Some Reflections from the ETS Annual Meeting

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Jim's picture

Transgenderism at the Evangelical Theological Society

When I opened the program guide for this year’s meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Denver, I was surprised by a paper titled “Walking across Gender in the Spirit? The Vocation of the Church and the Transgender Christian.” My interest piqued, I made plans to attend the session to hear the presentation. I honestly thought going into it that the title was intended for shock value to garner interest in order to set up an evangelical rebuttal of transgenderism. But what I heard from that paper went beyond anything I had thought possible at the Evangelical Theological Society.

The paper argues for the legitimacy of transgender identities. It appeared in an “Evangelicals and Gender” section, which means that the paper was vetted by committee members before being accepted into the program. Every member of thesteering committee except one is a contributor to an evangelical feminist group called Christians for Biblical Equality. This raises the question: does CBE now accept the legitimacy of transgender identities? In addition to this session, there is at least one article that suggests it might.

Andy Draycott, Associate Professor of Theology and Christian Ethics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, delivered the paper to a crowd of maybe thirty or forty. Draycott set out his thesis at the beginning of his paper in answer to the question, “Should we consider ‘transgender Christians’ as having a good self-understanding?” His answer was an unqualified yes, that “transgender Christians” do have a good self-understanding when they perceive themselves to be gendered opposite their biological sex.

Paul Henebury's picture

It's coming!  The evangelical church in general is apostate

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

TylerR's picture


I've seen many, many theologians posting Twitter updates all week about ETS. I've seen conservative theologians hob-nobbing with apostates and having a great time. Peter J. Williams even took a selfie with Bart Ehrman, and they both looked very happy. This is so strange, to me. If this were a secular venue, it would be different. But, this is allegedly a forum for biblical scholars to discuss important issues and exchange ideas. I just don't understand it. What do these men have in common with each other? 

This is one reason why academia hold little appeal for me. I'm happy to be a consumer of academia, but I'm not interested in being part of it. I'm happy with my local church and preaching the Bible. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry Nelson's picture

"R. Albert Mohler Jr. today was elected as vice president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), effective immediately following this year’s annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, Nov. 13-15.

Mohler becomes vice president of ETS with no objections from fellow scholars at the 70th annual ETS meeting."


Al Mohler was just elected to be vice president of the ETS, which if I'm not mistaken makes him virtually a shoo-in to be its next president (per ETS custom).  And if you recall, he is the author of the 2015 book, We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong ( ), which, unless I am completely mistaken, is very much against transgenderism.

So if the ETS is now beginning to lean toward acceptance of transgenderism, why would they install Mohler in such a position of leadership?  And conversely, if the ETS is now beginning to lean toward acceptance of transgenderism, why would Mohler accept such a position?