Why was God depicted as a woman in The Shack?

Various forms of this question were also common last Thursday at Discussions on The Shack. Also the follow up question of – Is this depiction of God okay?

I believe that God was depicted as a woman in this book to provoke strong reactions in people and push the reader out of her or his comfort zone. I know that it served this purpose for me.

Absolutely. I believe that it is fine for God to be depicted as a woman in The Shack. I experienced the descriptions of the persons of the Trinity in The Shack to be helpful in stretching my imagination about God. God exhibits characteristics that as humans we associate with both male and female, mothers and fathers.

While the depiction of God as described in The Shack will likely not be my prevailing image of God, I appreciated the push it provided me to consider other ways of knowing and experiencing God.

What do you think?

Sex, Gender and the Bible

On Sunday night, Nicole and I had the great opportunity to be a part of a small group teaching from the newly released – Prayer: A Small Group Curriculum. I had a great time.

I received a follow up email from Nelson, a member of the group, from a conversation that we had that evening. He had some questions as a follow up from watching a few videos on YouTube. They are:

I listened to several minutes of each video and my sense is that the main topic being raised here is that of intersexuality and the way that gender is addressed in the Bible.

This is a topic around which I do not profess to have expertise, but I will do my best to respond to the topic. I believe that gender in the Bible is identified as male and female. I do not believe that there is any reference to the possibility of intersexuality. This may be partly a result of the scientific worldview at the time – not having any idea about chromosome arrangements.

I believe that God created humans as male and female. What does this mean for those who experience intersexuality or are transgender? God loves each person – no qualifications. As a Christian, I am called to show God’s love to others, to help others on their journey of discipleship and to receive help in my journey. I am called to perfect love of God and neighbor.

I recognize that I did not nearly address this topic comprehensively. This is a subject around which I continue to think, grow and learn. What do you think?