I cannot help but make one more point in response to Gericke’s argument. I apologize because this should have been included in my first footnote. Unfortunately it comes from that wing of philosophy which Gericke refers to as “fundamentalist and analytic”. (152) (Incidentally, Gericke seems to have a thing about labeling people. He even calls Walter Brueggemann” a “populist crypto-fundamentalist”! Wow, if Gericke calls Brueggemann a crypto-fundamentalist what does he call Eugene Merrill?!)
Anyway, I digress. On to the substance of the review.
Gericke seems to assume in his review a descriptivist theory of proper names according to which names (like “God” or “Yahweh”) have their reference fixed by a unique cluster of descriptions. Because the set of descriptions accepted by the writers of the Old Testament is so radically different from that accepted by contemporary Christians, terms like “Yahweh” have different references for these two groups.
Nice idea. However, back in the days of disco philosopher Saul Kripke launched an attack on the descriptivist theory of names which many philosophers consider decisive. Kripke proposed a causal theory of reference according to which the reference for proper nouns like “Yahweh” is fixed through time within the context of the communities of language users that use the term. On this view there is no problem with viewing “Yahweh” as referring to the same being for ancient Israelites and modern analytic Christian philosophers even though the ancient Israelites would have differed on many descriptions from those accepted by modern analytic philosophers.
So if Gericke is going to establish the discontinuity between Yahweh (OT) and Yahweh (contemporary Christian) he might start by attacking Saul Kripke.
But then, why bother? After all, Kripke is just a “fundamentalist analytic philosopher” (and an observant Jewish one at that)!