Delegates of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are to tackle whether to adopt gender-inclusive language for worship of the divine Trinity along with the traditional ''Father, Son and Holy Spirit study panel said the classical language for the Trinity shouldn't be diminished, but advocated "fresh ways to speak of the mystery of the triune God" to "expand the church's vocabulary of praise and wonder."
One reason is that language limited to the Father and Son "has been used to support the idea that God is male and that men are superior to women," the panel said.
Conservatives object that the church should stick close to the way God is named in the Bible.
Among the feminist-inspired, gender-inclusive options:
- "Mother, Child and Womb"
- "Lover, Beloved, Love"
- "Creator, Savior, Sanctifier"
- "Rock, Redeemer, Friend"
- "King of Glory, Prince of Peace, Spirit of Love."
Two professors at the Presbyterians' Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Andrew Purves and Charles Partee, said there is potential danger that "we not only lose the ground for our language for God, we in fact lose the Trinity. We lose God."
"We do not need a diluted, metaphorical Trinity; rather, we need our confidence in the Christian doctrine of God to be restored," they said.