Should You Capitalize “He” When Referring to God?

We all know a guy who capitalizes every word even remotely related to the Bible. He does this with Grace and Conviction, Always wanting to Emphasize the Divinity and Godliness of His statements. You read it, and it seems kind of silly. But there is something that seems a bit less silly. When you are talking about God and you refer to him as “him,” “he,” or “his,” do you need to capitalize these pronouns.

Don’t panic, this won’t be a long explanation. I was confronted with this quirky conundrum of English yesterday when writing about why God created the universe. Here’s a quick example.

 

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Notice how I used lowercase letters exclusively. Now, I’m not putting the rules of English over the rules of God. I just think that excessive capitalization sounds preachy and presumptuous, two adjectives I try hard to avoid. But that’s not to say I always avoid capitalizing pronouns of divinity. Here’s a Facebook status yesterday where I quoted a song I can’t get out of my head.

 

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Notice that I capitalized “His” in order to differentiate the love of God from the love of, say, Brad the Narwhal.
There’s no place that Brad the Narwhal’s love can’t reach. That’d be creepy. So in times where I absolutely positively want people to know I’m talking about God, I’ll capitalize “He.”

There is no hard and fast rule, so it’s up to your own personal style. My style is to never capitalize divine pronouns unless I absolutely want to. And never, never, capitalize abstract concepts like grace. God’s love speaks for itself.

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Matthew Estes

Matthew Estes currently exists in the ether between graudate student and full-time worker. One day he hopes to be a full-time novelist and blogger, but until that day comes he spends his time playing video games, eating pizza, and being with his soon-to-be wife. However, he has yet to do all three at the same time. Bucket list stuff, you know.