About Doug

Who is Doug Geivett?

Doug is Professor of Philosophy in the Talbot Department of Philosophy at Biola University (La Mirada, CA). He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of epistemology and the philosophy of religion. In addition, he has taught courses on the new atheism, and on film and philosophy.

Doug is the author or editor of several books. He is co-editor with Jim Spiegel of the book Faith, Film, and Philosophy: Big Ideas on the Big Screen, and hosts a website for the book at www.faith-film-philosophy.com.

FFP Book Cover Art

He has lectured throughout the United States, and in Canada, England, Scotland, Spain, France, Sweden, China, and Ukraine. His speaking calendar is published online at

http://faith-film-philosophy.com/rdg-calendar.html

He can be reached for speaking invitations by calling Gail Neal: (562) 903-4764.

Doug’s hobbies include sea kayaking, reading outside his discipline, digital photography, travel, motorcycling, and studying foreign languages. His favorite place in the country is the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. He writes for himself and others. He scavenges for useful tips for writing of all kinds, for any of his hobbies, and for general life management.

He cares about ideas—which ones are true and why we would should think so. He’s fond of asking, “Are you good at believing the things you believe?”

This blog is devoted to exploring all of these themes . . . and more. Doug has always believed that he fell into philosophy because he’s interested in so many seemingly unrelated things. As a philosopher, he lives with the illusion that they’re all connected.

Other ways to contact Doug:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DougGeivett

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/doug.geivett

Academia.edu: http://www.biola.academia.edu/DougGeivett

37 Responses to About Doug

  1. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Aner,

    Thank you for your question. I may misunderstand what you’re asking, but you seem to be assuming a view about Jesus Christ known as “Docetism.” Docetism is a heresy that confronted the early Christian church and was summarily condemned at the First Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. Convened by Emperor Constantine, this Council took place in modern-day Turkey at a place called Bithynia.

    A major sector of Docetists held that the man born to Mary in Bethlehem was merely a man, and that the Spirit of God imbued this man with divinity. Some held that Jesus only appeared to be human. (The word “Docetism” derives from the Greek word dokein, meaning “to seem”.) Docetism was deemed a heresy because the traditional and orthodox doctrine is that Jesus, one and the same person, had two natures, a divine nature and a human nature, so that he was fully God and fully man at the same time from the beginning.

    There is evidence that an incipient form of Docetism was already at large during the first century. 1 John 4:1-3 and 2 John 7 address the threat that some deceivers deny the literal incarnation of Jesus Christ, holding that as the divine Son he had not come in the flesh. This is probably the first heresy to be addressed by the Christian church. Through the prevailing influence of Gnosticism, Docetism and other heresies continued to flourish in some quarters. By the 4th century it was clear that official condemnation of the heresy was needed. This would curtail attempts by Docetists to pass their doctrines off as the truth about Jesus Christ.

    Thus, it was the physical body of Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully man, that was literally raised from the dead. This is the teaching of Scripture and so it has been the orthodox position of the Christian church from the beginning.

    -Doug

  2. Aner says:

    Doug

    I stumbled on a teaching your gave re: the evidence of the resurrection. You introduced the deity of Christ as a key element. I have yet to hear an Evangelical answer the following. Any thought?

    If the Logos, the second person of the trinity, did not incarnate in the human conceived in Mary, would that human be able to fully, consciously, personally and willfully function exactly as you and I, as genuine men, do?

    Best,
    In Christ

    Aner

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  6. Doug Geivett says:

    Dear CAW,

    I’m honored to be selected for such a presentation, and I regret that it has taken until now for me to reply. You’ll have to tell me more about where you attend school and what this class is like.

    (1) In a way, philosophy sought me out. When scrutinizing my own worldview commitments, I found that the questions I came back to over and over again were basic philosophical questions. I was also drawn to philosophy because: the study of philosophy is inexhaustible, there actually is real progress in philosophy, the sciences are not as exact as many practitioners believe, philosophical method applies to every area of life.

    (2) For my career, being told by a respected professor at the seminary I attended that I should consider doing a PhD in philosophy was a real game-changer.

    (3) I’ve enjoyed many high points and I can’t really single one out. A real high point for me is seeing numerous former students now making careers in philosophy across the country and overseas. Staying in touch with them is important to me. Also, I always enjoy mutually respectful dialogue with professors and students who disagree with me after a public lecture I have given.

    (4) The inverse of my answer to (3) above, it’s always a low point when someone responds to a public presentation with ridicule and condescension.

    (5) I began teaching in the fledgling graduate program in philosophy at Biola University in 1993. So it’s now been 18 years. I had been teaching philosophy for two years at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. I loved Taylor and planned to continue there. But when I was approached about teaching graduate level philosophy at Biola University, in my home state of California, I had to consider it carefully. I consulted with the wisest of my friends, including beloved colleagues at Taylor. They uniformly encouraged me to move to Biola. As a result of being at Biola, I’ve had the unusual joy of seeing over 100 of my past students go on to do PhD research in philosophy, to travel and lecture worldwide, and to spend my days with first-rate students. I was the director of the program for the first ten years of its existence and I found it truly gratifying to see it grow from a concept on paper to a molder of minds across the globe. Only God knows how long I’ll continue at Biola.

    Feel free to drop me a note by email, and be sure to let me know how your class goes for you!

    -Doug

  7. Caleb says:

    Hello Doug,

    I will soon be presenting a biographical presentation on you for a contemporary philosophy class. Eventually, I will send you a more structured e-mail, but for the time being, I was wondering if you could answer any of the following questions in as much detail as you would care to include:
    What caused you to choose to seek out the philosophy as an area of study and/or vocation?
    Is there any point in your life or career that you would identify as the most important or influential, either in regards to philosophy or just life itself?
    What would you consider the high point of your philosophical career thus far? The low point?
    What led you to your current university position, and do you intend to remain there?

    Thank you very much for your time, sir. From what I have seen on this blog, I feel I can safely look forward to reading your chapter “Is a God a story? Postmodernity and the Task of Theology.” in M. Penner’s “Christianity and the Postmodern Turn.”

    Again, thank you for your time.

    CAW

  8. Doug Geivett says:

    Hello, Mary Sue. I’m pleased to know of your interest in doing an interview. Your project is very worthwhile and I hope we can arrange something. I’ve been traveling much of the summer, which may account for the difficulty in reaching me. I’ll write you at your email address to let you know how better to reach me!

    -Doug

  9. Mary Sue Daoud says:

    Hi Doug,

    My name is Mary Sue Daoud and I’m an assistant program writer for Home School Heartbeat, a radio program put on by the Home School Legal Defense Association in Virginia. We’ve been trying for several weeks to contact you to see if you would be willing to be interviewed for a week’s worth of prerecorded programs on teaching logic to children, especially homeschoolers.

    Hosted by HSLDA President Mike Smith, Home School Heartbeat is a 2-minute daily program that airs on over 1,000 outlets across the U.S. and internationally. It also goes out as an email transcript to about 15,000 subscribers and is available online as a podcast and at http://www.homeschoolheartbeat.com. We cover topics of interest to homeschooling families, generally relating to home education.

    We’ll be recording on Wednesday, July 20, between 10 a.m. and noon, eastern time, by phone. The interview will only take about 20 minutes.

    Please let me know whether you’d be interested, or if I can answer any questions!

    Thanks!
    Mary Sue Daoud

  10. Doug Geivett says:

    S. Davis and B. Davies are two different and unrelated philosophers. I’ve never quite know what to make of Anselm’s argument.

  11. thanks for the recommendation. i’m reading several comprehensive chapters on the ontological argument and classical theism by brian davies (not related to stephen i suppose?).

    do you personally think anselm’s original version is defensible?

  12. Doug Geivett says:

    Sungyak John,

    Stephen Davis has an excellent exposition and defense of the ontological argument in the book The Rationality of Theism, edited by Paul Copan and Paul Moser.

  13. i read (i should i say i tried to rather) alvin plantinga’s formulation of it. the challenge for me is to distinguish it from anselm’s. haha.
    i think i find the ontological argument appealing due to my inclinations towards presuppositionalism. anyhow, i dont think i’ve read a satisfying refutation of anselm’s version (which probably means i should read more).

  14. Doug Geivett says:

    Hello, Sungyak John. Thanks for visiting this post. I agree with your point about free will. This is a serious challenge for atheists, as reflected in their preference to avoid the issue. Yes, Bill Craig did mention the ontological argument in one of his speeches. What version of this argument do you find persuasive?

    -Doug

  15. i’m glad you pursued the basis for free will in your opening statement dr.geivett. that’s an area i wish philosophers would delve deeper into; it’s so often just presupposed.
    did dr. craig raise the ontological argument at some point? that the possibility of God proves God’s existence? i was excited cause i think it’s a great one seldom raised.
    and thank you for quoting c.s. lewis in the end.
    blessings.

  16. Doug Geivett says:

    Rick,

    I’m surprised to hear your evaluation. Bill Craig presented an argument from evil for theism that is not often presented. And I presented an argument I’ve never presented before.

    -Doug

  17. Rick says:

    I listened to the debate between yourself and others in Mexico. I thought that maybe I would hear a new argument, one that I hadn’t heard before. Instead I got the same old arguments from yourself and Craig, the used up kalam argument and the whole “if god doesn’t exist, then we have no purpose, but if he does, then we have purpose.” That kind of black and white thinking went out a long time ago. There’s always the gray areas (fuzzy logic) that needs to be and has to be explored. Anyway, better luck next time.

  18. Doug Geivett says:

    Thank you, Robert, the nakedlistener. I’m happy to say, there are others!

  19. Thank God for a philosopher who speaks/writes in normal language!

  20. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’d be very happy to review this paper for you. Please do send me the details.

    Doug

  21. chris daly says:

    Dear Doug,

    I’m an associate editor for the Australasian Journal of Philosophy and would like you to referee a paper for us on the topic of miracles.

    Please can you e-mail me, so that I can send all the details incl. an abstract of the paper?

    Thanks in advance,
    Chris

  22. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Jacob,

    Can you double check the length of the comment you left earlier. That’s probably why it hasn’t cleared for posting. Guidelines for length can be found here: http://douggeivett.wordpress.com/comments-policy/

  23. Jacob says:

    I have a post in the “William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens: First Report” thread from Feb. 3rd that’s still awaiting moderation.

  24. Matt says:

    Doug,

    I couldn’t find a way to contact you on the Talbot site, so I thought I’d leave a note here. I’m an MA student in philosophy at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and I’m in a seminar on the epistemology of inner experience. We’re using Hurlburt and Schwitzgebel’s Describing Inner Experience as a starting point before we move on to various journal articles. The book talks about whether or not it is possible to accurately describe our thought life and what exactly it consists of. I thought that religious experience might make a good paper topic. Do you have any suggestions about books and journal articles about religious experience from a theistic perspective? I was at your lecture at last year’s Greer-Heard in New Orleans, so I knew that you had an interest in religious epistemology.

    Thanks,

    Matt

  25. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Ladynyo,

    You can imagine my pleasure in hearing that you like this site. I regret that it’s been some weeks since my last post. Usually I have a steady flow going. But as an academic, with a different summer schedule and responsibilities, I found that it was more difficult to post . . . until now. So please come back often, and please leave your comments!

    Good luck with your writing.

    -Doug

    Question: Which category of posts do you find most worthwhile at this site?

  26. ladynyo says:

    Wow! This is a great site, Doug. I wish I had ventured in before now…but here I am.

    I find a lot to read here, and this is so good and helpful. Sometimes we can get so insular or corralled into certain sites we read over and over and expect new ideas from what isn’t going anywhere new.

    As a writer, I need the stimulus, ideas and philosophies outside of what I am used to. I’m about to publish my second book….”White Cranes of Heaven” and realize that there is SO much more to writing….

    I’m coming back here to read more. Thanks for a really broad site of ideas.

    Lady Nyo

  27. George Ouma says:

    Do you think films are still real even when they editted? Why I can’t go for the real one or the original?

    George

  28. britt says:

    hi doug,
    i would like to get an e-mail address for you.i read one of your books and would like to chat w/you about it.
    thanks,
    britt

  29. Doug Geivett says:

    Thank you, Stephen. I enjoyed every minute of the interview and hope to be invited to do another sometime.

    Good luck with the show!

    -Doug

    BTW: What you said about never watching a film the same way again . . . that was good.

  30. Stephen Kingsley says:

    Doug,

    I enjoyed your lecture at Whitworth. I’ll never watch a film in quite the same way again. Also, thank you for taking the time to tape the radio interviews for Evidence, Faith, and Reason. We’re living in an amazing time and your insights into culture and current trends in Christianity were well reasoned. I’ll let you know when the show is produced.

    Blessings,

    Stephen

  31. Stephen Kingsley says:

    Hi Doug,

    I’m a pastor and radio broadcaster. I’m starting a new radio show next year called “Evidence, Faith, and Reason.” It is targeted at secular college aged students with a view to offering them supporting evidences for Christianity. I see that you will be in Spokane on Oct. 29th at Whitworth. If your schedule allows, I’d like to drive over while you’re in Spokane and tape an interview with you for EF&R. Perhaps we could discuss your current work re: film and argumentation. I would also enjoy hearing your thoughts on the new atheism. I know you’ve also written in defense of miracles, that too would be fascinating for my listeners. My recording equipment is portable, so time and place is up to you. I’d like to have you for at least 1/2 hour.

    Sorry for the short notice, and thank you for your consideration. Stephen

  32. Mark Foreman says:

    Doug,

    I am putting together a panel discussion for EPS this fall and I’d like you to participate. It’s on the new book “C.S. Lewis as Philosopher” edited by Habermas, Baggett and Walls published by IVP. Drop me a line and let’s discuss it.

    Mark

  33. douggeivett says:

    Thank you, Cindy, and all Verbivores, for selecting my book for your book club, and for sharing your thoughts about it. I hope it’s as useful to others, as it has been to you.

    -Doug

  34. Cindy Gould says:

    Hi Doug,

    We had a great discussion group last night. The ladies (men never seem to join book discussion groups), learned so much from reading the book. I think everyone was surprised. One lady commented that now she will watch movies a bit more “deeply,” and get more out of them.

    Probably the most interesting discussion flowed from the question, “Have you ever experienced a film that challenged your own worldview convictions in a significant way?” The question provoked a lot of thought and it was interesting to see just how movies impact us.

    Because we had recently read a philosophy book, we found that many of the ideas and philosophies discussed in your book, built and dovetailed perfectly with the philosophies we had just read about. We talked about Gnosticism, Consciousness, and Christianity among other things. The book served as a good example of the mission of our Verbivore book club–to not only devour the written word, but to read books that meet at the intersection of Faith and Culture.

    All agreed this book is an excellent resource book, not only for the movies discussed but as a discussion guide for future movies.

    We had a great time. Thanks for adding some extra questions for us–and in so doing, being part of our discussion!

    Cindy Gould
    Chicago, Illinois

  35. douggeivett says:

    Cindy,

    I’ve just posted three sets of questions here on my blog. One set is about the film Legends of the Fall, discussed in chapter 3 of my book Faith, Film and Philosophy. Another set focuses on the film The Truman Show, discussed in chapter 4 of the book. And a third set of questions is about Run Lola Run, treated in chapter 7.

    Why don’t you post a report on your group discussion of the book, here on this blog?

    -Doug

  36. douggeivett says:

    Hi Cindy,

    I’m glad you like the questions I wrote for the Introduction to Faith, Film and Philosophy. I’ve been planning to write questions for the other chapters. Don’t have them ready yet. How soon do you need questions for other chapters, and are there specific chapters that interest you most? I could see about posting something that fits the interests of your group, Verbivores.

    -Doug

  37. Cindy Gould says:

    Hi Doug,

    Am enjoying your book, Faith, Film, Philosophy. An excellent book and long overdue! I could say lots more on the subject, but I actually have a question.

    Perhaps this isn’t the best way to contact you. My book club, Verbivores, is reading and discussing this book tomorrow night! Actually, I haven’t finished reading yet, have to get busy.

    But I found the questions you wrote on the introduction. Do you have any more??? I love the questions and want to make sure we do your book justice.

    We just finished reading, Consequence of Ideas, By RC Sproul, so this book has proven an excellent segue. Unfortunately, I took your book on the recommendation of another and didn’t research it properly. Had I done so, we would have devoted much more time, and taken the chapters slowly, one at a time.

    But, we’re cramming and we’re discussing. If you have available a few more awesome discussion questions on the individual chapters, we’d love it!

    Thanks! Cindy Gould, Chicago, IL

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