approach to prophecy is tenable.
I definitely appreciated the sections on Jesus as Todd tries to show the intelligent designer is Jesus. From there, Todd goes on a much more pastoral approach and here is where I truly think Todd’s strength lies. Todd’s writing is really down-to-earth and simple to understand and not in your face at the same time. It is very evangelistic without being simplistic. It is not a recycled approach either. Todd hasn’t copied the Romans Road or the four spiritual laws. He’s his own person.
At the end, I was also skeptical of the idea that all the apostles were willing to die for their faith. They could have been, but as Sean McDowell has shown, we don’t have the best historical data for all of them. Still, many of Todd’s arguments are the kind that can put a rock in someone’s shoe to borrow Greg Koukl’s term.
One area that did puzzle me going through the book some was seeing God referred to as a force. I could understand this at the start if you are trying to show an intelligent designer and you don’t know much about Him, well you can certainly use impersonal pronouns or say a force, but I kept hoping we would move past that terminology eventually.
Still, when you read the book you see someone passionate about their Christian faith and we need more of that. This could be a good work for someone open to scientific arguments, though I don’t think it would be the best for someone academically inclined. Give it to someone who wants a more popular-leveled approach to coming to Jesus and it could very well shine for them. I certainly am thankful that people like Timm Todd are out there wanting to do something more for the kingdom and we need more of that.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)