Presuppositional Apologetics in Missions: Vern Poythress Explains

How should missionaries argue for the Christian faith? If human beings are dead in sin, then they need more than evidence—they need to realize that even their refusal to believe is an act of rebellion and a sin for which Jesus died. To argue this way is to argue using presuppositional apologetics, but how to apply this method in missions isn’t always clear. How can missionaries take this way of presenting truth—used most often in challenging atheism—and apply it to Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or other pagan religions?

Dr. Vern Poythress returns to the show to unpack this important topic. Taught by Cornelius Van Til, the primary theologian credited with advancing presuppositionalism, Dr. Poythress explains that apologetics matters to missions because no one is neutral before God.

Rev. Dr. Vern Poythress (Ph.D., Harvard; D.Th., Stellenbosch) is professor of New Testament and biblical interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary, where he has taught for 43 years. Hear our previous interview with Dr. Poythress on the topic of linguistics here.

Announcement: If you’re coming to Together for the Gospel, join us for an expert panel and luncheon discussing the topic: who are “the nations,” and what can the local church do to reach them? Hear from Paul Davis, Zane Pratt, Darren Carlson, Brooks Buser, John Klaassen, and more debating the important issues raised in Darren’s 2019 article on the meaning of the Great Commission. Register now for only $10, and enjoy lunch on us in Louisville on April 15!

We’re excited to partner with Live Global to pull off this event. If you haven’t already signed up for T4G, use the promo code T4G20LiveGlobal10OFF to receive $10 off your registration.

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The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius International.

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