How To Ace Bible Trivia

Is answering trivia the goal? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A few days ago at my workplace, I found an item someone decided not to purchase that had been left behind. It was a book for middle schoolers on how to ace a world history exam. As I saw it, I thought that is part of the problem with the education system today. We teach students how to pass tests. They are taught knowledge for the sake of knowledge. They are not taught how to apply it.

When we don’t see the relevance of something to our lives, we quickly forget it. I can remember how to get through levels on video games I played decades ago, but I don’t remember a bit how to do quadratic equations, with respect to my algebra teacher. Why is that? Because I have never once had to use the process to do quadratic equations, but I sure have played my share of video games.

Fortunately, this doesn’t go on in the church. In the church, we only learn what is relevant to our lives. We don’t just give information so we will know stuff. We show the relevance of….oh please stop laughing already.

Yes. This is exactly what we do in the church. Let’s take something simple. We teach our children the ten commandments. Okay. That’s good. Why do we follow them? Don’t murder? That seems like an obvious one, but why not? Why is murder condemned? How many of us as young children also cited “Do not commit adultery”, but we had no clue what adultery was?

We teach our children how to do Bible drills. Congratulations! You can look up Philippians 4:13 faster than anyone else in the church! What good will that do you if you don’t have a clue what the passage really means? If we teach them anything about verses, well, it’s all about them. Philippians 4:13 is not about the glory of Christ, but it is about winning football games.

Don’t forget the trips that we send them on! They go on these trips that are youth conferences and come back and get super excited and want to tell the world about Jesus and life is awesome!

For about a week or two if that long.

After that, it’s right back to the same old thing.

If all we are teaching our youth is the content of the Bible, we are failing them. This is nothing against said content. This is just saying that we need to know the relevance of the content. We don’t need just pieces of Christianity. We need a whole tapestry of Christianity woven together so the students do see the importance and relevance of it in their daily lives.

Otherwise, the guy is with the girl and they’re alone together and she starts coming on really strong to him. So here he has a hot girl that he will really want to be intimate with and on the other hand, he has a verse in his head saying “Do not commit adultery” with no reason why other than don’t. Which one is he going to listen to? Now imagine instead if he has a whole biblical worldview on sex and marriage and understands based on that the importance of waiting for marriage and how giving in to temptation dishonors the God He serves who is to be His king?

Folks. It’s not enough anymore to just teach our youth facts about the Bible. They will forget them just as quickly as we forget things in school we don’t deem relevant to our lives. They need to be taught a whole worldview, a whole curriculum. They need to be taught about how every facet of their lives intersects with Christianity. It can’t just be about them. We also don’t just teach them isolated verses. We teach them the context of those verses and how they apply.

In the end, they’ll have a greatly informed biblical worldview that does apply to them to help them in their lives.

And they’ll probably still rock at Bible drills anyway.

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

Pastor. Let Questions Come

Should Christians ask questions? Let’s jump into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Monday I did a podcast with the Mentionables. In it, Marc Lambert of Hey, Pastor, talked about how as a pastor he encourages people to ask questions. Too many pastors seem to shy away from questions or tell people to not ask them or to just have faith.

An attitude of not answering questions does no favors to anyone in your congregation if you’re a pastor. Someone who is questioning is someone who is wanting to learn. When your children go to school, you want them to ask the teacher questions so you can learn. Do you not want them to learn at church?

My wife has been looking into Orthodoxy lately. I’m not a big fan of it, but I do agree with something that the priest at the church said. Truth doesn’t need to be afraid to ask any questions. He’s absolutely right on that. No pastor should be afraid of questions.

“But Nick! What if they have a question I can’t answer? What then?!”

How about this? You go and say “Let’s find an answer together.” Do the research with them. Show them how it can be answered. You will not only help them answer the question, but you will teach them that it’s okay to ask and how to go about answering questions.

One of the big reasons people leave the church is unanswered questions. They then buy into the whole idea that faith is believing without evidence. This is a blatantly false idea, but it still gets around. Sadly, too many people who will read a Richard Dawkins saying this will have more than enough evidence from their Christian friends that this is exactly what it means.

I posted a link to the Mentionables above. They also do have a network pastors where you can find people in your area who are willing to answer questions. These people, like myself, aren’t big names yet and will likely jump at the chance to do any work and will have openings in their schedules. This means that if you really just can’t get around to doing this, there are people who you can find who will help out.

Apologetics if you’re a pastor should be part of your ministry. Consider giving a sermon. When you open up the text, would it kill you to give some of the historical background? Could you talk about the date of the text and who wrote it and why? Could you perhaps share any archaeological data that has been found?

You can still go and explain the text and give an application. It is not that hard. When my grandmother died, I was one of three people assigned to speak at her funeral. I had ten minutes. What did I do? I spent the first five minutes talking about the resurrection of Jesus and how we know it’s true. I spent the last five talking about what it meant for everyone there who is a believer, including my grandmother. It worked great. The message got a lot of positive response. That took just a few minutes.

The best church my wife and I ever went to had a program set up where during the sermon, you could text in a question that you have. The pastor would then come out at the end and answer questions. If a question required a greater response, he would make a vlog about it sometime during the week for people to watch. No one could leave that church saying questions were unwelcome.

Pastor. Please encourage the asking of questions. Refusing them only creates future atheists. If people want to learn about God, don’t deny them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 11/25/2017: Brett Kunkle

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

First off, your prayers are appreciated today. Earlier this morning, we took our little cat Shiro to the vet. He has some dental problems and likely will have one tooth extracted. We hope that all of his issues right now are dental. That’s all I think it is as well as other people familiar with cats we’ve talked to, but Allie is scared about it. We pick him up this afternoon.

Now on to the information about the show. I know the date is for tomorrow, but we’re actually going to be recording this on Wednesday so it could be a little bit longer before you get to hear it. Still, the content will be the same.

Getting apologetics out has always been important and today, it’s especially important to get it out to the young. Our youth need apologetics more than ever and the good news is, it’s out there more than ever. There are several great programs out there that are helping to introduce Christian apologetics to youth.

Someone told me about one of these organizations called Maven. It’s run by my guest this time. Maven focuses on the youth and gives them three of Mortimer Adler’s six great ideas. The three it works on are truth, goodness, and beauty.

Why do we need these? Because the opposite messages are being given to our youth every day. If we don’t give them a message, they’ll only receive one message and it won’t be the right one. Maven focuses on reaching the youth so they can be prepared to engage with the culture. The person behind it is my guest, Brett Kunkle.

So who is he?

According to his bio:

Brett Kunkle is the founder and president of MAVEN (, a movement to equip the next generation know truth, pursue goodness and create beauty. He has more than 25 years of experience working with junior high, high school, and college students. Brett has developed a groundbreaking approach to mission trips, creating a one-of-a-kind experience that immerses participants in real-life engagement in apologetics, theology, worldview and evangelism in Berkeley, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, Brett is a Teaching Fellow at the Impact 360 Institute.  He was an associate editor for the Apologetics Study Bible for Students and co-authored A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World. He received his Masters in philosophy of religion and ethics from Talbot School of Theology. Brett lives with his wife and kids in Southern California.

I look forward to talking to Brett about these topics. As readers of this blog and listeners of my podcast know, I am quite passionate about making sure that the youth have apologetics. Please be watching your podcast feed for this upcoming episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. If you haven’t yet also, please go on iTunes and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast. It means a lot to me to see them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters


Katie Gregoire on the Purity Culture

What is the purpose of purity? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Katie Gregoire is the daughter of Sheila Wray Gregoire, who runs the blog To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. Yesterday, my mother-in-law shared a video Katie made. Not too long after that, my wife shared the same video. I figured when I got up today that I should check out this video. (I rarely watch videos shared on Facebook. I just don’t have the time.) The video is quite good and can be found here.

Katie talked about how we have all these embarrassing purity talks when you grow up in the church. The advice to follow for the most part in these talks is good. Guys are told they should respect the women in their lives and the boundaries they set up. By the way guys, that includes once you’re married. You don’t force sex even on your wife and I still respect Allie greatly do this day such as holding open doors for her, including our car door, and not sitting somewhere until she’s sat down first. It’s also well known that if anyone insults her on Facebook, stay back. I will show up and it will not be pretty.

Women meanwhile are focused on just saving themselves for marriage. They are often compared to chocolate bars with them giving a piece of themselves to a guy that they are intimate with until there’s nothing left. I agree with Katie that women are not objects like chocolate bars. It’s too easy for a girl who makes a mistake to think that she’s damaged goods.

I would like to point out though that if a woman does engage in sex before marriage, she can make it harder to bond. That’s because one of the things that sex does is it causes the chemical oxytocin to be released, which is a bonding chemical. It bonds the two lovers together. It is the same chemical released when a mother breastfeeds her child. If you learn to break these bonds, it makes it all the easier so that it’s harder and harder to bond.

Yet Katie’s main point is clear still and definitely true. The whole idea behind a woman being pure is to be just for her husband. Of course, no one is saying that a woman should not strive to be pure for her future husband, but he’s not the only one. Let’s suppose there’s a girl who doesn’t plan on ever getting married. She wants to be on her own. There’s nothing wrong with that. Not every girl will get married. She thus has no future husband. Should she be allowed to have a one-night stand or such every now and then since there’s no future husband to give herself to?

Of course not. If she’s a Christian, she has someone else she’s being pure for. She’s being pure for Jesus. She’s being pure to show that she values sex even if she’s never having it and that she honors the limitations Jesus places on sex and on how He views it. Sex is a good, but it is a good to be used in the proper time and place.

We have a culture where it’s extremely easy to view women as sexual objects. No doubt, the reason for this is that by and far, the women are far more appealing to the eyes than we men are, and that includes I’d say to the women themselves who are quick to notice the beauty of one another and compete with one another. Sex sells and one way to get a response out of people is to put a beautiful woman up there.

This causes tremendous pain if someone does sin along the way. My own wife when putting this up said that while she saved sex for marriage, she didn’t live entirely pure. I knew this when I went into the relationship. I can assure anyone that in our marriage I have a “full chocolate bar.” I make it a point to not invite anyone else into the bedroom.

“Good for you,” some of you are saying. “We don’t have threesomes either.” I’m not talking about people coming in physically. I’m talking about that when it’s time for the bedroom, my focus is only on Allie. There is no thinking of other women there and she should not be thinking about what other men have said and done in the past. As I tell her “Only you.” Her past mistakes don’t matter. In our marriage, all that matters is that I have her here right now.

Another problem with this is that it assumes the main role of purity is in sexuality. That’s great and all, but you can be impure in many other ways. We can be quite sure the Pharisees followed the rules on sexuality, but they were described as white-washed tombs and filthy on the inside. Following the outer rules is good and important, but the inner heart is even more important. What about our words? Our thoughts? Our habits?

Honoring Christ is a lot more than just honoring Him with sex. It’s honoring Him with everything that you have. There is not a single aspect of your life that Christ does not claim Lordship over. As a Christian, you are to give Him all of it. Only He can make you who you are to be.

It’s also important because our identity is not in what we do. If there’s something Christians need to do, it’s to establish their identity in Christ. We live in a culture where many of us don’t know who we are and why we’re here and that’s largely because we have no firm foundation. Our Christianity has been reduced to moralism instead of a whole worldview. We know how Christians are to act, but not how to think or how to just even be. Remember that we are human beings and not human doings.

I congratulate Katie and everyone else saving themselves for marriage. It is something indeed wonderful you are saving yourself for. Even better is to treat yourself properly in honor of Christ. It is His good you are to supremely seek and not your own. The purity movement in the church could only be bolstered by learning the better basis of purity.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Is This Apologetics Stuff Really Necessary?

Does it really matter if we do apologetics? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So we’ve been going over apologetics basics lately and some of you might think it sounds like a lot of work. Is this something we really need to do? Can’t we just take our children to church every Sunday and expect them to turn out okay? It’s good if you’re wondering that. Let’s talk about why it matters.

Would you really consider doing something like this in any other situation? Would you say that you take your child to the doctor so regularly health habits at home to take care of their body aren’t necessary? Would you say you have your child in school so their studying on their own isn’t really necessary? Would you say that you live with your spouse every day so working to maintain your marriage really isn’t necessary?

Why do you take care of all these things? You do so because you think they’re important and they require diligence to maintain. Why not treat faith the same way?

Next, let’s suppose you want people to believe in Christianity. Why? Do you want to believe in Jesus because that will make them into a good person? Do you want them to believe because you want them to go to Heaven? Do you want them to believe because they will avoid Hell? Those can be good reasons, but they are not the reasons. All those reasons depend on Christianity being true. The promise of Heaven and the warning of Hell only matter if Christianity is true. Being a good person is great, but would you want that goodness to be based on truth or not?

So let’s look at the main reason someone should believe in Christianity. In fact, it’s the reason that we should believe in anything. It’s true. What do we mean when we say it’s true? Do we mean it makes you a good person? No. Do we mean it’s a great moral system? No. Do we mean that it brings joy in life? No. Those could all be true, but none of those state what it means to say Christianity is true.

What it means is this. You believe that Jesus, a person who is fully man and fully God, came on Earth, proclaimed the Kingdom of God, worked miracles, was crucified, buried, and rose bodily again from the dead and that He calls for allegiance from everyone. You believe forgiveness is found only in Him. These are indeed amazing claims.

Let’s grant the new atheists something on this. When they say that if you were told your spouse was cheating on you, you’d want evidence, but when you’re told the above, you think it’s a virtue to blindly believe, they have a point. Unfortunately, that does describe many Christians. If you don’t have a reason that you should believe other than your personal feelings, then why should anyone else.

Would you want your marriage to be maintained on personal feelings? Would you want your employment to be based on personal feelings? Would you want your relationship with your children to be based on personal feelings? Of course not. These are good when they come, but one can’t make a steady diet out of them, because those feelings will fade from time to time for any number of reasons.

How about instead having another reason? How about having something historical? Now it could be you evangelize someone and your personal testimony is enough, but what if it isn’t? Do you want to be caught flat-footed? Do you want to tell people Jesus is the most important aspect of your life and not be prepared when people ask you for any evidence of the reality of this? Do you want to say you’ve never thought like this about the most important aspect of your life? Or what you say is the most important aspect?

This is especially so for parents. Often times, you’re sending your children to college with about a dozen years of Sunday School vs. a professor with twenty-five years of atheism. Do you really think this is a fair fight? Do you really think your children have a chance? Now sure, some who abandon the faith come back later, but look at all the time they spend away and some of their most important choices are made in that time, such as marriage and career choices. All this time they could be a testimony of Jesus. Instead, they’re a testimony against Christians as long as they’re apostate.

Not only that, but this will help you more to realize the importance of a holy life. This will be something you can say is a reality. This will give you confidence in your evangelism. There won’t be people you’re scared to evangelize because they might have questions. You can’t specialize in every worldview out there. You’re not going to be an expert on every religious group and non-religious group in the world. You can be someone who knows your own worldview at least so you can have something to talk about when you meet someone who doesn’t believe what you believe.

Of course, some of you could be wondering how you can fit this into your schedule. You don’t have time to be a scholar. What do you do?

That’s for another time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Importance of Teaching Youth

Who really needs apologetics training the most? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I got to do something that’s one of those privileges that I enjoy in the apologetics field and that’s teaching youth. At my church, I had been invited to speak to the youth group about the importance of Christian apologetics. I did it with the help of a friend of mine who I brought to the meeting with me. Since this friend didn’t go to my church, he played the role of an atheist asking the kids why they should be Christians. Unfortunately, our young Christians were flummoxed early on. That’s when we told the truth. My friend is also a Christian apologist and that led us into the discussion of how we can know that Christianity is true and what difference it makes and not only that, but how much fun it can be to discuss these matters.

In the end, one of the youth said a closing prayer and I think it showed that this was sinking in, at least I hope it was. The leaders at least certainly appreciated it. In fact, this is one of the events I consider the most important. It’s great to talk to adults often on topics such as the resurrection of Jesus. That needs to be done. Youth are our main group we should be trying to reach. The youth are the ones that are about to go into the furnace of college most often and have their faith tested by professors who will be more than happy to debunk Christianity and by moral challenges such as dealing with sexual temptation.

Ultimately, stressing to them that Christianity is true is what it’s all about and they need more than warm fuzzies to know that. They will face hard times eventually and a good feeling will not sustain them and we should all know we cannot produce feelings. If we all lived according to our feelings, our world would be chaos and most of living the good Christian life is learning to overcome wrong feelings and wrong thinking. (And despite this, how many Christians act or don’t act because of their feelings and even turn it into something supposed to be Biblical, like doing something because you “feel led” to do it?)

But what if you have something else that drives you? That will really come into play when those times of struggle come. “Wow. It feels like God is absent now, but I know because of XYZ that He exists and that He cares about me and I know because of this historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead.” “Wow. My date is so hot and you know, I really would like to get to see all that she has right now and have some fun with her, but I know that that is not the right thing to do because of XYZ.” “Wow. My spouse is being a jerk today, but I know I am to be the better person and love (or respect) more because of XYZ.”

Those times will come, and those necessities will need to be there. You will need to know how to think properly about the issues.

When you do this, Christianity will become more real to you. Your worship will be better informed. You will get much more out of your Bible reading and study when you see it as a book that contains events that really took place in space and time. You will take your moral responsibility much more seriously when you realize that there truly is a good. Studying believe it or not can also be fun. Yes. There are times I don’t really want to do it, but I suppose for some people, it’s like working out. Many I understand don’t like to work out really but once they get started, they are enjoying it and want to finish. It’s just honestly fun to learn new things about Christianity.

There’s also great joy when you encounter someone who is rather a loudmouth atheist. Now of course not all atheists are like this, but those who are not will be the first to admit that there are too many atheists that they find frankly embarrassing for speaking on what they don’t know about. These kinds do not want to meet a Christian who knows what they’re talking about. Be that Christian.

Also, as my friend and my wife and I discussed afterwards, there will not be many times that you will find that the atheist you dialogue with is convinced. This is sadly par for the course. As I had said in the meeting, I don’t do it for the atheist most of the time. I do it for the people who are watching. Someone might see what is going on in that Facebook thread and really reconsider that there could be good evidence for Christianity and be strengthened in their faith by seeing how weak the opposition is. (This is not to say there are not opponents out there who really do think about the issues and know how to interact well with the arguments, but that for the most part, the objections you encounter are quite weak.)

Friends. The youth have to hear this. They have to. We who are the adults and able to teach are doing our youths a great wrong if we do not equip them with Christian apologetics and if they go to college and fall away or fall away morally through sexual sins or other sins because we have not equipped them, then just like in the book of Ezekiel, we will be accountable for that. Do you really want that on your head? If you still want to ignore teaching your youth what they believe and why, then the question that needs to be asked is not “Why are they not taking Christianity seriously?” but rather “Why are you not taking it seriously?”

We are at war friends and our youth are lined up to be the first casualties. We need for them to know that the life of joy and pleasure is found in more than just sex, music, video games, etc. It’s found first and foremost in knowing God and learning about Him. Christianity isn’t pie in the sky. It’s not wishful thinking. It’s an actual worldview that is meant to shape everything that you think and do. It has something to say about who you date, who you marry, how you behave, how you spend your time, how you spend your money, what you study in college, and every other aspect of your life.

Please be teaching young people at your church apologetics. You could make sure that they enter the blessed presence of God one day by doing so.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Youth, Popularity, and Apologetics

Why do youth get enthusiastic when presented with the opportunity to do apologetics? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I was listening to J. Warner Wallace’s podcast recently, and it’s one I encourage all of you to listen to, and he talked about presenting talks on apologetics and about how the youth get so enthused about it. I started pondering then why that would be and I’d like to share with you a suspicion that I have on the matter.

I have written much on this blog about how the ancient world was an honor/shame culture and we’re a more individualistic one, but that does not mean that we are totally devoid of any idea of shame whatsoever. Social status is everything to many a teenager. This is why so many of them buy clothes they might not care for and get into fads that they wouldn’t care for otherwise. They want to fit in with their peers and not be embarrassed.

Now picture a teenage youth who is a Christian. Is he on the outs with his peers in any way? Well if he’s a good and observant Christian, he’ll be a virgin (Since most teenagers in high school aren’t married). Will that lead to any shame to his peers? Yep. Especially since they consider “getting laid” to be a rite of passage and a sign that you are a real man or woman.

So what happens with a boy who’s seventeen and can drive and who is with the guys who are talking about their sexual exploits and the guy has nothing to contribute? If he is asked why he’s not “getting some” he replies that he is a Christian. Is that going to win him any friends? Nope. His “friends” there will most likely mock him for believing in antiquated ideas that science has disproven and how he needs to get with the times. Result? The young man is shamed.

Now imagine instead if he’s told the latter part about how his ideas are antiquated and instead, he’s able to make a rational case for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Do you think he’ll be able to be treated the same way? Oh sure. His friends can still mock him, but he can take the mockery as a sign that they cannot answer his arguments. The young boy has honor then rather than shame. He might not be sleeping around, but he can hold his head high knowing he can stand up against his peers.

If your youth group meetings consist only of pizza parties and concerts, then your youth will not be able to stand against their peers. Besides, if a kid wants to get pizza or go to concerts, all he needs to do is get a job or else hang out with people who have one and who are feeling generous. The church needs to give youth something they cannot get from anywhere else.

Now we can talk all we want about how they should seek the honor of God rather than that of men, and that is true, but why should we add an extra hurdle to them? Furthermore, if they are shamed in public, then it is not just them that is shamed but Christianity that is shamed and in turn, God that is shamed. This is not saying that we can change God, but we can change the way the world views Him.

No one wants to be embarrassed, and that includes youth, but if our young people think they can do something that none of their peers can do, it will help them to have that honor that they seek, and there is nothing wrong with seeking honor. Remember the parable where Christ told us to take a lowly position at a banquet so our host would say “Move up to a better place” and we would be honored? He was saying that that is the proper way to receive honor. Don’t just go out and try to grab it. Let it be given to you.

There are many things that a young person can be ashamed of, but if they’re intellectually unprepared, it will be that being a Christian is something that they are ashamed of. In the face of temptation, they need a reason to be obedient rather than just “The church says so” or “Mom and Dad say so.” Neither of those will be seen as honorable positions. They need to know for themselves why it is that they hold the stance that they do. If they are waiting until marriage, they need to know why. If they believe a man rose from the dead, they need to know why.

That youth are eating this stuff up should tell us something. Youth don’t want to be shamed in the eyes of their contemporaries. They won’t mind holding a different position as long as they can defend that position. If they cannot, then the tide of social pressure could be enough to get them to abandon that and if their emotions and wills start acting against Christianity, it is only a matter of time until the intellect follows.

Let’s not risk having the youth be casualties of the faith. Let’s give them something that can allow them to walk tall in their Christian convictions and live them with passion. Let’s give them the reason for the hope that they have.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

When Youth Aren’t Prepared

Are the youth at your church ready? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

If you’re a youth pastor, I strongly urge you to listen to this post. If you are a parent of youth, I urge you to listen. We often say the children are the future of our country. That is correct. They are also the future of Christianity in our country and we need to be reaching them.

We are not.

Statistics are showing that a majority of youth are leaving the faith when they come to college. Some of you are saying “That will never be my child!” The reality is, every child has parents and a lot of parents are saying the exact same thing. God won’t give you special favor just because you’re you if you’re not living in obedience to what He said in raising youth. God won’t shine special favor on a church just because they have a good worship band and “teach faithfully the Word of God” if they’re not honoring their intellectual responsibility to their youth.

You are not to use God as an excuse to cover up your laziness. You are not to use holiness as a cover-up for sinfulness in other areas.

As it stands, when our youth go off to college, often they enter atheism central and as a result, they will be challenged. Sunday School will go up against 25+ years of atheism. What are the possible results? I can think of three.


This is the most common one. Students in church will have emotions and experiences. They will face “facts.” How do you argue against those? This is especially true if their faith has been married to extra beliefs besides the resurrection of Jesus. Is your faith destroyed if evolution is a fact? Is it if the world is more than 10,000 years old? Is it if there is one error in the Bible? Is it if you find out we don’t have the original text of Scripture? Is it if you find the KJV is not perfect?

I’ve seen such claims before. I’ve seen people scared at the thought of an old Earth. I’ve seen them in a panic over evolution. I’ve had ministry students call me when they find out there are problems with the KJV and want to know what to do. I’ve seen panic over supposed contradictions. Every time the question comes back to “Did Jesus rise?” If He did, everything else is secondary.

Unfortunately, too many won’t reach out for answers. They will apostasize and assume they had a strong understanding of the faith they left. They didn’t. Still, they will think that and that makes them all the more difficult to reach again. Not only that, they are going out and reproducing their own ignorance in others. This is a dangerous option most will take.


Some Christians will refuse to abandon their faith. Good for them. Unfortunately, they will do nothing to seek to deal with the problem. They will only retreat further in themselves. They will say that someone can have their facts, but they will have their faith.

These students will retreat within themselves and retreat to people of like mind. They will gather together in their own isolation chambers so they can be safe from the culture. (Some of these chambers are called “Churches.”) They will not interact with the culture and when threats comes, they will not answer the questions but chase them away not wanting to consider they could be wrong.

These people are in the Kingdom, but they are also unfortunately great hindrances to the Kingdom and creating more fundy atheists by their approach.


This is by far the minority. Some people will actually determine that they want to know the truth and will study. Many of them will find the answers and they will become strong defenders of the faith and lead a rich and vibrant Christian life. The problem is that they had this in them all along but the church prior had never shown them a better way. Likely, they could have grown up in an isolation chamber.

Just imagine the good that could have been done had these people been taught this all their lives. They were not. It took a crisis to get them to that point, but at least they got to that point. The sad reality is few will be the ones who study and if they want to, many churches will in fact discourage them from doing so or look down on them. After all, those are the “unspiritual” people who need evidence and don’t have “faith.”

The reality is, the church needs #3 the most. It is like Paul said. The ones who are shamed are the ones God uses. The world will look down on those who take seriously the life of the mind now, but they are the ones who are also honoring what God said to do, to love Him with all their mind.

A caveat. Of course not everyone is an intellectual, but there is a difference between not being an intellectual and being an anti-intellectual. No Christian should be the latter. All Christians should at least know those they can go to who can help in a time of need. They should want to respect and encourage such people.

For our youth, we need to be preparing them. We don’t want them to be tragedies.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Why Youth Need Apologetics

Does it matter that the youth at your church get apologetics? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I was out walking today past a church when someone saw me who knew me from the past and asked what I was up to. In talking to him, I told about my work with Ratio Christi and asked if the youth of the church were getting anything in apologetics and he told me no. I offered my help and he told me “You like this stuff don’t you.” My reply was that it was not that I liked it, but that it is necessary.

We are multi-faceted creatures. We all know that. Even someone like me who is intellectual strongly has a great emotional and social need. This is something that thankfully marriage has helped to deal with which leads to more strengthening in the intellectual field. Emotional people need something to believe in as well and the socialites should want to be united in truth with their societies.

Our churches tend to deal when it comes to religion with the emotional and social side of faith. The intellectual side falls to the wayside, which makes it problematic when there are several children who grow up with an intellectual bent and do not ever get to hear about the difference their lives can make. My Christianity was always a part of my life, but nowhere near what it was after I saw the intellectual roots of my faith and what a difference it makes and how to think about it.

We seem to have this idea in the church today that we need to draw our youth to having a religious experience and once they have that experience, that will sustain them for the rest of their lives.

How many people on a new job have a great first day and look forward to more and then within a year or two if not even that long are already sick of their job?

We often speak of marriages that have a honeymoon period but when the honeymoon is over, no matter how much fun was had, the couple is not set to go on without a euphoric high of love. Most marriage counselors would tell you that if marriage lasting depended on a euphoria of love, most people would have to get remarried every couple of years.

How many parents are elated to finally have a baby born, but ask them if that same elation is there when the child cries at 3 in the morning wanting to be fed and Mom and Dad have a busy day planned.

The idea of “Hooked on a Feeling” has not served us well and when it comes to the most important truth in someone’s life, we’re telling people to do exactly that.

The problem is that if all there is is emotion, what happens when a stronger emotion comes by. Consider the boy and girl in the youth group who are dating and one night watching a movie and the parents have already gone to bed and some kissing gets started and before too long a lot of hormonal juices are going.

Do we really think that for a boy and girl caught in the moment that all of a sudden a verse popping into mind from St. Paul is going to be enough to deter them? That is a strong strong feeling and you can be sure that without having a place for sexuality in their worldview that they will give in to the pressure. (Note also if the church promised them they’d feel guilt afterwards and they don’t, they might think that maybe the church was wrong about a bunch of other stuff as well.)

When a college professor is up in front of his class railing on them against religion, is it really going to be enough for a student to be thinking about the love of Jesus if he is not even convinced at that point that Jesus is real? Now it could be that he will retreat and say “Well I may not have facts for my views, but I have faith!”

Such a student would have indeed saved himself. The problem is that is the only person he has saved and will save. He has shut himself off from any chance of having an impact on the Kingdom. After all, why should he go out and evangelize if he does not have any facts to share? Is he not supposed to teach the truth? Have we forgotten the concept of truth? Is it so absent to us that we forget that truth means that there are certain propositions Christians are to hold to be true and we are to pass them on?

The reality is, kids can learn this. Even if a child is not of an intellectual bent, they can at least learn enough that they know basic foundations and where to go for more information. They will have a knowledge of how Christianity informs their whole worldview, nay, is their whole worldview.

Such children will be better equipped to face a dark world and reach it for Christ. Such children will be better students, better children to their parents, better brothers and sisters, and eventually, they will be better spouses and parents.

Why? They will have no cognitive dissonance. They will see that Christianity is not just something that they take to church with them on Sunday and it will be really special when they die. They will see Christianity is a belief they can base their lives on and while it has great benefits when one dies, the reality of what it means and the difference it makes starts right now.

Our youth need apologetics and when we see the percentages increasing of students losing their faith, let us not blame atheists. Atheists are not to blame for being atheists. Christians are to blame for not being Christians. Atheists may be the ones that turn them away, but Christians are the ones who have not given them anything substantial to really be turning to.

In Christ,
Nick Peters