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Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought Paperback – February 28, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Most books on logic content themselves with trying to fix our problems in logic. But in this book, Vern Poythress takes a ‘God-centered’ approach to the subject, which addresses a more foundational problem we have—our problem about logic. What is it? Why is it authoritative? If logic is part of the creation, could God have made a world that had round squares in it? And if logic is untouchable and mysteriously somehow ‘over’ God, then doesn’t that make logic God? In this book, Poythress does a masterful job of showing how our ability to think rationally is grounded in the very nature of God Himself. I heartily recommend this book to every student of the subject.”
Douglas Wilson, Senior Fellow of Theology, New St. Andrews College; Pastor, Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho

About the Author

Vern S. Poythress is professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary, where he has taught for over three decades. 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 a variety of topics, including biblical interpretation, language, and science.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 1 edition (February 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433532298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433532290
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vern Sheridan Poythress is professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary. 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 aspects of biblical interpretation and science.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Chris Jenkins on March 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
At first glance this might seem like a textbook you're forced to read in a class at school you're forced to take because its a requirement for your major. Or at first glance this book may seem like great shelf-decor for your impressive bookshelf. (You know the one that you stock full of books you'll never read for the happen chance someone awesome might think more highly of you...ya that one). Well I have to say that this book although meant for persons more intelligent than myself did indeed wet my appetite for more study in logic. I will refer to this book later in my studies to be sure. But this time through I found that the most influential idea in this book was the fact that our ability to think logically is grounded in the very nature of God Himself. Poythress did a wonderful job articulating the elements of logic with great precision. Most elements such as; Boolean Algebra, Modern Symbolic Logic, Venn Diagrams and Syllogisms won't necessarily bubble forth naturally in my everyday conversations. But I appreciated his thorough treatment as I'm sure all of academia does as well. This book I am sure will be the standard for christian logicians currently and those to come. Poythress does a fantastic job explaining the problem with the foundational western thought and strips it of its rebellious, fictitious autonomy and masterfully builds a case for logic grounded and woven within the character of God Himself. On the subject of the autonomy and the christian view of logic Poythress writes:

"There are two radically different ways of understanding logic, not just one. There is the Christian way, and there is the usual modern way, which has also been the dominant way within the history of Western philosophy.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Griffin Gulledge on March 26, 2014
Format: Paperback
Poythress, Vern. Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013.

_________________________

How do you review a book on logic? I took logic courses while getting my B.A. in philosophy in college and tutored in the same subject during that time. Despite my knowledge of the subject (and love for it), I still wondered: How do you review a book on logic? After receiving this book from Crossway to reviews nearly a year ago (sorry, Crossway- I'm the worst!), I have asked myself that repeatedly. There are a number of things that make a review of Logic difficult.

1. This book is a magisterial work. It contains 733 pages of difficult logic teaching, as well as the deepest of "deep theology" both philosophical and Biblical.

2. Logic is a complex subject and many things have to be covered at length to do the subject justice. Logic covers them all. Does it do it well?

3. No one can read Logic in a single sitting. Even to read it in less than two or more months would be, it seems to me, a waste of time. This is a subject that takes a long time to learn. Truly, symbolic logic (SL hereafter) is a language in an of itself. There are new terms, new symbols, new ways of thinking. To learn it takes practice, discipline, and a certain amount of intellect.
With that said, I feel comfortable saying that Poythress's book is not for everyone. Simply stated, Logic is not the book for the average churchgoer. For someone seeking to learn a great deal more about not just what to think (though they will get that), but also how to think, Logic is perfect.

How should this book be used is the real question. It's not for everyone, clearly.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sheep23 on April 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought by Vern Poythress

Vern Poythress, Professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary has written a monumental book entitled Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought. What is unique about this book is the way Poythress integrates an understanding of how God relates to logic, their systems, and language that is provided to understand the workings of logic. The book is divided into four parts: Elementary Logic, Aspects of Propositional Logic, Enriching Logic, and Supplements. The first section incorporates proposals for why we study logic, how logic reveals God and his attributes and elements of classification. The other sections get into the nuts and bolts of propositional logic, mathematic formulations that coincide with logical formulations, and theistic proofs or foundations. While this may not be a book you take with you to the beach, this is a mighty powerful tool in understanding logic and its implications for building a sound Christian worldview.

Why is this book important?

Poythress points out early on in the book that humans are all the time suppressing the truth about God and the world around them, including the field of logic. Poythress writes, "This process of substitution takes place in the case of logic as well as in other areas. We engage in substituting an impersonal conception of logic for the reality of its personal character. This substitution is a form of idolatry" (81). Logic in its most concrete understanding is personal because it has been designed by God. Furthermore, the utterances of humans through language displays the orderliness and care for which God has made us, revealing his character in the very way he has created language.
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