Thinking and Communicating about Sex And Gender

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At the end of his book The Christian Mind, John Stott writes, “I pray earnestly that God will raise up today a new generation of Christian apologists or Christian communicators, who will combine an absolute loyalty to the biblical gospel and an unwavering confidence in the power of the Spirit with a deep and sensitive understanding of the contemporary alternatives to the gospel; who will relate the one to the other with freshness, authority, and relevance; and who will use their minds to reach other minds for Christ.”

I’ve always appreciated that prayer. I’m convinced that issues of sexuality and gender have become primary issues of apologetics and discipleship in today’s church. We need thinkers and communicators who are committed to Scripture, understand our culture’s worldview, and can speak to these issues with freshness, authority, and relevance.

We need thinkers and communicators who are committed to Scripture, understand our culture’s worldview, and can speak to these issues with freshness, authority, and relevance.

Here are a few who are doing that.

Nancy Pearcey, Love Thy Body

Issues of abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, transgenderism, and sexual promiscuity come from a common root: a lack of understanding of the human body. “Typically we respond to each of these issues separately,” says Pearcey. “But we will be more effective if we recognize they all share a common underlying secular worldview—one that denigrates the body in favor of the mind, and thus undercuts human dignity and destroys human rights.”

Pearcey skillfully tackles a series of hot issues and demonstrates the consequences and the Christian alternative. He provides hope for the church. “The new polarization can be an opportunity for Christian communities to become safe havens where people witness the beauty of relationships reflecting God’s own commitment and faithfulness.”

Christopher Yuan, Holy Sexuality and the Gospel

In his first book Out of a Far Country, Yuan recounts his history as a gay son and his Christian mother’s response. In Holy Sexuality and the Gospel, Yuan develops a theme he states in his earlier book: holy sexuality is for all of us. It’s about being obedient to God regardless of our feelings.

Yuan addresses issues of identity, orientation, singleness, compassion for those who struggle, and discipleship. God calls all of us, not just one group, to holy sexuality. He places sex in the context of God’s larger story. “If sex, desire, and relationships are shaped by God’s grand story and God’s grand story is shaped by Christ, then this means that sex, desire, and relationships—our whole sexuality—must be shaped by Christ as well.”

Yuan provides clear thinking and compassion for all of us. I’m grateful for his work.

Jackie Hill Perry, Gay Girl, Good God

I read this book, but I hear the audiobook (narrated by the author) is even better.

Jackie Hill Perry tells the story of her life, leading to her surprising conversion. My favorite part is her conversion story. Read it if you want to be encouraged by how God works.

But not all problems end at conversion. Perry describes her first relationship with a man, now her husband. “I didn’t know how to receive his love, and he didn’t know how to give it.”

I love her story and her clarity. The final chapter, “Same-Sex Attraction and the Heterosexual Gospel,” is an important reminder to the church.

I’m just scratching the surface. I can’t keep up with all the great books addressing a Christian view of sexuality, written by people like Sam Allberry, Rosaria Butterfield, David Powlison, and more.

We need a new generation of Christian communicators who can address issues of gender and sexuality. God is raising up writers. My prayer is that Christians throughout the country will commit to think biblically about these issues, understand and withstand cultural issues, and communicate with clarity and grace.

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