several years ago, i had the opportunity to read good news for women: a biblical picture of gender equality by rebecca merrill groothuis. i would highly recommend this book, especially if you struggle or are just downright opposed to female leadership within the church. growing up, i never saw women in church leadership and i was always a little confused about that. i just assumed that that was “correct”, so reading this book really helped to shed some welcome light on a subject of which i had spent little time investigating.
this book was really a springboard to further research and a newfound passion and commitment to make sure, in my own personal ministry, women are on a completely equal platform in leadership. from day one of our church plant, for instance, i want to place women in prominent leadership roles that model biblical leadership models.
at about the same time that i was working through this book, i remember dr. stone
, a professor of old testament at asbury seminary
, challenging us on, specifically, old testament feminine references to god. the point of his challenge—and my feelings now—aren’t to make god some kind of sissy or to strip the bible of all the masculine references. but rather, the overarching point is to say that when we limit god to a gender, we unfairly use language to limit god. (although, admittedly, we are unfortunately bound to human language.) i remember reading once that when we insist on making god a singular thing (like a man, for instance), we have created an idol. that’s a strong accusation, but holds a lot of truth. god is beyond male and he is beyond female. he transcends any human label or gender category that we might use. (notice the irony that i use the pronoun “he” as i talk about this…)
with all that said, nooma has released their latest work on facebook for preview today. i’m a huge fan of the series and this one doesn’t disappoint. you guessed it: it deals with god in feminine terms. i think what separates this nooma from others is two-fold: the subject matter is a bit of a departure and most impressively, the storyline, so to speak, in this one is really moving if you pay attention. i’ve decided to go ahead and post it here for you viewing pleasure. look, if you like it, go buy it at nooma.com