“God Isn’t A Man, But He’s Male?”


Someone at the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood recently read an article that Rachel Held Evans wrote back in 2012. In it, Evans referred to God as “She.”

The President of the Council, not wanting to miss an opportunity to assert his Biblical manhood, tweeted this:

strachan heresy

“Let’s stop pretending like all’s okay… this is heresy, straight up.”

Evans responded with a quick I’m-not-exactly-a-heretic-post on her blog and many (including Kate over at the Junia Project) raised their voices in support of Evans and against the Council’s lopsided genderization of the Christian God.

Amid the ensuing hustle and bustle, a woman named Liz Boltz Ranfeld left this comment on Evan’s post:


If some people are “stuck on the idea” that God is male, even though he doesn’t have genitalia, perhaps they can show some sympathy for the portion of the human population that feels the same way?

Think about it. It’s brilliant.

Better yet, stop for a moment and think about the ways you define gender [HINT: if your working definition of a man is simply “not a woman”, or vice versa, then you need to do a little more work].

When Aristotle posited that women were malformed men (an idea the medieval church ran with), he was wrong. When the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood speaks of the “proper” expression of human gender as conforming to a universal binary system floating somewhere above all times and cultures, they are wrong.

The world is more complex than that. God is more complex than that.

And this is why we need multiple metaphors for Her (Him, Them).

Allen Marshall O'Brien

Allen Marshall O’Brien is the pastor of a UCC church in Northern California and co-host of the Irenicast. He believes in the importance of education, peace, and ecology, throws things to his border collie Sonata, and writes for multiple platforms.

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One thought on ““God Isn’t A Man, But He’s Male?”

  1. The ancients actually revered the goddess as the Creator. Interestingly enough, the Genesis story implies that Adam was androgynous since Eve was made from Adam’s rib.

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