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  • Writer's pictureKrista Bontrager

Standpoint Epistemology: Defined & Applied

Epistemology is one of those words your college professor wrote on the board while you were trying to stay awake in class. And you wondered, “When am I ever going to need this information?” Well, today is the day. Standpoint epistemology is transforming how we study, interpret and preach Scripture. It’s everywhere. We heard Doug Groothuis give a great summary of the issue last fall at ETS. So we asked him to join us to explain what standpoint epistemology is so regular people can recognize it.


Discussion with Doug Groothuis

Dr. Doug Groothuis is an Apologist and Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary; he is also a best-selling author of several books, including "Fire in the Streets."


The theory of knowledge; how we come to know what we claim we know; the sources for knowledge and the tests for knowledge.

Knowledge is justified, true believe, and the belief has to correspond with reality, which is what truth is. The belief has to have evidence/reason backing it up.

Standpoint Epistemology:

Deepest roots found in Marxism.

What is the end goal of Standpoint Epistemology?

It's a left-wing, Neo-Marxist perspective. If people hold this viewpoint, they will not hold respect for free speech.

Is Standpoint Epistemology making its way into Christian higher education and seminaries?

Yes, it is happening across the board with many institutions. Many people don't understand the problems with Critical Race Theory, especially when topics of justice and oppression are mentioned in the Bible.

Is it true that Black and Brown people need to be "in the room"/included in order to truly understand the Bible and have a proper Hermeneutic?

Dr. Groothuis says, "It's a half-truth that can become a whole lie." The Bible has objective truth that stands independent of anybody's perspective of it, BUT people's experience may help you to see what's there. In other words, they are not contributing something to the Bible that isn't already there, but they may see something there that others could miss.

When race, gender, and sexual identity trump arguments and when knowledge becomes color coded, then it's just the breakdown of society. There is nothing left; it's a power struggle.

Truth is a lot bigger than the standpoint of oppressed groups.

The team recommends these resources:

Dr. Groothuis provides more in-depth analysis in his academic paper, "The Incompatibility of Standpoint Epistemology with the Christian Worldview." Find the paper here:

Connect with the Guest

Twitter: @DougGroothuis


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Did y'all see Monique's interview with Jesse Lee Peterson from The Fallen State Channel? Welllllll, it was an unexpected adventure.

Although the interview didn't go as initially planned, Monique learned several valuable lessons:

1. We can stand on the Word of God.

2. We answer to God alone; we don't have to answer any/every question from people (especially if they are directing the conversation in a negative way/setting a trap). We can say, "I am not going to answer that" or "I am still thinking that through."

3. I said what I said. At the end of the day, a person's issue is not with me, it is ultimately with God.

**To see the video of Monique's interview, we suggest you watch the live reaction video from our friend, Seiko Woods:

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