A seminarian friend recently referred to God as "she." I asked why. To paraphrase her answer, "In the original language of the scriptures Holy Spirit is always feminine, or the verb describing what the Holy Spirit is doing is feminine. Calling God "he" all of the time is just translation -- which is interpretation. The church universal would encourage anyone to relate to God in any way in order to fully grasp grace." I thought of all the times Jesus called God "Father." Study hints? Thoughts? -- Jan Kingan

We will best grasp grace when we allow the Bible to speak for itself. In fact, to insinuate that grace comes best from a feminine (not masculine) being is itself a sexist comment!

I doubt your friend really knows any Hebrew, or Greek... Sounds like a regurgitated argument! It is irrelevant what pronouns are used. Since you and I both know Swedish, I can make an apt illustration. In Swedish the word for person is människa -- which is always feminine. So this means that we should treat other people as though they were women? Of course not.

I would emphasize that God is not sexual... "He" is the best pronoun, since the best analogy is that we are all feminine in relationship to the Lord: we are to bear fruit for him; he is our husband. This is a very common biblical metaphor (as in Jeremiah, Hosea, Ephesians, Revelation...).

When I say that he is beyond gender, this hardly means God is androgynous! That would be a gross anthropomorphic misunderstanding. Both masculine and feminine images are found in scripture in reference to God.