Even before reaching the table of contents, I saw these words of dedication at the front of the book: For our sons and daughters. May they know their true worth. These two sentences capture the heart of what Abigail Favale writes in her book, The Genesis Of Gender: A Christian Theory. In the book, Favale traces her own mis-informed passions as a scholar, as she exposes the lies she used to believe in contrast to the truth about God’s design for His image-bearers on all things sex and gender-related.
Christopher Yuan, himself one who has experienced once living his sexuality according to the culture’s narrative. . . and now according God’s design, dedicates his book, Holy Sexuality and the Gospel: Sex, Desire, and Relationships Shaped by God’s Grand Story, to his mom with these words: For Mom. Thank you for being my childhood heroine, for teaching me to be tenacious and never to settle for mediocrity. Thank you in my adult years for being a trailblazer, setting true north on the perfect image of God, who is Christ. This book on holiness is dedicated to you. If you know Christopher and his story, you know the role his mother played as she loved him, prayed for him, and never ceased telling him the truth. Now, Christopher is helping us understand and teach God’s good design for his image-bearers.
Miriam Grossman pulls no punches in her book, Lost in Trans Nation: A Child Psychiatrist’s Guide Out of the Madness. She writes these words of dedication: This book is dedicated to the parents of kids with Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria and to the groups who support them. I spoke with you from your cars, basements, and bathrooms. You huddled and whispered behind closed doors, as if seeking my help was criminal behavior. You’re not criminals, you are heroes. The criminals are the therapists, teachers, school counselors, and sex educators who indoctrinate your children with falsehoods, and the doctors who then disfigure and sterilize them. They are guilty of crimes. Their day will come. Like I said, Dr. Grossman does not mince words. She’s a deep thinker and responsible practitioner who embraces a narrative of sensibility and truth. This is another must-read!
These are just three of the books that offer perspectives – historical, philosophical, and biblical – on how the dominant cultural narrative on sexuality and gender is ill-informed, dangerous, destructive, and outside of God’s loving and good design for our human flourishing. I recommend all three. And in the coming days we will be offering more resources for youth workers, pastors, parents, educators and others who desire to navigate these issues with students in ways that bring honor and glory to God as they remain faithful to his grand and glorious design.
In the meantime, CPYU is once again offering an opportunity for a small group (25 max) to come together for a few days to prayerfully think through God’s design for sex and gender, along with how to teach those truths to students and their families. We recognize that with so many voices shouting messages and propagating ideologies about human sexuality and gender in classrooms, communities, churches, youth groups, and social media, youth workers committed to a traditional Biblical ethic may struggle to find their voice. Some have even wondered if there is a safe space in which to come together to form a theologically-informed and nuanced approach to these charged and complex issues.
We have that place and we invited you to join us! From November 7-10, 2023, Dr. Duffy Robbins and myself will be hosting and leading our 5th intensive Symposium on Traditional Biblical Sexuality in a Changing Youth Culture in Lancaster, PA. Our goal is to help you deepen your own biblical and theological foundations, to broaden your apologetic for affirming the good of expressing sexual intimacy within the bonds of marriage between one man and one woman, and to strengthen your pastoral skills in helping youth live out these biblical truths on sex and gender. Working together with a small group of your ministry peers, you will work through case studies, hear from and interact with a variety of experts, and develop the much-needed standards and policies required for ministering faithfully and effectively in today’s world. I can say that it is a very rich and productive time.
Participation in the Symposium presumes your affirmation of a historic, orthodox Christian sexual ethic and will be building from this premise, not debating it. Participation is limited to 25 to allow for deep exploration of these issues and will require some preparatory reading along with active involvement in the Symposium. In the past we have had both individuals and teams join us.
We hope that you will consider joining us. Again, we have capped registration at 25. For more information and to register, visit this page for the Symposium on Traditional Biblical Sexuality in a Changing Youth Culture. Please note that the early-bird registration rate expires tomorrow, September 1, 2023.
From past participants. . .
“You don’t have to have a theological doctorate to be a part of this symposium, this is a topic for anyone that is in youth ministry or any pastoral care. I highly recommend not coming alone, bring the youth leader, the senior pastor, the executive pastor, the elders, bring everyone you can. I loved how you come in with other youth leaders but leave with friends in youth ministry.”
“I found this to be a wise step for proactive learning on a difficult subject. The “symposium” structure provides a great context for discussion and thought that involves all participants.”
“Grateful for an excellent environment for challenging discussion on a vital ministry topic. Great balance of heart (pastoral care) and head (theology/ethics) that provided tools and resources for me to immediately utilize in my ministry context back home.”