I'm rereading She Who Is for the discussion I'm leading in August. I stumbled on these lines and just had to post them for your comments. Johnson is talking about the justification for using extra-biblical language to talk about God (of course building to her point which is women's experience ought to be equally sufficient in the naming of and characterizing of God as men's has been for two millenia). She begins with Aquinas (a giant in her Catholic world).
In one of those myriad interesting little discussions that Aquinas carries on in the formal framework of the quaestio, he deals luminously with the legitimacy of this historical development. The question at hand is whether it is proper to refer to God as "person." Some would object that this word is not used of God in the Scriptures, neither in the Old Testament or in the New. But, goes the argument, what the word signifies such as intelligence is in fact frequently applied to God in Scripture, and so "person" can be used with confidence.I had no idea that the word "person" is never associated with God in Scripture. Mind-blowing.
I should have caught that at some point in four years of grad school. It just reminds me again how easy it is to think we know things that we honestly don't know.
Did you know that God is never identified as "person" in Scripture? If so, how do you feel about using that kind of language for God? How would it change how you see God if you removed the identification of "personhood" with God? How does the idea of "person" shape our view of God (after all, person in our times has to do with rights, identity, individuality, personality, will... it's more than human being, isn't it?)?
I'll be interested in what you all think.