God as One Who Speaks
Having completed his exploration of God as one who listens, Wolterstorff now turns to the understanding of God implicit in the belief that God is one who speaks. He begins by pointing out that in a good many of our liturgical acts we are listening to what God says by way of what humans say. Wolterstorff begins his exploration by critiquing Karl Barth’s account of the Word of God, finding it insufficiently grounded in the words actually spoken by Jesus, and too reliant on the concept of revelation, which plays a relatively minor role in Scripture. Also finding Barth’s claim that all of Scripture points to Christ as contestable, Wolterstorff suggests that David Kelsey’s account of three independent but interacting story lines—creation and preservation, redemption, and consummation—to be a more helpful guide. Wolterstorff concludes that God not only presently listens, but also presently speaks to us in the liturgy: it is an act of mutual address.
Nicholas Wolterstorff taught at Yale since 1989 until he retired in 2002. Previously, he taught at Calvin College, the Free University of Amsterdam, and the University of Notre Dame and has been visiting professor at several institutions. He is past President of the American Philosophical Association (Central Division) and serves on its publication and executive committees. In addition to numerous articles, he has written the following books: Religion and the Schools; On Universals; Reason within the Bounds of Religion; Art in Action; Works and Worlds of Art; Education for Responsible Action; Until Justice and Peace Embrace; Faith and Rationality (co-author); Rationality in the Calvinian Tradition (co-author); Lament for a Son; and Keeping Faith: Talks for New Faculty. In upcoming years, he will be the Wilde Lecturer at Oxford University and the Gifford Lecturer at St. Andrew’s University.