The 1960s had the sexual revolution and the 2020s has brought us the gender revolution. So this is a fitting title for a book with the clear purpose to “provide the biblical basis for a contemporary Christian response to the complicated feelings and experiences of gender dysphoria”.
The Gender Revolution is jointly written by acclaimed sexologist and academic Dr Patricia Weerakoon, the Rev Dr Rob Smith – who recently completed his PhD on an evangelical assessment of transgender theory – and pastor-theologian the Rev Kamal Weerakoon.
“We have a great compassion for the people, particularly young people, who are questioning their identity and who are seeking to find a stable sense of themselves, a healthy sense of themselves, upon which to build a life,” Mr Weerakoon said at the launch of the book on July 13.
He spoke of his previous work as a youth minister and the privilege of watching young people grow and find an identity in Christ and in their families.
“It's such a tragedy that now they are being told, taught, that it is cool to be queer, to be in a way that is not connected with their biological reality of themselves [or] connected with the family that loved them and brought them up.”
Dr Smith also highlighted the need for truth and compassion in a fraught area.
“We are aware not just of the mess and the confusion and the need for clarity, the need for… clear biblical teaching, but also clear pastoral guidance,” he said. “That's where Patricia's skills and gifts and experience come to the fore, in that she can bring all the medical and scientific insights to bear and just demonstrate that, again, Bible and biology are in total sync here.”
Dr Weerakoon highlighted helpful illustrations in the book, including the image of a tree symbolising biological development.
“We use the tree because the root system of the biology, the development in the womb as well as the word of God, supports our sexuality and our bodies and our gender,” she said. “What transgender ideology does is just chop the trunk off so that biology is actually now bigotry. It turns the tree over, kind of chops up the branches, makes it all mush and the tree can't survive.”
Archbishop Kanishka Raffel, who officially launched the book, described it as being “born out of a deep confidence and trust in the word of God, a deep understanding of human identity and sexuality, and a very deep love for people, especially for young people who are besieged with messages that confuse and destabilise and in many ways isolate them.”
His predecessor, Dr Peter Jensen, commended the book saying, "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.
“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.”
The Gender Revolution by Patricia Weerakoon with Robert Smith and Kamal Weerakoon is published by Matthias Media.