I just read Jonathan Merritt’s interview with Rob Bell, and this bit sort of jumped off the page:
Jonathan Merritt: So it would be totally appropriate to pray to one’s “heavenly mother” as well as one’s “heavenly father?”
Rob Bell: Well, you certainly have Isaiah using a mother image for God and Jesus talks about longing to gather like a mother hen gathers her chicks. But that is a great question, and one we should be asking.
This kind of feminine God-language has long been the mark of feminist revisionists who have moved well beyond the pale of evangelical Christianity. While we don’t believe that God has a gender, we do believe that He has revealed Himself as God the Father and never as mother. That Bell views the matter as debatable says a lot about his own grasp of Trinitarian theology. The self-revelation of God as Father is not an open issue, but apparently Bell thinks that it is.