Thursday, October 12, 2006

Redeeming Science

One of the forthcoming books from Crossway that I can't wait to read is Vern Poythress' Redeeming Science: A God-Centered Approach, which is due out any day now. (The contents, as well as Introduction and Chapter 1 are already available online.)

At first glance one might think that a professor of NT is not qualified to write a theological treatise on science. But Poythress is not your normal NT prof. This man gives a new meaning to the word "smart." He majored in mathematics at CalTech, then went on to complete a Ph.D. in mathematics at Harvard. After teaching math for a year at Fresno State and studying linguistics and Bible translation at the Summer Institute of Linguistics, he went to Westminster Theological Seminary, where he earned an M.Div. and a Th.M. in apologetics. He then went on to get an M.Litt in NT from the University of Cambridge. Between the M.Div/Th.M. and the M.Litt, he taught linguistics at the Summer Institute of Linguistics. He then earned a Th.D. in NT from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. For those who are counting, that's one bachelors degree, three masters, and two doctorates.

Oh, and I've been told that while he was at Harvard he memorized virtually all of the NT.

Here are the blurbs for the book.

“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

“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. Further, he is one of the most insightful theologians writing today. As you read this book, you will be amazed at the ways in which a biblical perspective illumines the work of science. Poythress deals, of course, with all the traditional science-Bible issues, like the days of Genesis. But he also shows that a biblical worldview is essential to the work of science itself, for scientific law can be nothing other than the law of the God of Scripture. This is by far the most important book you can read on this subject. I recommend it without reservation.”

—JOHN FRAME, Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

“In this highly original and remarkably insightful work, Vern Poythress demonstrates just how natural the partnership is between science and Christianity. Using examples from a variety of scientific disciplines, Dr. Poythress gives us a prescription for how science and the Christian faith can interact in a way that mutually benefits both and spurs scientific and theological advance.”

—FAZALE RANA, Vice President of Science Apologetics, Reasons To Believe

“In the crowded market of theology and science studies this book fills a gap. Not only does it offer a theological perspective rooted in the historic Reformation, but 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. The author’s approach is nuanced, balanced, and open-minded.”

—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. A fascinating, comprehensive, profound, yet very readable analysis of all branches of modern science from one of the greatest minds in the Christian world today.”

—WAYNE GRUDEM, Research Professor of Theology and Bible,
Phoenix Seminary, Scottsdale, Arizona

“Redeeming Science will be welcomed by every thoughtful Christian. Vern Poythress’s analysis of the relationship between science and faith proceeds from an unapologetic, undisguised confession of belief in Christ, through personal testimony, clear-minded evaluation of the nature of science, careful analysis of Scripture, and honest reflection on the present state of this debate. This is a book of creational theology and Biblical theology, as well as of apologetics and pastoral instruction. Poythress demonstrates the revelational character of the world around us, especially in his claim that the ‘laws’ of science are nothing more than descriptions of the sovereign working of an all-wise and all-powerful God. He exposes the unexamined assumptions of the modern scientific enterprise, showing that it, like every worldview, is, at its base, religious in nature. He provides careful and thoughtful exegesis of relevant texts of Scripture, especially Genesis 1–9, demonstrating that Christians can think rationally about the scientific enterprise without compromising their most cherished Biblical convictions. Above all, Poythress points readers beyond the details and doldrums of the debate concerning science and faith to our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the consummation of both redemption and science. Christians committed to pursuing the Great Commission and the cultural mandate will find Redeeming Science a most useful resource for their endeavors.”

—T. M. MOORE, Pastor of Teaching Ministries, Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tennessee; Author, Consider the Lilies: A Plea for Creational Theology