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Vern Poythress’ God-Centered Approach to Language

December 1, 2009

I can’t say enough about how much I am enjoying Vern Poythress’ new book In the Beginning Was the Word.  It is creative, convicting, and compelling.  Poythress beautifully crafts his argument of a Creature-creature paradigm of language.  God, as Creator, creates and sustains language.  Language is Trinitarian.  We communicate with language as God’s image bearers.  For Poythress, language is distinctly God-centered and those who were created in his image should use it as such.  However, there are many who do not and Poythress warns of the dangers of not centering language in God:

In the twentieth century, structural linguistics has mostly assumed “from the beginning”, in the foundation of the discipline, that language and communication is purely human, that is, God either does not exist or that he can be factored out of the picture.  The same goes for the sociological study of human communication…  But from a biblical point of view, the move to exclude God ignores the single most important fact about communication and the most weighty ontological fact about language.  It has distorted the subject matter that we study, and so we can only anticipate a multitude of repercussions when it comes to the detailed analysis of the subject.

Every pastor who preaches regularly, writer, speaker, or even those who desire to think, write, or speak about Truth clearly would benefit greatly from this book.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. tractsandtreatises permalink
    December 4, 2009 11:22 am

    I am also looking forward to what Poythress will be contributing in the Science and Faith Conference: Friend or Foe?

    • John Starke permalink*
      December 4, 2009 11:45 am

      Thanks for the update! I’ll make sure to make note of that.

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