God and Gender
|by Martha Anderson|
Then God said, "Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps over the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. -- Genesis 1:26-27
Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. -- Genesis 5:2
Note: Hebrew adam is the generic term for mankind and becomes the proper name Adam.
In recent months, a slew of books, articles and talk-show programs have discussed ideas about God and gender -- most notably, the idea that church caters to women and has been feminized. See Leon Podles's The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, his Touchstone article "Missing Fathers of the Church," and Holly Pivec's Biola newsletter article, along with some of the steps churches and parachurches are taking to attract more "manly men" to the faith (Godmen and Brad Stine).
Why do I have a sudden desire to burst into a lusty round of Monty Python's Lumberjack Song?
Now I have lots of questions -- care to tell me what you think?
What does it mean to be made in God's image -- male and female? How (other than the obvious physical characteristics) would God define gender and how do the different characteristics, purpose, personality, etc. of each differ, and then how do they combine to represent God's image in and to the world? How might male/female differences have been different before the Fall and after? What aspects of God's image or character are more attractive to one gender than the other and why? How should our worship of God properly express itself in terms of our being male or female and in terms of God's complete image (male and female)?
Put on your thinking cap and start typing your comments now!