The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


God language

It's about the Trinity, not sex

God as Trinity is unique, intelligent and free. Likewise, all humans have their own name, can move with a purpose and are free to respond both positively and negatively. Our image of the Trinity is most awesome indeed — being male and female is only natural.

If God is neither male nor female, why do we use language that makes God sound like a man? We speak English, which has gender. But linguistic gender doesn't refer literally to sex. English has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. But we have only two sexes. A masculine word doesn't always refer to a male. Ships and countries are called by feminine names but aren't females. The name of God as Father doesn't make him male. The Son in the Trinity isn't the product of sexual union. The Father has no consort.

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February issue


Embracing diversity