Charles Wood on Acts of God

Charles Wood on Acts of God

That there is a God who acts at all is not something a careful observer of the world’s occurrences is inescapably driven to conclude. [95] …

It is therefore from God that we first learn of the acts of God. That is, it is the word of God that identifies and interprets to us the acts of God, which are otherwise indiscernible in events. This priority of “word” over “event” in our coming to apprehend the acts of God must be respected in any adequate account of God’s self-revelation. God is not “revealed in history,” if history is understood as the course of events. God does indeed act in events…but the events as such do not betray that fact. We do not arrive at a knowledge of God by noticing the Godly features of certain events and following God’s footprints through history, so to speak. Even “God is revealed in acts” is an abbreviated and therefore potentially misleading statement of the order of knowing involved. The acts of God themselves must be disclosed as God’s acts. God is hidden in events and is revealed as acting only through the word that renders the acts as God’s acts to us. [96] …

Thus, to describe an occurrence as an act of God is not to indulge in pious overdescription of the events involved, justified perhaps by their impressiveness. It is instead to place the occurrence within a different context of description, on the basis of the agent’s own self-disclosure. It is to acknowledge a God who not only acts, but also speaks. [97]

from An Invitation to Theological Study (Trinity Pr Intl, 1994).

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