Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On Thursday in Denver, the temperature will drop forty degrees. Many laugh at this, but those with chronic illnesses will suffer exponentially on account of it. Pray for them, try to show mercy when they are angry and sorrowful, and be thankful you do not share their miserable plight. If you want to begin to understand, read Psalm 88--slowly and repeatedly. There are many Hemans among us. Look for them, if you have the courage and compassion.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Naturalism and Truth. See chapter 17 of my book, Christian Apologetics

Patricia Churchland:

Boiled down to essentials, a nervous system enables the organism to succeed in…feeding, fleeing, fighting, and reproducing. The principle chore of nervous systems is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive. . . . Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing [the world] is advantageous so long as it is geared to the organism's way of life and enhances the organism's chances of survival. Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost. [1]

Charles Darwin:

With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind? [2]

[1] Patricia Churchland, “Epistemology in an Age of Neuroscience,” Journal of Philosophy 84 (1987), pp. 548-549; emphasis in the original.

[2] Charles Darwin to W. Graham, July 3, 1881, in The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin (1897; reprint, Boston: Elibron, 2005), 1:285.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

–II Timothy 1:6-7, NIV

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Manners, Morals

Is it not rude to sending and receiving text messages at the Thanksgiving table while surrounded by family and their friends? The decline in manners means (eventually) the decline in morals. MeWorld replaces community.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why do some of my students not get the basics of an argument for P?

1. Introduce the issue and its importance.
2. Give the argument form for P
3. Give the evidence for P.
4. Respond to salient objections to P
5. Conclude.
One may threaten to destroy the soul of another by one devastating insult. More common is the assassination by a thousand small complaints, a constant dripping of acid into the heart.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Duke's Music in The World to Come

In my restless, eager, and perhaps exorbitant pursuance of all things Ellingtonian, I at times lament that much of Duke's early music was recorded on less than stellar equipment. The exquisite arrangements and virtuoso soling are muted, distorted, or improperly balanced--and not in stereo. Yet, the beauty speaks through it all, nonetheless--so my search continues.

Given my eschatology, I believe that the best of human culture--from every tongue, and tribe, and time--will somehow be conserved in The World to Come. I was convinced of his years ago when I read Richard Mouw's short but compelling book, When the Kings Come Marching In(now out in a second edition by Eerdmans). The chapter addressing "true beauty" in Truth Decay underscores this as well, for what it is worth.

If this is so, then, one glorious day, in the presence of the Triune God and all the redeemed (and I hope Duke is among them), we shall in some manner listen to the aesthetic apex of Duke's nonpareil orchestra form every period, whether badly recorded, well recorded, or not recorded at all. Surely the ears of heaven cannot forget such beauty--or hoard it.

Outline for My Talk at Saddleback Church, Nov. 27

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary

Putting Truth to Work: the Biblical View of Truth

Truth is so obscure in these days, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth, we shall never know it.—Blaise Pascal Pensées.

I. Truth in Christian Witness: Apologetics

A. Jesus is Truth Incarnate and an apologist (John 14:1-6). See Douglas Groothuis, On Jesus, chapter 3.

B. His followers must know the truth and make it known (John 8:31-32;

1 Peter 3:15; Matthew 28:18-20).

Christian worldview: creation/fall/redemption/consummation. Christian Apologetics, chapters 2-3.

II. Truth and Today’s Culture

A. Knowing our culture, for example,

“From Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do”—Chronicles 12:32 (see also 1 John 2:15-17).

B. Two types of unbelief

1. Postmodernism (Richard Rorty): Truth is socially constructed and variable (relativism or non-realism)

2. Philosophical materialism (Richard Dawkins): Truth is what materialistic science describes (realism); there is no supernatural realm, e.g., God, the soul, spirits, the afterlife

III. The Christian View of Truth: the Nature of Truth

A. A true statement is one that reflects or matches reality (realism or the correspondence view of truth). See Christian Apologetics, chapter 5; Groothuis, Truth Decay, chapter 4.

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith”—1 Corinthians 15:14.

B. Truth is objective; not merely subjective

Truth-claims stake out portions of reality through words: “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:5-11).

C. Truth is antithetical, either/or

"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters—Matthew 12:30.

D. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). Depend on the Spirit to give us an intelligent and virtuous witness (Acts 1:8).

IV. Against the Postmodern View of Truth

A. Postmodernism often refutes itself: claims truth is not objective, but then claims to be the objective account of truth: “There is no objective truth.”

a. If this statement is true objectively, then it is false. It is, therefore, self-refuting, self-stultifying as an objective truth claim.

b. If the statement is true subjectively, then there no reason to hold the postmodern view of truth as the claim applies to everything as objective, universal claim.

2. Counterexamples against postmodernism showing universal, objective truths:

a. Laws of logic: identity (A=A); noncontradiction (A is not non-A).

b. Objective moral goodness or evil: Mother Theresa or Osama bin Laden; sadistic torture or famine relief; murder or love

B. Challenge postmodernists to pursue the truth and put off laziness: truth counts forever (Luke 9:25). See Christian Apologetics, chapters 6-7.

V. Against Scientific Naturalism

A. If the brain is not designed for truth, and if organisms can survive and reproduce without consciousness or rationality, there is no reason to think our material brains know the truth. Charles Darwin. See Christian Apologetics, chapter 18.

1. We were designed to know God and the world; there is a fit between our being and our knowing of the world (Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8).

2. Laws of logic are not physical, but universally and absolutely true ideas (that is, immaterial things).

B. Morality is more than instinct and social conditioning (materialism): values are immaterial truth beyond mere matter. See Christian Apologetics, chapter 15.

VI. Take Biblical Truth to the Streets!

A. Understand the biblical view of truth (realism) and what is true (creation/fall/redemption/consummation) as opposed to postmodernism and scientific naturalism.

B. Therefore, defend Christian truth with competence, confidence, courage, compassion, and creativity (2 Tim. 1:7). There is much at stake (Matthew 25:46).

Sources: Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (InterVarsity Press, 2011); Truth Decay: Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism (InterVarsity Press, 2000); On Jesus (Wadsworth, 2003).

Doug Groothuis at Saddleback

I will be giving the last lecture in this series of lectures on apologetics at Saddleback Church. My title is "Putting Truth to Work: The Biblical View of Truth." I will post my outline shortly.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self ?--Luke 9:25.
What does our age of constant diversion, distraction, and dissipation lack? It lacks meaningful discipline: self-denial for a cause greater than the self. But this alone gives meaning and truth to the self, which is otherwise derelict in its own finite absorption

Friday, November 18, 2011

Roots and Fruits

A write up of my recent talk, "Roots and Fruits," plus the audio, is now available at the Denver Seminary web page.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D., Doug.Groothuis@denverseminary.edu

Denver Seminary

How to Spot a Cult

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.—Colossians 2:8.

I. Discerning Truth from Error

A. Christ, the church, and the truth

1. Jesus is Truth Incarnate (John 14:1-6)

2. The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth

3. The truth about God, salvation, ethics, and history is found in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:15-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

B. The challenge of theological error

1. The wide road to destruction (Matthew 7:14-14)

2. Paul’s farewell address to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:20-28)

3. Being rooted in the truth (1 John 4:1-6)

II. What is a Cult?

A. Historically: groups that split off from an established religious body

Christian cults: significant deviations from Christian orthodoxy

B. Scaling the language barrier (Walter Martin)

Cults use Christian vocabulary without using our dictionary (the Bible’s meaning of these terms)

C. Theologically: teachings deny key orthodox beliefs about God and salvation

1. Source of authority: the Bible alone (sola scriptura) or the Bible plus another source?

a. Mormonism: Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrines and Covenants

b. Jehovah’s Witnesses: Watchtower Society pronouncements

c. Christian Science: Science and Health with a Key to the Scriptures

d. Other Mind science groups: Unity, Religious Science

2. Understanding of human nature

a. Cults always demote God and promote humans (Walter Martin), thus denying the need for the Cross of Christ

b. Cults deny total depravity and original sin (Mark 7:21-23; Romans 3:9-20)

3. Redefining the person and work of Jesus Christ

a. Cults diminish the work of Christ for our salvation (Galatians 1:6-11)

b. Deny his deity (John 1; Colossians 2:9)

c. Deny his full atonement for sins (Romans 5:1-8)

d. Deny his physical resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)

4. Cults deny the gospel of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:6-11; 2 Corinthians 11:14)

a. The gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; John 3:16-17; Romans 5:1-5; Ephesians 2:8-9)

b. Faith plus good works or mystical experience

Mormons: We do all we can—and God makes up the rest

c. Salvation is found only in Christ (Acts 4:12) and received only by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)

III. Reaching Those in Cults

A. Know what you believe and why you believe it (Romans 12:1-2)

B. Be prepared for spiritual warfare (Acts 13:1-12; Ephesians 6:10-19; 1 Peter 5:8-9)

C. Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)

D. Treat the cultist as a human being needing salvation, not on object for evangelism

E. Discern the cultists beliefs and gently challenge them with biblical truth and apologetics (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)



Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults. Several editions.

Gordon Lewis, Confronting the Cults (P&R Publishing).

Robert Bowman, Orthodoxy and Heresy (Baker, 1992).

Ron Rhodes, The Challenge of Cults and New Religions (Zondervan, 2001).

Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality (Tyndale) A classic on living the Christian life biblically. I have read this many times.

Magazine: The Christian Research Journal. See www.equip.org

I am speaking on "How to Spot a Cult" for Logos Central Chapel tonight at 7:00 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Denver.

Groothuis on Radio

I will be on Crosswalk with Gino Geraci Friday from 4:00-5:00 on KRKS-FM (Denver) to discuss Christian Apologetics.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wisdom from Timothy McGrew

One of the most disastrous illusions of the internet age is that an amateur plus Google is equivalent to a scholar. A search engine offers information, more or less relevant according to the skill of the searcher. But it does not sift that information; it does not sort fact from fancy, wheat from chaff. It does not explain which facts are relevant and which are beside the point. It does not weigh the merits of competing arguments and tell the user where the balance of evidence lies. A bright amateur armed with the internet may be better informed than he would otherwise have been, and he may occasionally catch a real scholar in a factual error. But it will not turn him into a scholar himself. There is no such thing as effortless erudition.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lecture outline for my talk at Denver Seminary today

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary

November 15, 2011

Roots and Fruits:

Intellectual Influences that Shaped my Christian Calling

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.—1 Corinthians 11:1

I. What is a Christian Calling? (See Os Guinness, The Call)

A. Life direction according to spiritual gifts, opportunities, and strong desires

1. What needs to be done for the Mission of God

2. What one does well

3. What gives one deep joy

B. My calling (Matthew 6:33; 1 Corinthians 10:31)

1. Defend and apply Christianity as objectively true, rationally compelling, and pertinent to all of life (Matthew 22:37-40; 1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3)

2. To do this through teaching, preaching, and writing

3. What this means: teaching at Denver Seminary, adjunct teaching and guest lecturing at secular schools; preaching in local churches; writing academic and popular works: Twelve books; two dozen peer-review academic journal articles; hundreds of articles, book reviews, and letters to the editor in dozens of magazines, journals, and elsewhere.

4. The biggest literary fruit: Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Christian Faith (InterVarsity Press, 2011)

II. The First Root: Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55)

A. The Sickness Unto Death: exegeted my own soul for me

B. Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing: solidified my calling as a Christian thinker

C. Example of an earnest, brilliant life of letters for the cause of Christ (despite his fideism)

III. The Second Root: Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-84)

A. The discovery of Schaeffer in the fall of 1976: The God Who is There (1968)

B. The gift of understanding, intellectual courage, and a life-plan

C. Schaeffer’s strengths

1. A deep compassion for the lost

2. Spiritual integrity in ministry

3. A broad understanding of the Bible, theology, culture, and history

4. A strong sense of the Lordship of Christ over all of culture

D. Schaeffer’s weaknesses

1. Over simplification

2. Lack of philosophical rigor

IV. The Third Root: Blaise Pascal (1624-1663)

A. The discovery of Pensées in 1977.

B. The genius of his view of the human condition: deposed royalty

C. The genius of the wager (properly understood)

D. His influence on all my writing and ministry

E. See my book, On Pascal (Wadsworth, 2003); chapters 7 and 19 of Christian Apologetics.

V. The Fourth Root: Os Guinness (b. 1941)

A. The Christian as astute social critic and prophet: The Dust of Death (1973); The American Hour (1992); The Case for Civility (2008); etc.

B. Guinness as a matchless orator and statesman for Christ

VI. The Fifth Root: Rebecca Merrill Groothuis

A. Rebecca and my calling

1. Prodding me to write Unmasking the New Age (1986)

2. Alerting me to spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-19; 1 Peter 5:8-9)

3. Challenge to develop my views of women in the Kingdom of God.

a. “Equal in Being, Unequal in Role: Exploring the Logic of Woman’s Subordination,” in Discovering Biblical Equality (2004)

b. See Adam Omelianchuck, “Ontologically Grounded Subordination.” Philosophia Christi, Vol. 13, No. 1 (2011): 169-180. This defends Rebecca’s argument against challenges by Steven Cowan.

c. See Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, Women Caught in the Conflict (1994); Good News for Women (1997).

B. Rebecca’s editing and my writing

Episode from finishing our book, Christian Apologetics

Those also deserving mention (not in priority order):

James W. Sire, C.S. Lewis, Carl F. H. Henry, Gordon Clark, Gordon R. Lewis, R. J. Rushdoony, J.P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, Richard John Neuhaus, Arthur Holmes,

Keith Yandell, R.T. Herbert, John Calvin, The Westminster Divines, G.K. Chesterton, Jacques Ellul, Bernard Ramm, John Stott, Walter Martin, Brooks Alexander, Harry Blamires, Ronald Nash, Alvin Plantinga, Phillip Johnson, F.F. Bruce, William Dembski, Neil Postman, Marshall McLuhan.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Advice from Duke

In an interview, Duke Ellington said that his "first job is to listen." See James 1:19.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Steve Jobs, Jesus, and the Problem of Evil

In the best-selling biography Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson recounts an event when a thirteen- year-old Steve Jobs is distressed by a photograph in a 1968 Life Magazine of a pair of starving children in Biafra. He then went to his Lutheran pastor, holds up one finger and asks, "Did God know I would hold up this finger before I did?" The Pastor said, "Yes, God knows everything." Then Jobs produced the Life cover photo and asks, "Well, does God know about this and what's going to happen to those children?" The Pastor replied, "Steve, I know you don't understand, but yes, God know about this."

Issacson reports that "Jobs announced that he didn't want to have anything to do with worshiping such a God, and he never went back to church." Instead, Jobs pursued Buddhism, gurus, and hallucinogenic drug use instead (pages 14-15). This is yet another tragic encounter with the problem of evil. Jobs later told Issacson that "The juice goes out of Christianity when it becomes too based on faith rather than on living like Jesus of seeing world as Jesus saw it (p. 15).

The most reliable records of Jesus life are the Four Gospels of The New Testament (see chapter 19 of Christian Apologetics). In them, we find Jesus affirming the existence of one, all-powerful God, as well as the existence of all manner of evil. That is how Jesus saw the world. But, unlike the Buddha, Jesus did not counsel his followers to detach from the world of suffering by ceasing to crave satisfaction. He rather said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be satisfied." It is inescapable that those who so hunger will also suffer: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted," Jesus also affirmed. (For more on Jesus's teachings, see chapter 20 ofChristian Apologetics.)

The evils of this groaning world did not detract Jesus from his mission to "seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10). It was this wounded and aching world that sent Jesus to a bloody and horrible death on a Roman Cross, in order that humanity and deity might be reconciled and hope restored to an erring planet. As Pascal said: "The Incarnation shows man the greatness of his wretchedness through the greatness of the remedy required" (Pensees, 352/526).

If God is perfectly good and thoroughly powerful, he will not waste the sufferings of the world. He will bring a greater good out of them not otherwise possible. This may sound theoretical, but God himself put flesh to that reality through the Incarnation: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). That Word taught only truth, offered only love and justice, and was put to death for no legal reason. On his Cross, he forgave his accusers and finally said, "It is finished." He was buried, dead as dead could be. The universe waited...until he rose from the dead in three days time--never to die again.

At a young age, Steve Jobs faced the severity and seeming absurdity of evil. In so doing, he rejected the only answer to the suffering: Christ Jesus. Let us rather affirm with the Apostle Paul:

55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.--1 Corinthians 15:55-58, King James Version.

(For more on the problem of evil, see chapter 25 of Christian Apologetics.)


Some may wonder why an author is promoting his own book (Christian Apologetics) so much. We are often suspicious of "self-promoters." Let me explain what I am doing and why.

1. The purpose of this blog is not bragging on myself, but rather promoting a work I believe in for the sake of advancing the Kingdom and Mission of God. That is why I spent over eight years writing it.

2. Further, given the rise of the Internet, the old ways of promotion are no longer adequate: adds in magazine, radio interviews, and so on. Much of the interest in books is generated on line, and the author is often the only one available to do this. That is why I started my blog about the book and why I promote the book on my social media.

3. Whatever good one finds in my book, I attribute to God's grace and faithfulness. I did not make up the Christian faith, not can I can credit for the rational defense of it. It is all of grace.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Ways to Further the Ministry

Christian thinkers need to get out the word about the truth, rationality, and pertinence of Christianity. You can help me do this in several ways.

1. Become a Facebook friend to keep up with my talks, essays, views, etc. Warning: you will get a heavy dose of Groothuis views on just about everything: politics, culture, jazz, philosophy, apologetics, dogs, etc.

2. Follow me on Twitter for the same reason: @DougGroothuis.

3. Check my blogs: The Constructive Curmudgeon and Christian Apologetics (dedicated to my book of the same title).

4. If you think Christian Apologetics helps further the mission of God, you can support the book in several ways.

a. Review it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your blog, Facebook, and so on. “Like” it on Amazon.
b. If you are an aspiring author, review it for an academic publication or magazine.
c. Purchase a copy for your pastor, local library, or church library.
d. Teach from it in an adult education class or make it the book for a book discussion. Yes, this will take some time.
e. Recommend the book to opinion-shapers in the church and the larger culture.

5. Let me know how I might help you engage in apologetics and evangelism. I can speak to campus groups, churches, and in other public forums on all manner of apologetics and moral topics. I am happy to meet one-on-one or in small groups with unbelievers who have questions about Christianity.

6. I have a number of audio and video messages on line in various places, such as YouTube. Take advantage of these and let your friends know about them.

May it be done for the glory of God and the advancement of his Kingdom,

Doug Groothuis

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Roots and Fruits

You are cordially invited to the first session of the Christian Thought Colloquium 2011-12.

Our own Dr. Douglas Groothuis will present on “Roots and Fruits: The Intellectual Influences That Shaped my Christian Calling.”

The colloquium will be held on Tuesday, November 15 at noon.

The venue will be classroom 115.

After Doug’s presentation for about 40 minutes, we will have a Q&A session for 5-10 minutes.

Dr. Don Payne will serve as moderator.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

‎"Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen."

Friday, November 04, 2011

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Episcopal Book of Common Prayer

Douglas Groothuis Lecture at Denver Seminary

Professor Douglas Groothuis will be lecturing on "Roots and Fruits: The Intellectual Influences that Shaped my Christian Calling" at Denver Seminary in Classroom 115 at 12:00-12:50 PM on November 15, 2011. Among others, he will address the influences of Francis Schaeffer and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis on his life. The aim is to equip those who come to pursue their own calling with intellectual depth and seriousness.

My review of part of Nigel Warburten's "A Little History of Philosophy" (on Amazon)

The author, a secularist, does not bother to treat philosophical arguments for God's existence seriously. For example, he lauds Bertrand Russell's attack on the cosmological argument (p. 185) when, in fact, Russell created a straw man. In "Why I am Not a Christian," Russell says that cosmological arguments all fail because they depend on this premise:

P1: Everything that exists has a cause

Or order to reach this conclusion along with one more premise:

P2: The universe exists.
C1: Therefore, the universe has a cause (God)

But Russell claims that C1 (God) would be subject to P1. God would require a cause for God's existence. If so, the argument fails.

This is absurd because I have never read a version of the cosmological argument (in 35 years of studying and teaching and writing about philosophy of religion) that used this argument premise. Of course, P1 will defeat a cosmological argument, but no one uses it!

For example, the kalam cosmological argument reasons this way:

P1: What every begins to exist, has a cause of its existence.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C1: Therefore, the universe has a cause (God).

Notice that the kalam's P1 differs radically from Russell's version: "Everything that exists has a cause." God, of course, did not (by definition) begin to exist, so is not subject requiring a beginning cause for God's existence. In order words, there is no reductio ad absurdum. Neither do the Thomistic or the Lebinizian cosmological arguments rely on Russell's manufactured premise.

One could go on about the cosmological argument (I devote 30 pages to it in my book, Christian Apologetics), but suffice to say that this book does not bother to critique the argument at its best, only at its worst.

That is a very bad sign indeed, but I find that many British secular philosophers are often dismissive of philosophical theism. Shame on them.

On-line Education on Trial

Here is the superb first installment of a series about on-line education, written by Sarah Geis.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

From The Book of Common Prayer

For a Sick Person

O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit and relieve thy sick servant N. for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of hislife in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Recovery from Sickness

O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayers, and grant to your servant N. the help of your power, thathis sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

or this

O God of heavenly powers, by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity: Be present in your goodness with your servant N., that his weakness may be banished and his strength restored; and that, his health being renewed, he may bless your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.