Where to See Our Genders –Reply to Claire Smith, Part II

In the first part of this rejoinder to Claire Smith’s thoughtful questioning of enGendered¸ I talked about being careful in using the label, “complementarian.” One had better define it to use it. But it is clear that Dr. Smith understood how I was defining gender in terms of relationship. That I do do, saying that close relationships are where gender …

Speaking of Gender without Ignoring Our Complexities: Reply to Claire Smith in The Gospel Coalition review, Part I

The book, enGendered has something in it to offend just about everyone, so it is a wonder that some people actually like it. While surprised by how well the book has been received, and that in some unlikely corners, the questions it has raised in others were more of what I expected. I am happy at the response of questioning …

What’s the Point of this Ministry? (The Who What Why of AffirmingGender)

If you have been reading these posts for a little while, or have had contact with this website through a talk or article, you might be wondering, “Why is he doing this?” Perhaps then you would be served by a statement of purpose, to clarify what AffirmingGender is doing. (In fact, I would be helped by this too!) So let’s …

Why are there no Women Priests in the Old Testament?

The Hebrew Scriptures show us three great venues of covenant community leadership. When things got going, leadership resolved into three offices, authoritative ministers to shepherd, supply and save His people: Prophet, King and Priest. One of the glaring asymmetries between guys and gals in the Old Testament is how God called only men to the latter two offices. God’s masculine …

Daring to Ask, is Trans-Surgery the Answer? (Review of Paper Genders)

Like to know more about transgenderism? Even the not-pretty parts? AffirmingGender would like to showcase an important book for our time. It is honest. It is knowledgeable. It scores some thought-provoking points. It is called Paper Genders (2011), by Walt Heyer.   Mr. Heyer does not minimize the seriousness of gender dysphoria, the experience of distress of over the sex …

The Best Thing About the Quarryville Affirming Gender Seminar

For those who have been asking, the Quarryville Affirming Gender Seminar in February went terrifically. We had folks from all over the area who came to the three sessions (Friday night, Saturday morning) and brought their questions and struggles with them. Though the people from my congregation had an edge in the Book-Give-Away-Bible-Question contests (because they hear me talk every week and have picked up clues along the way), one out-of-towner still won one anyway.


They came with suspicions. They came with burdens. Pastor Brett Rush came with his guitar and led us into the Presence of the Giver of the gift. But most of all, they came with the questions that have become all too common to me. I hear them repeated as I speak and talk to people all over. I have now spoken on gender to gatherings in different areas of the country (New York, North Carolina, Alaska, different parts of Pennsylvania, Washington state, Kansas, California, Washington D.C. and New Jersey). It does not seem to matter where one lives. Even correspondence with those outside the country (like Ukraine or Tasmania…yeah, Tasmania-there are real people there and everything) brings similar queries:


“I feel overwhelmed: How do I love my son/friend/relative who has announced that he is gay?”

“How can I as a woman take this particular Scripture seriously as God’s word” (of a verse such as 1Corinthians 11:7, but really, take your pick of several)?

“Still, though, there is something about football that is manly…right? …Come on, right? …No really, right?”

“What do I say to the parents of this child in the class I teach who is transitioning?”

“Our marriage is stuck and we don’t know what to do about it.”

“Do you understand how strong these feelings are to live as the other gender I feel I am?”

“What about stay-at-home dads? Is that genderly proper?”

“How do I deal with my same-sex attraction as a Christian?”

“My child is playing with the wrong type of toy. Should I worry? What should I do?”


One of the attendees even wrote about her experience from the weekend, which account found its way to me and which she gave permission to include on our Speaker page.


These were all great. But the best thing about the conference for me was the fair number of local pastors and ministry leaders who attended. The real need of Christ’s church is to have her shepherds and teachers equipped and confident to lead her forward through gender confusion. Leadership was multiplied that weekend. Hoo-rah!


The food was also a high point, but then again, this is the Shire, so it is to be expected. Thank you, Faith Church, for backing me up on this and serving the larger Body of Christ. Love you!


Coming soon: AffirmingGender’s updated calendar. If you missed this one, maybe you can catch another gender affirming event near you.


Would you like to bring an AffirmingGender event to your church or area?


Transgender Regret Stories and Where to Hear Them

Talk about regrets of folks who have transitioned to the gender opposite to their body of birth is liable to draw a blank stare from people today, maybe from you too. What? You have never heard of anybody regretting such a decision (or, more painfully, their parents’ decision) to adopt a self-chosen gender? You think that there are only stories …