Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Masculine Imagery and God

Frame makes an important (to our contemporary time) case for the theological importance of masculine imagery for the God of Scripture (Frame, ST, pp111-114).  Summing up some of his main points - 

1 - The Scriptures overwhelmingly use male imagery in the revelation of God and we do not have the right to change the biblical concept as revealed.
2 - It is false to say that the ancients were trapped in their cultural view of patriarchy.  They were fully aware of female deities and divine coupling that occurred in the religions of the pagans surrounding them.  They distinctly rejected such a view or practice, but not out of ignorance of the possibility of its existence.
3 - The pagan religions with fertility goddesses and female deities produced a view of creation that was either pantheistic or made creation something divine, something that came forth from god.  The idea of "Mother Earth" or "Mother Nature" comes forth from this and is to be rejected outright.
4 - God's relationship to His people is regularly described in marriage terms where He is the husband and we (corporately) are His bride.  The implications of this require a right understanding of submission and authority, headship and responsibility.  To reverse such relationships or metaphorical thinking would terribly confuse an understanding of God's relationship to us as well as the standard, biblical teaching on the relationship of husband and wife.

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