It has become commonplace in many theological circles today to avoid all masculine pronouns in reference to God. I have read paragraphs that have repeated the name “God” so many times (in order to avoid saying “he” or “him”) that I wondered if the third commandment was being transgressed. We have even reached the point where a new reflexive pronoun has entered our vocabulary: Godself.
The motive behind such a move seems to be a good one. After all, we know that God is neither male nor female, and if we can modify our theological language to help women feel like they can identify more readily with God, then why not?
Here is why not: because in doing so, we are sidestepping God’s own revelation of himself and seeking to know him and speak of him by our own reasoning ability. We are saying that we are dissatisfied with the revelation given in Scripture, and we would prefer to get behind the text and get to “God in himself” (actually, I guess I should say “God in Godself”) apart from those pesky pronouns that he himself has ordained to communicate with us about himself.
The attempt to depronoun God is an attempt to transcend his accommodated revelation and reach into his inner, divine essence by our own intellectual ability. It is, in other words, an idolatrous quest to know God without listening to him.