A Theology of Language: Dr. Vern Poythress Speaks

Dr. Vern Poythress explains why language isn’t just a barrier for missionaries—it’s a gift that flows out of the Trinity itself.

The inconvenience of learning a foreign language is a major reason people choose not to pursue cross-cultural missions. But, as Dr. Vern Poythress explains, language isn’t just a barrier; it’s a gift from God that displays his creativity. In this special interview, Dr. Poythress explains why language itself finds its source in the Trinity, how missionaries should approach language learning. Later, we address how missionaries can use presuppositional apologetics in dealing with pagan religious cultures.

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.

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Alex Kocman & Scott Dunford

Alex Kocman is the Director of Communications and Engagement for ABWE. He serves as general editor for Message Magazine and co-hosts The Missions Podcast. After earning his M.A. in Communication and B.S. in Biblical Studies, he served as an online apologetics instructor with Liberty University and a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, where he now resides with his wife and three children. Read his blog or follow him on X/Twitter.

Scott Dunford is the pastor of Western Hills Church in San Mateo, Calif. Previously, Scott served as Vice President of Mobilization and Communications for ABWE and as a missionary in East Asia. Scott graduated from Northland International University (B.A. in Pastoral Studies), earned his M.A. in biblical studies from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, his M.B.A. from Cornerstone University, and is currently enrolled in Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s D.Min. program with an emphasis on missions.