Speak Thus: Christian Language in Church and World by Craig R. Hovey
In its various forms, speech is absolutely integral to the Christian mission. The gospel is a message, news that must be passed on if it is to be known by others. Nevertheless, the reality of God cannot be exhausted by Christian knowledge and Christian knowledge cannot be exhausted by our words. All the while, the philosophy of modernity has left Christianity an impoverished inheritance within which to think these things. In Speak Thus, Craig Hovey explores the possibilities and limits of Christian speaking. At times ethical, epistemological, and metaphysical, these essays go to the heart of what it means to be the church today. In practice, the Christian life often has a linguistic shape that surprisingly implicates and reveals the commitments of people like those who care for the sick or those who respond as peacemakers in the face of violence. Because learning to speak one way as opposed to another is a skill that must be learned, Christian speakers are also guides who bear witness to the importance of churches for passing on a felicity with Christian ways of speaking. Through constructive engagements with interlocutors like Ludwig Wittgenstein, George Lindbeck, Jeffrey Stout, Stanley Hauerwas, John Howard Yoder, Thomas Aquinas, and the theology of Radical Orthodoxy, Hovey offers a challenging vision of the church able to speak with a confidence that only comes from a deep attentiveness to its own limitations while able to speak prophetically in a world weary of words.