In the Name of ???

June 22, 2006

The Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly considered a report with new words to describe the Trinity instead of “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Such an action has brought the expected outrage from many Christians. In particular, the “Mother, Child, and Womb” suggestion has been attacked. Here are others suggested in the report:

Rainbow of Promise, Ark of Salvation, and Dove of Peace
Speaker, Word, and Breath
Giver, Gift, and Giving
Lover, Beloved, and Love that binds together Lover and Beloved
Rock, Cornerstone, and Temple
One From Whom, the One through Whom, and the One in Whom
Overflowing Font, Living Water, Flowing River
Sun, Light, and Burning
Fire that Consumes, Sword that Divides, and Storm that Melts Mountains
One Who Was, the One Who Is, and the One Who Is To Come


The names we use talk about God are important. For some the “Father” name is a barrier to bringing them to God’s love. Consider those whose earthly father left them or abused them. For them the word “Father” is not positive. However, that does not mean one should instead use “Mother.” There are, after all, many other names given to God in the Bible.

I must admit that while I find the “Mother, Child, and Womb” suggestion troubling and some of the others quite awkward (such as “Lover, Beloved, and Love that binds together Lover and Beloved” and “Fire that Consumes, Sword that Divides, and Storm that Melts Mountains”), some of them do have some foundation in Scripture. My favorite is “Speaker, Word, and Breath.” But I probably will not be using any of them.

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