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Inerrancy and Worldview: Answering Modern Challenges to the Bible

, 2012
ISBN: 9781433523908

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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, 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.

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“But the path from natural science to materialism involves a key transition. The scientist makes a decision at the beginning of his investigation to narrow his focus. Materialism converts this scientific decision into a philosophy that says that the focus of science is not only one possible focus, but the only focus that is significant.” (Page 29)

“In fact, God wrote the Bible so that its message would be accessible to people in all cultures of the world (Acts 1:8), not merely modern scientific and technological cultures. He chooses to speak not in technical scientific terms, which only some people would understand, but in everyday terms so that everyone can understand.” (Pages 37–38)

“In contrast to impersonalism, the Bible indicates that God is involved in the world. God is personal, and he governs the world by speaking—by issuing commands. He created the world by speaking. He said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light (Gen. 1:3).” (Page 31)

“Different worldviews lead to different conceptions of freedom.” (Page 24)

“God’s word governing the world is the basis for science. God’s word in the Bible is the basis for theology. According to the Bible’s worldview, the two words are intrinsically in harmony because God is in harmony with himself. Because God is infinite and our knowledge is limited, we may not always have enough information to see immediately how all of the pieces fit together.” (Page 35)

Vern Sheridan Poythress (b. 1946) is an evangelical philosopher, theologian, and Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary where he has taught since 1976. In 1981 he was ordained as a teaching elder in the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod, which later merged with the Presbyterian Church in America.


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    Digital list price: $15.99
    Save $3.00 (18%)