Redeeming Reason: A God-Centered Approach

By Vern S. Poythress

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Redeeming Reason: A God-Centered Approach

By Vern S. Poythress

... Show All

Vern S. Poythress Explains the Laws of Human Reasoning and How to Apply Them in Light of the Gospel

Humans use reasoning to understand and order the world around us. We apply this logic in a variety of contexts, from classifying simple objects to considering complex philosophies. But how should our identity as Christians—made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26–27) with minds renewed by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 12:1–2)—inform our reasoning?

Vern S. Poythress explains how all human reasoning reflects God’s nature. Providing a foundational understanding of God as the source of rationality, Poythress details the 3 fundamental laws of logic—identity, contradiction, and excluded middle—with a strong focus on analogical reasoning. This robust guide explains types of analogy, ethics applied to logic, the use of analogies in the doctrines of God, and more to give readers a renewed perspective on how to use reason as a follower of God.

  • Thorough Study of Reasoning: Explores the 3 fundamental laws of logic along with various kinds of analogy, including syllogistic reasoning, formal deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, and scientific models
  • From the Author of Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western ThoughtThis book continues Poythress’s look at reasoning, placing it under the lordship of Christ
  • Great for Students, Pastors, and Christian Philosophers: Includes helpful visuals and appendices for learning and applying various systems of logic

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Vern S. Poythress

Vern S. Poythress (PhD, Harvard University; ThD, University of Stellenbosch) is Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Biblical Interpretation, and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he has taught for four decades. In addition to earning six academic degrees, he is the author of numerous books and articles on biblical interpretation, language, and science.

Product Details

Category: Apologetics
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 208
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 8.96 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-8731-9
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-8731-3
ISBN-UPC: 9781433587313
Case Quantity: 56
Published: April 25, 2023

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Where to Start in Redeeming Reasoning
Part I: God as the Source of Rationality   
Chapter 2: God’s Rationality
Chapter 3: God’s Rationality Expressed       
Chapter 4: Implications of the Image of God
Part II: Analogy        
Chapter 5: The Nature of Analogy in Thought
Chapter 6: Analogy as a Perspective on Classification        
Chapter 7: Analogy in the Three Fundamental Laws of Logic
Part III: Kinds of Analogy   
Chapter 8: Analogy in Varied Contexts         
Chapter 9: Analogy in Varied Communication
Chapter 10: Tight Analogy and Loose Analogy

Part IV: Guidance for Analogy       
Chapter 11: Guidance in the Use of Analogy
Chapter 12: Context in God  
Chapter 13: Perspectives on Ethics, Applied to Analogies  
Chapter 14: Judicial Deliberations    
Part V: Deriving Perspectives on Rationality
Chapter 15: The Idea of a Perspective         
Chapter 16: Perspectives by Persons of the Trinity 
Chapter 17: Perspectives on Our Knowledge of God           
Chapter 18: Perspectives on Analogies in General  
Part VI: Simplicity and the Doctrine of God
Chapter 19: The Simplicity of God and Perspectives           
Chapter 20: Using Analogies in the Doctrine of God
Chapter 21: Conclusion         
Appendices on Modeling Analogies  
Appendix A: Modeling the Complexity of Analogy
Appendix B: Analysis Using Analogy
General Index
Scripture Index


“Vern Poythress explores the pathways of human reasoning with simplicity and clarity. What is especially intriguing and unusual about this book, however, is the way in which he grounds human reasoning in the triune God, strongly emphasizing its analogical dimension. As a result, he helps us to think carefully about careful thinking, and to do so in the presence of our Lord. There is much of value in this book that will stimulate your thinking—and your reasoning!”
Joel R. Beeke, Chancellor and Professor of Homiletics and Systematic Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; Pastor, Heritage Reformed Congregation, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“We live in an age in which people have largely forgotten how to think. They emote, they assert, and they yell; but one of the most powerful human goods—our rational capacity—has atrophied for lack of use. Our superintelligent, suprarational God has given us intellectual gifts to navigate the world, and it’s high time we recover how we are to use them. In this much-needed volume, Vern Poythress helps us to be rational without being rationalists and reasonable without forfeiting our affections. As a mathematician, theologian, and New Testament scholar, there is no one better equipped to help us redeem reason than Poythress.”
C. Ben Mitchell, author, Ethics and Moral Reasoning: A Student’s Guide