The Power of Crying Out, (three proofs on the power of the spoken word) part 7
On p. 24, Gothard makes the case that "Spoken words have power," and he gives three proofs. First, he quotes Proverbs 18:21, which says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." He may mean simply that our words have consequences. For example, a witness to a muder trial can bring about either the life or death of the person on trial. A judge, by his spoken verdict, can bring about the same result. There's nothing supernatural about this sense of the tongue having power, but it's clear from Gothard's second proof that this is not what he has in mind. He thinks spoken words literally have some kind of inherent power in and of themselves. But such is not taught anywhere in the scriptures. The sense in which words do have power is found in James 3. It is with our words that we bless and with our words that we curse, and our words have consequences.
In his second proof, Gothard points out that although God could have created the world with his thoughts, he chose to use the words of his mouth. Apparently, he thinks the spoken words of God had the inherent power in themselves to create the universe, but such an interpretation has many difficulties. First, God is spirit. He doesn't literally have a mouth. Second, sound is, by definition, vibration through a medium. For sound to happen, then, there has to be some medium through which vibration can take place. There has to be some material to vibrate. But before God created anything, there was no such medium. So God could not have literally spoken words in the same sense that we speak words in order to create anything. Third, it was the power of God himself that created the universe, not the power inherent in the words. If it were the power of words that created the universe, then we would be able to create universes by speaking those same words. Since we can't, it's obviously not the words that have the power, but God.
In his third proof, Gothard points out that in a wedding, the bride and groom need to say their vows out loud so the witnesses can hear their voices, and so it is with God. But there's a reason witnesses need to hear the voices of the bride and groom that doesn't apply to God. The witnesses have no other way to witness the vows except by hearing the spoken word. Surely the God who searches the heart and knows all things does not need to hear our voices in the same way that human witnesses do. So his analogy doesn't work at all.
to be continued...