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Truth Decay: Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism Paperback – June 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


"Truth Decay explains how God's truth ignites our passion for Him in a world gone numb with endless distractions, infuses our lives with objective meaning in a chaotic and pointless culture, and benefits His people together in community. As such, Groothius' work will help pastors who are seeking to deliver God's truth in culturally relevant ways." (Stephen Scheperle, Enrichment, Fall 2008)

About the Author

Douglas R. Groothuis (PhD, Philosophy, University of Oregon) is professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary in Denver, Colorado. He has also been a visiting professor or adjunct faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary (Colorado Springs extension), Metropolitan State College of Denver, Westminster Theological Seminary (California campus), University of Oregon, New College Berkeley and Seattle Pacific University. His articles have been published in professional journals such as Religious Studies, Sophia, Theory and Research in Education, Philosophia Christi, Themelios, Think: A Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, Christian Scholar's Review, Inquiry and Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. He has written several books, including Truth Decay, In Defense of Natural Theology (coeditor), Unmasking the New Age, Jesus in an Age of Controversy, Deceived by the Light, The Soul in Cyberspace, and, in the Wadsworth Philosophers Series, On Pascal and On Jesus.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; Print On Demand Edition edition (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830822283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830822287
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a philosopher who serves as Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary and as an Affiliate Faculty at Metropolitan State College of Denver. I have authored two dozen academic papers published in journals such as Religious Studies, Inquiry, Sophia, Philosophia Christi, Think, and Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. I have also published dozens of articles in magazines such as Christianity Today, Books and Culture, The Christian Research Journal, and many others.

I am the author of eleven books:

1. Unmasking the New Age (InterVarsity Press, 1986)
2. Confronting the New Age (InterVarsity Press, 1988)
3. Revealing the New Age Jesus (InterVarsity Press, 1990)
4. Christianity That Counts (Baker Books, 1994)
5. Deceived by the Light (Harvest House, 1995)
6. Jesus in an Age of Controversy (Harvest House, 1996)
7. The Soul in Cyberspace (Baker Books, 1997)
8. Truth Decay (InterVarsity Press, 2000)
9. On Jesus (Wadsworth, 2003)
10. On Pascal (Wadsworth, 2003)
11. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (InterVarsity Press, 2011)

I also co-edited the volume, In Defense of Natural Theology: A Post-Humean Assessment (InterVarsity Press, 2005) with James Sennett.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 50 people found the following review helpful By J. F Foster on December 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Groothuis has done a good job in this book of profiling postmodernism and discrediting it in light of its devastating theories on truth and living. In the process, he does a good job of affirming the reality of universal truth and showing how Christianity's worldview best honors absolute truth in comparison to other worldviews, most notably postmodernism.
This book is an attempt to touch on various aspects of the postmodernist issue. Groothuis spends a good deal of time deconstructing the postmodernist objection to universal truth and its embrace of 'cultural truths', along with the worldview's inability to provide any basis for the many presuppositions it makes. He also analyzes the massive internal inconsistencies prevalent throughout postmodern thought and eloquently demonstrates that many adherents to postmodernism tend to be first in line to fail the litmus tests of their own worldview. He also analyzes the issue of whether language can express truths beyond itself, which is a common assertion among prominent postmodernists. Groothuis also spends a chapter looking at the dangerous apologetics that some prominent Christians have developed which resemble postmodernist thinking. In many of these areas, Groothuis's analysis is thorough and excellent, with an emphasis on heavy quotation from those he is critiquing.
Although somewhat minor, I must also say that I thought the cover of the paperback was outstanding. The cover depicts a barren landscape, almost a wasteland. This illustration is very applicable to the postmodern worldview. After reading this book, I think quite a few readers will rightly conclude that postmodernism is an extremely depressing and hopeless way of thinking about the world and its inhabitants.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sue on November 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am an Apologist and consider "Truth Decay" a necessary reference. My copy is highlighted, marked up and tabbed.
One of my favorite quotes: "The postmodern condition may induce a kind of value vertigo, a disorientation regarding matters that matter." Isn't that a wonderful statement? Look at the changes in our culture prompted by the Progressive's and one quickly feels thing are upside down.
"Truth Decay" is about defending objective truth. The truth of Spirit filled theologians like Luther, Augustine, Calvin and Edwards.
It is a must read and a keeper. It will bless you.
It is a tad hard to read but the effort will be greatly rewarded. I loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luthien22 on September 3, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book because it was a required textbook for a course on the theology of the Trinity, the theology of the seven capital sins, and the philosophy of postmodernism. No, I have no idea how those things are connected. Neither did my professor. But this review isn't of the class (which could definitely have been improved on), but this book on its own.

In case you can't tell from the book title, summary, and reviews, this is a book about how postmodernism is bad. Except... the author defines postmodernism as a worldview that dismisses the scientific view of Truth (as in the nature of truth) that began with Modernism to be misguided, and instead rejects truth entirely; that is, to Groothius, postmodernism is relativism (the belief that there is no objective truth). He holds up Richard Rorty as his main example of this. There's one slight problem with this... the dictionary disagrees. According to Webster, postmodernism is "a late-20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of 'art'." Note the lack of statements on the nature of Truth; there have been postmodernists on both sides of the fence on the issue. In fact, many postmodernists have rejected relativism due to the fact that you can't really support social justice through relativism. Groothius completely ignores this and instead focuses on what he calls "truth decay" (title drop). Truth decay is exactly what it sounds like; a perceived decay in the belief in objective truth. This is where I really start to have issues with Groothius' logic.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Grotzke on July 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"A venerable old Russian proverb claims that `one word of truth outweighs the world.'" (Kindle Location 101).
Point: Postmodernism has corrupted any foundation upon which man may stand. This must be evaluated, critiqued, and challenged in a thoughtful and biblical manner.

Path: Groothuis leads the reader through the barren landscape of modernism to postmodernism. He stops along the way to explain a biblical view of truth and how postmodernism has undermined it. He writes on ethics, race, gender, and beauty. He concludes with a short appendix on the medium of television.

Sources: Francis Schaeffer, C. S. Lewis, etc. He challenges men such as Rorty and others.

Agreement: Groothuis offers a helpful overview of the postmodern mindset and the predicament that thinkers find themselves in today. He references a wide group of authors and intellectuals, and helps to categorize their ideologies.

Disagreement: I would have liked to see more interaction with the afore mentioned authors. He quotes others, but does not spend much time wrestling with their ideas. This leads to a second frustration, that of the plethora of quoted material. One gets a sense of what Groothuis thinks, but must read between the "quoted" lines.

Personal App: There is a proper way to evaluate, critique, and challenge the postmodern worldview - it is through the base of Scripture.

Favorite Quote: "If there is no beauty beyond the eye of the beholder, art becomes merely a tool for social influence, political power and personal expression; the category of obscenity is as obsolete as the ideal of beauty." (Kindle Locations 200-201).

It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.
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