Thursday 11 February 2010

Vern Sheridan Poythress on Language

Vern Sheridan Poythress, In the Beginning Was the Word: Language—A God-Centered Approach (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009).

This entire book – all 416 pages of it – is freely available as a (4.2MB) pdf here.

In a strong recommendation, John Frame writes of Poythress’ books, including this one:

‘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.’

He continues:

‘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.’

There are some early reviews of the book here (by Forrest W. Schultz) and here (by John Starke).

And there is a two-part interview with Poythress about the book here and here.

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