While Father speaks to the personal nature of God, we have perhaps become too personal. Joachim Jeremias was the highly regarded scholar who first translated Abba as “Daddy.” It preaches so well that there’s not turning the popular tide on this perspective. Another scholar, James Barr, has brought some levity to the term, but it seems to be too late. I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable with Abba as Daddy and for good reason, at least according to Peterson.
The mistake, coziness displacing holiness, keeps showing up in both scholarly and popular writing.This seems like a difficult path to tread. God is personal, friendly with us. But there has to be an awe, a respect present that keeps it from being flippant. I lean toward the awe side, but feel like I miss out on the warmth of the relationship at times. Do you find yourself leaning one way or the other
There is, to be sure, a childlike intimacy and delight in the use of “Abba.” But the word also continues to carry an element of awe and respect and reverence. I don’t cease to be a child in the presence of my father. Otherness is not diminished by affection. Intimacy does not preclude reverence. True intimacy does not eliminate a sacred awe: otherness, Otherness.