Episode: Erin and Dru host Douglas Groothuis for an episode that breaks from our typical Onscript fare. Doug’s newest book, Walking through Twilight is a memoir about his journey alongside his wife as she was diagnosed, and then finally succumbed to a form of dementia called Primary Progressive Aphasia. Doug’s book is raw and painful to read at times, but it is also profound and sure to be helpful for those walking similar roads, pastoring such families, or offering help.
Guest: Douglas Groothuis is Professor of Philosophy and the head of the Apologetics and Ethics program at Denver Seminary. He received a PhD and a BS from the University of Oregon, and an MA in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is the author of numerous books, including Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Christian Faith, which was awarded the Award of Merit in the Apologetics/ Evangelism category from Christianity Today in 2012 and answers the troubling questions that people are actually asking.
The Book: Douglas Groothuis, Walking through Twilight: A Wife’s Illness – A Philosopher’s Lament (IVP, 2017). (from the publisher’s website) Nothing is simple for a person suffering from dementia, and for those they love. When ordinary tasks of communication, such as using a phone, become complex, then difficult, and then impossible, isolation becomes inevitable. Helping becomes excruciating.
In these pages philosopher Douglas Groothuis offers a window into his experience of caring for his wife as a rare form of dementia ravages her once-brilliant mind and eliminates her once-stellar verbal acuity. Mixing personal narrative with spiritual insight, he captures moments of lament as well as philosophical and theological reflection. Brief interludes provide poignant pictures of life inside the Groothuis household, and we meet a parade of caregivers, including a very skilled companion dog.
Losses for both Doug and Becky come daily, and his questions for God multiply as he navigates the descending darkness. Here is a frank exploration of how one continues to find God in the twilight.
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