Tambourines to the Glory of God: From the Monarchy of God the Father to the Monotheism of God the Great Mysterious

Mary Potter Engel

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 4/1/1987

Paired Article (Face to Face): Recent Books on Preaching

Issue: The Search for God (Vol. 7, No 2, Spring, 1987)

The following essay argues that the embarrassment of riches we are now experiencing in our God-language is a welcome change from the previous monarchy of God as Father for two distinct reasons. First, the expanding fund of imagery aids in the apologetic task by enabling us to speak meaningfully and persuasively to those outside and those within Christian communities who find "Father" empty or offensive. Second, the new-found wealth of conflicting imagery aids in the kerygmatic task by exposing the limits of all images for God, including that of Father, and thereby deepening our awareness of the complex reality of the one God. In other words, the debate over appropriate language for God is an opportunity to move beyond a dead faith based on the preservation of the past, the monarchy of God as Father, to a vital faith grounded in a recovery and discovery of the living God of radical monotheism.

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