Monday, 15 January 2007

The possibility of knowing God

“The linguistic event which is constitutive of the knowledge of God is, rightly understood, not a word about God, but Word of God. For it is only as one who himself speaks that God can reveal himself as God…. Knowledge of God as word-event implies knowledge of God as Person. For that reason, what is called knowledge of God stands or falls with the possibility of prayer. Prayer is the most direct expression of the knowledge of God, in so far as it is answer to God’s Word.”

—Gerhard Ebeling, Word and Faith (London: SCM, 1963), p. 352.

6 Comments:

Wayne Field said...

Is that a verbose way of saying you get to know God by praying?

Enjoying the blog Ben - thanks.

Ben Myers said...

Hi Wayne -- yes, that's a pretty close summary!

Or, to be more precise: God is knowable because he is "prayable"!

Todd said...

Ben, great quote. THanks for this, its especially pertinent to stuff i have been thinking through recently...been spending time in book 1 of Barth's dogmatics and (unless i am mistaking) there is some correlation here to how Barth talks about preaching.

it was great meeting you today at church. thanks for visiting.

Mark said...

I was just reading, or at least trying to read, from Zizioulas Communion and Otherness (assisted by an overview by Papanikolaou called Being with God). The point is that Zizioulas holds that the center of communion between man and the divine is in the Eucharist.

I think the logic (simplified) is something along the lines that God's unknowability is bridged by the manifestation of God as man in Christ and that we personally partake of that experience that via the Eucharist.

What say you to that?

Anonymous said...

The Eucharist is a good symbol/reality of Christ's presence with us, but I think this quote is pointing out (in particular) how Christ is incarnate linguistically. And this has more to do with how language systems form the very basis of which one can think and interpret reality.

bfine107 said...

Thanks Wayne,
if you hadn't broken it down for me my comment would have been that I have no idea what the heck he is talking about.

Now I can say, that's interesting and I'm glad it means something to somebody.
I do wonder though, why talk in such a big hard to understand way, when you could speak in a way that most everyone would understand?

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