Sunday, May 08, 2016

Learning by Addressing

Grasping the meaning of the terms “almighty” and “creator of heaven and earth” comes in degrees, as does grasping the meaning of most terms. One has a better grasp as an adult than as a child; one adult has a better grasp than another adult. The better one understands the meaning of the addressee-identification terms used when addressing God liturgically, the deeper one’s knowledge of God – assuming that the terms fit God. A liturgical neophyte learns to employ the term “creator of heaven and earth” in addressing God. At first the knowledge of God that he acquires thereby is very shallow. As he understands better what he is saying, his knowledge of God as creator of heaven and earth deepens.

Must one already know God in order to address God? Is addressing God the expression and application of knowledge of God acquired in some other way? No; one can come to know God by learning to engage God in the mode of addressing God and by learning to do so in certain ways.

Nicholas Wolterstorff, Knowing God Liturgically, Journal of Analytic Theology, Vol. 4, May 2016 [10.12978/jat.2016-4.130818221405b].

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