Truth Tribe with Douglas Groothuis
Listen on Your Favorite App

Truth Tribe with Douglas Groothuis

Douglas 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.
Listen on Your Favorite App

The Enneagram and a Heretic’s Christ
July 8, 2024 - 38 min
In this episode, Dr. Doug Groothuis delves into the teachings of Richard Rohr, a key figure in the Enneagram movement. Dr. Grothuis, an experienced Christian apologist, explores Rohr's worldview and theology to determine if they align with historical biblical Christianity. Listeners are taken on a journey to understand whether Rohr's beliefs about reality and biblical truth reflect the Christ of the Bible or a distorted version. Dr. Grothuis draws from his background in discernment, offering insights into the potential pitfalls of following teachings that may not be in line with traditional Christian doctrines. Testing the spirits and discerning false teachings is crucial in maintaining a solid foundation in biblical truth. As discussed in the podcast episode, the Apostle John in 1 John 4:1-4 warns believers not to believe every spirit but to test them to see if they are from God. This caution is essential because there are many false prophets and teachings in the world. The episode emphasizes the importance of comparing teachings to the truths found in the Bible. It highlights the need to have a deep knowledge of scripture to discern false teachings effectively. The transcript mentions various biblical passages that warn about false prophets, false apostles, and deceitful workers who may masquerade as messengers of Christ. By testing teachings against the Word of God, believers can identify discrepancies and falsehoods. Furthermore, the episode stresses the significance of understanding the true doctrine of God, Christ, and salvation to recognize counterfeit teachings. By knowing the authentic biblical teachings, individuals can easily spot false doctrines that deviate from Christianity's core beliefs. Richard Rohr's worldview and theology significantly deviate from historical biblical Christianity. One of the key deviations is Rohr's denial of the fundamental doctrine of the creator-creation distinction. In historical biblical Christianity, there is a clear metaphysical distinction between the eternal, self-existent Creator and the finite creation. However, Rohr, influenced by pantheistic or panentheistic beliefs, blurs this distinction by suggesting that everything is divine or that the world itself is divine. This denial of the creator-creation distinction undermines the core biblical understanding of God as the sovereign Creator distinct from His creation. Furthermore, Richard Rohr's teachings also challenge the essential doctrine of atonement through Christ. In traditional biblical Christianity, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is central to the redemption and reconciliation of humanity with God. Christ's sacrificial death is understood as the atoning sacrifice for human sin, demonstrating God's love and justice. However, Rohr's theology dismisses the significance of Christ's death as a necessary act to rectify the problem of human sin. He downplays the concept of Christ's death as a substitutionary sacrifice required by God's offended justice, which is a core tenet of historical biblical Christianity. Rohr's teachings also distort the understanding of Jesus Christ himself. He misinterprets biblical passages, such as John 14:6, where Jesus unequivocally states, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Rohr attempts to reinterpret this to fit his universalist perspective, suggesting that it refers to a universal essence rather than the person of Jesus Christ. This misinterpretation undermines the unique role of Jesus as the only way to salvation, as emphasized in traditional Christian doctrine. In conclusion, Richard Rohr's theology presents a distorted version of historical biblical Christianity by denying key doctrines such as the creator-creation distinction and the atonement through Christ. His teachings reflect a syncretistic approach that blends elements of various non-Christian worldviews with Christian terminology, leading to a departure from the core beliefs and teachings of traditional Christianity. To combat false teachings like those of Richard Rohr, it is crucial to have a strong foundation in biblical knowledge, active participation in a Bible-believing church, and reliance on the Holy Spirit for discernment. Dr. Doug Groteis emphasizes the importance of knowing and studying the Bible to discern false teachings. He highlights the need to be familiar with the Scriptures to recognize when teachings deviate from biblical truths. By understanding the true doctrine of God, Christ, and salvation, individuals can spot counterfeit teachings that distort these foundational beliefs. For more on Rohr, see Douglas Groothuis, “A Heretic’s Christ, a False Salvation,” Christian Research Journal at equip.org.    Discover more Christian podcasts at lifeaudio.com and inquire about advertising opportunities at <a href="http
How to Defend Your Faith: Developing Your Apologetic Method
July 1, 2024 - 59 min
Come let us reason together, says the Lord—Isaiah 1:18 I. The Imperative to Do Apologetics A. Defend Christianity as objective true, compellingly rational, and existentially pertinent to all of life (1 Peter 3:15) B. Consider apologetic method, but don’t fixate on it. Know your epistemology! C. Fideism: defense by not engaging in the battle 1. Cannot dispense with logic and keep your head 2. Scripture challenges us to engage apologetically (chapter 2) 3. History is replete with good apologists: Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Pascal, C.S. Lewis, etc. D. Take it to the streets: apologetics without works is dead (James 2) II. The Laws of Logic A. God and logic (John 1:1-2) B. Noncontradiction: A cannot be non-A 1. To deny it, is to affirm it: “The law is false.” 2. Light-particle duality (physics) does not break it 3. Existential conflict is not a violation of the law C. Excluded middle: Either A or non-A 1. Jesus is Lord or not 2. Buddha was enlightened or not 3. Things being “gray” does not refute excluded middle D. Bivalence: statements are true or false; not neither, not bothWhat if sentences have many meanings? That is a matter of interpretation (epistemology), not truth or falsity E. Identity: A=A 1. Used to refute physicalism about mind and brain (more in chapter 17) 2. “I’m not myself today” does not break it F. Forms of argument: induction, deduction, abduction (best explanation); logical fallacies (ad hominem, circular reasoning, false dichotomy, etc.) III. Worldview Hypothesis Evaluation A. Christianity as a hypothesis or worldview B. Build a cumulative case using many lines of argument 1. Biblical basis for apologetics2. Objective truth is real and knowable3. Explain the Christian worldview4. Theistic arguments: cosmological, design, moral, ontological, religious experience5. Reliability of the Bible6. Identity of Jesus Christ: claims, credentials, achievements C. Present the case carefully, point by point 1. Know the Christian worldview (chapter 4) 2. Know what the worldview rivals are: live hypotheses 3. Know the plausibility structure of your culture (Peter Berger, A Rumor of Angels) 4. Present Christian worldview as intellectually superior to other by testing it according to rational, objective criteria 5. Do not make the criteria internal to Christianity; if so, no apologetics is possible, because you can have no common ground. D. Constructive or positive apologetics: Arguments in support of Christian theism E. Two kinds of negative apologetics 1. Rebut, defeat attacks on Christianity 2. Show the rational weaknesses in other worldviews IV. Criteria for Worldview Evaluation: Play Fair, Play Smart A. This is epistemology: our philosophy of knowledge 1. Truth: correspondence view 2. Knowledge: justified true belief (internalism) B. Criteria are applied in other areas of life and are intuitively credible C. The eight criteria for worldview assessment (pages 53-60) 1. Should explain things adequately without excessive opacity 2. Internal logical consistency 3. Coherence: the web of beliefs is consistent4. Factual adequacy: history, science, human experience 5. Existential viability (not pragmatic theory of truth; see chapter 6) 6. Intellectual, cultural fecundity (fruitfulness) 7. No radical ad hoc adjustment of the worldview 8. Simpler explanations are preferred to complex ones, all things being equal V. The Limits of Apologetics A. Bible itself can be difficult to explain and defend; be patient; study well Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction—2 Peter 3:15-16 B. Our weaknesses as sinners: we may hold the truth poorly Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers—1 Timothy 4:16. C. God’s providence may convert people with or without the kind of apologetics we can offer Resources 1. Kenneth Boa, Robert Bowman, Faith Has it’s Reasons, 2nd ed. (InterVarsity Press, 2006).2. Steven Cowan, ed., Five Views of Apologetics (Zondervan, 2000).3. Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case
Is God Hidden? Why An All-Good, All-Powerful God Seems Hidden to Many
June 24, 2024 - 26 min
Is God hidden? The debate rages on. From Pascal to Nietzsche, philosophers have grappled with the idea of divine hiddenness. But could self-deception play a role in why some find it hard to see God's presence? In this episode of Truth Tribe, I explore the concept of self-deception and how it may influence our perception of God's existence. Could our desires and motivations be clouding our ability to see the evidence around us? The fool says in their heart, “There is no God’ (Psalm 14:1). If I saw no sign [in nature] of Divinity I should decide on a negative solution: if I saw signs of a Creator everywhere, I should peacefully settle down in faith. But, seeing too much to deny and not enough to affirm, I am in a pitiful state, where I have wished a hundred times over that, if there is a God supporting nature, she should unequivocally proclaim him, and that, if the signs in nature are deceptive, they should be completely erased; that nature should say all or nothing so that I could see what course I ought to follow.[1] - Voice of a skeptic in Pascal’s Pensées. Here are three key takeaways from this thought-provoking episode: The Existence of Honest Atheists: The episode discusses the argument that if God truly exists as all-good and all-powerful, there would be no honest atheists. However, the conversation delves into the idea that there are indeed honest atheists who are rationally justified in their unbelief. This challenges the notion that all atheists are simply in denial. The Logic of Self-Deception: One of the fascinating points raised in the episode is the concept of self-deception. It explores how individuals may deny the evidence for God due to various motivations, desires for autonomy, and the pursuit of alternative idols. The discussion sheds light on the psychological and philosophical aspects of self-deception in the context of belief in God. Prudence in Seeking God: Despite the perceived hiddenness of God, the episode emphasizes the importance of prudence in seeking God. Drawing from Pascal's wager, the idea that there is much to gain by believing in God and potentially much to lose by not believing is highlighted. The episode encourages listeners to continue seeking God, even in moments when His presence may seem elusive. Discover more Christian podcasts at lifeaudio.com and inquire about advertising opportunities at lifeaudio.com/contact-us.
To Judge or Not to Judge? What Matthew 7 Tells Us about Judging Jesus’ Way
June 17, 2024 - 24 min
Is it okay for Christians to judge other people? In some Bible passages, it seems like there is a place for judgment; in other parts of Scripture, not so much. Dr. Groothuis emphasizes the importance of evaluating oneself against the standard of Scripture before passing judgment on others. The key principle highlighted is to first reflect on one's actions, attitudes, and beliefs in order to cultivate humility and ensure that judgments are made with love and grace. Drawing from Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, the speaker instructs followers to address their own faults before pointing out those of others. This analogy stresses the need for self-awareness and self-correction before engaging in judgment. By acknowledging personal shortcomings, individuals can approach others with empathy, understanding, and humility. Judging Jesus’ Way: Matthew 7:1-5"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."  I.    Who Are Christians in the World? How do we represent God and the gospel today? How are we judged by the watching world? Judicious or censorious? Measured in judgment or reactive? Wise or foolish? II.    Some Judgments Against Christians A.    They are too judgmentalB.    They are legalisticC.    They are high and mightyD.    They are holier than thouE.    Specifics: they are homophobic, transphobic, heteronormative, colonialist, and more F.    This is sometimes correct—but we must judge, just as those who have judged usG.    They may mean: “Shut up, so we can sin in peace.” H. Jesus shows us how to judge with his master principle for judgment: judge yourself according to the right standard; then judge others in love III.    The Logic of Judgment A.    A judgment is a personal evaluation of a state of affairs—moral or non-moral B.    A judgment is always made according to a standard—implicit or explicit  C.    We must judge 1.    “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” — Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV) 2.    Judgments about moral worth of the unborn, for example; judgments about sexual ethics and identity IV.    Judging Jesus’ Way A.    The standard is the Bible rightly interpreted and applied B.    Jesus gave many judgments, some quite harsh: one of seven “woes” or condemning judgment against teachers of the law and Pharisees 1.    Condemnation (Matthew 23:15). 2.    Gentle rebuke (Matthew 6:30) C.    Jesus had a perfect character, so all his judgments were correct and given in the right spirit; it is harder for us. V.    Do Not JudgeVs. 1-2: Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.1.    The Greek for judge (krino) means condemnation or being judgmental or censoriousBill Mounce: “to assume censorial power over, to call to account, Mt. 7:1.”2.    Warning: the judgment comes back on you, like a boomerang; you think you are on the bench as a judge, but you are also in the dock as the accused (John Stott)VI.    Two White Hot Questions from Jesus3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?1.    Kind of question with an assumed answer: You should not do this.2.    Why do you look without and not look within? Speck in another, log in your own? Initial judgment.3.    Why do you want to remove the speck and not remove the plank in your own eye? Action based on the judgment, spoken or unspoken.Avoid being a moral busybody (2 Peter 4:15).VII.    Avoiding Hypocrisy; Making a Sound Judgment A.    V. 5: You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.B.    Jesus makes (1) accusation, (2) command, and (3) promise1.    Accusation: Hypocrite: play actor; imposter, phony, charlatan. Used four times in Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)a.    Not that you fail to live up to your standard of God’s standard. We all do that—except Jesus Christ, who was sinless and morally perfect.
Pascal's Compelling Case for the Christian Faith
June 10, 2024 - 73 min
Blaise Pascal’s Case for Christianity I.    The Genius of Blaise Pascal  A.    Amazing life of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) B.    Pascal as an apologist; not a fideist (unlike Soren Kierkegaard) C.    Nature of apologetics. Defend the Christian worldview as objectively true, compellingly rational, and pertinent to all of life (1 Peter 3:15) II.    Pascal’s Case for Christianity A.    His apologetic be reconstructed. Order. Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true. The cure for this is first to show that religion is not contrary to reason, but worthy of reverence and respect. Next make it attractive, make good men wish it were true, and then show that it is. Worthy of reverence because it really understands human nature. Attractive because it promises true good.  B.    We consider only two elements: the wager and the deposed royalty argument; there are more. See Douglas Groothuis, Beyond the Wager: the Christian Brilliance of Blaise Pascal (InterVarsity Academic, 2024).   III.    The Wager: Risks, Rewards, Options A.    We should bet on God being rule instead of betting on God’s unreality in light of the possible consequences.     I should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true.  B.    Theoretical reason: Is P true? How can I know this? C.    Prudential reason: What do I gain or lose by believing P? What actions should I pursue on this matter? D.    The outcomes and belief states 1.    Believer, if Christian God exists:Gain: eternal life; avoid hell. Infinite gainLoss: worldly pleasures. Finite loss 2.    Believer, if Christian God does not exist:Gain: pleasures of religion. Finite gain    Loss: worldly pleasures and truth. Finite loss 3.    Unbeliever (atheist or agnostic or member of other religion), if Christian God exists:Gain: worldly pleasures. Finite gainLoss: eternal life; gain hell, infinite loss 4.    Unbeliever, if Christian God does not exist:Gain: worldly pleasures. Finite gainLoss: nothing. E.    Given the stakes, we should investigate the claims of Christianity with an open mind and open heart and not be indifferent.  There are only three sorts of people: those who have found God and serve him; those who are busy seeking him and have not found him; those who live without either seeking or finding him. The first are reasonable and happy, the last are foolish and unhappy, those in the middle are unhappy and reasonable.   IV.    The Human Problem and Puzzle A.    What sort of freak then is man! How novel, how monstrous, how chaotic, how paradoxical, how prodigious! Judge of all things, feeble earthworm, repository of truth, sink of doubt and error, the glory and refuse of the universe! (131/434). B.    How to live with the human burden in light of reality; “deposed royalty” who can be restored through Jesus Christ C.    What are the options? We will look at two “live hypotheses” V.    A True, Rational, and Significant Explanation. A.    True explanation of the human condition: one that agrees with objective reality; factual; realism. B.    Rational explanation: one that explains who we are in accordance with the evidence and sound reasoning. C.    Significant explanation: one that gives us value, meaning, and realistic hope for being human in the world. Philosophical anthropology is a very important part of any worldview. D.    Manner of explanation: abduction (inference to best explanation)   VI.    Views of Being Human: The New Age Worldview A.    New Age or spiritual worldview: Ken Wilber, Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra  1.    Background belief on humanity a.    Pantheism: everything is divine. b.    Monism: all is one (or nondualism) c.    Morality is not absolute, but good and evil dissolve into a universal and impersonal oneness. 2.    New Age view on humanity a.    Human nature is really a divine nature: we are one with an impersonal deity. b.    Human problem: we have forgotten our true identity as divine, one with all things, and unlimited. c.    Human solution: Find the divine within through meditation, yoga, self-realization seminars. 3.    Questioning New Age philosophy a.    Human beings are limited in power and goodness; this is evident and not a delusion or matter of ignorance. b.    There are moral realities that reveal a moral dualism: good and evil; right and wrong; virtue and vice. Rape is always wrong; kindness is better than wanton cruelty. VII.    Christianity: Deposed Royality A.    Background belief: personal theism—God as Creator, Lord, Judge B.    Pascal’s point can be strengthened by
Overcoming Spiritual Opposition: Lessons from Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13
June 3, 2024 - 42 min
FINDING POWER OVER ERRORACTS 13:1-12 I.      The Desperate Need: Power in Gospel Outreach A.    Truth decay and the reality of spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18) B.    Handling opposition in evangelism and apologetics C.    Finding spiritual power for the proclamation and defense of the gospel II.     The Spreading Flame: The Acts of the Holy Spirit A.    The birth of the church through the work of Jesus Christ, Lord of all. B.    Jesus: “You will receive power from the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:8; John 14:16-17) C. Beginning of great gospel adventures—and conflicts (Acts 14:22) III.     Preparation for Ministry (Acts 13:1-3) A.    Prophets and teachers: Spirit-empowered ministry positions B.    Multi-ethnic ministry (Galatians 3:26-28) C.    Fasting and prayer before God and with the church (Acts 2:42; 3:1; 4:24; 6:4; 10:31; 14:23; 28:8) D.    Prayer and fasting in the ministry of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-2; 6:16-18; 9:5) E.    God’s corporate call for mission (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:45-49: Acts 1:8) F.    Paul’s individual call to mission (Acts 9:1-19; Galatians 1:11-24) His first excursion to the Gentiles G.    Power principle #1: We need a God-ward orientation to discern God’s call to mission and to receive God’s power over error. H.    Power principle #2: We need the wisdom of the church to discern God’s call to mission and to receive God’s power over error. IV.     Beginning the Mission (Acts 13:4-5) A.    The importance of Paul’s first mission; door opened to the Gentiles B.    Sent out by the Holy Spirit (second reference to the Holy Spirit) C.    Proclaimed the Word of God by the Spirit (2 Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrews 4:12) D.    John was their helper (Romans 12:8; 1 Corinthians 12:28) E.    Power principle #3: We need to proclaim God’s word to find power over error. F.    Power principle #4: Behind the scenes helpers are vital for powerful ministry. V.     The Power of Error: Enter the Sorcerer (Acts 13:6-8)     A.    Team traveled a long distance for the gospel; sacrifice (Matthew 10:37-38) B.    Bar-Jesus: Jewish sorcerer and false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:9-14, 20; Acts 8:9-11; Revelation 22:15) C.    Sergius Paulus: intelligent Roman political leader. Wanted to hear the Word of God. This is an open door for the gospel. Considering Sergius Paulus’s authority, the mission team probably could not have refused his offer; that adds extra pressure.  D.    Elymas wants to shut the open door for the gospel. Conflict and controversy ensue.  E.    Power principle #5: The power of error opposes the truth of the gospel. VI.     Power Over Error: Enter Paul (Acts 13:9-11) A.    Saul, called Paul (Roman version of the Semitic Saul) B.    “Filled with the Holy Spirit” (third reference to the Holy Spirit) C.    Stared him down with condemning truth. He is a: 1.    Child of the devil (John 8:44) 2.    Enemy of everything right (Matthew 13:39) 3.    Full of deceit and trickery (Matthew 13:19) 4.    Paul’s question…not answered by the sorcerer. 5.    Blinded, for a time (Isaiah 44:25-26) D.    Power principle #6: A Spirit-filled and biblical-informed Christian challenges error courageously. VII.     Power Over Error in Evangelism (Acts 13:12) A.    Sergius Paulus was amazed at God’s truth and power; he believed B.    Miracles and teaching work together through the Holy Spirit, all backed by prayer and holy living. C.    Power principle #7: God’s work in God’s way finds power over error, but this does not eliminate hardships and setbacks in our mission (Acts 14:22). VIII.     Finding Power Over Error Today A.    Spirit-led and biblically informed mission generates opposition to its mandate.  B.    Prepare for spiritual opposition as you explain, proclaim, and defend the gospel. C.    Applying these seven power principles today 1.    Find godly fellowship (Acts 2:42) 2.    Seek God in prayer and fasting (Matthew 6:16-18) 3.    Study and share God’s Word (Psalm 119; 2 Timothy 3:15-17) 4.    Expect opposition and controversy (Matthew 10:34-39) 5.    Find humble helpers—and be a humble helper 6.    Expose error courageously in God’s timing (Joshua 1:6-9) 7.    Expect God to vindicate God’s truth, but not without hardships. Recommended reading: 1.    Sharon Beekman, Silencing Satan (Wipf and Stock, 2012). Major academic study by one who understands the demonic world by experience and through study as a Christian. 2.    Mark Bubeck, Overcoming the Adversary (Moody Press, 1984). On spiritual warfare. An updated version is called Warfare Prayer.3.    Ajith Fernando. The NIV Application Commentary: Acts (Zonderv
Witnessing to the Truth: The Role of the Holy Spirit
May 27, 2024 - 41 min
Exploring the theme of "Power for True Witness," Dr. Groothuis delivers a sermon at Littleton Christian Church, diving into Acts 1-8 and John 14, 16-17 to discuss the biblical concept of truth, Jesus as the way, truth, and life, and the empowerment to share this truth through the Holy Spirit. The episode highlights Dr. Groothuis' extensive experience in philosophy and academia, celebrating his 31-year tenure at Denver Seminary and his upcoming role at Cornerstone University in Michigan. Discover more Christian podcasts at lifeaudio.com and inquire about advertising opportunities at lifeaudio.com/contact-us.
4 Questions Students Must Ask to Avoid Writing Fluff
May 20, 2024 - 10 min
What is Fluff? Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. (Ecclesiastes 12:9-10, NIV). Harry Frankfurt in On BS: The BS-er…is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.[1] Fluff is whatever is extraneous, superfluous, or unseemly. Fluff is the opposite of the substantial or the fundamental. Physical fluff is never desired and easily floats away. No one wants it, unless it is in a pillow, perhaps. Some students pad their papers in order to meet word requirements. Such padding is always fluff and may involve going down rabbit trails unrelated to the thesis of the writing. Much fluff today is autobiographical, and there are far too many memoirs.[2] Entire books may be autobiographical fluff, such as the egregious Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller and myriad others.[3] Contemporary writers often cannot resist talking about themselves even when it is irrelevant to the point they should be making. One of the great principles of the classic writing guide, Elements of Style, is to keep yourself in the background. This is what Strunk and White write: Write in a way that draws the reader’s attention to the sense and substance of the writing, rather than to the mood and temper of the author. If the writing is solid and good, the mood and temper of the writer will eventually be revealed and not at the expense of the work. Therefore, the first piece of advice is this: to achieve style, begin by affecting none—that is, place yourself in the background.[4] Exhibitionism is one of the great sins and blind spots of our age. Consider Victor Frankl’s comments about why he reluctantly decided not to anonymously publish his classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning: "I had intended to write this book anonymously, using my prison number only. But when the manuscript was completed, I saw that as an anonymous publication, it would lose half its value and that I must have the courage to state my convictions openly. I therefore refrained from deleting any of the passages, in spite of an intense dislike of exhibitionism."[5] Fluff may also be unseemly, which may or may not include gratuitous personal references. The unseemly is what is inappropriate—the lude, crude, or rude. What Paul applies to speech should be applied to writing. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). To tighten it up: Fluff is what is unnecessary in a piece of writing, either due to BS, redundancy, exhibitionism, or literary boorishness. Fluff can be avoided by removing unnecessary content, by keeping yourself in the background, and by being polite. To avoid fluff, ask yourself these questions: Am I aiming at objective truth? Have I written more than is needed? Have I said too much about myself? Have I been off-putting or offensive to my reader? [1] Frankfurt, Harry G. On Bullshit (p. 56). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition. [2] I wrote a memoir, which I attempted to justify in the first chapter. Douglas Groothuis, “Introduction,” Walking Through Twilight: A Wife’s Illness—A Philosopher’s Lament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2017). [3] Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz (New York: Harper Horizon, 2003). The first paragraph of page 103 is the most absurd and egregious collection of falsehoods I have encountered. [4] Strunk JR., William; White, E.B. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. Pandora's Box. Kindle Edition. [5] Frankl, Viktor E. Man's Search for Meaning (pp. 6-7). Beacon Press. Kindle Edition. Discover more Christian podcasts at lifeaudio.com and inquire about advertising opportunities at lifeaudio.com/contact-us.
The Atonement of Christ: 5 Essential Elements Every Believer Should Understand
May 13, 2024 - 47 min
In today's special episode, we delve into the profound topic of Christ's atoning work on the cross, a cornerstone of Christian theology. I had the privilege of sharing a sermon I recently delivered at the Reformed Baptist Church of Northern Colorado, where we explored the essential elements of atonement through a theological lens. During the sermon, I discussed the multifaceted aspects of atonement, including propitiation, expiation, redemption, justification, and the victory over evil forces, all of which underscore the comprehensive nature of Christ's sacrifice. This discussion was enriched with scriptural references and theological insights, aiming to deepen our understanding of these doctrines and their implications for our faith and daily lives. Moreover, I addressed several common objections to the doctrine of atonement, providing thoughtful rebuttals to ensure that we, as believers, are equipped to defend our faith effectively. The sermon also emphasized the importance of evangelism and the assurance of salvation, encouraging us to live out our faith boldly and share the transformative power of the Gospel with others. This episode is not just a reflection on theological concepts but a call to action to embrace the full implications of Christ's work on the cross, ensuring it resonates deeply in our personal and communal spiritual lives. Join us as we explore these truths and their enduring impact on our journey of faith. For those interested in a deeper exploration of Christian apologetics and the atonement, I recommend checking out my book, "Christian Apologetics," where I delve further into these topics. Thank you for tuning in to Truth Tribe. If you found this episode enlightening, please consider sharing it with others and joining us again as we continue to seek and celebrate the truth about the things that matter most. Discover more Christian podcasts at lifeaudio.com and inquire about advertising opportunities at lifeaudio.com/contact-us.
30 Simple Steps You Can Take Today to Be a Better Public Speaker
May 6, 2024 - 8 min
Stepping into the world of public speaking can be daunting. Whether you're a newbie feeling the jitters or a seasoned pro looking to fine-tune your skills, we've got thirty simple tips you can do today to immediately level up your public speaking game. From taming those butterflies in your stomach to perfecting your delivery style, these strategies are your secret to becoming a confident and charismatic speaker. Let's get ready to unleash your inner orator! 1. Pray before speaking. I pray something like this, “Lord, help me to speak the truth in love with wisdom such that knowledge is imparted that sticks to the soul spreads through the world for your glory.” See Ephesians 4:15; Titus 2:7-8. 2. Say something worth saying. Time is short, Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 5:16. 3. Study adequately. It is better to over-study (if there is such a thing) than understudy, especially in preaching. See James 3:1-2. 4. Never rely on your charisma. Rely on God and the knowledge you have to offer people. 5. Learn how to speak grammatically and with the best version of your voice you can offer. You may want to talk with a speech coach. 6. Have water with you on the podium, but don't take large gulps, but small sips. The water should be warm, not cold. Cold water constricts your throat and hurts your voice. Want to know the rest? Listen to today's episode of Truth Tribe to unlock these great tips!  Discover more Christian podcasts at lifeaudio.com and inquire about advertising opportunities at lifeaudio.com/contact-us.
Previous
1 of 9
Next
Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary. He is the author of nineteen books, including Fire in the Streets (a critique of critical race theory or wokeness) and Christian Apologetics, A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith.

Follow Dr. Groothuis:
Website: https://www.DouglasGroothuis.com
Podcasts About Us Contact Us Newsletters