Here is my response and interaction with an article at Triablogue:
Why are relationship issues only a “feminine issue” ? or why is that “a rather feminine view of Christianity?”
You are right in that it is a shallow slogan, and one that can be abused, especially when accompanied by bad theology; (and bad worship songs, etc.) but it can be proper, even completely right & Biblical, when fleshed out with deeper theological and doctrinal explanation of what the essence of the issue is.
The Trinity, the true God from all eternity past was in an eternal personal spiritual relationship. (John 17:5 with the other verses on the person and Deity of the Holy Spirit) – “God is Love”; “God is Spirit” and the 3 persons aspect of the Trinity point to relationship.
[see the other articles I have written on the doctrine of the Trinity in the side bar of categories. Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14 are just two classic texts for the doctrine of the Trinity, but the entire Bible teaches the doctrine, when properly fleshed out.]
The 3 persons in eternity past points to “relationship”. God is relationship; God is personal; God is living. God is one in substance, nature, essence – One God; but 3 in relationship, persons.
John 1:12-13 speaks of receiving Christ (receiving Him for all that He is – His character, person; all of Him for who He is – the eternal Word (John 1:1-5; 14), eternal Son (John 17:5), who became human to accomplish redemption for people from all peoples (Rev. 5:9; 7:9). This points to relationship. The Holy Spirit testifying with our spirit that we are children of God points to relationship. (Galatians 4:6 and Romans 8:16) That we are “children of God” by election and predestination and adoption points to relationship. (Ephesians 1:4-6) That the Son intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father points to relationship. (1 John 2:1; Romans 8:33-34; Hebrews 7, 9) That classic texts on foreknowledge point to relationship and knowing as in knowing a person in relationship speaks to this also.Romans 8:29, Jeremiah 1:5 (Foreknow is foreknowing as a person knows a person, rather than know a fact in the future; but not excluding that also, since God knows everything.)
It would take explaining doctrinal truths and also the truth that God created man in His own image (both men and women) and that plurality within the one Adam (Genesis 1:26-28; 5:2 – there is a male “Adam” (human) and a female “Adam” (human) points to the plurality of personal relationships within the Trinity in eternity past.
The idea of the slogan, that it was trying to communicate; is that the Christian religion is much deeper than a dry dead ritual of going to church and just out of rote mechanical ceremony, etc. of quoting the Apostles’ Creed, and going through the motions on Sundays, etc. and only purely intellectual doctrinal religion without the Spiritual reality of the new birth and all that entails in growing and trusting God and persevering until we die; etc. and the Holy Spirit praying for us with groanings too deep for words, (Romans 8:26-27) etc. That also points to “relationship”. “trusting God” each day in our spiritual life and growth points to relationship. [I add here, Psalm 28:7 – “The Lord is my strength and shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; My heart greatly rejoices; and with my song I give thanks to Him” ]
The Relationship aspect of the Trinity has helped me explain that to former Muslims in discipleship and growing spiritually. I will say something like this, along with the full doctrinal teaching of the Trinity:
“Only the true God, the Holy Trinity), can fill the void in your heart that longs for connection/relationship/knowing your creator (Pascal, Augustine, etc.) – because only the True God is the eternal relationship that is true, the creator, the truth, pure love (1 John 4:8, etc.), and pure spirit (John 4:23-24), who is also only ONE God. (Mark 12:29; I Tim. 2:5, Deut. 6:4-5, etc.)”
The issue of “the feminization of the modern church” is a real problem in recent history among USA Evangelicals; and this recent article is excellent on that issue:
“Act like men”, from 1 Corinthians 16:13-14