Monday, August 31, 2009

Combat the Lies and Killing

Obama is lying (again). The Democrat bills coming up for votes in the Senate and House, if passed, would provide federal funds to pay for abortion. See Charles Colson's article and contact your representatives.

Groothuis on Cyberspace and Scholarship

One of my peer-reviewed articles, "Christian Scholarship and the Philosophical Analysis of Cyberspace Technologies," is now in cyberspace. This is from JETS.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson on Obama's Worldview

Rather, he is a statist. The president believes that a select group of affluent, highly educated technocrats — cosmopolitan, noble-minded, and properly progressive — supported by a phalanx of whiz-kids fresh out of blue-chip universities with little or no experience in the marketplace, can direct our lives far better than we can ourselves.

Read the entire article.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

How Do I Know?

Curmudgeons call me a well informed ignoramus. But I do know stuff, dude, and here's how:

1. Wikipedias. So many people adding so much just makes it "true." And I chose which Wikis to believe.
2. Perception is reality. What else is there?
3. Subjective satisfaction does the trick. It feels good, so it works, so it is "true."
4. Oprah said it.
5. Truth is what my social networking site lets me get away with, which is just about anything.
6. All absolutes are false!
7. All restrictions on my free-flowing, ever-evolving self are false.

There's my epistemology, you curmudgeons! Deal with it.

Biomimicry: Nature as Model for Technology

Although the ID perspective on biology has yet to gain wide acceptance (despite its impressive recent gains), a new approach to biology has recently captured the imaginations and funds of many in the larger scientific establishment: biomimicry. This discipline studies the complex and specified structures of biology and uses these as models for humanly-engineered technology. Recall Bill Gates’s statement made above that the information structure of DNA is far more complex than any computer. If so, that structure (and others like it) can provide ideas for various machines. Reueters reports that: “International Business Machines Corp is looking to the building blocks of our bodies—DNA—to be the structure of next-generation microchips.”[1] Microchips are obviously intelligently designed for a particular function. They evince specified complexity. Yet engineers in search of better information structures are looking to DNA, and other aspects of biology, for better models of efficiency in engineering.[2]

In light of biomimicry, consider this argument

1. Scientists are mimicking naturally-occurring mechanisms in nature (such as DNA) in order to develop better design plans for various manmade technologies.

2. If (1) is true, this assumes that these naturally occurring mechanisms are themselves designed, since they evince design plans superior to human design plans.

3. Therefore, these naturally-occurring mechanisms (such as DNA) are designed, otherwise
they would not be candidates for imitation by technologies.

[1] Claire Baldwin, “IBM uses DNA to make next-gen microchips,” Reuters, August 16, 2009 at:
[2] See Bharat Bhushan, “Biomimetics: lessons from nature – an overview,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A, Vol. 367, 1445–1486 (2009). The author does not advocate ID. The whole issue in which this paper appears is dedicated to biomimicry.

Tony Jones on Perverse Unions

Tony Jones, in a short video, defends blessing and legalizing homosexual and lesbian "monogamous" relationships. He stares into the camera and opines idiocy with great smugness, packing fallacies and absurdities tighter than sardines in a can run over by a steam roller. The claims is that there is no slippery slope. If we allow these "unions" it will not lead to inter species unions or to polygamy. It's all OK in a democracy. Tony said so.

1. Set aside any slippery slope concern. These unions themselves are unnatural, wrong, and ungodly in themselves--whatever they lead to. The biblical norm is heterosexual monogamy (Genesis 2; Matthew 19:1-2). Anything else issues from the the results of the fall, not creation. Anything else is not blessed by God but rather erupts from the sinful hearts of human beings bent on creating their own sexuality (Mark 7:21-23). It is sinful autonomy writ large and ugly. We should love, not hate, people in this situation; but to deny their sin does not help them, nor does it honor God, who will bring everything into account one Day.

2. "Monogamy" refers to "one spouse." Spouses are of the opposite sex of their spouse. Using "monogamous," as Jones does, for same sex unions is a semantic absurdity. To invoke Schaeffer, it is "semantic mysticism"--one uses a soft, friendly term to defend a hard falsity.

3. Slippery slopes do exist. Legalizing abortion on demand led to an overall cheapening of unborn life in America. The argument was that abortion would only occur in "hard cases"--threats to the mother's life, extreme fetal deformity, etc. Now people have abortions for sex selection and to murder Down's babies--80-90% of which are now killed before birth. The slope is real, Mr. Jones. To say otherwise to be be a flagrant (if popular) ignoramus. Legal scholars are already arguing for the legal legitimation of polygamy, since same sex unions are considered marriages in some (debauched) states.

We are seeing the degression of Romans 1:18-32 played out in our culture and in our churches. The truth of God is supressed and idols made from human imagination--idols of "liberation" through perverse associations--put on the throne.

May God have mercy on us and lead Tony Jones to repentence. He should read James 3:1 and tremble before the Word of God, which is living and active (Hebrews 4:12).

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Limits of Apologetics

Although various apologetic systems have proved useful, even the best apologetic method must squarely face its limits. While a strong proponent of a thorough and wide-ranging apologetic is sorely needed today, apologetics is bounded by at least three realities.

First, the Bible is a long, ancient, and sometimes perplexing book for contemporary people. Defending what the Bible teaches is no simple task, and certainly does not admit of a formula. Even the stellar apologist must face her intellectual limits and never bluff knowing more than she knows. However, to admit this difficulty is not to revel in mysteries, paradoxes, or (worse yet) absurdities. Rather, we should realize that all of our intellectual endeavors—especially those dealing with the broadest and deepest questions of life’s meaning—will be dogged to some degree by misunderstanding, ignorance, and intellectual disappointment. To hold that the Christian worldview is the best rational explanation for the things that matter most does not imply that we have a lock on all the best arguments or have attained all the truths we need.

Second, apologetics is not only limited by the difficulty of the subject itself, but by the weaknesses of the subjects who practice it—you and I. We commend and defend Christianity through our speech, our writing, and our demeanor. And we are sinners. We are the medium for this matchless message, but we are flawed. The best argument carried forth by a bad character will not likely have the desired effect. We may know strong apologetic arguments, but lack courage to present them, or, conversely, we may confidently offer arguments that we think are strong, but are not. We may study too much and pray too little, or the opposite. And so it goes. Yet we may be thankful that “God can make a straight line with a crocked stick,” as the medieval saying goes.[1] If we fall short as apologists, this does not mean that Christianity is untrue or irrational or that all our efforts are vain. Our job is to faithfully give the best arguments possible from the purest heart possible.

Third, apologetics must be understood within the framework of God’s secret counsels, as Calvinists like to put it.[2] God often does not tell us how or why he brings some things about. As the hymn puts it, “God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.” God may use any means at his disposal, and every means are at his disposal. As the majestic Westminster Confession of Faith puts it, “God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at his pleasure.”[3] The apologist might be likened to a physician trying to cure an ailment. He can only use the tools of his trade, but he realizes that some people spontaneously recover without treatment and some do not respond well to treatment that should help them. Nevertheless, he does not despair of his task.


[1] See also See Francis Schaeffer, “The Weakness of God’s Servants” in No Little People, No Little Places (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1974), 43-60.
[2] They typically appeal to Deuteronomy 29:29; see also Romans 11:33-36.
[3] Chapter V, section 3.

Behe Unplugged

Read Mike Behe on how his video interview was pulled because of bullying from those who did not want to hear his intelligent design arguments. Is this fair play?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bradbury on Television (thanks to Erin Heim for this)

From Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451:

"If you're not driving a hundred miles an hour, at a clip where you can't think of anything else but the danger, then you're playing some game or sitting in some room where you can't argue with the four-wall televisor. Why? The televisor is "real." It is immediate, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It MUST be right. It SEEMS so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn't time to protest, "What nonsense!"


"The health-care reform proposed by House Democrats, if enacted, would in fact mark a significant change in the federal government's role in the financing of abortions. [...] So in effect, anyone who wanted to sign up for the public option, a federally funded and administered program, would find themselves paying for abortion coverage [...] Nonetheless, the new system differs markedly from the old federal policy of not involving the government in abortion services unless issues of rape, incest, or life of the mother are at play" -TIME, August 24, 2009, "How Abortion Could Imperil Health Care Reform."

“Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and recast federal policy on the divisive issue.” -The Associated Press, August 5, 2009, “Gov’t Insurance Would Allow Coverage for Abortion.”

“Obama has said in the past that ‘reproductive services’ would be covered by his public plan, so it’s likely that any new federal insurance plan would cover abortion unless Congress expressly prohibits that… Therefore, we judge that the president goes too far when he calls the statements that government would be funding abortions ‘fabrications.’”, August 21, 2009, “Abortion: Which Side is Fabricating?”

Alone, but Watched

Many have observed that contemporary life in America suffers from a lack of community. Defining "community" is not easy, but a significant factor is the presence of significant and lasting human relationships in public and private living spaces. And by this, I mean face to face interactions, not what occurs on the Internet or cell phones. This is being lost, especially amidst our electronic "connections."

One dominant feature of contemporary life is anonymity. We are often alone together, with others but isolated from them because we do not know them and they do not know us. We shuttle around in our automobiles, isolated spatially and sonically. We may sit next to someone on a light rail, but most are listening to iPods, tapping on laptops, or yakking on cell phones (as if no one in the car was hearing them). And so it goes.

Anonymity also means a lack of responsibility and accountability to others. Who knows if you check into a hotel (where no one knows you) and watch a pornographic film? Yes, God knows and you sin will find out you; but in the short run, you feel safe because you are anonymous. You are unknown. But one would not do this openly at home in front of one's parents or spouse. Of course, anonymity is a way of life for many on the Internet. Many who post on this blog use false names. I always take their comments less seriously.

To compensate for anonymity, however, we have become a surveillance society. More and more of our public activities are monitored electronically. Look at the cameras at busy intersections. The Denver Light Rail cars also have hidden cameras, as I was told yesterday by the conductor through a public address system after someone pulled the emergency stop wire. "We will get you," he said in an annoyed voice.

Surveillance tries to provide the accountability lost in anonymity. It cannot. It can only detect infractions and punish them legally. Surveillance overcomes some aspects of privacy that might be used in anti-social ways, but it cannot provide moral incentive for the common good.

Surveillance is no replacement for friendship, citizenship, and membership in embodied communities. These are being lost at a rapid rate. Love is lost as souls are untethered from one another and their God.


Disagreements (unless you are banned) will be published; insults will not.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I now have 28 "followers" on Twitter. I need thousands, of course. I am attempting to give thoughtful links and nontrivial propositions or questions or Scriptures. My name: DougGroothuis. I think that's all you need to be a "follower." Of course, you should only be a follower of Jesus Christ. Again, I will quit if I find it pointless.

He Promised to "Transform America." Do Not Let Him!

David Limbaugh on Obama's leftist radicalism.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Obama: Single Payer Health Care

Obama wants a "single payer" health care system. He said it. That means: the civil government controls the medical system in its entirety. It's called a socialist take over.

Monday, August 17, 2009


The "My Pledge" post does not mean I'm going to respond to every taunt offered me. I received one of these and did not post it. I cannot possibly respond to every attack on Christianity out there. However, my book, What Matters Most (in process) will, Lord willing, deal with most all the major attacks and give the strongest arguments. I am most interested in interacting with sincerely interested people.

Naturalistic Miracle

“The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle."--Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 264.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Pledge

I will do anything and everything within my power to explain, defend, and apply the Christian worldview before unbelievers, God helping me. Take me up on it, please.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another Outtake from "What Matters Most"

Ted Bundy, naturalism, and nihilism:

Ted Bundy (1946-1989), the stunningly successful mass murder (until caught and executed), shared Stirner’s basic philosophy.[1] Although I have no evidence that Bundy read Max Stirner (few have), his philosophy of life was quintessential Stirner. A transcript taken from recorded comments by Bundy, which were made to a woman he was about to rape and kill, reveal his worldview. Having learned that “value judgments” are subjective and that none can be deemed right or wrong, Bundy found no reason to obey the law. Especially for one like himself, “who was bold and daring” and who had “the strength of character to throw off the shackles.” Bundy discovered his freedom by rejecting that “he was bound to respect the rights of others.” If humans have no intrinsic rights, “Why is it more wrong to kill a human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer?” In an age of “scientific enlightenment,” there is no justification for calling “some pleasures as ‘moral’ or ‘good’ and other as immoral and ‘bad.” This is how Bundy justified the raping and murdering of dozens of young women.[2] Given his (false) amoral presuppositions, he was right.

[1] It was revealed in a 1989 interview with James Dobson shortly before Bundy’s execution that Bundy repented of his crimes.
[2] A paraphrased and rewritten statement of Ted Bundy by Harry V. Jaffa, Homosexuality and the Natural Law (Claremont, CA: The Claremont Institute of the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, 1990), 3-4.

Cross Purposes, Indeed

The Denver Post has published my letter on Christianity and Buddhism, which responded to a story saying that more people were combining Buddhism with Christianity.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rationing of Health Care?

Maybe you have heard it said that we already ration health care, and that it is unjust. Therefore, we need the civil government to ration it fairly. I heard this in a public forum and no one challenged it.

This clever trope is deeply misleading and trades on an equivocation. The distribution of scarce goods is not always "rationing." When the state takes over anything, it rations by coercion. People in charge make decisions that are the final word.

No, health care is not perfectly implemented as it stands, but we have a relatively discentralized process that is not subject to top-down abuses. Please read this essay on that topic.

The Pain of Prayer

Jesus called his followers to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow him. This is the cross-life. It is the only entry into the abundance life Christ promised. Yet it involves suffering and hard work (not to earn salvation, but in following the Savior).

Part of the pain is prayer. Prayer, especially as praise and thanksgiving, can be joyful--communion with God as he reveals his goodness. But prayer can be hard and agonizing work. It often is for me. I must deny myself to pray over worries and concerns regarding myself, others, and this fallen and bleeding world, to keep praying when nothing seems to be happening, when my thought wander. Yet Jesus said to his disciples before his own supreme suffering, "Could you not pray for one hour?" How many of us in America today pray for one hour at a time, or even one hour a week? I mean time dedicated only to prayer, not prayer throughout the day or ten second prayer before a meal.

Jesus said we should not make a spectacle of our prayer, as did the Scribes and Pharisees, but how do we pray with feeling and intelligence publicly in a way that reveals our anguished yearning for the greater in-breaking of God's Kingdom? How often do we weep over the world's woes as we pray--in the manner of Jeremiah?

In hedonistic American, where for so many, the principal values are personal peace and affluence (Francis Schaeffer), we tend to avoid the difficult and medicate the painful at all costs. Yet the gospel calls us to embrace certain kinds of pain--the pain of struggling against a sinful world and self--for the sake of the greater good of the Kingdom of God.

Big, Bad, and Dangerous

Read the Heritage Foundation's Fact sheet on how ObamaCare would hurt the family. Then write, fax, or call your congressperson, attend a town hall meeting, and make your voice heard.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Won't Get Fooled Again..."?

Go there to read an argument that ObamaCare would include tax dollars for abortion. I think the Democrat spin machine is trying to deceive us on this.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Reform" That Should Revolt You

Charles Colson writes a powerful piece today about the health care "reform" bill that would undermine religious liberty, individual liberty, endanger hospitals and doctors who do not perform abortions, and would require your tax dollars to support abortion on demand. This is now illegal under the Hyde Amendment.

This health bill is draconian, authoritarian, and unneeded. Real health reform is needed, but not something that makes health care a huge federal bureaucracy (covering 1/6 of the economy) involving rationing and the undermining of doctor's and patient's conscience. Please let your concerns be known to your representatives before it comes up for a vote after the August recess. So very much is at stake for you and your country.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

"The Cove" and Another Moral Topic

"The Cove" is a documentary, adventure, horror film about the plight of the dolphin, and especially about the dolphin killing cove in Japan where 23,000 of these creatures are slaughtered for meat every September. (It plays at Chez Artiste in Englewood through this Thursday.) A smaller number of dolphins are taken alive to become enslaved entertainers for humans. The film makes the case that dolphins are self-aware creatures of moral value who should not be kept in captivity or slaughtered for food. The film is hard to watch in parts, especially the latter scenes where the water turns blood red and the dolphins are speared to death. Cruelty is painful to watch.

This is a superb piece of film making with a cogent narrative and moral. (Listen to the interview with two of the principal activists in the film.) As I watched the resourceful team crack the secrecy of the killing cove to film these atrocities (this is what makes it an adventure), I wondered why at least some Americans with pro-life convictions do not marshal this level of intelligence and moral courage on behalf of the one million human beings legally slaughtered in the US each year. If Obama Care passes, your tax dollars will be paying for America's killing fields, because any abortion will be covered under that socialized system. The Hyde Amendment forbids this now.

What in the name of God, who made us in his image, can awake the conscience of the American people (or at least part of the Church) to the moral carnage of abortion on demand--soon to be paid for by everyone if the Democrats push through their draconian disaster known as "health care reform"?

Is there a remnant? Or perhaps a remnant of a remnant remaining?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Dr. Gordon Lewis Class Available (Links Corrected)

I received this from my esteemed senior colleague, Dr. Gordon Lewis, author of Testing Christianity's Truth Claims, and many other works:

You might have occasion to refer some people (anywhere) to my on-line credit course on Apologetics with the Institute for Theological Studies (ITS). Here are the two links to the course and its professor.

Art Walk This Friday, August 7

Elyane Moseley will have some of her beautiful paintings at the Spark Gallery this Friday night for the First Friday art walk. It is at: 900 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204. I hope to see you there. They are open until 9:00 on Friday.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Missing Doug Groothuis Articles

Before its demise, had about 10 essays of mine posted. I had PDFs of all of my essays, but these were lost in a computer meltdown. Does anyone out there have these files? I think someone sent them to me some months ago. Thankyou.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Danger Then, Danger Now

Listen to Ronald Reagan warning of socialized medicine several decades ago. The last minute should give you chills, because we are now at the moment Reagan feared--the imposition of socialism and the obliteration of the American tradition of liberty.

Dynamics of Faith and Doubt

I am teaching a two-hour course this fall at Denver Seminary this called "Dynamics of Faith and Doubt." it meets on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:20. We will explore the nature of biblical faith and how to deal with doubt in a healthy way. The texts are:

1. Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality
2. Ajith Fernando. The Call to Joy and Pain
3. C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters.
4. Os Guinness, God in the Dark.

I'm not sure the web page will tell you much, but you can contact Denver Seminary at:

Phone: 303-761-2482

I can also send you a syllabus. If you do not want to take the class for credit, you may audit for a fee.

Obama: You Will Pay To Kill The Unborn

It is confirmed (no surprise) that Obama's socialist medical system would cover "elective abortions." That means about 98% of them, since abortion is almost never needed to save the life of the mother. Contact your representative to oppose this federally-funded carnage.

What will pro-life people do if this passes?

Home on the School

Mark Early writes on the benefits of home schooling. I have long advocated this an a prefered alternative to statist, Darwinist education. Of course, there are private schools as well. As is, everyone is taxed for statist education, even if you send your children to a private school, home school them, or have no children. It is another collectivist injustice.

Another Obama Disaster

Read this open letter to Obama on his "science czar" John Holdren.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

A Few Thoughts on Preaching

1. Preaching is serious, serious business. James says that not many should be teachers (which includes preaching), since we they be judged more strictly and can lead many astray. Therefore, the air of jocularity, entertainment, and silliness is entirely inapt. Yet many preachers breath the poluted air of popular culture and model themselves after entertainers. The church needs something different and far better: truth through an earnest and well-studied personality. That doesn't exclude all humor, but it should put sober things up considerably. The presumption should be to use humor sparingly. See A.W. Tozer's classic essay, "The Use and Abuse of Humor."

2. One should read the text in question aloud many times before preaching it, since this familiarizes you with the sound of the text. Besides hard study of the text (or topic), one should meditate on the material at length. I did this recently on Acts 17:24-34 and was amazed at what I found, even though I had preached it several times in the past five years.

3. Pray over every aspect of the message: preparation, execution, and how it will be received. Ask others to pray for you. Spurgeon, the great preacher, said his secret was that "my people pray for me." Americans do not pray. They are too busy doing "important things." Thus, there is little power or holiness in the pulpits of the land.

4. Try to find as much silence as possible on the way to preaching the sermon. If driving, do not listen to the radio or music, unless it is godly worship music. The best thing for me has been to drive in silence while thinking and praying through the message.

5. Try not to be distracted if people leave during the message. You may not know why they are leaving. Moreover, the truth often offends people who cannot take it. It is not necessarily a judgment on the value of your preaching. People called the Apostle Paul a "babbler," but he did not give up (Acts 17).

6. Pray before and after the message. Mean it. Call out to God to bless the message and to edify and convict you and your congregation. Don't preach in the prayer, but beseech God according to the truth you preach.

7. It often settles people down to take a moment of silence at the beginning and/or end of the service. Sadly, some churches throw so much clutter at the congregation--skits, bad music, pointless announcements, film clips--that silence is required to enter the proper frame of mind to preach and listen to the preaching.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Groothuis Sermon Available On Line

My sermon at West Bowles Community Church, "Christianity in the Marketplace, I" (Acts 17:16-23) is on line at their web page. Go to the "Sermon Archive" for July 26, 2009.

I give the second installment on August 2 at 10:00 AM. This covers verses verses 24-34, the meat of Paul's remarkable speech to the philosophers of Athens.