Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say

By Preston M. Sprinkle, David C. Cook, Publisher, 2021 Kindle Edition

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Preston Sprinkle draws on Scripture, as well as real-life stories of individuals struggling with gender dysphoria, to help you understand the complexities and emotions of this highly relevant topic. This book fills the great need for Christians to speak into the confusing and emotionally charged questions surrounding the transgender conversation.

With careful research and an engaging style, Embodied explores:

  • What it means to be transgender, nonbinary, and gender-queer, and how these identities relate to being male or female
  • Why most stereotypes about what it means to be a man and woman come from the culture and not the Bible
  • What the Bible says about humans created in God’s image as male and female, and how this relates to transgender experiences
  • Moral questions surrounding medical interventions such as sex reassignment surgery
  • Which pronouns to use and how to navigate the bathroom debate
  • Why more and more teens are questioning their gender

Sprinkle begins by looking at the definition of biological sex, and then what is meant by gender identity. On the latter he states:

“We can break this definition down into two different (yet overlapping) categories. First, gender identity describes the psychological aspects associated with being male or female, or “one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both, or neither.” Second, gender role describes the “social and cultural” aspects of being male or female, sometimes shorthanded as “masculinity and femininity.” Loc. 453

He later unpacks this further when he says:

“Again, gender identity is commonly defined as “one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both, or neither.” But the precise nature of this “internal sense” isn’t often explained very concretely. Is gender identity a state of mind? A metaphysical property? A belief about oneself that may or may not be true? Is it situated in the brain (as in the notion that someone might have a male brain but a female body)? Or does it exist as some other kind of undefined “essence” or spiritual property?” Loc. 520

He then spends the the rest of the book walking through all the permutations of these gender identities. He brings a healthy dose of reality by sharing the stories of those he’s counseled with who experience these conditions.

Through these experiences he offers some practical ways we can empathize with those having these experiences. And he identifies with the hurt they have felt from the reactions of Christians in their past.

He closes with this observation:

“There’s plenty of fodder for outrage. But outrage doesn’t change the world. Love changes the world. Getting furious at our cultural moment doesn’t convince people of the truth. Our truth will not be heard until our grace is felt, because the greatest apologetic for truth is love.” Loc. 2912