Monday, June 19, 2006

Those wacky trinitarians.

According toThe New York Times, the Presbyterian Church has voted to "receive" a paper of gender-neutral language. Congregations who wish to express the Trinity as ''Mother, Child and Womb'' or ''Rock, Redeemer, Friend' may now do so.

From the time CC was a little girl, she was switching the gender for God in hymns at the instruction of the ChaliceRelative. (The ChaliceParents didn't do this themselves but were tolerant of the practice in me.) One time in church when we were A-womenning (as I called the practice) and heard a lady doing the same thing in the pew behind us. We turned around to find the minister's wife.

I'm guessing we weren't alone. And indeed, the aim of the measure seems to be to seek other ways to describe God in a way that will promote a more complex view of the holy. Always a good thing.

Naturally, as Boy in the Bands reports, homosexuality didn't fare as well, though the big vote on that is tomorrow.

On an indecisive day, I could be talked either way on the traditional vs gender neutral language. I tend to favor the gender neutral but think it should have been brought in a little more subtly than this.

But it's still interesting that they are looking into something like Gender Neutral language. It's hard to imagine the people I went to church with as a kid getting into that.

Of the trinites mentioned in the article, I think "Creator, Savior, Sanctifier" has the nicest feel, although I'm only 1 for 3 on believing in God as those things.

Hat tip to Linguist Friend, who sent me article.

CC

5 comments:

boyinthebands said...

Womb?

Gives one pause when thinking of the Nicene Creed, speaking of the of the Third Person, "who proceeds from the Mother and the Child"

Yikes.

LaReinaCobre said...

wouldn't that suggest a placenta?

i'm puzzled.

Alex H said...

"Creator, Savior, Sanctifier" has the feel of holding truer to what is trying to be conveyed. Some of the others just seem...stretchy.

LinguistFriend said...

CC:
When I was last driving north through NC on a Sunday AM, I heard emeritus president Kirkendahl (sp.?) of Davidson College give a sermon on the trinity in which he spoke of "God beyond us, God among us, and God within us". That does stick in the mind.
I cannot resist noting that the supposed reference to the trinity in the NT in the first epistle of John, 5:7-8 is an inauthentic reading, not realy part of the NT (B.M.Metzger - Textual Commentary
on the Greek NT 2nd ed. pp.647-649), but the baptismal formula in Mt. 28:19 is authentic, although not paralleled in any other gospel.
LinguistFriend

Mystical Seeker said...

Rock, redeemer, friend? How about rock, paper, and scissors? Personally, I think those wacky trinitarians have opened up a can of worms, because once you start redefining what the three parts of the Godhead are, you might start asking yourself what is so magical about the number three that you must have three slots in the Godhead that must be filled with different names, and once you ask yourself that, the question then comes to why you have a trinity at all.

My two cents worth, anyway.