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Truth Tribe with Douglas GroothuisDouglas Groothuis
Truth Tribe with Douglas Groothuis is a podcast dedicated to finding the truth through reason, and evidence about what matters most. Our subjects include how to defend the Christian faith (through apologetics), biblical ethics, and social issues.
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The Crippling Effect of Anti-Intellectualism in Christianity
May 29, 2023 - 26 min
Systematic Theology and the Life of the Mind Few mistakes are more crippling to Christian witness within the Christian community than anti-intellectualism. Few theological errors violate more theological doctrines more radically. In his Pulitzer-Prize-winning work, Anti-Intellectualism and in American Life, historian Richard Hofstadter defined anti-intellectualism as a “resentment of the life of the mind, and those who are considered to represent it; and a disposition to constantly minimize the value of that life.” I agree, but will add a few nuances to this: An anti-intellectual demeans or even rejects the worth of reasons, arguments, and evidence in the shaping of individual beliefs and overall worldviews and holds in contempt or derision those who insist that the intellectual should be fed not starved. Few who read this message are in danger of anti-intellectualism, but many outside the Christian academy are in cognitive jeopardy. But this argument will further the defense of the sanctified intellect so that the mission of God will go forth in even greater power. Recommended Reading: Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind Os Guinness. Fit Bodies, Fat Minds. James Sire, Habits of the Mind P. Moreland, Love Your God With all Your Mind. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Adventures in Apologetics: Giving a Reason for My Hope in Christ
May 22, 2023 - 16 min
Apologetics is the practice of defending the Christian faith and responding to questions and objections raised by those who don't believe. Over many years of doing apologetics, I have had some remarkable apologetic encounters. Since converting in 1976 at age nineteen, I have labored to give the reasons for my hope in Christ to as many people as possible in as many formats as possible (1 Peter 3:15). I have written books and given lectures and sermons, of course, but some apologetics happens unexpectedly or in odd circumstances. That is part of the adventure of walking the narrow path of Jesus that leads of life (Matthew 7:13-14). These are mostly stories of apologetic encounters, not evangelistic successes. Although I have helped led some souls to become Christians (one is mentioned below), that has not been my great strength, although I press on, trying to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5). When it comes to being a Christian witness, prayer and preparation are essential. We are in a spiritual battle for ideas, and we must be ready to defend our faith in the face of opposition. As the Apostle Paul said, “We do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). My experiences have taught me that it is important to take people's questions seriously and to do the research necessary to be able to answer them. We must also be willing to pray for those we are trying to reach and to share the good news of the gospel with them. As Paul said, we must have the same zeal to make the gospel known to as many people as possible. We must be willing to share our faith, no matter the cost, trusting that God's love will break through any barrier. For more from Dr. Groothuis, visit DouglasGroothuis.com.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Defending Christian Education: Countering 10 Criticisms
May 15, 2023 - 13 min
Many arguments are marshaled against Christian schools and Christian home-schooling K-12. Those, such as myself who categorically reject state (public) education as anti-Christian, inefficient, and inherently unfair are in for some lively debates. The objections raised must be met. Recommended Reading: Blumenfeld, Samuel. Is Public Education Necessary? (Old Greenwich: The Devin-Adair Company, 1981), 263 pages. A scholarly and cogent treatment of the development of public education. Dissipates a score of popular misconceptions. Excellent. Hegseth, Peter and David Goodwin, The Battle for the American Mind (Broadside Books, 2022). Explains the nature and inherent problems in state education and proposes a Christian alternative. Gato, John Taylor, Weapons of Mass Instruction A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling (New Society Publishers, 2010). Rushdoony, Rousas John. The Messianic Character of American Education (Ross House books, reprint, 1995). A classic. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What You Need to Know about Transgender Ideology
May 8, 2023 - 16 min
An Argument for Traditional, Biblical Gender Categories and Against Transgender Ideology: Twenty Points Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy Denver Seminary Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. (Isaiah 8:20) The following is a step-by-step, logical argument for deriving a moral position on transgender ideology from the Bible, science, facts, and sound reasoning. If its conclusions are to be challenged, its premises must be denied, or the reasoning refuted. This argument does not address detailed public policy implications (except one) or how transgenderism should be addressed in church discipline or polity, but gives a foundation for further reflection. We should address first things first.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Should We Consider Jesus a Philosopher?
May 1, 2023 - 25 min
Jesus was many things, such as Lord and Messiah, but we may be hesitant to consider him a philosopher. I argue that given Jesus’ coherent worldview and skill at argumentation, it is wise to both consider him as a philosopher and to look to him for intellectual inspiration. I pay close attention to Jesus’ stellar reasoning abilities concerning two theological issues raised in Matthew 22. Resources Douglas Groothuis, On Jesus (USA: Wadsworth, 2003). Douglas Groothuis, “Jesus: Philosopher and Apologist,” Christian Research Journal (2009), https://www.equip.org/articles/jesus-philosopher-and-apologist. P. Moreland, Love Your God with All Your Mind, 2nd ed. (NavPress, 2013). James Sire, Habits of the Mind (InterVarsity Press, 2000). See chapter nine, “Jesus the Reasoner.” Dallas Willard, “Jesus, the Logician,” Christian Scholars Review XXVIII, no. 4 (1999). For more from Dr. Groothuis, visit DouglasGroothuis.com.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Against Abortion, for the Unborn
April 24, 2023 - 25 min
In this episode, Dr. Groothuis presents a biblical and logical argument against abortion and for the value of unborn human life. He begins by discussing Reproductive Health Equity Act before the Colorado State Congress, which would forbid any restriction on abortion and deny any moral value to the unborn. He argues that a fetus is a living being, not a potential life, and that it is a human being, not a potential human. He further argues that the unborn ought to be a recipient of legal protection, and that any life-taker carries the burden of proof. Dr. Groothuis condemns the bill as untrue, irrational, inhumane, and unjust and requests that it be voted down. Episode Timestamps: [00:01:35] The Intrinsic Value of Life. [00:05:12] Abortion laws in Colorado. [00:10:13] Fetus is a living human. [00:13:20] Abortion and personhood. [00:17:20] Abortion and morality. [00:21:28] Abortion and moral responsibility. Pro-life Organizations: Alternatives Pregnancy Center, Denver: http://youhavealternatives.org National Right to Life. Veteran pro-life group with an active, impressive website. 419 7th NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004. 202-626-8800. Web page: www.nrlc.org. Colorado Right to Life. http://www.coloradorighttolife.org. Care-Net. Evangelical ministry working to help unwed mothers choose life. 109 Carpenter Dr., Suite 100, Sterling, VA 20164. 703-478-5661. Web page: care-net.org. Feminists for Life. Drawing on historic, pro-life feminism, this group reaches many people that overtly Christian groups do not. 733 15th NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005. 202-737-FFLA. Web page: www.feministsforlife.org For more from Dr. Groothuis, visit DouglasGroothuis.com.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
How Apologetics Aids Our Spiritual Formation
April 17, 2023 - 17 min
"My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…" - Galatians 4:19. Apologetics is the discipline of defending the Christian faith as objectively true, rational, and applicable to life (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3). This ministry requires a life attuned to the Spirit of God. Apologetics is a spiritual discipline of study that requires the fruit of the Holy Spirit for its integrity and effectiveness. The apologist thus needs humility and studiousness in his or her efforts to explain, commend, and defend the Christian worldview. Reading Jacques Barzun, The House of the Intellect. Harper, 2002 reprint. Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind. Servant, 1963. Os Guinness, Fit Bodies, Fat Minds. Baker, 1994. Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics, 2nd InterVarsity Pres, 2022, Richard Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life. InterVarsity Press, 1979. George Marsden, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship. Eerdmans, 1998. P. Moreland, Love Your God With all Your Mind, 2nd ed. NavPress, 2013. P. Moreland, Finding Quiet. Zondervan, 2019. I. Packer, Knowing God. InterVarsity Press, 1973. Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book. Eerdmans, 2008. John Piper, Think. Crossway, 2011. Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality. Tyndale, 1972 Francis Schaeffer, The God Who is There. InterVarsity, 1968. James Sire, Habits of the Mind. InterVarsity Press, 2000. Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart. NavPress, 2002. Dallas Willard, Knowing Christ Today. HarperOne, 2014. For more from Douglas Groothuis, visit DouglasGroothuis.com.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jesus and Buddha
April 10, 2023 - 15 min
I. Truth and Religion A. Framing the great debate on religion and spiritualityTaking objective truth seriously in a pluralistic, postmodern setting B. The appeal of the oneness claim (all religions teach basically the same thing): religious strife is eliminated. But this must be logically tested. II. What are Truth Claims in Religion? A. Defining the nature of truth: that which corresponds to objective reality. For more on this, see Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay (InterVarsity Press, 2000), chapter four. B. Defining a truth-claim: a statement that claims to describe objective reality C. The logic of truth-claims—rules of the intellectual system, rational analysis 1. The law of noncontradiction: A is not non-A (contradictory statements cannot both be true; nothing possesses contradictory properties) 2. Examples of the law of noncontradiction in religious truth-claims a. Buddha cannot be enlightened and not enlightened at the same time; the claim is that he became enlightened. b. Jesus cannot be the Christ (Messiah) and not be the Christ (Messiah). The claim is he always was the Messiah. c. If what Buddha affirms about reality contradicts what Jesus affirms about reality, then both Buddha’s and Jesus’ view of reality cannot be true. They could both be false if some other worldview is true. A. This fundamental law of logic is a necessary assumption for all rational discourse. III. Similarities Between Jesus and Buddha A. Both are world-historical founders of major religions B. Their lives are enshrined in sacred texts C. Both exhibited profound compassion and gathered followers D. Both emphasized the need to find enduring peace E. Both taught basic ethical teachings on love and respect, versions of the Golden Rule IV. Jesus and Buddha: Key Differences of Worldview A. Do two major religions agree on core issues or disagree? If they disagree, they cannot be one in essence; cannot both true B. Documents on Jesus and Buddha 1. Buddha: Large body of texts far removed in history from life of Buddha. Miracles are not central to the message (dharma) of Buddha. 2. Jesus: Four Gospels (and the rest of the New Testament) are written a few decades after Jesus’ time on earth by eyewitnesses or those who consulted them. Miracles are central to the message of Jesus. See Douglas Groothuis, On Jesus, chapter two. C. The worldview of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha (ca. 566-486 BCE) 1. Ultimate reality or the sacred—atheistic or agnostic on God; but nirvana exists 2. The human condition—suffering is due to craving and ignorance 3. Spiritual liberation/salvation a. “Four noble truths”—freedom from craving through insight into the cause of suffering 1. Life is suffering2. Suffering is caused by craving3. The cessation of craving leads to liberation4. The way of liberation is through the Eightfold path b. The Eightfold path—wisdom, ethical conduct, mental discipline c. The afterlife: reincarnation/karma or nirvana (release from reincarnation) D. The worldview of Jesus, the Christ (Messiah) 1. Ultimate reality—a personal and moral Creator God (Matthew 22:37-39) 2. Human condition—image bearers of God estranged from God (Mark 7:21-23; See Romans 3:14-26 also) 3. Spiritual liberation/salvation a. Repentance; turning from self-centeredness (sin) to God’s authority (Matthew 4:1: Luke 24:45-47) b. Belief and trust in Jesus himself for eternal life (John 1:12-13; 3:16; 14:6; Romans 10:9). You have to do something with Jesus c. The redemptive power of the suffering death (Cross) of Jesus Christ (Matthew 20:28; 25-28; Romans 5:6-8) 4. The afterlife: Either fellowship with God and the redeemed or eternal punishment (Matthew 25:31-46) E. Two momentous lives compared 1. Buddha—a sage, teacher, and reformer. Sought enlightenment through knowledge and experience; shared this with others 2. Jesus—claimed to be God in human form (unrepeatable) a. Never sought enlightenment, but began ministry in power and confidence (Matthew 4) b. Offered to provide forgiveness for sin against a holy God (Mark 2:1-12; John 3:16-18) c. Claimed to be one with a personal God (John 8:58; John 10:22-31) IV. Conclusion: Between Jesus and Buddha— Gospel or Dharma? A. Buddhism and Christianity cannot both be true; they contradict each other on crucial matters of worldview and spirituality: A cannot be non-A (the law of noncontradiction) B. Objective truth
Jesus and Mohammad
April 3, 2023 - 16 min
Full show notes at https://www.lifeaudio.com/truth-tribe-with-douglas-groothuis/episodes Religious Founders The concern for truth and rationality Truth: what corresponds to reality. See Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay. Rationality: testing truth-claims logically and by the evidence Categories of analysis: Sources of information, life, worldview, existential meaning Jesus (0-33 AD) Source of knowledge: the New Testament: Gospels, Acts, Epistles, Revelation Gospels: Written by eyewitnesses or those who consulted them Synoptic gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke—approximately 70-80 AD; John: 90 AD Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught—Luke 1:1-4. Epistles of Paul: written in 50s AD; probably before the Gospels. See I Corinthians 15:1-8 on the gospel and resurrection of Jesus Jesus’ life Jewish itinerate teacher, preacher, prophet, healer, exorcist Taught the Kingdom of God has come (Matthew 4:17) Was crucified by the Romans Was worshiped by followers as resurrected from the dead (Romans 1:3-4) Jesus’ worldview God: monotheism; Heavenly Father and Creator Human problem: sin (Mark 7:21-23) Solution to human problem: faith in Jesus’s work (John 3:16-18) Jesus as God Incarnate (Mark 2; John 8:58); second person of the Trinity (Matthew 28:18-20) Existential meaning Forgiveness, fellowship, meaning through Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:33; 1 Corinthians 15:58) Confidence in life and death (Romans 8) Mohammad (570-632) Source: Koran (and Hadith and Sunna) Koran: One book received by one man from an angel; not written down by Mohammad, but others later 114 chapters: about the size of The New Testament Reinterprets Hebrew Bible and New Testament Hadith: commentary on Koran; Sunna: life of Mohammad Mohammad’s life Received a revelation while meditating in a cave in 610 AD. Considered the last and greatest of the prophets: “seal of the prophets.” Life: Mecca and Medina Was a military, political, and spiritual leader after returning to Mecca from Medina Mohammad’s worldview One God: Allah, monotheism Say (O Muhammad): He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.—Qur’an, Sura 112. Human problem: weakness, ignorance Human solution: confess Allah and obey his law Existential meaning Strive for paradise, avoid hell Keep precepts: confession of faith, giving, pilgrimage to Mecca, observe Ramadan, pray five times daily Extend the Islam throughout the world, so that all obey Allah’s law (sharia) Rational Assessment of Jesus and Mohammad The sources for Christ more varied and rooted in history than the sources for Mohammad. Mohammad’s claim to being a prophet is questionable, given his denial of the identity of Jesus (not God) and his denial of the biblical gospel (Galatians 1:6-11) Claims of Mohammad based on the beauty of Koran and the early success of Islam Beauty is not the same as truth; some scholars claim it is not beautiful, but confusing. That is why Hadith is needed to interpret it. The success of Islam does not argue in its favor, since might does not make right Claims of Jesus are based on historical documents close to the events described (four Gospels) Qur’an and New Testament agree that: Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (Qur'an, Surah 3:38-48) Jesus was a messenger (Qur’an, Surah 5:75) Jesus is sinless (Qur’an, Surah 19:9) Jesus was “the Messiah” (Qur’an, Surah 4:171) Jesus was “a word from God” (Qur’an, Surah 4:171) Jesus worked miracles (Qur’an, Surah 3:49) Jesus ascended to heaven (Qur’an, Surah 4:148) Jesus will come again—Second Coming (Qur’an, Surah 43:61) Koran and New Testament disagree on whether or not Jesus claimed to be God (John 8:58; 10:30); Apostles claimed this as well (John 1:1-3; Colossians 2:9); contra: Qur’an 19:20, 24; 11
Jesus and the New Age
March 27, 2023 - 13 min
I. THE IMPORTANCE OF JESUS A. The Jesus question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-16) 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. B. The danger of false views of Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:1-4) 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. C. The need to defend the true Jesus (1 Peter 3:15-16) II. THE REAL JESUS: BIBLICAL BASICS A. Jesus’ unique deity 1. Jesus’ own words (Mark 2:1-10, 23-28; John 8:58) 2. Apostolic authority (Colossians 2:8-9) 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority B. Jesus’ true humanity (John 1:14) C. Jesus as the only Savior and Lord 1. Jesus’ words (John 14:1-6) 2. Apostolic authority (1 Timothy 2:5-6) D. Jesus as the only basis for salvation by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Romans 5:8-10) III. THE JESUS OF THE NEW SPIRITUALITY (NEW AGE) A. The New Age world view: pantheism (all is God) monism (all is one) B. The New Age view of Jesus (see 1 John 4:1-6) 1. Enlightened master, guru, adept, yogi, swami 2. Jesus is separate from the impersonal “Christ Consciousness” 3. Jesus is not uniquely God in the flesh--one of many spiritual examples (see Acts 4:12) 4. Jesus’ crucifixion not redemptive (see Colossians 1:22) 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8). 5. Jesus’ resurrection is not literal (see 1 Corinthians 15) 6. Jesus’ second coming is not personal and physical (see Acts 1:1-11) 7. The Bible is not the final authority on Jesus: other sources replace it (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17) a. Other supposedly historical documents (Gnostic, etc.) b. Channeled material (A Course in Miracles) c. Near-death experiences (Betty Eadie, Embraced by the Light) 8. Esoteric interpretation of Scripture: texts out of context as pretexts for theological and spiritual error (see 2 Peter 3:15-16) V. DEFENDING THE REAL JESUS TODAY A. Spiritual warfare and prayer (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-20) B. Communicating the real Jesus to those who are confused (1 Corinthians 8:5-6) We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. C. Defending the reliability of the New Testament (Luke 1:1-4; 2 Peter 1:16) D. Counting on the power of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4; Ephesians 1:18-23) VI. RESOURCES FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLICAL JESUS Books: 1. Douglas Groothuis, Jesus in an Age of Controversy (Wipf and Stock, 2002), Confronting the New Age (InterVarsity, 1988), Deceived by the Light (Wipf
Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary. He is the author of fifteen books, including Fire in the Streets (Salem, 2022) and Christian Apologetics, 2nd ed. (InterVarsity Academic, 2022).
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