Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The problem of metaphors

That is not, however, the end of the matter, because the notion that the God of the Bible is masculine rather than feminine is false. Despite the overwhelmingly masculine language used for God in the Bible, to extract the notion that God is male is an example of the error of the via eminentiae: the idea that God is like something else, only more so. In this case: God is like a king, only much more powerful; God is like a father, but a better father than any human. It is necessary, albeit difficult, simultaneously to affirm the metaphors as metaphors and to admit that they fall so far short of divine reality that they threaten to lead us astray in crucial ways.—Christopher B. Hays in Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, 217–18 (emphasis original)

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