Inerrancy and Worldview by Vern Poythress

inerrancy and worldviewDetails:

Author: Poythress, Vern

Binding: Paperback

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers

Year: May 2012

ISBN#:  10: 1433523876
ISBN #: 13: 9781433523878

Publisher’s Description:  Though the Bible presents a personal and relational God, popular modern worldviews portray an impersonal divine force in a purely material world. Readers influenced by this competing worldview hold assumptions about fundamental issues–like the nature of humanity, evil, and the purpose of life—that present profound obstacles to understanding the Bible.

In Inerrancy and Worldview, Dr. Vern Poythress offers the first worldview-based defense of scriptural inerrancy, showing how worldview differences create or aggravate most perceived difficulties with the Bible. His positive case for biblical inerrancy implicitly critiques the worldview of theologians like Enns, Sparks, Allert, and McGowan. Poythress, who has researched and published in a variety of fields—including science, linguistics, and sociology—deals skillfully with the challenges presented in each of these disciplines. By directly addressing key examples in each field, Poythress shows that many difficulties can be resolved simply by exposing the influence of modern materialism.

Inerrancy and Worldview’s positive response to current attempts to abandon or redefine inerrancy will enable Christians to respond well to modern challenges by employing a worldview that allows the Bible to speak on its own terms.

About the author:  Vern Poythress is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary, where he has taught for 33 years. He has six earned degrees, including a PhD from Harvard University and a ThD from the University of Stellenbosch. He is the author of numerous books on biblical interpretation, language, and science.

Endorsements:  “I can think of no one in the world better qualified to write a defense of biblical inerrancy than my lifelong friend Vern Poythress. This book is no ordinary defense of inerrancy that merely focuses on proposed solutions to several difficult verses (though it does examine some of them). Rather, it is a wide-ranging analysis that exposes the faulty intellectual assumptions that underlie challenges to the Bible from every major academic discipline in the modern university world. I think every Christian student at every secular university should read and absorb the arguments in this book. It is profoundly wise, insightful, and clearly written, and it will surely strengthen every reader’s confidence in the trustworthiness of the Bible as the very words of God.” – Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Bible and Theology, Phoenix Seminary

“Vern Poythress has written what I consider to be definitive books on many subjects, including biblical interpretation, language, science, and sociology. In Inerrancy and Worldview, he brings his insights from these disciplines and more together to address the relation of biblical inerrancy to worldview. He shows quite convincingly that the issue of inerrancy is not just a matter of asking whether this or that biblical passage is factual. Rather, our attitude toward the claim of biblical inerrancy depends on our general view of how God is related to the cosmos and to us as individuals and societies. And that general view, in turn, depends on our relationship to Jesus Christ. The book gets deeper into the question of inerrancy than any other book I know.” – John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL

“Every new item that Vern Poythress writes is thoughtful, creative, and worth reading. This book is no exception. Among the many things I like about it is his emphasis on the personalist worldview of the Bible, as over against the impersonalism that dominates modern Western culture. Besides its crucial contribution to his own subject in clarifying how it is that God communicates to us through the Bible, I think this basic idea will be fruitful for a good number of other topics as well. Thanks, Dr. Poythress, and thanks, God, for giving him to the Church.” – C. John Collins, Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary; author, The God of Miracles

“Vern Poythress has provided both the church and the academy a remarkable service withInerrancy and Worldview. Recognizing that the modern objection to Scripture is neither univocal nor objective, but rather varied and religious, he helpfully reframes the discussion in terms of competing worldviews. By surveying the various options for the allegiance of the modern mind, Poythress shows that not only is an inerrant Bible a reasonable expectation of a personal God, but our rejection of it is rooted not in evidence, but in our sinful rebellion against that God. With clear logic and pastoral care, Poythress leads us through an amazing tour of both the ‘wisdom of our age’ and the follies of our hearts, bringing us at last to the God who speaks—humbling our pride and setting our hearts free.” – Michael Lawrence, Senior Pastor, Hinson Baptist Church, Portland, Oregon; author, Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church

“To our shame, the response of Christians to challenges to our faith can often be dismissive, shallow, defensive, or disrespectful. On the other hand, we can err too much on the side of tolerance for error when truth is under siege. In Inerrancy and Worldview, Vern Poythress shows us how to be neither fools nor cowards. Through intelligent, informed, insightful, and respectful engagement, key foundational faith defeaters taught in many disciplines at every secular university are explained and critiqued from a biblical perspective. Poythress challenges the challenges to biblical belief at the root of their assumptions. We are left with a solid basis and defense of the Christian way of thinking. Inerrancy and Worldview should be required reading for all who want to think more deeply about their faith and defend it within a skeptical culture.” – Erik Thoennes, Professor of Biblical Studies and Ttheology, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University; Pastor, Grace Evangelical Free Church, La Mirada, CA

Amazon Review by Adam Parker:   “Inerrancy and Worldview is the latest book from Vern Poythress. It is meant to be part of a new trilogy of books centered around challenges to the inerrancy of the Bible (the next book in the series, Inerrancy and the Gospels, is due out in October).

Poythress’ book thoughtfully explores the numerous reasons why many people (Christians included) balk at the idea that the Bible is inerrant. Poythress defines inerrant as meaning “it is completely true in what it says, and makes no claims that are not true.” He points out that attacks are multi-faceted: “some of the voices directly attack inerrancy. Others redefine it” (13).

And so the book is aimed at those who would attack inerrancy. Obviously, a book which covered merely objections to inerrancy would be incredibly long, and so Poythress aims at something more modest – and unique. “We will concentrate here on difficulties that have ties with the differences in worldview” (14).

At a basic apologetic level, this work is wholly presuppositional in its approach. Poythress never deigns to pretend the Bible may or may not be the word of God. He acknowledges that it is, and then proceeds to diagnose what is wrong with the skeptic – not the Bible. “People come to the bible with expectations that do not fit the Bible, and this clash becomes one main reason, though not the only one, why people do not find the Bible’s claims acceptable.”

Poythress interacts with a range of challenges from a worldview perspective: challenges from materialism, history, language, sociology, anthropology, psychology, perceived contradictions, challenges from our attitudes, and also from our own corrupt spirituality. Some of the most helpful work is done when Poythress utilizes Van Til’s personalism vs. impersonalism distinction to answer the ‘problem’ of miracles. What Poythress does most skillfully is to demonstrate that each and every argument against inerrancy begins with precommitments which distort one’s evaluation of inerrancy. The skeptic, for example, perceives contradictions in the text because he does not believe that God speaks through the Scriptures with a unified voice. He has worldview commitments which preclude possible solutions to perceived contradictions in the text.

Modernists have issues with the exclusivity of the Christian faith, as well as complaining of the Bible being a sort of ‘moral straitjacket.’ Even liberal ‘Christians’ have issues with inerrancy related to a host of beliefs which Poythress demonstrates to be unbiblical. There’s something here for every branch of unbelief – Christian and non-Christian alike.

The author has no illusions that this book is a one-size-fits-all case for inerrancy. It is not meant to be. It is specifically targeted towards dealing with unbelief at its root, not at its branches. He acknowledges repeatedly that sin is the root of the problems people have with the Bible. In the footnotes he frequently points readers to more substantive books on different subjects where issues can be explored further while plainly refusing to follow rabbit trails (even very attractive ones that would enrich the chapter) – a type of restraint I hope to learn someday.

I admire this book as a specially focused apologetic tool. It is thoroughly presuppositional, uncompromising, and refreshingly plain to read. I would not hesitate to put it in the hands of a believer who is struggling through inerrancy, but I do think there are better books, generally speaking, for unbelievers trying to discern if the Bible is what it claims to be. It wouldn’t hurt for those peripherally interested to simply read the chapters related to their own bugaboos. Also, I think the appendix (discussing the human authors of the Bible and their place in an inerrant text) is worth the price of admission alone.”

Sample Pages DOWNLOAD HERE

 

 

What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson

what's your worldviewDetails:

Author: Anderson, James N.

Binding: Paperback

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Crossway

Year: Jan 2014

ISBN#: 9781433538926

 

Publisher’s Description:

How do you view the world?
It’s a big question. And how you answer is one of the most important things about you.

Not sure what you’d say? Join James Anderson on an interactive journey of discovery aimed at helping you understand and evaluate the options when it comes to identifying your worldview. Cast in the mold of a classic “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, What’s Your Worldview? will guide you toward finding intellectually satisfying answers to life’s biggest questions—equipping you to think carefully about not only what you believe but why you believe it and how it impacts the rest of your life.

About the author:  James N. Anderson (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is associate professor of theology and philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, and an ordained minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Before studying philosophy, he completed his doctoral work in computer simulation. Anderson is a member of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion, and the Evangelical Philosophical Society.

Endorsements:  “I can think of readers to whom I would not give this book: they like their reading material to be straightforward exposition. The notion of an interactive book, where readers are forced to choose distinguishable paths and interact with discrete lines of thought, finding their own worldviews challenged—well, that does not sound very relaxing, and it may be a bit intimidating. But James Anderson has written something that is as creative as it is unusual: he has written a book in clear prose and at a popular level that nevertheless challenges readers to think, and especially to identify and evaluate their own worldviews. If the style is akin to ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books, the content is at least as entertaining and far more important.” —D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“This book will become ‘the book’ that will be used by campus ministers, students, and a host of others who are constantly being drawn into conversations concerning worldviews. The layout of this book is ingenious, helpful, and engaging. The information found in these short pages will provide accurate long-term care for those on a ‘worldview journey.’” —Rod Mays, National Coordinator, Reformed University Fellowship

“What’s Your Worldview? is a brilliant concept, because each generation stumbles into its own ways to learn about God. Francis Schaeffer spoke about truth to many now old. James Anderson speaks to the young who grew up with ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books, where the outcome depends on the choices readers make. A great gift for thoughtful teens who need to choose wisely.” —Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief, World News Group

“James Anderson’s What’s Your Worldview is a delightfully innovative apologetic. I know of nothing like it. It gets the reader to interact by asking crucial worldview questions. Depending on the reader’s answers, he is led to further questions, or to a conclusion. Animating the journey is a cogent Christian apologetic, showing that only the Christian worldview yields cogent answers to the questions. Anderson’s approach is both winsome and biblical, as well as being the most creative apologetic book in many years. I pray that it gets a wide readership.” —John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

“Thanks to James Anderson for filling a massive gap in apologetics and worldview thinking. This book is unique in that it is wholly and broadly accessible to readers of any background and educational level, and yet written by an accomplished Christian philosopher. Written with wit, clarity, cogency and simplicity, this book ingeniously guides the reader from a chosen worldview to its implications. Urging the reader to connect the conceptual dots of his own thinking, this book should lead its reader either to turmoil or to truth. This will now be the first book on my list for people who ask ultimate questions about Christianity and its relationship to other ways of thinking. Get this book, read it, then get more to give away to friends and family.” —K. Scott Oliphint, Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, Covenantal Apologetics

“What’s Your Worldview offers a uniquely interactive approach to finding answers to life’s biggest and most important questions. It makes identifying your worldview, and perhaps replacing it with a better one, an enjoyable adventure.” —Tim Challies, blogger, Challies.com; author, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

“There has been a plethora of books written about worldview in the past 25 years, but Dr. Anderson has done something much better—he has written a book that helps you discern your worldview, and then ask yourself some penetrating questions about it. Is all as it should be in your worldview? Read on, and find out.” —Rev. William Fullilove, Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Assistant Academic Dean, Reformed Theological Seminary, Atlanta

“For some time now, the church has been in desperate need of an accessible and practical tool that would help people evaluate the cogency and coherence of their worldviews. Finally, with this new book, that need is being met. James Anderson is one of the brightest new voices in the world of philosophical theology. You will not want to miss this book.” —Michael J. Kruger, President and Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte; author, Canon Revisited

“Not the last word on worldviews, but quite possibly the first! What’s Your Worldview? is creative, clear, and fun, but with some ‘nice’ and necessary sharp edges. I hope and pray it will have the desired effect of making all those who read it stop and think (Isa. 44:19).” —Daniel Strange, Academic Vice Principal and Tutor in Culture, Religion and Public Theology, Oak Hill Theological College, London

“Dr. James Anderson has provided the church with a unique new tool to help the next generation be prepared to give the reason for the hope that is within them.” —Hugh Whelchel, Executive Director, The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics; author, How Then Should We Work?

Amazon Review by Mike Robinson:   “Worldviews are in dispute: Christian theism vs. modern atheism. Christianity vs. Islam. Truth vs. Eastern ideas. There are powerful and compelling arguments for the existence of the Christian God, but one wouldn’t know it if one only read the works of Hitchens, Harris, and Dawkins. They assert numerous fallacious and deceptive arguments as they often erect the frailest of straw-men in order to push them down with the greatest of rhetorical ease. Most world religions are not much better since they generally rest on fideism. James N. Anderson (PhD, University of Edinburgh; assoc. professor of theology & philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary) helps you interact with essential ideas by presenting probing questions about important worldview concepts and applications. How you answer will lead you to the next concept or subject. Anderson engagingly leads the reader to the discovery that only the Christian worldview supplies coherent and persuasive answers to ultimate questions (by means of a type of “game book” or CYOA). This is a very unique and winsome way to not only keep the reader’s attention, but teach him in a manner that may increase retention of essential truths.

You would think that atheism, Islam, finite Godism, and Eastern religions are forceful challengers to Christianity. But Anderson doesn’t merely argue that these views, as amusing as some are, do not reveal the evidential or philosophical actuality, but he guides the reader to the truth. “What’s Your Worldview? An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions” draws the student, step by step, to the reality that the Christian worldview has preeminent rational arguments and worldview cogency on its side. The reader will discover that Christianity categorically provides coherency and makes the most sense–even more, concurrently, it provides the foundation for a truth-filled worldview.

A worldview is an overall perspective of life. One sees and defines the world through a basic grid of presuppositions, a worldview. It is the rational network used to evaluate reality. A worldview is a set of beliefs (often unconscious) which affect the way people see and respond to the world. It is a rational paradigm that provides a unified system of analysis. It examines human experience as it provides a set of explanations regarding the problems of existence. Anderson rightly helps the reader understand the important role worldview analysis plays in the development of Christian apologetics as well as the growth of the ordinary person’s thought life.

In “What’s Your Worldview? An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions” topics include:

* The Truth Question
* The God Question
* The Freedom Question
* The Unity Question
* The Resurrection Question
* The Moses Question
* The Matter Question
* The Divinity Question
* The Muhammad Question
* The Salvation Question
* And much more

Different worldviews lead to different conceptions of reason, morality, and freedom. The person who goes astray from God’s word falls into many needless troubles and hindrances. One always ends up being a servant to the confines of one’s worldview.

An important function of a worldview is that it serves as an explanatory model of the world. A worldview informs a person’s:

* Description of the world.
* Epistemology (what one can know and how does one know it).
* Ethics (what are moral values and what precisely are they).
* Eschatology (where humanity and reality is headed).
* Objectives (purpose, procedure, and production: what is the purpose of humanity, what should men aim to build, and what course of action should be taken).

“What’s Your Worldview?” Anderson tackles a wide range of worldviews and theoretical categories. The reader can interact with dualism, atheism, Islam, monism, deism, finite Godism, Platonism, pantheism, and countless other worldviews.

The traveler discovers that a worldview consists of a number of background assumptions as well as ultimate beliefs–those are essential presuppositions used to view human experience. “What’s Your Worldview?” gently helps the reader identify many of these presuppositions that constitute the grid through which one observes the world. Presuppositions stand on that which one considers to be the foundation for truth. One’s presuppositions supply the source of their moral values and therefore the guiding source for their assessments and choices.

People tend to view the world in a way skewed to favor the elements essential to their worldview. Studies have demonstrated that people are inclined to think they are more intelligent and sensible than the average person. Obviously some people are engaged in defective reasoning. “What’s Your Worldview?” smoothly challenges one’s reasoning process at its core and ground. People generally view their worldview with foggy glasses (biased presuppositions) as they assume the weak and incoherent features of their worldview without critical inquiry. Anderson allows the reader to use one’s own critical analysis upon their worldview and the worldviews of others. The author fills a vital need within the modern church: worldview studies. “What’s Your Worldview?” is an innovative volume that is reader-friendly and accessible to those with little apologetic or philosophical training. As one digs in, Anderson guides with care, easiness, and appealing straightforwardness–this volume inventively escorts you from a selected worldview to its effects and consequences. Anderson gradually steers you to discover the result of your own ideas, as you either choose the truth or the unpleasant results of an incoherent worldview.

This is a book today’s generation urgently needs–an approachable and hands-on resource that helps the reader evaluate the cogency and soundness of the assorted worldviews jostling for their souls. Herein, students as well as ministers, find the solution. Since it is an interactive book, it is great for campus ministries, youth groups, teachers, and the busy pastor. No apologist should miss this book. Endorsed by D.A. Carson, Marvin Olasky, K. Scott Oliphint, and John Frame.”

Sample Pages:  DOWNLOAD PDF

 

 

Presuppositionalist Joe Boot vs Dan Barker Debate

The following YouTube video features a relatively recent debate between Christian apologist Rev Joe Boot, an exceptional presuppositionalist (Van Tillian? I think so), and atheist Dan Barker. For those who may not know, Dan Barker claims to be an ex-Christian, an ex-minister even, a real apostate. Since his apostasy, Barker has participated in many debates against Christians (including James White). As an experienced debater, Barker has had many years to fine tune arguments in the field of rhetoric. Despite this, Rev Joe Boot leaves his subjectivist position found lacking, barren, and bankrupt. Watch for yourself as Rev Joe Boot TAG’s Barker!

 

Btw, who would have thought a presuppositionalist could come from or would have been part of RZIM? Strange world we live in.

What Every Christian Needs to Know About Islam

KINGDOMVIEW

Since 2005, James R. White has taken to a serious study of Islam. What he’s produced, both in lectures and reading material (in print and on his blog), is some of the most helpful stuff on Islam available. Here’s his 2 part introduction:

And here’s his shorter 1 part presentation of the much of the same material:

For more detail, see White’s fuller discussion in:

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Free PDF Books by Vern S. Poythress

Let’s start the new year off with a bang! Check out the ebook section at frame-poythress.org: http://www.frame-poythress.org/ebooks/ for many free books in electronic formats.

Dear friends, Dr. Poythress (and Dr. Frame) and the respective publishers have been most generous making these available free of charge (which is rare with newer books), please consider also purchasing hard copies if possible.

 

Titles by Dr. Poythress in PDF format include:

The Gender Neutral Bible Controversy

In the Beginning was the Word

Redeeming Science: A God Centered Approach

 Redeeming Sociology A God-Centered Approach 

What Are Spiritual Gifts?

Inerrancy and Worldview

Inerrancy and the Gospels

 

Other titles are available in other formats. Anyone seeking a  “God-Centered” approach should appreciate any and all of these titles. Praise God for these resources!

For those interested, an interview with Vern discussing his book “Inerrancy and Worldview”

“My book Inerrancy and Worldview focuses on the way in which assumptions due to a modern worldview affect people’s understanding of the Bible. A large number of modern criticisms of the Bible and modern claims to find “errors” arise from injecting erroneous assumptions belonging to modern worldviews. People see errors because they misconstrue the Bible’s claims or find them implausible when measured against their standard assumptions. They do not humbly endeavor to understand the Bible on its own terms.” – Vern Poythress

Worldviews in Collision: At War with the World

Worldviews, everyone has a worldview, whether they know it or not, whether spoken or unspoken, whether informal or formal. Most everyone is comfortable in their worldview, enough to defend their views when put on the spot. There are not many solipsists in reality. Most people believe they are right about their worldview. But considering the differences and contradictions, how many worldviews can actually be right? This is not to say that there are not grains of truth in different worldviews, but when I ask how many worldviews can be right, I am referring to the most basic presuppositions which make up a worldview, people’s answers to the “big questions” in life, like the question “does God exist?” This may come as a surprise, but when we talk about reality, and actuality, there is only one perfect worldview, and that is God’s worldview! Why or how? Because He is the Creator of everything, because He is omniscient, His perception of reality is perfect and complete lacking nothing. How can we know about God’s view of the world? We can know objectively through the inspired, infallible, inerrant revelations from God preserved in the writings of Sacred Scripture. We know subjectively through illumination given by God the Holy Spirit in reading the objective Word of God. So the foundation of the Christian worldview is the Bible, and because the Bible represents God’s view, we must set God’s worldview over and against non-believing worldviews. You see my friends, either Christianity is true or it is not, there is no “probability” about it. None of the writers of Scripture speak of their faith in God in a terms of probability. Would the apostles have suffered and given their lives up for a God they thought might exist, or probably, most likely exists? Absolutely not!

To the Romans the Apostle Paul declares:

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV)

To the Colossians the Apostle Paul writes:

“that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3 (NKJV)

To the Philippians the Apostle Paul writes:

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy,for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Philippians 1:3-6

Finally, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for” Heb 11:1 (ESV)

This brief message written by me, were inspired by the following lectures given by Dr. Greg Bahnsen focusing on the antithesis between the Christian worldview and non-Christian worldviews.

Worldviews in Collision: At War with the World I – Part: 1 of 2: DOWNLOAD

Worldviews in Collision: At War with the World II – Part: 2 of 2: DOWNLOAD

At War With The Word – The Necessity Of Biblical Antithesis Transcript

For more free MP3’s, look under the “Van Tillian Media” header.