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Outline of dr. Groothuis's talk on Gender Ideology

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary. DouglasGroothuis.com. @DougGroothuis


Identity and Gender: What Should a Christian Think about Gender Ideology?


"Men are so inevitably mad that not to be mad would be to give a mad twist to madness" —Blaise Pascal.[1]


I. Who are You? (The Who)


A. Drag queens in public schools, “Drag Queen Story Hour” Part of a plan to discredit traditional sexual morality.


B. Dylan Mulvaney, drag celebrity. “360 days of being a girl.” Triggered massive boycott of Bud Light.


C. “What is a woman?”


D. New language: birthing person, chest feeding, male-bodied person, use of pronouns.


E. Identity markers today—race (inflexible) and gender (flexible); how many genders? LGBTQI+ (+ is a sign of terminological exhaustion)


F. “Lola” by the Kinks (1970)

“Girls will be boys and boys will be girls. It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world except for Lola” (transvestite).


G. We need an identity that stands up to our collective identity crisis concerning race and gender.


II. Roots of Identity Revolution and Gender Ideology


A. Sexual identity: Thinkers


1. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Atheist. Humans are sexual from birth; infantile sexuality. Advocated restraint for civilization to exist. That is long gone.


2. Dr. Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957). Atheist. The Sexual Revolution


a. Sex as the basic energy of the universe: orgone, orgone accumulators


b. Sexual pleasure as the highest good; traditional morality must be destroyed as repressive and unhealthy


c. Thus: identity determined by sexual desire only


3. Dr. Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956). Atheist. the normalization of perversity. What is, is right, normal. Bogus science


4. Dr. John Money (1921-2006).[2] Atheist from New Zealand. Practiced medicine at Johns Hopkins. Early proponent of sex changes. Endorsed pedophilia. Sex is different from gender; nurture over nature; gender not binary. Endorsed sex changes.


The story of the Reimer twins; Bruce’s genitals were injured. Money advised me to remove the rest and raise as a girl, called Laura. Didn’t work. Was told at age 14. Detransitioned. Married. Committed suicide.


5. Judith Butler, atheist philosopher. Gender trouble. Gender is not intrinsic, but performed.


B. Key ideas of gender ideology


1. Self as untethered from God, from history, from the body, and from community


2. Postmodernism and the rejection of objective truth and metanarratives; listen to the oppressed, not to the hegemonic system of oppression.


3. “Expressive individualism,” Carl Trueman, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self and Strange New People.


4. Takes the essential, gender, makes it inessential and arbitrary, LGBTQI+


5. Denies our status as creatures and denies antithesis


Some forms of homosexuality today are…a philosophic expression. One must have understanding for the real homophile’s problem. But much modern homosexuality is an expression of the current denial of antithesis. It has led in this case to an obliteration of the distinction between man and woman…In much of modern thinking all antithesis and all the order of God’s creation is to be fought against—including the male-female distinctions…But this is not an isolated problem; it is a part of the world-spirit of the generation which surrounds us. It is imperative that Christians realize the conclusions which are being drawn as a result of the death of absolutes.[3]



III. Who You Are


A. Created in God’s image and likeness to develop nature into culture (Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1; 9:1-6)


1. We represent God in God’s world


2. We are relational, rational, creative (Psalm 8)


3. We possess value: objective, unique, incommensurable (Genesis 9:6; James 3:9)


B. Fallen, sinful (Genesis 3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3)


C. Redeemable through Christ (John 3:1-18; Romans 5:1-8; Ephesians 2:1-10) Gospel goes out to all people, to the nations (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)


D. If you are Christian, then your identity as part of the church is central; need biblical community more and more as society tears itself from God and thus tears itself apart and goes after the sane ones. We need:


Regular attendance at a church where the Bible is believed. This does not mean every church, but one that is true to the content of the Bible, and one which does not just recite the right words, but where there is a living of the truth in community and compassion to those in the church and to those outside of it.[4]


IV. The Bible on Gender


A. Biblical math: One God; three Persons; one human race; two genders, both fallen. One Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5).


B. Created male and female, no third option (Genesis 1:26-28). Not possible in Hebrew. Either/or; immutable binary.


C. Heterosexual monogamy is the norm, the divine standard (Genesis 2; Matthew 19:1-6)


D. Anything else misses God’s design, hurts us, and angers God (Deuteronomy 22:5; Leviticus 18; Romans 1:18-32)


Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from it: the old Christian rule is, 'Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.'—C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.


E. Science: every human has either egg gametes (female) or male gametes (male); there is nothing in between.


F. The fall complicates matters existentially (sexual confusions) and physically. See below.


G. Disorders of sexual development (DSD), sometimes wrongly called “intersex.”


In culture war rhetoric, the existence of intersex persons is being used to disrupt the male/female binary. They are often included under the umbrella of transgender to bolster the claim that there is not only male and female but also a range in between. But that claim is self-contradictory. Intersex is a biological condition, while transgender activists insist that biology is irrelevant to gender identity [Pearcey, Nancy. Love Thy Body (p. 219). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.]


H. Still, the biblical norm is there: right behavior is clear for non-intersex people. Intersex does not destroy biblical norms, as some claim, does not make sexual identity arbitrary. The binary holds.


I. What of eunuchs?


1. In Matthew 19:12, Jesus mentions eunuchs in the context of whether it is good to marry. “There are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”


Jesus identifies three types of “eunuchs” here: (1) natural eunuchs (“born that way”), (2) involuntary eunuchs (“made eunuchs by others”), and (3) voluntary eunuchs (“those who choose”). They are men without testicles or those who chose to stay single (see 1 Corinthians 7).


2. This has nothing to do with transgenderism or LGBTQ identities.


V. A Christian Response (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)


A. God’s law based on his character and we should obey it


3. Ten Commandments: Do not commit adultery or covet (Exodus 20:1-18)


4. Jesus sums it up: Love God with all your being and your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40)


B. Know who you are as a creature and as a Christian and as a member of the Body of Christ (Genesis 1:26-28; 1 Corinthians 12)


Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5)


C. Honor and love all people as made in God’s image and as deserving respect and love: Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-38)


D. Consider and bless “the least of these”—those suffering because of their race or because of their sexual orientation (Matthew 25:31-46).


E. Avoid descending into the sewer of trash talk, invective, and broadside condemnation on matters of identity—or anything else (Matthew 5:22; 12:36; Colossians 3:8).


F. Work hard on social, cultural, and political matters pertaining to racial and sexual identity. Develop and defend your views biblically and logically (1 Peter 3:15; Titus 2:7-8).


Resources

1. “John Money and the Origins of Gender Theory” (five-minute video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBGrP3AP0_Y.

2. Douglas Groothuis, Fire in the Streets (Salem Books, 2022). On critical race theory, but relates to gender ideology.

3. Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay (InterVarsity Press, 2000). Explains the decline in the idea of truth, which is a key feature of gender ideology.

4. Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics, 2nd ed. (InterVarsity Academic, 2022).

5. Francis Schaeffer, The God Who is There, signature edition (1968; InterVarsity, 2020).

6. Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? (Crossway). The big picture on Western culture and its decline. Also a film series, which is on YouTube.

7. Nancy Pearcey, Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality (Baker Books, 2017).

8. Carl Trueman, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self (Crossway, 2020). Explains the philosophy behind transgenderism—"expressive individualism.”

9. Carl Trueman, Strange New People (Crossway, 2022).

10. Matt Walsh, What is a Woman? (Daily Wire Press, 2022). See also the film, “What is a Woman?” which is excellent. Walsh often covers gender theory in his daily podcast, “The Matt Walsh Show.”


[1] Pascal, Blaise. Pensées (Penguin Classics) (p. 120). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition. [2] See Matt Walsh, “John Money,” What is a Woman? [3] Schaeffer, Francis A. The God Who Is There (The IVP Signature Collection) (p. 53). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition. [4] Schaeffer, Francis A. The God Who Is There (The IVP Signature Collection) (p. 165). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition. Italics in original.

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