• Blog
  • Uncategorized
  • True Identity Book Reviews & Additional Resources: Identity Issues in Today’s World

Are you ready to take a deeper dive into the identity issues we face in today’s world? Check out these short book reviews and recommended resources that helped shape our recent sermon series “True Identity: How Opinions on Race, Politics, and Sexuality Have Eroded Who We’re Meant to Be. Also, check out the end of the post for some additional resources for further learning on identity issues.

Book 1

Pearcey, Nancy R. Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality. Baker Books, 2018.

“Why the call to Love They Body? To counter a pervasive hostility toward the body and biology that drives today’s headlines stories.” (from https://www.nancypearcey.com/love-thy-body.html)

In her book, Pearcey makes the case that a dehumanizing worldview characterizes the postmodern thinking toward the body and biology. In the opening pages she makes the case that we have a dualistic view of the human being, one in which the body is seen as separate from the authentic self. Pearcey argues that this is not the message of the Bible. To be made in God’s image means that each human has wholistic worth and value; body and mind cannot be separated. This means that respecting a person means respecting their body. In her words, “the inner life of the soul is expressed through the outer life of the body.” Throughout her book, Pearcey comes back to this point again and again and again. Whether thinking through issues of gender or sexuality, the imperative is to reconnect the body to the person in order to experience integration. And that integration has purpose- the fancy word for this is telos. For example, when addressing the “no big deal attitude toward sexuality” Pearcey contends, “The most complete and intimate physical union is meant to express the most complete and intimate personal union of marriage. Biblical morality is teleological: the purpose of sex is to express the one-flesh covenant of marriage.” Pearcey contends that placing our gender or our sexuality at the core of our identity minimizes the wholistic truth of who we are as created image-bearers. “The Bible offers a more compelling script that defines our identity in terms of the image of God, created to reflect his character. We are loved and redeemed children of God.”

Throughout the book, Pearcey addresses some of the aspects and repercussions of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) laws. One eye-opening consequence of these laws is that they become detrimental to women’s rights. Pearcey argues, “To protect women’s rights, we must be able to say what a woman is… We cannot legally protect a category of people if we cannot identify that category.”

Pearcey’s book is profoundly moving as she reinforces on page after page the beauty and value of every human life, life that is embodied. Her purpose is to push people to think and reason, but also to turn to the God of the Bible for definition and purpose. She urges the church to “be on the forefront of creative thinking to recover richer definitions of what it means to be a man or a woman. The church should be the first place where young people can find freedom from unbiblical stereotypes- the freedom to work out what it means to be created in God’s image as wholistic and redeemed people.”

Book 2

Chatraw, Joshua D. and Karen Swallow Prior. Cultural Engagement: A Crash Course in Contemporary Issues. Zondervan Academic, 2019.

“How should Christians approach important contemporary issues like war, race, creation care, gender, and politics?”

Chatraw and Prior first take the time to lay out a framework for cultural engagement in our postmodern world before diving into the hot topics of our day. They write chapters focusing on the arts, politics, war, immigration, gender roles, sexuality, race, and more. Each chapter includes discussion questions, making this a must-read for individuals and groups. This book is well-researched, engaging, and accessible to anyone with a curious mind and the posture of a humble learner.

Resources for Further Learning:

1. Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender

2. National Association of Evangelicals:

3. Moore, Russell. “Alistair Begg Meets the Politically Correct.” Christianity Today, February 2, 2024.

4. The Bulletin podcast, Christianity Today

5. Comer, John Mark. Live No Lies. Waterbrook, 2021.

6. Live No Lies podcast, John Mark Comer

7. McDonald, Greg and Lynn. Embracing The Journey. Howard Books, 2020.

what is your true identity in Christ?