Chap. 4 Para. 2 Male and Female

In practically all the older systematic theology textbooks on anthropology there is little to no
discussion on the differences between male and female. Even our own confession only
gives a passing glance at it, ‘After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male
and female.’ The rest of the paragraph emphasizes mankind in God’s image and in
covenant with Him. What the confession takes for granted without explanation we must
take the opportunity to stop and expand on. Historically we would have spoken about the
sexes, male and female; today we talk about gender, what’s the difference? Here is one
attempt at definitions: ‘Sexuality refers to God’s anthropological design and pattern for the
procreative relationship between male and female and to the experience of erotic desire
within that design. Gender refers to biological differences in male and female embodiment
and the different cultural ways in which the creational distinctions between male and female
are manifested. The creational narrative of Genesis 1–2 provides the Christian with the
foundational truths behind these distinctions: God created humanity, male and female, in his
image for one another. To deny any part of this teaching is to subject God’s purposeful
design to the desires of humanity. While much of modern culture desires to deny these
distinctions and to untether gender from sexuality, the New Testament reaffirms the Old
Testament’s teaching on this topic and brings the male-female distinction to its culmination
in the Christ-Church relationship.’
Sex tends to describe our biological realities, gender the
expression of them. And we are seeing an untethering of gender from sex, so that gender
is now being defined without reference to biological sex. Gender is seen as a social
construct placed upon an incidental biological reality. We have seen a radical shift in how
sex and gender interact. Carl Trueman uses this illustration: 200 years ago if you went to a
doctor and you said ‘Doctor I feel like a woman trapped inside a man’s body.’ He would
say, ‘Let’s fix your thinking.’ Today if you went to a doctor and said the same thing he
would say, ‘Let’s fix your body.’ The first recognizes that our thinking and our conception of
ourselves must conform to our biological givenness. The second after many philosophical
developments that have shaped the western world which does not see biology and objective
truth as defining reality. This has led to the multiplying of various gender identifications.