I recently read an article that explored the question, “Is God male?” It seems some think the nouns and pronouns used to describe God in the Scriptures are masculine and may give readers a skewered or limited perspective of the nature of God.
The reasoning goes something like this; all the authors of the Bible were men who penned their various books in cultures that were decidedly patriarchal. Their use of masculine terms in describing God were colored by their gender and culture, therefore, we should consider redacting the Scriptures to bring them into conformity with our current cultural perspective.
The concern with redacting the Scriptures…
My chief concern here is what this sort of thinking suggests regarding the inspiration of Scripture. It infers that the Word of God was influence more by the human authors to the detriment and discredit of the divine Author. Is the Bible the Word of God, or the word of man?
When it comes to the definition of inspiration of Scripture, I agree with the one formulated by the late Dr. Charles C. Ryrie. He wrote “biblical inspiration…is God’s superintendence of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man.”
This definition accounts for the idiosyncrasies and varying styles of the human authors without detracting from the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures; making them avowedly the Word of God and not the word of man.
God is aware of what he inspired…
What this means is that God was fully aware of the gender and culture of the human authors He inspired to write His Word, and that they would describe Him in masculine terms, and He had no problem with it.
Theologian Kelly Brown Douglas subscribes to these gender-neutral changes. She says making them “frees God from these very limited, finite images of God in which we are creating God in our own image instead of trying to live and reach into the image that is God.”
She is saying that the image of God portrayed by Moses, Paul and the rest of the biblical authors is not as good as the image she and others like her are proposing. My question is, who is trying to create God in an image they are more comfortable with, and why?
I do not trust anyone today to update the Scriptures…
We currently live in a culture and generation that has already produced gender-neutral Bibles, and the Queen James Version that edited out those passages that the LGBTQ people believe are homophobic. I do not trust this generation or culture to give me an unbiased and honest reimaging of God apart from what has already been revealed in the Bible.
“Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven,” Psalm 119:89, and that settles it for me here on earth.
When Jesus’ disciples asked Him how to pray, He said, “Pray then in this way: Our Father who is in heaven,” Matthew 6:9. Jesus said we are to pray to “our Father.” I am going with Jesus on this one.