Monday, June 12, 2006

Question-Of-The-Week . . . Hello Mutha, Hello Fatha

“The language of worship and theology can be a powerful force in shaping our conceptions and experiences of God and of ourselves. Reflection on the power of language is important as we strive to affirm the richly diverse character of God’s people and the mystery of the divine presence and self-presentation.” Keeping these thoughts in our hearts, this week’s question-of-the-week is:
Can We Call God Mother?

Resources: Report and Recommendations in Response to Referral on Inclusive Language & A Report to the Church on Issues of Language and Gender.

1 comment:

jim said...

Wow, that's a fun one. I guess I'll take the first swing at it...

I think we get so wrapped up in issues of language that we forget what Jesus was emphasizing most in calling God "Father" (and likewise encouraging us to do the same) was the intimacy of relationship that is possible with God through the work of the Holy Spirit.

When we talk about God, we need to work backwards from what the Bible has to say about the character of this God Jesus referred to as "Father" rather than projecting our negative, abusive, patriarchial visions and experiences of earthly fathers back onto God.

I see absolutely no problem in using feminine, mothering images for God that are biblical in nature to talk about, to refine, and to enhance our typically far too masculine understandings of God's character and nature. But I draw the line at calling God "Mother" because I think we get into very slippery theological ground when we go there.