Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Judge or the Father

So in a meeting with a guy today we discussed the difference between relating to God as judge and God as Father (notably the story of the Prodigal Son). I am convinced that whatever metaphor's we use for God seriously impact our relationship with God and our theology. In these two (not to mention God as the Shepard who leaves 99 to search for 1) we have very different metaphor's for God. Unfortunately the evangelical church tends to focus on the judge. We call the judge righteous but we see this judge as the one who blesses and punishes. You know, if we are good then God blesses us, if we are bad then God punishes us.

My problem with it all is that this belief has led to things like Pat Robertson and stuff.

So how do you view God. Can the judge metaphor work?


I sat in a conference and heard a liberal Catholic speaker answer the question about women in the church. Should we ordain them or not? blah blah blah. We all know the questions.

His answer was great. "Let's call God 'she' for the next fifty years and see what happens."

It is our metaphors for God that shape how we view him/her. Let me state that it is just as incorrect physiologically to call God 'he' as it is to call God 'she,' since God has no gentials.

So can the judge metaphor work? By itself no metaphor of God can work, but in conjunction with loving parent, friend, shepard, servant, king, etc. then I would say "yes." However, it may be that we need to avoid calling God a judge for the next fifty years and see what happens.

By Blogger Dwight, at 8:36 AM  

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