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Going deeper with an important new book

Posted by Stephen Witmer on November 16th, 2020

I preached recently on what the Bible teaches about gender (you can listen to that sermon here), and in my sermon I engaged in some ‘cultural exegesis’ — seeking to understand the dynamics, values, and goals of our broader culture that lead to the radical rethinking of gender that’s underway. Drawing on Vaughan Roberts’ excellent little book Transgender, I suggested that our culture values freedom and authenticity, and that these deeply-held values help to explain our rethinking of gender. Every Christian should be seeking to understand the major shifts occurring in our culture, because it’s crucial for Christians seeking to navigate our times, and seeking to present a faithful witness for Christ, to understand who we’re speaking to.


In order to plunge deeper than I was able to in the sermon, I highly recommend a book that’s just been released, called The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution, by Carl Truman, a professor at Grove City College.


This book is clearly and beautifully written, and hugely insightful, as Truman digs down into the historical developments that have led to a culture in which the following statement is considered coherent and meaningful: ‘I am a woman trapped in a man’s body.’ If you invest the time to read this book carefully, you’ll come away with a much deeper and richer understanding of what makes many people (including ourselves, because we’re children of our culture) tick.