Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Insanity by Jonah Haddad

“Clear, compelling, and existentially fascinating book on the theory of knowledge (epistemology) that rationally support Christian theism are too rare. Yet this is what Jonah Haddad offers us. I applaud this exceptional achievement.”
author of Christian Apologetics

“Jonah Haddad is angry. He does not suffer in silence when he details the insanity of intellectuals, who place
confidence in the autonomy of human reason. His calm rejoinder shows how faith and reason are bound
together in a holy alliance with God who made us in his image and grounds our legitimate use of reason in God’s design for us as made in his image. His history of skepticism and the search for certitude is especially helpful.”
author of The Universe Next Door

JONAH HADDAD received his MA in Philosophy of Religion from Denver Seminary. He lives and works in Lyon, France.

God and the Theory of Knowledge

“Have you seen such men—peculiar, raving, foam-mouthed, and
straitjacketed—throwing themselves mercilessly at white padded
walls . . . ?” Such men are said to be insane. But there is more to
insanity than the images depicted in film and planted in our minds
by popular media. Insanity is a condition that affects us all. Unsoundness
of mind disrupts our ability to think clearly and to form knowledge
about the world. Our understanding is dangerously incomplete
and our minds are corrupt. We are all insane. How then can we
ever hope to know our world? Is it possible to form justified true
beliefs about anything? What possibility, if any, do we have of escaping
this condition of madness that keeps us from the light of knowledge?
In Insanity, Jonah Haddad explores these very questions by
introducing the main problems of the theory of knowledge and by
offering a response to our madness—a response grounded in God,
the ultimate Knower.
ISBN: 978-1-62564-229-5
$S20 / 172 pp. / paper

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Moral Case Against Darwinism

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.

A Moral Argument Against Darwinism

1.      If Darwinism is an adequate account of the biosphere, then human beings have no essential nature, since they evolved without design into their present forms.

2.      If (1), then various races of humans may be more adaptively fit than other races. Darwin himself states this in The Descent of Man.

3.      If (2), there is nothing intrinsically valuable about the human race as a whole. That is, some races may prevail upon other races given their selective advantages due to their unique evolutionary path.

4.      If (3), then there is no philosophical basis for the claim that humans qua humans have objective and universal human rights.

5.      But (4) is false. Our moral intuitions and the history of Western law treat every human being, irrespective of race, as possessing intrinsic human dignity and must be treated as such. The United Nation’s statement on human rights affirms this, for example, as does The United States Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal.”

6.      Further, if (4) is true, then we have no objective basis to morally condemn the enslavement or even eradication of the “less favored races” (Darwin’s term)—that is, less favored by the impersonal processes of macro-evolution.

7.      But (4) is false, because of (5).

8.      Therefore (6) is false because of (5)

9.      Therefore, (1)—Darwinism—is false. This is by modus tollens, which in this case is a reductio ad absurdum (reduce the claim to absurdity).

Note: modus tollens (or denying the consequent):

a.       If p, then q.
b.      Not-q.

c.       Therefore, not-P.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Art Forgeries

Since The New York Times did not publish this, here it is:

November 5, 2013

To the Editor:

Blake Gopnik’s defense of art forgeries “as the art lover’s friend” is an impressive piece of sustained sophistry. All seven arguments he offers fail miserably.

First, if a forgery can fool an expert, it can give the rest of us pleasure. This is good. But pleasure does not justify deceit, nor does pleasure define the meaning of art. Second, the forger may reveal what the copied artist might have himself done; he may even reveal the artists inner essence. Lying imitations have nothing to do with artistic continuity or revelations. Third, forgeries are justified because artists often use assistants. This is a false analogy, since the artists authorized these assistants, unlike forgers. Fourth, art forgeries can “tame our absurd art market” by bringing down prices. This comment—if true—has no force, and it purely utilitarian. Two wrongs do not make a right. Fifth, forgeries endorsed by art experts teach us that “connoisseurship is not to be trusted.” This is illogical. Everyone already knows that connoisseurs are fallible. But they may be fallible and generally reliable, like all merely human judges. Sixth, because some ancient cultures endorsed the copying and augmenting of valued artworks, this justifies forgeries today. On the contrary, these copies were culturally-authorized and well-accepted—and not forgeries. Seventh, much of 20 Century art, such as Duchamp’s, “set out to undermine idea of unique authentic, hand-touched works of art.” This is true, but irrelevant. Duchamp’s ready-mades were not forgeries, because he did not claim to make them.
This ambitious essay fails to marshal any good arguments. We await a better apologist for artistic deception.

Douglas Groothuis,

Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Postmodernism and the Church

Here is the video for the panel discussion on postmodernism and the church, featuring Sarah Geis, Larry Burtoft, Doug Groothuis, and David Mathewson. This was sponsored by The Gordon Lewis Center for Christian Thought and Culture on November 19, 2013.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Duke Ellington,
I should write a symphony
in your memory
a poem of tonality
to express the beauty
and sublimity of your
sonic personality.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Philosophy of Being on a Panel Dicussion.

1. Pray before, during, and after that truth will be made known, truth that transforms for the good.
2. Defer to those who know more than you do.
3. Do not dominate the panel.
4. Follow up on others' comments only when you have something significant to add.
5. Don't argue with a like-minded panel member.
6. Keep a sense of humor, but don't be a buffoon.
7. Don't mention your own work too much. I think I did this last night.
8. Mention your work if it can help someone get a better answer than what you can give on a panel.
9. Don't make jokes about your spouse.
10. Don't fall off your stool.
11. Stay afterward to minister to people who did not ask a question or who have questions that were not answered sufficiently. Try to be the last person out of the room.
12. Bring hand out or books that are pertinent to the subject at hand. That is, give something people can take home and learn more from.
13. Generally speaking, it is best to speak in public with an empty stomach, but we sure to hydrate adequately; otherwise, you voice may suffer.
14. If the discussion has anything to do with Christianity, present the Gospel clearly and cogently.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Danny Erbaugh's photo.

This includes Professors Craig Blomberg (New Testament), Richard Hess (Old Testament), and Douglas Groothuis (Philosophy).