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Today I was tasked with answering the above question, but having spent a lot of time searching for information, I’m not even sure I fully understand what it is. Here is a brief overview:

Feminist theology is an American-based movement whose particular hope to empower women and maintain a healthier planet by overturning patriarchal attitudes and social structures that oppress women and threaten the natural environment. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3711520?seq=1

Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Feminist philosophy of religion is a recent development within Western philosophy that poses feminist questions about religious texts, traditions, and practices, often with the aim of critiquing, redefining, or reconstructing the entire field in light of gender studies... And because it is feminist, it must promote the elimination of gender inequality and take into account the multiplicity of human bodies, desires, and differences that are mapped onto the site of religion. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminist-religion/

Feminist theology is a movement found in several religions, including Sanatan Dharma (old form of Hinduism), Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and New Thought, to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of those religions from a feminist perspective. Some of the goals of feminist theology include increasing the role of women among the clergy and religious authorities, reinterpreting male-dominated imagery and language about God, determining women's place in relation to career and motherhood, and studying images of women in the religion's sacred texts and matriarchal religion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_theology

Christian feminism is an aspect of feminist theology which seeks to advance and understand the equality of men and women morally, socially, spiritually, and in leadership from a Christian perspective... These theologians believe that God does not discriminate on the basis of biologically determined characteristics, such as sex and race. Their major issues include the ordination of women, male dominance in Christian marriage, recognition of equal spiritual and moral abilities, reproductive rights, and the search for a feminine or gender-transcendent divine... The term Christian egalitarianism is sometimes preferred by those advocating gender equality and equity among Christians who do not wish to associate themselves with the feminist movement. Women apologists have become more visible in Christian academia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_theology#Christianity

Given my ignorance on the subject, I would like to focus on just one issue that is relevant to the Church today.

What is the Biblical basis for rejecting Feminist Theology with regard to the following topic:

Replacing male pronouns for God with gender-neutral terms: Feminist theology often criticizes the use of male pronouns for God; referring to God as “He,” “Him,” or “Father” degrades the status of women. The alternative is to refer to God only using gender-neutral terms such as the Divine or to balance the offending terms with female equivalents such as She, Her, and Mother.

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    @Lesley You may need to check the term "feminist reconstruction theology" or find a source that mentions it as I cannot find a good definition for it. Instead, I found "feminist hermeneutic of reconstruction" and a book "In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins" where the author used the hermeneutics of reconstruction to challenge traditional exegesis, which is purportedly male dominated. Both links are excellent background for this Q. – GratefulDisciple Mar 17 at 17:12
  • @GratefulDisciple I have now edited my question to remove "reconstruction" in the hope that will simplify things and encourage a response. – Lesley Mar 18 at 10:04
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    It feels like you are asking "What is the biblical basis for rejecting the desire to change Scripture so that we make it say whatever we want?". Is that a fair assessment or am I missing something? – Mike Borden Mar 18 at 11:35
  • @MikeBorden It's not necessarily about changing scripture - people could say "The Bible uses male pronouns and we won't change that, but we think it's okay to use female pronouns for God as well." – curiousdannii Mar 19 at 0:10
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    @curiousdannii - I retract my comment about the 2011 NIV, and apologise. They have "never considered more far-reaching changes, such as changes to the gendered names used in God’s self-revelation. The first person of the Trinity is still called “Father,” and Jesus is his “Son.” It is important to note that nowhere in the NIV is inclusive language used for God." thenivbible.com/niv-gender-neutral – Lesley Mar 19 at 14:02
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Feminism is an entirely novel concept. As such, it is an intrinsically anti-Christian concept (inasmuch as it positively rejects many fundamental Christian doctrines such as that God made two sexes, with complementary functions in the procreation and furthering of the human race). Because Christianity was handed on to the church "once and for all" (Jude 1:3).

Every time God uses pronouns of Himself in Scripture, they are masculine (e.g. Isa. 54:5).

The exceptions, where God uses analogies featuring female animals (Mt. 23:37) and people (Isa. 49:15) for rhetorical purpose, do not create an exception or counter-case, since they are analogies ('one thing is comparable to another, in that...').

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  • "As such, it is an intrinsically anti-Christian concept (inasmuch as it positively rejects many fundamental Christian doctrines such as that God made two sexes, with complementary functions in the procreation and furthering of the human race)." Feminists do not all reject those doctrines! – curiousdannii Mar 18 at 23:59
  • God is sometimes described using female illustrations (Psalm 57:1; Isaiah 42:14; 66:13), but He is never referred to using female gender words. When God refers to Himself, He always does so using masculine terms. – Lesley Mar 19 at 13:32
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What is the Biblical basis for rejecting Feminist Theology with regard to the following topic: Replacing male pronouns for God with gender-neutral terms: Feminist theology often criticizes the use of male pronouns for God; referring to God as “He,” “Him,” or “Father” degrades the status of women. The alternative is to refer to God only using gender-neutral terms such as the Divine or to balance the offending terms with female equivalents such as She, Her, and Mother.

The answer of the Bible itself is that the Scriptures are the Spirit-breathed authoritative life-giving true word of the living and true God and that while the church may err, Scripture does not.

ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

As a woman I do not take offence at the expression "the man of God" because I know full well it also embraces the woman of God. Note that ALL of the Bible is the inspired Word of God - not just some parts.

There is no basis for anybody to take exception to the language in the Bible. The following Scripture does not exclude women (or any person of a different race, colour or ethnicity):

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothedyourselves with Christ. Thereis neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:36-29).

Having finally found some information on the subject of feminist Christian theology, I submit this partial extract from an article that is worth consideration:

Feminist Hermeneutics: For all their differences, feminist theologians usually approach the text of Scripture with similar convictions about its interpretation that determine their understanding and application of the text. The articulation of this hermeneutic varies but usually includes: a hermeneutic of suspicion, a hermeneutic of retrieval, and a hermeneutic of reconstruction.

A hermeneutic of suspicion involves reading against the text rather than with it. Instead of uncritically accepting the inspiration, authority, inerrancy, and wisdom of the entire text of Scripture, a hermeneutic of suspicion assumes the male patriarchal/anti-women bias of Scripture (written by men for men), and critiques and deconstructs the text and/or the tradition of translation or interpretation associated with it. Not all Scripture is regarded as “the word of God,” and so there is a canon within the canon. Only that which conforms to feminist beliefs should be proclaimed in the church (cf. “hermeneutic of proclamation”).

A hermeneutic of retrieval seeks to recover and venerate the lost history of women in the Bible and the history of the church. It also involves remembering the suffering of women in Scripture, especially victims of violence and injustice (e.g., Hagar, Tamar, the unnamed concubine, and the daughter of Jephthah),3 and questioning the place of these accounts in Scripture and their continued use in the church (cf. ‘hermeneutic of remembrance’).

A hermeneutic of reconstruction seeks to revise traditional (male-dominated) approaches to the Bible and historic Christianity and replace them with women-centered approaches. In so doing, the Bible becomes a resource for the liberation of women, and feminist theory leads to changed praxis (cf. “hermeneutics of creative ritualization” or “actualization”).

In short, feminist theology is not a theoretical academic pursuit, but is a means to an end: namely, to bring far-reaching revolutionary changes to the lives of women, the church, and wider society.

Source: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/feminist-theology/

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