Amy Peeler – Women and the Gender of God

Episode: Is God more male than female? Most theologians have hastened to say ‘no’, but still many theologians have urged that the male analogy is more suitable in speaking about God’s relationship with the world or people. But how does the conversation shift when we place the incarnation at the theological center of this conversation? That is the question that Amy Peeler asks in her Women and the Gender of God. What does the uniqueness of Jesus’s birth from a virgin teach us about God and Gender? Co-hosted by Erin Heim and Matt Bates.

The Book: Amy Peeler, Women and the Gender of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2022). A robust theological argument against the assumption that God is male. God values women. While many Christians would readily affirm this truth, the widely held assumption that the Bible depicts a male God persists—as it has for centuries. This misperception of Christianity not only perniciously implies that men deserve an elevated place over women but also compromises the glory of God by making God appear to be part of creation, subject to it and its categories, rather than in transcendence of it. Through a deep reading of the incarnation narratives of the New Testament and other relevant scriptural texts, Amy Peeler shows how the Bible depicts a God beyond gender and a savior who, while embodied as a man, is the unification in one person of the image of God that resides in both male and female. Peeler leads the way in reasserting the value of women in the church and prophetically speaking out against the destructive idolatry of masculinity. (Publisher’s description, abridged).

Guest: Rev. Dr. Amy Peeler is Associate Professor of Theology at Wheaton, where she serves in the Graduate School. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary. In addition to Women and the Gender of God, she is author of numerous articles and book chapters as well as a monograph on Hebrews titled You Are My Son . She also penned Hebrews: An Introduction and Study Guide, with co-author Patrick Gray.

OnScript’s Review: It is a truism to say that the eternal God is beyond gender. But Peeler shows that a masculine God nevertheless lurks near the surface in many Christian theologies. Rather than rejecting Scripture or the Christian tradition, she presses into them deeply. In so doing she discovers that the incarnation holds untapped resources that encourage us to speak more truly about God and gender. A stimulating read. — Matthew W. Bates, Professor of Theology, Quincy University

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