A certain pastor doesn’t like a certain best selling book because God appears at one point in the book as a woman. He says that such a depiction of God is the equivalent of some kind of goddess worship, making God the Father into something other than what scripture reveals.
Orthodoxy in his view requires a masculine God.
But I find such a take troubling because it conveniently overlooks a small, but no doubt important element of scripture: God’s feminine side.
We have our first clue in Genesis where God creates man and woman in God’s own image: male and female (Genesis 1:27).
Isaiah picks up on God’s desire to comfort Israel, “As a mother consoles a child, so I will console you, and you will be consoled over Jerusalem” (Isaiah 66:13).
Jesus shares a similar feminine sentiments, but adds the twist of a chicken, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37).
This teaches us that our language for God will always be inadequate, as the masculine pronoun “he” should always remind us. I can’t think of any workable way around the limitations of our pronouns in the English language, but our theology should leave room for this side of God rather than branding as heretical or new age any suggestion that God has feminine traits.