The God Who Transcends Inclusive Language

Red Letter Christians | 10/11/2017 | Tony Campolo
Tanya9 (Posted by) Level 3
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Recently, I heard a speaker who referred to God as SHE! My initial reaction was surprise. Just when I began reflecting on why he referred to God as SHE, he reverted back to using HE for God. For the rest of his talk, he went on alternating by first using the feminine pronoun and then the masculine pronoun for God.

It took me awhile, but I finally got what he was trying to say. He was letting the audience know that neither pronoun communicated what could or should be said about God, because God, as he thought, transcends our culturally determined understandings of masculinity and femininity so that neither pronoun was sufficient in referring to God. In the words of Soren Kierkegaard, “God is totally other.”

Society - Meanings - Masculinity - Concepts - Strength

Society provides us with various meanings of masculinity. Such concepts as strength, assertiveness, and principled judgments often come to mind, but God is so much more than that. Femininity conjures up concepts such as grace, nurture, empathy, and sensitivity. Yet again, God is so much more than that. God transcends all such culturally defined categories as male and female and cannot be put into such objective terms. God can only be known subjectively.

We humans are prone to project onto God characteristics which we find in ourselves. We were created in the image of God and, sadly, we are prone to return the favor. God, however, will not fit into our socially or psychologically generated structures and can only be known in personal encounters. What is known objectively either was or will be.

God - Concept - Time - God - Encounters

God, as we all realize, is not limited by past and future and refuses to be in any objective concept of time. Instead God is offered up to us for subjective encounters in the NOW! Of course NOW doesn’t exist in the lineal succession of...
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