Can Christians use human language to speak about God?
Dr. Archie Spencer seeks to answer this question in his recent book: The Analogy of Faith: The Quest for God’s Speakability. (Available for Kindle and print from Amazon, Chapters, and IVP Press). Paul T. Nimmo from the University of Aberdeen says “This is a rigorous and generative Christian dogmatics of an impressive order and deserves to be widely attended.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Spencer on his book for Northwest News.
What is your book about?
The book is about the function of language in theology. In turn, the book is a defence of the normal use of our language to express our theological statements. How we use language is an important idea because today people question the truthfulness of language to express the being of God.
What were some challenges for you when writing this book?
Staying ahead of the flood of literature for the past ten years has been one of the biggest challenges I faced. The amount of interaction I had with classical Greek and Medieval literature was another major challenge. The last main challenge I faced was the exegetical part of my research. Getting a grasp where Scripture affirms and supports the possibility of language to speak about God was a challenge. Needless to say, there is lots of biblical exegesis to support the book.
Why write this book?
I wrote this book in anticipation of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The core motive for me was to reaffirm the basic Protestant commitments to theology. Particularly, the principles of Sola scriptura, Sola fide, and Solus Christus.
What are your hopes for this book?
It is difficult to publish with a semi-popular press as an academic writer. So having IVP publish this book is like getting a monkey off my back. A door has opened in front of me to consider writing more populist theology, and there is interest by publishers in this area. I also needed to establish myself and my method and now I can move forward.
Any parting words for aspiring theologians?
Theology is a nose-to-the-grindstone task. So the church needs good pastor/theologians. But pastor/theologians need to be willing to make the time and commitment to become good theologians. My encouragement is: Every pastor a theologian and every theologian a pastor.