Tag Archives: Douglas Groothuis

Walking Through Twilight by Douglas Groothuis

Groothuis, Douglas. Walking Through Twilight: A Wife’s Illness – A Philosopher’s Lament. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2017. 176 pp. $17.00. Purchase at Amazon or Kindle for less.

Introduction

I have reviewed a couple of Dr. Groothuis’ works in the past including Philosophy in Seven Sentences and Christian Apologetics. He is a well-known philosophy professor at Denver Seminary as well as a Christian apologist. This particular book is a diversion from his normal writing genre and is more autobiographical in nature.

Summary

Divided into 19 chapters with 9 interludes, this work is organized somewhat chronologically though it is more free-flowing than that. While each chapter could readily stand alone, there is a richness in reading it cover to cover understanding that there will be moments of rich theological reflection mixed with human wrestling with the One who has deemed this the path of choice for the Groothuis family.

You will get to know, Becky, Dr. Groothuis’ loving wife as well as Sunny, their loving Goldendoodle dog. More importantly, you will see faith in action.

Review

Sometimes you pick up a book expecting it to challenge you and sometimes it meets those expectations. Often times it does not. Walking Through Twilight was both. This book did more than meet my expectations. It far exceeded any expectation I might have had. Having journeyed digitally with Dr. Groothuis via Facebook as he wrestles with God and the sweet hand of bitter providence in the life of his beloved Becky, I figured I would be treated to something profound. I was not prepared for what I read.

I picked this book up at 9:30 on a Friday evening. I finished it by 9:30 Saturday evening. I would have finished it by midnight Friday but sleep overtook me and the responsibilities of Saturday kept me from reading until later in the evening. Regardless, all I could think about was getting back to this book. It is raw and gutsy. Dr. Groothuis shows what it is like to have a deep-rooted faith in a loving God while still wrestling with Him.

Doug’s willingness to model biblical lament both incorrectly and as biblically informed is commendable and praiseworthy. Many Christians today do not know how to lament properly. Doug points out that he is still learning what it means to lament, but that is part of the process of sanctification and it is ok. He recognizes that God is still present and active and has not left him or forsaken him, but he also admits that he often feels at a loss to comprehend everything in light of what he knows to be true.

While there are certainly going to be theological points that Dr. Groothuis touches on in this book that you very well may disagree with, here is not the time or the place to engage those disagreements. Rather, now is the time to “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). In this instance, we weep at the trials and tribulations and rejoice at the hope found in Christ all the while learning what it means to lament with hope.

Recommendation

Rarely have I picked up a book and not been able to put it down. Walking Through Twilight is one of those books that you will read through quickly only to find yourself wanting to go back and read again slowly. This book should be must reading for all hospice and in-home workers as well as pastors and anyone who is wrestling with long-term care of a loved one with dementia. As I said above, this book is raw and gutsy. It represents what I believe to be Dr. Groothuis’ greatest contribution to Christendom because of its practicality rooted in deep faith that has been on public display for decades.

Christian Apologetics by Douglas Groothuis Pt. 2

Groothuis, Douglas. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2011. 752 pp. $40.00. Purchase at Amazon for much less.

Introduction

Dr. Douglas Groothuis is professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary and also teaches the same subject at Metropolitan State College of Denver. He has written some ten works involving a Christian philosophy, apologetic, and worldview. Two of his works that have impacted me are Truth Decay and On Jesus. This particular work is what could be considered his magnum opus.

This review is the second part of a two part review.  You can read the first review that covers Parts one and three of the work here.  This review will cover the more extensive part two that deals with the nuts and bolts arguments for the Christian faith.

Summary

Part two of Christian Apologetics is a fourteen chapter, 450-page section that states the case for Christian Theism.  Each chapter gives a sound introduction to a particular philosophical argument for or against Christianity.  The first chapter is a treatise seeking to defend theistic argumentation in general.  Chapters ten and eleven discuss the ontological and cosmological arguments for the existence of God.

Chapters 12-14 can be set aside as one major discussion on the origin of everything.  Chapter 12 is the design argument while chapter 13 brings Darwinism into the discussion with chapter 14 offering the evidence for intelligent design.  Chapter fifteen transitions the reader to the moral argument while chapter sixteen looks at the tough argument from religious experience.

Chapters seventeen and eighteen take a closer look at the humanity arguments while chapter 19 is a slight detour with Craig Blomberg adding an article on how historians can know Jesus Christ and why that matters.  With this chapter, Groothuis now transitions the reader into a discussion centered squarely on the Man, Jesus Christ.

Review

Each chapter can be studied in and of itself and, I am pretty sure, never be exhausted in material.  That goes to show that Groothuis undertakes a monumental task in writing a “comprehensive case for biblical faith.”  There is so much to be digested in each chapter that it would do the reader well to read and reread each chapter.  You will need a pen and/or a highlighter as you take many notes and want to look many other things up for further study.

It is important to note, as I do with most works of apologetics, you cannot argue someone into heaven or salvation.  What you can do, however, is equip yourself to better engage unbelievers and those who are antagonistic toward the Christian faith.  Each chapter in Christian Apologetics will help you to take steps toward being better equipped to do just that.  There is so much to master in this work that I highly doubt you would ever exhaust your need for this book even if you become familiar with all of its contents.

The footnotes also aid the reader in understanding both sides of the debate and will also be of greater use to the student looking to learn more.  Groothuis does a masterful job of interweaving academic work and discussion in everyday language.  He defines his terms and explains most of the technical wording such that most readers will find the material easy to understand.

In the end, I am thoroughly impressed with the accomplishment of Dr. Douglas Groothuis in the publication of Christian Apologetics.

Recommendation

The breadth and depth of this work is a sight to behold.  The ability for Groothuis to articulate each argument at a clear and concise manner and then philosophically argue for at both an academic and lay-level is an achievement unmatched by  other Christian apologists.  Perhaps another title (or subtitle) for this work that may show what exactly has been attained could be Christian Apologetics for Dummies.  Unfortunately, there are to many…um…dummies out there that would rip that out of context just as they do so many arguments against Christian Theism.  Purchase a copy of Christian Apologetics and keep it handy.  You will need find that it is a most helpful resource.

Christian Apologetics by Douglas Groothuis

Groothuis, Douglas.  Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith.  Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2011.  752 pp.  $40.00.  Purchase at Amazon for much less.

Introduction

Dr. Douglas Groothuis is professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary and also teaches the same subject at Metropolitan State College of Denver.  He has written some ten works involving a Christian philosophy, apologetic, and worldview.  Two of his works that have impacted me are Truth Decay and On Jesus.  This particular work is what could be considered his magnum opus.

This review is the first of a two part review (you can read the second part here).  Because the work is so large, I have decided to offer two reviews.  The first review is going to look at parts one and three while the second review will look at the primary section of the book found in part two.

Summary

The entire book is divided into three parts with two appendices.  Part one is an eight-chapter look at the preliminaries of Christian apologetics.  Dr. Groothuis offers the biblical basis for apologetics before engaging in the discussion of the importance of worldviews.  He argues for absolute truth (a very important and sadly very necessary conversation today) in chapter six and explains in chapter seven why truth matters.  Chapter eight concludes the preliminary discussions on apologetics by arguing for the rationality of the Christian faith.

Part two will be discussed here.

Part three engages the reader in a discussion some major objections to Christian Theism.  Chapter twenty-three looks at religious pluralism – the concept that all religions are equally valid and true.  Chapter twenty-four is very important chapter in this day and age as it seeks to show arguments against Islamic Theism.  Finally, chapter twenty-five deals with the problem of evil.  He concludes part three with an exhortation to take the knowledge and information gleaned from reading this resource and use it in your conversations.

Review

Definitely written to be  a textbook, Christian Apologetics is a well-written resource that will most definitely equip the reader to be more ready to defend his or her faith in every day life.  Groothuis writes with the academician in view, but the lay person in mind.  In other words, you do not need a degree or need to be pursuing a degree in philosophy or apologetics in order to read or study this work.

The chapters are well structured and organized so that the reader does not get lost in what amounts to be some pretty heady conversation.  His footnotes (thank you for using footnotes instead of endnotes!!!) are a ready source for further information on each topic and will help the serious student to delve further into the various conversations.  The bibliography is more than 50 pages long!

The scripture index at the back of the book is a great resource for those looking to defend a particular issue brought up in conversation.  You can look it up here and quickly turn to the page where it is mentioned or discussed and then see if what is said and if anything is quoted, you can quickly see what resource that is and do some further study rather quickly.

I do wish there was a section in each chapter that would provide key themes, ideas, arguments and some questions to ask that would help the reader to engage the material a bit more in depth within the context of this work itself.  Outside of that, I was very impressed with the quality of the work by one man.

Recommendation

If you are serious about Christian apologetics in general, then Christian Apologetics by Dr. Douglas Groothuis is an indispensable resource.  It is well-written, well-researched, and well-indexed.  While there are many well done works of apologetics, this resource is the most comprehensive (yes, it is part of the title for a reason) I have read introducing the subject matter of Christian Apologetics.  It most assuredly will be a resource you will find yourself using over and over making the price of the book well worth it.