Theology itself is a word, a human response; yet what makes it theology is not its own word or response but the Word which it hears and to which it responds. Theology, in short, is not a creative act but only a praise of the Creator and of his act of creation—praise that to the greatest possible extent truly responds to the creative act of God.
Before human speech and thought can respond to God’s word, they have to be summoned into existence and given reality by the creative act of God’s word. Without the precedence of the creative Word, there can be not only proper theology but, in fact, no evangelical theology at all. Theology is not called in any way to interpret, explain, and elucidate God and his Word. The theological response can only consist in confirming and announcing the Word as something spoke and heard prior to all interpretation. What is at stake is the fundamental theological act that contains and determines everything else: “True knowledge of God is born out of obedience.”