It is my position that the term "Father" when used of God in relation to His only-begotten Son (John 3:16; 14:28) or when employed with respect to those whom God has imbued with His Spirit (Galatians 4:6-7) is a metaphor or as-if structure. While it is not always feasible to contrast the metaphorical with the literal, I would contend that God is not the literal Father of His only-begotten Son nor is God the literal Father of those whom He has regenerated through the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-6). Some have wondered why I would deny that God is literally the Father of the Son since the Trinity brochure published by Jehovah's Witnesses clearly appears to state that God is literally the Father of the Logos.
It is not my intent to take exception to what the Trinity brochure expresses. Much depends on what is meant by the term "literal." By "literal," (in this context), I mean "a usage of speech whereby the properties that are predicated of a subject actually are exemplified by the subject." For instance, if I attribute the property "burgundy" to my 2001 Ford Focus (the subject in this case), then I am using the predicate "burgundy" in a literal manner. Conversely, if I say that my 2001 Ford Focus is "cool," I'm probably not employing the predicate "cool" in the same way that I utilize the predicate "burgundy." One word is being used literally whereas the other term is metaphorical; that is, my car does not actually exemplify or instantiate the property of being cool. It does not exemplify the property of coolness in a matter-of-fact way. Similarly, when I utter the words, "God is the Father of the Son," my contention is that the proposition is not attributing properties to the subject "God" that God (as the subject of the proposition) literally exemplifies since the definition of a literal "father" in English is "A man who begets or raises or nurtures a child; a male parent of an animal; A male ancestor" (American Heritage Dictionary).
But God is not a male (Numbers 23:19; Hosea 11:9) nor does God literally beget, raise or nurture children. As Paul Ricoeur has pointed out, there is a dialectical tension that exists between the "is" and the "is not" when we talk about God the Father: there is a sense in which God both is and is not Father. In English, to speak of a literal father pretty much equates to speaking of a biological male who either nurtures or engenders children. But these descriptions do not appertain to Almighty God.