Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture
J. Alan Branch, Lexham Press, 2019
Branch takes a fair, respectful, and factual tone in addressing this complex issue through a biblical lens. You’ll learn the following:
- Scientific research on the transgender experience
- An Overview of the history of transgenderism
- Important terminology surrounding gender issues
- Why people pursue gender reassignment surgery, and what happens after
- How to navigate conversations around this topic
The book ends with two practical chapters for families and churches, giving you guiding principles for how to address this issue in a loving, Christ-honoring way.
Branch gets into the details of the scientific arguments around transgenderism. He gives a very thorough answer to the statement, “This must be right because I was born this way.”
He digs into the difference between “someone who experiences gender dysphoria and someone who embraces a transgender identity.” Pg. 129. This is a crucial distinction for those wrestling with, or who know someone wrestling with these issues.
After reviewing the research on a genetic cause for transgenderism, he concludes:
“Scientific evidence to date clearly does not show the existence of a gene or genes that cause transgenderism. Instead, changes to a few limited regions within the human genome demonstrate a low level of correlation with a transgender identity. The simplistic “born this way” argument regarding transgenderism is inconsistent with current scientific research. The Christian view is more robust and suggests that transgenderism emerges from a complex matrix of factors including one’s genetics, family of origin, environment, response to stress and temptation, and perhaps many other factors that remain unknown to us.” Pg. 65
Branch does not completely rule out a “genetic component” to the human behavior of transgenderism. But, he points out that a genetic predisposition does not eliminate our moral responsibility for our choices. Pg. 65
He closes by stating:
“A Christian stance toward transgenderism will distinguish between someone who experiences gender dysphoria and someone who embraces a transgender identity. Some people experience a very real, subjective sense of gender dysphoria, which is quite distressing for them. It is one thing for someone to acknowledge, “I’m experiencing gender dysphoria and appreciate your prayers, kindness, and mercy.” But it is quite a different thing for someone to say, “I’m transgender, and I’ll be adopting a new identity.” When someone says, “I experience gender dysphoria,” they are merely naming a problem; when someone says, “I am transgender,” they are embracing an identity that is inconsistent with Scripture.” 129