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Redeeming Science: A God-Centered Approach Paperback – October 13, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Poythress shows how a proper understanding of biblical theology makes possible not just one but many credible harmonizations of biblical and scientific truth. Along the way, he provides an insightful defense of the theory of intelligent design as a viable scientific research program. His examination of the mathematical beauty inherent in the universe gives yet another compelling reason to acknowledge the wisdom and design that lie behind physical reality."
Stephen C. Meyer, Director, Center for Science and Culture, Discovery Institute; author, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design

"With doctorates in both New Testament and mathematics, and with a solid commitment to orthodox Reformed theology, Vern Poythress is uniquely qualified to write on the theology of science. This is by far the most important book you can read on this subject. I recommend it without reservation."
John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida

"Poythress demonstrates just how natural the partnership is between science and Christianity. Using examples from a variety of scientific disciplines, he gives a prescription for how science and the Christian faith can interact in a way that mutually benefits both."
Fazale Rana, Vice President of Science Apologetics, Reasons to Believe

"Not only does this book offer a theological perspective rooted in the historic Reformation, it also attends to strategies of interpretation of Bible texts concerning nature and history that underwrite doctrine but are often left out of the dialogue."
Jitse van der Meer, Professor of Biology and History and Philosophy of Science, Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario

"Sound theology meets sound science in this book as Vern Poythress shows us how to see the beauty of God's character revealed in everything that scientists study in the created universe."
Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary

"Poythress's analysis of the relationship between science and faith proceeds from an unapologetic, undisguised confession of belief in Christ, clear-minded evaluation of the nature of science, careful analysis of Scripture, and honest reflection on the present state of this debate."
T. M. Moore, Pastor of Teaching Ministries, Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tennessee; Author, Consider the Lilies: A Plea for Creational Theology

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: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (October 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581347316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581347319
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,625 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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am very pleased with this book. The first thing to know is that while Dr. Poythress is a seminary professor, he also holds a PhD in mathematics from Harvard University in addition to his PhD in New Testament. He has a sophisticated grasp of the ideas behind science and mathematics, as well as theology. Being a scientist myself, I sometimes get nervous when non-scientists draw philosophical or theological conclusions from things they don't understand, for instance Heisenberg's uncertainty relation, but we do not have this problem with Dr. Poythress. Nevertheless, he has aimed this book at laymen, and I believe that the majority of the material should be easily accessible to most readers.

The book seeks to develop a self-consciously Biblical view of science. In the opening chapters he discusses the divine attributes of scientific law, such as omnipresence and immutability, and the questions of the Bible and authority in their relation to the scientific enterprise. It is in these opening chapters that he develops the Van Tillian epistemological framework for understanding science, and shows the radical contrast between this and atheistic worldviews. He shows that all scientists must operate under the assumptions of a Biblical worldview, (rational order to the universe, reliability of physical law, etc.) even though the worldviews they profess to believe may not be able to justify such assumptions.

Chapters four through ten tackle the issues surrounding the interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis. Here I think Poythress has done a masterful job of attempting to maintain the absolute authority of the Bible as divine revelation, while helping us, who read the Bible with a modern scientific mindset, to really get to the bottom of what God's Word is and is not asserting.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Is Westminster Theological Seminary Compromising the Word of God with Respect to the Age-of-the-Earth Question?

Dr. Vern S. Poythress seems to be, in matters relating to science, the current, number-one spokesman for Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS--original campus), and the first part of his book, Redeeming Science, deals with the age-of-the-earth issue.

He and I have some things in common. Both of us "love" mathematics. I taught the subject for over thirty years but never got a PhD in the subject like him.

We also both attended Westminster about the same time. My years were from '69 to '72. I remember him, but he may not remember me from those years. We, nevertheless, have corresponded since, and he knows me. Our mutual correspondence has been cordial.

Two things in God's providence have happened recently which make me want to address publically my concern for what I perceive as Westminster's lack of faithfulness in the area of biblical creation--especially as it relates to the matter of chronology and beginnings.

On 9/9/2010, I received an unsolicited copy of Dr. Poythress' book from two people, Westminster's President and also the Director of Student Development. (See endnote #1.) I decided to give more attention to the book.

Also, some months prior, I had attended a conference at WTS concerning Science and Faith and was quite disappointed that there was not one person on the panel who spoke from a "Young Earth Creation" (YEC) perspective.

This last statement, in my view, is sad. Why? WTS represents itself as being more or less faithful to the views of the Westminster "Divines," but every one of them, I believe, were YEC.

I do not know for sure, but I strongly suspect that Dr. John H.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book hoping it would add to my understanding of "Faith and Science," especially in the questions of evolution and creation. I was disappointed to find little useful or persuasive information.

What I appreciated most was Poythress' careful exposition of the fact that God is the ongoing ground of all creation, so that it is impossible to separate scientific laws from God, nature from God, natural processes from divine processes, and so on. Thus whether they recognize it or not, scientists are studying God's truth, indeed his character.

The author pushes quite hard against materialistic scientists who are blind to this, but, unfortunately, he touches only very gingerly on the other side of the same equation, i.e. believers who fail to see that a naturalistic explanation of something does not exclude God as its primary cause, since he is the ground of everything in an immanent way, not in a deistic sense. He does in fact mention this, as when he points out that God could have originated caused the bacterial flagellum by from nothing, from existing matter, or even through evolution and it would not diminish his role as creator.

The book is very weak on scientific issues such as the age of the universe, geological history, and evolution, and is not worth reading for those perspectives. Young earth flood geology and "mainline" geology are spoken of as if they are on the same footing, though with stronger the evidence for the latter. The geological evidence itself is not discussed.

Regarding evolution, the book echoes a Discovery Institute ID approach (indeed being endorsed by Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana) without precluding anything from 7-day creation to evolutionary creationism.
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