Is God A Man?
No. Numbers 23:19 reads: "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" There.
But LORD knows, He (!) is referred to as such in the Bible - every reference to Him is in the masculine tense (at least in the Hebrew and Greek; some languages don't have a gender-specific third-person pronoun), and there's no escaping that there has to be a reason for this.
If you're a liberal critic of Scripture, that reason is obvious: a culture of patriarchal tyranny. Men principally wrote the Bible, hence the Good Book is skewed in their favor. Of course if the Bible is so corrupted by masculine intent, its message is logically irredeemably compromised; say that men skewed it and you can say Christians skewed it; say men skewed it and you can say Jews skewed it. The authority of the Word ceases to have any meaning.
No matter how conservative any other critic, though, saying God is literally a man is a non-starter, since physically-speaking He repeatedly proves Himself to be nothing of the sort; for crying out loud, He's a bush at one point.
So God, whatever you choose to make of Him (!), cannot have chosen to be referred to in the masculine because that's an accurate description of His totality; therefore He must have chosen masculine expression because He wishes to be related to as a masculine creature, i.e. as a Father and King, rather than as Mother and Queen. Which makes sense, since we've already had explained to us by Paul that the marital model (and indeed, the life model) is meant to resemble God's relationship with His church. Why on Earth would God be identified with the church in that equation instead of the Christ? It would screw up the symbolism completely.
To summarize, perhaps God did not make men like they are because He is a he, but chose to be known as a he because He made men and women like they are. Perhaps God is called a "He" because He wants us to understand where He directly fits in the symbolism of life (and He designed it right, didn't He? Consider that women adore their fathers and are "Daddy's girls", while men attempt to be like their father. To be a "Momma's Boy" is understood to be unnatural and stunting).
In which case, all this cawing is basically the equivalent of a row about who gets to play the main character in a staged play. Sometimes the actors who play the main character get puffed with too much pride, and sometimes the rest of the actors allow themselves to be touchy and/or bitter; both foolishly judge how important they are to the director by where the director has placed them.
The fairly evident comeback to all this is: "What about all the feminine roles that God plays? How He nurtures us? How we are fed by Him?" Indeed, Jesus at one point compares himself to a hen who wants to take all her chicklets under her wing. My reply is simply that no symbol is all-encompassing ("Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." "What if the chocolates get smashed? How's that like Life? Or what if they melt? What if...?" "Um, lighten up.").
And there's really no more reply that can be made, I think, come that point. Just as there is no Jew or Greek in the Christ, there is no man or woman. Of course we're of equal value.
I'm discussing this today, incidentally, because apparently the number of females on this planet who believe I don't respect the young lady in my life at all has apparently grown to include my best friend, who believes I am a total misogynist [she actually writes 'masochist' in the letter by accident, ironically probably a more accurate description] based on comments I made over Christmas Break. My comment was that I believe God is a man - not that I believe that literally, but I went ahead and deadpanned it. Also I joked to her that talking to my suitee's father would have been a lot easier in the old days: "I have land and cattle. What do you want for her?" (and as a minor aside, a Kenyan City Councilman recently tried this very tactic on our own President Clinton, only to be disappointed; he offered forty goats and twenty cows in exchange for Chelsea's hand.)
These comments were not, to say the least, taken well.
Which leads us to another Minor Thoughts lesson for today: watch your mouth, because not everybody has your sense of humor.
In other news, the world's first caffeinated soap has now hit the market. It's called Shower Shock, and it retails for $5.95. Thank you.