Published during: March 2013

Language is not a code that bespeaks the subject, but a covenant that bestows dignity and responsibility on the agent of language. Far from relieving speakers from responsibility, then, the institution of language actually grounds and enables it.

—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Is There a Meaning in This Text?

Why is there something—a text, a work of art—rather than nothing? Because a human author at a particular place and time activated the linguistic resources that were to hand, put a socio-linguistic system in motion, and did something in order to make a difference in the social world.

—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Is There a Meaning in This Text?

In the beginning, God created language; it is his good gift, designed to be enjoyed by his creatures. Moreover, it is the preeminent instrument for cultivating personal relationships, between one human and another and between humanity and God. As such, language is a kind of semantic sacrament, a means of communicating meaning through verbal signs.

—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Is There a Meaning in This Text?