Doug Gibson on the Name of God

From the God is Open Facebook group:

Ever think about why people name animals? We become attached to some animals we call ‘pets’ and we attribute a kind of personal value to them that we do not do to other animals that we might kill for food. There is a kind of personification that takes places, an anthropomorphization (is that a word?) that people do, so to speak, and I think it is good to do so. Pets are awesome and they help us psychologically and in other ways. They become attached to us and see us as family. While we are anthropomorphizing our dogs, they in turn are ‘canine-izing’ us. They see similarities and we are seen as part of their pack. There is somewhat of a social, relational and personal aspect to our lesser than human friends.

Adam gave -not necessarily personal names to all the animals because that is a lot of names to call every elephant a specific name, but he created a NOMENCLATURE. He made a log of the different types of animals. When he first saw Eve, he CALLED her ‘woman’.

But he NAMED her ‘Eve’. There is something personal there. He calls her woman, but NAMES her ‘Eve’. What is God telling us?

But the Bible tells us, even in Genesis, names of God. Hey wait now! That’s like something a REAL PERSON would have! God has names. How many names is not the issue, whether you call him Yaweh or Jesus. But we have God both calling and naming Adam, and we have the woman named Eve. One of the facts about Personhood is that persons have names. For God to have a name, isn’t that to bring God down to the level of a mere man? Naming is something personal and intelligent beings do. It is a recognition of the ‘I’ and the ‘thou’.

Rest assured, Plato’s ‘God’ did not have a name. Only real persons have names. Is your God a mere personification or is there something familiar and personal about him to you so that God is not only loving but is inherently lovable?

One comment

  1. Amen to this write up/post. The true God is personal and relational. The Platonic/Calvinist god is not. Good thoughts and well written.

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