This is in response to Wesley Blog's post on the language we use to describe God. While we both recognize that God is not captured by neither masculine nor feminine terms, Shane is concerned that our focus on language precludes people from using masculine language. If that is the case, I'd agree with him, that'd be a shame. But then he proceeds to preclude people from using feminine language, repeating the same mistake.
The reason he makes this move is that male language is "revealed" in the Bible, while female language is us making it up, ie one is God's self revelation, the latter is a form of idolatry. Leaving aside the question of revelation, it's clear that the Bible does use feminine language, describing God like a mother bear, Jesus compares himself to a mother hen, etc. Of course what is more interesting is the wide range of language used in the Bible and the tradition.
God is the living water, we sing of God as a mighty fortress, as the wind, and so forth. If we want to avoid idolatry, the best route is to throw open the doors on the language we use, so we don't imagine that any one phrase captures God. If we become wedded to a particular language, that language and not what it points to, becomes the focus and then the game is up.
I wanted to highlight a few news items: The National Council of Churches, along with a wide range of religious groups, comes out against torture. Sadly enough, I could find no evangelical church who has been willing to take a similar stand, and the church's witness is accordingly weakened in the face of such an evil. And Kofi Annan calls for a conference on religious pluralism as a means to fight increasing extremism, an important goal.