Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Maternal Nature of God: Jim Wallis and the Emergent Worldview

How ironic is this?  Yesterday at the God's Politics blog, lead by Sojourners President Jim Wallis, Wallis posted a sermon he heard on Mother's Day this past Sunday on the maternal nature of God.  This is exactly what we discussed this past Sunday, only from a different perspective.  Wallis is the political guru of the Emergent Church and just like Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Tony Campolo, William Paul Young, and so many others, Wallis wants us to "uncover" the maternal nature of God instead of the exclusive masculine God.

Here are the points of the sermon preached by Rev. Jeff Haggray of First Baptist Church in Washington, DC:

1.  God's Maternal Nature advocates Discipleship that is rooted in a loving relationship (contra fear, force, and individualism).

2.  God's Maternal Nature advocates Discipleship that is rooted in a healthy home life (contra wandering pilgrimage lacking direction or a destination)

3.  God's Maternal Nature Makes Provisions for Instruction, Teaching, and Remembering as Prerequisites to Healthy Discipleship

4.  It is God's Maternal Nature that Gives Peace to all those who follow Jesus.

5.  God's Maternal Nature creates the conditions for the emergence of faith/belief no matter how chaotic or dangerous the world may become.

 The problem with this interpretation is that John 14:23-29 has nothing to do with the maternal nature of God.  Certainly there is some feminine language to describe God in the Bible.  We must say that God is not a male in the sense that we understand males.  God is Spirit (John 4) and is therefore neither male nor female.  However, we cannot miss the overwhelming Biblical language.  The Bible overwhelming uses masculine language to describe God as we discussed God.

Certainly maternal language is insightful, but we must not undermine the Biblical language.  I fear that persons like Wallis are opening a dangerous door they are unaware of.  We men must be like God (as everyone ought to be).  But when we read masculine language to describe God, it should humble us men, not give us a foot of pride.

Jim Wallis - ‘God’s Maternal Nature’: One of the Best Mother’s Day Sermons I Can Remember

For more:
May 9, 2010 - Manly God for Godly Men:  A Word to Men on Mother's Day
God is Not a Dude:  Rob Bell and the "She" Video

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