Truth Tribe with Douglas Groothuis
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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.
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Lessons from Churches in My Christian Life
February 5, 2024 - 19 min
I found my church home in Evangelical Anglicanism in early 2007. My denomination is The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). It is not part of the Episcopalian denomination. But as I reflect on my church life, I am grateful to several churches for their faithfulness to God. My list is not inclusive of all the churches I have attended. Having been a Christ-follower for over forty-seven years, I will recount a few ways in which God has led and sanctified me for worship and service through his church. Perhaps my reflections will edify you and stimulate you to enter deeply into the life of the church that Christ bought with his own blood (Acts 20:28). Please also consider reading my chapter called, “In Defense of the Church,” which is in Christian Apologetics, 2nd ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity-Academic, 2022). See also Francis Schaeffer’s two books, The Church Before the Watching World and The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century. Key Scriptures And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it (Matthew 16:18). Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood (Acts 20:28). Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
How the Holy Spirit Grounds the Knowledge of God Through Liturgy
January 29, 2024 - 31 min
God’s creatures ought to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23) through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so that the nations may be glad and sing for joy. This is because God rules the peoples with equity and guides the nations of the earth (Psalm 67:4). God wants to be known, and, thus, to be properly worshipped as our Creator and Redeemer. Worship is the paramount issue for human existence and no small matter to the one to whom worship is due. God’s absolute and incorruptible worth demands our total allegiance. God beckons us to offer our all to him as our Lord. As the Westminster Larger Catechism states: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” This cannot happen without a deep intellectual, emotional, and imaginative knowledge of the one true God. My thesis is that the knowledge of God can and should be grounded through the historic liturgy of the church in worship. This is but one way to grow in the knowledge of God, but an often-neglected way among Evangelicals. Put more formally, this is a paper that addresses one doxastic practice whereby Christians may deepen their knowledge of God intellectually and affectively. Liturgy defined:Liturgy is the historic Christian practice of richly orchestrated and theologically scripted religious services that employ particular symbolism—such as bread and wine, vestments, and crosses—to focus the worshippers’ attention on sacred meanings derived from the Holy Scriptures and developed by the historic orthodox church. In so doing, liturgical actions both honor God and edify those worshipping. The Formal Argument  1. Christians need to grow in the knowledge of God and to make him known and obeyed universally. This is a theological premise. Paul wrote that his readers so that “they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 1:2-3).  2. Knowing is multi-dimensional, involving heart, mind, and body. This is an epistemological premise backed by Jesus’ command to love God with all of our being (Matthew 22:37-39), since loving God requires that we know God truly, if not perfectly or exhaustively (1 Corinthians 13:12). 3. Liturgy provides a unique means to know with heart, mind, and body. This is a theological and epistemic premise. 4. Therefore: Churches should provide liturgy as a means for better knowing and serving God. This is a theological conclusion.Few Evangelicals will question premises (1) and (2). The rub comes with premise (3) which is necessary for the conclusion to be sound.   Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
Liturgy for the Low Church: Introducing Liturgical Elements in Non-Liturgical Churches
January 22, 2024 - 15 min
I came to love liturgy late, but I am not going to leave it. This is because God has worked these patterns of ritual meaning deep into my system. Liturgy is simply too good not to share with the wider church. Let me explain. Culture structures life through patterns and repetitions. We typically stand when the national anthem is played. I shake hands with a bookstore salesman who I know. Mark and I both know what it means—some level of friendship and appreciation. When I teach, the students sit and I stand or sit. My students do not stand to greet me or stand during the class sessions. These are all taken-for-granted rituals of everyday life. Together they form a liturgy, however pedestrian or unconscious. In order to not be out of place, we respect the rules of the places we occupy. When rules are broken, liturgies are upended, people blush, and the police may even be summoned. All church services are liturgical, given the set patterns that govern our assemblies—written and unwritten. I attended a charismatic church where the words liturgy or ritual were never spoken without the adjective dead. Yet this church’s meetings had its structure, its unspoken expectations—its liturgy. It would have been taboo, or at least odd, to see someone cross himself. There was no cross before which to do a reverence (a slight bow). God must be revered. All Christians agree. The Apostle exhorts us: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord (1 Peter 3:15). While I am committed to the historic liturgy of the church (I worship as an Anglican) and am developing a liturgical theology, my background, before the last ten years, only includes a sprinkle or two of liturgy. Christ followers from different traditions will worship differently, and I will not here make a case for all the elements of historic liturgy. I won’t even insist on a particular order (except where it is obvious). Rather, we should consider a few liturgical elements that may bring a deeper reverence for our God in our corporate worship. In this episode of Truth Tribe, Dr. Groothuis shares an article he wrote in 2017 titled "Liturgy for the Low Church." He recounts an experience where he had to lead the entire liturgy by himself in a non-liturgical church. He describes the lack of sacredness and inappropriate elements that he witnessed during the worship service. Doug shares how he tried to bring a sense of gravity and sacredness through a moment of silence and prayer. He reflects on the challenge of establishing a sacred atmosphere in a liturgical wasteland. Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
Advice to a Christian Apologist: How to Be Wise as Serpents and Innocent as Doves
January 15, 2024 - 15 min
Jesus exhorted us to love God with all our minds (Matthew 22:37-39). The project of explaining, commending, and defending the Christian worldview is not limited to experts. Rather, it is the call of every Christian as a Christian (1 Peter 3:15-16). Arguing that Christianity is objectively true, compellingly rational, and existentially engaging over the whole of life is essential to Christian witness. Our salt and light must not be hidden under a basket (Matthew 5:13-16).  Every Christian is a witness to God’s saving truth. But, what kind of witness? Do we demonstrate the reality of the Gospel in word and deed? Is our life an apologetic for the Faith? Some excel at apologetics and others do not, but all are called to be the best apologists they can be through the empowering of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17; 15:13; 16:23; 1 John 4:6, 5:6; Acts 1:8). Further reading Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith, 2nd InterVarsity Press, 2022. Douglas Groothuis and Andrew Shepardson, The Knowledge of God in the World and in World: An Introduction to Classical Apologetics. Zondervan, 2022. Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay: Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism. InterVarsity, 2000. James Sire, The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog. InterVarsity, 2020. Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
Why Spiritual Opposition Happens (And 6 Key Principles for Ministry Effectiveness)
January 8, 2024 - 17 min
Discouragement, the Demonic, and Victory in Christian Ministry (Acts 13:1-12) Over many years of teaching and writing, I have noted a pattern with many of my students and one that I have experienced in my own life of ministry: The possibilities for great achievements often bring discouragement and even spiritual opposition. The Christian must press on and press through in order to mature spiritually and to increase his or her ministry effectiveness. Six Principles for Ministry from Acts 13:1-12:     1. We need the wisdom of the church to discern God’s call to mission and to receive God’s power for ministry.  2. We need a God-ward orientation to discern God’s call to mission and to receive God’s power for ministry and need to be led by the Holy Spirit for ministry. 3. We need to proclaim God’s word to find power over error. Through the Holy Spirit. 4. Behind-the-scenes helpers are vital for ministry. 5. The power of error opposes the truth of the gospel. Expect it and plan for conflict and struggle in ministry. 6. A Spirit-filled and biblically-informed Christian challenges error courageously and effectively.   Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
9 Common Mistakes Made By Critics of Intelligent Design
January 1, 2024 - 12 min
In my many years of studying and defending Intelligent Design (ID), I have noticed at least nine common mistakes made by critics. These errors disallow a proper evaluation of ID theories as scientific explanations. Much of the ink spilled in opposition to ID can be erased by noting these fallacies. Most if not all of these mistakes are mentioned in Stephen Meyer’s stellar defense of ID, called Return of the God Hypothesis (Harper One, 2021). 1. Critics of ID claim that genuine science is intrinsically naturalistic, and thus ignore the history of science in the West, which was decisively influenced by a Christian worldview. That is, they assume methodological naturalism, which automatically freezes out the design inference. 2. They dismiss ID arguments because they are offered by religious people. This is the ad hominem fallacy and begs the question, another fallacy. 3. They place ID explanation in the category of bogus supernaturalism, such as fairies, gnomes, goblins, etc. This is the fallacy of guilt by association. Fairies, gnomes, and goblins explain nothing and there is no evidence of their objective existence. 4. If a naturalistic explanation is not available (such as for the origin of life on earth or the Cambrian explosion), instead of considering a design explanation, they claim that it is only a matter of time until a naturalistic explanation is found. Give us time, they ask, while not considering the ID explanation before them. This commits the fallacy of begging the question. To those who remember checking, this is the “post-dated check fallacy.” I will have the funds in the future. Trust me. But future funds can purchase nothing, let alone a sufficient explanation. 5. They misstate ID theories and then attack a straw man (fallacy). Lawrence Kraus and Richard Dawkins accuse Stephen Meyer of wrongly stating that natural selection is “random” in the sense of being haphazard. But Meyer meant “random” in the sense of undesigned. There is a mechanical logic to natural selection that is not random; but on naturalistic grounds, the elements that went into natural selection occurring at all (such as the irreducibly informational aspects, which naturalists cannot explain) are undesigned and random in that way. 6. They claim that if ID explanations are allowed, this will introduce a “divine foot in the door” (Richard Lewontin) which will wreck science (somehow). This is the straw man fallacy, since Stephen Meyer and William Dembski have articulated ID as a bona fide scientific theory. 7. They make the accusation that ID appeals to “the god of the gaps.” They substitute the “matter of the gaps” assumption (begging the question on naturalism) and deny that ID gives a bona fide explanation based on hard evidence and reliable means of argumentation (usually inference to the best explanation or Bayesian probability considerations). This is the straw man fallacy. 8. They offer alternatives to ID that end up assuming unexplained information, such as the RNA world and inflationary-string multiverse theory. If so, they have not eliminated the original explanation by naturalistic devices. 9. They present naturalistic explanations that are full of extraneous explanatory entities, such as the multiverse theory. This violates the principle of simplicity in explanation. As I state in Christian Apologetics: Criterion 8. Worldviews should not appeal to extraneous entities or be more complex than is required to explain what they propose to establish.[i] These nine mistakes are commonly advanced by critics of ID, but there may be other general errors in evaluation. Any fair evaluation of ID should shun these nine mistakes and assess the various ID theories on their own merits. Groothuis, Douglas. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (pp. 50-51). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition. Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
What Christmas Means to Me
December 25, 2023 - 10 min
The beloved Christian writer and defender of Christianity, C. S. Lewis, wrote an essay called, “What Christmas Means to Me” in 1957, my birth year. I am stealing his title, but cannot claim his literary standing; nor is my essay much like his, Nevertheless, the musings of another old Christian philosopher about a Christian holiday we cannot avoid might prove worthwhile. They can even help civilize our public discourse, since religious positions can be rationally defended and discussed. It is part of human nature to observe festivals and holidays. In that, we are unique among the living. We were born to work, rest, and celebrate. Some of these events are foisted upon us and some we choose for ourselves. Observant Jews celebrate the Sabbath, while others do not and are not expected to. Christians attend services on Sundays, but that is their choice. But Christmas is a national holiday, and we are all caught up in it in some way, for good or ill. Of course, Christ-mas traces back to Christ, although that may not always be obvious given the symbology and commercialism we face daily for weeks… As an academic, I have been given time to study, teach, and write on my religious beliefs, but many do not have or take the time. Nevertheless, when we consider the highly contentious nature of public disagreements about religion and morality (which seldom rise to the level of debates or dialogues), we should consider the rational support for any given position, religious or otherwise, and realize that some Christians have reasons for their deepest beliefs which can be publicly and profitably discussed. Christmas can be a prod to think all this over. After a lifetime of research, I, for one, continue to worship Jesus, as did the wise men of the first Christmas so long ago. Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D., is a Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary and 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. Find more from Dr. Groothuis at Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
Can We Find the Community We Crave in Virtual Communities?
December 18, 2023 - 23 min
This podcast is excerpts from the chapter, “Exploring Virtual Community”, chapter eight, from Douglas Groothuis, The Soul in Cyberspace (Baker, 1997). I have added some commentary along the way.  1. The need for civility2. Computers, love. and community3. “On the Internet, nobody knows you are a dog.”4. Cyberspace, Sensibilities, and Community On the philosophy of the Internet, see also Quentin Schulz, Habits of the High Tech Heart. On the philosophy of technology in general, see Neil Postman, Technopoly. Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
What You Need to Know about Marxism
December 11, 2023 - 22 min
It is not name-calling to say that the roots of CRT are found in Marxism. But the issue goes deeper. To some, the label “Marxism” or “Marxist” means little or nothing, since they are ignorant of the philosophy’s origins, teachings, and outcomes. This is true for many who did not live as adults through any part of the Cold War between the US and the USSR (1947–1991). This is the generation that knew not Joseph (Stalin).2 It is largely ignorant about Communism, the ideology that has controlled China and North Korea since 1949, Cuba since 1961, Laos since 1975, and Vietnam since 1976.3 This means 1.5 billion people are currently enslaved by Marxism. [Groothuis, Douglas R.. Fire in the Streets: How You Can Confidently Respond to Incendiary Cultural Topics (p. 3). Salem Books. Kindle Edition.] Marx’s debauched life and love of rebellion, inspired by demonic themes. See Paul Kengor, The Devil and Karl Marx (Tan Books, 2020). Basic Marxist Ideas Marx’s atheism, which undermines all value and his own philosophy. Marx rejected all religion as oppressive. On his rejection of religion, see Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics, 2nd (InterVarsity-Academic, 2022), pages 378-382. History as class-struggle. The call for revolution, not reform, of society. The vision of a future utopia fueled Marx’s false philosophy.   For more on Marxism, see Thomas Sowell, Marxism: Philosophy and Economics (William Morrow, 1985) and Fred Schwarz, You Can Trust the Communists to be Communists (Prentice-Hall, 1960). Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
The Case Against Reparations
December 4, 2023 - 18 min
This podcast is taken from Douglas Groothuis, Fire in the Streets (Salem, 2022). Even if we grant that the free-enterprise system has done a disservice to black people [which I do not], it does not follow that socialism would be any better for them—or for anyone else. Remember that a realistic view of politics is that of the constrained vision [of Thomas Sowell], which aligns with the Judeo-Christian account of our humanity, culture, and the state. Finding injustices in one system does not imply that these injustices will be eliminated or lessened by another system. Other injustices may replace and exceed the previous injustices. This is true for socialism. [Groothuis, Douglas R. Fire in the Streets: How You Can Confidently Respond to Incendiary Cultural Topics (p. 121). Salem Books. Kindle Edition.] Those benefiting from slavery or oppressed by it are long dead and so cannot be involved in any reparations. Reparations as demanded today are not supported by the Bible. It is difficult and often impossible to identify blacks today as descendants of slaves. Many in the US are not. Massive wealth transfers are not likely to be helpful for blacks overall or for society as a whole, as was seen in The War on Poverty in the 1960s and 1970s. On this see, Charles Murray, Losing Ground. Who, among blacks, would receive reparations? What of wealthy blacks, such as Oprah Winfrey and others? If so, this makes no sense. Conclusion If the free market were torched for the sake of ending or lessening racism and replaced by socialism, racism would not go away or even decrease. Rather, Americans of all colors would lose treasured freedoms and opportunities. Forcing “equity” economically through the state would spark strife and discontent. Whatever legacy remains of slavery, Jim Crow, or redlining is best treated by the possibilities and opportunities afforded through free enterprise, rather than by insisting on compensatory will-o’-the-wisps notions, such as affirmative action, minimum wage laws, tax increases on “the rich,” reparations, and other political dead ends. If any social system should be committed to the flames on the basis of evidence, principle, and history, it is socialism in all of its forms. Groothuis, Douglas R. Fire in the Streets: How You Can Confidently Respond to Incendiary Cultural Topics (p. 127). Salem Books. Kindle Edition. Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
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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.

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