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McKormick

I think that is beautiful. And even while I say that I feel the arrogance that comment. 'Preach it', we say. 'Fuckin get off your ass and pour your life into renewal and reconciliation with the earth and the people in it'.

I too believe that prophets would be incredibly profane. You should write a prophetic manifesto. It could be distributed across the countries. Then we could lay on our sides for a few years and cook our food by burning our shit until the world takes notice and makes a change.

Sometimes I think (my own) blogging is my escape from Ninevah.

rose

my thoughts almost exactly, except I wouldn't be able to cuss. People just laugh at me when I cuss and tell me that I am cute. I don't get it. Am I cute in a 3 year old kind of way or what??? One friend once told me they were going to make a cussing rose doll because it would just make people mad. Sometimes I cuss because I am mad damn it! Take me seriously! OK...that was really random and awful but preach it!

Law Bob Esq.

It seems to me unlikely that any prophet invoking Jesus would use the female pronoun to describe God... since Jesus referred to him as Father and all.

Also I prefer to think that a modern prophet would spend his time talking about God, how neat God is, the great things that God does for us, and inspire action. When someone comes around telling me how much I suck, I tend to react... negatively.

Leighton

A rude, confrontational approach to preaching is probably why the OT prophets were generally treated badly, and yet their stories are still part of the Xn canon. I think the point is less to communicate to people that they suck (except in a "let him who has ears hear" sort of way) as it is to speak out on behalf of the poor and downtrodden, whose voices are usually ignored.

greg

Bob,

The OT uses feminine language to describe the Spirit. It's unlikely that God is male or female, so either pronoun would probably be acceptable. I use both.

Adam

McKormick,
The Prophets were definately some odd cats.

Rose,
I promise to not make fun of you when you cuss around me (or here). You could always just cuss a lot and people would eventually stop making fun of you because they expect it now.

LB,
I second what Leighton and Greg said. The point isn't to make people feel bad. Its to give a voice to the voiceless. Also, I don't think God has gender. If I lifted up the robes of glory I don't think I would find a massive penis underneath.

Law Bob Esq.

It is important to distinguish between gender and sex. I would submit that God the Father is very much of the masculine gender.

To illustrate the distinction, consider the quintessential childhood sin, the baseball through the broken window. Father, the masculine parent, declares that I'll have to pay for the window. Mother, the feminine parent, declares that I'll have to appologize. The former focuses on the outward events, action and reaction, the latter focuses on the inward, ephemeral results. Now consider God. Sin demands sacrifice, be it sheep or the son of God. Is this not the same masculine approach? Only after sacrifice is repentence considered of value.

Or consider other traits, the masculine builder or the feminine caretaker? Your original post, perhaps, illustrates this relationship too. The church is often described as the bride, it too would then be the caretaker of creation, would it not? Then of course a prophet might rebuke the bride for falling short...

Bloody h*ll, I've gone and thought myself in a circle, perhaps a prophet would say the stuff you mention, but I stand by the masculine god. Besides, every other prophet, and the son of God himself, uses the masculine pronoun.

ty

i like you. you say good, funny things. i have no idea who the hell you are, but rock on with your bad self.

thanks for the comment on my blog. word!

Adam

ty,
I'm glad that you like me. Feel free to come and laugh or agree (don't disagree only agreeable people here) anytime. I enjoyed your Easter post. Keep em coming.
Oh, just kidding about the don't disagree thing.

Law Bob,
Gender qualities and tendencies seem to me to be culturally constructed and therefore are artificial categories that don't apply to God. Also, does it surprise you that a bible written by men in a Patriarchal society used Masculine Pronouns to refer to God? But this does bring up an interesting topic of gender. There have been some interesting studies done on gender, unfortunately I don't know enough about it to feel okay posting about it. Maybe later.

Law Bob Esq.

I can't agree with the social basis for masculine and feminine traits. I'm married and I've learned from personal experience, both physically and mentally, women are different. The perfect example is, perhaps, Rocky IV. To most men, the notion of Rocky going to Russia to fight Drago and probably die strikes a deep and resonating chord. To most women, its plain stupid to risk your life like that.

Gender aside, you raise an important point about authorship by discussing the men in a patriarchal society which penned the Bible. It illustrates a lack of common ground on which to base a discussion of gender in the first place. I, for example, am convinced that the texts in the bible are a reliable record, penned by man but "breathed" by god. From your previous post, I suspect you do not agree.

Applied to a discussion of gender applicable to God, if the bible follows my view, God (the son) was male, and refers to God (the father) as male also. Therefore I should do likewise.

If, by contrast, the texts are tained by cultural bias, error in translation, or outright falsity, then the whole Bible is of no use in a discussion about what God is like, because any part of it could be made up. If this is the case, we must then default to other evidence about the nature of God, of which we have only the world around us (and this assumes of course we accept the presupposition that there even IS a god.) For example, does the world around us appear more masculine or feminine?

greg

Bob,

Barth said: You cannot speak of God by speaking of man in a loud voice. You begin with anthropology to do theology?

What does it mean that texts were breathed by God? The texts in view in that passage, by the way, were the Tanakh, and not the NT. I really don't want to get into a discussion of inspiration, infallibility, inerrancy, etc. I've had it too many times over at the parish. Suffice it to say that if you start with inerrancy and/or infallibility, then we won't have a very long conversation.

Most confessional Christians believe that God is without physical form. What does it mean for an eternally non-physical being to have gender? Gender would seem to be a function of physical form. You might argue that we aren't just our bodies, but I will say that we are at least our bodies and will be again in the resurrection so that gender is tied to physicality.

Law Bob Esq.

If we agree on the existence of God and want to study him (her/it/them) we have to start somewhere. If we cannot agree on whether ancient writings are reliable evidence as to the nature of God, then we are left only with the natural world on which to base our study. Why not anthropology? Is there another field of science you would prefer to use as a starting point?

If we assume all things were created by a God, then it follows that there will be similarities between these things. Much like themes or techniques that identify a particular artist. The laws of physics have the same origin as the laws of human interraction. The similarities we see in anthropology and in geology or biology should not be assumed unrelated. If a fact of biology is reminiscent of a trend in humanity, we should not assume this is an accident. Rather it is evidence of the nature & preference of the individual who created both.

Perhaps our resistance to considering gender aside from sex is linguistic as much as anything. Many, perhaps most language families assign gender to every noun. Certainly a table does not have sex, but in most languages of latin descent a table is a feminine thing.

Adam

You and your wife are both bound up by cultural constructs. I definately think that, in our culture, there is a stark difference, generally speaking, between male and female tendencies. However, I've also spent some time in SE Asia and many of things that we consider male traits here don't exist in the least there. The ones that do directly reflect our divisions are a direct result of Western consumer culture that usually dissappears in the more rural areas.

I think that you are making a false dichotomy with either we accept everything in scripture or none of it. I don't have any problem thinking that the men who wrote the bible (I have no conceptual idea of what "God Breathed" means since metaphors are not meant to be defintive and God is not a physical being) really thought that God was male. Perhaps God is no fool and knew that to come as a woman or to be called by the femine (God our heavenly mother) would be unacceptable in that culture and no one would have taken her seriously, since women were considered little more than possessions. I also know, like Greg pointed out before, that God is referred to with feminine language as well as neuter language. So if all scripture is "God breathed" then referring to God with femine language is fair game. I would ultimately like to not use pronouns at all and refer to God or Godself instead of His or Herself. I just like Herself because I am a feminist and it gets nice reactions out of people sometimes.

greg

Like Barth, I don't want to start with a field of science but with revelation rightly interpreted. Primary revelation is Jesus. Scripture, tradition, and community are secondary and tertiary forms of revelation. Scripture arises from the matrix of situation, community, and respondent, not from some spiritual dictation. There is a distinct possibility they got some stuff wrong, as we often do. They have authority because of their ability to create an alternate reality to the reality of the world and because they have been shown to be effective in conforming lives to that other reality. Questions of ultimate truth concerning Scripture cannot be answered this side of the kingdom's consummation.

Law Bob Esq.

I guess I'll need some examples of the cultural traits you're talking about. I spent a month in the Phillipines, and a little while in Japan, and never noticed absence of traditionally male traits. How do you feel western consumer culture affect this?

(I already am quite convinced that Wal-Mart is the devil.)

Leighton

I don't know about anyone else, but I think it would help the discussion to identify by description (rather than by example) what traits are traditionally male and female. I'm not sure I know what you all are talking about.

Adam

Like I said before I don't know a whole lot about gender issues, but the sort of traits I'm talking are things like "Men are the ones that go out in the fields and do the heavy lifting" and Women sit around and Gossip. Which may be more stereotypes then traits. Since I don't know much about this I'm going to decline any further comments from myself. I'm just don't think that the fact that someone has a Y chromosome necessarily means that they have different personality traits than someone that doesn't.

G Man

You guys would have to be the biggest bullshitters i have ever ever heard.
Talk more crap

Bronnie

Well then....I have read the wole discussion that has gone on with you guys and I think it is quite interesting. Though I do have to say that I think there is no reason to argue. Who cares if God is male or female, it doesn't contribute to who or what God is. We cannot pin human attributes on God because it is absolutly impossible for us to know for sure. You're getting caught up in the gender of God rather then talking about the things that really matter about God. Like God is lovng or kind. Why don't you talk about that instead of things that don't matter?

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