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Life is full of big questions. The study of philosophy seeks answers to 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.
Number of Pages: 320
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
Chance and the Sovereignty of God: A God-Centered Approach to Probability and Random EventsVern S. PoythressCrossway / 2014 / Trade Paperback$9.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
$25.00Save 60% ($15.01)
This robust volume explores lifes big questions related to God, human existence, meaning, and knowledge, sketching a distinctly Christian approach to philosophical inquiry that is founded on the Bible and informed by Christian theology.
Vern S. Poythress is professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary, where he has taught for nearly four decades. In addition to earning six academic degrees, including a PhD from Harvard University and a ThD from the University of Stellenbosch. He is the author of numerous books and articles on a variety of topics, including biblical interpretation, language, and science.
-Richard B. Gaffin Jr.,
Professor Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary
Poythress has again gotten it right. This book contains a great deal of fresh thinking and careful Christian philosophical work. This is Poythress's clearest integration between linguistics, philosophy, and exegesis. Surely this book contains the most incisive analyses of apples and bookmarks that you will ever find. The point, of course, is that everything in God's world reflects the richness of the triune God.
-John M. Frame,
Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando
Matters of philosophy are often complex and laden with challenging issues. Christians wonder whether they should avoid philosophy altogether and simply stick with the Bible or if there is something that can be gained from philosophical study. Employing the theological methodology of John Frame, Dr. Poythress has written a useful introductory exploration of the relationship between philosophy and the teachings of Scripture.
-J. V. Fesko,
Westminster Seminary California
Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A Lively Faith is Enhanced by a Lively MindDecember 14, 2014Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Why does anyone exist?
How do we come to know what we know?
Where do commonly held moral standards come from?
Do any of these questions matter to ordinary people in our sleeping, eating, going to work, walking around life? Vern Poythress, professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary, has taken on the task of smoothing the uneasy relationship between faith and philosophy of redeeming philosophy, the love of wisdom. By definition, this would involve compensat[ing] for the faults or bad aspects of philosophy.
Because The Big Questions eventually find their way back to God (or require His conscious exclusion), Poythress examines philosophy through the lens of theology. What makes his approach unique is that he uses the three perspectives of John Frame, professor of systematic theology and author of numerous books, most notably The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, which presents Christian epistemology and the three perspectives which Poythress borrows:
(1) The normative perspective which focuses on the norms, namely, Gods commandments. It asks, What does God command us to do?'
(2) The situational perspective which focuses on the situation. It asks, Given my situation, what actions of mine can best promote the glory of God and blessing for my fellowman?'
(3) The existential perspective which looks at the person. What are my motives? What attitudes and actions are driven by love?
The authors frequent use of John Frames work gave me the pleasant feeling that I was getting two for the price of one. It was also helpful and admirable that when Poythress referred in passing to a topic which he knew he could not cover thoroughly and stick to his outline, he pointed his readers to additional books which would provide deeper discussion on the subject.
Poythress utilized Frames three perspectives like a magnifying glass over each of the major subdivisions of philosophy in order to demonstrate its ultimate purpose. This multiperspectivalism has its roots in the Trinity in which there is perfect unity alongside the diversity of three personal perspectives. This, for me, was one of the most intriguing discussions in the book, for Poythress employs another of Frames triads (authority, control, presence) to explain how ones view of God leads one either away from truth or toward it. For example, with regard to Gods presence, there is a non-Christian transcendence that over-emphasizes Gods otherness to the point that humans cannot expect to have personal communion with God. Using apples, bookmarks, and the act of walking as homely examples, Poythress models for his reader the manner of thinking that explores ideas or objects from various perspectives. This is not a meaningless exercise in a vacuum, but rather a beam of light along which we may view the glory of God.
Although his explanation of metaphysics consumes a generous portion of the book, Poythress demonstrates that ethics, epistemology, psychology, logic, and aesthetics, and the more specialized branches of philosophy all harmonize. Redeeming Philosophy is an excellent overview of the divisions of philosophy and is accessible even for a persevering high school student who wants to get a head start on the fascinating interplay of philosophy and theology. Harnessing philosophy as a tool of theology, Poythress accomplishes the purpose that Redeeming Philosophy sets forth by facilitating the development of a distinctly Christian approach to doing philosophy and by encouraging believers to delight in the Truth and to think deeply about the Giver of Truth who alone holds the answers to all the Big Questions.
This book was provided by Crossway in exchange for my honest review.
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