I have been wondering whether it is appropriate for Christians to use the name YHWH instead of God. I am not suggesting we all start using YHWH in church instead of God, rather, in my own devotional time I find using YHWH more personal. I posted this question on Facebook and was interested in two responses.

The first response was very persecptive and I had not considered the implications of using YHWH in a community setting; especially a community that did not use the term reguarly. The person explained, “In my setting, people who use the word “YHWH” usually draw the attention away from YHWH/God and onto themselves in the conversation, often needing to interrupt the flow of conversation to explain the reason they’re using such a strange, unique word, etc

The second response which aught my attention came from Scott Bailey who quoted Goldingay, “If Yhwh wants to be known by name and we decline and insist on referring to Yhwh by role, we refuse the personal revelation . . . God asked to be known not as ‘Lord’ but by a personal name. We relate to a person, not a mere authority figure.” (OT Theology Vol 1 p.339)

I like Goldingay’s point however, hasn’t God/YHWH given us a personal name by which to call him, Jesus? Although I beleive this to be true I still like the argument Goldingay is making . Why don’t we use YHWH and when did it cease being used as a name for God in the New Testament era? Are we missing something by using the generic God in our largely pluralistic society? Would we do better to name God among the gods?

The more I study Romans  and after preaching the first three chapters, I am beginning to wonder if Christianity should in fact look more Jewish than Western. I wonder if we might better live faithfully as the people of God in light of Jewish tradition and practice (as portrayed in the OT) interpreted around Jesus as Messiah than the largely Gentile and Western traditions we follow now.

These are not fully formed opinions or thoughts on the matter and I am sure there are holes all over the arguments I have made. nevertheless, I cannot help but feel we are missing something in regards to tradition.