Pushback....

"God is ALWAYS portrayed as a male--women had no way of identifying with Him"


[Note: This is a simple summary of the detailed data in the syllabus. Refer there for sources/discussion. Updated: 01/02/97]
Actually, this is not true. God does use some female images of Himself... These images show us that God's character is robust enough to incorporate the wide range of characteristics of our race. If God NEVER used images/titles of Himself (e.g. mother, father, king, servant) and only spoke of Himself in terms of 'person', we would STILL be able to perceive the range of characteristics embodied in those images/titles from His dealings with us recorded through history.

But, strictly speaking, identification with God is not the objective--relationship with God IS. Our 'identification' needs are met through the Personality/Consciousness of God--He is face-to-face 'like us'. He loves, chooses, regrets, responds in anger, feels compassion, makes commitments--the things persons do in relationships.

What we REALLY need is an image that explains/illustrates the relationship we are supposed to have with God. That would be more helpful than a simple 'identification' image, in which we would STILL have to come up with "how we are different from...".

We as humans are not called to 'be' God; we are called to 'be related to' God. He is the Father; the human race is called to be the responsive and trusting child. He is the Mother; the human race is called to be the dependent and suckling infant. He is the Husband; the human race is called to be the celebrating and committed wife. Does this de-value His child, His infant, His wife? If it does, I would hate to be the one to inform Him of that....(grin)...He seems to have paid a great Price for us...

In my opinion, at a practical level, it may sometimes be more difficult for the male to relate to the numerous biblical images in which God is the Husband and men are to be part of 'the wife', than it is for women to relate to the same images (assuming normal semi-functional image development during the 'formative' years, of course).


The Christian ThinkTank...[http://www.christian-thinktank.com] (Reference Abbreviations)