More on Abba

In the last few blogs, I have been arguing that the faultiness of the ‘abba’ narrative in prayer and worship has put us on a slippery slope that fails to reckon with God as ‘utterly other.’ But what does the Bible say? In the New Testament, there are three occurrences of the Arabic abba along…

Respect of God

The Hebrew term yir’ah is rendered fear or terror. It denotes some awesome or terrifying thing and it is used in reference to our perspective of God, promoting respect, reverence and piety. From the Greek term phobos we get phobia, meaning fear and terror. We dread the thing that provokes terror. Phobic reactions are visceral,…

Reverence of God Without Awe

The Hebrew term yir’ah is rendered fear or terror. It denotes some awesome or terrifying thing and it is used in reference to our perspective of God, promoting respect, reverence and piety. From the Greek term phobos we get phobia, meaning fear and terror. We dread the thing that provokes terror. Phobic reactions are visceral,…

The Error in Daddy God

One popular and broadly accepted idea that has eroded, if not eradicated an appropriate fear of God in prayer and worship is the promotion of ‘abba’ as ‘Daddy God.’ The phrase now dominates popular thinking and any mention of “fear and trembling” before the Lord is too quickly dismissed, at times discouraged or even disdained.…

Far Too Familiar

Recently, in a meeting of prayer leaders, I began to share regarding our ‘familiarity’ with God, the use of intimate language without any reference to God’s ‘otherness’ – and I will never forget the look of shock that registered on faces. It was as if I was saying something they had never heard before. In…