After last week’s primetime interview with Bruce Jenner, it is hard to ignore the normalization of transgenderism in our culture. With an ever-increasing advocacy of “erotic liberty,” Christians need to understand what transgenderism is and how the gospel of Jesus Christ brings hope to the trans community, even as the gospel brings pardon and purity to all of us.
To help you think about these matters, I’ve found and listed below a dozen helpful articles on transgenderism. Some of them introduce the subject and provide the medical details, others engage culture and provide insight on how to apply the gospel to this growing area of discipleship. I pray they may help you think biblically about this issue and even more to develop a loving burden for transgender people.
- “Nine Things You Should Know About Transgenderism,” by Joe Carter (TGC)
- “What You Should Know About LGBTQ” by Joe Carter (TGC)
- “Why It’s Best to Avoid to Avoid the Word Transgendered” by Katy Steinmetz (TIME) — Admittedly, this article plays into the hands of those who work so hard to control our speech and thus the way we think about subjects related to the transgender community. Nonetheless, it is helpful to beware of how the language is at work around us.
- “The Not-So-Unified Narrative of the LGBT” by Evan Lenow (CBMW) – In this JBMW essay, Evan Lenow, professor of ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, shows how the social and political aims of Lesbians and Gays conflict with those Bisexuals and Transgender persons. At its heart the sexual liberation movement is not a unified movement.
- “What is Gender Reassignment Surgery? A Medical Assessment and Biblical Appraisal” by Craig Kline, M.D. (CBMW) – General Surgeon, Craig Kline, gives a full report on the medical procedures involve
- “Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution” by Paul McHugh (Wall Street Journal) – Former Surgeon General writes on the dangers and deleterious effects transgender surgery.
- “Sex Change” Surgery: What Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, and You Should Know” by Walt Heyer (The Public Discourse) – Walt Heyer is the survivor of gender reassignment surgery and he offers a heartbreaking account of gender reassignment surgery’s history. He offers a stern warning about transgender surgery and gives a compelling witness for why it will not work. If you have time for only one article on transgender surgery, start here. He begins,
The setting for the first transgender surgeries (mostly male-to-female) was in university-based clinics, starting in the 1950s and progressing through the 1960s and the 1970s. When the researchers tallied the results and found no objective proof that it was successful—and, in fact, evidence that it was harmful—the universities stopped offering sex-reassignment surgery.
Since then, private surgeons have stepped in to take their place. Without any scrutiny or accountability for their results, their practices have grown, leaving shame, regret, and suicide in their wake. Keep reading . . .
- “What Should the Church Say to Bruce Jenner?” by Russell Moore (RussellMoore.com) — As always, Dr. Moore’s cultural commentary on matters of gender are worth reading.
- “The Absurdity of Transgenderism: A Stern But Necessary Critique” by Carlos D. Flores (The Public Discourse) – The author makes two points worth considering. First, by way of analogy he shows the folly of trying to be someone you are not. Second, he rightly perceives medicine as that science of restoring the body to its proper working order. Building his case on the (correct) assumption that ontology and God-given physiology matter, he shows the absurdity of trying to make something (or someone) out of mythical desire of wanting to be something we are not. His argument is not politically correct, but it is on point.
Christian Witness and Discipleship
- “What the Gospel Has to Say to Transgendered Persons” by David Schrock (Canon and Culture) — Drawing on an observation made by Craig Kline (see above), that the Bible is full of discussion about genital surgery (i.e., circumcision), I point believers and unbelievers to see that the transformation transgender people desire can only be achieved through the heart circumcision of the gospel.
- “What Would Jesus Say to Leelah Alcorn?” by Garrett Kell (CBMW) — Garrett takes us to the Scriptures to think biblically about the tragedy of Joshua “Leelah” Alcorn’s suicide.
- “Joan or John?” by Russell Moore (TGC) – Dr. Moore provides a biblical, ethical, and practical answer to the question: How should a church counsel a new believer who has undergone a sex-change operation in the past.
- “How to Disciple a Transexual” by Bob Thune (TGC) — Bob reminds us that transgender people are hurting people who are in need of the gospel and genuine love of Christians.
Through these articles, may God equip his church to love the trans community and share the life-giving message of the gospel that will do more than reassemble the flesh—it cand and will circumcise hearts, providing grace and peace to those whose self-identity is awash in confusion. And that is everyone of us!
If you have or know of other resources on this subject, please add them in the comments.
Soli Deo Gloria, ds