Monday, June 20, 2011

The Feminine Attributes of God

The Southern Baptist Convention took place this past week in Phoenix Arizona, and a lot of important issues were decided upon and settled.

One issue was whether or not Hell exists, which I'll probably touch on in the near future with all the pro-"eternal conscious torment" books coming out. But in case you haven't heard and are worried, according to the popular vote, God will torture non-believers though out all of eternity.

But though eternal conscious torment in Hell may have been a keeper, the new 2011 NIV Bible was voted out due to Gender neutrality. Yep, apparently the translators of the new, New International Version saw fit to include (or at least not exclude) women. Scandalous.

Not only does the translation change words such as "brothers" to "brothers and sisters" or "all men" to a more inclusive "all people", but it even uses gender neutral language towards God in some cases, and we all know that God is male. We've seen pictures of the beard.

Being uncomfortable with the gender neutral language makes sense within a denomination which still doesn't allow women to speak or hold leadership positions in their churches.

The SBC also rejected the TNIV for the same reasons back in 2002, and I know many people who have a problem thinking of God in terms of a woman (mostly men of course).

There is nothing wrong with using nouns such as, "He" and "Him" when talking of God, but the. There are those who are upset when words such as, "Her" or "She" are used, I think this probably says something about your view of women.

But there is at least a few people who have no problem speaking of God using feminine language.

One example would be Jesus. He suggest God is like a mother hen who gathers her chics. God is compared to a mother numerous times throughout the scriptures.

There is also the word "Sophia" (which means wisdom) and is used throughout the scriptures in a similar way as the word "Logos" (which means Word). Sophia is a feminine noun and is an attribute of God (Proverbs 1). Some would say that Jesus was the embodiment of the Sophia of God. The Sophia was in the beginning and the Sophia became flesh and dwelt among us. Again, check out Proverbs.

In Job, God gives birth and is even describe as having a womb. There are many instances throughout the Scriptures that uses feminine language to describe God, and they are just as right wrong as the masculine ones.

God is indeed a gender neutral Spirit/Being/Existence/transcendant/Thing and any kind of gender, male or female, one attributes to God ends up falling short of describing Her. She is much too big to be defined or categorized.

Our language, including whatever Anthropomorphic traits we decide to use, always falls short, but it's the best we can do. Our words are all we have to try and explain our understanding of God, who is beyond all understanding.

And that is what Theology is, our words about God (Theo = God; logos = Word), and it always falls short of who God (she/he/him/her/it) is.


Anonymous said...

Your language is a little suggestive of a hermaphroditic nature to God. If you're not careful the next SBC will be voting on officially condemning your blog! ;)

Jkub said...

i wouldnt be surprised, or disappointed.