Why is the Trinity described as all Hes? Do you think.
There’s a difference between being masculine and being biologically male in property.
Just as engineers and electricians use masculine and feminine typological language when discussing operational properties of various things, there’s a philosophical concept of masculinity and femininity where in a relationship between entities (especially between personal entities) the giver of the action is regarded as masculine and the receiver is regarded (for purposes of describing that relationship) as feminine.
In that light, any supernaturalistic theism (including both unitarian and trinitarian Christianities), where God acts in regard to not-God entities, would involve masculine relationship to feminine. Nor does someone have to be a hardcore metaphysician to appreciate the distinction: the Sky-Father and the Earth-Mother are ancient religious archetypes for a reason, because the operative relationship makes sense in that poetic fashion. Relatedly, it has been commonly observed (and is still a modern phenomena) that where feminine language begins to be used of ultimate deity, the theology tends to start shifting into some kind of naturalistic instead of supernaturalistic theism (in other words, to some kind of pantheism). The sociologist and historian Philip Jenkins reported this about modern feminist Christian church movements in one of his books, for example.
Another answer would be that the scriptures usually speak of God in masculine senses, of course, even though on rare occasion feminine imagery and analogies are also used. The Spirit is itself a feminine term in Biblical languages, even when used with masculine or neutral pronouns. (The Spirit/Paraclete is spoken of with both neutral and masculine personal pronouns during GosJohn’s Final Discourse chapters, to pull one example off the top of my head.)
If there is a unity of distinct Persons in a single monotheistic reality of God, however, and if this fundamental reality is also supernaturalistic to our reality (and to any other not-God reality), then in terms of agent/patient relationship it would always be most ontologically proper (even if not exclusively so, for some purposes other than ontology) to talk about those Persons using masculine personal pronouns and related language. Just like that would be true about a unitarian or modalist supernatural God.
(For what it’s worth, I’ll be discussing this issue in some depth in the final chapter of Section Two of SttH, which I’m busily posting up here in the Philosophical category; as well as returning to the issue occasionally throughout Section Three when considering a decision between naturalistic and supernaturalistic theism. I expect to get to that chapter sometime in early November.)
Thank you Jason. Everything you said makes a lot of sense.
As an audio tech it can seem a little crude at times calling for gendered jacks and plugs. And no homo-plugging - it just dosn’t, uhmm… “produce” anything.
In pro-audio the male plug generally carries the source signal - so that follows your analogy as well.
On the other hand, it’s possible to argue that since ‘male’ and ‘female’ together bear the image of God (and since God does use some feminine metaphors to describe Godself in Scripture), it can sometimes be legitmate to use the feminine pronoun “she” when speaking of God. I’ve done so on occasion. It’s always interesting to see the responses.
Not without creating a plug-chain first for conversion…
I think I am going to just pretend this part of the conversation isn’t happening… http://www.wargamer.com/forums/upfiles/smiley/Bolt.gif
I want to add that a modalist, who is much more concerned with role-playing by God than the other two theological Christian types, probably has the most technical leeway to speak of a supernaturalistic God in feminine terms.
Absolutely the reality is that “they” were called Adam and that the traditionally feminine side (nurturing/compassion/) etc are all are in God’s character.
Leave to fallen/carnal men to take the subsequent “HE” seen throughout scripture describing God and claim some kind of superiority over woman (AKA: Womb-man).
I have one friend who ALWAYS uses the “She” when describing God. He says the reason is to remind himself that God is not a man.
And yes - it’s SO shocking for Christians to hear the “She”!
I KNOW why he says it but it’s fun to watch the fundys freak when they hear it.
Yep. So much of is this people’s perspectives.
I have a Mormon friend who believes God is just a very large all powerful male. I mean a literal man/dude. And He has a great big GIANT wife as well.