Sunday, February 12, 2012

Easy Way Out

You know, sometimes I wonder why I even bother blogging when there are people out there who do such an incredible job already.  Oh, right -  I do it for my own sanity.


"God is Not Ashamed: Our Brothers Speak Out"

I hadn't read Dr. Piper's initial comments before I read Ms. Evans' blog post, but the encouragement I received from the multiple contributions to her blog was amazing.

My favorite quote?
What are you are saying to women when you say God is a man? You are telling them that they are not, truly imagio dei. You are telling them they are a tacked on afterthought, a dim, imperfect thing that is destined to always fall short of the full light of God’s glory. You are telling them they are not fully human, because they do not fully reflect who God is.
 Amen, and amen.


  1. I can honestly say that I have never felt like "an afterthought, a dim imperfect thing that is destined to always fall short of the full light of God's glory" because I am a woman and God is personified as male. God said in Genesis that he created "them" in his image, "male and female" he created them. If God says that I am created in his image, then I am created in his image. To believe otherwise is to believe a lie. I was raised in a fundamentalist home, went to a fundamentalist church, attended a fundamentalist Christian school and a fundamentalist university. All of them taught that God is male. And I have never felt "not fully human, because [I] do not fully reflect who God is." I reflect what God made me to be. I am an image bearer.

  2. Hmm- I am trying to process this a little. I guess I do think of God as masculine- but mostly I just think of Him as God. Jesus came to earth as a man, though. I guess this has truly never bothered me. I believe when it comes to spiritual things that "there is neither...male nor female". He treats us the same in Christ and we are equal before Him. God being referred to in the masculine sense has never made me feel less in His image. I am just thinking this through and I guess I don't think of God as being a man or a woman in a human sense- I think of Him as being God -more than just a particular sex. That He is referred to in a masculine way doesn't seem like a negative to me- if God chooses to refer to Himself that way that is His choice.

  3. Sorry I haven't been part of this conversation for a while - Blogger was not letting me comment, it just loaded a blank page. I just tried a different browser and now it lets me. Go fig.

    M - I'm truly happy that you have never felt that way. May it always be so for you. I have, however. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I tend to fall into a leadership role in groups, and have have frequently been the recipient of "women shouldn't do that" remarks, usually coupled with a "Biblical" admonition that men should be the leaders for such reasons as outlined by Dr. Piper. And you're right - I, as a woman, am created in the image of God. That's my point.

    SJ, I'm not trying to say that God didn't refer to himself in the masculine in many areas. Jesus called Him "Father". The Father called Jesus "Son". These are masculine terms. I don't have a problem with that. What does get to me is forgetting that God also used many feminine terms to illustrate God's attributes. Scripture clearly states from the very beginning that both male and female were created in God's image. So to emphazise the masculine at the exclusion of the feminine is a very grave error. That's the point of this - that Piper is going beyond Scripture and saying that anything that really counts about Christianity is masculine.

    Does that make sense?

  4. I was substituting for a religion teacher at a private school about 15-16 years ago. We were at the end of the school year and talking. Some of the kids were pretty deep. A sixth grader named Jenna wanted to know why she wasn't allowed to be like God. I explained that she most certainly was made in God's image and quoted the appropriate passage in Genesis. I told her that we are called to bring our lives ever closer to God.

    Then she said (I'll never forget her words), "I can't be like God. I'm not a boy. And God is He, He, He. God the Father, God the Son and even the Holy Spirit is masculine!" She began to cry and I felt just terrible. I explained to her that in days gone past the word "he" or "men" was used to include all humankind. But she was having none of it. I agreed and we began to refer to God as the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Sadly, this is a bit too "out there" for some congregations. But rest assured, all are made in the image of God who defies our attempts at description. And it is the soul that is in the image. God is not some big old man, woman or hermaphrodite in heaven!!!