Poythress, Vern S.
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.
Table of Contents:
Part 1: Two Common Religious Difficulties
1. How Can Only One Religion Be Right?
2. Are Moral Rules a Straitjacket?
Part 2: Challenges from Science and Materialism
3. Worldviews and Materialism
4. Modern Science
Part 3: Challenges From History
5. The Historical-Critical Tradition
6. Responding to Historical Criticism
7. The Change from History to Structure
Part 4: Challenges about Language
8. Challenges from Linguistics and Philosophy of Language
9. Words and Meanings concerning Many “Gods”
10. Growth in Understanding
11. Contexts for Language
12. The Idea of Closed Language
13. Breaking Out of Closure in Language
14. Analysis of Biblical Narratives
Part 5: Challenges from Sociology and Anthropology
15. Challenges from Sociology
16. The Idea of Closure of Culture
17. Breaking Out of Closure in Culture
18. Marxism and Feminism
Vern S. Poythress (PhD, Harvard University; ThD, University of Stellenbosch) is professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he has taught for nearly four decades. In addition to earning six academic degrees, he is the author of numerous books and articles on biblical interpretation, language, and science.
“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