「The God who Speaks」
I always love when my lesson content comes together, as happened in my two classes this last week.
My favorite topic in my philosophy of religion class is the question of how we can know about the supernatural. It is one of those questions that most people believe they have an answer to until they really think about – why do I assume I could know anything about God? Would an ant expect to understand human society? Could a dog understand the movement of the stars?
We just happened to also be reading a short piece from a famous Swiss theologian named Karl Barth in my other class this week. One of his central ideas was that God is so great, so other, so mighty in comparison with His creation, that to us He is unknown and unknowable. We can’t, Barth claims, know anything about Him at all from our vantage point, can’t reach out and touch His nature through our power. The only way we could know anything about such a God is if He reveals Himself to us. Otherwise, it would be reasonable to doubt whether He exists at all.
But God does reveal Himself.
You see, our God is a speaking God. He is not, nor has He ever been, silent.
Before the creation of the world, Father, Son, and Spirit existed in loving communication with each other.
At the creation, He spoke the world into being. His chosen people have always been those He has called: Abraham to leave his family and home and then to offer up his son, Joseph to be His voice in Egypt, Moses to lead His people, and Saul and David to be kings. In Israel, God continued to speak through the prophets. The Judges, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Jeremiah, and Isaiah among many, many others. And He spoke to us through the Law.
And then, when the time had finally come, He spoke to us not just a word, not just any word, He spoke to us the Word. The creating Word, the eternal Word, the Word made flesh: his Son.
Jesus was and is God’s most important word to us. He speaks the truth in its fullness and finality. He speaks the greatest truth, the truth of love, forgiveness, and redemption. And when Christ died, rose, and ascended, He did not leave us in silence. He left us with the Spirit, which continues to speak to us today.
Because our God is a God who speaks; He is not silent.