There are times when I receive a new book and find myself saying “I don’t think we need a new book on that.” After all, some topics have been covered so skillfully, repeatedly, and exhaustively that yet another book on the subject could only be overkill. Yet sometimes I receive a new book and find myself saying, “I’m so glad someone has written a book on that!” There are some topics that may not have been covered sufficiently or that may reflect such new realities that we are still awaiting good analyses.
The Gender Revolution falls squarely in the second category. This is a book that has been written to provide a biblical, biological, and compassionate response to the modern day gender ideology that has been flooding our world and sweeping away so many victims. It is written by a fascinating combination of authors: Patricia Weerakoon who is a now-retired medical doctor, counsellor, sex therapist, speaker, writer and academic; Kamal Weerakoon (Patricia’s son) who is a missions director at a Presbyterian church; and Robert Smith who is a long-time lecturer in theology, ethics and music ministry at Sydney Missionary & Bible College.
So why have they teamed up to write this book? The introduction makes it clear:
Sometimes a particular cultural moment calls not only for clear statements of the truth, but also for a strong rebuttal of false and dangerous ideologies that oppose the truth. This is not only part of loving our neighbours and promoting social good, but also part of the gospel call to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). There are moments, then, when the only way to love others truly is to speak the truth with clarity.
In our judgement, this is such a moment. This is partly because of the aggression and vehemence with which many transgender ideologues argue their position. It is also because this flawed ideology is taking hold of too many hearts and minds. But mostly it is because hurting and vulnerable people, especially children, are being left damaged and scarred (in more ways than one) by this ideology. This is not the moment to be silent or to put our heads in the sand.
Indeed, it is not. This errant worldview needs to be countered and this book is their attempt to do so. Yet they make it clear that their protest is not against people—especially the mostly-young people who are falling victim—but against ideology. Their goal is to promote the health and well-being of all people, and especially those who are so vulnerable and so susceptible to damage.
The book begins by explaining today’s sexual and gender ideology. They offer the analogy of a tree to describe a model of sexuality that features four distinct elements: biological sex; gendered behaviours or expressions; sexual orientation; and gender identity. Some readers may be concerned that they cede too much ideological territory in using terminology like “gender identity,” but they do defend the decision and broker no compromise with their understanding of sexuality.
In the following chapter they explain that their interest in this book is defending “how science has affirmed, and continues to affirm, the goodness of our given biological sex.” Hence they rely on Scripture to guide and shape them, but are especially eager to show how God’s natural revelation demonstrates the goodness of the biblical view of sexuality. Not only that, but they also want to show how modern gender ideology, and transgender ideology in particular, has absolutely no scientific basis to commend it. It is, in fact, ideological and anti-scientific.
As the book continues, the authors cover a host of important issues: harmony and disharmony between inner feelings and biological reality, the binary nature of human sexuality, gendered behavior and what it has to do with being men and women, and the nature of desire, whether that desire is for someone of the opposite sex or the same sex. It concludes with a pair of lengthy chapters meant to help Christians live well and to live without compromise. How should we respond to young people in our churches if they express gender confusion, and perhaps especially in a context like Canada or Australia where to even have the conversation is to risk falling afoul of the law? Should we grant a person who claims to be transgendered their newly-chosen opposite-gender name? What should we do if asked to provide our pronouns at work or school? They answer these questions and many more and do so in very satisfying ways.
In the book’s opening pages there is a warning that helps explain why a book like this is so urgent. It says, “At the time of publication, in some jurisdictions (such as the Australian state of Victoria) it can be legally problematic to discuss with someone their sexual orientation or gender identity, even if that person is open to the discussion or requests the discussion. We urge readers to know the legal framework that applies to them and to exercise wisdom and discretion.” In other words, to offer this book to certain people or to even discuss its contents in certain contexts is to risk severe consequences. Yet as people who are committed to honoring God’s truth and people who are committed to loving others even at great cost to ourselves, we must know why modern gender ideology is so very wrong, we must know the beauty and order of God’s creation, and we must be prepared with answers and explanations. This book, written by people with particular expertise in the area and people who have a great love for the vulnerable, is a tremendous resource for parents, pastors, and anyone else. I highly recommend it.Buy from Amazon