Sunday, January 16, 2011

Poythress blurbs

“Each of Vern Poythress’s books has been, in my judgment, the best book on its particular subject, whether science, hermeneutics, dispensationalism, theological method, gender-neutral Bible translation, or the Mosaic law. Not only are these books expertly researched and cogently argued, but they are explicitly Christian in their starting point, method, and conclusion (to use a phrase of Cornelius Van Til). Poythress does not merely claim that these disciplines allow a place for God, or that a theistic worldview provides useful context, or that engagement in such studies is somehow useful to Christians. Rather, he comes right in your face with the claims of Christ: All of these studies are grounded in the nature and work of the triune God, and nothing can be rightly understood apart from him. God is not merely a possibility, not merely a conclusion, but the starting point for any understanding at all.

“So in the present book on language, Poythress shows that the foundation of human speech is the speech between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, so that without God meaningful language would be impossible. He makes this audacious claim, not as a mere preacher but as one who has gained an expert knowledge of linguistics as well as biblical theology. This book is essential for anyone who would pursue an understanding of language. It is also a great help to those who are troubled by contemporary challenges to the very possibility of meaningful communication. And to those who wonder how the word of God can possibly be expressed in human speech, Poythress shows us that without the word of God human speech is impossible.”

John M. Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

“If you were to ask me to propose one person to guide me through a thoroughly Christian view of language, Vern Poythress would be my first choice. His detailed knowledge of both the Bible and linguistics, his creative ability to see connections, his determination to be true to God, and his engaging personal manner, all come through in this book. I came away with a fresh appreciation for our creaturely dependence on the triune God, and renewed thankfulness to God for his remarkable gift of language.”

C. John (“Jack”) Collins, Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

“This book represents a lifetime of theological thinking about the significance of language: about God’s involvement with language, the nature of language itself from phonemes to literary genres, and the diverse ways humans interact with one another, and with God, through language. Here one finds not only a biblical but a systematic theology of language built on the insight that human language reflects the triune God, sometimes in surprising ways. And, as if thirty-six chapters were not enough, Poythress includes significant appendices analyzing language in postmodernism, translation theory, speech acts, deconstruction, and more. There is nothing like this book on the market!”

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School