Tag Archives: gender

Gender

The first in a series of short essays for a course on Ethics.

Explain and demonstrate from Scripture a Christian understanding of gender (sex – male/female) and discuss the implications of this on our culture’s current “gender debate”.

Gender is established in God’s sovereign act of creating man in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, 21-23).  In this a male/female distinction is established.  Genesis 1:27 is a fundamental text because of the closeness of association between God creating man in his own image, and His creating them male and female.  The creating of man at the start of the verse need not be understood as being synonymous with male (i.e. it would not be right to translate it as “God created males in his own image”).  Rather, it is the collective humanity that God creates in His own image.  This collective humanity is created male and female.  The use of the word translated “them” means that man is neither androgynous nor hermaphrodite.  Rather, it is right to think that God creates human beings and that whether male or female, they bear His image.  There is no scope within the creation account to suggest non-binary gender distinctions.  As Kevin de Young has written “The Bible knows no other gender categories besides male and female. While men and women in Scripture may express their masculinity and femininity in a wonderful diversity of ways, Scripture still operates with the binary categories of men and women. You are one or the other.[1]” Jesus Himself affirms the origin of maleness and femaleness in God’s creative design (Matthew 19:4).

The fall of man into sin has obviously had a significant impact on creation in that through it, it is subject to futility (Romans 8:20).  Again, Kevin de Young asserts “The anomaly of intersex individuals does not undermine the creational design, but rather gives another example of creational “groaning” and the “not the way they are supposed to be” realities of a fallen world.” Though this is the case, and it must be taken into account, there is nothing in the biblical record that supports gender fluidity or non-binary gender distinctions. Granted, although Paul distinguishes a naturalness from an unnaturalness when it comes to the use of one’s body and human sexuality, there is nothing to suggest that naturalness/unnaturalness gives rise to a substantial change in the biological realities of binary gender.  

de Young is not so naïve as to suggest that there are not individuals who struggle at a profound level with the issues of whether what they think and feel accords with the biological gender assigned to them at birth.  Rather, he asserts “The question is whether the is of our emotional or mental state equals the ought of God’s design”.  In other words, he does not allow the existential or situational perspective to confuse the normative perspective on issues of gender. 

de Young concludes his article by saying “I have not begun to answer all the important questions about pastoral care, counsel, and compassion for the hurting and confused.”  In this, he acknowledges that though we stand on a solid foundation of God’s truth concerning gender, we have obligation to approach the issues is raises with Christ-like compassion, especially when acknowledging the hurt and confusion from which gender confusion can arise as well as result in.

[1] https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/kevindeyoung/2016/09/08/what-does-the-bible-say-about-transgenderism/ retrieved 18-10-2017

God’s design for man and woman is consistent and coherent

8. The Bible’s teaching on God’s design for man and woman is consistent and coherent

Part 8 of 10 Things You Should Know about the Bible’s Teaching on Men and Women

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible paints a unified picture of what it means to be a man or a woman. The dual pattern of male leadership and male-female partnership pervades all of Scripture: from creation to the fall to redemption in Christ and to the final consummation. For a thorough discussion of this, see our book God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey.


This is a guest post by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, authors of God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey. This post is part of our 10 Things You Should Know blog series.


About God’s Design for Man and Woman

Equipping a New Generation to Live Out God’s Design

This thorough study of the Bible’s teaching on men and women aims to help a new generation of Christians live for Christ in today’s world. Moving beyond other treatments that primarily focus on select passages, this winsome volume traces Scripture’s overarching pattern related to male-female relationships in both the Old and New Testaments. Those interested in careful discussion rather than caustic debate will discover that God’s design is not confining or discriminatory but beautiful, wise, liberating, and good.

God’s Design is Best

7. God’s Design is Best

Part 7 of 10 Things You Should Know about the Bible’s Teaching on Men and Women

God’s design of humanity as male and female cannot be improved upon! God’s ways are far superior to our own. God’s design for man and woman—expressed in male leadership with male-female partnership—is an expression of his beauty, wisdom, and goodness. Through faith, and faith alone, we can appropriate God’s power to live out this design individually and in relation to each other.


This is a guest post by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, authors of God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey. This post is part of our 10 Things You Should Know blog series.


About God’s Design for Man and Woman

Equipping a New Generation to Live Out God’s Design

This thorough study of the Bible’s teaching on men and women aims to help a new generation of Christians live for Christ in today’s world. Moving beyond other treatments that primarily focus on select passages, this winsome volume traces Scripture’s overarching pattern related to male-female relationships in both the Old and New Testaments. Those interested in careful discussion rather than caustic debate will discover that God’s design is not confining or discriminatory but beautiful, wise, liberating, and good.

The fall distorted, corrupted, and confused who we are as men and women

6. The fall distorted, corrupted, and confused who we are as men and women.

Part 6 of 10 Things You Should Know about the Bible’s Teaching on Men and Women

Men and women are meant to live out gender diversity in unity. The fall destroys this prospect. Male and/or female domination are some of the extremes resulting from fractured gender relationships. It is only those redeemed in Christ who can hope to recover and live out God’s intended design. We should remember that the ultimate problem is sin, not a faulty gender design or a corruption of a perfect original. That said, even in its fallen state humanity still displays glimpses of the divine design.


This is a guest post by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, authors of God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey. This post is part of our 10 Things You Should Know blog series.


About God’s Design for Man and Woman

Equipping a New Generation to Live Out God’s Design

This thorough study of the Bible’s teaching on men and women aims to help a new generation of Christians live for Christ in today’s world. Moving beyond other treatments that primarily focus on select passages, this winsome volume traces Scripture’s overarching pattern related to male-female relationships in both the Old and New Testaments. Those interested in careful discussion rather than caustic debate will discover that God’s design is not confining or discriminatory but beautiful, wise, liberating, and good.

Who we are as men and women defines the core of our existence, not merely its periphery.

5. Who we are as men and women defines the core of our existence, not merely its periphery.

Part 5 of 10 Things You Should Know about the Bible’s Teaching on Men and Women

Having been created male and female, we are husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Thus the way in which we live our lives is in and through our divinely created gender identities. These gender identities, in turn, are not merely superficial but run deep, affecting who we are as persons, family members, church members, and citizens. While the gospel extends to all of us, we do not cease to exist as men and women.


This is a guest post by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, authors of God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey. This post is part of our 10 Things You Should Know blog series.


About God’s Design for Man and Woman

Equipping a New Generation to Live Out God’s Design

This thorough study of the Bible’s teaching on men and women aims to help a new generation of Christians live for Christ in today’s world. Moving beyond other treatments that primarily focus on select passages, this winsome volume traces Scripture’s overarching pattern related to male-female relationships in both the Old and New Testaments. Those interested in careful discussion rather than caustic debate will discover that God’s design is not confining or discriminatory but beautiful, wise, liberating, and good.

The man and the woman are partners in exercising dominion over God’s creation.

4. The man and the woman are partners in exercising dominion over God’s creation.

Part 4 of 10 Things You Should Know about the Bible’s Teaching on Men and Women

The man and the woman jointly receive God’s mandate to multiply and fill the earth, and to subdue it, exercising dominion. God creates the two as genuine partners, and this partnership envelops the man’s leadership and the woman’s support and participation in such a way that the two work in tandem, with complementarity. This genuine partnership can be fully reflected today where men exercise godly leadership without domination and encourage women’s robust participation within biblical boundaries.


This is a guest post by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, authors of God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey. This post is part of our 10 Things You Should Know blog series.


About God’s Design for Man and Woman

Equipping a New Generation to Live Out God’s Design

This thorough study of the Bible’s teaching on men and women aims to help a new generation of Christians live for Christ in today’s world. Moving beyond other treatments that primarily focus on select passages, this winsome volume traces Scripture’s overarching pattern related to male-female relationships in both the Old and New Testaments. Those interested in careful discussion rather than caustic debate will discover that God’s design is not confining or discriminatory but beautiful, wise, liberating, and good.

The man was created first and given the responsibility to lead.

3. The man was created first and given the responsibility to lead.

Part 3 of 10 Things You Should Know about the Bible’s Teaching on Men and Women

Scripture teaches that first the man was created by a direct divine act of creation and given the responsibility to lead; subsequently, the woman was created by God from the man (Gen 2:5–9) and for the man (Gen 2:18–20). He is to subdue the earth and is given the name “Adam,” which also serves as the name of the entire human race. God calls the man to account and holds him responsible for the fall.


This is a guest post by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, authors of God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey. This post is part of our 10 Things You Should Know blog series.


About God’s Design for Man and Woman

Equipping a New Generation to Live Out God’s Design

This thorough study of the Bible’s teaching on men and women aims to help a new generation of Christians live for Christ in today’s world. Moving beyond other treatments that primarily focus on select passages, this winsome volume traces Scripture’s overarching pattern related to male-female relationships in both the Old and New Testaments. Those interested in careful discussion rather than caustic debate will discover that God’s design is not confining or discriminatory but beautiful, wise, liberating, and good.

We were created male and female in God’s image.

2. We were created male and female in God’s image.

Part 2 of 10 Things You Should Know about the Bible’s Teaching on Men and Women

Humanity’s binary gender design as male and female reflects in some mysterious way the nature of God. While sharing a common humanity, the man and the woman are unique and complementary rather than identical. This complementarity, in turn, reflects a facet of God’s own nature. God, too, is a unity within diversity (three in one, equal in personhood, distinct in role). This unity in diversity is beautifully reflected in human marriage, where the two become one flesh (Gen 2:24–25).


This is a guest post by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, authors of God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey. This post is part of our 10 Things You Should Know blog series.


About God’s Design for Man and Woman

Equipping a New Generation to Live Out God’s Design

This thorough study of the Bible’s teaching on men and women aims to help a new generation of Christians live for Christ in today’s world. Moving beyond other treatments that primarily focus on select passages, this winsome volume traces Scripture’s overarching pattern related to male-female relationships in both the Old and New Testaments. Those interested in careful discussion rather than caustic debate will discover that God’s design is not confining or discriminatory but beautiful, wise, liberating, and good.