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Archive for the ‘Vern Poythress’ Category

Eli Ayala of Revealed Apologetics ministry recently interviewed Dr. Vern Poythress of Westminster Theological Seminary on the topic of how the Trinity impacts and relates to everything else In the Christian life.

Dr. Poythress is one of those amazing scholars who are inter-disciplinary.  He has a Bachelor degree in mathematics from California Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University (1970), a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, a Th.M in apologetics also from Westminster in 1974.  He’s also have a M.Litt. in New Testament from University of Cambridge (1977) and a Th.D. in New Testament from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Here’s the discussion below:

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Dr. Vern Poythress is one of those incredible intellectual gift to the Church.  He’s a Christian professor, a Reformed theologian, New Testament scholar, expert on hermeneutics, linguist, a Presuppositional apologist and philosopher who was a prodigy that went to Cal Tech before he was 18 and have several doctorates including a PhD in Mathematics from Harvard University.

He’s recently was interviewed for a podcast on the Missions Podcast from ABWE International.  It’s a wonderful discussion on multiple things I’m excited about:  Missions, Language Presuppositional Apologetics and Theology!

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There’s so many good free Christian E-books online these days.  This is one of them!

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This is a Free E Book by Diane Poythress.  She is the wife of Christian scholar Vern Poythress.  Vern Poythress is one of the rare individual who is a genius; while he is a New Testament professor he’s one of those guys that knows a lot and is down to earth about it.  He’s written on a Christian view of hermeneutics, logic, math, language, science and of course the Bible.  But enough about Vern; there’s a free electronic version of a book written by his wife.

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Here are two Christian booklets I read towards the end of this year.

William P. Smith.  When Bad Things Happen: Thoughtful Answers to Hard Questions.  Greensboro, NC: New Growth  Press, September 1st 2008. 22 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

This was a helpful and edifying booklet.  It is a “minibook” that is part of the “Resources for Personal Change” series published by New Growth Press.  The author William Smith is an adjunct faculty in the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation has written an excellent resource for those who are going through trials and asking the question of why God allows bad things to happen.  It is an excellent resource for Biblical and Pastoral Counselors to give the counselee and have them read and highlight/underline for study and meditation.  For my own use I read this title along with a church member I was discipling and counseling as a pastor.

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Vern Poythress. Christian Interpretations of Genesis 1.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, September 20th, 2013. 32 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

This is another work in the “Christian Answers to Hard Questions” series published by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing.  Here the author Vern Poythress looks at how Christians should interpret the first chapter of Genesis.  Although the author is a New Testament professor I think Poythress is more than capable to write on this subject given his expertise in hermeneutics, linguistics, science and theology.

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These are links gathered between April 8th-14th, 2015.

1.) Twenty Ways to Answer A Fool [14]

2.) Frontline Apologetics 

3.) PHILOSOPHY MEMES

4.) Credo Magazine: An Interview with Vern Poythress on the “Big Questions”

5.) Some Gappy Notes on Michael Rea’s World Without Design

6.) Review: Computer Science: Discovering God’s Glory in Ones and Zeros by Jonathan R. Stoddard

 

Missed the last round up?  Check out the re-blogged post from a friend

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Vern PoythressThere is a free PDF of a work by New Testament Scholar Vern Poythress titled “Issues in Hermeneutical Foundations: Selected articles on hermeneutics and biblical interpretation.”  It is a collection of various articles by Poythress that appeared various theological publications.

The PDF is hosted on Westminster Bookstore and available by clicking here.

(HT)

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These are Presuppositional apologetics’ links gathered from the Web between November 15th-21st, 2014.

Enjoy!

1.) Rebutting Bill Nye’s Evolutionary Oath

2.) Does the Bible teach that a woman has to marry her rapist?

3.) Free on PDF! Redeeming Philosophy: A God-Centered Approach to the Big Questions by Vern Poythress

4.) A Denied Christian Newspaper Article

5.) The Circularity of Evolutionary Trees

6.) Apologetics for the Average Christian: Asking Good Questions

7.) Reformed Forum Show: Redeeming Philosophy

8.) Proofs, Persuasion and the Truth Problem

Last Installment: Mid-November 2014 Presuppositional Apologetics’ Links

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I just posted a few minutes ago but this is too good not to share right now!

Redeeming Philosophy A God-Centered Approach to the Big Questions

Dr. Vern Poythress of Westminster Theological Seminary has just had his book Redeeming Philosophy published just a few weeks ago last month.  Apparently he has made this book available for free online as a PDF!

You can download the file if you click HERE.

Here’s the book’s description from the publisher’s website:

Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I find meaning?

Life is full of big questions. The study of philosophy seeks to answer such questions. In his latest book, prolific author Vern Poythress investigates the foundations and limitations of Western philosophy, sketching a distinctly Christian approach to answering basic questions about the nature of humanity, the existence of God, the search for meaning, and the basis for morality.

For Christians eager to engage with the timeless philosophical issues that have perplexed men and women for millennia, this is the place to begin.

Here is the table of content:

Table of Contents

Part 1: Basic Issues in Exploring Big Questions

  1. The Big Questions about Life
  2. The Bible as a Resource
  3. Opposite Approaches to Philosophy

Part 2: Metaphysics: What Is There?

  1. Inadequate Philosophies
  2. Christian Metaphysics

Part 3: Perspectives

  1. Introducing Perspectives
  2. Multiperspectivalism
  3. Perspectives on God
  4. Perspectives on the World
  5. Perspectives through Language
  6. Implications for Theology

Part 4: Examples of Metaphysical Analysis

  1. Metaphysics of an Apple
  2. Metaphysics of Walking
  3. Metaphysics of a Bookmark
  4. Perspectives in Combination

Part 5: Other Subdivisions of Philosophy

  1. Ethics
  2. Epistemology
  3. The Soul, the Mind, and Psychology
  4. Logic
  5. Aesthetics
  6. Specialized Branches of Philosophy

Part 6: Interacting with Defective Philosophies

  1. The Challenge of Philosophies
  2. Immanuel Kant
  3. Edmund Husserl
  4. Analytic Philosophy

Appendix A: Cosmonomic Philosophy
Appendix B: Perspectives on the Trinity
Appendix C: The Structure of a Bookmark

 

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Chance_comps.indd

Earlier this year Crossway published a 368 page book by Dr. Vern Poythress titled Chance and the Sovereignty of God: A God-Centered Approach to Probabiliy and Random Events.  I appreciate how Dr. Poythress has made many of his books  available to the public for free as a PDF.  This new book is now among them!

You can download the PDF by clicking HERE.

The description of the book on the publisher Crossway’s website is as follows:

What if all events—big and small, good and bad—are governed by more than just blind chance? What if they are governed by God?

In this theologically informed and philosophically nuanced introduction to the study of probability and chance, Vern Poythress argues that all events—including the seemingly random or accidental—fall under God’s watchful gaze as part of his eternal plan. Comprehensive in its scope, this book lays the theistic foundation for our scientific assumptions about the world while addressing personal questions about the meaning and significance of everyday events.

Here’s the table of content:

Table of Contents

Introduction: Experiences with Unpredictable Events
Part 1: The Sovereignty of God
1.  The Bible as a Source for Knowledge
2.  God’s Sovereignty
3.  Unpredictable Events
4.  Disasters and Suffering
5.  Human Choice
6.  Small Random Events
7.  Reflecting on Creation and Providence
8.  God’s Sovereignty and Modern Physics
9.  What Is Chance?
Part 2: God as the Foundation for Chance
10. Regularities and Unpredictabilities
11. Trinitarian Foundations for Chance
12. Responding to Chance
13. Chance in Evolutionary Naturalism
14. Chance and Idolatry
Part 3: Probability
15. What is Probability?
16. Predictions and Outcomes
17. Theistic Foundations for Probability
18. Views of Probability
19. Subjectivity and Probability
20. Entanglement of Probabilities
21. Probabilistic Independence
22. Independence and Human Nature
23. Is God Probable?
Part 4: Probability and Mathematics
24. Pictures of Probability
25. Mathematical Postulates for Probability
26. Theistic Foundations for Some Properties of Probability
27. Limitations in Human Thinking about Events and Probabilities
28. Conclusion
Appendices
Appendix A: Why Gambling Systems Fail
Appendix B: The Real Problem with Gambling
Appendix C: A Puzzle in Probability
Appendix D: Interacting with Secular Philosophical Views of Probability
Appendix E: Permutations and Combinations
Appendix F: The Birthday Problem
Appendix G: Diseases and Other Causes
Appendix H: Proofs for Probability
Appendix I: Statistics
Appendix J: The Law of Large Numbers versus Gamblers

Enjoy!

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Videos of Christian Answers to Hard Questions by Westminster Theological Seminary As a busy pastor discipling God’s people I see the need for books that are short, concise, biblical and hard hitting as a resource in training up God’s people to have a Christian worldview (among other things of course). I have found that the series of booklet titled “Christian Answers to Hard Questions” written by various faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary to be quite helpful in that regards.  I have reviewed some of them in the past on our blog and Lord willing next week I’ll be reviewing several more of these works.  (I will also link my reviews on here under each booklet for those who may wish to bookmark this) You can order them as a set from WTS Bookstore at 50% off by clicking HERE. Eight of nine works have already been published; the one still not available is on the topic of Creation, Evolution and Intelligent Design. The following below are videos related to each of these wonderful little booklets.  I think these videos are also helpful!

Christian Interpretations of Genesis 1

Rev. Dr. Vern Poythress

Christianity and the Role of Philosophy

Rev. Dr. K. Scott Oliphint

(My Review)

Should You Believe in God?

Rev. Dr. K. Scott Oliphint

(My Review)

Was Jesus Really Born of a Virgin?

Rev. Dr. Brandon Crowe

The Morality of God in the Old Testament

Rev. Dr. Gregory Beale

(My Review)

Did Adam Exist?

Rev. Dr. Vern Poythress (My Review)

How Did Evil Come Into This World?

Rev. Dr. WilliamEdgar (My Review)

How Can I Know?

Rev. Dr. David Garner (My Review)

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(You can get this book at a discounted price at the Westminster Bookstore by clicking HERE or at Amazon by clicking HERE)

Vern Poythress is quite the Renaissance man; or more appropriately I should say he’s quite the Reformation man. With degrees in Mathematics from Cal Tech and Harvard balanced with a theological degree in apologetics from Westminster and also New Testament studies at Oxford, Poythress over the years have shown himself to be quite a capable scholar when it comes to discussion of various disciplines from the Christian Worldview.  When I learned that the editors for the “Christian Answers to Hard Questions” series has selected Poythress to write in defense of the historicity of Adam, I was quite delighted.  The debate on the historicity of Adam has been a source of contention the last few years in Evangelical circles and survey of the literature reveal that it involves the discipline of biology, Old Testament studies and Ancient Near East studies.  Given the inter-disciplinary nature of the debate, Poythress’ ability to navigate through inter-relationship of disciplines would be helpful (for an introduction to Poythress’ view on the relationship of disciplines, see his book Symphonic Theology).

Like other works in the Christian Answers to Hard Questions series, this is a short book.  The short length forces its contributors to be concise.  Poythress did a masterful job of engaging the reader.  I enjoyed and learned the most from his evaluation of the claim that man and Chimpanzees share 99% of the same DNA. He spends a considerable length addressing this issue.  Poythress’ footnotes demonstrate that he is informed and up to date with the latest peer review articles on genetic studies and I appreciate the caliber of his sources behind his effort to debunk the claim that Chimpanzees and man are 99% alike genetically.  It turns out that the data has been manipulated and some of the genetic materials that are not similar between man and Chimps have been eliminated from the percentage count.  I also appreciated the discussion of what one’s interpretative grid of the percentage means.  One sees here how Cornelius Van Til and Thomas Kuhn influenced Poythress on the importance of one’s philosophy of science that plays a role of how one understands the evidences.

I did not disagree with the conclusion or the arguments presented in the book.  However, the book could be improved in two ways.  First, it would have helped to let his readers know what his conclusion is in the beginning of the book rather than the end.  Secondly, I think Poythress shouldn’t have begun the book with a lengthy discussion about the genetics similarities between man and chimps.  Towards the end of the book Poythress noted that the discussion of the historicity of Adam takes place in various disciplines—theology, biology and Biblical studies.  I think it would have been helpful to put this in the beginning of the book as preparation for the genetics discussion.  Overall the book is more theological rather than exegetical but I wouldn’t dismiss it for being so since it paves the way for the Biblical data to speak on the question of the historicity of Adam.  In fact, I would recommend those who want to start understanding the debate to begin with this book first, followed by Zondervan’s recent Four Views on the Historicity of Adam.

NOTE: This book was provided to me free by P&R Publishing and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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Vern Poythress

It’s great to see the teaching of the Christian worldview going worldwide.  Dr. Vern Poythress recently taught in Taiwan on the topic of Why the Beginning is Important.  He has a translator who communicates his teaching into Mandarian.  Enjoy!

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Vern Poythress

This is a lecture that Dr. Vern Poythress, professor at Westminster Theological Seminary.  It was delivered on April 8th, 2013 for a conference, called “Pensmore Dialogues on Science and Faith.”  It took place at the Patrick Henry College.  Dr. Poythress spoke for the second session and the title of his lecture is “Why the Beginning is Important and Why People Fight about it

Enjoy!

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