Father Boris Bobrinskoy continues this eighth chapter of The Compassion of the Father on theology and language by showing the shift that occurs in the language used for God between the Old and the New Testaments. Whereas the Old Testament had used human attributes as a way of apprehending the mystery of God,
the coming of Christ overturns all these evaluations. The Old Testament spoke of God “wearing the light as a robe” (Ps 104:2), but the New Testament speaks about God who is light. Whereas the Old Testament spoke of the paternal tenderness of God in the image of human tenderness – “As tenderly as a father treats His children, so Yahweh treats those who fear Him.” (Ps 103:13) – the divine fatherhood of God in the New Covenant becomes primary, and human fatherhood derives from it. (136)
While this reversal does not belittle the biblical anthropomorphic language, it shows that the heart of the theology of language is the divine humanity of Christ. This divine humanity is continued in the Church as the Body of Christ, and especially in the sacramental understanding of the Church.
The concept of “sacraments” surpasses the framework of seven sacraments established wrongly in the Middle Ages. In the third century, Origen envisioned two sacraments: baptism and the Word of God. I would add the icon as well (both as a sacrament and having therefore a sacramental function). The Word of God, read, commented on, meditated and preached in the Church has a sacramental function and an important liturgical and doxological character. (136-137)
Father Boris then proceeds to distinguish between the Word of God, the word to God and the words about God that he had discussed in the previous chapter. However, there is a link between these words, and we see that
certain formularies of conciliar decrees concerning the Trinitarian or Christological mystery are found literally in the liturgical praise … If praise and liturgical prayer are pre-eminently theological, theology is doxological, meaning it derives from praise and communion. Fr Sergius Bulgakov maintained that he had taken his entire theological vision from the bottom of the eucharistic chalice. Fr Cyprian Kern said that singing in the choir was the best school of theology. (137)