Douglas Groothuis

Defending Christian Faith, October 5, 2004




part 3



The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands

(Psalm 19:1)



V.        Eight Criticisms of the Design Argument


A.        Singularity of the universe—analogy fails


B.         Infinite regress of designers, not one


C.        Why not many deities instead of one?


D.        Why not a material/corporeal deity instead of an immaterial one?


E.         The universe is not a machine—analogy fails


F.         Evolution refutes the design argument (more later)


G.        The problem of defective or sub-optimal design; the problem of evil (more      later)


H.        The “many-worlds hypothesis” (atheistic). See Robin Collins, “Design and the Many-Worlds Hypothesis,” in William Lane Craig, ed. Philosophy of Religion: A Reader and Guide (Rutgers University Press, 2002), 130 – 148; for a simpler treatment, see Patrick Glynn, God:  The Evidence (Prima Publishing, 1997), chapter 1, “A Not-So-Random Universe.”


     On-line video lectures related to the argument from design from the Discovery Institute conference, “Cosmos and Creator”:



VI.       The Argument for God From the Existence of the Mind.  For more on the arguments for dualism, see J.P. Moreland and Scott Rae, Body and Soul  (InterVarsity Press, 2000), Part 1.


A.        A kind of design argument: God best explains the existence of the mind


B.         The challenge of physicalism/naturalism/materialism


C.        Defeating physicalism (negative apologetics) and using the reality of mind as positive apologetics (God created the mind as best explanation)


D.        The alternative: dualism (This is the biblical view; see D. Groothuis, On Jesus, “Jesus’ Metaphysics,” John Cooper, Body, Soul, and the Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-Dualism Debate [Eerdmans, 1989].)


E.         Problems with physicalism as a worldview:


1.         Cosmological and design arguments defeat it (not to mention other arguments from natural theology).


2.         The verdicality of near-death experiences involving out-of-body experiences. See Douglas Groothuis, Deceived by the Light (Wipf and Stock reprint, 2002), appendix, “Is it all in the Mind?” Gary Habermas and J.P. Moreland, Beyond Death:  Exploring the Evidence for Immortality (Crossway Books, 1998), chapters 7 – 9.