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gender & identity

Sexuality is a vital issue garnering much confusion, controversy and disagreement. The following guide aims toward a deeper understanding and navigation across the intersection of sexuality, gender and identity (i.e., transgenderism, LGBTQ+, etc). reKindle holds to an orthodox, biblical ethic of sexuality while at the same time desires to expand our missiological practice of hospitality, grace and love. 

The resources below represent a wider viewpoint than what we have noted above. We include this breadth of resources not merely to reinforce our own perspectives, but to better understand those who differ from us. The reader should not take the presence of any single resource as an endorsement from reKindle, but as recognition as a key publication related to the broader conversation.

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a wider lens

History.  Worldviews.  Philosophical Underpinnings.  

The Big Picture.


While we must dive into specifics around sexual ethics and theology, step back and consider the broad question
of the vision and purpose of sexuality. It may well be worth your while to ask, “How did we get here?”

Recommended Books:

Divine Sex by Jonathan Grant

  • Grant offers insight into what constitutes the contemporary sexual worldview and imagination.  He offers not only critique but suggests paths forward for Christian faithfulness and discipleship.

Strange New World by Trueman & Anderson

  • Trueman and Anderson outline the history of Western thought to the distinctly sexual direction of present-day identity politics and explains the modern implications of these ideas on religion, free speech, and personal identity. 

Mere Sexuality by Todd Wilson

  • Taking the title of “mere” from C. S. Lewis, in this short book Wilson appeals to the vision, values, and core convictions of sexuality commonly held by the church through its long and varied history.  ​

Recommended Videos:

 Tim Keller, Culture and Identity"  - Living Out Conference on Youtube

  • Keller unpacks key insights from philosopher Charles Taylor and explores the philosophical cultural underpinnings that provide the framework of the modern sexual self.  


key voices worth
paying attention to

Certain figures have risen in prominence as thinkers about sexuality and as pastoral practitioners within the evangelical church. The following writers are worth becoming familiar with.


Preston Sprinkle

Sprinkle is an author, speaker, podcaster, and popular speaker on many topics related to sexuality.  His books People to be Loved (2015) and Embodied (2021) are contributions to the conversation around sexual orientation and gender from an evangelical and pastoral perspective.  Many resources can be found on the website of “The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Genderof which he is president.  Sprinkle’s podcast “Theology in the Raw” has a broad listener base (note that he interviews people from all over the theological spectrum!).


Wesley Hill

Hill is Associate Professor of New Testament at Western Seminary.  He published the book 
Washed and Waiting in 2010, an autobiographical reflection on living with homosexuality while holding to a traditional sexual ethic.  From the time this book was published to the present,
Wesley is considered by many to be one of the most significant evangelical voices due to his wisdom, humility, and personal story.

Mark Yarhouse

Yarhouse is a clinical psychologist and Director of the Sexual and Gender Identity Institute at Wheaton College.  He has written numerous books and articles over the past 20 years helping Christians understand and unpack complex issues around sexuality and gender. His insights
from therapy and research have much wisdom to offer on these topics. 


Sam Allberry

Allberry is an author, speaker, and apologist from the UK.  His book, Is God Anti-Gay? 
(recently updated in 2023) first published in 2013 continues to be a helpful short book in
exploring a Christian response to homosexuality.  Sam was the founder of Living Out in
the UK and continues to write and speak internationally.


Christopher West

West is a Catholic teacher popularizing and explaining the teaching of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.  T.O.B. was a series of public talks given over 5 years by the Pope,
expressing a Catholic understanding of the nature of human sexuality and the meaning of existence.  Christopher West communicates in a way that is highly accessible and relevant.


navigating attraction

Understanding sexual attraction, the connection to
identity and being a Jesus follower has many voices. 
On this, much has been written and discussed. 
Become familiar with the conversation.

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The Sides A,B,Y,X

Four “sides” have emerged over the past many years to explain how people understand and express their views on homosexuality. The “sides” provide a simple shorthand to recognize the distinctions that exist among Christian thought. However we also recognize that they are simplistic and do not reflect the broad nuances even amidst and across the categories.

Side A – holds the belief that God blesses same-sex marriage and that traditional interpretations of Scripture are not relevant to committed gay romantic relationships today.


Side B – once the only other “side” opposite to Side A, Side B now refers to those who believe sexual activity is reserved for marriage between a man and woman (which is the traditional or conservative position), and that those who are gay are called either to celibacy or to heterosexual marriage.  They are distinct from Side Y as they are generally comfortable using common cultural terms regarding their sexual identity, such as being a “gay Christian”.

Side Y – once in the same camp as Side B, Side Y was coined to describe Christians who also hold to the traditional sexual ethic (as with Side B), but who do not adopt sexual identity terms (such as saying they are “gay Christians”).  This side tends to de-emphasize the importance of their sexual feelings in relation to what constitutes personal identity, mindful to not capitulate to cultural values regarding identity.


Side X – refers to those who hold to the conviction that sexual identities and same sex attractions are to be repented of and that degrees of change are possible.  Not only are same sex behaviors considered sinful (as with Side B & Y), but attractions themselves tend to be viewed more negatively (as sinful).  They are open to the possibility of change within the experience of sexual desires, though the conviction and emphasis on this varies widely.


Broadly then, Side A Christians believe monogamous gay marriage is condoned by God, while the other 3 sides hold that marriage is exclusively for one male and one female.  Sides B, Y, and X differ in matters of how one is to understand and live out ones identity in discipleship in Christ.

Related Books:

Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill

  • This book published in 2010 was groundbreaking as Wesley offered a personal memoir and reflection on living with homosexual desires while holding to a traditional sexual ethic.  Personal and vulnerable in tone, this is the first book one should read when seeking to gain understanding and knowledge on the topic. 


Homosexuality & the Christian by Mark Yarhouse

  • Yarhouse explores how to understand the connection and distinction between sexual attraction, sexual behavior, and sexual identity.  Chapter 2 is a seminal read. 


People to be Loved by Preston Sprinkle

  • Sprinkle looks at key scriptures and their various interpretations for understanding the traditional sexual ethic while engaging the most common arguments proposed by opposing views. Primarily engaged with scriptural study and reflection, the book is very pastoral and gracious throughout.


Recommended Videos:

Gay, Christian, Celibate – An Evening with Wesley Hill on Youtube

  •  A great interview where Wesley Hill shares of his experience of being gay while following the traditional sexual ethic.  


 The Streckert Lecture on Christianity, Sexuality, and Gender" at Wheaton College on Youtube

  •  A discussion and dialogue between Wesley Hill & Karen Keen modeling healthy dialogue between those of divergent theological opinions.  – May 2022.

Hisma Desert – NEOM, Saudi Arabia_edited

navigating identity

Wanting to understand and respond to the ever-growing cultural conversations on and implications of gender identity?  Join the conversation.

Embodied by Preston Sprinkle

  • Sprinkle provides guidance on thinking about transgender realities through many lenses including scriptural investigation, cultural analysis, and pastoral considerations.


Love Thy Body by Nancy Pearcey

  • Pearcey unpacks underlying core worldviews and narratives affecting modern discussions around the body, which manifest in a myriad of “hot button” moral issues.


End of Sexual Identity by Janelle Paris

  • A small and helpful book providing understanding and critique to the modern quest of identity formation that feeds the present day conversation around sexual identity.  A little dated already in the quickly shifting cultural conversation on identity, but still a solid book.


resourcing ministries

Ministries addressing Christianity & LGBTQ+ perspectives that hold a traditional/conservative sexual ethic.


  • Equip Ministry

    • Provides consultation and teaching for church communities to address how Christians who identify as gay and wish to follow a traditional sexual ethic can flourish. 


  • Living Out

    • An organization out of the U.K helping Christians live out a full expression of love into God’s plan for sexuality.  Sam Allberry was a founder of Living Out.


  • Posture Shift

    • A ministry focusing on equipping the church to be welcoming and caring towards sexual minorities. In their own words, they seek to “both honor God and generously love people.”


  • Revoice

    • Started in 2018, Revoice seeks to provide support and a voice for same-sex attracted Christians seeking to live faithfully within the traditional sexual ethic.  They host annual conferences and also have begun organizing support and care networks.


  • Center for Faith and Sexuality

    • An excellent website rich in resources, The Center for Faith and Sexuality is spearheaded by Preston Sprinkle.  Of note on their website (under Resources) are their highly accessible 16 free pastoral papers navigating commonly asked questions around faith and sexuality. A great resource for pastors and church leaders.

    • Some sample papers, among many others:

      • “Challenges Faced by Christian Parents of LGBTQ+/SSA Children

      • “Guidance for Churches on Membership, Baptism, Communion, Service, and Leadership for Trans* People”

      • “Should Christians Attend a Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony?”

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