Home > Culture > God the What? What Our Metaphors for God Reveal about Our Beliefs

God the What? What Our Metaphors for God Reveal about Our Beliefs

Skylight Paths Publishing, Vermont , 2008

RRP $16.99


Review by Rev Bruce Raymond, minister at the Bulimba Uniting Church , Brisbane .


 This is an easy, thoughtful look at the analogies we make for God, taken from everyday life. The book is an ideal read for someone who has just “discovered” God in their lives. Christ followers who are further into their own journey however, might become bemused by the wide variety of figurative language about God found here. There is a strong monotheistic theme, with little mention of the Trinity.

  However, the author does make some striking implication in the ways we understand God. Our descriptions of God affect what we believe about ourselves. Convincingly, she goes on to show how the dominant image we have for God, we will imitate in our lives.


 For instance, if we imagine God to be distant, almighty and all-knowing, thus our human actions are influenced in those ways. But if we imagine God to be responsive, affective, and attentive, then our lives will be in better harmony. The writer makes no claim for this conclusion as a universal truth, but it would be hard to refute that.


The book climaxes in the examination of the “God as Coach” metaphor. The author refines this to the ultimate, “Team Transformer God” metaphor: a God of power, location and knowledge, where the players, (that’s you and me), are called upon to forfeit our self-interests. This enables the team to work together at a very deep level, to overcome the skilful opponents. Any analogy about who the “skilful opponents” could be, is left to the reader’s imagination.


 Regardless of the singularity of the deity maintained throughout this work, the book is a pleasant, worthwhile read. Should you ever be confronted by the child-like enquiry, “What does God look like?”, or any pagan-cast challenge about what is God, then there is a wealth of responses to be found in these pages.