Archives For Mark Yarhouse

Recently Mark Yarhouse presented a National Association of Evangelicals Webinar on Pastoral Care of LGBT Persons and Their Families. Because of the strong response they received from those who participated, NAE is making this resource available. While there is a cost for this resource, NAE is offering free access to supporting denominations, which includes the EFCA. Yarhouse lectures about 45 minutes and concludes with about 10 minutes of questions and answers. As the title indicates, the focus is on pastoral care to those who struggle or suffer with gender dysphoria and their families. It is quite helpful.

Many of you attended (or subsequently downloaded the recordings and notes) last year’s Theology Conference, when Mark Yarhouse joined us for our Postconference on the topic The Ministry of the Gospel and Gender Dysphoria. Yarhouse focused on the following themes in our three sessions: Gender Dysphoria: Foundational Considerations Key Terms and Biblical Perspectives; Gender Dysphoria: Scientific, Biological, Psychological, and Sociocultural Considerations; and Gender Dysphoria: Toward a Pastoral Response.

I also include a link to another excellent resource, a message given by James Anderson, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary: Thinking Biblically About Transgenderism. Anderson’s 30 minute lecture consists of (1) definition of terms, (2) basic facts which orient to the contextual and cultural situation, and (3) 8 theses from a Christian perspective on transgenderism. The message concludes with about 10 minutes of Q and A.

This is an extremely helpful lecture. In order to encourage you to listen to the whole lecture, I include Anderson’s insightful 8 theses, which you will have to listen to the lecture to hear how these theses are delineated.

  1. How you think about transgenderism will depend on your anthropology which depends, in turn, on your broader worldview.
  2. The mainstream narrative on transgenderism has been shaped and supported by secular worldviews that are committed to human autonomy.
  3. A consistently Christian approach to transgenderism must start with a biblical worldview and a biblical anthropology.
  4. A biblical anthropology has to be grounded in the first three chapters of Genesis.
  5. Gender dysphoria is a genuine condition which is best understood as a psychological disorder or dysfunction (and perhaps also as a deeper spiritual disorder).
  6. The different aspects of transgenderism call for different kinds of Christian responses.
  7. Since the biblical view is that there are only two sexes, male and female, and biological sex is the primary indicator of ontological sex, any treatment for gender dysphoria should proceed on the assumption that a person’s biological sex (rather than their gender identity) defines whether they are truly male or female.
  8. The sexual revolution and the LGBT movement don’t merely invite God’s judgment—they are themselves a manifestation of God’s judgment (Romans 1).


In our Theology Postconference, we focused on the theme of The Ministry of the Gospel and Gender Dysphoria. Mark Yarhouse was our speaker. His first two messages helped pastors and leaders to understand this issue from a biblical and scientific perspective, with the final message focusing on a pastoral response.

Here are the messages of this Postconference:

  • Framing the Issue, Greg Strand
  • Gender Dysphoria: Foundational Considerations (Key Terms and Biblical Perspectives)
  • Gender Dysphoria: Scientific – Biological, Psychological, and Sociocultural Considerations
  • Gender Dysphoria: Toward a Pastoral Response

We have posted recordings of all Yarhouse’s plenary lectures, along with his bibliography and notes on our Theology Conference webpage. These messages (minus the notes and bibliographies) will also be posted on our new Theology Podcast webpage over the course of the next few weeks.

Because this topic is a new one for many, I include below excerpts from my introduction.


The culture has long moved beyond homosexuality and same-sex matters such that it is considered the norm. However, we in the church continue to think through and ponder the Scriptures, affirming its truth and authority, while we wrestle with and pray over pastoral responses. The cultural push now is the presentation and acceptance of gender dysphoria. While we in the church continue to think through the past cultural agenda, which is important, the cultural mandate of normalizing gender dysphoria presses on ahead. It is vital for us in the church to learn about gender dysphoria and to understand it through the lens of Scripture, the absolute and ultimate authority, so that we can engage in pastoral care to those affected, both directly and indirectly.


The title explains that what we do is rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Biblical truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ are the foundation of what we believe, the absolute and ultimate truth, what we affirm as sola Scriptura. This is also foundational for how we live, for God’s truth we affirm is also the means by which we grow in holiness and are conformed into the likeness of the Son. It is the only means through which we will truly flourish. From this foundation, we will focus on ministry among those who identify as, struggle or suffer with or are affected by gender dysphoria. This also includes those who know or love someone who so identifies. Although our title addresses gender dysphoria, the phenomenon, our focus will be on the person who experiences gender dysphoria, which emphasizes the role of pastoral care and shepherding.


There are not many Evangelicals who are providing insight into gender dysphoria, much less are those who are actively seeking to provide pastoral care to those who experience gender dysphoria and their families affected by it. Mark Yarhouse is one of those few individuals.

Yarhouse affirms the inerrancy and authority of the Bible. He acknowledges the Scriptures as the absolute and ultimate authority. Furthermore, he is theologically anchored. His concern is to affirm the truthfulness of Scripture and apply those truths in a fallen world in which we provide care to people who experience gender dysphoria. He senses a call to minister directly to those suffering from gender dysphoria and families and others affected by it. This is why he has been asked to address this topic, as there really is no other Evangelical who speaks in such an informed manner on the subject.


In the EFCA we are grounded in the gospel and tethered to the text of Scripture. We are also deeply committed to living out this truth of Scripture. And we do so in a fallen-yet-redeemed-though-not-yet-glorified world. There is sin, hurt, and brokenness. And yet in the midst of this, the gospel offers hope. We engage in pastoral care not only to share God’s truth with others, but because it is our only hope, our only true way of flourishing as God ordained.

As we engage in pastoral ministry of the gospel in the local church in the moral realms of human sexuality and gender dysphoria, we are an outpost of heaven. We reflect God’s eschatological people who offer the hope of the gospel in a context of love produced by the gospel which reflects the now of the kingdom. And we are often reminded through our pastoral care of our groaning, which reflects the not-yetness of the kingdom, as we await final redemption.