Re: [asa] poythress

From: Merv Bitikofer <>
Date: Mon Jun 29 2009 - 20:04:57 EDT

My impressions have been pretty parallel to yours here ---except that in
my last email I tried to just dwell more on the positive. I too thought
he often began a confusing dance of words on some issue where I just
wanted to know where he stood (I'm sure I could be accused of the same
in lots of my rambling writings.)

Regarding his last chapters, I'm simply fascinated with with the subject
matter, being a physics and math teacher myself. His connection of that
to theology does seem non-existent other than to state that he sees it
all from a creationist perspective ---which I have no problem with,
though his insistence that ALL scientists must be creationist in the
sense of not being able to acknowledge regularity without secretly
importing a creator to their world-view --that is much more provocative
wording than I think is justified or accurate regarding non-Christian
scientists today. But his willingness to keep options open with
humility needed for science AND on the side of theologians --that is a
HUGELY wonderful thing to read from somebody who has an obviously high
and conservative view of Scripture. A lot of Christians would benefit
by absorbing his exhortations. Atheists would laugh it to scorn, but
that's okay. I don't think this book is primarily for them.


Paul Bruggink wrote:
> For whatever it's worth, here is my Amazon review of Vern Poythress'
> book "Redeeming Science:"
> Vern Poythress's book on the Bible and science is more philosophical
> and wishy-washy than most popular books on the subject, and the
> philosophical portions seem more wordy than necessary. He tries too
> hard to draw analogies between physical laws and the character of God
> (p. 307, etc.). It was not clear what his chapter on "A Christian
> Approach to Mathematics" addded to the debate.
> Poythress indicates a preference for analogical days and a local
> flood, although he is symphetic to the Young Earth Creationism and
> Intelligent Design positions. He keeps saying, "We can't know for
> certain." In support of Intelligent Design, he cites the irreducible
> complexity of the bacterial flagellum, which was refuted by, among
> others, Kenneth Miller in Dembski & Ruse's "Debating Design," which
> was published two years earlier.
> In spite of the above comments, the book does have a number of good
> insights, an extensive bibliography, subject index and scripture
> index, and the footnotes are at the bottom of the page on which they
> occur, which ought to be mandated in book publishing.
> Paul Bruggink
> On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 12:28 AM, Merv Bitikofer<> wrote:
>> Somebody at my school put a copy of "Redeeming Science" by Vern Poythress
>> (2006) (Westminster Theological Seminary) in my box. And I'm within a few
>> chapters of the end of it and have been fairly challenged and impressed,
>> even though I would wish to engage the author on some differences,
>> particularly over his (IMO) weak conception of MN. (Gregory and others here
>> would be proud of him since he pretty much almost dismisses MN as PN with a
>> thin veneer due to fatal abuse, I guess.)
>> He seems to prefer (thought not dogmatically exclusively) an "analogical
>> day" approach to Genesis 1, and he seems thoroughly committed to a literal
>> Adam and Eve. He does an excellent job of gently diffusing some of our
>> cultural stubbornness against allowing for both Divine action and secondary
>> causation as coexisting in a healthy theology.
>> At the risk of not having yet read the final chapters, I would already apply
>> this to somebody's earlier quest on books to recommend to YECs or anybody
>> else interested in science/theology issues, for that matter.
>> (Frustratingly to some I imagine, Poythress refuses to shut the door on
>> young-earth possibilities, but perhaps that makes his book all the more
>> accessible to the wider theological audience. He doesn't slam it on TEists
>> either.)
>> --Merv
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Received on Mon Jun 29 20:06:19 2009

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