Inclusive Language

             The issue of inclusive and non-sexist language is a familiar one in secular society, but it becomes a lot more emotionally driven when it is applied to "God talk" and the language of worship. In "Whosoever Surely Meneath Me": Inclusive Language and the Gospel, Nancy Hardesty promotes the use of inclusive language. I firmly agree with the author's beliefs on this issue.
             I firmly agree with Hardesty that the issue of inclusive language in worship is a political one because language strongly reflects the power relationships in our society. As Hardesty points out, most of us understand the power language holds. For example, when we hear of see the phrase "Whites Only," we all know its powerful message. When we sing the hymn "Good Christian Men, Rejoice," it becomes less clear but the "same power structure of hierarchy and domination based on physical attributes is at work."
             In her article, Hardesty is urging Christians to include all of the biblical language about God that is available to us when discussing inclusive language about Him She discussed how in the Hebrew scriptures, the word Father is used to name God only twelve times. In five of those, "the word denotes a particular relationship between God and the King; in the other seven God is a Father who recalls the children home and reconciles them."
             Hardesty's goal here is to argue that the language being used is that of care, closeness, and compassion, rather than that of domination, judgment, or transcendence. She moves on to discuss how the Bible not only speaks of God as our Father, but also our Mother. Hardesty supports her claim using scripture from Isaiah where God is described as a woman in labor (42:14), a woman giving birth (46:3-4), and a mother who could never "forget her sucking child" or "have on compassion" on the child of her womb (49:15).

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Inclusive Language. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:43, December 06, 2021, from