The Gender Revolution: A biblical, biological and compassionate response
How can you show love to someone who feels that their gender identity does not match how God made them—especially amid loud social messaging that says compassion and disagreement are incompatible? How do we keep the conversation grounded in reality? How do we lead others away from the harmful desire to transform their body into something it can never truly be? Why would hearing an explanation of God’s design for our bodies and his guidance for sexual expression be good for them, and how could you possibly begin that conversation?
Transgender ideology has quickly become pervasive in our broader culture, and many Christians prefer to avoid issues of sex and gender altogether. But if we’re not prepared in advance to show care and compassion to people questioning their gender identity or declaring a new one, we are unlikely to do it well when the moment arrives (as it inevitably will).
The Gender Revolution provides the biblical basis for a contemporary Christian response to the complicated feelings and experiences of gender dysphoria. Grounded in the latest scientific findings, this much-needed book is the fruit of decades of thorough research, medical practice and pastoral experience from the authors. It offers clear and compelling reasons for why God’s voice matters, and how it can be used to disciple others in truth.
"Contemporary discussion of sexual and gender issues faces a plethora of challenges: the changing meaning of words, the revolution in perceptions of reality, the personal investment that countless millions of people have made in one position or another, the emotional intensity that drapes the chasms that divide us, the increasingly complex legal and social pressures that shape the debate, and much more. That is why this book by Patricia Weerakoon and two associates (one of them her son) is so welcome: here is the clarity of thought and writing one expects of experts. Agree or disagree with their arguments, but you will come away better informed, and better able to engage in the discussion with more light than heat. They may even change your mind!" – DA Carson, Emeritus Professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL; Theologian-at-large and Co-founder, The Gospel Coalition
"This book gives a very clear and accessible explanation of transgender ideology and the confusion it is causing in society. Patricia Weerakoon and her co-authors give us a compelling argument for why we need to oppose this phenomenon if we truly want to love our neighbour, and how we can best care for those in our midst suffering from gender incongruity. They explain what it means to be made male or female in the image of God, and how we can find our true identity in Christ. This book deserves widespread attention, whether you are grappling with your gender identity or seeking to support those who are." – Dr Megan Best, Associate Professor of Bioethics, Institute for Ethics and Society, The University of Notre Dame Australia; Honorary Associate Professor, Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine of Health, The University of Sydney; Director of Ethicentre
"This book could not be more timely. Every week, literally every week, I am hearing heart-rending stories of young people who’ve been swept up by the gender ideology of this cultural moment and are, therefore, tragically unable to celebrate what it is to be male and female. Wonderfully, here is a short book that gives the biblical and scientific principles that enable a response of clarity, grace and compassion. I will be giving it out to many, both inside and outside the church family." – Rico Tice, Senior Minister (Evangelism), All Souls Langham Place, London; Founder, Christianity Explored Ministries; Author, Honest Evangelism
"Throughout history, challenges to Christian belief and practice have inspired thoughtful and capable responses that have become key markers of the progress of the church. They have helped to clarify vital aspects of biblical truth for a new generation. This is such a book. It is written by able scholars with a sincere desire to informatively, sanely, and compassionately help readers to understand what is happening in connection with the gender revolution, and it gives helpful guidelines on how to respond to it. It meets the urgent need." – Ajith Fernando, Teaching Director, Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka; Author, Discipling in a Multicultural World
"I remember being asked by some worried parents about five years ago whether they needed to consider puberty blockers when their seven-year-old reached 11 or 12. I was completely out of my depth. I wish I’d had this book at hand. It is a fine resource for parents, teachers, youth workers and pastors. The authors speak with an authority based on research and experience. The issues they are dealing with, unimaginable even a decade ago, are of high present significance, and we need to be assured by an approach based on both Scripture and science. I commend it warmly." – Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney 2001-2013; Author, The Life of Faith: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine
"This book provides an authoritative and contemporary perspective of the author and the Christian church to pervasive transgender ideology. Written by a well-respected senior sexologist, using objective scientific argument, the book expresses a compassionate, accepting position using “God’s word on sex, gender and identity”. It provides new thinking from a modern church previously considered hostile to the expression of sexual or gender diversity. Whilst the perspectives and ‘truths’ will be challenged by some academics, clinicians and trans people for multifarious reasons, this book offers insight into a more welcoming, comforting, and reformed institution. By sharing perspectives, this book encourages tolerance of difference with informed discussion and debate from several sectors within our continually changing postmodern society." – Professor Kevan Wylie FRCP FECSM, Past President, World Association for Sexual Health
"At a time when biology and biblical truth are being upended by ideology, activism and confusion, this book is essential reading for parents, pastors and community leaders as they come to grips with the transgender agenda infiltrating our schools and society in general. The book is seasoned with a perfect balance of truth and grace, pushing back on the harmful ideology and activism but with a pastoral heart towards those caught in the middle of this culture war. The Gender Revolution is superbly researched and presented, and will assist the reader in understanding the ideology, the impact (especially on young people), and the appropriate response that protests against the ideology, not the person. I highly recommend it." – Bob McCoskrie, CEO, Family First New Zealand
"Calvin once complained to Bullinger: ‘If I simply said it was daytime at high noon, they would begin to doubt it’. Denying the obvious has always been a human failing. When it comes to matters of sexuality and gender, the sad trajectory is, as Kevin DeYoung said, ‘from silence to complexification to capitulation’. Here is a book that avoids all these traps; it is clear, unafraid, simple, biblical, scientific, and helpful—a masterly response to the main issues. Truth and compassion are found on every page. This is a most welcome work." – Peter Barnes, Moderator-General, Presbyterian Church of Australia
"This book is a valuable resource for navigating the complexities of the transgender phenomenon. The experience and expertise of the authors lay a properly useful foundation for parents, pastoral workers, and children’s and youth ministers to not only understand the issue, but also hold forth a coherent biblical vision for human sexuality that is ultimately more compelling and fulfilling. They have managed to concisely articulate transgender ideology and its incoherence, its implications for human sexuality, and its contradictions with human biological science, while at the same time speaking with compassion towards those who suffer with gender dysphoria and those who care for them. There is no naivety about the deeply personal distress and longings faced by individuals and communities that make sexuality and gender the bedrock of identity and belonging—a weight that it is unable to bear.
This book is a much-needed companion for anyone on the long, slow journey of supporting and truthfully loving those who are grappling with the dysphoria of sexual and gender confusion." – Mike Dicker, Principal, Youthworks College, Sydney
"What do you get when you combine a sexual-health academic, a theologian, and a pastor? Patricia Weerakoon, Robert Smith and Kamal Weerakoon serve churches well in this book. Together they provide a much-needed voice of reason and compassion as they explore the gender revolution that has taken hold of society. This book is biblical and pastoral, and gives careful consideration to the scientific debates surrounding sex and gender. The Gender Revolution is a valuable resource for pastors and church members as we seek to faithfully navigate one of the big issues of our time. " – Murray Campbell, Pastor, Mentone Baptist Church, Melbourne
"In this beautifully and clearly written book, Patricia Weerakoon and her co-authors combine rigorous scientific analysis with biblical wisdom to point to the grave dangers inherent in transgender ideology. As the authors point out, this movement demands changes in language so that words mean whatever people want them to mean, promotes changes to bodies with irreversible effects that some will later regret, and seeks to change our society by demanding that the rest of us go along with their beliefs. The costs of the transgender movement will be huge, particularly for women and girls, but also for the vulnerable children and young people of both sexes who get caught up in this cult-like movement. The book ends with wise pastoral advice about how to care for and respond to those who experience gender incongruence. This problem is not going away: we all need to understand the unscientific ideas that have been accepted so uncritically, and by so many people who ought to know better." – Patrick Parkinson AM, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Queensland
"As an author, speaker and friend, I have found Patricia Weerakoon’s wisdom practical, honest and, most importantly, Christ-centred. Together with her co-authors, she draws from her rich medical background and years of experience to provide much-needed wisdom in the area of sexuality. Her latest offering is both brave and countercultural. I am certain it will help many to understand their God-given identity in Christ and find the freedom they so truly desire." – Joel Chelliah, Senior Pastor, Centrepoint Church; State President, Australian Christian Churches (WA)
"Without question, the topic of gender is one of the most contentious social issues we are facing today. Yet sadly, many Christians feel ill-equipped or intimidated to enter the conversation. This book will change that! Amidst the tidal wave of shifting ideologies and cultural quarrelling, Patricia Weerakoon and her co-authors offer a voice of reason, clarity and biblical truth. Intersecting both science and Scripture, Dr Weerakoon draws on 30+ years of expertise and current empirical evidence. If you’re a believer seeking wisdom on how to navigate the minefield of gender ideology, this is the resource you’ve been looking for. It will expand your understanding of contemporary issues surrounding gender, strengthen your Christian worldview, and help you cultivate a disposition of compassion, giving you confidence to speak the truth in love—something I’m sure we all need a little more of!" – Mark Varughese, Founder and Senior Leader, Kingdomcity
Table of Contents:
Preface: Why this book at this time?
1. A world awhirl with words
2. Who am I? Seeking the source for our identity
3. Harmony and disharmony
4. Embodied and binary: Is biology destiny?
5. Desire, orientation, romantic love and choice
6. Gendered behaviour and transgender ideology: Biblical, biological and cultural views
7. The minefield of management
8. How should we live? Responding with compassion and truth
Appendix: On the use of pronouns and new names