I’m happy to announce that The Speaking Trinity & His Worded World is now out and available on Amazon!
This book lays the foundation for my thinking and interpretation of all that I experience, and I hope and pray it will be an encouragement to you. The three basic conclusions that I develop are the following:
- Language is central to who God is. God speaks to himself in three persons, with a language of love and glory that transcends our understanding.
- Language is central to who we are. We are disposed for communion with the triune God, and language is what I call communion behavior. So we need to think deeply about how we can use language to engage with God and other people.
- Language helps us understand what the world is like. The whole world “speaks” about God in the sense that it reveals something of his nature and character. We can look at everything around us and ask, “What is this saying about who God is and what he has done to redeem us in Christ, by the power of his Spirit?”
Here’s what other theologians have to say about it:
- Hibbs has given us an excellent book to present in accessible form the biblical basis for the centrality of language in God’s communion with us, in God’s creation and providence, and in human living. The book combines biblical exposition, practical examples, and clear, winsome writing. There is nothing like it on the subject of language! – Vern S. Poythress
- The last century has witnessed a major preoccupation with language among philosophers. Theologians, too, have tried often to understand the language of God—his word. Often these studies have endorsed relativism of various kinds—the view that true communication is really not possible. Reformed theologians have resisted these relativistic theories. But, more helpfully, some Reformed thinkers over the last fifty years have developed a positive understanding of language, based on Scripture. This began with Vern Poythress’s theological appropriation of the tagmemic system of Christian linguist Kenneth Pike. Pike’s system emphasizes threefold distinctions: Particle, Wave, Field; Contrast, Variation, Distribution. Poythress finds in these triads reflections of the Trinity. Hibbs’ book presents an excellent summary of this philosophy and outlines its theological and practical implications. He stresses the centrality of language to reality and to human life, and he persuasively expounds his view that language is communion behavior. This thesis has a huge importance, and therefore I hope that the book finds many readers. – John M. Frame
- What a bracing theology Pierce Taylor Hibbs has given those of us who have been called to preach the Word! The full realization that language is at the “beating heart” of the Trinity and that everything has been wrought through Trinitarian discourse so that his world is intrinsically “worded” – this stunning truth, coupled with the fact that the Spirit-breathed Scriptures flow from the communion of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, means that the preaching of the Word is a thrice blessed event set in in the pulsing context of a creation that perpetually pours forth the glory of God. When a preacher embraces the Trinitarian majesty of the Scriptures, and consciously reflects on the worded world, Trinitarian energy will fill his preaching as he preaches Christ, the eternal Word become flesh. Those who read and meditate on The Speaking Trinity & His Worded World will find their knowledge of God and his Word expanded and elevated. Preachers will find their hearts on fire to preach God’s holy Word. – R. Kent Hughes
- This extraordinary book brings together themes from linguistics, biblical theology and apologetics, arguing that human language derives from the communion behavior of the divine Trinity. Among the implications of the thesis is that language relates to all of life, from worship to family to work. The idea sounds innocent enough until we realize it leans against almost every prevalent linguistic theory. Almost! Exceptions such as Kenneth L. Pike, Vern Poythress, John Frame, and, by implication, Cornelius Van Til redirect language theory to its proper biblical framework. No one is more qualified to accomplish this task than Pierce Hibbs. His years of experience both as a theologian and a language instructor bear fruit in this profoundly edifying study. Accessible to the specialist and the non-specialist alike, the book bristles with insights. It has the makings of a classic. – William Edgar
- In a post-post-modern age that despairs of language, meaning, and truth, Pierce Hibbs’s reminder that language — communicative and expressive behavior – is ultimately rooted in the triune God comes as a welcome Christian relief. Of particular importance is the claim that language is always personal and covenantal, oriented to communion, and that God is a speaking, communicative being. Anyone interested in God and language will profit from this book. – Kevin J. Vanhoozer
- Building on the work of Van Til, Frame, and Poythress, Hibbs has written a fascinating account of the Trinity as communicative, with language integral to creation and the nature of humanity in communion with God. Superbly written, his highly accessible discussion should do much to stimulate thought about God as Trinity, creation and our place in it, indeed everything, for he mounts a credible case that the Trinity is discernible all around us. – Robert Letham
- God created the world by speaking and his own Son is identified as the eternal Word. God’s works of creation, providence, redemption and consummation are all attributed to his powerful speech. So biblical faith is bound up with words—with language—in a unique way. That’s why this is such an important book. Regardless of whether one agrees with all of the arguments, I expect it to strike up a fresh and crucial conversation about God and language. – Michael Horton
- This is a well-written book with a provocative thesis. Whether one ultimately agrees with all of Hibbs’ contentions, his is a voice worth taking seriously. – Jonathan Master